How to Get Your First Job After Real Estate School
When you’re in real estate school, you’ve got a lot going on—classes, state exam prep, and the rest of your work and family responsibilities. Plus, you need to think about finding a sponsoring broker so you can work after you earn your license. Even if you don’t have time to visit and interview potential sponsors until after you finish your course, there are some things you can do now to lay the groundwork for making a great sponsor match when you’re ready.
Tell people you’re looking for your first real estate job
Let your friends, family, and social networks know you’re embarking on a new career and looking for a sponsoring broker—and start asking for introductions before you finish your pre-license course. My friend and former colleague Britton Jackson, who co-owns a brokerage in San Francisco, met the person who would eventually be her sponsoring broker at a party hosted by her landlord. Even if you’re too busy to do the rest of these networking steps before you finish your course, you can still let your network know you’ll be looking for a sponsor soon.
Get to know the brokers in your area
Jackson recommends going to open houses to meet more real estate professionals in your area. You can also search online for local real estate events like meetups and networking events near you to attend. Ask the agents you meet how they got started and what they recommend for new agents in your area.
Following local brokerages on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social media platforms to see what kind of properties they focus on, what kinds of discussions they host, and what type of feedback they get from clients. Another way to get insight into what local brokers are doing is to sign up for their email newsletters through their websites.
Highlight the skills on your resume
Don’t worry if you don’t have a real estate or selling background. Your attitude and willingness to learn count for a lot, and skills from your previous jobs may transfer to real estate even if they’re in completely different fields. For example, Britton’s managing broker told her that some of the best agents are former teachers, nurses, and people who’ve worked in other helping professions because they tend to relate to others well and focus on meeting their needs. So if you’re worried about what you bring to the table as a new agent, sit down with your resume and make a list of your skills and experience that can help you in your new career.
Know your sponsoring broker options
As you meet brokers in your area and work on your list of transferable skills, you’ll also want to learn more about the brokerages you’d like to work for. The more information you gather now, the better your chances of finding a good fit for your first real estate job.
- Check the reviews of each brokerage you’re considering. This can include client reviews on sites like Zillow, Yelp, Facebook, and Google, as well as employee reviews on Glassdoor and other career sites, and agent discussion boards on Trulia.
- Try to talk to other agents at the brokerages you’re interested in, either at local events or over coffee or lunch, to see what they like about working there.
- Share information with your fellow students about brokerages you’re all considering. Not everyone wants the same type of work environment or schedule, so a place that’s not a good fit for you might be just right for another new agent.
Ask lots of questions when you interview brokers
When you’re ready, you can request interviews with the potential sponsors on your list. You’ll want to get the answers to these questions at each interview:
- What’s the workplace culture? Some have a culture of active mentorship, while others are more sink-or-swim.
- Does the brokerage require new agents to take training, and if so, who pays?
- What territories will you start with?
- What kind of marketing support does the brokerage provide to its agents?
- What kind of administrative/clerical support does the brokerage provide?
- How are commissions are structured and how long it takes agents to receive their commission after a sale closes?
- What insurance coverage will you need and what will the brokerage provide? You may need professional liability coverage and additional coverage for your vehicle.
- Are there any other costs you’ll be responsible for?
- Are there benefits available to agents, like bonus and referral programs, or insurance coverage?
You’ll want to ask yourself a few questions, too. How well do you get along with the brokers you’ll be working with? Can you see yourself working with this team for the next few years? Talk to several brokerages, if possible, before you make your decision, and remember that you don’t have to decide until after you pass your license exam.
Written By: Casey Kelly-Barton
Casey Kelly-Barton is a freelance content marketing writer who specializes in business and career development, marketing, and e-commerce.