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So you're thinking about getting your real estate license? I'll show you how.

Hi All,

In this post, I will go over the requirements and necessary steps of getting your real estate license. At the end of the post, I will also talk about career paths (or side hustles) that you can capitalize on once you are licensed. As I mention later in my post, I always encourage people who have an interest in getting their license to go for it. You can take the courses while you’re still working since they are 100% online and designed to be completed at your own pace. If you have any questions or want specific information after reading this post, please do not hesitate to contact me.

We are looking for agents to join our team! So, if you or anyone you know is interested, please let me know.

1. Requirements to apply for your Real Estate Salesperson Exam

General Requirements

  • Must be 18 years of age or older

  • California Resident (there are special requirements for Out-of-State Applicants)

  • Applicants must be honest and truthful. Convictions of a crime may result in the denial of a license. (More information about this requirement can be found here and here).

Course Requirements

  • Real Estate Principles, and

  • Real Estate Practice, and

  • One Elective:

    • Real Estate Appraisal

    • Property Management

    • Real Estate Finance

    • Real Estate Economics

    • Legal Aspects of Real Estate

    • Real Estate Office Administration

    • General Accounting

    • Business Laws

    • Escrows

    • Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending

    • Computer Applications in Real Estate

    • Common Interest Developments

Recommended Real Estate Schools

I personally used Allied Real Estate School to obtain both my Salesperson and Broker licenses. Real Estate Express does have great reviews and offer better pricing than Allied. TruInvest has two agents that have been working on their license and have been happy with Real Estate Express. No matter which you decide to move forward with, I recommend purchasing the Exam Prep add on which really helped me pass both my exams.

These courses can be taken at your leisure and are completely online. You can do it in your spare time, on your lunch break, during your commute (as long as you’re not driving!), or on the weekends.

Statutory Course Important Note:

Per California Bureau of Real Estate guidelines, Statutory Courses require a wait period of 18 days before attempting a Final Exam.  Additional exams will become available as the mandated 18 days wait period expires.  You cannot apply one 18 days wait period to meet the wait time for all Statutory courses.  Our Learning Management System will track your wait period time.  

2. Taking and Passing your State Exam

Finishing your Coursework and Filling out the Forms

  • Once you have successfully completed the online courses, you will need to complete the following forms:

    • RE 435: Combined Salesperson Examination & License Application (you can find the form here and I’ve also included in this package).

    • RE 237: Live scan forms

    • RE 909: If paying the application fee by credit card.

  • Your will also need to submit the following documents:

    • Official transcripts or completion certificates for your courses (obtained from your education service provider).

  • Expected Fees:

    • $305 – License & Exam Fee

    • $49 – Fingerprint Fee

Submission of Documentation & Processing Time

Once you submit all your documentation to the DRE via USPS mail (I recommend paying the extra money to be able to track your package), the processing time is about 6 weeks. You will get a notice letting you know that you can schedule your exam.

The exam can be taken in Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, and Los Angeles. It is a 100% computerized, multiple choice exam. You will know immediately whether you passed your exam or not. If you pass your exam, it will take an additional 4-6 weeks to get your license and salesperson #. Once you have that information, you can “hang” your license with TruInvest Real Estate using the directions in the next step.

What do I do while I am waiting for my exam date and then my license?

  • Study, study, study while you wait those 6 weeks! Learn your vocab and take as many practice exams as you can to familiarize yourself with how the questions are asked.

  • Start building your business! There are tips included later in this post on what you can do to start prepping your business.

3. Congratulations, you passed your exam!

Join TruInvest Real Estate

To join our team, you will need to login to eLicensing. To register for eLicensing, go to the Bureau of Real Estate website. You will need the following two pieces of information:

  1. TruInvest Real Estate’s BRE #02035469; and

  2. Adriana’s email –

I will receive an email letting me know that you would like to join the firm which I will accept on my end. Within 24 hours, TruInvest Real Estate should appear as your employing broker on eLicensing.

If you included TruInvest’s information on your combined application, then you will automatically be joined once you pass your exam.

Build Your Business

These are easy steps that you can work on while you are waiting for your exam date or your license to come in the mail.

  1. Start your Database. This is a Realtor’s most valuable asset. You can get a template here. Start going through all your contacts (email, phone, LinkedIn, Facebook, IG, Twitter, etc.) and collecting information to put into your database. This will be where you will start to source your first deals.

  2. Get your business plan together. Goals. Goals. Goals. Start thinking about what your goals are, why you are getting into real estate, and start putting together a plan on how you will tackle your goals. I am happy to help mentor and coach you through this process.

  3. Shameless, Self-Promotion. Start getting the word out about what you’re doing. IG, FB, Snap, Hashtag, Tweet, Blog – Do. It. All.

Join Your Local Board.

In order to have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and get an eKey which gives you access to homes on the market, you will need to join your local Realtor® board. TruInvest is currently a member of Contra Costa Association of Realtors (CCAR) and BayEast Association of Realtors. We have plans to join a Southern California board so stay tuned. Joining your local board also means that you will join the California Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors. These are important affiliations which will provide key resources: ZipForms, CAR Legal, and other Realtor® benefits. Unfortunately, this comes with a cost which currently (as of May 2018) sits at around $1000 for CCAR broken down into two payments. You can access the membership application here.

What it means to be a Realtor.

Many people are drawn to real estate due to the flexibility of your work schedule and the income that comes with closing deals. There is a misconception that real estate is an “easy” field to get into and make a ton of money. Yes, it is relatively easy to get your license, but it’s not necessarily easy to make the money. You are in fact the CEO of your own company, so you can either do really well or you can keep spending money to make nothing. Real estate is a “boots on the ground” type of job. You can’t be afraid to cold call, obnoxiously self-promote, and hit up people that you may have not spoken to for a while in order to see if you can be of value to them.

The agents that stand out are those who are willing to continuously learn and become the expert in their market area or niche. They go beyond the transaction and put their client’s needs before them. Yes, this means that sometimes you won’t make much money off a transaction or you are doing things that go beyond your “job description”. You get out of your business what you put into it.

What are other career options?

So, maybe you don’t want to be a real estate agent, but still think real estate is fascinating, what can do you? I always encourage people to get their real estate license. I think it’s a great resource to have if only for you to understand the home buying process for yourself. But, maybe you aren’t into sales or are working full-time, is it still a good idea? Yes! I’ll outline some options below.

Referral Agent: I worked for a large real estate firm which had licensed people who simply referred transactions (buyers, sellers, investors) to other licensed agents. They made anywhere from 20-35%+ on the referring side of the transaction for simply passing along a name and number to another agent. For example, your co-worker wants to buy a house, but you aren’t actively selling. You put them in touch with a Rockstar agent at TruInvest and sign an agreement stating that you would like to make 25% of the referring side of the transaction. The Rockstar agent helps your referral buy a $900,000 home and earns a 2.5% commission on the transaction.

$900,0000 x 2.5% = $22,500 x 25% (your referral fee) = $5,625

You have just earned $5,625 for providing a name and number to another licensed agent who actually handled the transaction! This is perfect for someone who may have a large network but would rather not handle real estate transactions.

Transaction Coordinator (TC): If you love being in the details, are highly organized, and love check boxes, then being a transaction coordinator may be the role for you. Although a real estate license is not required, TCs with a licensed are paid more and are able to handle more of the transaction process. A TC can make anywhere from $200-$500 per transaction based on experience and what you are able to handle. Many TCs are self-employed and are able to make their own schedules. You can also be a TC for a company and receive a base commission with a small per transaction close. You can also combine being a TC with a Referral Agent which is covered above.

Mortgage Broker: If you prefer to be on the lending side of the business, you will need to have your real estate license and take additional courses to get your MLO license. I have the perfect lender to talk to if you are interested in becoming a loan officer. Send me an email and I can put you in touch.

Investor: You don’t necessarily need to get your license in order to become an investor, but it doesn’t hurt to have the education and have an understanding of what is involved in investing in real estate. You can also just hire TruInvest to be your advisor! ;-)

Property Manager: If you want to manage rental properties and collect fees for being a property manager, you need to have a real estate license. This doesn’t apply to the management of your own properties.

Financial Analyst: If you read my previous blog, you will know that I worked for a private equity firm. This firm hired analysts to handle the underwriting of investment properties that our firm wanted to acquire. Although a real estate license wasn’t required, it was definitely useful for these analysts to understand the real estate transaction process including what it means to run a title search, how property taxes work, what contingencies were, and what an escrow was. These were vital pieces of their jobs that they relied heavily on me and my transaction team for assistance since they didn’t have a real estate background.  

There are many reasons to get licensed. If you have been considering this option, reach out to me and I’m happy to provide more insight.


Adriana Castillo

(510)704-3637 direct

43 views1 comment

1 Comment

Hi Adriana, Michaelray and I have been talking about getting my R. E. License, as I currently have been working part-time with agents to help with their BOH's, office work, etc. And just yesterday I started looking into schools to do this, so your blog arriving into my email was perfect timing! I love your blog and all the info you are sharing, so informative,.......thank you!


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