DISCLAIMER: What follows is being written first-hand from one individual’s life experiences. In other words, this won’t be definitive but will try to be comprehensive.
So let’s review the process so far. The first step was to sign up for the 60 hours of classroom training. Step two involved receiving my certificate of completion. Step three required that I submit the certification, Arkansas Real Estate Commission Application, my fingerprints, and the funds needed to run the various background checks. Step four was receiving my Affidavit to Test and I’m gonna say signing up for my test. Step five is passing the test. (Woot. Woot.) Step six was a surprise to me involving new agent orientation with the Board Office. Step seven was completing my 18 hours of new agent training.
So let’s talk about what to expect in your 18 hours of training. For me this was the real meat and potatoes of real estate. I totally loved this class. As an administrative assistant with a real estate brokerage, I’ve had a year’s exposure to the forms associated with real estate. Some could possibly call that an unfair advantage. What it really means is that I had a LOT of questions about things I had worked on throughout the last year and finally a guru to answer them.
My “Zen Master” for the training was Ralph Bogner Jr. with a school out of Fort Smith, AR. If you get a chance to take a course from him, I highly recommend it. He was insightful, direct, and wonderfully patient. (Yeah, I like to be the teacher’s pet. Although I can’t confirm whether I was or not.)
So what did my Yogi discuss during my classroom training? The first thing that we covered is agency. This is the relationship between a Realtor and a client. Let me pass along some great training from Ralph. Start to use customer and client correctly from the start. Any person that you randomly meet is a customer. There is a potential of working with them but they are not yet working with you. A client is an individual that you have a written agreement with to serve as a listing or buyer’s agent. NOTE: You can have an implied agency in which an individual indicates that they want to work with you. But as my instructor stated, “If it isn’t in writing it didn’t happen.”
Once the agency portion of the class work is completed then you study the paperwork associated with being a salesperson. For me, this was what I have been waiting to study. I won’t go into a lot of detail because I am NOT an AREC instructor and wouldn’t want to step on toes. All I can say is that I loved going over the paperwork and getting the answers I needed. I have a new understanding of how to work with the forms supplied by the AREC and their lawyers.
So what’s next… For my classmates it is wheeling and dealing. I have a fairly unique situation. In the state of Arkansas you can either be an independent contractor or an employee. Most opt for Independent Contractor because that is commission based and you can usually generate better funds than a salaried position. I opted to remain an employee of the brokerage. As mentioned in my initial post, I didn’t get my license to list or sell. My goal was to free up our seasoned agents to be out and about with their clients. I can now take calls and give answers that I previously could not. Additionally, I am our office’s Closing Agent. I work specifically with those properties that are under contract helping to get them to their new owners.
So what’s next… a lot more work than you can fit into 40 hours a week. But that’s just how I like to roll.