The big variables are how much time you can dedicate to the courses and the processing times with your state. Sometimes the states move fast and you can get your license very quickly after you complete the real estate courses and pass the state exam. Other states have an ongoing backlog of applicants and they will take a little longer. Also, you might find that your state only allows you to complete X hours of real estate courses per day (either online or in-person). They do this so people don’t move too fast through the material without absorbing it.
Even before COVID-19 arrived, many real estate schools were in the process of moving their courses online. Each state has different rules about the licensing courses and some of them still do not offer online real estate courses–they make you attend in-person real estate classes. For the full list of states that will let you get a real estate license through online courses, check this link.
The costs vary from state to state (because real estate licensing is controlled at the state level–there is no “national” real estate license). As a rough budget, we tell people to plan for $1000-$1500 in initial startup costs to get a real estate license. That includes the licensing courses, state application fees, initial REALTOR board dues and MLS dues. Many times, the board and MLS dues are prorated depending on when during the year you join, and sometimes they can be paid monthly or quarterly.
This depends on a few things, but it’s mostly motivation and a little luck. The highly-motivated agents who get start the right way with good training and support find live clients within their first few weeks in real estate.
Not all brokerages are the same! There are significant differences in the areas of commission splits, commission caps, training for new agents, training for experienced agents, technology, in-house support and more. The most important thing you should consider as a new agent is the level of training provided at your brokerage. The best real estate companies for new agents will have a combination of robust training, coaching and a generous commission split.
We have put together a list of questions you should ask any brokerage before you join them. You can access it here.
Some states have agreements with each other. These are commonly known as “reciprocal agreements,” “license reciprocity” or “mutual recognition.” The general idea is that if one state’s real estate laws are similar enough to another state’s real estate laws, you can bypass some or all of the educational requirements if you want to get licensed in the other state. Some states have no reciprocal agreements with any other states (like California). The rules and agreements between states about license reciprocity are constantly changing, so check with your state real estate licensing board if you have questions about specific license reciprocity.
We would be happy to connect you with the best person at a Keller Williams office near you. The fastest way to do that is through our contact form.
Each Keller Williams office sets their own fee structure. We aim to keep the fees low because we want our agents to be able to reinvest as much money as possible into their businesses. As a rule, all the fees we charge are “pass-through” costs (we are not making any profit from those fees). Typical fees you might see at a Keller Williams office near you would include errors and omissions insurance, or an optional fee if you want to rent a dedicated desk or office.
Real estate teams have become prolific over the past decade or so. There is a path to starting your own real estate team and we teach our agents how to build teams in the most efficient way possible.
Teams evolved in the real estate industry as highly-productive agents discovered they had more business than they could handle by themselves. The “rainmaker” is the team owner (for example, Jimi would be the rainmaker for The Jimi Hendrix Team). The teams are sometimes named after the rainmaker and sometimes given more generic names. The responsibility of the team owner is to produce enough business to keep everyone on the team fed, whether those are salaried administrative team members, or commission-based sales team members.
In exchange for all of the leads, training and support, an agent will be giving the team owner a sizable portion of their commissions. A 50% arrangement is typical for smaller teams, which means you would split your commission with the team at 50%, and pay your KW cap with the remaining 50% (that would then be subject to your 70% split with the office). Obviously, the math only works here if you are able to do much more business on the team than you could do on your own. That happens when the team has a strong administrative support staff to handle paperwork and scheduling for you, and a constant flow of leads you can convert into closed transactions.
Some agents start part-time, which can work if you are dedicated and don’t mind working long hours for a while. It is recommended that you make a plan and pick a date in the future when you will go full-time if you are starting as a part-time agent. Otherwise, the steady paycheck from your other job has a tendency to hold you back because you can’t devote your full time and effort to learning the real estate business.
A word of caution: Part-time agents often struggle to convince consumers to work with them because consumers prefer full-time agents. If you were looking for professional help with what will probably be the largest financial transaction of your life, wouldn’t you prefer a full-time person to help you?
Every state in the US has an agreement with every other state in the US regarding real estate referral fees. As long as you hold a real estate license in one US state, you can refer your clients to an agent in another state and receive a portion of the commission that comes from that referral. It is important to remember that referrals are usually arranged agent-to-agent, but the commission checks must be sent from brokerage-to-brokerage and will be subject to your regular commission split.
IMPORTANT: Licensed real estate professionals are the only ones allowed by law to receive referral fees–offering or paying referral fees to unlicensed people is a violation of the law and could put you at risk of losing your license and/or incurring civil penalties.
Keller Williams commission split is unique in the real estate industry. Just like the Keller Williams fees charged by each office, the commission structure can vary from place to place.
In most cases, the KW commission split is 70/30, with 70% going to the agent and 30% going to the company. The unique twist here is Keller Williams stops charging their agents that 30% once that agent has paid their “cap” for the year. Once the cap has been paid, agents earn 100% of their commission for the rest of that year. Each year the cap resets and the process starts again. See this post for a detailed description of the Keller Williams commission split.