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You've got questions, we've got answers

General

Q: Where do I obtain a real estate license?

A: There are several excellent real estate schools that offer pre-licensing and post-licensing classes in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh/Durham, as well as continuing education classes at locations throughout North and South Carolina.

Click here for a list of approved schools in North Carolina.
Click here for information about obtaining a South Carolina real estate license. 

Q: What are some of the qualities of a successful real estate agent?

A: While real estate agents come from a variety of backgrounds, successful agents are generally self-motivated, people-oriented, hardworking, persistent and success-driven.

Q: What equipment and tools will I need for my real estate business?

A: With many (if not all) of the tools in the industry web-based, we highly recommend a smart phone with email capabilities and a laptop computer.  Depending on the company you affiliate with, you may be provided with a company email account and a direct office phone line.

Q: When and how are real estate agents paid?

A: General brokerage real estate is a commission-based income. Agents are paid once there is a closing of a sale. The commission check is split with the company that you affiliate with.

Q: How do I find business?

A: The best way to generate business is to take a multifaceted approach.  Open houses, phone duty, social networking, contacting your personal referral network, geographic farming of neighborhoods and personal marketing are just a few of the ways you will generate business for yourself. Depending on the company you affiliate with, you may also have the opportunity to receive “leads” that the company has generated to provide to agents.

Career Change Agent

Q: How will my previous experience assist me in a career in real estate?

A: All of your previous work experience can help you in your new career. Your co-workers and past customers are opportunities for referral business. Your sales or service experience is a great “jumping off” point for your new responsibilities. Your operational background will help you in managing your new business.

Q: What should I expect in the way of professional training?

A: You should always expect a comprehensive new Realtor training program so you can hit the ground running.  Also, ongoing professional development to hone your skills is important so you will continue to grow your skills and expertise.

Q: When is a good time to change careers? Can I start slowly while I am still working in my present position?

A: No one can answer when it is a good time for you personally. However, if you have a comfortable savings reserve to begin your business, now is a good time.  A real estate career is demanding as well as rewarding.  It is very difficult to be successful unless you are willing and able to devote yourself full-time to building your business.

Q: What should I look for in an office and manager to make sure I am successful?

A: In the end, it is you who will control your success. However, your environment is important and you should always look for a manager and office that promotes cooperation and teamwork. Your manager should be interested in your personal success and coach you to that end.

Existing Agent

Q: How should my new broker assist me with the transition?

A: It is difficult to answer that since each company handles things differently. Your new broker will assess the situation from your previous broker regarding any penalties you face for pending closings and moved listings. You should receive a transition plan from your new broker, in writing, so you know exactly what to expect.

Q: What should I expect of a company to help advance my career?

A: Every company should have programs in place to nurture their Realtors and provide the support they need to continue to grow. These include ongoing training, marketing programs and materials, technical support and an excellent website that drives traffic to you and your listings.

Q: Changing companies is a big decision. What are some important considerations?

A: Every Realtor has different wants and needs.  However, here are a few important items to know if you are considering leaving your current company:

Is there a penalty if I leave with closings pending?
Most companies have a penalty of a lesser commission split on pending closings and some have a penalty flat fee for terminating.

What will happen to my listings if I leave?
As you know, the listings actually belong to the broker-in-charge. When you leave, your seller will be notified and may elect to allow you to take the listings to your new broker.  All companies have a policy whether there is a referral fee charged for moving the listings and they all differ.

Choosing Real Estate as a Career

Q: Is real estate a full-time job?

A: Yes. On average, a successful real estate agent devotes 60 hours a week to their real estate activities. You will work on weekends at open houses and with clients, as well as during the week on other business-building activities.

Q: What are the state requirements to qualify for license in North Carolina?

A: To earn a NC real estate license, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Complete a 60-hour provisional broker course within the 3-year period prior to date of application.
  • Submit an application to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission.
  • Obtain a criminal background check.

Q: What are the state requirements to qualify for license in South Carolina?

A: To earn a SC real estate license, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age to be licensed as a salesman and 21 to be licensed as a broker.
  • Be a high school graduate or hold a certificate of equivalency.
  • Complete a SC Real Estate Commission-approved 60-hour course in the fundamentals of real estate.
  • Pass the state examination.
  • Within one year of passing the exam, work under a sponsoring broker and apply for a provisional sales license
  • Complete an additional 30 hours of Commission-approved post-licensing education within the first year.

Q: Will I need additional training once I am licensed?

A: We believe that additional training is essential for a successful career.  At ATC, we provide an extensive two-week training program, Winner's Edge, which teaches you how to develop a business, run your new business and earn commissions. We have additional hands-on training in our branch offices as follow-up after Winner’s Edge to ensure you have the tools you need to succeed.

New Agent

Q: What startup costs can I expect for a real estate career?

A: Once you have completed your pre-licensing course and join a firm, you will need to join the local Board of Realtors® and the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Your initial investment in business generation will include yard signs, a professional photograph, business cards and errors and omissions insurance.

Q: How many months of “reserve” income should I have when I start my real estate career?

A: On average, agents should have 4-6 months of reserve income saved to meet the demands of everyday life while they build their new business.