Vail Daily column: How can I become a Realtor? |

Vail Daily column: How can I become a Realtor?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I have always thought​,​ in the back of my mind​,​ that I would love to sell real estate. Now I see you are offering classes locally at your office. Can you tell me what you have to do to become a Realtor? Are these classes just for your company? How much time does it take to be able to get your license? Can I keep my present job? How long does it typically take to be able to make a living in real estate? I guess I have a million questions so just tell ​me ​what I should know. Thank you

Dear Potential New Realtor,

We are equally excited about bringing a state certified licensing program to the valley that combines self-study and online testing with live instruction once a week for review and questions. Anyone can sign up, pay and take the classes. Our company is certainly looking for talent, as are most growing companies in the valley​, but there is no obligation to join our company or any company, for that matter​. You must take 168 hours of education to become licensed to sell real estate ​in Colorado. You can go to Denver and take a live class for the entire 168 hours or you can take the class totally online. The class you are asking about takes six weeks and is a combination of both. Make no mistake, you have to do a lot of reading in books and taking quizzes online, but you also come to a class from 5 to 9 p.m. once a week for six weeks and get live instruction, review and a chance to ask questions.

We are running the class continuously for the next five months and we are very pleased with the caliber of students and their enthusiasm of working together. It is highly encouraged to take the test within 10 days of completing the six-week class, since close to 80 percent of what you learn is to pass the test and will not fall into use in the real world of selling and may not stay in your memory. This schedule has fit with most everyone that has a current job. As far as keeping your job once you have passed the test, there are a lot of ways that can be worked out with good coaching from your real estate company of choice. Now the real tricky question is how much money will you make. My answer is that sky is the limit on what you can earn. That is the wonderful thing about real estate sales. If you are willing to work hard, get in a program that teaches you how to sell, constantly work on increasing your knowledge, embrace being coached, be willing to get out of your comfort zone and genuinely care ​about your clients, then you can build your business literally forever. We have many new agents that ​are ​doing the things I listed and far surpassing seasoned agents in the valley​, just because they have great models and systems and are willing to work​. Good luck following your dream. ​

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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