For many, the real estate industry represents exciting possibilities. Not only do real estate agents have independence, autonomy, and the ability to function independently, the job can also be extremely lucrative. Best of all, unlike other professions, almost anyone can become a real estate agent so long as they pass their licensing exam and find a position at a brokerage.

But while the rewards can be significant, setting oneself up for success in the real estate industry requires some strategic planning and forethought. If you are interested in becoming a real estate agent and want to know more about how to get started, here are the five crucial things you will need to succeed as a real estate agent.

1. A Real Estate Course

Before you do anything else, you need to make sure you understand how real estate sales work in your part of the country. In most states, you can take an online real estate course that will cover the basics around real estate law and practices that will prepare you to take the real estate licensing exam that pertains to your jurisdiction.

2. A License to Practice

Before you can get a job at a brokerage and start your career as an agent, you’ll need to be licensed in your state. Each state’s licensing process is slightly different, but generally speaking once you’ve completed your real estate course and passed a state-administered exam, you can apply for your own license.

If you want to get more info about real estate licensing in states like California, where there is a huge demand and a dynamic market that provides lots of opportunities for new real estate agents to enter the industry, check out the government website to look at the requirements.

3. Motivation

Passing your real estate course and getting licensed will provide you with the credentials you need to get a job at a brokerage, but what separates successful real estate agents from those who fail to meet their goals is generally a matter of motivation. Going out every day to find new properties and new clients isn’t always easy, and if you require a lot of external structure in your work life, achieving success in real estate will be difficult.

4. Independent Work Ethic

Just as successful real estate agents need to be motivated, they also need to be able to work alone. Even if you are working under a broker, a lot of your day-to-day operations will be unsupervised, which is why you need to be able to work well alone and stay on-task.

5. Perseverance

Finally, you can’t expect to establish yourself as a major player in your local real estate industry overnight. In most cases, it takes between sixty and ninety days to complete a sale, and that is only if you have a solid lead right from the start. If you want to last in this business, you’ll need to be tenacious and patient. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll need to commit to a sales strategy and stick with it, even if it doesn’t immediately bear fruit.

As in many other industries, success in real estate comes down to knowledge, work ethic, and willingness to go the extra mile. But unlike other careers, once you’ve established yourself as a real estate agent, the sky is the limit in terms of how much you can make.

If you think you have what it takes to make it in the real estate industry, find out what education options are available to you, and start preparing for your new career today.