Realtor - Amanda S. Davidson: You Passed Your Real Estate Exam … Now What? Part I

You Passed Your Real Estate Exam … Now What? Part I

You Passed Your Real Estate Exam … Now What? Part I

This might be a question you asked yourself when you first got into real estate and it’s definitely one I get asked a lot by new agents or soon to be new agents. Real estate is unique in that studying for your real estate exam and then passing it teaches you nothing about actually running your real estate business. It teaches you enough to stay out of trouble and obey the laws but, beyond that, you’re going to walk out feeling great that you passed your exam and feeling uncertain about what’s next.

New Real Estate Agents

If you haven’t already you’ll want to start interviewing brokers. Many of us, myself included just signed on with the first broker that we talked too and that’s a mistake. Meet with different brokers – by different I mean big, medium, and small officers along with companies that have different business models. A broker is an agent who has years of experience and has taken additional courses and tests to verify that experience. There’s a laundry list of different commission models available but, as a new agent don’t focus on the commission. It won’t matter if you never learn how to get a client. Focus on a broker and an office that can mentor you and teach you how to not only obtain clients but, how to properly service them and build your business. Ask questions about the office culture, mentoring, education, fees, and availability for support.

New Real Estate Agents

Brand name real estate brokerages may or may not be the route to go. There’s no right or wrong answer to this as each office varies. That’s why it’s important to meet with the broker and see if you connect with them. I’ve been with multiple big-name brokerages and never found it meant anything to my clients, they followed me wherever I went. What matters is how you treat your clients, treat them right and your name will spread. As a new agent, you’re going to have a ton of questions, you’re swimming in the sea of unknowns and having someone you can always rely on to train and mentor you is priceless.

New Real Estate Agents 

Another first step is to create a budget. You’re running your own business now and that requires a budget and a business plan. Your commission split is just one piece of the financial puzzle. You’ll have expenses to join your local association, MLS, E+O insurance, and lockbox access. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I recommend a new agent have at least 6 months of reserves. Real estate isn’t a job you get paid to show up for. In most cases, you won’t earn a paycheck until you close your first deal and in the meantime, you’ll be spending money on building your business in addition to your personal expenses. Having financial software such as Quickbooks is beneficial to create a budget and track expenses but, you can also create a spreadsheet to save on costs.

Newly Licensed Real Estate Agents 

Stay tuned for part II of You Just Passed Your Real Estate Exam…Now What? We’ll be diving into what you need to do to start attracting clients.




Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group





Amanda Davidson

Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group

Broker - Owner
Licensed in VA and DC

5680 King Centre Drive #600
Alexandria, VA 22315

Cell: 703.431.3755
Fax: 703.562.7057

Comment balloon 17 commentsAmanda S. Davidson • May 03 2018 08:28PM


Great advice Amanda.  I hope all those real estate students that are on the Q & A section will read this.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) 9 months ago

Good morning, Amanda... a great 'primer" for newly minted agents.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) 9 months ago

Good morning. This is great information for beginners. It can be overwhelming. 

Posted by Paul Antonelli, Broker Owner; Antonelli Realty (Antonelli Realty) 9 months ago

Amanda, great post for those just passing their exam and looking for an office to hang their license.  Great tips for them to make good decisions in this process! 

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) 9 months ago

Good morning Amanda - you are spot on.  It does make a difference and brokers also need to read this.  I know that agents would be fortunate to sign with you.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 9 months ago

HI Amanda S. Davidson - This is fabulous advice for some one new.  I see a gold star on the horizon.  I was in staffing, sales and ran offices so I had some of these puzzles pieces in place. You have laid out some great plans and I hope new agents see this. 

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 9 months ago

Hello Amanda,  I know if I was a newbie I would want to come to be on your team.  You are great at what you do and can see you teaching and helping newbie.  Great Part 1


Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) 9 months ago

Larry and I somehow knew at the beginning to meet with several different brokers. If it were today, I would have even met with several more...

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) 9 months ago

Amanda what an awesome post, loved your photos to illustrate your point, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) 9 months ago

I had this discussion with my real estate class last week. I encourage several interviews to find the right match. 

BTW, I'll be there on Saturday and Sunday. Would love to get together and have a meetup. I'll give you a call.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) 9 months ago

The best thing they could do after passing their exam is ask  you to mentor them!

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) 9 months ago

Hi Amanda

Well your first paragraph starts off with some excellent advice, and it is so true about the classes, the exam and then....

Lots of good reading here for those in the process of getting their license and those just getting it. Looking forward to more from you!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) 9 months ago

Great suggestions...and ones that you don't learn as part of getting a license !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) 9 months ago

Amanda- I think you've addressed something that many just-licensed agents should hear. What do you do once you pass the exam?!  You have to figure out what you want. You have to learn where you will get the most help. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 8 months ago

Great advice Amanda. I can tell if I was a new agent, of any age, I'd certainly call you to see if you'd mentor me. I can't think of anyone better to lead a brokerage. D 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 8 months ago

Amanda S. Davidson - If only your advice could be posted in every place where prospective Agents go in to test before getting their license, many would probably make better choices. 

There are many Franchises that make a point to visit and recruit at places people go to become licensed. Although some are good and some are not, this is really a BIG decision and no one new to the business should be under the influence of someone out to recruit to get them under their down-line.

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) 8 months ago

Lots of great advice here for the new (and re-entry) real estate licensee.

Posted by Michelle Carr-Crowe Just Call 408-252-8900 Top 1%!, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) 8 months ago