If you are planning to become a real estate agent or consultant in Turkey, there are specific requirements you must meet to obtain and legally use your license. Unlike the U.S., these requirements do not depend on the state/province you live in or plan on working in.
In 2018, Turkey introduced a new national vocational qualification and competence program in real estate to prevent different institutions and provinces from dictating their licensure requirements and standardize training. Hence, once you obtain your Real Estate Consultant Vocational Qualification Certificate (Mesleki Yeterlilik Belgesi - MYK), you can legally practice anywhere in the country.
Documents and Estimated Fees
To be able to take the real estate MYK exam and be certified, you will need to collect the following documents:
- Application form
- Photocopy of your identity card/passport (you will need a translation if not in Turkish)
- 2 biometric photos
- A letter of undertaking (taahhütname) - a new requirement due to COVID-19
- Bank receipt showing you have paid the exam fee
You may need to provide a high school or university diploma, which will require a notarized translation.
Exam fees for level 4: TL 800 and level 5: TL 900
* Don't forget to get a valid HES code from the government's coronavirus tracking app and bring your ID with you on exam day.
What's the Difference between Levels 4 and 5?
Level 5 is for "supervising real estate consultant" (sorumlu emlak danışmanı).
Level 4 is for "real estate consultant" (emlak danışmanı).
If you want to work as marketing and sales personnel at an office in the real estate business, you can get either qualification, but level 4 will be enough. However, if you want to be a branch manager or a business owner and set up your agency, you will have to pass the Level 5 exam.
If you want to open your own real estate office, you will need a Level 5 qualification, which also stipulates that you must be a high school graduate, at the minimum.
Want to become a real estate agent? Contact us for level 4 or 5-course fees and dates.
How Many Languages Does the Program Support?
Many institutions offer real estate pre-licensing courses, and they currently support 4 languages: Arabic, Turkish, English, and Russian. If taking the program in a foreign language, there are additional costs, e.g., interpreter and translation materials.
Meanwhile, the Turkish government has also introduced more language options for vocational qualification certificates to strengthen their international validity. While these certificates used to only be available in an English-Turkish bilingual format, since 2019, it is possible to have your document issued in 6 foreign languages, which are English, German, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic.
Both the holders of the certificate and employers will be able to view the certificates in these 6 languages free of charge through the MYK web portal.
Enroll in a Real Estate Pre-licensing Course
The Turkish government stipulates that you must either have graduated from a "Real Estate and Property Management" course at a university or obtained a professional competence certificate to work in the real estate sector.
To obtain this certificate and get a license, you must enroll in a 100-hour course taught by an institution or organization authorized by the Ministry of National Education or Turkish universities.
Some courses may accept online applications, but most will require you to drop off signed documents to enroll.
After you have completed your training, you can apply for the real estate salesperson exam through the online platform of CTR International Certification and Auditing Co. Ltd.
The Real Estate Salesperson Exam
Level 5 has 3 categories: A1 - Environment and Quality, A - 2 Marketing Strategy Development and Business Organization, and A - 3 Real Estate Sales / Lease and After-Sales. Each category comprises 20 questions, and you need to score 70% or above to pass. The exam lasts 90 minutes.
The only difference between Level 4 and 5 is that A - 2 evaluates you on Making a Business Plan and Creating a Portfolio in the former.
Apart from the exam's theoretical part, you will also have to undergo a performance-based review under the A - 2 and A - 3 categories.
To check your results and see if you have passed, enter your name, surname, ID/passport number, and birth date here or you can access your results through e-Devlet, (MYK Mesleki Yeterlilik Belgesi Sorgulama).
If successful, you will have to make a final payment of TL 150- 200, the certificate printing fee, and submit the receipt to the examination center.
If you fail, you have 2 more chances to pass.
Your certificate is valid for 5 years. At the end of this term, you will need to submit records. Such as a service statement, reference letter, contract, invoices, portfolio, etc., showing you have worked in the relevant field for at least two years or the last six months within this period or be successful in performance-based exams (P1) held within the scope of this qualification process. If you fulfill one of these requirements, your certificate is extended automatically for another 5 years.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Find a Real Estate Broker or Open Your Own Office
Some real estate agencies or brokers in the business regularly hire assistants or consultants, so that's a great place to start and get some work experience. Knowing more than one foreign language is also an advantage. Don't hesitate to ask around.
Some brokers may even agree to sign a contract with you and help you with your work permit application on the condition that you pay your own SGK contributions every month or work on commission only. It would be best if you always negotiated specifics.
However, if that is not the case, you can also work for yourself and set up your own company.
You'll need to start by choosing the type of company you want to establish (limited liability companies are recommended for foreigners), prepare the company's constitutional documents, and file them with the Trade Register. You'll also need to apply for the necessary licenses and register with professional associations and organizations and set up your own office, which has to be at least 20 square meters.
Don't forget that when you are self-employed/an entrepreneur, you will have to pay your social security premiums to the SGK every month.
Is Real Estate a Great Career in Turkey?
Turkey has a booming real estate market and continues to attract people from all nationalities, making it a great place to pursue a career in real estate and property management.
There is never a shortage of work in Turkey's real estate sector, from vacation homes and mass residential housing projects to leasing large spaces for shopping malls, commercial companies, or hotel chains. And as a foreign entrepreneur, you can set up your real estate agency reasonably easily.
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make?
Figures will vary greatly, depending on how experienced you are and the area/province you live in. A real estate agent/consultant in Bodrum, Kas, or Istanbul will earn much more than, say, in Konya or Trabzon.
Generally, after the first 5 years, you will see a salary increase.
Real estate's beauty is that you can always earn more if you work for it and make intelligent choices. You can earn anywhere from TL 10,000 to TL 100,000 a month or more.
In Turkey, real estate agents can charge as much as 4% of the sale price for brokerage services, excluding value-added tax and a month's rent for leases.
Essential Personality Traits to Become a Real Estate Agent
To be a real estate agent, consultant, or salesperson, you'll need to be:
- Proactive and responsive
- Entrepreneurial (be a go-getter)
- Disciplined and resourceful
- Persuasive and persistent
- Curious and innovative
- Honest (be trustworthy, transparent and have integrity)
- Ambitious and driven
You'll also need to be a fantastic communicator, a great listener, have a passion for the craft, and be comfortable with technology. Having an impeccable work ethic and empathy (emotional intelligence) is also key to being a successful real estate agent.