Originally Posted by mike ski
Can you talk a little about the material. I'm assuming most of the material has practical application in the field? Do you see yourself using what you'll be learning directly or is it mainly just regulatory/theory?
Much of it is regulatory and would rarely be used in the field but it is important to know just in case.
Other material is very pertinent to the everyday of a real estate agent such as commission calculation, your fiduciary duty to a client, how to describe a property, what can and cannot be disclosed (and what must, by law, be disclosed) to a buyer or seller. There is some interesting/important topics on law covered (antitrust laws, material defect disclosure, who you can and cannot receive money from, ect.). Types of ownership (fee simple, life estate, joint tenancy, tenants in common) and what each means is covered and easy to understand but is something you wouldn't think of if you've never come across a non-standard form of ownership. It's a lot of content and keep in mind I'm only 1/3 of the way through the course.
The way it works in Indiana is you must take this preliscensing class and recieve a 75% or higher, once you do that you get a certificate that says you can go take the state board exam in which you must also score a 75% or higher. There are three tests of 100 questions each in the course I'm in so you must score a cumulative 225+ to pass (also you must attend 75% of the classes). I took the first test today and got a 95 though the instructor did point out that this has historically been the easiest of the three.
Once you receive your license from the state you have to hook up with a principal broker, you cannot just go out and start selling real estate. You interview with different brokerages and see what is a good fit for you. Some require a monthly desk fee (think of this as rent to work out of their office) which could be 1500+ a month, but you keep essentially all commission. Others offer a place where there is no fee to work for them but they take 50%+ of the commission up to a certain point. It's in your best interest to do your research and think long and hard about what will be best for you.
Most real estate agents are not employees of the company but rather independent agents that are having their liscense held by a broker. The agency you work for will not hold any of your taxes, pay you a salary, or offer you benefits assuming you are an independent agent but they do offer resources such as help with advertising, an extended network, a place to work from, and a respected name to tie yourself to.
Keep in mind that everything I just wrote pertains to my area (Indianapolis, IN) and there isn't a true universal norm with a lot of this stuff. My impression of the experience so far is that it's a good idea to do for anyone that has the time on their hands and has any interest in it. The class I'm taking only costed around $400 (including a text book) so it is affordable and is a field I could see many poker players doing well in if they need to transition from the online grind to a real world career. Keeping in mind I haven't actually spent time in the field you should take anything I say with a grain of salt but from what I do know from speaking with real estate friends and shadowing or experiencing what they do it seems to focus on understanding people while utilizing basic ideas of economics which should seem like familiar topics to most people reading 2+2.