How to become a real estate agent

How to become a real estate agent

If everything goes smoothly, the real estate agent is something like the fairy godmother. It helps other people find a conveniently located city apartment, chic loft, or long-awaited dream house. Or he can help you sell this exact property. A tense housing market may seem like an El Dorado for real estate agents on the one hand. Still, his services are indispensable: He knows the market, can assess which standards exist, which properties achieve which price, and how deeply clients may have to dig into their pockets to be able to realize your wishes. What it takes to become a real estate agent and what prospects this job offers you.

Job description: What does a real estate agent do?

The term agent already indicates that it is an intermediary activity. As a real estate agent, you mediate between buyers and sellers on the housing and real estate market. How your work looks in detail depends a little on your focus.

Some real estate agents specialize in luxury properties (such as expensive villas by and for celebrities). In contrast, others specialize in holiday properties, commercial properties, rental, and owner-occupied apartments or houses.

In general, your tasks will include:

  • The brokerage of apartments, houses, commercial real estate
  • Advice and support for interested parties, customers, tenants
  • Contacting authorities
  • Obtaining and evaluating information
  • Property visits and documentation
  • Sales talks and preparation of sales contracts
  • Viewing appointments with tenants
  • Rental of apartments and another real estate
  • Rent calculation and drafting of rental contracts

As can be seen, these activities are a mixture of back-office and field service, office activities and several appointments that have to be kept on site. Your success as a real estate agent depends mostly on your negotiating skills and specialist knowledge.

Not only do you have a broad knowledge of real estate, but you are also familiar with the legal aspects of rental, purchase, and construction law. As an independent real estate agent, you have to take care of acquiring customers and objects to be brokered. When the housing market is tight, that means you should have a good network.

Education: How do you become a real estate agent?

There are no statutory minimum requirements for a real estate agent in terms of training, which is why this profession is suitable for career changers.

As a rule, however, real estate agents qualify through commercial training or further training, for example as:

  • Real estate assistant
  • Real estate specialist
  • Business economist real estate
  • Real estate agent

Access through a degree is also possible, for example in:

  • Construction management
  • Business administration
  • Real estate industry

Salary: How much does a real estate agent make?

A real estate agent’s salary depends on several factors. On the one hand, factors such as region and work experience often play a role. In this activity, your salary is mainly dependent on success – this applies to both permanent and self-employed.

If, on the other hand, you are employed by a large brokerage office, the precise terms of your salary are set out in the employment contract. Your compensation will make most of the time consist of a base salary and commissions, which you will receive upon successful completion.

Map of a real estate agent salaries

The darker areas on the map show where real estate agents earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

real estate agent salary

Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $82,000 per year
Median Annual Salary: $99,000 per year
Top 10% Annual Salary: $120,000 per year

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career: chances and prospects as a real estate agent

As in almost every job, you have a choice between self-employment or permanent employment. Employed real estate agents can be found here:

  • Agencies
  • Brokerage offices
  • Banks, building societies, and savings banks
  • Cooperatives
  • Housing associations

As an employee, you have the opportunity to gain further qualifications, for example, to become a team leader. As such, you will then take on management tasks in addition to the activities mentioned above. You benefit from such a career with a degree. This also gives them the option of pursuing a career as a lecturer.

Application as a real estate agent: tips, formulations, template

US housing market has been tense for years – at least in coveted large cities and metropolitan areas. Affordable apartments are in short supply, vacancies are rare, landlords can virtually choose their tenants. It goes so far that applications are written to look for an apartment – an absurd situation in some places.

So good times for real estate agents? It depends on. Sometimes the industry resembles a shark tank. Because getting to beautiful objects to sell them profitably leads to corresponding competitive pressure. Your stress level also depends on the clientele you look after: Should you find commercial properties for solvent business people? Or do you have to deal with insolvent tenants in social housing?

Here, assertiveness and a good dose of courage are required because physical arguments or threats of violence by frustrated tenants occur.

Over the following skills, you should have and let integrate them into your application:

  • Communication skills
  • Customer orientation
  • Knowledge of human nature
  • professionalism
  • Respectability
  • Confident appearance
  • Entrepreneurial thinking
  • Understanding of numbers

It can look like this:

Thanks to my in-depth knowledge of property price developments in the Manhattan area, I was able to get a 20 percent profit for my customers by setting the date of the sale differently.


I was always able to implement the high-quality demands of my customers to the satisfaction of both parties. Long-term business relationships are evidence of this.

What an application as a real estate agent could look like can be found in our real estate resume template, which we provide here as a word file. Please keep in mind that you should always adopt the wording individually to your respective position.

How to become a real estate agent
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How to become a real estate agent
Are you contemplating a career as a real estate agent? Review a real estate agent: job description, educational requirements, skills, salary, qualifications.
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