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As any experienced real estate professional will tell you, there's no set formula for working as an agent or broker. While this means there are a variety of paths to success, it also leaves many new agents feeling lost about how to start out in the business. That uncertainty is all the more troubling in the current real estate climate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate agent employment is expected to grow by 11 percent through 2020. While this signals an industry on the rebound, it also means more competition going forward, with more agents vying for the same business. Not surprisingly, many working Realtors are feeling the pressure: last year, 25 percent said they weren't sure if they'd still be working in real estate by 2014.
Nevertheless, whether you're a brand new Realtor wondering how to get started, or a struggling agent looking for guidance, you don't have to figure it all out on your own. Regardless of which path you choose, here are nine fundamental steps to ensure you get off to a strong start in real estate.