As a profession, real estate has typically drawn New Yorkers from all walks of life, from various industry professionals to career changers, investors and those seeking to earn extra income in their spare time.
And while Wall Street and the nation’s economy continue their roller coaster ride of ups and downs, many real estate professionals have maintained a sanguine outlook on the industry as a whole and its potential to generate a good income.
Some of the more popular real estate courses include those that lead to becoming licensed as a real estate broker, a real estate salesperson, home inspector, property manager, appraiser or mortgage broker.
Requirements for becoming a salesperson and broker are set forth by the state of New York. In order to obtain a real estate salesperson license, an applicant must complete a 75-hour salesperson qualifying education course in real estate in addition to passing a qualifying examination, according to the Department of State website. The initial training can usually be completed in about two weeks.
To become licensed as a real estate broker, applicants need at least two years of experience as a licensed real estate salesperson or at least three years of general real estate experience, such as buying and selling your own property or managing property owned by an employer. Broker candidates also need to have satisfactorily completed both the qualifying salesperson course and an additional 45hour real estate broker course.
The difference between a real estate salesperson and a broker is that a broker is responsible for the supervision and conduct of the real estate brokerage business whereby he or she applies for and holds the license on behalf of the brokerage. This person is the "representative broker."
A real estate salesperson works for and is supervised by the broker. Salespersons act as the representative broker’s agent, meaning that all listings, though potentially negotiated by a salesperson, are accepted by the broker. Salespersons are not permitted to operate independently.
Fees for becoming licensed as a real estate salesperson or broker can run up to several hundred dollars, but many organizations based in the city offer packages that not only include the licensing test and prep but offer job placement assistance upon successful completion. In New York, good places to start a search include the Real Estate Board of New York, the real estate trade association, and the New York Real Estate Institute, which offers continuing education training as well as licensure in a variety of areas, from home inspection and property management to commercial real estate.
Bond NY is a rental and sale residential brokerage with six offices in Manhattan and 450 agents. It offers free basic training to newly licensed and affiliated agents at its corporate headquarters at 1776 Broadway. "It’s an in-house basic training program where newly licensed agents can learn the Bond system as it pertains to the real estate rental business," said Zev Keisch, who heads the training program for Bond in the city. "We teach agents to take pictures and proper agent behavior, as well as how to manage their time and their emotions."
Keisch said the training helps keep the company’s turnover rate low and contributes to a higher quality of agent. He says the basic course is offered twice per month.
Manhattan-based Halstead Properties also offers its own brand of in-house training to its affiliated brokers on everything from legal compliance to pricing properties. "This is a people business, and people who can build a network of contacts will always do well," said 15-year veteran Michael Goldenberg, executive director of sales for Halstead on the West Side.
Goldenberg said quiet, shy types need not apply. "The real estate business is not for the introverted," he said. "You have to be aggressive and you have to put yourself out to the public."
Some Manhattan real estate course locations:
Real Estate Board of New York. 570 Lexington Ave., www.rebny.com. Real estate trade association that offers real estate education, continuing education and free seminars to members and non-members.
New York Real Estate Institute. Provides in-person and online courses for real estate salesperson and broker licensing. Also provides job placement assistance. www.nyrei.com. Manhattan Branch: 132 W. 36th St., 2nd Fl. (betw. 7th Ave. & Broadway), 212-967-7508.
Real Estate Training Center. Offers courses to train as a home inspector, reappraiser or mortgage broker. www.retc.com, 718-321-9600.
Real Estate Academy. Offers real estate courses, training for salespersons and broker licenses. www.realestateacademy.com, 212- 262-2662.
NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate. Offers master’s program and certificates in real estate development and construction management. www.scps.nyu.edu/areas-ofstudy/real- estate, 212-998-7200.