How to become a REALTOR®
Being a Realtor can provide you with a satisfying and diverse career. A career in real estate can include home sales, commercial sales, investment real estate, land development, rental property management, strata management, and more.
Each day is never the same. You can be closing a deal for a first-time buyer, then designing a marketing plan for your newest client. The next day could see you engaged in a tough sales negotiation, and then attending a Realtor's open house tour to look at new properties for prospective clients.
Step 1 - Language skills
Step 2 - Education
There are two courses you need to take to become licensed. The first one is the Real Estate Trading Services Licensing Course, a correspondence course offered through the University of British Columbia. This course is taken by everyone who wants to become licensed regardless of whether they want to specialize in residential or commercial real estate. It introduces all aspects of how the real estate profession works.
The second one is either the Residential or Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course. In addition to classroom and online learning, these applied courses provide you with practical training in either residential or commercial real estate. You’ll need to provide proof of registration in the Residential or Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course when you apply to BCFSA for your licence (in step 3).
Step 3 - Licensing
Step 4 - Join a real estate board
The last step to becoming a Realtor is to join the real estate board in your area. For example, if you work in Pitt Meadows, you would join our board, Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR).
As a member of a real estate board, you also become a member of the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Only members of CREA are entitled to call themselves Realtors.
Benefits of being a board member include:
- Multiple Listing Service® access
- Professional standards and business practices
- Access to robust statistics
- Ongoing education
For more information about becoming a Realtor in BC:
Costs associated with a career in real estate
Licensing fees (managed by BCFSA)
Real Estate Trading Services Licensing Course
|Real Estate Division, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia
Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course or the Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course
(used to be handled by BCREA, now it's BCFSA)
|Licensing fee and assessments
|Licensing and Assessment Fee
|Real Estate Compensation Fund Corporation
|Errors and Ommisions insurance assessment
|Total start-up licensing fee
|Every two years after start-up
Fees updated August 2021, and are subject to change. Note: GST not included.
GVR member fees
|New member entrance fees
Fees updated February 2024, and are subject to change.
Annual fees are charged on a monthly basis.
There can be other costs you’ll incur in your new profession, including:
- Real estate company costs
- Contact management software
- Website launch, design, and maintenance
- Promotional and marketing materials
- Business attire
- A reserve to cover your costs while you develop your client base
For more information
- BC Financial Services Authority
- BC Real Estate Association's member boards
- Real Estate Division, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia
Contacting a real estate brokerage may also help you learn more about what initial costs to expect.