Being a real estate agent can be a fun job. Flexible hours, large checks and glamour all seem to come with the this career. However, there’s a few things you need to do to really become a real estate agent.First of all, you need to know the real estate agents get paid on commission. That means there’s no check, no cash, no security unless you are closing transactions. Depending on your specialty, you might not see any transactions closing for up to 6 months. In other instances, you might close frequently but receive lower pay. So the first thing you need to do is:1. Design a BudgetMost people who want to get into real estate don’t go in thinking of it as an entrepreneurial endeavor, but it absolutely is. With no guaranteed pay, you better know what it’s going to take to keep you afloat. This is a step that you cannot skip at all, unless you like peanut butter and jelly for breakfast, lunch and dinner.2. Talk to a Broker or Successful AgentAbsolutely crucial is the information you will get from this resource. Understand that most real estate agents love to talk, especially about themselves. That’s not a bad thing, they can be a valuable resource for your research. Most agents will talk with anyone, some of the busy ones will require appointments. Also, be aware some companies offer recruiting incentives. Don’t talk to these resources with hopes of getting a job, you should be asking about what they are doing, emphasis on they. You want to know how many units (homes, leases, condos, etc) are they closing, what’s the average size of the check and if they will let you know, how they are doing it. It’s so important, because you can not even plan to meet your budget if you don’t know how many sales it’s going to take.3. Develop A PlanNow you know what you need to make to survive and what is the high point of success. Most agents fail in the first 2 years, it’s mostly because they have no clue what to do. They do a few deals for family but have no idea what to do next. If you get hung up on this step, a great book is Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller. Otherwise, come up with a plan, that once you have a license you can execute. What happens after you get a license? Contact family? Who else? How will you get new clients? Door Knocking? These are all questions you should answer. Also, think about specialties, do you want to do more work in REO properties or like in the 2008 – 2013 range you could specialize in short sales.4. Check with the StateNow that you have a good idea of what you need to make and how you are going to do it, it’s a great idea to finally check on your state requirements for licensing. Most states require a class that takes a few weeks to complete on selling real estate that covers mostly the legal nature of real estate. You’ll get very little real world knowledge from these courses and they are designed with the lowest common denominator in mind. Remember, 99% of the real estate agents you meet won’t have read this article and therefore didn’t do step 1 and 2. They are just floundering about trying to make the next deal happen.5. Interview BrokeragesOnce you have your license it’s time to interview brokerages. That’s right I said interview them. They will set it up as an interview with them, but the broker model makes money off of productive agents, so they want you much worse than you want to be there. A good brokerage will offer you training and support and not take too much from your pocket. Most offer a 70/30 split, meaning they take 30% of every check. Some offer a cap on those fees, for example if you had ten closings at $10,000 in commission each closing (for a total of $100,000) and the company took 30% but had a $25,000 cap, then you would take home $75,000 instead of $70,000. Beware of the flat fee companies that charge you per transaction. Typically you can stand to make much more money but without the support and training. Once you get established, it’s worthwhile to check out their offerings, but as a new agent I would recommend staying away. Lastly, there are typically office fees and licensing fees. These fees vary from area to area but can average $100 to $300 a month.There you have it, the 5 things you must do to be a real estate agent. Feel free to contact me if you have questions, this can be a fun career if you know what to do!