Licensed and Looking...
Part Two of the "Becoming a Realtor" Series
Again, congratulations on that licensure! That is no simple feat. Take the time to celebrate your achievement. (Personally, I recommend some local seafood!) As soon as you get your celebration out of the way, let's take a look at what we can do with that license.
When you initially become licensed, you are in an inactive status. That means you are not able to sell quite yet. How do you get out of inactive status? Find a company/broker to work for! (You know what I am going to say... obviously pick us! But, go where your heart is telling you to go.) It typically takes a couple days, but after you are pulled under that Broker's wing, you will hop into active status and are ready to sell. The best thing about having that broker though? You have an awesome mentor to help you realize your full potential and guide you through the rest of the process.
Technically, at this point, you are "done" according to the state requirements to become a Real Estate Sales Agent, but different companies have different requirements. I cannot speak for everyone, but at Faith & Hope Realty, Inc., there are several memberships we join that offer resources and other awesome perks. (I'd venture to say most companies out there have very similar requirements though.)
Have you noticed that I have yet to call you a "Realtor" and opted for "Real Estate Sales Agent" instead? There is a reason for that! You cannot technically call yourself a Realtor unless you belong to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). There is also a Florida Association of Realtors and Pensacola Association of Realtors (PAR), of which we are all members. PAR offers a sort of "combo" membership, where you join with them and pay all dues directly to PAR, then they take care of your Florida Association of Realtors and NAR membership fees for you. Again, this is a pretty common practice, so your company or local association may do/require the same for you. PAR dues are paid yearly and seem quite pricey (about $450, depending on your area), but remember that covers several memberships, tons of resources, and an ENTIRE YEAR. (Initial application fees are currently $200, and membership fees are prorated from your start date.)
The best thing about being a member of PAR is definitely the MLS access. Their website is a treasure trove of resources and getting to see the Realtor side of listings is essential in making sure your client gets their perfect home.
While you can now sell, sell, sell, the work is never quite finished as a Realtor! Look for the third and final installment of this series on Becoming a Realtor where we will explore post-licensure.
Find part one here.