REALTORS® Association of Edmonton
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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 continuously emerge.

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 balance.

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 management.

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 estate appraisal.

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 competence.


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.

REALTORS® Community Foundation

Real Estate Weekly

Real Estate Council of Alberta

©2011 REALTORS® Association of Edmonton 14220 112 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5M 2T8T: 780-451-6666 TF: 1-888-674-7479 F: 780-452-1135


Trademarks and their associated logos are owned and controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and
identify real estate professional who are members of CREA (REALTOR®) and/or the quality of services they provide (MLS®).


The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (Edmonton Real Estate Board), founded in 1927 , is a professional association of over 3,200 Brokers and Associates in the greater Edmonton area. The Association administers the Multiple Listing Service®, provides professional education to its members and enforces a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice.

The Association advertises property listings and publishes consumer information on the Internet at, as well as in the Real Estate Weekly.
The REALTORS® Association supports charities involving shelter and homelessness through the REALTORS® Community Foundation.