Beginning a new chapter is always daunting and acquiring your real estate license to start your career is no exception.

It requires forethought, planning, and a whole lot of entrepreneurial initiative. Real estate is a market with risks, but also great rewards.

Here is a guide to planning your Continuing Education (CE) journey towards getting your real estate license and continuing down the path to success!

1.      Understand The Job Description

Sometimes, we get lucky, the stars align just right, and we happen to land the ideal career without even looking for it. But that’s not a chance you usually want to take when choosing to enter down a long-term career path. You want to know what you’re getting into.

There are many parts to working in real estate, and you might choose to specialize in one particular area and not another.

As an agent, you’ll have to understand how to market homes effectively, manage lots of paperwork, negotiate on behalf of your clients, research legal procedures, and manage your business! That’s a lot of work!

In addition to researching the career online, checking out income expectations, and the opportunities in your local market (real estate in Boise, Idaho is going to be different than real estate in Brooklyn, New York) you may consider contacting real estate agents in your area to see if they can talk about their profession. Ask what their daily operations are like, how the market has changed, how they learned to budget when starting out.

Still excited to work in real estate? Awesome! Next up, fulfill your licensing requirements!

2.      Understand Your Licensing Requirements

Different states can have different requirements for acquiring your real estate salesperson license. The Idaho requirement checklist for a salesperson license is:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Must take two modules of pre-license classes
  • Must pass the state and national salesperson licensing exams
  • Must get fingerprinted with a background check
  •  Must have Errors & Omissions insurance in place prior to license activation
  • Must complete the Salesperson Application (Form REE-040).

Familiarize yourself with each step. Make sure you know what you have to do, and the timeline for completing each requirement. We’ll cover pre-license classes and licensing exams below.

3.      Take Your Pre-licensing Courses

Idaho real estate licenses require 90 course hours, divided into two modules. The required modules are:

  • Sales Module 1 (45 hours) – “Study of fundamental real estate concepts.”
  • Sales Module 2 (45 hours) – “Study of the knowledge and applied skills involved in listing, selling, buying and closing property”.

Pretty straightforward! You can look around to determine which accredited course providers best serve your needs. The Idaho Real Estate Commission Education Lookup Tool can help you find private education providers that fit your availability (courses can be taken online as well as in-person).

Your courses must be completed within 3 years before the license application date!

4.      Take the Licensing Exam

Real Estate Licensing Exams are done on a computer in two parts: there’s the national portion (on general real estate practices) and a state portion (covering state-specific laws and procedures). The exams are multiple-choice.

You must pass both sections in order to pass.

In Idaho, you have 240 minutes (4 hours) to complete the exam, with 2.5 hours for the general section and 1.5 hours for the state section. 56/80 is a passing score for the National section, and 28/40 is a passing score for the State section.

You may choose to retake the exam if you fail on either section. It is $80 for every attempt at the exam.

It is highly recommended that you study well for the exam. Retaking a failed exam costs money and time, and you’ll have to do more preparation that you could’ve done at the start.

Boise Real Estate School offers a comprehensive and affordable Idaho Salesperson Real Estate Exam Prep package to prepare you for everything that you’ll encounter in the Pearson VUE exam.

5.      Join a Brokerage and Activate Your License!

You’ve passed your exams! Congratulations! But you can’t go selling real estate just yet. In order to activate your license with the Idaho Real Estate Commission you need to sign up with a brokerage.

Choosing a brokerage to work with is a serious decision, and you should think through it carefully. Consider:

  • Legal and administrative support offered to agents.
  • The brokerage’s history and success with clients.
  • Their approach to working with clients and their goals as a business.
  • Ownership of client information, leads, and personal data. 
  • Expected sales volume, fees, and commission models.

You want to know that you’ll be working with a brokerage that shares your values and can provide the support you need. Making a good commission is, of course, very important when managing your business, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle.

6.      BONUS STEP: Keep Thinking Ahead!

The renowned economist and theorist of entrepreneurship Joseph Schumpeter is quoted as saying, “we plan too much and think too little.” While this might appear contradictory (how can you plan but not think?) it’s actually very important to take it seriously.

Our plans are only as good as our ability to think through every step and adjust to changing circumstances. We make plans when we don’t know for certain what will happen, and sometimes those plans will run aground with reality. But that doesn’t mean giving up! It means thinking through new situations, considering alternatives, and learning as you go.

Keeping an open mind and learning to think ahead without getting stuck in old patterns is an important part of any education. As you continue to renew your license and attend CE courses, keep an open mind and an eye out for topics that interest you.

Whether you’re looking to expand your knowledge of Idaho law, or to develop new marketing skills, continuing your education will open new doors and grow your expertise as a real estate professional.

Still have unanswered questions about pursuing a career in real estate? Have a question about course availability or requirements? Reach out today!