Hi there real estate lovers, if this article caught your eye, it might as well be your first step into the real estate world. Let me give you a hand in this decision.
After my last article, I had a lot of questions regarding the profession real estate agent itself. So, in order to inform you thoroughly, I will walk you through the process of becoming a real estate agent, the qualities you need to have, what the job is like and very importantly the questions you need to ask yourself if you want to become a real estate agent.
I received some questions from readers after my last article, because some of you don’t know what they want to do or what they have to choose. If I could give you one piece of advice; take a leap of faith. You’re young, you’re allowed to make mistakes, you’re allowed to learn… If after a while you realize that one particular job wasn’t your cup of tea, you still have plenty of time to start over, that shouldn't hold you back.
The most important things you have to ask yourself are:
Do I really want this?
You're probably going all "deuuheuh" on my right now but it is an important question. Do you really want to become an agent because YOU think that it’s for you? Or do you just like the idea of it because of what you see on television? Or because other people say you should do it? Or claim that's thé job of the century? You should only listen to yourself.
Of course I realize that you can’t know it for sure if you have zero experience in sales. I worked in clothing shops from my 16 on, it’s obviously not the same but it does give you an idea what it’s like dealing with costumers. But don’t let zero experience hold you back though. If you really want to try it, you can start with a summer internship or an administrative function in a real estate office, anything really. If it’s what you want, go for it! Wanting something is the best motivation you can have, prove the world you can do this!
Do I want an active job in the people business?
It sure isn’t just a “sit-behind-your-desk-job” you get in contact with people every day, you have to pick up your phone for people every single day. You might laugh with this but it could be that you don’t like these kind of interactions. Primarily because your results don't entirely depend on you, it depends on actions/reactions from other people. You have to convince people to work with you, or convince people to buy something from your. You’re constantly promoting yourself or a product. You’re not behind a desk working on a product, you’re active, you’re hunting, you’re on the road… You don't have an 100% influence on your results.
You don’t have office hours ‘cause you have your phone constantly on stand by and for visits you usually work when other people aren’t at work. Weekends, evenings, early mornings... But it does give you the liberty to plan your day yourself, you don't have to follow the same routine every day. And I promise you, it’s exciting, and it gives you a kick every single day, at least for me. But if that doesn’t speak to you, it’s just not your thing, it’s not something you will learn to appreciate by doing it.
And basically, that’s it. There are no other questions to be asked, otherwise you start overthinking. Don’t ask yourself: do I have the skills for it, because that IS something your can learn through doing, you’re constantly working on developing yourself, no one is born with skills… Some of us just have more talent than others, that’s for sure, but I believe that you can achieve anything with hard work and perseverance.
And definitely do not ask yourself: Am I ready? No one ever is! If you’ve come this far in the thinking process, you surely are ready. Asking yourself that question is what makes you doubt things.
So let’s say you’ve finally made up your mind, what do you have to do practically?
Important: this article is applicable in Belgium, so the first part may not interest you if you want to become a real estate agent in another country.
First things first, in order to become a real estate agent, there are some boxes you need to thick. One of them is having a bachelor-degree qualified as level 6 under the European education norm (EQF). Basically any bachelor that taught you the basics of business management. If you don’t have any degree that qualifies, you can apply for a real estate course on Syntra. You can even combine this course with already working as an employee in a real estate office. Cause these courses are given after working-hours, twice a week. If you need any more info regarding this, visit the Syntra website.
Moooving on, second step, find a real estate office that will give you a position as an employee or as a BIV-intern. Ah-ha, new word BIV... This instance is a public professional organization that controls and organizes the real estate profession. So in order to be an independent real estate agent, you need a BIV recognition (number) that qualifies you as a trustworthy real estate agent.
So as previously said, you have to do an internship in a real estate office of about 1 year. You need to get registered on the list of BIV-interns, after you’re registered, you will receive an invitation for a competence test at the BIV headquarters in Brussels. It’s just to see at what level your real estate knowledge stands. And after that test, your internship period commences. During that year, you need to keep a report with all your activities; property valuations, sales, communications… Anything that proves your active participation in the office. At the end of you internship you need to make a report and send that to the BIV-commission who will evaluate whether you’ve done enough to earn you number.
In case you thought you’re done after this, think again! If your report is approved you will receive an invitation for a written and oral exam. You need to pass your written exam existing out of theoretical questions with 60%, mostly law or deontological related, in order to go to the oral exams with more practical questions. After that, you will receive your official BIV number, and you will pay a yearly contribution to BIV to enjoy their services like; a legal team, template documents, yearly courses… I can’t tell you enough how important it is to keep educating yourself, it’s also obligated to take 10 hours of courses each year to keep you BIV recognition.
Well, I think that about covers it. In order to get a better feel with a job, I will post an article about "a day in a life of a real estate agent."
If you have any questions, or if you need any help with any business-related decision. Don't hesitate to contact me!
Always keep believing!