How to Become a Real Estate Agent

 

how to become a real estate agent

If you’re interested in being a real estate agent in Alberta, you’ve come to the right place.

First things first: it is mandatory to have a licence to practice real estate in Alberta. That’s where we come into play—as the province’s governing body for the industry, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) provides the guidance, education, and licensing you need in order to become a licensed real estate professional.

Your relationship with us will start with RECA educational courses and your RECA licence; our relationship then continues with yearly re-licensing, and continual guidance, advice, and resources to support your career.

Do you think you have what it takes to join Alberta’s over 12,000 real estate industry professionals? If so, read on.

It’s important to learn about the different practice areas within the real estate sector. You can choose up to four practice areas, however, we only require you to choose one to be licensed:

  • property management: leasing properties on behalf of an owner and dealing with tenants
  • residential: helping clients buy and sell residential properties (up to four individual units)
  • rural: helping clients buy and sell farms and ranches
  • commercial: helping clients buy, sell or lease office, industrial, retail or multi-residential properties (more than four individual units)

 

The fees to join the industry vary depending on which practice area you select. RECA’s fees include all eligibility fees, required education courses, and licensing fees.

For example, if you want to become a licensed real estate agent authorized in one practice area (e.g. residential) the total estimated cost to join the industry is ~$3,350.

Once you have a licence with RECA, you must renew it annually. The annual renewal fee ranges from $475 to $650 depending on your industry, licence type, and practice area.

Depending on your industry, and whether or not you wish to also join your trade association, there may also be association and brokerage fees. But these are not a requirement to become a licensed professional.

Below is a cost breakdown to enter the industry as a Real Estate Associate who is authorized to trade in the residential real estate practice area:

how much does it cost to become a real estate agent

 

RECA has initial eligibility standards.* You must be:

  • at least 18 years of age
  • able to lawfully study and work in Canada
  • able to provide specific government-issued identification (ID)
  • have a minimum of Canadian high school education or equivalent
  • be proficient in the English language

*All applicants are required to provide proof they meet these standards.

As a part of the licensing process, RECA also considers past criminal proceedings, regulatory proceedings, civil proceedings, and bankruptcies, among other things. We give applicants the option to undergo a “suitability review” early in the application process so RECA can consider these types of events that may prevent you from going further down the path to becoming a licensed estate agent.

 

 

Each industry has pre-licensing courses you must complete before applying for a licence. You have 18 months to complete the courses from the date you first enroll. You must score a minimum of 70% on exams to pass.

All education programs are through our online platform called myRECA. You will need to register for a myRECA account to access the education courses.

There may also be re-licensing educational requirements to maintain a licence in a specific practice area. You will be notified when these are required as they may not occur every year. These additional requirements help to ensure industry professionals have the skills to competently serve the public.

 

 

Once you’ve completed the education, you must find employment with a licensed Alberta brokerage.

We encourage you to be choosy—every brokerage is different in size and level of supervision. It’s important to choose a brokerage that suits you best.

 

Once you’ve been hired by a brokerage, your broker must complete the licensing process with you. At this point we collect your licensing fees. When your licence status is “active” on your myRECA account, you are fully licensed, registered, and ready to work!

Every year you need to renew your licence by September 30.

 

 

  • If you meet the initial eligibility standards listed above, the first thing you need to do is complete the Real Estate Career Information Session.

When you complete the session, you will receive a certificate you must provide to RECA as part of your education eligibility application.

  • More information about education eligibility and getting licensed is in the Step-by-Step Guide.