What to Consider Before Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Indiana
The real estate market continues to perform exceptionally well in Indiana. In October 2022, two of Indiana’s real estate markets (Fort Wayne and Lafayette) made it onto Realtor.com’s Top 20 Hottest Housing Markets list because of their excellent market conditions. Mortgage lending giant Rocket Mortgage also recently released a study showing the best U.S. cities to invest in real estate. Their research placed Fort Wayne, Indiana, as the number one emerging real estate market in the country, and Indianapolis, Indiana, as the third. The data confirms that the real estate market in Indiana is strong. This is just one of the many reasons why you might be considering becoming a real estate agent.
People are also attracted to the real estate profession because of its flexibility and the amount of control you have over your work and life as an agent. Real estate agents decide what they want to wear as well as when and where they want to work. They also get the chance to meet a variety of new people every single day, as well as see the inside of many amazing homes.
However, building a successful career in real estate is not easy. If you’re not sure whether becoming a real estate agent is right for you, we are here to help. Today, we’re going to explore the typical career path that most new real estate agents follow to give you an idea of what to expect. Then, we’ll cover the 4 key things experienced real estate agents wish they knew before they started their careers.
The Typical Career Path For Real Estate Agents In Indiana
One of the key advantages of becoming a real estate agent is that you do not have to have a college degree to succeed. This enables you to get started sooner and allows you to save money on an expensive 4-year education. However, you will need to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent education. Furthermore, there is some education required in order to start your career.
The first step in the typical career path for real estate agents in Indiana is completing an approved 90-hour real-estate pre-licensing course. This course can be taken online or in person, depending on the provider you choose. Over several classes and lessons throughout the program, you will dive deep into a number of topics, including:
- Fair Housing Laws
- Property Law
At the end of the course, you will need to take and pass the pre-licensing exam showing that you have completed your training and are prepared to take the full Indiana Real Estate Broker License exam. In order to successfully apply for a real estate license, you will then need to complete and pass the state exam. You will need a score of at least 75% in order to pass.
Once you have passed the exam, you will then be able to connect with a sponsoring broker and complete your application. With your application complete, it is only a matter of time before your license is activated, and you can start your career as a real estate agent.
The entire process we just described can take a matter of weeks or months, depending on how much time you want to spend preparing. At its conclusion, you will be a fully licensed real estate agent in Indiana.
3 Things To Know Before Starting Your Career
Now that you know the overall process for becoming a real estate agent, let’s go through some things that experienced real estate agents wished they knew before they started their careers.
1. Seize The Initiative
Becoming a real estate agent requires entrepreneurship. In starting your own agency, you are also starting your own business with all the opportunities and challenges that come with it. For example, you will be able to set your own hours and the goals of your agency, but you will also have to deal with taxes and administrative tasks. Unlike other professions, real estate agents are not paid by the hour or through an annual salary. On the contrary, because agents are paid by commissions on sales, they can decide how much or how little money they want to make. It is vital that you seize the initiative in every interaction in order to succeed in the long run.
2. Build Your Database As Soon As Possible
Every real estate agent needs a database of potential clients. If you don’t have anybody to call, you don’t have a business. Every single person you meet or have a connection with is a possible client that can refer you to other possible clients. This is why you need to build your database as soon as possible. In business terms, this kind of database is known as a client relationship system and can be managed with a Client Resource Management (CRS) system.
In order to build and maintain these connections, you need to work on customizing your outreaches, attend conferences to build your network, and always act with professionalism. Furthermore, avoid hard-selling clients. Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases people will make in their entire lives. They don’t like to be rushed. The fastest way to build up a bad reputation is to be known as a real estate agent who doesn’t give people the time they need.
3. Differentiate Yourself
You are probably considering getting into the real estate profession because you know someone who is an agent. The reality is that almost everyone knows someone who is an agent. This makes it more important than ever before to find ways to differentiate yourself. Use social media and your website to demonstrate your own unique personality. Also, find ways to offer services that your competitors aren’t offering.
4. Never Stop Learning
When clients come to you, they expect you to know the answers to their questions. The real estate industry is evolving all the time, and you need to be up-to-date with the latest information when it comes to ever-changing regulations and market conditions. Experienced agents emphasize the need to never stop learning. Find a mentor to whom you can take specific questions. Also, look for a reliable provider of continuing education courses that enable you to learn in the format that suits you best.