Thinking About Becoming a Real Estate Sales Person?

Big Money, Set Your Own Schedule, Why not try real estate?

I know a lot of people believe the above sentence to be true, but as a 28+ year practicing REALTOR® I can tell you that’s not how it works.

I am often asked how one can get into selling real estate, so I thought I would provide some information for anyone who might be giving it some thought.

In order to help people buy and sell homes in Ontario, you need to be licensed through the Real Estate Council of Ontario. In order to be able to apply for your license, there are a number of criteria.

1) you need to be at least 18 years of age
2) have a secondary school diploma or higher (or complete the OREA Real Estate College Admissions test)
3) Complete the required courses

The required courses are offered by the Ontario Real Estate Association, and are provided online, by correspondence and in class. You have the option of selecting how you wish to take the courses, except for the third course that requires your presence in a classroom setting.

From the point you start the first course until you finish the third one, you have 18 months. If you do not complete them in the 18 month time period, you will be required to start over from course one, should you decide to proceed with obtaining your real estate license. The courses cover a variety of topics regarding Real Estate as a profession, but do not provide any marketing or sales skills. Those skills will need to be developed after you complete the licensing courses, and should be offered by the real estate brokerage you join.

Once you have completed the courses (or perhaps while you are still taking the courses) you should interview a number of different brokerages to find one that will offer you lots of training and also will be a good fit for you personally and financially.

Common questions are: How long will it take to complete the courses? When will I start earning money? How much does it cost?

The average time period to complete the courses is 5 to 6 months. You can do it quicker if you really work at it. I know of one person who completed them all in 7 weeks, but I can tell you that would have been a full time job.

The average time to actually get a paycheck is 90 to 120 days from when you start. Some individuals start off right away with a sale, but remember there is a time period from buying a house to moving in, and the REALTOR® doesn’t get paid until the seller receives their money. (60 days is a pretty average closing time)

The courses, getting your license, paying your Errors and Omissions Insurance, and joining the local, provincial and national real estate associations costs, in total, around $5000.00. This may seem like a lot just looking at it, but remember you are starting your own business, and the payback on your $5000 investment can be pretty fast.

I know I used the word ‘average’ a lot, but there is no set rule on how long to finish (except for the 18 month max), and each person’s experience in starting is different. Some may come from a sales background and be fast off the start, or know a few people who are ready to buy or sell.

The real estate profession is a relationship type of business, it is not just showing properties and writing up offers. If you are not inclined to ask people for business (prospecting) and want to help them solve their housing needs/problems, this is not the profession for you.

Real Estate can be a very rewarding profession. You meet some wonderful people, both through clients, and also through REALTORS® you meet during the course of business. You see people at the best and their worst, and hopefully you help them get where they need or want to be.

If you would like more information on becoming a REALTOR® our company hosts monthly information sessions which go into detail of exactly what is involved in getting licensed and also outline what our Brand (Coldwell Banker) is all about, and what our Company, Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate, does to help our sales reps reach their full potential, and why we think our company is such a great place to work. If you would like to attend a session, please contact Carolyn Bowman at 905-522-1110, or

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