Real Estate Success Center Logo

Before You Sign Up

Before You Sign Up

Before you sign up for the pre-license course at Real Estate Success Center, I’d like to have a conversation with you.  It begins with questions about why you’d like to become an agent and how much time you can devote to working as an agent before you receive compensation.  As you know, revenue does not come to you until a transaction is closed.  Why you want to become a licensed agent is important because you must be able to put your client’s needs before your own interest. 


  Working with real estate clients takes dedication of time and resources.  The gratification and         compensation which comes from doing a good job for your buyers and sellers is absolutely worth it, but not always easy.  What could go wrong sometimes does go wrong.  As a licensed agent, you must be flexible enough to adjust your life to accommodate their needs.  This happens often enough that I’d like you to consider all this before you step into the industry.

A revenue stream is sometimes slow to build in your early weeks or months of real estate yet expenses of doing business continue. 

          So, let’s look at the expenses for a moment.

The dollar amounts are estimates – some may vary.  Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) membership dues and Multiple Listing Service (MLS) dues may be prorated based on the time of year you join. 12 month dues are listed for purposes of this blog post.

                    Required Education: 

60 Hour Principles of Real Estate course $389 (Required by TN Real Estate Commission)

30 Hour Affiliate Broker Course $165 (Required by TN Real Estate Commission)

Both courses offered online  – prices vary at different schools, classroom vs. online

Complete Tennessee Real Estate Drill and Practice (study guide) $60 

PSI National & State Exam $39 

Finger Print Application (est.) $45 - $50

Proof of E & O insurance – see below for further information

License Application Fee  $91.00 

To maintain your new license, you are required to complete 16 hours of continuing education each renewal period (2 years).  During your first two years, you’ll be taking courses to complete that requirement.  Those courses will vary in cost based on the number of hours and where you take them. The six-hour Core course is mandatory and the remaining 10 hours elective.

           Additional Fees:  Fees are believed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

Memphis Area Association of REALTORS™  (MAAR)

  • - Application and Study Materials fee $145 (one-time fee)
  • Annual MAAR dues $475 – prorated based on the month you join
  • MLS Orientation fee $150 (one-time fee)
  • Annual MLS dues $630 – can be paid in two payments of $315
  • Lockboxes for your listings are optional and sell for $140 each
  • Lockbox access to listings – one-time fee $25. Use app on your smartphone 

Errors and Omissions Insurance – required by Tennessee Real Estate Commission before they will issue your license – As an example go to RICE Insurance Services - - (two year term which coincides with license term).  The premium may be prorated based on the month of issuance of your license.  It is common for firms to require additional coverage so it is important to ask your prospective broker that question during your interview.   Premiums may also vary based on the insurance carrier you use.  Proof of E & O insurance is required and is submitted with your application prior to Tennessee Real Estate Commission issuing your license.

Individual brokerage expenses specific to the broker with whom you choose to affiliate could be roughly $50 to $100 per month.

After your education, the other expenses will come quickly once you pass the national and state exam.  Most always, your broker will require you to become a member of MAAR and MLS to enable your access to listings for your buyer clients. Membership in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) enables you to place your new listings in MLS for all agents to see and help you sell.

Marketing and printing cost should be estimated by your broker as those vary but you need to be prepared to market yourself to build your career.  Business cards must be printed and possibly a website established.  Does your broker provide a website for you or must you maintain that on your own? How you considered a digital business card with your personal QR Code that those interested in getting in touch or staying in touch with you?  They also can be printed for dual purposes.

So much of real estate is digital so plan on having a reliable computer you can always have with you.  Your smart phone is inadequate for this purpose.  You might consider a laptop, tablet, or iPad to take with you while showing or listing a property. Chromebooks are also widely used because they are smaller and light weight.

Training is another consideration.  Does your broker provide training or will you be seeking that additional training on your own?  Education is almost never free so plan on developing your business skills through education at your association or online at my school.  I’ll be happy to discuss your training program with you and make recommendations as will your broker.  Get some advice; you’ll be glad you planned for your training in the long run.

You’ll be joining other organizations to promote yourself and your business talents – some are free – others you’ll deem worth the investment.  You’ll have to decide on those but ask your broker’s advice.

Bet you didn’t see all that coming at you.  Well, it is pretty much a big picture of your first few months in the real and it's always better if you are knowledgeable and prepared to for your new career.  

Want to discuss further and ask questions?  I'm happy to help and excited to help get you started in your real estate career.  It is rewarding, so get ready to enjoy your new future.

Sheila Hensley, CDEI
Certified Distance Educator Instructor
Real Estate Success Center

Sheila Hensley Real Estate Success Center School is a BBB Accredited Real Estate School in Memphis, TN


Shelia Hensley