Real Estate

Changing careers – What it means to obtain a real estate license in Toronto

real estate license in Toronto

Toronto’s housing prices hit the ceiling, houses, and condos as expensive as Las Vegas mansions!

You probably heard the newspaper vendor shout out these headlines when you were going to buy a magazine. The same headlines have been on the news in Toronto since days. Then you read a piece of news about housing sales going up.

This makes you think ‘Should I be a real estate professional? Selling homes and Toronto condos for sale does sound like a good business.’ After all, they cost a fortune and if you can make good on your commission and create good savings, you’ve hit the financial jackpot!

If you are up for it, then you stand a chance for it too. If its time for you to change your job and you are considering a real estate license (provided that you will be living in Ontario for eternity), then you should go for a change.

Keep in mind that this will be more like a change in lifestyle in comparison to a change in job and only 2 out of 10 succeed in this field.

Yes, this does sound scary. But don’t hesitate in asking family and friends who are in the business and field. If you have loved ones supportive of your decision, who have your back emotionally and financially; then you must go ahead.

There is a rule of thumb that you must know. You will need at least six months to at most a year of income in your bank account before you obtain your realtor license.

There is another thing. Real estate licensing in each province of Canada is handled differently. What is done in Ontario is not done in either Manitoba nor Prince Edward Island and not even Quebec? If you are considering becoming a real estate agent, start by searching for requirements set by your provincial regulatory bodies.

If you are a resident of any city in Ontario, then check for requirements set by Ontario.

How can a person obtain a realtor’s license in the province of Ontario?

Let us now explore the costs and coursework it takes in obtaining a realtor’s license (real estate license that is). If you are a fan of real estate and love to study courses, then for you there is a lot to learn.

The real estate business in Ontario is guided by the Real Estate and Business Broker’s Act, which is under the jurisdiction of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).

It must be understood that a ‘licensee’ is a person registers with RECO who has fulfilled all requirements. For a person to become a Realtor, they must work for a brokerage firm that is a member of an association or a board linked to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

For each course in each level of association, there are costs at the local, provincial and federal levels. This can cost up to C$2,000 annually for membership and insurance dues.

Here are the new requirements in obtaining a real estate license for the province of Ontario:

Step 1: Applicants must either have a Canadian secondary school diploma, a GED certificate or an equivalent acceptable educational credential. When filling out the forms, write the ‘Salesperson Program Admission Exam’ in the form.

Step 2: Here are the key stages of the pre-registration phase:

  • Course 1: Essentials of Real Estate – costs C$ 525.
  • Course 2: Transactions in Residential Real Estate – costs C$ 595.
  • Course 3: Additional Transactions in Residential Real Estate – costs C$ 315.
  • Simulation Session 1: Transactions in Residential Real Estate – costs C$ 750.
  • Course 4: Transactions in Commercial Real Estate – costs C$ 315.
  • Simulation Session 2: Transactions in Commercial Real Estate – costs C$ 600.
  • Course 5: Getting started – costs C$ 90.

Step 3: In Ontario, Applicants are required to complete all education courses and examinations in the pre-registration module before applying for registration with RECO. After successful completion of these courses and examinations, they have almost a year from the date of completion of their last examination to apply for registration as a salesperson with RECO.

Step 4: In the first two years of their registration, there are additional courses needing completion and they have depth in the industry. After applicants complete their first registration cycle, they must complete the mandatory continuing education (MCE) program in every two-year registration cycle.

The costs are as under:

  • Compliance – C$ 300.
  • Two electives costing C$ 135 each.
  • Wrap-up session – C$ 200.

The licensing coursework in the journey of becoming a realtor is lengthy. Those who are taking it must also finish other courses in their first two years. Classes focus on laws, regulations, and rules governing and affecting the real estate industry. Sales training is often provided at a practical level.

Some aspiring realtors take their studies to the level of brokers so they can easily manage a real estate company’s/business’s office. If you as an aspiring realtor have such an objective, want to create more credibility in your portfolio & skills, or have both such aspirations, then a broker’s license is for you.

Those looking to raise their income, being designated as a broker is not much. Their past success margins and customer referrals will be their plus points in comparison to the courses they have taken. An active presence on social media coupled with consistently good reviews online will bring them in the spotlight.

After completion of the basic real estate licensing course, most provinces in Canada will need them to find an agency that will help sponsor their real estate license application. Hence, applicants must always look for companies offering training for new real estate agents/realtors.

During the first two years of their work, focus, humility, & availing every possible opportunity helps. They also must work for their own development only. Failures will define their success in the long run.

Key tips for future realtors (real estate agents)

For those who have decided to obtain their real estate license, here are key tips for them so they can become a top-notch realtor:

  • Focus on the client always.
  • Make some boundaries.
  • Reformulating success in career

1.   Always focus on the client

Being a realtor is both a job and a means of being self-employed. The decisions of being self-employed are not the same as that of a salaried employee. Working in real estate is a great job, but it is also transitory too.

A surprising fact: 80% of the real estate business is run by 20% of the realtor community. The field’s competitive nature will be in direct relation to your success. Clients, however, are not charmed when they find out that you are overlooking issues and being desperate in selling.

If you keep making mistakes as a realtor and are unable to handle them with care, not only will consumers report your incompetency and complain to RECO, but it will also result in lawsuits. This will potentially overturn your business.

2.  Make some boundaries

Do not forget to make some boundaries and limitations between yourself and your clients. Your health is also important, and it is also important for you to take some time out for friends and family.

For instance, your phone and computer should be off from 8:30 PM to morning. Open them until and unless you have had your daily dose of a good time with family and friends, plus after the completion of the morning ritual.

Working from home is possible for the realtor and the home office can be so alluring yet hectic that you hardly might get any rest. It then brings in the stress you have long been trying to overturn.

3.  Reformulating success in career

If you considered a real estate career just to be your boss, then you took the right turn. You must also understand that the buyers and sellers are your bosses too. The only way for you to be successful is to go above and beyond the competitors in providing top-class services to your bosses.

Real estate is that business where you will be sitting with competitors each day or night, trying to negotiate an agreement, knowing the fact that you won’t be paid until the closing of the agreement two or three months later. Until that time, you are usually working for free.

There is always a chance that whenever clients are about to sign an agreement, they can change their minds at the very last moment. No matter how hard you work and how good the result, this happens, and you have to live with it.

It does sound terrifying, and you suddenly start thinking ‘Yikes! This is scary! I don’t think I can do this’ but remember, if you have the penchant for it then this is for you. Yes, Toronto’s real estate is expensive, and you will get to make good bucks. There is a chance that you will survive, thrive and succeed (and excel) at it once you enter it.


Once you have obtained your license, you will be a key part of a rewarding and illustrious career. You will be training salespeople and agents in real estate, you will be identifying homes and selling them to prospective buyers. You will even be spotting flaws in properties and protect prospective buyers from falling in traps.

Your success in this field will be defining you. Timely closings on deals become your strength and each achievement you get will take you to the next deal. All it starts with is a real estate license.

All the best to you in starting your real estate career.

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