As Just Cause eviction legislation gains popularity in New York State, the real estate community needs to proactively strategize around the possibility that it will

How long should I prepare for the real estate exam?

As little time as possible to pass. That may sound obvious, but a lot of people approach the exam like a school exam, wanting to make an “A” the first time. Don’t waste your time on this. You only need to pass and failing does not stay with you or predict your chances of success in the business. (As a diligent student it was hard for me to accept this, but the faster you can get done with this and into the actual business, the better).

I’ve seen agents ace the exam and then leave the business months later. Others struggle to pass and make excellent agents. The tests I have taken (in Texas, New Jersey and New York) are set up to be tricky and to test your ability to spot and navigate trick questions, not to test your actual knowledge of useful real estate laws and practices. I’m not dismissing the importance of the law or contract knowledge. Not at all. Being proficient and knowledgeable as an agent is of the most grave importance. But you will learn better on the job from a good mentor/broker and from reading the contracts than you will from studying for the exam.

So my suggestion is this: Find out how many times and how frequently you are allowed to take and fail the exam in your state before they require a long waiting period, or that you retake your education requirement. If the answer is three, for example, take it once acknowledging that you are likely to fail. If you do, you at least have an idea of how the questions will be phrased. Then study the sections you struggled most with and retake it. If the answer is you can take it every day for 3 weeks straight until you pass, then get after it and fail as many times as you must to eventually pass.

If you are struggling with contract questions, the best study method is to read the contracts and write a one sentence summary of each section of how you would explain this to someone in plain English. Find an agent to help you, perhaps someone from a firm that is trying to recruit you after you pass? Have them correct your errors and explain as needed.

Don’t be afraid to fail. You’ll learn to love rejection and failure as part of the business. They’re just steps on the path to success. You can lose a lot of battles as an agent and still win the war. Good luck, Godspeed, welcome to real estate.

Here’s Alec Baldwin for some verbal abuse and negative motivation, if you’re into that.

I hope this helps! Please feel free to send me a message here on Quora or on my Zillow Profile. I’d love to connect.