Let’s Raise The Barriers of Entry to Get a California Real Estate License
It is simply way too easy to get a real estate license here in California. There, I have said it. I guess I feel obligated to comment about these concerns having now been in the business for 8 plus years. I am not sure if this is the case in most states, but I only sell real estate here in Californian and thus will speak only about California. What do you need to get a license?
- Sit through a handful of "educational" classes
- Take a few pre-exams and then a licensing exam
- Put down some $$ for the tests, your license and to have your fingerprints taken. Done! You are a Real Estate Professional!! Anything Else...not really!!!
Crazy to me to say the least. For me I was very fortunate to have a broker that actually taught me how to sell real estate, taught me all the legal forms, taught me about working with clients, taught me about learning the basics of title, escrow, lending, home inspectors etc. I received a ton of training and truly felt ready after 6 months of training to start a career as a real estate agent. I also have had good formal education with both a B.A. and a M.B.A. What is very unfortunate is that many agents possess very little of these skills upon starting a real estate career that are needed to truly "work with people" and to sell real estate. Many agents are only taught how to pass a licensing exam and then are given a pep talk and Bingo...go see what you can do. Most agents unfortunately have learned not near enough to prepare themselves for selling real estate. Because of this reality, statistics show that roughly 80% of new agents give up on the business within the first 12 months and 90% are gone within the first 3 years. The public perception of real estate agents is often not what it should be and I attribute the lack of formal education to becoming a Realtor as the biggest part of the problem. California simply should raise the barriers of entry to get a real estate license. It is more than a shame to have an untrained person handle what is for most people the biggest financial decision in a person's life...purchasing/selling a home. Here are a few thoughts on what to do. The answer is simply to raise the bar to entry.
- Have a college education or at least a minimum of 2 years of college/university level education with preferably a few mandatory courses under your belt such as "business ethics" and a few finance related courses.
- Have many many more classroom hours needed to learn about the business. You should then need to take tests to pass out of these classes before you are then even able to sit for the licensing exam.
- Train people within these classes on how to work with people. You will often be a "therapist" as a Realtor dealing with real people, with real lives, with real emotions and needs.
- Make it a requirement that "new" agents work a minimum number of hours and transactions with an experienced agent or broker.
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