A Total Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Washington, DC

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Under the right circumstances, becoming a real estate agent in Washington DC can be a highly lucrative endeavor. After you build enough of a presence in the local industry, you will be able to take advantage of a solid housing market that continues to grow at a fast pace. However, not everybody understands how to be a real estate agent.

It’s not as difficult as you might think, but there is still key information you need to know. Let’s explore how to be a real estate agent in DC.

A Total Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Washington, DC 1

Understand Your State’s Requirements

As you might guess, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of the real estate requirements in Washington DC. Otherwise, you run the risk of encountering legal issues in the future.

These guidelines will tell you all you need to know about how to get licensed, how to practice as a real estate agent safely and effectively, etc.

Select a Real Estate School

Interestingly, many people find themselves wondering “do real estate agents go to school?” The answer to this question is yes. Although the curriculum isn’t structured identically to what you would find at your average university, future real estate agents still complete relevant courses in order to prepare them for their careers.

Complete Your Pre-Licensing Coursework

Once you have found a suitable school, you will need to complete the coursework. These courses tend to be shorter than your average postsecondary education. This doesn’t mean, though, that you should not take this coursework seriously.

You can’t expect to become a successful real estate agent if you do not excel in your real estate courses.

Study For Your Real Estate Pre-Licensing Exam

After you complete the above step, it’s time to study for your pre-licensing exam. This is essentially a comprehensive test of all the information that you learned during your real estate course.

You are required to pass this test in order to practice as a certified real estate agent. As such, it’s imperative that you set aside the appropriate amount of time to study before you take the exam.

Apply For Your State Real Estate Exam

When you’re ready to take the test, you’ll need to schedule it for a specific day. Availability will depend on the test provider.

You will also be required to pay a small fee.

Select a Broker

As a new agent, you can’t expect to already have an established presence in your industry and have clients flock to you.

Instead, you’ll need to work for a broker. These firms have all of the necessary tools and resources to help ensure your future success.

Many in the DC area are also renowned for their mentorship opportunities. So, be sure that you research brokers in your area and choose the one that appears to be most conducive to your future success.

Pass the State Real Estate Exam

You have four hours to complete this exam.

It’s worth noting that you can retake specific parts of the test if you do not pass them on your first attempt. This will prevent you from having to complete the entire test a second time to raise your score on a particular segment.

A Total Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Washington, DC 2

Join Professional Real Estate Organizations

Networking will be a large portion of your real estate career.

In fact, the term ‘networking’ is often the answer to those who ask how to be a successful real estate agent. As you might assume, it’s highly recommended to get involved in professional real estate organizations as early on in your career as possible.

Complete Necessary Real Estate Post-Licensing Coursework

After you pass your exam, you’ll need to complete the required post-licensing coursework for Washington DC. This is more or less an obstacle that is put into place to ensure that you have all of the required knowledge to function as a real estate agent.

Afterward, you can begin moving forward.

A Total Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Washington, DC 3

Launch Your Real Estate Career

So, you’ve finally made it this far. You’ve put in the hours, passed the test, and laid the foundation for your future career.

You can now begin to move forward and reap all of the benefits that the real estate industry in Washington DC can provide. Before you get started, though, there’s a bit more info you should consider.

Answers to Common Questions

Many future real estate agents have questions throughout the entire process.

They might wonder if they are on the right track or even if becoming a real estate agent is worth it. Let’s explore the answers to the common questions below.

Do Real Estate Agents Make Good Money?

Under the right circumstances, yes. Real estate agents are primarily compensated through commission. This means that you can significantly increase your income by selling properties of a higher value.

You can also increase your income by handling a larger volume of properties on a regular basis.

Is It Worth It to Become a Real Estate Agent?

If you enjoy sales, networking, and connecting buyers/sellers with someone who can satisfy their needs, real estate will be ideal for you.

This career path is also great for someone who wants to have ongoing control of how much money they make. As previously mentioned, your work ethic will play a large role in determining how successful you are.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Real Estate Agent?

It’s not quite as expensive as you might think to become an agent in Washington DC.

You will simply need to pay for your real estate course, test application fee, and miscellaneous fees associated with finalizing all of your agent info. You should view these costs as an investment into the future that will have an exponential payoff.

How to Start a Career in Real Estate?

Starting a career in real estate is as easy as looking for a real estate school in your local area. This is where you will learn all of the relevant information that you need to become an agent.

In the event that you discover this path is not for you, you could also walk away early on in the process after very little investment.

Knowing How to Be a Real Estate Agent Might Seem Overwhelming

In some cases, it might even seem impossible.

In reality, learning how to be a real estate agent in Washington DC is a relatively straightforward process that comes with plenty of benefits. As long as you keep the above information in mind, you shouldn’t encounter any issues on your journey.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to contact Nomadic Real Estate today to discuss your residential real estate needs.

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Enhanced Reporting

Your portal includes a selection of extremely useful reports. Reports are available in the “Reports” section, and are distinct from the financial statements. Unlike financial statements which are static records, Reports are dynamic real-time records that will update with current data every time you view them. 

Scroll down to learn more about Reports:

Navigate to the "Reports" module in your portal:

Owner Portal Reports
  • Keep in mind, these reports are dynamic records. They will refresh to display current information every time you view them. 

Enhanced Rent Roll Report:

Enhanced Rent Roll Report
  • The Enhanced Rent Roll Report will show the rent amount, last payment date, move-in date, lease expiration date, and security deposit amount for each of your tenants. 
  • It will also show a portfolio summary with occupancy percentage, vacancy loss, and more!

Unit Comparison Report:

Unit Comparison Report
  • If you own multiple units (or buildings) with Nomadic, you’ll get access to the Unit Comparison Report. 
  • This report enables you to quickly compare financial performance between your units at a glance without toggling between individual reports. 

Income Statement Month-Over-Month:

Income Statement by Month Report
  • The Income Statement Detail – Monthly Report serves as a month-over-month record of portfolio performance. You’ll see itemized income and expense categories and can track monthly. This report will update with fresh data every time you view it. 

Financial Statements

Financial statements will be published to your portal on a monthly basis. The statements are found in your Documents library, and provide a historical record of all financial performance. The statements serve as a snapshot of financial performance over a given period, and are static documents (unlike Reports, the statements do not update/change in real-time). 

Scroll down for more info about the Financial Statements in your Documents library:

The Documents area contains monthly financial statements:

Owner Portal Documents
  • The statements in the Documents are are static documents. They are posted to the portal once a month to serve as a historical record of financial performance. 

Download a statement to see month and YTD financials:

Owner Portal Property Statement

You'll also find a month-over-month operating statement:

Month over Month Statement

Portal Communication Tool

You can use your owner portal to communicate with our team. Any messages you send through the portal will go straight to your Account Manager. When we reply, you’ll get an email notification and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

Here’s an overview of using the communication platform:

Click "Communications" and navigate to "Conversations":

Commincation Dashboard Screenshot
  • The communications module will contain a record of all messages that you create through the portal. 

Click the "New Message" button and send your message:

Owner Portal New Message Screenshot

Responses will show up in the conversation ticket:

Portal Conversation Response Screenshot
  • You’ll get an email notification whenever you get a response, and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

You can reply in-line using the comment box:

Owner Portal Comment

Each conversation will be logged in its entirety:

Portal Conversation Snapshot

Understanding the Ledger

Your portal includes a ledger with all transactions. The ledger is populated with data in real-time as transactions flow through our accounting software. Much of this information is also available in the Reports area, as well as the Statements in your Documents library, but the ledger is the most comprehensive resource for diving into the details. 

Please scroll through the sections below to get a better understanding of how to interpret the ledger. 

By default, transactions are sorted chronologically:

Owner Ledger Dates
  • The date reflected in the lefthand column is the actual transaction date, not the “bill date”. This is the date the transaction was actually processed. 

If you have multiple properties with Nomadic, you'll see the address for each transaction in the "Location" column:

Ledger Property Column
  • You can filter the ledger to look at just one property, all properties, or specific sets of properties. 
  • If you only have one property with us, you’ll just see the ledger for that property. 

The Description column displays the transaction type:

Owner Ledger Description Column
  • BILL: this is an expense transaction, such as for repair costs or management fees.
  • CHARGE: this is a transaction  billed to the tenant, most typically a rent payment. 
  • NACHA EXPORT: this is a credit we processed to your distribution account. This type of transaction is how you get paid! 

The Amount column shows the dollar value of each transaction:

Owner Ledger Amount Column
  • Positive Amounts: if an amount is positive, it reflects a transaction that is payable to you. Typically, this will be a rent payment that we collected from your tenants. On occasion, a positive number could also signify a journal entry or credit adjustment. 
  • Negative Amounts:  if an amount is negative, this is a transaction that is either payable to Nomadic or is an amount that has already been paid to you. Typically this will be for repair costs or management/leasing fees. Owner draws (net distributions into your checking/savings account) also reflect as negative amounts, since they have already been paid to you. 

The Account Balance column shows a sum of positive/negative transactions at a given point in time:

Owner Ledger Account Balance Column
  • Account Balance should always equal zero after a net distribution has been processed. When the balance is zero, this means that all expenses have been paid and you’ve received the remainder as net operating income, leaving a balance of zero (meaning: no one is due any money, as all funds have been distributed appropriately). 

Navigating the Propertyware Owner Portal

Your portal includes some extremely useful features that help you understand your property’s financial performance at a new level, with real-time transparency into every transaction.

Scroll through the snapshots below for an overview of portal navigation! If you need more help or have specific questions about using the portal, you can reach out to your Account Manager any time for a screen share. 

You can filter all info by date range or property:

PW Portal Filters

View a snapshot of income and expenses on your dashboard:

PW Owner Dashboard View

See every transaction in real-time on your ledger:

Owner Portal Ledger View

Statements and forms will be posted to your documents library:

Owner Portal Document Library

View a suite of real-time financial reports:

Portal Reports View

See a running list of all bills, and drill down for more detail:

Owner Portal Bills View

Under Bill Details, you'll find dates/descriptions/amounts and more:

Portal Bill Details

You can also communicate with your Account Manager through the portal:

Owner Portal Communication Tools

How do net distributions work?

Net distributions keep your accounting clean and simple. Each month we’ll collect rent from the tenants, deduct any repair expenses for the previous month and any management/leasing fees for the current month, and credit the remaining net operating income to your account. 

Net Distribution

You’ll receive a statement via email each time a net distribution is processed, and can view all transaction details in your Propertyware owner portal.