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Working in the real estate industry affords many professionals with the ability to have a flexible schedule and a competitive salary. Those who are wanting to become an agent may be unsure of how to get started or the necessary steps involved. If you’re ready to change professions, there are a few ways to become a real estate professional.

Enroll in a Pre-Licensing Course

Pre-licensing courses from certified institutions cost an average of $200 to $300 with a certain amount of training hours that are required. You’ll learn legal aspects of the industry, principles, and practices. You can take the courses in-person or online at accredited pre-licensing institutions.

Take a Licensing Exam

The licensing exams have two portions, which includes federal real estate laws and state-specific laws. Expect to answer 100 to 200 multiple-choice questions, which includes math and will require the use of a calculator. You can obtain sample tests ahead of time to study and prepare for the test. Fortunately, you’ll be able to take the exam as many times as you want within a two-year period.

Activate the License

Once you pass the exam, you can activate your license, which costs an average of $200 to $300. You’ll also need to pay for membership to the local multiple listing service, which will allow you to have access to analyze market trends and property tax information.

Become a Member of the National Association of Realtors

Every real estate agent must become a member of the National Association of Realtors, which will allow you to have benefits that include lowered rates on education courses, transaction management services, and full access to real estate market data. You’ll also be able to use the title “Realtor” on your business cards and materials that you provide to clients.

Find a Brokerage

Once you’re ready to legally practice real estate and become an agent, you’ll need to find a brokerage in the local area. Brokerages are licensed by the state and are required to follow ethical standards and laws to continue providing their services to the public. Expect to start off by getting paid by commission without benefits. Find a brokerage that allows you to feel welcome and is willing to provide you with training.