How To Get A Real Estate License In Ontario (2024)

How do you get your Real Estate License in Ontario

Pursuing a career as a real estate agent in Ontario opens a world of opportunities. From assisting clients in finding their dream homes to facilitating the sale of commercial properties, real estate professionals play a crucial role in the dynamic world of property transactions.

Whether you're passionate about helping families navigate the home-buying process, have an interest in land development, or aspire to specialize in property management, obtaining your real estate license in Ontario is the first step towards turning your aspirations into a thriving career. In this article, we'll guide you through everything you need to know about how to become a real estate agent in Ontario.

Understanding the Requirements

Understanding the Requirements

The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) is the governing body responsible for regulating and licensing real estate professionals in the province. RECO's primary mission is to protect the public interest by ensuring that real estate agents and brokers adhere to strict standards of professionalism, integrity, and ethics.

To obtain your real estate license in Ontario, you must meet certain educational and personal requirements. The first step is to complete the pre-registration phase, which involves meeting the following criteria:

  1. You must possess a high school diploma or equivalent. If you have completed your education outside of Canada, you may need to have your credentials evaluated to ensure they meet the Ontario standards.
  2. You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a real estate license in Ontario.
  3. While you don't need to be a resident of Ontario to obtain a license, you must be legally entitled to work in Canada. This means that you must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, or have a valid work permit.

It’s important to note that in order to work as a real estate agent in Ontario under RECO, The Real Estate Salesperson Program by Humber College must also be completed within 24 months. We dig into this in more detail below.

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Ontario

Obtaining your real estate license in Ontario involves a series of well-defined steps, each designed to equip you with the necessary knowledge, skills, and qualifications to succeed in this dynamic industry. In the following sections, we walk you through the entire process, from enrolling in the required courses to joining a brokerage.

Step 1: Complete the Pre-Registration Education

The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) requires aspiring real estate professionals to enroll in and successfully complete a series of courses. These courses are designed to provide a solid foundation in real estate principles, laws, and practices. Thus, this is the very first step in your journey.

To begin, you'll need to enroll in The Real Estate Salesperson Program, which consists of five courses, four exams, and two simulation sessions offered by Humber College and completed in sequential order. These courses cover a wide range of topics, including real estate transactions, property ownership, land registration, agency relationships, and ethical practices.

This pre-registration education typically takes four to six months to complete, depending on your pace and learning style. However, once started, it can be completed in a maximum of 24 months. If needed, this allows for 21 weeks per course for the first four courses and four weeks for the final course.

As of 2024, the cost of the Real Estate Salesperson Program is around $5,000. However, it’s worth noting that this investment lays the groundwork for a rewarding career in real estate and your potential to create future income.

Step 2: Register with RECO

Upon completion of Humber College’s program, you can begin the registration process with RECO. This must be completed within one year of finishing the pre-education requirements.

To start this process, you'll need to complete an application form, which can be done online through RECO's website. Along with your application, you'll be required to submit a criminal record check and a Judicial Matters Check. RECO recommends using the online vendor Commissionaires. This report check is valid for only six months after you receive it.

It's further important to note that in order to register with RECO and become a licensed real estate salesperson, you must be employed by a real estate brokerage. A brokerage is a firm that oversees and supports real estate salespeople in their day-to-day operations. Choosing the right brokerage is an important decision, as it can significantly impact your career growth, support system, and overall success in the industry. They can also help you with the process of applying to RECO. We’ll discuss more about choosing the right brokerage below.

Step 3: Post-Registration Education and Maintaining Your License

So, you’re registered with RECO, now what?

Well, your educational journey doesn't end here. To maintain your license and continue growing as a real estate professional, you'll need to complete post-registration education and fulfill continuing education requirements.

Within the first two years of obtaining your license, you're required to complete the Articling Program. This involves selecting two to five electives and completing the mandatory compliance course.

RECO further requires licensed real estate professionals to complete a certain number of Continuing Education (CE) credits every two years. These courses help you stay up-to-date with industry trends, changes in regulations, and best practices, ensuring that you provide the highest level of service to your clients.

Beyond the mandatory education requirements, it's important to prioritize professional development throughout your career. Attending workshops, conferences, and seminars can help you expand your knowledge, network with other professionals, and stay ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving industry. Many brokerages also offer in-house training programs and mentorship opportunities to support the growth and success of their agents. By committing to ongoing education and professional development, you'll not only meet the requirements to maintain your license but also position yourself for career advancement and long-term success in the real estate industry.

Choosing the right Brokerag

Choosing the Right Brokerage

Selecting the right brokerage to launch your real estate career is a critical decision that can significantly impact your success and professional growth. When evaluating potential brokerages, several key factors to consider include the company's culture, support systems, commission structure, and mentorship, which are discussed in more detail below.

Brokerage Culture

One of the most important aspects to consider is the brokerage's culture. You'll want to find a firm that aligns with your values, work ethic, and communication style. A positive and collaborative work environment can greatly contribute to your job satisfaction and overall success. Take the time to research the brokerage's reputation, read reviews from current and past agents, and get a feel for the company's mission and vision.

Support Systems

As a new agent, having access to comprehensive training programs, marketing tools, and administrative assistance can significantly improve your ability to navigate the industry and serve your clients. Look for brokerages that offer ongoing education, technology resources, and a dedicated support staff to help you manage your transactions and grow your business.

Commission Structure

Real estate commissions are typically split between the agent and the brokerage, so it's essential to understand how the brokerage's commission model works. Some brokerages offer higher commission splits but may provide fewer resources and support. Meanwhile, others may have lower splits but offer more comprehensive training and marketing tools. Evaluate your financial goals and consider which structure aligns best with your needs and expectations.


Having an experienced mentor to guide you through your first transactions, provide advice, and offer support can accelerate your learning and help you avoid common pitfalls. Thus, look for brokerages that have established mentorship programs or pair new agents with seasoned professionals who can offer guidance and support.

Building Your Career

Once you've obtained your real estate license and joined a brokerage, it's time to focus on building a successful and sustainable career. Consider attending local industry events, joining professional organizations, and participating in community activities to expand your network and establish yourself as a knowledgeable and trustworthy real estate professional. Building genuine relationships with clients, colleagues, and other industry professionals can lead to referrals, repeat business, and valuable opportunities for growth.

In today's digital age, marketing yourself as a real estate agent requires a combination of online and traditional strategies. Develop a strong online presence by creating a professional website, leveraging social media platforms, and utilizing email marketing campaigns to showcase your expertise and connect with potential clients. Share valuable content, such as market updates, home-buying tips, and local community information, to establish yourself as a go-to resource in your area.

While digital marketing is crucial, don't overlook the power of traditional marketing methods. Attending open houses, distributing business cards, and sending targeted direct mail campaigns to specific neighbourhoods or demographics can further expand your client base.

Lastly, as you gain experience and expertise, consider specializing in a niche market to differentiate yourself from other agents and better serve specific client needs. Niche markets can include luxury homes, first-time homebuyers, vacation properties, or specific geographic areas. By focusing on a particular niche, you can tailor your marketing efforts, build a targeted network, and establish yourself as the go-to expert in that segment of the market.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Adhering to ethical standards ensures compliance with the law and helps maintain the trust and confidence of your clients and the public at large. Ontario's real estate laws and regulations are designed to protect consumers and promote fair and transparent transactions.

The Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA) was the primary legislation governing the industry, setting out the rules and requirements for real estate professionals. However, as of the end of 2023, the Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA) officially replaced REBBA. TRESA is regulated by RECO on behalf of the Government of Ontario.

Other laws and regulations that impact real estate transactions further include:

As a real estate professional, you must have a solid understanding of these laws and how they apply to different types of properties and transactions. Staying informed about legal requirements, such as disclosure obligations, contract law, and land registration procedures, is further essential to providing accurate and reliable advice to your clients.

The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) has also established a Code of Ethics that sets out the standards of practice and professional conduct expected of all registered real estate professionals. The Code of Ethics emphasizes principles such as honesty, integrity, fairness, and competence. It also provides guidance on dealing with conflicts of interest, handling client funds, and maintaining confidentiality.

In particular, working with integrity means always putting your clients’ interests first, providing them with accurate and complete information, and being transparent about any potential conflicts of interest. It also involves treating all parties in a transaction fairly and respectfully, regardless of their background or circumstances.

It’s also important to note that the legal and ethical landscape of the real estate industry is constantly evolving. Staying informed about changes to laws and regulations, participating in continuing education opportunities, and engaging in ongoing discussions about ethical best practices are essential to maintaining your competence and upholding the integrity of the profession and your career.

Tips for Success

Last but not least, as you begin your real estate journey, keep these tips in mind to propel you toward success:

  • Stay informed about the market and industry trends: The real estate landscape is constantly evolving, influenced by factors such as economic conditions, demographic shifts, and technological advancements. By regularly monitoring market data, reading industry publications, and attending conferences and workshops, you can stay ahead of the curve and provide your clients with valuable insights and advice.
  • Balance work and personal life: The nature of the real estate business often involves working long hours, weekends, and evenings to accommodate client schedules and deadlines. While dedication to your clients is important, it's equally essential to set boundaries, prioritize self-care, and make time for your personal relationships and interests. Developing effective time management skills, delegating tasks when appropriate, and creating a support system can help you maintain a healthy balance and avoid burnout.
  • Embrace continuous learning: As market conditions, client preferences, and technology continue to evolve, it's crucial to embrace a growth mindset and commit to ongoing professional development. Attend workshops and seminars, pursue additional certifications, and explore new areas of specialization to expand your knowledge and skill set. By consistently investing in your own growth and staying open to new ideas and approaches, you can position yourself as a valuable resource to your clients and a leader in your field.
  • Prioritize building and nurturing relationships: Real estate is a people-centric business, and your ability to connect with clients, colleagues, and other industry professionals can significantly impact your success. Focus on developing strong communication skills, practicing active listening, and providing personalized, empathetic service to your clients. Building a network of trusted referral partners, such as mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and attorneys, can also help you provide a more comprehensive and seamless experience for your clients.
  • Leverage technology to grow your business: Utilize customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage your contacts, stay organized, and explore digital marketing tools to expand your reach and engage with potential clients online. Stay up-to-date with the latest real estate technology trends, such as virtual tours and e-signature platforms, to offer your clients a modern and convenient experience.

Remember, success in this industry is not just about closing deals but about building lasting relationships, making a positive impact in your community, and continuously striving to be the best version of yourself. With the above guidelines and tips, however, rest assured that you’re already well on your way toward success and a thriving and rewarding real estate career. Team

All About the ViewHomes Team

Founded by brothers Ty and Kurtis Forster 15 years ago, ViewHomes has flourished into a thriving family business that continues to grow! With a dedicated team of more than 30 realtors spanning across Ontario, ViewHomes offers unparalleled expertise in both buying and selling properties, with a particular focus on New Home Building and Pre-Construction homes.

Committed to excellence and personalized service, our team is driven by a passion for real estate and a deep understanding of the market, ensuring clients achieve their property goals with confidence and complete satisfaction! Reach out today to see how we at ViewHomes can help you get the best real estate experience possible!

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