You have decided. You are going to become a real estate agent. But the closer you get to realizing your dream, the clearer it becomes; your savings are not enough.
Here you are, wondering, what real estate companies pay for your license? Many real estate groups would be willing to treat you to a license. This group includes two real estate companies committed to helping aspiring agents live out their dreams. Those two are Edina Realty and Keller Williams Realty.
But, agents should note that these companies have only committed to paying for the pre-licensing course. They don’t cover the entire cost of becoming a real estate agent, such as the licensing application and exam fees.
These programs are designed mainly for the real estate agent license.
A few other companies, like Remax, offer free company training to real estate agents. But, their training is not credit-based, meaning you cannot use it towards pre-licensing or continued education.
In this article, I’ll share which major national and regional brokerages offer deals to fund your pre-licensing education, the pros and cons to consider, and alternative routes to cover costs if company sponsorship isn’t right for you. Reading this guide will provide valuable insights to help you make the best decision when planning how to pay for your new real estate career.
A story that began with a struggling real estate firm in 1955 on 50th and France Avenue, Edina, Minnesota, has become one of Minnesota’s most notable success stories. With over 2300 agents, Edina Realty stands as one of the largest real estate companies in the North Star state.
I cannot end this lengthy brag without noting that the company has 75 offices stretching as far as Western Wisconsin.
Edina Realty offers those yearning to join the real estate industry an opportunity to study for free. In fact, on their website, they put it this way: “Edina Realty invests in you by picking up the tab for your real estate licensing education.”
They support students in the Minnesota and Wisconsin areas. To learn more about how they help aspiring agents, visit their website or sign up for an information session.
Edina Realty Eligibility Criteria
Edina Realty has two main requirements that individuals must meet to be considered for tuition assistance:
- Be eligible for a real estate license and willing to earn it
- Apply to join the company
Keller Williams Realty
Founded in 1983, Keller Williams Realty is the brainchild of two businessmen, Gary Keller and Joe Williams. What started in Austin as a single office has grown to a global brand, housing over 100,500 agents worldwide.
The company is still headquartered in Austin but now has offices on almost every continent, spanning from Asia to Europe, South to North America, and Africa.
When it comes to assisting agents, KW Realty offers a free pre-licensing course in partnership with Kaplan Real Estate Education. This course is offered through Keller Successful Career Opportunities in Real Estate or KSCORE at different centers nationwide.
Being a part of KSCORE doesn’t require you to join the company. It is available to everyone hoping to join the real estate industry.
One thing worth noting is that KW doesn’t offer licensing assistance. They only help students complete their mandated pre-licensing course.
Keller Williams Eligibility Criteria
Keller Williams has one demand for hopeful agents: join the KSCORE program.
KSCORE is the company’s real estate agent empowerment program. It offers agents pre-licensing courses, Continued Education courses, and training.
Visit the KSCORE website to learn more about their programs.
How to Find a Real Estate Company that Pays for Licensing
The companies that assist with agent licensing don’t stop with these two. These have earned a place on our list because of their diverse programs.
But with some detective skills and a bit of commitment, you can unearth real estate companies that could help you cover your licensing costs.
As a licensed agent myself, I know how hectic licensing costs can get. So here are some of my unearthing skills; no shovels required:
Do Your Research
To find real estate companies that could cover your costs, you will have to dig beyond the surface. If you know any agents or brokers, reach out to them. Find out if their companies offer licensing sponsorship and to what extent.
Another research avenue is to contact a local broker whom you’d join after licensing and see if they’d consider paying for your license.
Review Different Training Programs
Here is a personal analogy: if they are willing to spend time educating agents, then chances are they would be open to paying for their licenses.
There are different real estate agencies that offer training programs to agents. Contact them to find out if they would be willing to pay for your license.
Drawbacks of Having a Real Estate Company Pay for Your License
Having a real estate company pay for your licensing is not all good news. There are some drawbacks to having a company pay for your license. You will have to weigh the pros and cons and decide if the route is worth it.
Give Up Some Control and Flexibility
When a real estate company decides to partner with you and assist you on the licensing journey, it usually means one thing: joining their company.
After you receive your license, you may have to devote some years to this particular agency. If you are hoping for operational flexibility or want to move to a different city after a few years, this may be a hindrance.
But most agents find this is manageable since they already have to work in the licensing state, where the company is likely based.
Accept Lower Commission Splits
Real estate agents get paid commission. These commissions are often split two ways. The first split is with the other agent involved in the sale, and the second is with your broker. This second split is often at 50/50 or 70/30.
But, the company may choose a 60/40 split to cover licensing costs. This commission split may end up costing you more in the long run.
Alternatives to Company Sponsorship
If you don’t find the right company to sponsor you, it isn’t the end of your licensing journey. There are several licensure options you can explore:
Grants and Scholarships
Grants and scholarships can be a great way to fund your licensing costs. Many colleges, companies, and universities offer financial aid packages, including grants and scholarships, to cover tuition and materials for qualifying students.
While grants and scholarships can make studying more affordable, they are usually an option for those completing more extensive real estate programs like degrees, not standalone licensing courses. Still, for the right student, they can provide invaluable financial assistance at the start of their career.
The pros of grants and scholarships:
- They offer free money for school that doesn’t need to be repaid.
- They often provide enough money to cover various costs, not just licensing.
The main con of grants and scholarships:
- Scholarships and grants are highly competitive. Students will need to research options, meet eligibility criteria, and go through a lengthy application process for a chance at being awarded limited funds.
One good example is the Schurgin Family Foundation Scholarship offered by the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Taking out a personal loan is another route that aspiring agents can use to cover the upfront costs of getting licensed. Personal loans provide a lump sum of money upfront that can be repaid over time in fixed monthly payments.
These offer a fast way to access money to jumpstart your licensing process. They can also help you cover all the licensing costs. But be sure to shop around for the best rates and terms, and only borrow what you need.
The main pros of personal loans:
- They provide immediate funds that can be used for any area of licensing education and exams.
- The application process is relatively quick and straightforward.
- It can also help you build a credit history as you make on-time payments.
The cons of personal loans:
- Loans accrue interest, so you end up paying more than the principal amount borrowed.
- Interest rates on personal loans are also high.
- You have a fixed monthly payment to make even if your real estate business doesn’t take off quickly.
Asking Family for Help
Whether asking parents, grandparents, siblings, or other relatives, family can potentially assist with some or all of the expenses involved in getting licensed.
The pros of seeking help from family:
- There are no strings attached, interest rates, or loan terms to worry about.
- There is typically more flexibility in how and when you repay the money compared to formal financing options.
The cons include:
- It can strain family relationships if expectations are unclear or repayment issues arise.
- There may still be written agreements on repayment details.
With open communication, reasonable expectations, and respect, family funding can be a fantastic kickstart to your real estate career. But be sure to think through the pros and cons carefully before making the ask.
Real estate licensing is not only about pre-licensing education. When you embark on a real estate journey, you will have to consider the application fee, exam fee, background and fingerprinting costs, and license fee.
Whatever choice you make, ensure that you have considered all aspects. Pick the route that will help you cover everything without breaking the bank.
Start Your Licensing Journey
What real estate companies pay for your license? Companies like Edina Realty and Keller Williams offer programs to help cover pre-licensing education costs. But these opportunities often come with certain obligations that may affect your future plans.
When you embark on a real estate excursion, you will have to consider other fees such as the application fee, exam fee, background and fingerprinting costs, and license fee.
Whatever choice you make, know its implications for your career. Pick the route that is most favorable for you.
If you’re considering becoming a real estate agent, here are some steps you can take:
1. Research companies that might sponsor your licensing course.
2. Understand the pros and cons of company sponsorship.
3. Explore alternatives such as scholarships, personal loans, or asking family for help.
4. Consider all costs of getting licensed – not just pre-licensing education.
We hope this guide has given you valuable insights into how to finance your journey into real estate! What other questions do you have about starting out in this industry? Share them below. We’d love to hear from you!
If any experienced agents are reading this post, we’d love to hear about how you funded your start in real estate, too!