January 15th, 2017 / By Lori Rodgers
So you are thinking about getting your real estate license. Perhaps you have recently moved to Florida or are transitioning careers. Maybe you have contemplated getting into real estate sales for years and now the timing is right. Or your motivation could be the result of a mild addiction to HGTV. Whatever the reasons propelling you in this direction you probably have a number of questions including these:
- Do I have to take a real estate course?
- Do I have to pass a test?
- Is it a hard test?
- After I get my license will it be hard to find a job in real estate?
The answers are “Yes, Yes, Yes, and No!”
In Florida, real estate licenses are issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The Division of Real Estate is responsible for the examination, education and compliance of licensees. Their mission, along with that of the Florida Real Estate Commission, (FREC) is to protect the public. The FREC is a quasi-legislative body comprised of seven members appointed by the Governor. They meet once a month in Orlando to hear cases and make decisions regarding disciplinary and regulatory matters.
Where do you start? First, the requirements. You must be 18 years or older and have a high school education or its equivalent. In addition, Florida law requires that real estate license applicants be “honest, truthful, trustworthy, and of good character; and have a good reputation for fair dealing”. Part of the licensing process includes fingerprinting and background checks. Persons with a criminal record are often required to appear at a FREC meeting. They are given the opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding their conviction and to present evidence they are not a threat to the public and will deal with them in good faith once licensed.
You are probably beginning to realize there is a lot of responsibility associated with the privilege of licensure and for good reason. Real estate professionals deal with what may be the biggest investment of a person’s lifetime, their home. Florida lawmakers and regulators take that very seriously. Helping families and individuals buy and sell their properties is a rewarding and often challenging undertaking. Focus on learning all you can about the laws and rules of your new profession and keep learning throughout your career. This is a fast-paced industry and changes are constantly taking place.
Once you have determined you meet the prerequisites for licensure, you must complete a 63-hour pre-license course. The classes can be taken in person or online through a FREC licensed real estate school. It is a good idea to research several schools before making a choice. Ask about the qualifications and experience of their instructors, talk to some of the school’s graduates and explore learning formats. You can choose from accelerated and evening classes as well as self-paced distance learning courses; choose the option that best suites your learning style and lifestyle. There is a lot of material to learn in a relatively short curriculum. Make a commitment to this step and follow through. At the end of the pre-license course you must pass a final examination. Then you will be eligible to take the state examination. It is a very good idea to take a prep course before attempting the licensing examination. The test is difficult, as are most high stakes licensing exams. Being well prepared and passing the test the first time is the ideal scenario. However, if you do not pass the first time, multiple attempts are allowed.
As you can see, earning a Florida real estate license is a significant achievement. Once licensed, you are qualified to work for any licensed Florida real estate broker. Brokerage firms vary in size from small boutique firms to national franchises. We will talk about how to choose the right broker in an upcoming post.
Learn more about how Bert Rodgers Schools of Real Estate can help you accomplish your goal of getting your license. Contact our helpful Student Services team at 941-378-2900.