Careers: The soft and Hard Skills You Need to Work in Real Estate

By eLearning Inside
February 13, 2024

If you’re interested in the world of property and aspire to steer a fulfilling career in the real estate industry, then becoming a real estate agent might be your calling.

But, this profession requires more than just passing an exam. Insightful market knowledge, adept negotiation skills, and sincere commitment are some key attributes required for success.

Fortunately for people in the U.S., there are a plethora of online courses available, with certification. These resources include certified courses on Coursera and The CE Shop, which is a site wholly committed to real estate professionals.

If you are thinking of delving into the dynamic world of real estate, here are some tips, to help you on your journey.

Understanding the Role

Stepping into the shoes of a real estate agent requires more than just selling properties. It’s essential that you fully understand the role first. Your chief responsibilities include aiding clients in buying, selling, and renting properties by providing them with an informative service.

You’ll be required to be savvy when negotiating deals and knowledgeable about market trends and property values. Furthermore, it’s part of your job to facilitate smooth transactions and make sure all legalities are adhered to, ensuring a successful closing for all parties involved.

We recommend doing a quick online search to read more about this incredible industry. However, make sure you’re getting your information from a trusted and professional source.

Meeting the Basic Requirements

Before embarking on your journey to becoming a real estate agent, you’ll need to fulfill certain prerequisites. These basic requirements are a must for aspiring agents. Ensure you meet the minimum age requirement, which is typically 18 or 19 years, depending on the state.

You also need to be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident. Most states expect candidates to hold at least a high school diploma or equivalent educational certificate. It’s these parameters that determine whether you’re eligible to participate in this dynamic professional ecosystem or not.

Get the Soft Skills You Need for Real Estate

Even if you’re knowledgeable about real estate laws and regulations, you won’t go far if you’re lacking in certain soft skills. Here are some of the soft skills you’ll need to have:

  • Negotiation
  • Problem-Solving
  • Active Listening
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Time Management
  • Empathy
  • Persistence
  • Self-Motivation
  • Organization

Soft skills like negotiation and persistence will ensure that you don’t give up until you get that deal, while empathy and communication skills will win you more deals with clients. On the other hand, time management and self-motivation skills will keep you on task. Since more real estate agents make their own schedules, organization skills are incredibly important.

The best way to learn these soft skills is through practice and instruction. Be sure to pursue certifications, conduct research into your industry, and always stay curious. The more you practice these skills, the better off you’ll be when you’re working with your first client.

Pre-Licensing Coursework

Your pre-licensing coursework plays a pivotal role in your journey to become an agent. This stage is paramount as it equips you with an understanding of real estate laws and basic principles. A varying set of hours are required for this coursework depending on the state rules.

Most states expect around 60-120 hours of study before you can take your exam. Once enrolled, it’s vital that you complete your licensing course, which includes subjects such as property law, contracts, taxes, and ethics pertaining to real estate practices.

Since licensing courses are state-specific, it’s hard to recommend just one course. But before you decide on one, ask for recommendations from friends and coworkers, research the history of the real estate school, and check if the curriculum is taught by licensed professionals. An example of a New York-based pre-licensing course that passes our test is NYREI.

Selecting Other Important Courses

Don’t just stop at taking your pre-licensing course. While these courses give you what you need to pass the exam, they won’t always give you the investors’, buyers’, or sellers’ perspective. You also aren’t going to be taught to use important real estate technology or how to read a dataset.

For this reason, you’ll need to expand your knowledge using various online courses.

Here are a few we’d recommend:

  • Real Estate from UCLA.
  • Sustainable Real Estate from MIT Professional Education.
  • Applications of AI, InsureTech, and Real Estate Technology from Coursera.
  • Increasing Real Estate Management Profits from Coursera.
  • Real Estate Investments from Harvard Division of Continuing Education.

With these courses, you’ll be more prepared for your real estate career than anyone else.

Get Licensed as an Agent

Ascending to the next rung of your professional ladder, you’ll need to get licensed as a real estate agent. This involves successfully passing a state-administered examination. The exam will include national and state-specific topics and typically includes multiple-choice questions.

Once passed, you’re required to apply for an active license with your respective state’s board or commission before you can begin working. Getting licensed is a significant milestone in your journey and signifies that you’ve gained the necessary legal authorization to work as an agent.

Joining a Real Estate Brokerage Agency

After getting your license, you’ll need to join a real estate brokerage agency. This step is valuable as it provides much-needed exposure to the industry. Working for a broker gives you access to an array of clients and properties that might not have been reachable otherwise.

Moreover, being part of an experienced team equips you with practical skills and insights into market dynamics under skilled mentorship. As such, joining a reputable organization fosters a nurturing environment that allows budding professionals to learn and grow substantially.

Continuing Education

Just like other dynamic industries, real estate is subject to evolving legal landscapes and market trends. As a real estate professional, you need to continuously upgrade your knowledge through continuing education. This ensures that you stay competitive throughout your career.

Continuous learning comes in various forms, such as attending workshops, subscribing to online courses, or participating in seminars. Incorporating ongoing education into your career enables you to understand changes in your industry and provide expert advice to your clients.

Remember that many online courses won’t be updated fast enough to keep up with all trends. For this reason, you’ll need to balance your coursework with on-the-ground prospecting. You’ll need to speak to professionals in your industry that can guide you toward a successful career.

Build Your Brand and Network

Establishing your footprint in the real estate arena requires building a robust brand and a strong network. It is essential to portray a consistent professional image that aligns with your selling proposition. This helps you get recognized by clients who need your valuable services.

Moreover, fostering relationships within the community and industry helps create valuable connections. Networking events and social media platforms can serve as excellent avenues for this purpose. Remember, the power of networking can be influential in accelerating your career.

If you need help with learning how to network, we recommend trying the course “How to Network: Leading Yourself to Lead Others” by the University of Michigan.

If you thought that was interesting, check out How to Promote Critical Thinking in the Classroom

Featured image credit: Dragon Claws, iStock.