ASK THE REALTOR®: I was thinking about becoming a Realtor®. I don’t know what to do first. Can you tell me about the process?
ROBERT RUSSO: To become a Realtor® you must be 18 years or older, have a high school education or equivalency, and you must complete a 75-hour pre-licensure course at a licensed school and pass the license examination. There are many places that offer these courses. It is important to make sure that the school you choose is state certified and has a good reputation. You can stop by or call any Real Estate Office and they can help you find a licensed school. After you complete your course and pass the school examination you will next take the state examination. You can then begin your search for a Real Estate Office to hang your license. All Realtors® must be employed by and operate under the supervision of a licensed Real Estate Broker. The New Jersey Real Estate Commission is responsible for issuing licenses to Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons. You can find more information about becoming a Realtor® and the fees associated with it online.
ASK THE REALTOR®: Why did you decide to become a Realtor®?
My mother opened her own office in the early 70’s so it was natural for me to follow in her footsteps. She started her own office after a couple of years of being a Realtor®. In New Jersey only a licensed Broker can open their own office. Once you become a Salesperson you must work full-time under the direction of a Broker for 3 years and then you become eligible to complete the 150 hours of broker pre-licensure education.
ASK THE REALTOR®: What advice would you give a new Realtor®?
Although you work under the supervision of a Broker of Record-Owner and their office, as a Realtor® you are your own boss. You define your own goals and hours and you are accountable to your own success. In real estate, results do not just arrive overnight, but they come through persistent and long term focus and lots of hard work. Many of the contacts and leads that you gather today may not pan out until months or years later.
Here are few tips that you may find useful:
- Associate with high producing experts and/or positive teams and people who treat you as you would treat them
- Get/Ask for a mentor or partner at the office where you hang your license
- Communicate with your Broker of Record-Owner regularly. Keep them up-to-date with your activities and always ask them to review any paperwork you complete.
- Build your contacts via family, friends, neighbors, ex-coworkers, church members, etc. Also find an office that offers up-time (time that is dedicated to take customer calls and inquiries), does advertising, has lots of open houses (you should offer to sit at these!) and has a good reputation.
- Have a plan and review/revise your plan regularly.
There is no secret to success in real estate - you need to have clients, and they are out there. If they are coming to you, then, your success is pretty much assured. If they are not, you have to be willing to work hard and go out and get them.
ASK THE REALTOR®: Will I be able to work full-time and make a good living?
As most agents are individual contractors you should think of it as running your own business with having to set your own schedule and pay for every cost involved and more from your own pocket. Every office has different costs. Some offices charge desk fees and require you to pay for your own advertising, business cards, etc. When you go out to look for an office to hang your license you should discuss these costs with the Broker-Owner. Commissions/Money does not always come in weekly so you should have money to fall back on.
Russo Real Estate is a family owned business that has been servicing the northern Bergen County area of New Jersey for over 40 years. Robert Russo, Broker-Owner of Russo Real Estate, has been selling real estate in Teaneck and its surrounding towns for more than thirty-five years with his mother Lydia Russo. Robert’s wife Rhoda also joined the team in 1999. They live in Bergen County with their 2 sons.
Russo Real Estate offers a personal service not often found in large, corporate owned agencies. Our agents have the knowledge, experience and dedication needed to make the process of either buying or selling a home an easy one. From start to finish our agents will provide assistance with any of your questions. Please visit us online at www.RussoRealEstate.com or call us directly at (201) 837-8800.