Should the Bar Be Higher to Become a Real Estate Agent?

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A successful career in the real estate industry is no stroll down easy street. It takes a special kind of person with a unique kind of drive. One of real estate’s greatest freedoms is also one of its greatest drawbacks—the fact that you are your own business and have to be responsible for every aspect of the venture. So many people get their license foolishly thinking that it will be something they can do part time, a quick way to supplement their income.

There’s nothing passive about making money as an agent.

When so many newly licensed agents are grossly underestimating the work required, it raises a question: should it be more difficult to actually become a real estate agent?

Why should it matter?

The reason being is that there seems to be a glut of agents out there, and few of them actually stick around. During their brief time in business, they most likely have a negative impact on the reputations of the job at large. They work with a handful of clients, deliver a bad experience, and promptly bow out. That leaves career agents to absorb the negativity and reinforces the negative (and false) stereotypes that exist regarding realty.

What’s the solution?

The obvious solution would be to increase the requirements, but what form should those new prerequisites take? More class hours would certainly have an impact, giving newbies solid knowledge and setting them up to be the kind of experts their future clients will need. But one of the primary issues is that students can excel in the classroom and fail in the field.

The most value would come from apprenticeships, for brokerages to vet potential agents before they get their licenses and make the acquisition of one contingent on the completion of an apprenticeship with a seasoned vet. Not only would the apprentices learn everything about the job that can’t be taught in the classroom, but they would also get to see what a day in the life looks like.

This glimpse into the real estate industry would go a long way in terms of thinning the herd. When would-be agents see the day-to-day grind of making money in real estate, they might realize it’s not for them before they even enter the industry and leave dissatisfied clients in their wake. It will also attract a higher caliber of talent to the field, which has never been more important.


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