How to Become a Columbus, Ohio REALTOR: A Step-by-Step Guide
It’s a great time to become a Columbus, Ohio REALTOR! Did you know that a real estate agent is ranked in the top 20 list for best business jobs and top 100 list for best jobs, in general?
Below you’ll find out the “4-1-1” on joining the Columbus, Ohio real estate industry. Learn the difference between a REALTOR and real estate agent, and how to become a licensed real estate agent. Then decide which path you want to take as a professional!
REALTOR vs. Real Estate Agent: There IS a Difference
First things first – you will want to get your terminology squared away. Many people use the terms “REALTOR” and “real estate agent” interchangeably. Believe it or not, they are actually quite different. Although both are licensed to sell real estate – commercial or residential – a Columbus, OH REALTOR is a member of the local chapter of the National Association of REALTORS® (or NAR). (Check out the benefits of NAR for REALTORS in Columbus, Ohio.)
What does that mean?
- The National Association of REALTORS® is the world’s largest professional organization.
- The organization provides a facility for professional development, research, and exchange of information.
- A REALTOR must subscribe to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics – a strictly enforced standard of practice containing 17 articles.
By now, you’ve come to the conclusion that in order to become a Columbus, Ohio REALTOR, you must become a licensed real estate agent. So how do you become a real estate agent?
Becoming a Real Estate Agent: Step-by-Step
Similar to any other profession, becoming a real estate agent starts with your education. No matter where you live, whether your goal is to become one of the real estate agents or REALTORS in Columbus, Ohio – or anywhere else in the world, you have to start with your pre-licensing courses. They will vary by state, so be sure to check the state-specific requirements of your state.
That is only the beginning, however. Check out our step-by-step guide for obtaining your license to become a real estate agent in Ohio (and ultimately, a Columbus, Ohio REALTOR, should you choose that path):
- Pre-Requisites: You must be at least 18 years old. And a high school diploma or equivalent, as recognized by the Ohio Department of Education, is required (if you were born after 1950). Additionally, you must not have been convicted of a felony or violated any civil rights laws pertaining to real estate within the past two years. And lastly, you must not have violated any rules of the Ohio Division of Real Estate.
- Choose a School: (Requirements vary by state, so check yours if you’re outside of Ohio.) In Ohio, you must successfully complete 120 hours of real estate education within 10 years of submitting your application. And if you were licensed but have not renewed your license within four years, you must follow the same rule. You must choose an institution of higher education that offers a minimum of a two-year program.
- Sign Up for Pre-Licensing Required Courses: Your real estate education needs to include the following courses:
- Real Estate Principles and Practices (40 hours)
- Ohio Real Estate Law (40 hours)
- Real Estate Appraisal (20 hours)
- Real Estate Finance (20 hours)
- Obtain Sponsorship: Prior to submitting your application, you must be sponsored by an Ohio real estate broker. (While NOT required in Ohio, some states do require that you work for a real estate brokerage firm in order to practice real estate. In that case, before you can graduate from your pre-licensing training, you will need to contact a brokerage to obtain work experience. States that enforce this require at least 3 years of training. Check your state)
- Submit Your Application: You are required to complete a Salesperson Examination Application, pay a $60 fee, and provide proof of your completed education requirements (a copy of official transcripts or course completion certificates); these items must be submitted to the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing. Once the Division has received your information, they’ll process your application. Your information is then forwarded to the testing vendor.
- Schedule the Test and Obtain Your Real Estate License: After you have completed the preliminary steps and your application has been accepted, you will receive a Candidate Information Bulletin with instructions on how to schedule your exam. It is required that you pass state and national exams. Upon passing, you will obtain your real estate license.
- Decide Between the Path of a REALTOR or Agent: Now is the time for you to decide if you will join the National Association of REALTORS®. This is what will determine if you become a REALTOR Columbus, Ohio has to offer, or a real estate agent.
After you have completed the steps listed above, get out there and build your book of business! Remember, it is important to network and start building your client and referral portfolio; you are only as good as the relationships in which you build. Networking and relationship-building will help propel you throughout your career. With the right connections, one day, you may even decide to start your own commercial real estate firm!
Inquire About Working with Columbus, Ohio REALTOR, The Robert Weiler Company
At The Robert Weiler Company, our commercial real estate firm was founded on honesty and integrity; we believe all real estate agents and REALTORS should act the same way. If you are looking for a advice about joining the industry, and perhaps working with us one day, we are happy to share our 80 years of experience with an aspiring Columbus, Ohio REALTOR. Find out if we have any open posituions available! Give us a call at 614-221-4286.