A real estate agent is an intermediary who brings real estate sellers and buyers together. A real estate agent helps a property seller find a buyer and buyer to find a seller. In return for the service, the agent earns a commission, a percentage of the property transaction price. The job of a real estate agent involves being aware of properties for sale and helping buyers and sellers connect and complete the transaction. If you are interested in becoming a real estate agent, you need to have a license from the state where you operate.
It is estimated[i] that there are around two million licensed real estate agents in the US. On average, a real estate agent can earn $46,000. The top agents earned more than $100,000. It is a lucrative career option that is easy to get into. A college degree is not mandatory. All you need is interest to learn about the real estate market and a readiness to help buyers and sellers.
Becoming a real estate agent
It is not difficult to become a real estate agent. You need to obtain a license from your state before you start. Here’s how you can do it.
1) Understand the license requirements
Each state has different requirements to be a real estate agent. The first thing you need to do is understand what the requirements are in your state. You need to understand the procedure to obtain a license. In general, the following are the requirements to get a license.
- You must have crossed 18 years of age. You must be 21 to get a license in some states.
- Some states insist that you should have completed a high school diploma.
- You may even need experience in real estate sales before getting a license.
- You must be a US citizen.
- You may need to submit fingerprint data and get a background check done. Check the website of your state’s real estate commission for details.
- You need to complete coursework for the licensing exam and then pass it. You can take a course that includes modules for agent conduct, real estate financing, property management, title transfer, etc. The course has to be completed from an accredited licensing school. The duration of the course varies from state to state. You may even be able to take up this course online for your convenience.
- Usually, the examination contains objective-type questions. The number of questions and pass marks varies from state to state.
2) Complete the examination and get licensed.
Once you confirm your eligibility, you need to first complete the pre-licensing course. On completion of the course, you can register for the examination. Ensure you complete all the requirements before taking up the exam. If you take up the coursework seriously, you should be able to pass the exam. It is estimated[ii] that less than half the people taking up an exam pass it on the first attempt, so you need to work hard for it. Once you clear the examination, you can apply for a license that allows you to work as a real estate agent.
3) Work with a real estate broker
Most states mandate that a real estate agent should work with a real estate broker for a minimum period of two years after obtaining a license. You may find it convenient to start working with the broker even before taking up the exam. This will be helpful in states where prior sales experience is a requirement to take up the exam.
Look for a broker who is experienced and has a good market reputation. The real estate broker’s job is to monitor your work and ensure you comply with all norms. A real estate agent will not be paid a salary but will get a part of the commission that the broker gets from their clients. So effectively, you will be paid only if you complete a sale.
You must note that there could be expenses associated with your work. You need to renew your license on an annual basis. You also may have to attend continuing education programs. The broker may charge you a fee for the expense they incur on you. You need to factor these expenses before deciding if the career will work out for you or not.
4) Start working
Once you register with a real estate broker, you can start working. Your job is to scout for people who want to sell properties and those who are interested to buy them. You can find your clients and promote your business through a website. Since it is not a salaried job, it is usually flexible. You can decide how much time you want to work. If you earn sufficient commission in the first week of the month, you can afford to take the rest of the month off.
If you want to be a professional real estate agent and make it a career, then you need to work hard for it. With experience, you can become a real estate broker yourself. You need to complete additional licensing requirements for this. To be a successful real estate agent, you can become a member of real estate associations like the National Association of Realtors, National Trust Real Estate Association, Women’s Council of Realtors, etc.
Why be a real estate agent?
The reasons why you can choose a career option as a real estate agent are:
- You can be an independent professional who earns money based on the effort you put in.
- The harder you work, the more you can earn. With a little effort and good customer service skills, you can look forward to earning a six-figure salary.
- You can work as per your convenience. It is a career option that allows you to take breaks, like regular vacations.
- You can start off solo and as you grow can start your own real estate brokerage firm and employ people.
- If you are good at marketing and convincing people, a career as a real estate agent can prove to be very lucrative.
Exclusive: China’s Huawei, reeling from U.S. sanctions, plans foray into EVs – sources
By Julie Zhu and Yilei Sun
HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Huawei plans to make electric vehicles under its own brand and could launch some models this year, four sources said, as the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, battered by U.S. sanctions, explores a strategic shift.
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is in talks with state-owned Changan Automobile and other automakers to use their car plants to make its electric vehicles (EVs), according to two of the people familiar with the matter.
Huawei is also in discussions with Beijing-backed BAIC Group’s BluePark New Energy Technology to manufacture its EVs, said one of the two and a separate person with direct knowledge of the matter.
The plan heralds a potentially major shift in direction for Huawei after nearly two-years of U.S. sanctions that have cut its access to key supply chains, forcing it to sell a part of its smartphone business to keep the brand alive.
Huawei was placed on a trade blacklist by the Trump administration over national security concerns. Many industry executives see little chance that blocks on the sale of billions of dollars of U.S. technology and chips to the Chinese company, which has denied wrongdoing, will be reversed by his successor.
A Huawei spokesman denied the company plans to design EVs or produce Huawei branded vehicles.
“Huawei is not a car manufacturer. However through ICT (information and communications technology), we aim to be a digital car-oriented and new-added components provider, enabling car OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to build better vehicles.”
Huawei has started internally designing the EVs and approaching suppliers at home, with the aim of officially launching the project as early as this year, three of the sources said.
Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group who led the company to become one of the world’s largest smartphone makers, will shift his focus to EVs, said one source. The EVs will target a mass-market segment, another source said.
All the sources declined to be named as the discussions are private.
Chongqing-based Changan, which is making cars with Ford Motor Co, declined to comment. BAIC BluePark did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Shares of Changan’s main listed company Chongqing Changan Automobile rose 8% after Reuters reported the discussions. BluePark’s shares jumped by their maximum 10% daily limit.
GROWING EV MARKET
Chinese technology firms have been stepping up their focus on EVs in the world’s biggest market for such vehicles, as Beijing heavily promotes greener vehicles as a means of reducing chronic air pollution.
Sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs), including pure battery electric vehicles as well as plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, are expected to make up 20% of China’s overall annual auto sales by 2025.
Industry forecasts put China’s NEV sales at 1.8 million units this year, up from about 1.3 million in 2020.
Huawei’s ambitious plans to make its own cars will see it join a raft of Asian tech companies that have made similar announcements in recent months, including Baidu Inc and Foxconn.
“The novel and complicated U.S. restrictions on semiconductors to Huawei have slowly been strangling the company,” said Dan Wang, a technology analyst with research firm Gavekal Dragonomics.
“So it makes sense that the company is pivoting to less chip-intensive industries in order to maintain operations.”
In the United States, Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc are also developing auto-related technology or investing in smart-car startups.
Huawei has been developing a swathe of technologies for EVs for years including in-car software systems, sensors for automobiles and 5G communications hardware.
The company has also formed partnerships with automakers such as Daimler AG, General Motors Co and SAIC Motor to jointly develop smart auto technologies.
It has accelerated hiring of engineers for auto-related technologies since 2018.
Huawei was awarded at least four patents related to EVs this week, including methods for charging between electric vehicles and for checking battery health, according to official Chinese patent records.
Huawei’s push into the EV market is currently separate from a joint smart vehicle company it co-founded along with Changan and EV battery maker CATL in November, two of the sources said.
(Reporting by Julie Zhu in Hong Kong and Yilei Sun in Beijing; additional reporting by David Kirton in Shenzhen; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Richard Pullin)
Facebook switches news back on in Australia, signs content deals
By Renju Jose and Jonathan Barrett
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Facebook Inc ended a one-week blackout of Australian news on its popular social media site on Friday and announced preliminary commercial agreements with three small local publishers.
The moves reflected easing tensions between the U.S. company and the Australian government, a day after the country’s parliament passed a law forcing it and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay local media companies for using content on their platforms.
The new law makes Australia the first nation where a government arbitrator can set the price Facebook and Google pay domestic media to show their content if private negotiations fail. Canada and other countries have shown interest in replicating Australia’s reforms.
“Global tech giants, they are changing the world but we can’t let them run the world,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, adding that Big Tech must be accountable to sovereign governments.
Facebook, whose 8-day ban on Australian media captured global attention, said it had signed partnership agreements with Schwartz Media, Solstice Media and Private Media. The trio own a mix of publications, including weekly newspapers, online magazines and specialist periodicals.
Facebook did not disclose the financial details of the agreements, which will become effective within 60 days if a full deal is signed.
“These agreements will bring a new slate of premium journalism, including some previously paywalled content, to Facebook,” the social media company said in a statement.
The non-binding agreements allay some fears that small Australian publishers would be left out of revenue-sharing deals with Facebook and Google.
“It’s never been more important than it is now to have a plurality of voices in the Australian press,” said Schwartz Media Chief Executive Rebecca Costello.
Facebook on Tuesday struck a similar agreement with Seven West Media, which owns a free-to-air television network and the main metropolitian newspaper in the city of Perth.
The Australian Broadcasting Corp has said it was also in talks with Facebook.
Google Australia managing director Mel Silva said in a statement published on Friday the company had found a “constructive path to support journalism”.
She thanked Australian users of the search engine for “bearing with us while we’ve sent you messages about this issue”.
Facebook and Google threatened for months to pull core services from Australia if the media laws, which some industry players claim are more about propping up ailing local media, took effect.
While Google struck deals with several publishers including News Corp as the legislation made its way through parliament, Facebook took the more drastic step of blocking all news content in Australia.
That stance led to amendments to the laws, including giving the government the power to exempt Facebook or Google from mandatory arbitration, and Facebook on Friday began restoring the Australian news sites.
(Reporting by Renju Jose and Jonathan Barrett; Editing by Richard Pullin and Jane Wardell)
China’s factory activity growth likely moderated during February holiday lull – Reuters poll
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s factory activity likely grew at a slightly slower rate in February as factories closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, a Reuters poll showed, although growth is expected to remain firm, buoyed by an early resumption of production.
The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) is expected to dip marginally to 51.1 in February from 51.3 in January, according to the median forecast of 20 economists polled by Reuters. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity on a monthly basis.
Chinese factories typically scale back operations or close for lengthy periods around the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in the middle of February this year.
However, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the winter had prompted local governments and companies to dissuade workers from travelling back to their hometowns, giving a boost to the earlier-than-usual resumption of production at many factories, analysts say.
“Although government COVID-19 prevention measures may constrain some manufacturing activities in the near-term, the fact that a majority of migrant workers stayed in their workplace cities for the holiday should facilitate an earlier resumption of business activity following the holiday this year,” said analysts at Nomura in a note to client on Thursday.
Wang Zhishen, a migrant worker from Gansu, told Reuters that his factory, a manufacturer of logistics boxes in the manufacturing hub of Dongguan, only closed for three days during the holiday, thanks to overwhelming businesses. Lured by the 1,500-yuan cash subsidy his factory offered, he chose to work through the holiday.
The Chinese economy has largely shaken off the gloom from the COVID-19 health crisis, with consumers opening up their wallets after months of hesitation. Growth is now set to rebound sharply this quarter, also helped by the low base effect of a year ago.
The country has successfully curbed the domestic transmission of the COVID-19 virus in northern China, with the national health authority reporting zero new local cases for the 11th straight day. Cities that were on lockdown have since vowed to push for a work resumption at full speed.
The official PMI, which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, and its sister survey on the services sector, will both be released on Sunday.
The private Caixin manufacturing PMI will be published on Monday. Analysts expect the headline reading will dip slightly to 51.4 from 51.5 in January.
(Reporting by Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes)
UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is seeking to build a consensus among G7 nations on how to stop large technology companies...
Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit
By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it would offer a fast-track visa scheme for jobs at...
GameStop rally fizzles; shares still on pace for 130% weekly gain
By Aaron Saldanha and David Randall (Reuters) – An early surge in the shares of GameStop Corp fizzled and left...
Oil drops on dollar strength and OPEC+ supply expectations
By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Friday as the U.S. dollar rose while forecasts called...
Stocks try to recover from bond whiplash, dollar gains
By Herbert Lash NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global equity markets swooned on Friday, even as the Nasdaq and S&P 500...