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Become a REALTOR®

Are you interested in a career in real estate? The REALTOR® trademark sets you apart.

The REALTOR® Difference

We are one of Canada’s largest single-industry associations. Our membership includes more than 150,000 brokers, agents and salespeople working through 74 real estate boards and associations across Canada.

REALTOR® isn’t a job title. To become one, you must be a licensed real estate professional who is a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). As a REALTOR®, you can help people buy, sell or rent residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural homes or property. There are also opportunities to be involved in property management, land development, mortgage banking, urban planning, and real estate appraisal.

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Step 1: Get Licensed

Provincial regulators establish the educational and licensing requirements for careers in the real estate industry. Colleges and universities offer a variety of real estate-related courses, too. Once a person is licensed through a province, they can become a member of a local board and CREA. Licensing requirements vary across Canada, but all provinces and territories require prospective salespeople and brokers to pass an exam. Continuing education is also required in many provinces and territories (and available in others) so real estate professionals stay up to date on current issues and more.

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Step 2: Pick Your Path(s)

You may already have an idea of what area of real estate you want to work in, but there are many avenues available: residential, commercial, real estate appraisers, property management, property development, financing and urban planning.

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Step 3: Find a Broker

You’ll typically interview brokerages to determine where you’d fit best and if you’ll receive the leadership and support you’ll need. After all, everyone has to start somewhere, and many in the profession begin their careers as salespeople.

Residential REALTORS®

Helping people buy and sell homes is one of the most important and fundamental services a real estate agent performs. Agents are experts in the process of buying and selling property, financing options, and relocation services. A REALTOR®’s expertise helps facilitate the transaction, saving clients time and money and avoiding problems.

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Commercial Real Estate

Commercial agents specialize in income-producing properties, such as apartment and office buildings, retail stores and warehouses, shopping centres and industrial parks. Commercial agents need in-depth knowledge of the property market, local economic trends, current income tax regulations and purchasing arrangements.

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Real Estate Appraisers

Real estate appraisers determine the value of properties. Appraisers need to know acceptable principles of appraisal and related information. They need to have practical experience, technical education, good judgment and some knowledge of mathematics, accounting and economics.

Property Development and Management

Developers turn land into profitable, marketable developments of all kinds, taking into consideration site selection, financing, contracts and promotion. Property managers are responsible for protecting the owner’s investment. Managed commercial properties are likely to be office buildings and shopping centers. Residential properties might include apartment buildings, developments, or condominiums.


Banks or mortgage lenders, developers, and investment funds offer a variety of career opportunities. You’ll need to develop expertise in tax law, financial regulations, and accounting and business practices. In residential real estate, the professional must know about financing or mortgage options; in commercial real estate, the professional must know about income opportunities and productive uses of different kinds of properties.

Urban Planning

Some urban planners also have a real estate licenses. They work with local governments and other civic groups to plan the growth of their city or town. Not many career guidelines exist for urban planning, but broad general experience is important.