Get Ready for Your New Career with These Real Estate School Hacks
You’ve made the decision to take your pre-license course, and now it’s time to make a plan to ace it. Review this checklist before you start to get your schedule, expectations, learning tools, and study habits in order so you can finish your course, pass your exam, and start your new career.
Get your schedule in shape
First, make sure you know your window for completing the course. What’s the shortest amount of time it will take if you go full-time and plow through everything? What’s the maximum amount of time the school (or your state’s rules) will let you spend on your pre-license coursework?
Next, plan a study schedule and stick to it. For classroom students, this part should be easy (although life sometimes intervenes). For online students, there’s always a temptation to put off study time when work or family responsibilities overflow. Before you begin your course, decide how much time each day (or each week) you can devote to studying. Then block that time out in your calendar app or make an action item on your daily to-do list so your study session doesn’t get taken over by other things. Whether you’re taking your course full-time or fitting it into 20-minute sessions each day, the most important thing is to make consistent progress.
Gather your school supplies (really)
No, you won’t need scissors and glue, but you’ll probably need a few tech tools to make the most of your course.
Make sure your tech is reliable and up to date. Check the technical requirements for your course, update your operating systems and security apps, and install and test any apps you’ll need to take your classes.
Download a flashcard app. Two of the most popular are Quizlet and Cram.com, which let you create your own flashcards—perfect for all those new real estate terms you’re learning. These sites also contain hundreds of flashcard decks on real estate terms shared by other users. Both apps are available for Android and iOS.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the course material
Most pre-license courses focus on real estate law, contracts, and procedures. This is important stuff, but don’t worry that this is what you’ll deal with all the time once you’re an agent. As my friend Britton Jackson of Jackson Fuller Real Estate in San Francisco says, “you need to know how not to step in minefields” once you’re working, but the day-to-day of being an agent in your particular location is something you’ll learn from your sponsoring broker once you pass your exam.
Remember that the course material and the state license exam topics may be different. Check out our post on how to prepare for your real estate license exam for detailed tips on getting ready for the big test. The short version is that you’ll be studying two things at once: your coursework and the exam practice questions.
Make connections now
Know how and when you can reach your instructor, customer service, and tech support. And don’t be shy about reaching out when you have a question or need help. Your school wants you to succeed, so let them help you.
Connect with other students. You may be studying on your own time but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Classroom-based courses put you in touch with your fellow students, but so do many online courses, through student forums and online study groups. Find some study buddies to master your coursework and prepare for the state exam—and start building your professional network by getting to know your future fellow agents now.
Start looking for a sponsoring broker before you finish your course, especially if you need to get your license quickly and get to work. You’ll need to work for a sponsoring broker to do that, so the sooner you can start exploring your options, the better. Look for an agency that’s a good fit, where you like the people, and where mentorship is a big part of their culture. (You can also check out our post on how to get a job after real estate school for more tips.)
Take care of YOU
Treat yourself. No lie, some of the topics in a typical real estate course can be pretty dry, even though they’re important. If you have trouble sitting down to read about contract law or property easements, decide ahead of time how you’re going to reward yourself when you’re done. An iced coffee, lunch with a friend, or a nap can motivate you to power through those tough subjects—and so can the knowledge that every study session brings you that much closer to your license.
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.