Contact the licensing department at the state level. Look at the requirements to take the test and get them out of the way. Kaplans offers good online course work and it can be done pretty quickly. Some of the courses you've take in college might already count towards the qualification to take the test.
When you decide which brokerage to hang your license with ask about mentoring as well as education offered. Keller Williams has the most as far as my experience goes.
Real estate is a huge business and I think that a GRI is the best designation to get. It ewxposes you to all the aspects of the industry. It is 96 hours of continuing eduacion from the Realtor Institute and very valuable. Thay anyway is my view but I will admit I like to have a wide body of knowledge that I can go deep on when needed rather than a deep narrow body of knowledge that I have to refer out whenever I am not in my expertise zone.
Good luck and hope you stay on Trulia.
Best of luck,
Welcome to the East Coast! Two things: (1) the point of the course is to prepare you to pass the test, and (2) the "real" learning will take place once you are under the wing of a competent broker. I took my classes at area-school.com here in the Boston area and they were fine. I passed the test the first time. But, again, I really knew very little on my first day on the job!
Most brokerages offer a class as well. Our company's is at commonlicenses.com
I think the fees are roughly the same from school to school.
And although many would consider this a real estate "slump", I think it's a fantastic opportunity for new agents with a strong marketing mind to get into the business.
Good luck and if I can be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to shoot me an e-mail.
All My Best,
As to what courses are best - I took a course sponsored by Weichert Realtors - the instructor was a very experienced Broker/Realtor with no affiliation to Weichert. The course was very good and I did just fine on my exam first go around. An advantage can be that that if you have an idea what Broker you might want to "hang your license with" they may cover all or a portion of your training expense if you attend a course sponsored by them. You can ask them about that.
The upside of the down market is that you will work hard for everything you get - and the work ethic that you develop will serve you well in this market and all others. And then just think about how well you'll be prepared for the market when it turns - and it will!
Best of luck to you! Think of me if you have referrals here in NJ - you can find me online at http://www.feenick.com. Let me know when you are established and I'll do the same for Boston-based leads.
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
While I don't work at CBRB (Coldwell) I did take their course and found that my experience was slightly more positive than some of my co-workers who went to a well-known real estate school in Brookline. When I finished my class I had the option of meeting with any Coldwell manager, but chose to go for an office that was smaller than the Coldwell offices in my area. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.