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How To Become A Real Estate Agent in 2021 // 10-Step Guide

by Cole
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If you are any sort of side hustler or entrepreneur, you most likely have considered getting your real estate license at some point. I mean even if you aren’t, especially with how 2020 was, you’ve probably considered every route to diversify your income.

After doing 5+ years of real estate marketing, I finally buckled down and made the decision to get my own…in July of 2020. By February of 2021, I became officially licensed. 8 days later and I went under contract on my first deal. The point being it took upwards of 7 months… WHAT???

Okay, honestly, it doesn’t have to take that long, but when you work another full-time job or have your own side hustles, it’s pretty difficult to make it through quickly. I think if you pushed it to the max you could have it all completed in 2 months. That’s GRINDING though.

Anyways, let’s talk about the process:

1. Take Unit 1 Real Estate Course

I took my course through the CE SHOP. I wrote a whole review on my experience with it on the blog as well. I initially bought the course to get my California real estate license and studied that ALL summer last year. Then, when I decided officially that I was staying, I spent my last 400 bucks and bought the SC UNIT 1 and UNIT II courses.

With a full time photo / video business and lots of things in between, it was difficult to stay consistent with studying. But I shot for 1-2 hours a day for about 2-3 months.

2. TAKE PROCTORED UNIT 1 COURSE EXAM

So imagine this….I am in the slowest month of the year, December. I finished my course. I’m cramming for 7 days to make sure I pass what I think is the FINAL exam. I pay the fee to take the proctored exam. I PASS it. I am so excited. I call all my closest friends and family.

I reach out to a team lead. I tell her I got my license. I show up at a listing with her. To find out, I am nowhere near having my actual license. I have only finished the UNIT 1 COURSE. Nothing else…wow.

3. REGISTER W/ LLR

Once you pass the course, you need to IMMEDIATELY register with your state’s LLR. They will put you in their system, assign someone to you and let you know what you need to do to finish the process.

4. CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK

You will have to schedule to get your fingerprint taken next. This also requires a small fee. I’ve listed all fees at the bottom of the blog post. It was pretty simple to schedule and only took about 5 minutes once I arrived. But it was another waiting game. I had to wait a few days to schedule, and it took a few more days for LLR to receive the results.

Around this time, you also have to get your Lawful Presence Verification document notarized. I did it at the bank. The lady said I looked like a baby. πŸ˜‡

5. SCHEDULE YOUR EXAM WITH PSI

Once they know you are not a criminal, you can officially schedule your exam with PSI. You most likely will not be able to schedule immediately. They usually schedule a few days or a week out, and they also charge you a $65 fee.

I was lucky because I had a PSI exam center 10 minutes from my house, but sometimes you will have to drive to the nearest center which could be 1-2 hours away.

6. STUDY YOUR A$$ OFF

After scheduling my exam, I used CE Shop’s exam prep feature, studied my notes and watched YouTube videos to prepare for the final. I found my best success when I woke up early and studied the most during the first 2 hours of the day. I also think it helped to write down the parts I didn’t understand as well.

Not only, did I get the extra umph of writing it down, but it also acted as a study guide!

7. ACTUALLY PASS (NATIONAL AND STATE EXAMS)

This is pretty simple. You have to pass both exams, state and national. My exam was like 65 questions for national and 45 for state. Something like that.

Unfortunately, I failed the STATE portion on the first try and PASSED the NATIONAL. I’m so thankful I didn’t fail the national because it was so much harder to study for. Knowing I only had to focus on the state exam for my second try was really helpful.

I studied for 3 more days and rescheduled the exam. Then, I officially passed.

Cole Connor Real Estate Shoot

8. FINISH UNIT 2 COURSE

After I passed, the proctor gave me a piece of paper that proclaimed, I must finish UNIT II, pay an additional fee and send all documents in before I can become officially licensed.

I finished that thing so fast! 30 hours of course. Then studied for 1 day and took another proctored exam which, yes, charged an additional fee.

9. SEND ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS TO THE REAL ESTATE COMMISSION

Once you pass UNIT II, you must send all DOCUMENTS via mail to the real estate commission plus the license fee. I overnighted it on Thursday at noon, and it wasn’t accepted until the next Wednesday I believe. So expect another week before you can officially get going.

During this time, I decided to go with eXp realty and join a team in #TeamKasia. Their digital resources and money aspect really intrigued me so I pulled the trigger. And being a part of a team is important for me as a new agent in my opinion. It’s a whole new world! I mention this because your broker will have to sign off on the documents as well.

10. MAKE SOME CASH (KIND OF)

I put this one as number 10, but really the most important thing is getting all the fees knocked out. You can’t do much without being a part of the MLS and the REALTOR association.

Then, the reality is you will not make money right away. I had a shoo-in first client that landed me a deal within my first 8 days, but closing won’t be for 2-3 weeks so who knows when the money will actually hit. You will most likely need some source of backup income until you make at least one sale.

But do not fret, YOU got this!!! I’m scraping by, but I believe I have the right support system to succeed. No telling where I will be in 3-6 months. 🏑 πŸ€™

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FEES

Let’s talk about fees. You DO have to pay for much more than just the real estate course. Unfortunately.

UNIT 1 & 2 COURSE – $400 (ish)

PROCTORED COURSE COMPLETION EXAM – $25

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK – $50

SCHEDULE TRUE FINAL WITH PSI – $65

LICENSE FEE – $50

MLS + REALTOR ASSOCIATION – $900 (ISH)

LOCKBOX FEE – MONTHLY

So basically the total is $1500 (ish) to get started in real estate. Plus at minimum 2-3 months if you fly through it. But it took me 7 months.

More content coming soon. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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