It’s that time of year again when people are flocking to online resources for information on acquiring a real estate license. Realtor Teresa Boardman knows the critical information new agents need that they will never tell you in licensing classes.
It’s Agent Appreciation Month here at Inman. Join us in celebrating what agents do all month long. Desire for total access? Take advantage of our Agent Appreciation Sale and subscribe to Inman Select for just $85.
Receive Inman’s Agent Edge? Make sure you are subscribed here.
It’s that time of year when people flock to my website to learn how to get a real estate license. I haven’t published my annual 2022 article How to Get a Real Estate License in Minnesota yet, but I’m working on it.
I usually get calls from a few first time buyers who want to get a license so they don’t have to pay real estate commissions when they buy a home. After I explain to them how to get a license and how commission splits work, they usually change their minds.
Sometimes the requests come from people who want to sell their houses and I explain to them that they don’t need a license to sell their house.
Some people believe they have to work through a real estate company to get a license. Assisting in navigating the licensing system is a great recruitment tool.
Most of the questions I get about licensing are related to cost. People want to know what is the most cost-effective option to get the required 90 hours of tuition.
We make this real estate thing look easy, and the way people talk about “getting their real estate license” is like there’s a license out there for everyone just waiting to be caught.
In the movies, this license is made out of desperation by people who have failed at everything else, because we all know that people who don’t succeed at anything else are good at selling houses.
what they don’t tell you
Most people would be surprised to learn that acquiring a real estate license has little or nothing to do with selling houses. It’s entirely possible to take the 90 hours of class and pass the test without having a clue how to write a sales contract or what to do with a listing contract.
Here are 11 things they won’t tell you in real estate licensing school:
- Having a license is not the same as knowing how to sell houses.
- Although new licensees can charge the same amount as the pros, they make less.
- Much of the training for new agents at real estate companies focuses on promoting the company’s brand.
- Real estate companies generally don’t give clients or even leads for free to agents. Don’t forget to ask about the referral fee before accepting the client.
- Selling houses is much easier than finding clients who will let you sell their house.
- Some real estate companies make most of their money by charging their agents for things that agents don’t need or want.
- Some friends and family will avoid you after getting the license as they secretly plan to work with another agent.
- Taxes are not deducted from commission checks; Agents must put money aside to pay their own taxes.
- Being personable is much more important than competence.
- A bad customer is a special kind of hell and can be far worse than the worst boss.
- Real estate agents are also targets for scammers and cranks.
What I to know
I took my pre-licensing classes in the days before online pre-licensing courses were allowed.
The instruction had to include 90 hours of face-to-face instruction. That was 20 years ago and many of the same teachers are still teaching the classes.
I think I was in constant shock for most of my first year as a real estate agent. As far as I remember, it took me a few hours to write my first offer. My first client was a buyer who was “caught” by the company website and sold to me for a hefty commission fee.
A few years ago I “auditioned” to become an instructor. I didn’t make the cut. The last advanced training class that this school completed was so badly done that it almost brought tears to my eyes.
The tests required to get a real estate license test are for something, but I’m not sure what for.
They tend to have things that aren’t needed on the job, or if they are, it’s easier to look them up on the spot than to memorize the answers. No one has ever asked me how many feet are in a mile, nor have they ever asked me how many acres are in a parsec.
After real estate school and licensing, new agents posted messages on social media that they are now ready to help people “buy or sell their dream home.” I’m not sure if they learned about these dream homes in real estate school or if that comes later.
Teresa Boardman is a broker and broker/owner of Boardman Realty in St. Paul. She is also the founder of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com.