State law requires that you join a brokerage, and be supervised by a broker
In Pennsylvania only a real estate broker, and not a real estate sales licensee, has the power to conduct and complete a transaction. The law also demands that a broker supervise sales licensees, and be responsible for their actions. Consequently, you must affiliate with a broker to be licensed.
We’d like to suggest you begin looking for and interviewing with brokers after you’ve completed at least one of the two required courses, Fundamentals or Practice, and certainly after you’ve succeeded on the state licensing exam.
Ever gone job-hunting? It’s much the same.
Brokers are business owners or managers. However, under Pennsylvania real estate law you as an agent will be an independent contractor – essentially self-employed – to the broker as an affiliate or associate. You are unlikely to be his or her employee. To find a broker you’re comfortable working with, and one who’s also comfortable working with you, you’ll call or visit brokers and ask to be interviewed for the role of real estate salesperson.
Most brokers are on the look-out for new talent. Chances are good you’ll line up several interviews quickly. Interviews might last 30-60 minutes.
Because each interview is a professional event, you’ll want to look the part: dress as you would for the business world. Bring along a resume or outline, usually of a single page, that briefly gives information about you and what you’ve done to date in your career(s). Also bring a list of questions you want answered about the work and conditions of the broker with whom you’re interviewing.
It won’t take much time at all.
Here’s what’s really important: the comfort levels. The broker must be comfortable with you, and see your potential. You must be comfortable with the broker, and trust in his or her ability to help train you to be successful in real estate and meet your personal career goals. Most agents interview with only a handful of brokers before deciding on one with whom to affiliate. They often choose a broker whose office is within a 10- to 15-minute drive from their homes.
Do I have to jump into real estate with both feet?
Some newcomer licensees may find it difficult, maybe even impossible, to start working real estate full-time. They may be interested in the business only to supplement their existing job, or until they become successful enough to make real estate their sole career. Some mentally aren’t yet ready to make a full-fledged leap into the unknown. A few see it primarily as a work option in retirement.
No matter what your reason, if you ask the question, “Can I work part-time in the real estate business?,” some – but not all – brokers will say, “Sure!” There are several issues to consider.
Read about “Working Part-Time Or Full-Time” here.
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Illustration by Andrew Croce