A Real Estate Agent’s Role In Home Renovations Explained

There are things that every real estate agent should know when assisting in home improvement projects, such as their rights and limitations.

Real estate agents can assist clients in home improvement projects. They represent either sellers or buyers. Sellers can hire an agent to help them fix up the property and stage it. On the other hand, buyers may want help to get the property into move-in condition. When homeowners realize how complicated renovations are with hundreds of decisions that need to be made, they search for an experienced advisor – a real estate agent known for excellent customer service. Often, a client may have an extensive list of wants for the project, such as fixing the door, replacing roof tiles, fixing cabinets, replacing screens, fixing toilets, and much, much more. There are some things that every real estate agent should know when assisting in home improvement projects, such as their rights and limitations, so let's see what they are.

What form of assistance can a real estate agent provide when it comes to home improvement?

Preferably, a real estate agent should have experience in architecture, design, and construction so they can provide referrals for the renovation team, such as:

  • General contractor
  • Painter
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Engineer
  • Carpenter
  • Sound and lighting specialists
  • Permit facilitator
  • Landscape architect, etc.

They can also provide a list of furniture showrooms, recommend appliances, color schemes, furniture placement, and room design.

Some people don't want to get into decorating details, so they will ask the person they hired for assistance. That's because they trust them to make those decisions, and it leaves them with less work to do and fewer decisions to make.

Clients need to trust real estate agents in the renovation process because agents can make important decisions for them.

Clients need to trust real estate agents in the renovation process because agents can make important decisions for them.

Usual duties of an agent during the renovation project

One of the things that every real estate agent should know when assisting in a home improvement project is that they can be present from concept through completion. Clients save time by not looking for individuals for each job, and everyone benefits.

An agent can make a referral for few general contractors from their real estate network, and each can provide a bid. Then the client can choose the one they find the best.

Sometimes clients may contact the renovation company that will give them a plan. However, maybe they won't understand the drawings, or they are just overwhelmed with the number of decisions. There comes the agent with a suggestion about redesigning the space in a way clients may never imagine themselves.

Real estate agents have a consultant role. They are the homeowner’s representative from the moment they step into the renovation process. They can offer opinions on design and construction and keep the renovation process on track.

An agent can come at each stage of work and approve it with the general contractor so that the work can move forward. If there is a problem, they can suggest what to do and discuss it with the contractor.

Agents can also advise clients to move out during renovation because living in a house under construction is a terrible idea. It can significantly slow down the work and prolong it.

A man standing in front of the house for sale

There are many things that every real estate agent should know when assisting in home improvement projects, including the local laws.

What background should a real estate agent have?

Some real estate agents have architecture degrees, and they had careers as architects, but then they decided to add a real estate license. They can help buyers find a home and renovate it and help sellers get one ready for sale.

Real estate agents are professional experts who can add a lot of value to the home with their ideas. So, they are often hired as renovation consultants, especially if they have a design background and vision. They can provide excellent aesthetic advice and recommend everyone a client may need to fix up their home.

What are the limitations?

It depends on the state, but usually, every individual or firm that performs construction work must be licensed during the performance of the work. This applies to contractors, material or equipment suppliers, consultants, architects, and engineers. Real estate agents must be familiar with all of this if they don't want to lose their commission or get into any kind of trouble.

In most cases, the agent won't get a payment for acting as a contractor, but just the fee for operating within their real estate license capacity. They must be cautious when taking on responsibilities that require a contractors' license. The best thing to do is to consult an attorney before taking any project.

The critical points that real estate agents should know and respect are:

  • Let the client (homeowner) contact the contractor directly
  • Never directly pay the contractor
  • Do not oversee the projects

Understandably, real estate agents want to do the most they can for their clients. However, the guidelines mentioned above are important things that real estate agents should keep in mind when assisting in home improvement projects. Agents must understand there are limits to what they can do under the law and respect those limits.

Home renovations during COVID-19

One more thing that a real estate agent should know when assisting in home improvement projects is that remodeling during COVID-19 is possible because there are strict safety measures to follow. Proper hygiene and sanitation at the site must be maintained. There must be a source of running water at the construction site. Furthermore, people must wear masks for the entire duration of their work and sanitize their hands regularly. Eye protection and gloves are preferable, but social distancing is an absolute must.

There are also other safety tips to keep in mind, considering that many things can be done remotely in the real estate industry. When the real estate agent needs to talk to the client regarding the details of a remodeling project, they should meet on Zoom or Skype and have a video call. Texts and e-mails are also great for presenting some design ideas and other data.

Two women on a video call

During the COVID-19 pandemic, agents should assist through video calls and e-mails.

Final thoughts

Some people underestimate how complicated a renovation job may be. When they are unsure what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and how to start, hiring an honest and reliable agent is the best possible decision. The crucial thing that every real estate agent should know when assisting in home improvement projects is that creating a home is much more than just finding a place to store the stuff. It means including many details and having a great vision and plan. A professional with multiple skills who understands aesthetics is all that clients need.

How Do You Get a Real Estate License in Multiple States?

For some real estate agents, getting a real estate license in multiple states makes perfect sense. For example, you may live near the state line and cross it on a daily basis. On the other hand, you may be moving out of state and wondering what it means for your real estate license. Can you transfer it to your new state? In this article, you'll find useful information on how to get your real estate license in multiple states.

Real estate license reciprocity

Real estate is a state-specific industry. That means that real estate laws vary from state to state, and each has its own licensing requirements. Before becoming involved in a transaction in another state, you should consult legal counsel. If you fail to observe the law, it may result in loss of commission or jeopardize your license. So, before you establish yourself in a new state, be sure to understand its laws.

Don't worry; in most cases, you won't have to start the education and licensing process from scratch. That's because many states offer "license reciprocity". That means that if you already have an active real estate license in one US state, you can apply for a real estate license in a new state without taking all the state-required pre-licensing real estate courses.

Usually, you have to apply for a new state license and take the state test without retaking the coursework. Whenever reciprocity applies, the requirements for licensing are reduced. For example, a customer-service-oriented real estate agent might just need to take a few hours of classes from an online school to secure a license in a new state.

Reciprocity varies from state to state

Have in mind that reciprocity varies from state to state, so there are:

  • No reciprocity states - Those states deny reciprocity to all out-of-state licenses (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming).
  • Full reciprocity states - Those states allow agents to transfer their license from any state (Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia, Washington).
  • Partial reciprocity states - Those states require limited education and examination for real estate agents from reciprocal states (all states that are not mentioned above).

The best advice is to check with your state’s licensing board for specific requirements.

USA map - States with their capitals.

Different real estate license reciprocity and portability laws apply in each state.

Real estate license portability

Some states have real estate license portability allowing out-of-state real estate agents to work in those states to some extent. It is different from reciprocity since it allows agents to cross the border state and conduct a real estate business. Still, it’s not a long-term solution for those relocating permanently to a new area. In general, there are three kinds of portability laws: cooperative, physical location, and turf states. Each of these classifications defines different circumstances under which an out-of-state real estate agent may work within the state.

Cooperative States

In cooperative states, you may be required to have a co-brokerage agreement with a broker licensed in that state. Then, you'll be able to conduct real estate business - property showings, closings, negotiations, and other transactions. However, be sure to familiarize yourself with local requirements before committing to a client looking for property in a cooperative state because some limitations are still possible.

Physical location states

The physical location states only allow you to help your client remotely while you're located in the state in which you're licensed. Since most aspects of the real estate job can be done remotely, that shouldn't be a problem. You may not enter the state for showings, closings, or any other real estate transaction. You can send your clients to view properties, submit offers on their behalf, and negotiate transactions as long as you remain in your state.

Turf States

There are some US states that do not allow out of state real estate agents or brokers to conduct any business in their state:

  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah

Without their state's license, you can't work in person nor even remotely. If you have a client from one of those states, you can refer them to a real estate agent/broker who has a license in that state. Or, you can decide to apply for a license right there by yourself if you have the time and money.

A businessman doing research on his laptop on how to get a real estate license in multiple states.

Researching local laws is crucial if you're planning to move or expand your business.

Conducting business with real estate license in multiple states

Building your businesses in other states means more commissions. However, it also means learning about new, local laws and encountering different document formats, varying requirements, etc. Conducting business for a client who wants to buy a property in another state is tricky either way. Furthermore, local agents may try to poach their business. Also, out-of-state real estate practices are often complex. So, look into state-specific license reciprocity and portability laws thoroughly before determining whether you'll keep a client. If you find local regulations frustrating and client needs just too complicated, consider referring that client to a local agent from your real estate network.

When you have a license that allows you to practice real estate in another state, you must pay income tax in another state. Assisting clients with out-of-state properties may not be so difficult if you have solid experience, a great lawyer, and a tax assistant. You can also seek the supervision of a broker experienced in out-of-state transactions.

A real estate agent showing a property to a family.

Getting your real estate license in multiple states will help you grow your business and expand your network.

Getting a real estate license in multiple states will give you more freedom to move if you have the opportunity to do so. When planning an interstate move, you can decide to choose a state with reciprocity. Or, you can pay to go through the licensing process in the new state. However, make sure that you plan this process well and have appropriate assistance. Professional interstate movers can help you have a simple relocation across the country and avoid stress. After moving, packing, and settling in, you can continue working and making income from your real estate business.

All in all

Getting your real estate license in multiple states will allow you to create your own opportunities and set your own schedule. Also, you'll be able to enjoy the perks of living in your dream location while still having clients and closing deals.



Start Now!
Choose Your State

Crucial Tips for Networking in Real Estate

Some people still remember using the old dial-up internet connection. Sometimes, it would take as long as a minute to load a particular page. Back then, imagining doing any kind of serious work was a completely absurd thought. Fortunately, things are entirely different now. Today, most people have access to high-speed internet connections. And the majority of businesses use it, one way or another. The internet is one of the backbones of whole industries, and functioning without it now seems impossible.

As a result, working from home and even attending professional development courses from home have also become an ordinary thing, especially lately. However, that brings specific changes in how businesses operate and from where. Meanwhile, employees, employers, and real estate agents are starting to wonder about the impact of remote working on the housing market.

How significant is the impact of remote working on the housing market?

Given the recent changes forced upon the business world by inconvenient medical events, everyone is trying to adapt. Chances are, after all the adaption is complete, the remote working trend will remain for a while. Maybe even for good. Due to this new trend, the housing market will have to adjust accordingly.

Let's take a look at current and possible changes we might expect:

Some people will leave expensive cities

Besides those who really enjoy the city crowd, most of the workforce will probably leave large cities. Places like New York and San Francisco are costly, and most people who live there do so only because of their jobs. But, if you give them the opportunity to keep the job and live in a more affordable location, you can guess the outcome. Having a well-paid job without worrying about monthly bills is definitely a just goal. With this in mind, some of the residents are already calculating their moving budgets. As a real estate agent, you'll have to adapt and offer some tips to your clients. Looking in the long run, this will probably lower the demand in those expensive places. With lower demand, prices will undoubtedly go down. Eventually, it will balance the discrepancies that have lasted for quite some time now.

A pass between two buildings in one of the business centers.

There is no need to stay in large business centers with remote working.

Remote working will affect the demand for specific housing options

With more people shifting toward remote working, a large percentage of those will work from home. With this in mind, many are already implementing a home office. Those who haven't, but plan to relocate, are now looking for different housing options. Because now they can afford a more spacious home, the home office has become one of the requirements. And not only that. Once you have the opportunity to customize your working space, the appetite rises. As they need to spend more time at home, they will need larger outdoors and even indoor gyms. People will ask for modern, tech-oriented features, like hi-tech appliances and energy-efficient solutions. Most older homes will have to go through the renovation stage to stay competitive on the market.

The contractor installing solar panels on the roof.

A lot of older houses will require contractors to implement energy-efficient solutions.

Even real estate is going remote.

Brokers will face difficult decisions if the remote work trend continues. There might be less and less demand for traditional apartments and similar housing options. They will eventually have to invest a lot to adapt all the property in their area. But, there is another option. They can change the way they work by following these remote trends. And this is precisely what some of them are already doing.

With a full embrace of technology, most aspects of the real estate job can be done remotely:

  • There are already virtual tours instead of open houses.
  • Modern communication apps allow easy interviews with tenants.
  • All security checks are accomplished online.
  • Digital certificates enable dealing with all the documentation.
  • You can even schedule maintenance and renovation tasks with contractors over the internet.

And these are just some of the benefits the entire remote philosophy is bringing to the table.

Making a business agreement with another person online.

Brokers can manage all their business tasks online.

Real estate agencies can expand to more distant locations

All the potential shifting happening in the housing market is fundamentally reshaping real estate. But not necessarily for worse. Fortunately, brokers will have the opportunity to benefit by expanding the business to more distant locations. With all the remote options we previously discussed, great possibilities are emerging. These newfound potentialities will make it viable to control and handle far markets. Basically, you won't have to focus on one area, you can expand to both suburbs and the more distant regions, and more far-away cities as well. With online payments being one of the primary ways of transferring money, it is only a matter of time when all the payment procedures will be completely automated.

Remote investments

This remote control and automation could lead to an increase in remote investment. Since real estate agencies will be expanding their influence to other areas, people will have an easier time investing in distant property. They will also help people manage their property online as well. With all the advancement in technology, and all the remote working trends going on, living near your investment will no longer be necessary. This principle pretty much already works fine in several other business areas.

Will the remote working trends and changes stay?

In all honesty, people are aware that investing in a constantly changing housing market can be tricky. Especially now when changes are still without firm foundations. Also, the percentage of remote workers themselves believe that these trends are only temporary. Many expect to be back in their offices once the crisis is over. On the other side, some claim that this was inevitable, a sort of long-expected business evolution. Also, some people just can't decide if they like offices or remote working more. And this can reflect on the housing markets in unpredictable ways.

But the key is to find a middle ground between all the sides. In general, some larger companies are already seriously considering solutions. Opening remote offices all around the globe could be the right move. It will allow companies to get cheaper offices and almost eliminate commuting for employees. Everyone could be working everywhere if the nature of the business allows.

A young man browsing the internet on his laptop in a café.

The old stereotype of a remote worker is far from the truth.

Today, we realize that a remote worker is not a typical stereotype packed into a young freelancer working from the internet café.  It's an average businessman earning his salary by dealing with all the business demands online. And those average businessmen have different concerns when it comes to their housing options. The impact of remote working on the housing market is significant and will probably have an even more considerable influence in the future. Maybe some of them will not permanently leave their offices for the sake of working from home. But, all signs are pointing at the fact that it's something inevitable we might expect in years to come.



Start Now!
Choose Your State

The Importance of Referrals in Real Estate

In the real estate industry, the importance of referrals cannot be overstated. They are not only recommendations but also high-quality leads that are much easier to turn into clients. Research shows that more than 90% of people believe that recommendations from people they know and trust are important when choosing an agent. In the following article, we'll state the benefits of client referrals in real estate and how to ensure that you have more of them.

The benefits of word of mouth

In the real estate sales market, your imperative should be aiming to build your client's trust. One of the quickest, most efficient ways to do so is to be introduced to the client by a person they trust. They will be much more likely to trust you and become interested in what you do if they have already heard about a positive experience from their trusted source. Word of mouth should never be underestimated. It can create much more interest in you as a real estate agent and be much more effective than other marketing solutions. The word of a satisfied friend, family member, colleague, or acquaintance is so valued because it comes from a reliable party.

Word of mouth should never be underestimated

Higher profit margins

Real estate agents use referrals to increase their profit margins. Referred customers are likely to purchase your service at full price because they believe in a trusted and positive review. This means higher selling prices and higher agent commissions. Referred clients are very often less sensitive to price. The majority of referrals result in much higher profit margins because sales are made based on credibility.

Satisfied clients

When you know the importance of a client's referrals in real estate, you can build a strong network of satisfied customers that will basically do the central part of your marketing. Many successful and experienced real estate agents have a referral reward program for their clients. When the clients refer to a friend, they get a discount, and their friend gets a discount too when they contact you. That's a win-win situation for each party, wouldn't you say?

It's a good idea to offer some incentives for referrals, to encourage satisfied and loyal clients to talk about you and your services. People just like getting rewarded. They also like getting involved in something and feel like they're a part of something good. They will be delighted if they witness your business succeeding because of their help. Positive interactions lead to a higher audience engagement on your website and social media platforms.

Showing clients that you care

Word of mouth was already proven to be the most effective marketing method for real estate business, so let your clients know that you care about their opinion. It sends a strong message to both the prospective buyers and sellers. Only satisfied clients will refer people to their contacts. When your business grows and develops, it's crucial to implement an effective client referral system to cultivate profitable and long-term client relationships.

One more way to ensure that you have satisfied clients and more referrals is to understand what clients are going through. Each relocation comes with many challenges, but before even coming to packing their life into boxes, clients have the challenging task of finding the ideal home for them and their family. Usually, there is no ideal one, but finding something that suits the family's crucial needs, and making a few compromises, solves the situation or at least narrows down the choices. Promote open communication with your clients, have empathy and be polite. It will mean a great deal and show that you really care.

Show patience and understanding of what your clients are going through.

Saving money on advertising

Client referrals in real estate will save you money on advertising and effectively grow your real estate business. They help you create wide networks and a remarkable level of client loyalty. Simply asking for a referral is one way to go, but the best strategy is to offer your client an incentive in order to refer you to their friends and family. Recommendations are so valuable because they usually take less time and require fewer resources on your part. You'll save time on completing the mailing list, developing digital and printed material, covering mailing costs, etc. Motivated buyers and sellers also mean an increased likelihood of a completed sale, which is the goal for both parties involved.

How to get more referrals in real estate

Here are a few tips to increase your referrals:

  • Ask for them and offer incentives
  • Stay in touch
  • Be social
  • Build a reputation based on excellence
  • Publicize your services online, especially on social media channels

Ask your partners, associates, and past customers to give you a positive review on your website and social media. People give out referrals differently, so having a few sources from each area is good practice. It makes a referral pool more diverse, and that's exactly what you need. Clients who had a great experience working with you usually spread the word without you even telling them.

Sell yourself so well that your clients will want to recommend you to others. You can ask them to mention your name each time they talk about how they found their ideal home. One more way to go is to kindly ask them to tag you on a photo which they'll post on social media announcing that they just bought a new house. When someone sees the happy family and the beautiful home they bought right with your name connected to it, that creates a powerful impression. Continue to communicate with your past clients to build a relationship that will keep your name in their minds. Attend networking events in your area whenever you can. The number of people you meet equals the number of chances you'll have for getting referrals.

The importance of referrals in real estate is huge, so keep making contacts and stay in touch with people.


Referrals in real estate provide you with marketing at virtually no cost. They also remind you that you are doing something remarkable. Someone who's taking the initiative to refer your service is actually giving you the highest and most valuable professional compliment.



Start Now!
Choose Your State

What to Do Before Taking the Real Estate Salesperson or Broker Exam

According to some recent statistics from REALTOR Magazine and the US Census Bureau data, “young Americans are rushing to become homeowners in the pandemic.” 

“Millennial” adults under 35 are still not in the majority of home owning Americans, but the rate rose to 40.2% last quarter, up from 37.5% a year earlier. As the demand for homes continues to rise, so too does the need for real estate brokers and salespeople!

If you’ve been dreaming of using your talents in the real estate industry, we can help you get there with our Real Estate Practice Exam! It covers everything you need to know in order to pass your state’s real estate broker or salesperson certification exam.

Real Estate Practice Exam Description

All 400 practice exam questions were written by industry experts who have previously worked on material for actual real estate exams across the country. While the questions are not the exact same as what you’ll find on a real exam, they were written to be as close as possible.

The practice exam is designed to work around your busy schedule, because it’s accessible 24/7 on any internet-connected device. And with the dynamic review feature, you can watch your practice scores improve in real time as you retake the exam as many times as you’d like. 

Click here to buy the practice exam, or choose your state above to see what other prelicense resources are available.



Start Now!
Choose Your State

Essential Customer Service Tips for Real Estate Agents

There is more to being a real estate agent than merely putting up homes for sale. In order to help clients and close deals, you need to know how to properly communicate and transfer vital information. In fact, as most experienced real estate agents will tell you, learning how to handle customers is key to being a successful real estate agent. With that in mind, we will give you some essential customer service tips for real estate agents.

Must-know customer service tips for real estate agents

While we will try to cover all the vital details of customer services for real estate agents, it is important to note that customer service is a skill in its own right. The top builders and real estate agents know how to present themselves and how to talk with clients. Almost all of them develop their own style and voice, which comes off as natural and welcoming. Developing this style takes years of experience, which is why we implore you to keep seeking tips and advice, even after reading our article.

Friendly communication

The first thing to note is that you have to be friendly. There is hardly a successful real estate agent out there that is not outspoken, welcoming, and overall cordial. So, in order to have a better rapport with your clients, you need to learn how to put on a friendly smile.

The critical thing here is not to overdo it. A lot of people push themselves too hard and end up being overly amiable. This can come off as awkward or even unpleasant, which is something that you definitely want to avoid. For people who don't have a naturally friendly demeanor, achieving this balance might be problematic since there is a fine line between being not friendly enough and being too much. But, by talking with your coworkers and analyzing your experiences with clients, you should be able to figure out how to present yourself as courteous yet natural.

Understand your customers

It is usually quite difficult for new real estate agents to understand the motives and the line of thinking that most customers have. Most expect that clients will be rational, well-meaning, and honest about their desires and limitations. But, as you will find out if you haven't so far, your clients' attitudes can vary greatly. They can be confused, temperamental, easy to sway with pretty (yet fundamentally unimportant) things, and hard to convince. They can be stubborn, overconfident, and even disrespectful. So, the key thing here is to understand them and position yourself properly.

Know that your customers look for you for guidance, whether they admit so or not. For some, you will be a helpful adviser that will let the customer take the rains, only stopping them if they are making a huge mistake. For others, you will be a full-fledged guide that will help them make the most out of their endeavor. So, try to see what your customers are like. That way, you will avoid getting bad reviews and figure out how to position yourself properly.

Clear, simple information

Another way in which real estate agents miscommunicate with their clients is that they don't present information in a transparent manner. Don't expect your clients to understand the intricacies and professional details of real estate, especially if this is their first time dealing with it. If you have some new information to present, you need to do so in a simple, easy-to-follow way. If you don't think that you can give all the information right now, don't push it. The more you can be short-and-sweet yet remain precise and informative, the easier it will be for your customers to understand you and make the right decision.

Build relationships

For some clients, you will do more than fine by keeping a cold, professional relationship. If you try to be friendly, you will simply run into a brick wall that demands information and efficiency, and that's OK. As we said, you need to learn to adjust to your customers. But, for most, the best advice for real estate agents is to try and build a solid relationship. Your customers are more likely to trust you if they feel that you are on their side. And the only way to make that possible is to build up a relationship.

A simple conversation about something unrelated to real estate can do you a world of good when it comes to building trust. Just try to naturally stray away from the subjects you are discussing (most of which will be about real estate). If they are looking for a family home, get them to talk about their kids. If they are moving to a new area, talk about their plans, and help them find the right professional assistance on highqualitymovingcompany.com. The more you can get them to share, the closer they will feel to you. Also, don't shy away from sharing personal info. The more they see you as human, the closer they will feel. Keep in mind that all of these are merely ideas to consider. You will need to feel your customers out and see how they react to questions and/or personal information.

Patience is a virtue

The last of our customer service tips for real estate agents is the one that is hardest to incorporate, and that is that patience is a virtue. Some clients may be challenging to please, and the best way to deal with them is to learn how to keep yourself calm yet assertive. Don't get us wrong though, the situation will come when you will have to take a stand. But, as a rule of thumb, you should always try to keep a professional, guiding demeanor.



Start Now!
Choose Your State