Starting a career in real estate can be very rewarding, but it can also be very challenging as well. Therefore, it is important for you to do your research. Many agents are self-employed and only get paid when they close on a transaction. You may find yourself seeing more money going out than coming in initially. Between real estate schools, joining a firm, getting business cards, obtaining marketing materials and joining your local realtor’s associations starting a career in real estate can be very costly.  

Commission Requirements  

To be a real estate agent in North Carolina you must: (1) be at least 18 years of age, (2) be a United States Citizen, a non-citizen national or qualified alien under federal law, (3) successfully complete the 75-hour North Carolina Prelicensing Course, (4) submit a complete license application, which should include a criminal background check, the application fee, and other required documents, (5) successfully pass the real estate license examination, (6) satisfy the commission that you possess the requisite character to be entitled to licensure. Ideally, once you pass the state exam the licensing process may take approximately 10 days. Your initial license status will be as an inactive provisional broker. To activate your license you will need to work under the supervision of a broker-in-charge for a specified period of time.

Finding the Right Fit

Once all of the items above are complete you will need to find the right agency that aligns with your goals and aspirations. It is important that you know what you want to obtain from your real estate career in order to find an office that best fits your overall objective. You should also be aware of the different commission splits among agencies and what each firm is willing to offer you in terms of training, advertising, and office space.

In a nutshell, being a real estate agent can be very rewarding but it calls for self-motivation. There will be highs and lows in the market so you have to be prepared.  Being prepared includes not getting discouraged so surround yourself with good mentors and people who will help you stay motivated during the tough times. Be smart with your commission checks; remember to save for those days of drought. I always tell my agents, ‘if you treat it like a business, it will reward you like a business. If you treat it like a hobby, it will reward you like a hobby.’