If you’ve been considering real estate for a while, but don’t know where to begin, we’re here to help! In this post, we are going to go over some of the many reasons why people become agents, how to become one in Vermont, regulations, and the ethical quandaries in real estate. That may sound like a lot to cover, but it is our hope that by the end of this read you have the clarity and first steps laid out to start an illustrious career in real estate!
Let’s start out with an easy one – why would someone want to become an agent? There are countless reasons, but to name a few you get to set your own hours and work from home if you so desire. There’s no college degree required! If a university wasn’t your path, that does not stop you whatsoever from making a great living in a professional atmosphere. If you want to continuously learn throughout your career, real estate is an excellent option. Agents are always taking classes to further their skills and knowledge of the field. On top of that, each transaction will teach you something new about clients and the different contingencies involved in home buying and selling. Elise Polli, realtor and team owner, said, “I wanted to be in an industry that was goal-focused and provided a service to others. Real estate is a wonderful combination of being able to be your own businesswoman while providing a valuable service.” If your fundamental drive is to help others and constantly meet new people, it’s time to put real estate at the top of your list.
Now that you know why you might want to become an agent, it’s time to look at how. It’s important to note that each state has slightly different requirements in place, and we will be looking specifically at Vermont. For starters, you must be at least 18 years old to become a real estate agent. Anyone who meets that description will then have to complete a 40 Hour Pre-Licensing Course. There are in-person and online course options available to accommodate your busy schedule. After completing the course, you must pass both the Vermont State Licensing Exam and the National Exam. Now that you're a licensed agent, the work is just beginning. First, you must be affiliated with a registered real estate office or principal broker to start practicing real estate. There is then the matter of finding clients to work with. We’ll save the bulk of prospecting for another day, but it’s important to note that you should be prepared to spend your days door-knocking and making phone calls to drum up business. Elise said of her own experience,
“In the beginning, as a new agent, you'll be spending more hours working than not. My first 3 years as an agent were 50-70 hour weeks and several 12 hour days. A real estate career doesn't evolve overnight. Most agents don't make it through the first two years due to the amount of work, amount of learning, and lack of commission checks. It takes a dedicated person who believes in themselves enough to power through. It's common to suggest that a new agent has 6-8 months of cash reserves when they get started so they can continue paying the bills until they are up and running.”
Buying or selling a home is a major financial decision; the biggest one most folks make in their lifetime. The person trusted to help people make this happen must be held to certain standards and practices. This is why there is a Code of Ethics in place for realtors that anyone stepping into the business should have memorized. The rules in place are there to not only protect your clients but protect you as well. Following the National Association of Realtors' set rules is the easiest way to best serve your clients and the community.
None of this is meant to dissuade you from real estate, more so to make it clear the time, rules, and energy it takes to start a successful career in this industry. There are so many moments that make it worthwhile aside from just the commission checks that come with a booming busy season. On some of her highs from her career, Elise said,
“I have the opportunity to meet the most amazing people! One past client has now become one of my best friends. It's a wonderful web of being connected with so many different people. And now if I need a graphic designer, I think to myself, who of my past clients is a graphic designer? I need a caterer for a client event, I can call a past client and partner with them. It just makes me feel good to be able to provide business back to the people who have supported us. I love the challenge of real estate and oddly enough, that I have no salary. I have to hold a high bar on a daily basis to continue helping people buy and sell homes or I won't receive an income. Although that can be daunting at times, it also keeps every day fresh, new, and full of excitement.”
We hope anyone that was on the fence now feels ready to jump headfirst into the exciting world of real estate! If you’re hoping for more personalized advice directly from an agent, reach out to Clientcare@polliproperties.com to get a consultation set up.