Real estate agents must be licensed to begin working. Licensing is handled at the provincial level. Agents must have completed secondary school, complete a real estate training course and become licensed by their provincial government.
To use the designation “realtor,” an agent must become a member of their local real estate board and of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Agents have strong people skills, a sharp business sense and self-starting motivation to succeed in a highly competitive field.
As it pays on commission, it appeals to people who like a strong correlation between work and pay, and who can budget so the lean times do not cause undue hardships.
The licensing course conducted by provincial real estate associations teaches students about the profession, associated rules and regulations, the real estate market and the laws governing buying and selling property. It also explores the ethical and practical guidelines to work in the field.
It covers basic knowledge about how mortgages work, how to appraise property, working in new construction homes, professional conduct and drafting sales or rental agreements.
The cost of the course varies, but generally ranges between $2,000 and $3,000. Applying for the license itself may cost extra.
Once licensed, real estate agents usually find work with real estate companies.