Working as a property consultant offers an experience of working with a variety of people. Whether it is large-scale contractors, government entities, or independent property buyers, a property consultant helps their clients meet their property-related requirements and specifications. With in-depth knowledge in real estate, they can provide essential and reliable information to their clients in an otherwise difficult area to navigate. Most often, property consultants make the whole process less taxing by guiding their clients through all sorts of formalities about the legal side, financial settlements, well-researched advice, and assistance in choosing the most appropriate property for the potential client.
The requirements for a person to become a property consultant differ depending on which state you would want to practice out of. A general overview of the basic requirements is that the person should be of or above the age of 18, and in some states, they must be over 19. They must be a legal resident of the United States and must have completed their required pre-license education, which would again differ accordingly to each state. After which, they are required to apply for the state real estate license examination and pass it.
Steps to Become a Property Consultant
- Licensing requirements per state.
As stated earlier, each state requires a certain criterion to be met to be eligible for the real estate license. Whichever state you belong to would have its own real estate commission website with the respective state’s official pre-licensing requirements listed. For example, one of the criteria under the state of Florida is that the applicant must be over the age of 18, whereas in the state of Chicago, the minimum age to apply is 21. Hence it is imperative to identify the criterion laid out by your state for pre-licensing. Each state would generally have specific requirements for the following:
- Educational qualification
- Pre-licensing courses and post-licensing obligations
- Examinations and their eligibility
- Application process and fees
- Background checks
- Reporting criminal history
- Enlisting for a pre-licensing course.
In the United States, it is mandatory to have attended a pre-licensing course from an accredited real estate licensing school before attempting the real estate licensing examination. There are many options available to choose from according to the convenience and requirements of the applicant. Local real estate schools, realty firms, universities, and technical schools offer real estate licensing courses, home study, and online education. The required number of hours varies from state to state, but this is an important step in becoming a consultant. Hence, education must be chosen appropriately to suit your learning style and schedule.
- Taking the Real estate agent license test.
Application for the license test should be timed appropriately to take the exam right after completing the course. The state’s real estate commission website will have all the necessary details on registering and paying for the exam. The examination is computerized and will consist of a national portion on general real estate principles and practices and a state-specific portion with your respective state’s real estate laws. The examination would be of the multiple-choice format, and the particulars of the examination would vary according to each state. Each portion of the examination is to be passed separately to pass the examination as a whole. Rules and time periods regarding reattempting the exam and the deadline for application varies according to each state.
- Activating your license.
After successfully passing the examination, you need to apply all the required documents and fees to the state’s real estate agency. When it gets approved, the state will mail the real estate license to your address. Your name will be listed under the licenses section of your state’s commission website.
- Joining a brokerage.
As a licensed property consultant, you will be working under a supervising broker licensed by the state to oversee all the transactions made on properties in that particular state and that the agents follow the required legal and ethical standards while making the transactions. For each transaction you make, the brokerage will pay you a percentage of the commission.
A. Legal Requirements and Educational Qualifications
- As stated earlier, this job profile does not demand any particular educational qualification after high school graduation. Still, students are advised to take up business management, marketing, and sales-related qualifications to achieve backbone resources to aid their journey as a property consultants.
- A pre-licensing criterion to be fulfilled before applying for the license is to be adhered to, and the same is listed under the state’s commission website.
- 100$ to 300$ is the ballpark sum paid as registration fees if the applicant is an individual. The fee varies from state to state.
- The documents that you shall require for the application for the license are as follows;
- Certification of satisfactory completion section of the pre-licensing school that you attended.
- Examination notification.
- License fee (varies according to the state provision)
- Name of a state-licensed real estate broker with who you plan to work.
B. Job Profile of a Consultant
- How a consultant differs from a broker is that this job requires a service-minded attitude, and unlike the latter, consultants are to be mindful of the client’s needs and requirements and not just about closing a deal.
- Since this profession mingles with all kinds of people, detailed understanding of the subject, clarity of thought, reliability of information acquired, and clear communication are necessary qualities to possess.
- It is pertinent to maintain transparency regarding every transaction, parameter, and detail with the client. It should be well documented and reviewed before entering into a contract with a potential candidate.
- The service nature of the profession requires consultants to operate in good faith and treating the client, and managing post-sales are some of the many courtesies to be kept in mind by a good consultant.
- As the real estate sector keeps changing and growing, reading and studying updates and properties is essential.
- Accessibility to the clients is a pertinent factor in this line of business because the job profile requires a human touch, and that requires the consultants to be available for the client’s every need. Hence a property consultant must be easily accessible to all ranges of clients.
C. What Does a Property Consultant Do
- The duty of a property consultant starts with the client and ends with the client. That is to say that this job requires interactions and open communication that facilitates and forms a certain trust and confidence between the buyers and the consultant.
- Assisting the clients in analyzing the emerging developments in the market and potential acquisitions, including a wide array of financial portfolios, makes the most appropriate decision for the client to buy or sell a property.
- A consultant also takes it upon himself to assess the state of the property, if it’s a construction, like a house, and compare the valuation amount.
As the job profile suggests, it is a very flexible career where you can fix your work hours to your own convenience, and ultimately, you are your own boss. You can also pursue this profession as a part-time job, but most consultants and agents who successfully have gone full time into it. The more time and effort being put into the profession, the more financial success you’ll have.
On average, a real estate consultant in America makes an average salary of $48,930 per year or around $45 per hour, according to the 2019 data from the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics. The top 10 percent of well-performing real estate consultants make over $202,000 per year. A few of the best paying cities in the United States are Dallas, New York, and Burlingame.
To pursue a career in Property consultancy or a real estate agency requires time, effort, and money, but the job promises results to those who are willing to put their all into it. It does not demand fancy degrees, post-graduation, or specialization in a particular field. Getting into the field is fairly easy compared to the other careers with similar earnings potential and getting your real estate license is a relatively fast and affordable process. What requires hard work is if you wish to be successful in the field of real estate and make money because the role of a property consultant is more than just selling a piece of property, it requires a thorough understanding of the real estate sector, empirical analysis of land value and inflation, reliable sources of information to make the best deals and many of these hard skills cannot be taught in a classroom.
Further, you can apply to get your broker license, increasing the scope of your role and expanding your business. There are certifications for specialization in various fields such as mortgages, appraisals, residential property, commercial property, and property management, and these branched could help enhance your consultancy career and make yourself more marketable as a professional. Keeping yourself updated and learning new lessons every day is part and parcel of being in the real estate sector. This is a career prospect that is excellent for anyone willing to work hard and for those with good communication skills.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there a difference between a real estate broker and a consultant?
Answer: Yes, there is. A real estate broker’s role is involved with the real estate transactions, and they act as intermediaries in them. They also take an active part in matching buyers and sellers of various properties. Real estate brokers specialize in researching the complicated and ever-changing market and provide advice on the transaction process itself as well as the valuation of the property. They also negotiate the transaction details to finalize deals. Real estate brokers are usually experts in a single aspect of the real estate business. On the other hand, a consultant performs a property condition assessment to evaluate the property based on the physical deficiencies of the structure and land. Hence the role of a consultant is to advise their clients based on their requirements and needs on whether a piece of property is suitable for them or not. A real estate broker often pays a transaction fee upon completing their, whereas consultants can offer their services for a fee. Either by way of hourly rates or the option of paying for a deliverable.
- What are the pros of choosing a consultancy career?
Answer: Working as a real estate consultant offers a great deal of variety to your day-to-day work. It breaks the monotony as you get to interact and do business with all kinds of people in the world. Every property and every client’s need will be different, and a real estate consultant is often faced with challenges that could be solved by applying mind and the right research. Another benefit of choosing a career with a consultancy firm is that you can be your own boss and decide your own hours. Since the job does not require a 9 to 5 work schedule, you are free to work according to your own convenience. But a good consultant and agent would be available to their clients whenever they need them.
- How long does it take to become a real estate consultant typically?
Answer: You can become a real estate consultant in about four to 7 months, depending on your state’s pre-licensing criterion. It’s fairly an easy and affordable process, and the online mode of application and training has certainly sped up the whole process.
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