Are you thinking of becoming a real estate agent? Real estate is a rewarding career, but it takes certain skills, hard work and dedication. Since real estate is an interpersonal field, there are certain personality traits needed that will help you build trust and form relationships with your clients. These include excellent communication skills, organizational abilities, problem solving, resourcefulness, honesty, tact, self-motivation, and persistence, to name a few.
As there are over 100,000 people in Canada with a real estate license, the competition is fierce. For example, the number of members in the Toronto Real Estate Board now exceeds more than 48,000 people. Keeping this in mind, it’s best to know what you’re getting into before you commit to this career.
Below, we’ll walk you through the seven steps to becoming a real estate agent. Read carefully and determine whether this career is something you would like to do:
1. Make Sure You Meet the Basic Requirements
To become a real estate agent in Canada, you must meet three basic requirements: be at least 18 years of age, have graduated grade 12 (or an acceptable equivalent credential), and be a citizen of Canada.
Note that there are varying requirements for becoming a real estate agent depending on the province you are looking to work in. Also, it’s good idea to take a look at your province’s requirements, even though this is not one of the essential steps to becoming a real estate agent.
2. Get Certified
To start, you’ll have to complete the real estate licensing course in your province. For example, to become a real estate agent in Ontario, you must register with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). As noted above, these requirements vary depending on the province you are looking to work in.
3. Find a Brokerage Agency to Join
Now that you’re certified in real estate, it’s time to find a brokerage agency to join. The agency will sponsor your application to become certified. There are many different agencies out there, so you have free rein to find somewhere to work that you feel comfortable with. For example, some brokerage agencies in Toronto include Royal Lepage and HomeLife/Realty One Ltd., to name a few.
4. Become Licensed
Now that you are a part of a brokerage agency, they will go ahead and sponsor your application to become certified. In most provinces, becoming certified in real estate requires you to write a written exam.
Once your application goes through, it’s time to pay your licensing fee. Of course, this amount varies depending on the province you’re in. In total, it will cost somewhere around $7,500 to become a real estate agent in Canada. Some provinces may also require you to become a member of a professional organization. Again, it’s best to also take a look at your province’s requirements.
5. Get Insurance
Real estate is one of those careers that requires you to be insured. In real estate, the type of insurance you need to be fully licensed is called “errors and omissions insurance”. That way if any mistakes occur, you’re covered. After getting insured, the next steps to becoming a real estate agent would be to go through your province’s real estate association.
6. Complete Supervised Training
Now that you hold a real estate license, it’s time to complete a period of supervised training (also called articling). During this time, you will work under a more experienced real estate agent at the brokerage you are now a part of. The more senior agent will show you the ropes of the industry, how things work at the brokerage, and give you tips on how to be a successful real estate agent.
Use this time to soak up everything you can about the industry and the brokerage you now work at. This is the time to ask as many questions as you like so you can gain all of the appropriate knowledge.
7. Find Clients
Now that you have been shown the ropes, you’re ready to get out there and find clients of your own. This can be quite challenging at first, especially because the competition is so fierce. At times, you may need to obtain advances on your commissions in order to make ends meet. However, once you get going and start building a database, clients will refer you to their friends and family. Word of mouth is so important in real estate.
Being a part of a brokerage will definitely help you in the early days. You’ll be able to post properties online on MLS (multiple service listing) and you may even be given a few clients to get you started. It’s also recommended to get out there and advertise yourself. This may include a website, signage on benches, and even social media pages.
Now that you know what it takes to become a real estate agent, you can determine if this is something you would like to do. We wish you the best of luck!