Over the past few months, it has become commonplace for media outlets covering real estate in California to issue dire warnings about an upcoming collapse. After years of rising house prices, net migration, and growth in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, San Diego, and Los Angeles areas, many experts have started to issue warnings that the trend cannot hold.
But while these predictions have been issued with relative frequency over the past year, the much-hyped slowdown has yet to show real signs of taking hold. This is probably due to the fact that, despite rising prices, California remains an incredibly desirable place to live and work.
Indeed, one of the indicators that is often pointed out by those who are anxious about the possibility of a bubble — the fact that housing prices are rising much faster than income — is due to a shortage of housing and rental stock in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, shortages which the new state government has moved to address through a massive building project meant to add 3.5 million new housing units by 2025.
But while the rising price of housing has been a boon to people that own homes and land, there have also been concerns about how skyrocketing housing costs are affecting ordinary people. Are the profits from the Golden State’s growth only going to those who are already affluent, or can regular Californians take advantage of it as well?
The Challenges and Opportunities of California’s Real Estate Market
It would be difficult to overstate California’s dynamism and market power. Having recently surpassed the United Kingdom as the fifth largest economy in the world, California is not only one of the fastest growing parts of the U.S. — it’s also one of the most economically exciting places on the globe. No one so many people want to move there!
But alongside the growth, there is also a significant amount of regulation. As concerns about environmental stewardship, climate change, and water use grow, California has implemented strict laws governing construction and growth. Some blame these regulations for the severity of the housing crisis, while others argue that these regulations ensure that environmental sustainability isn’t sacrificed for cheap short-term growth. Either way, the California real estate market is a complicated one, and for this reason real estate agents are in high demand.
This means that if you want to get your California realtor license you are all but guaranteed a shot at a successful practice, so long as you are willing to put the work in. Buyers are hungry for the helpful expertise of people who know the California real estate system from the inside, and real estate agents who are able to connect willing buyers with sellers or new properties are in a good position to secure a healthy commission and reap the rewards of the state’s housing growth.
But precisely because of the complexities of the California market, the real estate licensing exam sets a high bar for entry into the industry. If you want to pass, you’ll need to make sure you know California real estate law and practice inside and out, and the best way to prepare for the test is to take California real estate classes that will prepare you to ace the California real estate exam through RealEstateU.
Become a Licensed Real Estate Agent in 3 Easy Steps
One of the benefits that real estate has over professions in the legal or healthcare industries is that the training, while rigorous, is not nearly as intensive. Regardless of how much start-up capital you have to begin with, you can make a lot of money in California real estate by following these three easy steps and becoming a licensed real estate agent.
Step #1: Take a Real Estate Course
If you want to become a real estate agent, the first thing you need to do is take a real estate course. Fortunately, if you want to pursue California real estate classes, you don’t need to invest in full-time study — RealEstateU’s online real estate classes California is available as an audio course, which means you can learn everything you need to get licensed within a matter of months, even if you are working full-time in the process.
At RealEstateU, we break our course down into three separate sections, each of which comes with supporting documents, a glossary of terms, and useful graphics and memory aids. The sections are as follows:
- Real Estate Principles (45-hour online audio course)
- Real Estate Practice (45-hour online audio course)
- Legal Aspects (45-hour online audio course)
Each of these courses will walk you through everything you need to know in order to pass the California real estate license exam and achieve success as a real estate agent in California. Once you have completed the course and taken the certification exam, you can move on to the next step.
Step #2: Take the California Real Estate License Exam
Like many states, California sets its own state wide licensing exam designed to ensure that all licensees have the necessary expertise to operate legally and responsibly. The exam gives candidates three hours and fifteen minutes to answer one hundred and fifty multiple-choice questions on a variety of topics related to real estate law and practice in the state of California.
While there is no limit as to how many times you can take the test should you fail, you will need to pay a fee each time, which is a good incentive to make sure you prepare adequately to pass the first time around.
Step #3: Get Your License and Find a Brokerage
Once you’ve passed the exam, you can pay the licensing fee that will qualify you to work as a real estate agent or salesperson. Agents cannot operate independently in California, and typically work under brokers, who have experience working in the industry and have passed their brokerage exam.
Working for a broker will give you an opportunity to see how the industry operates, and get experience handling sales. Brokers also generally offer administrative and legal support for the salespeople working under them. Some real estate agents work for brokerages for their entire careers, while others put in a few years under a broker before taking their own brokerage licensing exam.
The Many Paths to Success in California Real Estate
Becoming licensed and getting work at a brokerage is only the first step, however. The real estate market in California is incredibly diverse, and offers lots of opportunities for specialization.
Unless you already know what kind of real estate you should specialize in (if you live in a rural area, for example, you may want to focus on non-urban properties), it is a good idea to try your hand at a few different kinds of sales to figure out where your own strengths lie. Here are just a few of the areas where you can build a lucrative niche for yourself once you’ve received your California real estate license:
- Residential homes (including detached, multi-unit, and condominium)
- Retail buildings
- Industrial properties
- High-end luxury properties
- Real estate appraisal
- Real estate analysis
Each of these options offers an exciting avenue for potential success, but depending on your own knowledge base, social network, and interests, you may find yourself gravitating to a particular community or industry. For example, many real estate agents who are just starting out find it helpful to focus on a particular community, neighbourhood, or type of housing stock while cultivating a client base and getting their name out.
If you want to know how you can find out more about the many real estate career options available in California, get in touch for more info about courses that can help you specialize in the kind of real estate sales you are interested in. And if you have any questions about how you can register and get started on your own online California real estate course today, call RealEstateU today.
For nearly two hundred years, California has been a land of opportunity that rewards those with ambition, drive, and an independent spirit. Gold rushes, agricultural booms, natural resource development, aerospace and now the tech industry have all found California to be fertile ground for innovation and growth, and at every step of the way, dedicated real estate agents have helped those who dream of success in California find a foothold in this dynamic state.