5 Jobs that Require a Real Estate License

Dec 20, 2021
6 min

A real estate license is a great way to open more career opportunities for yourself.

That's because a license helps you become eligible for work that's not just representing property buyers and sellers.

In fact, with a real estate license, you can start a career as:

  • Residential real estate agent
  • Commercial real estate agent
  • Real estate broker
  • Property manager
  • Leasing agent

In this article, we'll explore what it's like to work in each of these jobs to help you decide if a real estate license is a worthwhile investment for you.

What's it Like to Work as a Residential Real Estate Agent

Buying a house is probably the most significant investment in anyone's lifetime. For this reason, a residential real estate agent works in an emotion-based business. Often, this can lead to little routine because it can turn on a dime any hour of any day. 

Realtors® of this sort can stage a home to show that house the same day. Also, they can arrange for appraisers to inspect the property, help negotiate contracts on behalf of clients, prepare offers and counter-offers, check on financing arrangements, and obtain lease information if the property has rental units. 

Also, they actively market the houses through websites, social media, networking, and advertisements in publications. 

Beyond this, they research similar properties to confirm that listing prices are reasonable. The agent ordinarily works under the supervision of a licensed broker.

How Do You Become a Residential Real Estate Agent?

To become a California residential real estate agent, you must be 18 years old and be eligible to work in the U.S. Also, you have to complete a pre-licensing program, also known as real estate school.

Once students finish their real estate classes, they must apply to the real estate exam, complete a background check, and pass the exam. Then, the Department of Real Estate in California will mail them their real estate license. 

How Do Residential Real Estate Agents Get Paid?

Real estate is a commission-based business. Commissions average between 5-6% of the home's sales price. Of that 5-6%, the commission is split with the agents involved in the transaction and their corresponding brokerages. 

Typically, the agent will walk away with 2% of the final sale's price.

Some new agents earn millions while others never make a sale. Personal traits like work ethic, consistency, social skills, and organization drive many successful Realtors®. Market conditions and brokerage support also influence a budding career.

What's it Like to Work as a Commercial Real Estate Agent?

Commercial Real Estate differs from residential in that almost all buildings are commercial properties and not residential.

The commercial agent is involved in a broader range of issues than the residential agent – environmental reports, population studies, and income analysis for the subject property and its neighborhood. 

How Do You Become a Commercial Real Estate Agent?

Becoming a commercial real estate agent is the same as becoming a residential real estate agent. You have to undergo pre-licensing requirements and complete the real estate exam.

Commercial agents often want to get more education in finance because they are dealing with more valuable properties.

How Do Residential Real Estate Agents Get Paid?

Commissions are customarily between 4-6%. They follow the same model as a residential agent, meaning they split their earnings with other agents and their respective brokerages.

But, commercial agents will make more money than residential agents. The reason is that a commercial property's value is greater than residential property's.

What's it Like to Work as a Real Estate Broker

A real estate broker is an agent who has obtained their broker's license. They perform the same duties as a real estate agent, except they have additional freedom to own and operate their brokerage.

They can represent clients independently from signing a brokerage. They possess this ability to represent clients without another brokerage. Also, they can hire other agents to work beneath them at their established brokerage.

It's not uncommon to own a broker's license and work at another brokerage. In this instance, the broker working at another brokerage is called a Broker's Associate.

How Do You Become a Real Estate Broker?

Becoming a real estate broker is similar to becoming a real estate agent but you will need more experience and education. They must have 2-years of experience as an active, licensed agent unless they possess a bachelor's degree in real estate or an approved, related field. 

Either way, a candidate must complete real estate courses in practice, law, finance, appraisals, and accounting before taking the real estate broker exam. 

How Do Real Estate Brokers Get Paid?

A broker gets paid the same way as an agent. But, they benefit from not splitting their commission with a brokerage. Since they are the brokerage, they can keep half of the commission.

Typically, the commission of 6% is split between each agent involved and then split again with the respective brokerage. In this case, a broker can keep their commission share.

What's it Like to Work as a Property Manager

A California real estate license can qualify a person for other related professions. One of these is the property manager. A property manager takes care of a property on behalf of the owner.

Typically, a landlord will own many properties and hire a property manager to manage the properties for them.

How Do You Become a Property Manager

A real estate license isn't required to become a property manager. BUT, you are at a significant disadvantage without one. Property managers are restricted in signing on new tenants and discussing contracts with them.

That's why we always recommend getting your real estate license if you want to become a property manager. After that, you become even more qualified and in demand.

How Do Property Managers Get Paid?

The average salary for a real estate property manager is over $60,000 in California. They may also get lodging within the property unit in some cases.

What's it Like to Work as a Leasing Agent

A leasing agent works exclusively within rental units. Like a real estate agent, a leasing agent represents a client to help them find prospective renters for their unit.

How Do You Become a Leasing Agent?

In addition to getting your real estate license, you will also have to get a leasing agent certificate. A certificate solidifies your expertise and makes you eligible to represent clients.

How Do Leasing Agents Get Paid?

Average statewide salary numbers for leasing agents put annual income between $30,000 and $40,000.

Final Thoughts on these 5 Jobs that Require a Real Estate License

A real estate license is a great way to open yourself up to opportunities. If you're seeking a career in real estate, a license will separate you from other candidates. That's what makes a license so wonderful.

Not only that, you can have a license in your back pocket, ready for use when you want to use it. Just because you are a property manager doesn't mean you can also be a residential real estate agent.

The employment opportunities are truly limitless. 

There are 5 jobs that require a real estate license to fulfill every responsibility they have. That's what makes a real estate license such a great way to create job growth and opportunities. Here's the 5 jobs and what it's like to work as them.

Dec 20, 2021
6 min