If you are thinking about a career out of school, or are looking for a second career later in life, real estate can be an interesting and lucrative area to work in. If you are interested in people and homes, and like the idea of showing people around different houses and helping them find the one that is right for them, then the idea of being a real estate agent is probably quite appealing.
The money can be very good for a successful agent, and it is a career that is always in demand and subject to licensing, allows you to work almost anywhere you like. Here is everything you need to know about becoming a real estate agent in Canada:
What Sort of Person Makes a Good Real Estate Agent?All kinds of people have good, successful careers in real estate. However, there are some traits that will make a given person better suited to this type of work.
You should be an outgoing and friendly person who enjoys meeting new people and listening to their needs. You should be confident, and not afraid to push for a sale, though also concerned with actually putting the right people in the right properties. Some real estate agents earn a bad reputation due to lack of integrity and, in any job, loss of reputation will not help you succeed because word of mouth is such a powerful thing.
As well as being confident, outgoing and good with people, you will also need to have a good grasp of numbers, because you will be dealing with a lot of math, often on the spot when it comes to negotiating house prices and offers and dealing with appraisals. It goes without saying that you will also need sales skills, however these can be learned as part of your training.
A real estate agent should also be smart and well presented, and have good organization skills. You will need to stay on top of numerous appointments, clients and properties and make sure you are always on time for meetings with house viewers and phone calls.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Real Estate Agent?Real estate agents need to be licensed, which is the main qualification you’ll need to get. However, to begin, you will need at least a secondary school education, as well as a driver’s license because you’ll need to drive yourself to appointments. The licensing qualifications vary from province to province, and once you have yours you will also need to be a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association as well as your local real estate board.
Becoming licensed costs money, and in most cases the training will cost you between $2000 and $3000. It will teach you everything you need to know to do the job of a realtor, including how to appraise homes, how to negotiate sales, the legal aspects of mortgages, and how to practice ethically in the field.
How long it takes to be ready to take your real estate exam varies regionally and between how you study. You may also have to pay an additional fee for the exam itself.
What Are the Career Prospects Like?A newly qualified real estate agent will usually get a job with an agency fairly quickly and start working right away. Most of what you will earn will be commission, so while the basic salary may not look enticing, once you get into your stride you can do very well.
Of course, the best clients and properties go to the best sellers, so there is a degree of working your way up even within your own agency. You can consider moving into management or even starting your own real estate agency in the future, so you don’t necessarily have to be an agent in the field for your entire career if you don’t want to. You can also consider moving into a specialist area like high end properties or commercial spaces if you like the idea of working in a niche.
As you can see, the path to becoming a real estate agent can be quite straightforward, and it does offer a lot of opportunities for the right sort of people to have rewarding and interesting careers, where they can work with all kinds of houses and people.
If you want to go ahead with becoming a Canadian realtor, the best next step is to find out what the licensing requirements are in your area and try and get on a course!
Author Bio: Jim Carter is a real estate agent in Toronto. When he isn’t busy, he enjoys travelling with his family to different places and exploring their histories.
Image Credits via Flickr
- attractive property image courtesy of Nicci Romanovsky
- real estate agents image courtesy of Nick Bastian, Tempe, AZ
- qualified real estate agents image courtesy of News Oresund
- real estate career image courtesy of Tulane Public Relations