Are you considering becoming a REALTOR? Making the decision to become a real estate agent and/or a REALTOR, is a big move for your career journey. People typically fall into this career after having been in various other occupations. If you are interested in starting a career in the real estate industry, we are going to cover the steps below.
What is the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR?
The main difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR, is that a REALTOR is an active member of the National Association of Realtors. NARs is the largest trade association in the United States. In order to join, you have to be an active real estate agent with a valid real estate license. In addition, it is required that you have an excellent professional conduct record. We will go into further detail below.
General requirements to become a real estate agent
- Minimum age to become a real estate agent is either 18 or 19 (depends on your state).
- You must be a legal US resident.
- Complete the required pre-license education. Each state is different.
- Pass your state real estate license exam.
How to become a member of the National Association of Realtors
The first step in becoming a member of NAR is to find your local REALTOR association and join. There is a one-time application fee of $35 and pro-rated membership dues need to be made once your membership is approved. The dues for 2020 are $150. Now we will cover the benefits of becoming a REALTOR.
A great incentive to join the National Association of Realtors is due to its good reputation. As a REALTOR, you are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics. When clients see that you are a REALTOR, they will feel more at ease knowing that you are sworn to uphold certain professional standards. In addition, putting “licensed realtor” on your marketing materials will help build credibility for your brand.
Another great reason to join NAR is because they work to protect the interest of its members. Because it is a trade association, they have bargaining power with both state and federal governments. Their influence can then be used to get better benefits and legal protection for realtors. Another benefit is that you will have access to real estate market data, discounts on education courses, as well as transaction management services.
Once you have found the local chapter of the NAR in your county or state, the final steps to join are not too difficult.
- Pay the required association dues.
- Pass the Code of Ethics online course.
- Abide by NAR’s standards of practice.
- Maintain your certification by re-taking the online course every four years.