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

The Real Estate Council of British Columbia determined that English is the language used for real estate documents, education and communication in BC. Therefore, it’s important that you are able to demonstrate an understanding of written and spoken English to satisfy the Language Proficiency Requirement.

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 the Council for your licence (in step 3).

Step 3 - Licensing

Have the brokerage you plan to work with sign your application for licensing. This brokerage must be a member of the real estate board in your area. Send your signed application to the Council for licensing. Once they approve your application you’re a real estate agent, but not yet a Realtor.

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, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

As a member of a real estate board, you also become a member of the BC Real Estate Association 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

Program/Service Organization Fee
Licensing Course 
Real Estate Trading Services Licensing Course
Real Estate Division, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia 1,075
Licensing Course 
Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course or the Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course
British Columbia Real Estate Association 875
Licensing fee and assessments Real Estate Council of British Columbia 450
Errors and Omissions Insurance 700
Real Estate Compensation Fund Corporation 100
Total start-up licensing fee $3,200
Every two years after start-up $1,250

Fees updated July 2018, and are subject to change. Note: GST not included. 

Member fees

New member  $834.75
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) 100.00
British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) 495.00
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) 200.00
GST 39.75
   
Annual  $1,094.10
REBGV 588.00
BCREA 144.00
CREA 310.00
GST 52.10

Fees updated January 2019, 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