How to get your Los Angeles real estate license


Los Angeles in known for having the most stunning, and expensive properties in the country. Lately, the city’s real estate market has been booming. Median home prices recently hit a record high of $690,000. Values have been increasing steadily each month making for a seller’s market, and there is no end in sight.

While previous months have seen a 20% rise in prices, more recently the increase has dipped to 14%, which still spells an impressive profit for agents and sellers alike.

Agents looking to join this exciting industry can look forward to enjoying benefits that go beyond an generous salary. Most agents can make between $41,000 and $140,000 a year with median salaries coming in around $84,966.

But more than that, they can enjoy working in a sunny climate with lovely properties and an upscale clientele. They can take advantage of a flexible schedule and reap the rewards of knowing they helped someone make an important decision at a pivotal time of their lives.

If the job of Los Angeles real estate agent sounds good to you, read on to find out how you can get your license and get started in the industry.

How Do You Get a Real Estate License in Los Angeles?

Aerial,View,Of,Echo,Park,With,Downtown,Los,Angeles,SkylineTo get a real estate license in Los Angeles, you must be at least 18 years old and a citizen of the United States. If you meet these requirements, you must then take the following steps to become an agent.

  • Register for and Complete the 135 Hour of Required Education: To become a Los Angeles real estate agent, you must complete 135 hours of BRE approved real estate courses.
  • Apply for your Salesperson Exam: The next step involves applying for the licensing exam. To do so, you must submit an application form and pay the licensing fees. You will also need to submit fingerprints and take a background check. You must take the exam within 2 years of applying or the application will expire.
  • Pass the Licensing Exam: If you pass the licensing exam with a score of at least 70%, you will get your license.

Best Real Estate Schools in Los Angeles

A big part of your success as an agent will be based on the type of education you get. While some schools provide you with what you need to pass the licensing exam, others will go above and beyond giving you valuable resources that can help you move forward in your career.

Every student has different needs when it comes to choosing the school that is right for them, but here are some we singled out as the best.

The CE Shopce-shop-logo

The CE Shop is often a first choice when it comes to real estate education. The school is known for its high pass rates which average around 91% nationally. They also have a 96% student satisfaction rate and can get you finished with your coursework in as little as seven and a half weeks.

Students that enroll can choose from four different online courses. Prices vary and the more you pay, the more features you will get. However, each will help you become prepared for the exam, and each comes with additional resources such as digital flashcards, a real estate glossary and downloadable resources. You can also purchase courses individually.


Real Estate Expressreal estate express logo

Real Estate Express is another school that is consistently mentioned on lists of top ranked real estate education providers. They have earned an average of 4.45 stars across 44,349 reviews. They offer fully accredited courses taught by instructors with hands on experience in the real estate industry.

REE has three courses students can choose from. The first is a Basics course while the others have more targeted features that will help you ace your exam. The Ultimate Learning includes resources that may be valuable down the line in your career. Their online video will walk you through your options so you can find the course best suited to your needs.


Kaplan Real Estate Educationkaplan logo

Kaplan advertises itself as the number one real estate school offering licensing courses, continuing education and exam prep. They have helped thousands of students move forward in their career. They will give you the guidance you need to find the right educational resources and get started on your real estate path.

The school offers lessons in online, live online and textbook formats. Each format comes with various packages you can choose from. They include flashcards, math courses and more.


PrepAgentPrepAgent Logo

PrepAgent offers affordable online courses that gets agents ready for the licensing exam. They received five-star reviews in all 1024 of their Facebook reviews. They offer students a 100% money back guarantee based on their satisfaction with the course.

Students can choose from three different course options. Each provides access for different time frames that range from one week to one year. They offer various features with the more expensive courses providing focused exam prep, webinars and a vocabulary sheet.

Best Los Angeles Real Estate Firms to Work For

After you start on your real estate career, you can step out on your own, but it is recommended that you join up with an agency in these early stages. An agency will give you the training and marketing materials you need to get started. If they have a good reputation, they will give you a leg up when it comes to attracting clients.

There are many things to consider when finding the agency that’s right for you including commission splits, desk fees, the quality of resources provided and more. Here are some that are recommended in helping you get a good start on your career.

Keller Williams

Located in: Sunset Plaza
Address: 8560 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Keller Williams logo

The Keller Williams company has been rising in ranks as one of the top real estate companies to work for. They are known for their inclusive and diverse company culture and for offering employees extensive training and growth opportunities.

The company offers generous commission split of 64% for the agent and 30% for the agency. That’s a big improvement over the 50% that most agents are paid when they start out. There’s also a 6% franchise fee.

Desk fees range from location to location and typically fall between $50 and $125 a month.

The company stands out for its excellent training materials which include hundreds of instructor-led sessions, thousands of self-paced online modules and several hours of formal training.


ERA Real Estate

Address: 14011 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91423

era real estate1

ERA is an agency known for providing a good start for new agents. They don’t charge desk fees or custom commission splits. They offer a comprehensive training program and useful marketing and lead generation tools. Agents that have worked with the company said ERA fees are lower than what most agencies charge.

The company is known for giving agents extensive support and guidance, but they especially shine in the technology they offer. Agents have access to an IDX enabled website that displays listings and open houses and integrates with social media. They also provide an ERA app that helps agents communicate with clients and manage business tasks.

They also utilize a TextRA tools that are valuable in lead generation.



Address: 7131 W Manchester Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

ReMax Logo

RE/MAX is known for providing agents with a generous commission split which typically starts around 95/5. However, splits may be lower depending on the desk fees agents are paying. Those who join the team can look forward to a flexible schedule and training that can be customized to best suit their needs.

In addition to offering a high commission split, the agency also provides extensive training materials. Agents can take on-demand and online courses that can earn them certifications, continuing education credits, designations and professional development. They can move on to management positions, switch brokerages and launch their own franchises.

The company also provides templates which can be used to create well-designed marketing materials.


Coldwell Banker

Located in: Hancock Park
Address: 251 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

coldwell banker logo

Coldwell Banker is an international real estate company that uses the latest technology to help agents find listings. They offer training in niche areas and can be especially helpful to agents in specialty markets like smart homes. They also have a Tech Suite that uses algorithms to provide data on leads, listings and buyer locations.

The company provides generous commission splits of 80/20. Agents keep 100% of sales after meeting their yearly caps. And while there are no desk fees, agents must pay Document Reviewing Fees and Era & Omissions (E&O) fees.

Agents who work for Coldwell have access to online classrooms and in-person workshops. They can move onto management positions and launch their own brokerage. They are also provided with marketing materials that allow them to advertise on a national level.


eXp Realty

Address: 2452 Jupiter Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90046

exp realty logo

eXp Realty stands out as an innovative company because it is 100% cloud based. As a result, agents do not have to pay desk fees. However, there is a startup fee of $149 and an ongoing fee of $85 a month.

The company offers a generous commission split of 80/20. Agents can keep 100% of sales after meeting their annual cap. This is accompanied by an environment that is conducive to a low maintenance way to do business.

eXp is also known for providing agents with extensive educational resources. They offer access to eXp World which allows teams to communicate and attend meetings virtually. It serves as a home base to ensure everyone is kept in the loop on important matters.

Best Real Estate Associations to Join

After you have your license under your belt, you may consider moving forward by becoming a realtor. It requires extra training which will increase your abilities and make you look more impressive to your clientele. It also allows you to join real estate associations which offer several perks.

There are several real estate associations in Los Angeles you may consider joining. Here are some of your options.

Greater L.A. Realtors AssociationGLAR_Logo2

The Greater L.A. Realtor Association (GLAR) represents 11,000 realtors and associate members across Beverly Hills, Culver City, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles. The organization provides many benefits to its members including education and seminars, discounts, access to healthcare and the opportunity to consult real estate partners that provide services that help you advance in your career.

Members must maintain professional behavior that is in line with the real estate code of ethics, and they must pay a membership fee.

Los Angeles Commercial Realty Associationlacra

The Los Angeles Commercial Realty Association (LACRA) provides educational, social and charitable resources to promote the exchange of best practices throughout the Los Angeles real estate community. Members gain access to valuable business opportunities. Events are held to encourage networking and provide opportunities for promotion.

The organization’s mission is to establish guidelines for professional conduct and standards of practice. They meet regularly to allow members to share information. They represent their viewpoint concerning the real estate industry, the government and the community. They provide educational resources and help L.A. neighborhoods through charitable and volunteer work.

Los Angeles County Boards of Real Estatelacbor

The Los Angeles County Boards of Real Estate (LACBOR) is a local association of realtors dedicated to addressing real estate issues in Los Angeles County. They facilitate discussions and ensure property owners and real estate agents have a voice in their community. Their mission is to drive real estate through education, advocacy and building professional relationships.

LACBOR was founded in the 1970’s. Since their beginning, they helped eliminate rent control in Los Angeles and they have done away with many point of sale requirements in other jurisdictions. They are constantly innovating to ensure they are up to current industry standards.

The Los Angeles real estate industry is booming making now a great time to get in on the ground floor. Finding the right schools, a good company to work for and a reliable realtor organization will get you off to a strong start and set you on a path to success.  Will you be taking these important steps to launch your new career?

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 12/27/2022