What's In This Article?
Getting a real estate license has a huge appeal to many retired and semi-retired seniors. The opportunity to earn extra income and be your own boss are two of the main reasons seasoned professionals flock to real estate for a much-needed change from the structured 9 to 5 corporate lifestyle.
While these key factors drive many opportunity seekers to initially investigate getting a real estate license, there are many other benefits that entice tens of thousands of people to ultimately commit to a career in real estate.
Retirees are in a unique position to parlay their extensive personal network and life experiences as homeowners, buyers, and sellers into a real estate career. Since success in real estate is oftentimes linked to contacts and people skills developed over a lifetime, mature adults find themselves at the right place and time in life to leverage these hard-won assets into generous real estate commissions.
The Benefits of a Real Estate Career for Retired and Semi-Retired Professionals
- Flexible schedule
- Part-time and full-time opportunities
- Low startup costs for a new business
- Affordable real estate license courses for in-person and online classes
- Unlimited income potential
- Ability to choose your customers and associates for a pleasant working dynamic
- A variety of career paths
- Earning potential directly linked to a personal network and interpersonal skills
What to Expect During the Real Estate Licensing Process
While all states require a pre-licensing course that must be completed prior to taking the licensing exam, laws unique to each state dictate the required real estate license course and test content relevant for their specific locale. An average of about 75 hours of course instruction is typical. With that said, course hour requirements vary significantly by state.
As a real estate license holder at two different times in my life, I have taken both an online course and an in-person class. Granted, as explained below, they both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on your learning style, schedule, and preferences. For me, I enjoyed being in complete control of when I decided to study, so I enjoyed the online course option more.
Real Estate Pre-licensing Cost Estimates
While costs vary by school, students can expect to pay less than $1000 for educational and licensing expenses. When you compare this nominal cash outlay to U.S. News & World’s Report‘s published average cost of a year at a public U.S. college which is $11,171, then it definitely puts things into perspective.
Granted, there will be ongoing expenses for conducting business as a real estate agent. But, those expenses can be offset by income once you have your real estate license and begin working.
Your real estate broker is likely to assign a mentor or trainer to you so you can get off to a fast start earning income. When you make money, the broker makes money. Your broker has a strong incentive to help you become productive as soon as possible.
Online Classes Provide Flexible and Convenient Pre-license Training
Like any new professional endeavor, becoming a licensed real estate professional requires training. Fortunately, it is much easier and more affordable to obtain a real estate license than to go back to college for a new degree in other fields.
The good news is that you can take classes online or in-person to accommodate your personal preferences. If you’re juggling a current job and trying to transition into a real estate career seamlessly, online classes provide the most flexibility. Choosing this educational option means you can study in the middle of the night if you’re a night owl, or whenever you have a few minutes to spare. Busy people tend to love online classes.
If you are naturally a good student that learns easily via reading text and watching videos, then taking an online course will streamline the process for you. It is easy to shorten the time it takes to finish the course when you have the option to work at your own pace and on your own schedule.
I found the online classes were well developed and easy to understand. This benefit means a lot when you consider how difficult it can be to learn real estate law, which is a significant part of the pre-licensing course and licensing test content.
Don’t be intimidated by taking an online course. You only need basic computer skills to get started. If for some reason you experience technical issues, highly-rated schools always provide immediate help to talk you through difficulties so you can move forward quickly with very little downtime.
In-Person Real Estate Pre-license Classes
Granted, some students choose to attend classes in a traditional classroom setting with an instructor. If you have the time and also enjoy learning in this type of structured environment, then this option is available in most areas.
While convenience and expediency often steer students towards an online classroom, students who desire to learn the old-fashioned way can do so. Inquisitive students that require the support of a teacher to achieve an optimal learning experience are more likely to sign up for in-person classes.
It is worth noting that the number of classes may be limited or non-existent in smaller cities. That’s why it is important to register as soon as you decide to get your real estate license. Otherwise, you might be forced to wait for an extended period of time, effectively slowing down the licensing process.
Why Identifying and Choosing the Best Online Schools Is Important
Few would argue the point that the training and education a student receives are directly related to the quality of the course curriculum offered. That’s why it makes sense to choose an accredited school with a track record for success. When choosing a real estate school, identify those institutions that are arello and idecc-certified as a way to screen for the best education and training.
It is worth doing your homework to find out which schools boast the highest levels of success in terms of the percentage of students that pass the licensing test the first time they take it. Online courses designed and taught by experienced real estate professionals translate into superb test scores and an enjoyable learning experience.
Many online schools provide live support as needed. This feature ensures the best of both worlds for students, with the convenience of online courses and the ability to ask questions. The most desirable schools ensure that the students have exactly what they need to pass the licensing exam.
Why Exam Prep Packages Are Popular
When I took the real estate exam the first time, I was truly surprised by the sheer amount of information I was taught. The area of real estate law alone is vast and can be overwhelming without exam prep instruction designed specifically to help you pass the test. When you consider the vocabulary words, the real estate math, and complicated legal questions inherent in real estate, it is easy to see why a large percentage of students don’t pass the real estate test the first time around.
Exam Prep Classes provide the advantage students need to focus on the subject matter that is most likely to be on the test. For example, I remember several questions about the handling of earnest money on my exam. A good prep class will ensure that you thoroughly understand the concept of earnest money.
Professional real estate agents enjoy the flexibility of being self-employed without the substantial financial outlay and lack of support that most entrepreneurs endure. There is a reason there are so many glamorous reality TV shows featuring real estate agents and their world of showing homes and meeting new people. This career choice is popular for obvious reasons.
The first task on the agenda of making this career transition is to take a pre-licensing course. Gone are the days when students are forced to revisit a traditional classroom setting, forced to fight traffic to make it to a class at an established time and place of the teacher’s or school’s choosing. Online courses now deliver the required classes you need to pass before proceeding to the real estate exam.
By choosing a reputable school and an all-inclusive package with an exam prep class, you can rest assured that you will be prepared for the exam. Passing the real estate license exam should be your goal.
While the idea of going back to school may be unappealing, with the right school behind you, the experience can be the first of many wonderful learning opportunities. With the right school behind you, you can start earning as a real estate agent in weeks instead of years.
Real Estate License Requirements by State
Georgia Real Estate License Requirements
Pennsylvania Real Estate License Requirements
California Real Estate License Requirements
Nevada Real Estate License Requirements
Florida Real Estate License Requirements