General Information on Becoming a REALTOR®
Well over half of REALTORS® in Alberta (61%) earned less than
$75,000 from real estate transactions in 2005. Thirty-five percent earned
between $75,000 and $225,000. Source: CREA
A career in real estate is demanding and rewarding. It requires commitment,
discipline, motivation, enthusiasm and flexibility. A basic understanding
of the real estate industry and market is a must. After all, the market
is dynamic and competitive, legislation changes frequently and new technologies
Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Successful Real Estate Professional?
Careers in the field of real estate have changed significantly over the
years and are more exciting than ever. Advancements in the areas of technology
and communications, the greater need for specialized knowledge and the
expansion of marketplaces, are redefining the role of the real estate professional,
and creating new demands and opportunities.
Real estate associates must be
- enthusiastic self-starters
- continually developing leads and cultivating clients
- prepared to make many sacrifices in their daily lives
- familiar with technology (computers, the Internet, cell phones, etc.)
There is no quitting time and the phone will ring at any time of the
day or night. Personal schedules must be arranged to suit clients’ needs.
Still, successful Real Estate Professionals are able to keep perspective and create
Most Real Estate Professionals earn their income by commission. They may make a sale
one week, then not another for two months. They have to budget their money
to last between sales. Earnings will vary by area, type of property sold,
local market conditions and specific brokerage policies. Personal expenses,
however, apply to all real estate associates and include licensing fees,
insurance, real estate board/association dues, advertising and other costs
associated with telephones, cell phones or computer services.
Real estate practitioners must successfully complete a number of courses
to acquire and maintain their licence and must keep up to date with changes
and trends in the industry.
A real estate career offers tremendous potential beyond the selling of
property. Your real estate education can open new doors and help you pursue
other opportunities in property management, appraisal, financing or office
A Career in Real Estate
The real estate profession offers one of the widest career selections
in the business world today. Helping people buy and sell homes, office
buildings, industrial property and farmland is part of it. So is property
management, land development, mortgage banking, urban planning and real
A career in real estate provides flexibility and freedom to set your
own pace. Successful people in real estate are goal-oriented, persevering,
self-motivated, ambitious and people-oriented. Entry into the real estate
field depends on education, training and interests. Most people begin as
sales people in a brokerage firm. Other possibilities include office assistant,
licenced agent assistant or rental agent, assistant in a department of
a large real estate organization, or in the mortgage division of a bank
or lending institution.
In real estate, a salesperson is an individual employed by a Broker
to trade in real estate, who has met provincial licensing requirements.
As a member of organized real estate, they belong to a local real estate
Board and are employed by a brokerage who is a member of that Board.
A Broker has met provincial licensing requirements, which typically
includes both experience and education criteria. They may then manage
and own a brokerage. A brokerage company may be an independent company,
locally-owned and managed by a Broker, or be a franchise brokerage owned
and operated locally, or a national franchise office which is corporately-owned
and managed locally.
Once you get into the field, you’ll be employed as a salesperson
or sales associate working in affiliation with a large or small brokerage.
With experience and additional education becoming a real estate Broker
is a next step you can persue. Brokers can own their own businesses and
employ other salespeople.
In residential real estate, helping people buy and sell homes is one of
the most important and basic services a real estate agent performs. The
real estate agent's expertise facilitates the transaction, saving clients
time and money and avoiding problems. Commercial Brokers specialize in
income-producing properties, such as apartment and office buildings, retail
stores and warehouses, shopping centers and industrial parks. To understand
and explain why these properties are good investments, commercial Brokers
need to be aware of growth possibilities in the area, current income tax
regulations and purchasing arrangements that give the buyer the greatest
possible return on investment.
Education and Licensing requirements for jobs in the real estate industry
are established by the province in which you intend to practice. Generally,
you’ll be required to complete an educational requirement before
you can get involved in the field. A period of supervised practical training - sometimes
called “articling” - may also be required before you
can be registered as a real estate professional.
Colleges and universities now offer a variety of real estate or related
courses. At many of these colleges, students can specialize in a program
that leads to a bachelor's degree in real estate. Some universities offer
graduate level courses. Contact the university or college of your choice
for course information and directories.
Continuing education is also required in many provinces and available
in others so that real estate professionals are regularly kept up to
date and trained in the many aspects of their career and the real estate
industry. In the real estate Code of Ethics, this is a commitment to
Entry into the real estate profession takes preparation. As with other
professions, provincial licensing is required. Licensing requirements vary
across Canada, but all provinces and territories require prospective REALTORS® and
Brokers to pass a written exam. For more information on licensing, visit
the web site of the real estate Association in the province where you intend
to work in real estate. The first step towards obtaining your real estate
agent's licence and registration is to complete the Introduction
to Real Estate.
Mandatory continuing education
To maintain your license in Alberta, you must complete approved continuing
education courses every year. The Real Estate Council of Alberta approves
the courses and a complete list is available on the RECA's web
site. Contact our Education
Department for more information.