Chicago Real Estate Agent Tips to Get Started

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Real estate agents everywhere have to work hard, but a Chicago real estate agent has to stand out from a much bigger crowd. Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the United States, with 9.4 million residents in Chicago and the surrounding “Chicagoland” suburbs. If you are a Chicago real estate agent and want to make it big, follow these tips to stand out and succeed.

Chicago real estate agent minimum requirements


The bare minimum you need to become a Chicago real estate agent is your Illinois real estate license. Getting a real estate license in Illinois requires 90 hours of education, broken up into a 75 hour course and a 15 hour course, plus exams.

You can study at home online or through local classroom courses. 90 hours may sound like a lot, but if you can carve out the time it is little more than two solid workweeks. Once you pass your education and preparatory exams, you can take the state real estate agent exam to become an official Chicago real estate agent.

Register for the state exam with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). When you pass, you have to work with a sponsoring broker to finish your license. You must work under the sponsoring broker to finish your license requirements before going out on your own as a broker/agent.

You’ll need to keep your skills up-to-date through continuing education courses and training, but at this point the hard work is behind you. Learn more at the IDFPR¬†Division of Real Estate.

Become a well credentialed Realtor

In markets where there are few agents, you may not need to join the National Association of Realtors to get a steady stream of business. However, Chicago has lots of competing real estate agents, so getting credentialed and becoming an official Realtor is a smart move.

To really stand out from the crowd, consider additional real estate credentials that indicate your specialization in distressed properties, real estate for the elderly, vacation properties, or more. Find out what credentials are available to real estate agents here.

Get to know the landscape

The City of Chicago is 234 square miles, and the metropolitan area reaches to an expansive 10,874 square miles. That is a lot of territory to cover. In fact, many Chicago real estate agents focus on specific neighborhoods and areas, such as the North Shore, Lincoln Park, or other Chicago areas.

Getting to know the area will help you best match potential buyers to properties. The better you are at pointing buyers to the right neighborhoods and right homes, the faster you can sell those homes and earn a commission.

Get your name out there

Whether you are a Chicago real estate agent or one from another area, networking and putting your name out in the community dramatically improves your chances of success. After all, referrals and new business can make or break your entire real estate career!

Of course, if you have not already, one place to list yourself and your qualifications is AgentHarvest. AgentHarvest offers listings of vetted, high quality real estate agents from coast to coast. If you are a Chicago real estate agent who wants to stand out, join AgentHarvest today.

If you are buying or selling a house and are looking to hire a successful real estate agent to help you through the process, take a look at AgentHarvest's list of top-ranking local Realtors in your area. We found these agents by examining their sales track records, awards, rankings, client testimonials and by conducting personal interviews.