Are Thinking of Becoming a Phoenix REALTOR?




Many brand new real estate agents are completely unaware of the costs of hanging out that REALTOR  Are Thinking of Becoming a Phoenix REALTOR? shingle. Regardless of how big or well-qualified a broker you sign on with, the fact is that starting in the real estate business means effectively that you are starting your own business! So in order to do it successfully, you must plan for all the costs involved.


The following is a detailed - but not exhaustive - list of the expenses any new agent can expect to incur:


  • Real estate school
  • Testing
  • Licensing fees
  • Fingerprinting (even if you have been fingerprinted in the past)
  • MLS setup fees
  • Necessary computer hardware and software
  • Local and national industry organization fees
  • Web design/maintenance/SEO
  • Database management
  • Graphic design
  • Blog platform
  • Offline advertising
  • Business cards, postcards, flyers, car decals
  • For Sale & Open House Signs
  • Office rental fees
  • Phone service
  • Support staff
  • Automobile upkeep, insurance, and fuel
  • Transaction fees
  • Networking and business development
  • Continuing education


Becoming a Real Estate agent is not a job to undertake lightly. You want to make sure you've budgeted appropriately, and that you are fully committed to the investment in your success. An unfortunate number of promising real estate careers die a quick death for lack of proper planning and cash flow.


Let me know if you have any other questions about the real estate business.




 Are Thinking of Becoming a Phoenix REALTOR?




Do you live in the Phoenix, Arizona area? Are you thinking about making a change in real estate companies? Give me a call at 602-595-8900 or e-mail me.


Let's talk about your marketing strategies - and how you can better TEACH others to refer business to you.


Phoenix Property Shoppe



Anna "Banana" Kruchten
Designated Broker & Owner

Phoenix Homes For Sale


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Hi Anna Banana - In Ontario, real estate salespersons and brokers are also required to pay E&O insurance to the regulator.  For the Toronto board, MLS fees are included in the Toronto board fee.  I am not sure if it the same in other board jurisdictions.

Posted by FN LN almost 10 years ago

Hi Marc - here the brokerage secures & pays for the E & O insurance from a private carrier and sometime passes that cosst to REALTORS - mainly in 100% shops.  We do not pass that cost on - at this time.  MLS fees are separate from the board fees here.  BTW - what is the regulator? (is that like our real estate department?)

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 10 years ago

Anna, I think you should have save this strry for nest Friday, THE 13TH OF November, you know, scarrrrry!!!!

Great post and a realistic overview of the variety of expenses to get started.  Unfortunately, a lot of new agents don't know what they DON'T KNOW!

Posted by Ken Speer (Alpha Global Associates) almost 10 years ago

One of the things they don't teach you in real estate school is what it takes to become a successful agent.  Understanding basic business principles is a big part of what every agent needs to know.  Thanks for your insight and explanation of expenses.

Posted by Pat Fenn (Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker ) almost 10 years ago

Anna, in Florida they don't teach the business part of it in real estate school-at least not in my class, and it's the most important part in some respects! As Pat said, ditto!

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 10 years ago

You're absolutely right!  And since most are "independent contractors" there's not going to be anyone who will pick up that tab. 

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) almost 10 years ago

Anna - In Ontario, the regulatory body is the Real Estate Council of Ontario ("RECO") that all sales representatives, brokers and brokerages must be members under Ontario law.  RECO also makes arrangements with insurance company(ies) for a group E&O policy that everyone must pay via RECO.

Posted by FN LN almost 10 years ago

This is an excellent blog about real estate agents entering real estate. I have many agents who want to join me because they want to work my leads from my radio show. STOP! Excellent post

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) almost 10 years ago

Few people....consumers and potential realtors alike have any idea that this profession costs money to work in...every day...not once a year licenses...the monthly MLS...NAR...E & O....and the list goes on...paying to go to work...yeah...priceless !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 10 years ago

Anna Banana,

That's the biggest overcomer that anyone who considers going into real estate is knowing that they are going into a business. No one will be there to tell them what to do. It's much easier to be an employee where you have an assigned task everyone but being your own boss is both good and bad for everyone.

Those entreprenuerial spirits can take it and run with it.

Those who are not disciplined, not planners and cant visualize may not do so well.

I want to say, Real estate is not for everyone. It's definitely not for the faint of heart. It's also not for broke people.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) almost 10 years ago

Anna, I have said for years now that the licensing should be geared toward budgeting and things that new Realtors really need to know to be successfull, not how many sq ft in an acre. All too often I see young Realtors run out the door and put a down on a fancy new car with their first commission check. Then loose the car, or have to leave real estate to pay for the rest of it. This is a tough business, and they don't portray it that way in classes. Thanks for bringing this up...

Posted by Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida (Glasswork Media Arts) almost 10 years ago

Ken it could be scary if agents aren't told the real truth of what it costs.  Which I think happens most of the time.

Pat - right on.  I've long been a fan of teaching business sense in re school.  But that isn't happening - yet. I also like the idea of a mentor program for 1 to 2 years where the agent has a provisional license until they learn the ropes.  That at some point might fly.....

Sharon - I think we're all on the same page with this one.

Carla - sure someone to pick up the tab!

Marc - that sounds like a pretty cool way of obtaining E & O insurance. I imagine it's a whole lot cheaper as well?

Harry - thanks!  And yes agents love the leads but forget it takes a whole lot more than leads to create a successful money!

Sally - most small busines owners 'pay to go to work' at first and hopefully start making a profit sooner rather than later.  Not sure thatn's been the case the last few years in real estate.

Lorenna - not for broke people.  Somehow folks who don't have enough money to cover expenses for 6 months to a year think they can enter real estate and it will save them.  As a broker it's my job to explain all this to them.  Like you said - it's not for the faint of heart.

Gene - yes there is that - payment on a fancy new car but no laptop etc.  We really need to get it out there more often that it's 'starting your own business within a business'.  And it takes money and determination and lots of learning the right stuff once an agent is out of 'real estate school'!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 10 years ago


I tell people getting into this business to have SIX MONTHS WAGES in their back pocket.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) almost 10 years ago

Terry - at least 6 months this last few years as it's been slim pickens for many agents.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 10 years ago

I never really understood how people could think that they would just jump right in and make money. Even if you started DAY ONE with a sale, it still take 45-90 days to get the deal completed. And thats if all goes well and the contract is already negotiated. Its not for part timers, unless you don't need the money.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 almost 10 years ago

Hi John - I guess when you're young and don't know what you don't know - it doesn't matter - until of course the bills come due!  I'm sure I didn't know all this way back when - I just knew I was going to be in real estate and that was that.  How bout for all of you? Did you have a clue?

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 10 years ago

AB - I think you are right on point with this post.  So many get in the business without even considering what the start-up cost really is.  And you have to spend money to make money - especially to get your name out there to attract more business. 

Posted by Susan Brown (Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too)) almost 10 years ago

Anna, most have nooooooooooooooooooo idea expense involved to become an agent, many home buyers love our service believe it is all sooooooooooo easy, does cost much, till I start listing how much time vested.

Posted by ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team (Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals ) almost 10 years ago

Now why wasn't this post featured in the ActiveRain newsletter?  This seems more relevant than some of the stuff they select.

Posted by Marian Pierre-Louis, Metrowest Boston (Fieldstone Historic Research) almost 10 years ago

Susan - ahhh yes the old spend money to make money!  As we know it takes a lot of that - and working hard and smart!

Lynn - so many people have no idea and that's what gets them into trouble.  Clients don't think of is either - and don't see it as business or operating costs. 


Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 10 years ago

Hi Marian!  You're fairly new to Active Rain -  Welcome!  I haven't seen you before and I look forward to getting to know you!  Who knows why posts are featured!!  But I do thank you for you feedback. I believe it's an extremely important subject - one that is rarely emphasized - and clearly needs to be upfront and center for anyone considering our business.

Hey join our group BananaTude.  Love to have you join in our conversations!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 10 years ago

Anna - I knew I had to be financially comfortable before making the leap to 'self employment'. So, we didnt have too much heartache when I first started. Perhaps I was just lucky, because we didnt have a ton of extra money, but it was enough to get by until money started to roll in. Probably took me about 3 months before I closed my first deal.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 almost 10 years ago

Good for you John for having an idea of what it would take until you started to make money.  A lot of newbies (especially the younger ones) just don't think of it has 'self employement' or a new business.  They seem to view it as a job.  3 months is pretty darn good for getting a first check!  You must have kicked some butt!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 10 years ago

Well, keep in mind that it only took me three months but thats because I was buying leads when I started. Mortgages are a little different. You can actually get a deal and close it in 45 days or so (refinances). Where as Real Estate can certainly take you much much longer. When I jumped into this, I was prepared because it was something I wanted to do for a long time. I did my research to make sure our family would keep eating if I was working for free for a little while. :-)

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 almost 10 years ago

Besides the normal yearly fees you mentioned, there are also a lot of incidental fees we have as well, like the need to have a cell phone is not a luxury in our business as in most but a necessity to make showing appointments, and also the rental of key boxes and entry systems.  I also get a kick out of how customers still think we get paid by our brokers for gas and car expenses to show them property, when I tell them it is all on me, they seem amazed!

Posted by Tony Hager, Broker (United Realty Texas) almost 10 years ago

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