Do This Before Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Here’s a list of things you should do before becoming a licensed real estate agent in Massachusetts

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

What should you do, be, and know before becoming a real estate agent in Massachusetts?

In other words, do you have what it takes to make it in real estate? In this post, we’ll discuss how to set yourself up for success.

Go in With Your Eyes Wide Open

Let’s start things off with this disclaimer: real estate agents can make a lot of money, but real estate is not a get rich quick profession.

Although you have the potential to earn a lot of money from one transaction, there’s nothing in real estate that can be described as “easy money.” In fact, every dollar you earn as a real estate agent will be hard money, because it requires a lot of hard work and hard knocks before you’re able to enjoy success.

That didn’t scare you off, did it? Good, because you’ll also need a heaping dose of stubborn perseverance to become a successful agent. If you have the type of personality that’s motivated by challenges, you’ll love working in real estate. Aside from a handsome paycheck, you’ll also be rewarded with the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve helped someone solve their problem, whether that’s a buyer or a seller.

When you enter into the world of real estate, you must be ready to work long, thankless hours, knowing that eventually your hard work will pay off. The keyword here is “eventually.”

Enroll in Real Estate Class

In addition to steely determination, there are a few other things you’ll need to possess to become a Massachusetts real estate agent.

First thing’s first, you are required to receive instruction from a licensed Massachusetts real estate schooltext in bold. What a coincidence - that’s exactly what we do!

We offer both in-person and online real estate classes. Over the course of 40 hours of classroom instruction, you’ll learn real estate essentials, such as ethics, property rights, contracts, and appraisals. And you’re in good hands with us because we guarantee that if you take our practice exams you’ll either pass the exam, or you won’t pay. (Oh, and psst: our pass rates are between 15% to 20% higher than the state average.) If you haven’t already, sign up for Massachusetts real estate license classes now.

Find a Mentor


One of the best things you can do for your career is to find a real estate mentor. Mentors are instrumental in helping you map out your real estate career.

Here’s a brief rundown on why you need a real estate mentor:

You can rely on your mentor’s experience. Mentors have already been where you’re about to go. They can help you avoid common mistakes along the way. Your friends and family may support you, but a mentor knows the path that you’re setting out on, and they’ll be your best guide.

Mentors can direct you to the best real estate firm in your area. You’re a newbie, and you don’t know which real estate broker firm to go with. Your mentor should be able to help you decide which broker offers the best options for a new real estate agent. You may even be able to work with or for your mentor.

Mentors provide introductions and network opportunities. As a real estate agent, your success is directly tied to your network. You need someone to introduce you to the right people so that you can start building professional relationships that will serve you throughout your entire career.

Mentors hold you accountable and follow up on your progress. You need someone in your corner who can check up on you and make sure that you’re hitting the right milestones. Knowing that you need to check in with your mentor will often give you motivation to do your best.

When working with a mentor, take them to lunch and ask the following questions:

  • What is their daily/ weekly/ monthly routine?
  • What do they like or dislike about their job?
  • What skills should you develop?
  • What big mistakes have they made in their career, and what have they learned as a result of those mistakes?

Prepare to Pay Your Dues

Once you get your license to sell real estate, it’s a good idea to start from the ground up. Don’t let any task be beneath you. From answering phone calls at the agency to co-hosting open houses, do everything that you can to learn the real estate industry inside and out.

Look for opportunities to help your fellow real estate salespeople because you’ll need their help one day. The very colleagues you help may bring you into a deal or refer clients to you. Remember that networking includes fellow real estate agents, too. Start with those who are at your same agency.

Be Budget Conscious

Start saving now. Because you don’t earn until you sell, you’ll need to sustain yourself until you finally close on a deal._ That’s possibly months into the future.

Until you get paid, you’ll still need to live. In addition to eating every day and living someplace decent (no one wants to be a homeless real estate agent), you’ll also need money to cover the following real estate essentials, in addition to your license, REALTOR, and MLS dues:

Professional attire - Unless your closet is already stocked with suits, you may have to spring for a brand new wardrobe in the beginning of your new real estate career.

Dry cleaning - This recurring cost is part of being a real estate agent. Five dollars here and $10 there will definitely add up, especially when you’re not depositing anything into your bank account.

Transportation and gas - You need a car to get you from one home to the next. If you don’t drive and are especially good with coordinating your time with the public transportation, that may be an option. There’s also Uber, but ride fares do add up. It’s often better to have your own vehicle so that you can get in and go when the need arises. However, having a car means more bills: a monthly car note, gas, insurance, and necessary maintenance.

Advertising - To drum up interest, you need to start marketing your services. While some agencies may provide advertising for you, you’ll likely need to invest some money, too. From direct mail to yard signs to maintaining a website, it costs a lot to get prospective clients on the hook.

Check the Housing Market for Your Area


Once you get your license, you can sell anywhere in the state of Massachusetts. That said, you probably want to focus on one region.

Take this time to zero in on your neighborhood of choice. From the gaslit streets of Beacon Hill to the single family suburban dream of Lexington, there are so many wonderful neighbors to set up a real estate business in Massachusetts. Which will you choose?

Once you decide which neighborhood you’d prefer to work in, take a look at the housing market to make sure that it’s a solid choice. Is the market healthy? Are there more sales than last year? Why? Understand the unique real estate history of the neighborhood.

Then, make a list of the reasons why your chosen neighborhood is amazing. What are its unique features that set it apart (activities, shopping, parks, history)?

Get to know the neighborhood. Learn who the major employers are in that neighborhood, including how often they hire and if they’re doing well or are laying people off. All of this will affect the success of your real estate business.

Also, get involved in the local scene. Participate in town meetings. Network at local mixers for small business. These meetings are often hosted by the local chamber of commerce. Make connections that you will strengthen after you get your real estate license.

Final Thoughts

Last but not least, don’t believe anyone who says you can’t be a killer real estate agent. Sure, it’s competitive. Sure, it takes a lot of hard work to get there - but you can do it! And it starts by signing up for real estate classes here.

Interested in getting your real estate license?

Start your real estate classes today!