What Does it Take to Become a Real Estate Agent in New York City?

By Ciprian Morariu Published: April 29, 2019

New York City — the capital of world finance, and one of the most culturally and artistically dynamic cities in the world, no market is quite as desirable as this one when it comes to building a career as a realtor.

But what does it take to make a career in a competitive industry in one of the most competitive cities in the world? How can you make sure that your dream of becoming a real estate agent in New York City will lead to success rather than failure?

Becoming a successful realtor requires you to hone a variety of different skills, but it also means becoming licensed by the state of New York, and finding the fastest and most efficient way to learn the ropes of this complicated industry. If you are considering a career in New York City’s thriving real estate sector, here are a few tips for how you can enter the industry and build a durable brand for yourself.

NY skyline.

Sign Up for a Real Estate Course

If you’ve never worked in the New York City real estate industry before, you’ll need to study the industry, its regulations, and the legal framework that you will be operating under in the State of New York. The best way to do this is by signing up for our 75 hour real estate course NY. Through this online course, we help you get your real estate license in New York — but we also provide you with the knowledge you need to succeed in New York’s real estate industry.

Designed to give a comprehensive introduction to the industry, the RealEstateU course is fully approved by the New York Department of State and the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). In twenty-three dynamic video chapters taught by twenty-one experienced real estate professionals, you will learn the fundamentals of the industry, from license law and regulations to taxes and assessment, mortgage brokerages, and property management. The course also contains modules that are particularly relevant to agents working in New York City, regarding things like condominiums and cooperatives.

Because it is designed around an online format that lets students study on their own schedule, the 75 hour online course is an ideal choice for those who would like to switch into the real estate industry but cannot afford to leave their current positions until they have received their license.

The course doesn’t just help you prepare for a career in real estate, however; it also helps you get your NY real estate license online by preparing you for the licensing process. In fact, RealEstateU proctors its own final exam, making it that much easier for students to pass the state exam and apply for their New York real estate license.

Though it includes everything you need to get started in your career as a real estate professional in New York City, altogether the course itself, the state exam fee, and the license application fee cost only $169 — which means that you can switch over to a new career with high earning potential within a matter of a weeks.

NY for sale.

Cultivate Professional Relationships

As with any industry, getting accredited is only the beginning, of course, and if you want to get started as realtor in NY you will also need to cultivate good professional relationships with a broker who can help you establish yourself in a career. Brokers are real estate agents who have industry experience and have passed a brokerage exam, and who often hire younger, less experienced agents to work under them while they learn the ropes.

Brokers generally operate under a franchise system that helps them build trust and connect with customers, and it is at a brokerage that most budding real estate agents are given their first opportunity to put the knowledge they learned in their course to work.

In exchange for name recognition, mentorship, and professional and administrative support, brokers usually take a percentage of a real estate agents commission, so they have a vested interest in making sure that the real estate agents they take on will be able to deliver when it comes to making sales and keeping customers happy.

For this reason, having recognized credentials from a course like RealEstateU can help you stand out when it comes to landing a position at a brokerage, because it demonstrates that you already have a strong grounding in the industry and a working knowledge of all aspects of the job.

Our New York real estate course is also valuable as a way to further your knowledge about how the industry works. Because all our tutorial videos are taught by current professionals in the field with decades of real-life experience working in the industry, you will also learn about how you can leverage what you are learning about real estate to build a thriving career as an agent. Who knows? What you learn in the 75 hour course may also lay the groundwork for you to build up a client base and open your own brokerage at some point in the future.

NY broadway.

Learn How to Market Yourself

A brokerage is an excellent place to hone and perfect your knowledge of the industry, but if you really want to become successful in the world of real estate, you will need to do more than just provide returns for your broker.

As in most professional industries, the most successful real estate agents are the ones who are able to identify and provide solutions to market needs. In the real estate industry, this usually means developing expertise in a particular niche, and then establishing yourself as the go-to agent for this kind of business.

In a market as broad and wide-ranging as New York City, which is incredibly diverse in terms of housing stock, price, and layout, there are plenty of opportunities for specialization. But there is also fierce competition over different niches — and in a market where ordinary properties routinely go for millions of dollars, there is no shortage of real estate agents competing for similar segments of the market.

This is why learning how to market yourself effectively is paramount. Just because you have a license doesn’t mean customers will automatically start reaching out to you, and if you aren’t regularly researching new properties and connect with potential customers, you’ll go out of business pretty soon.

Being a real estate agent is a full-time job, and evidence shows that the agents who are able to pull ahead of the pack are the ones who have built up strong relationships in their community and committed themselves to life-long learning.

If you want to make sure that your career in New York City is a success, here are a few areas you can specialize in to set yourself apart from the crowd:

  • Geographic Area: New York City is big, and focussing on one particular neighbourhood or borough is essential when you are starting out. It’s best to choose a geographic area you know well and have some experience living or working in.
  • Demographics: Marketing is all about building a customer base, and zeroing in on a certain demographic group is one way to build credibility and trust. This can mean focusing on a certain ethnic group to which you have ties, or it could mean working with elderly clients or young buyers and renters.
  • Housing Stock: With so many different types of housing, and with a healthy mix of renters and buyers, it is easy to build a career simply by focussing on particular types of properties. Not only does this help you brand yourself, it also makes it easier to research new properties.
  • Price: New York is a city home to everyone from working class immigrants to the super rich, and a good way to differentiate yourself from the competition is by focussing on properties in a certain price range, be they modest family homes or luxury condominiums.

Real estate can be an immensely rewarding industry to work in, and for those who are able to win success in a city like New York, it can also be immensely lucrative. With property prices rising and a constant influx of new buyers, there is no city quite as thrilling as the Big Apple in which to make a life for yourself as a real estate agent.