The Path to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Michigan.
If you are planning on becoming a real estate agent in Michigan, you can do so easily!
There are 4 easy steps you can follow on your path to agency:
1. Taking the Course
The first thing you need to do on your journey in real estate is take a real estate class. The class must be state certified and it is important to take it through a reputable company. The State of Michigan requires you take at least 40 hours of class and pass the exam before certification. If you go to a major company’s site, you can likely find links to required classes. You could also either perform an online search, or simply ask a Realtor. They have gone through the entire process and can likely give you inside hints. Realtors and other agents are required to take continuing education. This makes for a great resource because they have to take classes as well. Once you have found a company you want to take the class through, register for the course.
Remember, getting your license is not free. The course usually costs between $50- $100. You also must take into account the required reading. Each of these two books cost around $20-$50 each. Then you must pay for your license, which is $88 for a salesperson. Also, you work for commission as a real estate agent, which means you will only make money that you work for. You earn a percentage of each home you help sell. While this can be very lucrative, you must remember: If you don’t produce, you don’t make any money. Be prepared with some money in your savings account, especially when first starting, for the ebb and flow of the market and your income.
2. Finding Your Broker
In order to be eligible to take the state licensing exam, you must be sponsored by a licensed broker. This means, a brokerage has to agree to employ you, and essentially claim you as one of their agents. There are a few factors you should look for in a brokerage:
- Commission split- As a member of your brokerage, you must split your sales with the company. Some companies offer a 60/40 split in your favor, while others will do 50/50. This number can vary and it is important to understand your income and how it could change.
- Brokerage culture- Are you going to enjoy working in the environment offered by your office? Do they offer support, and how much? Are they an independent company, or part of a franchise?
- Reputation- Is the brokerage maintaining a positive reputation? This is important because it will play a direct role in the ability to garner business through marketing. If a company has a good reputation, clients are more likely to choose them to work with. You don’t have to join a franchise to join a company that has a good reputation and can draw clients.
3. Taking the Exam
After you have passed the 40 hour real estate licensing course, you still have to pass the state exam. While you are given three hours, this standardized test takes about two hours, and consists of 110 questions. You are required to get at least 77 out of the 100 correct to pass the exam. The cost to take it is $88 for a salesperson, and you can take the exam as many times as you need, provided you pay $88 each time. Remember, you must have sponsorship (employment) with a licensed broker before you can take this exam. Once you pass, you are officially a licensed Real Estate Salesperson. (Not a Realtor.. yet)
In order to gain the title of Realtor, you must take another class through the National Realtor’s Association, and pay the association fees that go along with membership. These fees range from an annual fee, to monthly just like most any other membership out there. Being a Realtor has a lot of perks with it, including a Political Action Committee looking out for your interests.
4. Gaining Experience
When you first start out, it is important to find a mentor. This person will act as your guide as you begin to learn the ins and outs of real estate. They will be there to help you throughout the whole process, from marketing to the closing table. Take advantage of this, because having an experienced and dedicated mentor is invaluable in terms of knowledge. As you gain experience in the field, you will begin to rely less and less on the mentor, and soon be completely self sufficient. Just make sure you remember to thank them and be the best resource for them (or any other agents) as you can. You never know where a good reference can come from to add to your pipeline of clients!
As you gain experience, complete deals and become a top producer, you may be interested in becoming a broker. This is a very similar process as the one to get your salesperson license. You will have to take a broker’s class that consists of 90 hours of work, and have 3 years of experience as a salesperson. Once you have done this, you must pass the broker’s licensing exam, provide a letter of good standing, and pay the fees associated with licensing. As a broker, you can open your own real estate agency, and sponsor other agents to work for you and get their licenses. One perk of being a broker, is you get a split of all the sales that come from your office! While you have a lot more liability and responsibility, it is truly fulfilling to run your own business.