Attending real estate school and passing the state exam is just the first step toward learning the real estate business. The real work of training begins after you have your license in hand. From there, you'll take advantage of a variety of resources as you train to work and succeed as a real estate agent.
New licensees receive on-the-job training from their brokers. In a small brokerage, an agent might work with the broker one-on-one. Larger brokerages teach their own classes or make available online courses for their new agents. This initial training is so vital that experienced agents often recommend that new licensees choose a broker primarily on the basis of the training program the broker offers.
Broker-supplied training should include everything a new agent needs to get started. Classes might teach office procedures, filling out the myriad forms the agent will be working with, prospecting for customers, salesmanship and listing presentations, to name just a few.
Some brokerages have formal mentor programs that pair new agents with experienced ones. The mentee works closely with the mentor to learn about the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of a real estate agent. The mentor also guides the mentee through her first one or two transactions. Even in the absence of a formal mentoring program, new agents can usually find experienced ones willing to show them the ropes.
The Internet is a treasure trove of training resources for newly licensed real estate agents. From free videos, blogs and newsletters created by real estate career coaches to professional communities where agents and brokers gather online to share information, a new agent literally could spend weeks reading, watching and learning.
New agents able to pay for training may hire a coach to help them develop the systems and habits necessary for success and to hold them accountable for meeting their goals. Some of the best known names in coaching like Tom Ferry and Brian Buffini share some information for free and occasionally offer a free introductory coaching session.
Seminars and Conferences
A variety of organizations, from real estate publishers to professional associations to career coaches and other service providers in the real estate industry, sponsor seminars and conferences throughout the year, some free and some fee-based. These events encourage participants to attend presentations and participate in work groups, covering such topics as technology, prospecting, personal marketing and social media.
Not all training seminars require that agents attend in person. In fact,during any given week, a new agent can probably find one or more free webinars--online seminars--for training from the comfort of her home or office.
States generally require that real estate agents take continuing education courses each year as a prerequisite for license renewal. Course content and the minimum number of course hours vary by state.