Unless you have a family member or relative that’s a real estate agent, it’s probably never been a consideration to get your real estate license while in college.
If you’re a college student looking for a way to earn some extra money, taking on a part-time job might seem like the logical choice.
But what if we told you that there’s a better option – one that can not only provide income but also offers invaluable experience, industry insight, and long-term career prospects?
That option is getting a real estate license while in college.
In this article, we will explore why college students should at least consider getting a real estate license while in school and the benefits it can offer.
What are the best part-time jobs to get while in college?
As a college student, you may be looking for ways to earn some extra money.
One option that might come to mind is taking on a part-time job in an unrelated field just for the money.
Common part-time jobs for college students include barista and restaurant server positions, but these jobs may not provide relevant experience or future career prospects.
According to INDEED, some of the best part-time jobs can pay between $15.00 and $25.00 per hour.
Some of the higher paying jobs, like tutor or fitness instructor are excellent.
But if you are not pursuing a career in Education or Physical Therapy say, you’re not getting as much experience as possible.
This is not a knock on either profession – I was a caddie, bag room attendant, parking garage attendant, valet, server and golf professional during and after college.
The experiences were invaluable, but none of them had the financial upside that a real estate license would have afforded me.
While a 20-hour-per-week job can put money in your pocket right now, it may not create future career opportunities unless you plan to go into a corporate or hospitality management role after college.
However, there’s a better option that can provide not only a steady income but also invaluable experience and long-term career prospects – obtaining a real estate license while in college.
The potential earnings from just one commission on a sale or rental can easily cover the start-up costs of getting your real estate license and the associated fees such as MLS fees, association fees, and broker fees.
In addition to the financial benefits, obtaining a real estate license can provide relevant industry experience, especially if you plan to start your own business after college.
By getting your real estate license while in college, you can gain hands-on experience in the real estate industry, access to technology and platforms used in the industry, and a unique perspective on how consumers are actually responding to and using technology.
You will also have the opportunity to build a network of industry professionals and potential clients that can be leveraged later in your career.
Furthermore, maintaining an active real estate license can be an investment in your future, as it provides a valuable skillset that can be applied in a variety of industries.
For example, the negotiation, communication, and sales skills learned in real estate can be useful in fields such as law, finance, and marketing.
Instead of taking on a part-time job that may not provide relevant experience or future career prospects, consider getting your real estate license and setting yourself up for long-term success.
Why a real estate license can be a better investment in your career than an unpaid internship
As a college student, you may be considering taking on an internship in your desired field to gain valuable experience.
While internships can provide a wealth of knowledge, they may not offer direct compensation or the potential for high earnings in the future.
In contrast, obtaining a real estate license while in college can provide hands-on use of technology and platforms used in the industry and offer a unique perspective on how consumers are actually responding to and using technology.
Internships, especially unpaid ones, can also be a significant financial burden for students, who may already be struggling with college expenses.
While internships can provide valuable experience, they may not offer the opportunity for direct compensation or long-term financial gain.
In comparison, obtaining a real estate license provides the potential for significant financial gain, even with just one real estate transaction.
You can argue that paying for your real estate license certification and association dues are a financial burden as well. However, there is a dramatically different return on investment when you consider the sales commission on one sale of a house or even a rental.
Real estate agents earn a commission on each sale or rental, which can be a substantial amount depending on the value of the property.
Even a single transaction can provide significant financial support and potential long-term income streams.
Moreover, obtaining a real estate license can provide valuable consumer-facing experience that can be applied in a variety of industries.
Real estate agents must interact with clients, negotiate deals, and market their properties effectively, all of which are valuable skills in many fields.
Why getting a real estate license is a low-risk, high reward alternative to starting a small business in college
Of all the options to earn income while in college, starting a small business can be a great opportunity to gain experience and learn valuable business skills, plus put money in your pocket.
You may not have even considered getting a real estate license to be an alternative to, say, selling t-shirts or managing a small business social media account.
With a 100% commission brokerage, it’s really very similar to running a small business, but with significantly more upside.
While starting a small business can teach valuable skills such as supply chain management, marketing, pricing, and merchandising, it may not offer the same potential for growth and financial success as the real estate industry.
In recent years, there has been a significant shift towards “proptech” and real estate technology, with new platforms and tools emerging to revolutionize how consumers purchase homes, rent apartments, invest in real estate and manage vacation rentals.
By obtaining a real estate license and joining a 100% real estate brokerage, college students can gain hands-on experience with these transformative changes and position themselves for long-term success.
You may not enjoy all the aspects of being a real estate agent. But what it does for you is give you the “license”, no pun intended, to observe how the industry works today.
By being “in the arena” versus theorizing in a classroom, you’re literally part of the transformation.
When you get out of school, you’ll be that much further along in helping the industry adopt technology.
That’s the mid to long-term incentive, but what about putting money in your pocket now?
2.5% of a home sale of $300,000 is $7,500.
In a 100% brokerage, you’ll keep ~ $6,750 – $7,000 depending on what brokerage you work for, less your startup costs.
That’s a big chunk of change, especially against your start-up costs.
If you’re partnered with a senior agent, you may collect a bit less than that, but your partner or Team Leader can assign you work that’s fits your schedule.
If your Team Leader understands how to develop your social network for leads, the opportunity can really be limitless.
While starting a small business can offer valuable experience and skills, it’s important for college students to consider the potential for growth and long-term success in various industries.
By leveraging their time and energy towards their career aspirations, college students can position themselves for even greater, and faster, success during college and after graduation.
How do I get my real estate license?
Depending on the state in which you reside, you’ll need to take a state certification test.
Preparing for the real estate license test: why college students shouldn’t be intimidated
When it comes to taking the state certification test required to obtain a real estate license, it’s understandable that some college students may feel apprehensive.
The test is undoubtedly challenging, and the thought of having to study and prepare for it can be overwhelming, especially when juggling academic responsibilities.
However, it’s crucial to remember that while the certification test may seem daunting, college students are at a unique advantage when it comes to taking tests.
Their test-taking skills will never be sharper, and they are already in a learning environment that promotes studying and retaining information.
In comparison, someone older with more personal or family obligations and out of the school environment may find it harder to study and prepare for the test.
Additionally, once people have all these additional responsibilities, it becomes harder and harder for them to make a commitment to invest in a start-up business.
Taking the certification test and obtaining a real estate license while in college is an opportunity to leverage time and effort towards career aspirations.
It provides real-world, consumer-facing experience while still in college, invaluable skills, and the potential for high income.
Moreover, maintaining an active real estate license with a 100% real estate brokerage is a low-cost investment that offers a high potential for return.
Compared to other living expenses, such as eating out or entertainment, the cost of maintaining an active license is relatively low and can easily be offset by the potential for a high commission on a single sale or rental.
I get why concerns about the certification test and long-term commitment may exist, but obtaining a real estate license while in college is a smart investment in the long run.
It offers a unique opportunity for experience and financial gain, and with the right preparation and mindset, the certification test can be conquered.
Take the leap: Why getting a real estate license now is a low-risk, high-reward opportunity
Obtaining a real estate license while in college can be a smart investment in your future.
It offers the potential for significant income, hands-on experience with technology and platforms used in the industry, and a unique perspective on consumer behavior.
While part-time jobs and internships may provide some level of financial support or industry experience, they often lack the long-term benefits and earning potential of a real estate license.
Many college students may feel intimidated by the idea of taking the state certification test or committing to the ongoing expenses associated with maintaining an active license.
However, the benefits far outweigh the concerns.
And with the right preparation and guidance, passing the test and succeeding in the industry is achievable.
If you are an entrepreneurial college student looking for a head start on your career, consider getting a real estate license while in school.
It’s a low-risk, high-reward alternative that can provide a foundation for long-term success.
And if you have any questions or concerns about the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to me for career coaching or industry insights.
Please share this article with other college students who may be interested in pursuing a real estate license, and let’s build a community of future real estate professionals who are ready to make their mark in the industry.
I’m hiring on my team at Banyan Bridge Group. Even if you’re not a fit for my team but want ideas to get the most out of your work experience while in college, I’m happy to connect.