Category Archives: Broker

Top 10 Hottest YouTube Channels by Real Estate Agents

There are a lot of well-known speakers in the real estate industry who have popular YouTube channels, such as real estate coach Tom Ferry or celebrities with their own TV show like Ryan Serhant. This list isn’t about them. 

This list is made up of regular real estate agents. They may not be big enough to show up on YouTube’s algorithms, but they are passionate about being real estate agents and enjoy sharing their experiences with the world.

Here are the 10 best real estate YouTube channels made by real estate agents, for real estate agents. 

1. Loida Velasquez

2. Mariah Kristine

3. Luna Ge

4. Chastin J. Miles

5. Lillie Nefwani

6. Aram Ghazaryan

7. Chauncey Pham

8. Jeff Wybo

9. Bryan Roach

10. Noelle Nielsen

How to Become a Real Estate Agent | Everything You Need to Know

If you are reading this, the real question you are probably asking yourself is “Should I become a real estate agent?”

People enter the real estate industry from all types of backgrounds, age groups, and for all sorts of reasons. There are teenagers who are still in high school, new college graduates looking to build a full-time career, people who already have a full-time job and want a secondary source of income, or retirees who are just looking for a hobby.

The truth is that anyone can get into real estate because it involves something that we all have in common: wanting to find a place that we can call home. And the only thing better than achieving your own dream is the satisfaction of helping others to obtain theirs.

In this blog post, we will give you a brief introduction about what it takes to get started in the real estate industry so you can determine if this is something that you want to do. We will go over what you need to know, and most importantly, what you actually need to know.

The Basics

If you want to work on anything related to the real estate industry, you need to obtain a license. This is needed because there are a lot of shady and unethical people out there and issuing a license allows the government to track an individual’s work history. For example, if a person is caught breaking the law, then the government can revoke a person’s license to prevent them from working in real estate in the future.

Because every state governs itself and makes its own laws, there is no such thing as a national real estate license. This means that all 50 US states have their own real estate commission to establish their own criteria for obtaining a real estate license. As you can imagine, there are similarities across states, so some states will have reciprocity with each other. If you are licensed in one state, a different state may grant you partial or full credit for having an existing real estate license. Reciprocity is not widespread among states, so it is usually the exception rather than the rule.

Each state not only set their own rules and regulations, they use their own terminology. Fortunately, they are the same in principle. Each state has two levels of real estate agents: people who own the company and the people who work for them.

Below are some examples of what they are called.

State
California
Florida
Texas
Washington

License Type #1
Salesperson
Sales Associate
Agent
Broker

License Type #2
Broker
Broker
Broker
Managing Broker

When you begin your real estate career, you begin on the first level-Type #1. Keep in mind that although you technically work for a company, you still operate as an independent contractor.

If you want to run your own company and get to the second level, all 50 US states require between 2 to 4 years of previous experience in the real estate industry. If you are an attorney, some states will exempt you from the experience requirement.  

Getting Licensed

Every state has different requirements for each license and each level. However, all states generally have the same steps. To obtain the real estate license for Level #1, there are 3 basic steps:

  1. Complete real estate pre-licensing courses
  2. Pass the state exam
  3. Find a broker to work for

Generally speaking, most people can finish the whole process and get their license in about 2 to 3 months.

Let’s look at a few examples to see how the requirements can vary by state.

Course Requirements

State
California
Florida
Texas
Washington

Number of Courses
3
1
6
2

Total Course Hours
135
63
180
90

State Exam

State
California
Florida
Texas
Washington

Number of Exam Questions
150
100
80 National/ 30 State
130

Time (Hours)

2.5
3.5
3.5

Passing Score
70%
75%
70%
70%

License Fees

State
California
Florida
Texas
Washington

License Term (Years)
4
2
2
2

State Exam Fee
$60
$54
$36.75
$138.25

License Fee
$245
$89
$205
$146.25

Choosing a Real Estate School

If you haven’t done a Google search for a real estate school yet, you will soon discover there are an overwhelming number of schools to choose from. How do you decide on which one?

No one knows you better than yourself, so the answer is really up to you and your own preferring way of learning.

There are 3 formats to take these pre-licensing courses:

  1. Online Courses
  2. Video Webinars
  3. Classroom

Online Courses

The vast majority of people today get their license by taking online courses. This is the cheapest, most convenient, and typically the fastest way to complete the courses. This is essentially just like reading a book online. At the end of the chapters are multiple-choice quizzes and at the end of the course is a final exam. You can study from anywhere and at any time. Online schools will typically give you about 6 months of unlimited access to finish the courses. If you are working full-time or just have a busy schedule, this will be the best option for you.

All online schools have different levels of packages available. Their lowest (and cheapest) package just gives you the required prelicensing course. From there, they offer more expensive packages that add on study materials to prepare you for the state exam, such as practice test questions and instructor support.

For example, the biggest online school is Real Estate Express. Regardless of which state you are in, they have 4 different packages to choose from. Their Exam Preparation package gives you over 1,000 multiple-choice questions to prepare for the state exam and is backed with a money-back guarantee. That means if you do not pass the state exam, they will give you 100% of your money back. The Exam Preparation Plus package gives you the ability to interact with live instructors through the Instructor Q&A. The instructors are on a webcam, so you can see their faces as they answer your question.

If you want the best chance for success, you will want to go with their Ultimate Learning package. This includes everything in the other packages plus they will mail you copies of the hardcopy books, which makes studying a lot easier. What I really like about this package is that it not only helps you get licensed, but it also provides additional training for after you are licensed with the 90-day boot camp and 1-year Professional Development membership. You get access to hundreds of video tutorials and a video course led by real estate expert Sherri Johnson, who will teach you how to close your first deal within the first 90 days.

Video Webinars

If reading a book is not going to work for you and you need something more interactive, Kaplan Real Estate Education is the most trusted brand and one of the only schools that offer a webinar format. This is basically a video course that you can take from home where you watch an instructor teach the material. There are live webinars, which require you to login at specific times, and on-demand options that allow you to watch at any time of the day or night. 

Classroom

If you are old school and want to sit in a classroom, you will have to check with your area to see which school is offering. There are no big real estate schools that offer live classes around the country. They are usually offered at small, “neighborhood” schools. While this does give you a more intimate and engaging setting, taking a live class is generally the most expensive option, doesn’t come with any money-back guarantees, and requires you to show up on time, every time.

How much does it cost?

The cost can vary widely depending on which state you are in, what format you choose, and how much exam prep and support you want. Online programs are the most popular and cost-effective route. You can get an idea by looking at some examples listed below.

State
California
Florida
Texas
Washington

Online Courses
$119 to $419
$117 to $399
$507 to $797
$189 to $404
Check Your State

Video Webinars
$399 to $749
Not Available
$429 to $1,089
Not Available
Check Your State

Classroom
$749 to $949
Not Available
$989 to $1,189
Not Available

Preparing for the State Exam

Most schools offer some kind of exam prep to study for the state exam. They are either in the form of a video course or multiple-choice practice test questions, just like what you will see on the actual exam. You will definitely need to get some exam prep to successfully pass the exam. A lot of people make the rookie mistake of thinking they can just study the material in the pre-license course. The problem is that the state exam is not testing you on that. Your pre-license course already came with its own final, so the state is not going to test you on the same material twice. The state exam deals more with real-world scenarios and testing your ability to put learned principles into practice.

The only way to study this is to practice with study materials specifically designed for that state exam. Don’t try to skimp on this just because you want to save a few bucks. Trust me. You will thank me later.   

Finalize Your Application

Once you complete the courses and pass the state exam, you just need to finish your application with the state. Typically, this just means a quick criminal background check and sending them a check for the license fee. They will issue your real estate license to you after everything is done.

Finding a Broker

A lot of people have concerns about finding a broker. They think, “Why would someone hire me? I’m new, I just got my license, and I don’t know anything.”

This is irrelevant. This position is 100% commission-based, which means brokers are always trying to recruit new agents. In fact, some brokers will try to lure new candidates by offering to pay for their real estate courses. As a side note, I would advise against accepting an offer like this because there is always a catch. Typically, they will lock you into a contract at a low commission split or tack on additional hidden fees on your first commission check. Think about it. If the broker is so wonderful and great, why would they feel the need to lock you into a contract? Wouldn’t you want to stay there without one?

There are all types of brokers with their own strengths and weaknesses. You want to visit at least 3 to 5 brokers and pick the one that will set you up for long-term success.

When you interview with them, think of it as a 2-way street. You are there to interview them and see what they have to offer you. After all, you are the one who will be making them money.

As a new agent, you want to focus on finding a broker with a strong mentorship and training program. Try to absorb and learn as much as possible, especially in your first year. A good broker will help you develop your business plan and path to success.

For example, eXp Realty is a large, nationwide brokerage that offers its agents 25 hours of training per week, stock options, marketing materials, etc… If anything, they overwhelm you with too much information.

Keep in mind that you are not married to a broker for life. You can always quit and join a different one. You should not feel stressed about this part at all.

What to Expect in Your First Year

The first year is always going to be the hardest. You are new and still learning how the industry works. It takes the averages real estate agent 6 months to close their first deal. That means that you won’t be with a paycheck for at least 6 to 9 months.  During this period, you may feel discouraged and be questioning your life decisions. Keep in mind, building a business takes time. I strongly recommended investing in a mentor if you can’t find one who will coach you for free. They will not only bring you up to speed faster, they will build your confidence.

Renewing Your License

As you get your real estate business is chugging along, you will need to renew your license every 2 to 4 years, depending on your state. Every state requires its agents to complete continuing education courses and pay a license renewal fee.

Some states also require post-license education on your first renewal. This is basically just an extension of the initial pre-license education. Instead of making you do it before you get licensed, they allow you to take this afterward.

Here are some examples of what the renewal requirements look like.

State
California
Florida
Texas
Washington

Post-License (Hours)
None
45
90
90

Continuing Education (Hours)
45
14
18
30

Final Thoughts

If you have been considering getting a real estate license, I would encourage you to do it. It doesn’t cost a lot and isn’t hard to get. As for the potential payoff? It could be the best decision of your life. Ryan Serhant was a broke, 24-year-old pursuing an acting career when he decided to spend a couple of hundred dollars to get licensed in New York. Today, his real estate team is ranked #1 in New York City, and he has a hit TV show on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York.”

Top 3 Real Estate Virtual Assistants to Hire

As the saying goes: Time is Money.

Whether you just got your real estate license or you are a well-established real estate agent, everyone can take their business to the next level by getting some help. I’m sure you didn’t get into real estate to design websites or shuffle paperwork around, so why not focus your time on the things you are passionate about (and are going to actually make you money). Fortunately, we live in a time where it is easy to find help. However, finding high-quality help is another story.

Here are the three best places we have found to find high-quality help, regardless of what the job is or the budget you are working with.

CompanyIdeal forCommitmentCost
1. FiverrSmall projects such as logo/website design, marketing materials, blogging, social media postsLess than 2 weeksLess than $100
2. Onlinejobs.phSeasoned Agents who need a quality assistant without breaking the bank1 to 3 years$5K to $12K/year
3. MyOutDeskBrokers or Seasoned Agents who only hire the bestLong-termOver $20K/year

Fiverr touts itself as the largest marketplace for digital services in the world. Basically, that means you will be able to find someone to help you with anything. It was originally founded in 2010 in Israel with the idea that all the Gigs would be priced at $5. However, they have since grown into a $1 billion company that is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and allow Gigs to be virtually any price now.

There are already a plethora of people offering up services on just about everything. You can filter the search results by price range, seller rating, delivery time, and more. It has a very clean interface and is easy to use. They provide customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Signing up is free. You can browse through Gigs that are currently available or post one yourself. You only pay when you order a Gig. Fiverr acts as the middle-man and will collect the payment directly form you to give to the recipient. Fiverr also collects a small service charge of $2 for any Gig that costs up to $40 and then 5% off any Gig that is over $40.

The great thing about Fiverr is there is such a deep talent pool and lots of reviews to go on. I’ve personally used it about a dozen times and never had a bad experience. Of course, I always went with people who were reviewed with the highest ratings. Also, since most Gigs are small tasks, you can get the best of both worlds by hiring the best talent in each area. For example, if you want to setup a website, you can hire a specialist on web-design, a different person for photography, and another person who specializes in marketing. This way, you are not putting all your eggs in one basket by hiring a single person and trusting them with everything.

Onlinejobs.ph, based in Utah, was founded by John Jonas, who was also looking for some help. He hired a virtual assistant from the Philippines in 2006, and it worked out fantastic. So much so that he still is working with that same person even today! He wanted a way to share that experience to help other people.

What I like about this company is not just because there are over 500,000 resumes from the Philippines to choose from, but they seem to genuinely care about everyone they work with—not just their paying customers. They post testimonials from their virtual assistants along with the employers, and you can see how onlinejobs.ph has enriched their lives and created some amazing opportunities for them.

You can setup a free account to post a job and review job applications. However, you won’t be able to see their contact information or communicate with them until you pay for a subscription. Don’t let the word “subscription” scare you though. There are no contracts, commitments, or hidden fees. You can pay for a month, hire your virtual assistant, and then just cancel right away so you won’t pay for a second month. If you are still on the fence about them, they back up their claims with a 100% Satisfaction guarantee. They go to great lengths to make sure you feel like you are not getting ripped off. All you have to do is contact them within 30 days, and they will give you all your money back.

Once you have hired your virtual assistant, you will pay them directly through EasyPay or Paypal. I like this model because it cuts out the middleman, and you don’t ever have to wonder if there are any accounting tricks being pulled behind closed doors. Also, since they are classified as an overseas sub-contractor, you won’t have to deal with the 1099 tax forms.

MyOutDesk (MOD) is the industry leader when it comes to virtual assistants. Founded in 2008, they originally came from the real estate industry, providing virtual assistance to real estate agents. Since then, they have branched out into other industries and grown to one of the largest VA staffing companies in the country with over 5,000 clients and thousands of staff members all over the world. MOD is perfect for brokers or well-established real estate agents who are in need of long-term, reliable help but without the high cost of hiring a full-time employee.

MOD goes through an extensive screening process when they hire VA candidates. They employ FBI-grade background checks, personality tests, and only hire the people they feel are the “best of the best.” Once hired, their employees go through 160 hours of rigorous training and 5 additional hours of continuing education every month. As a result, they have been ranked as having 36 out of the top 100 teams on RealTrends™.

With all of this high quality help, it will cost more than choosing a freelancer. So is it going to be worth the investment? On their Facebook page, you can see that out of 90 reviews, they have a high 4.7 out of a 5-star rating. On Google, they have a perfect 5-star rating based on 199 reviews. What I think gives the best insight into a company is to see how the employees rank their own company, since I’m a firm believer that the best companies have happy employees. On Glassdoor, their employees have given MOD a 4.3 out of 5 star rating and 95% of people approve of how the CEO is running the company.

If you decide to hire someone from MOD, you can expect to spend a minimum of around $20K per year. That’s not too bad compared to spending $35K to $40K per year on a regular assistant that comes in the office. Not to mention all the costs associated with interviewing job applicants, payroll taxes, and dealing with employee turnover.

This probably would not be a good fit for someone who just go their real estate license. However, if you are a successful real estate agent and your business is booming, MOD can save you thousands of dollars by providing you with highly educated and trained virtual assistants.

Top 10 Best Real Estate Books for Agents in 2020

Whether you are new to the game or an experienced real estate veteran looking to polish up your skills, we have come up with the best books for taking your career as a real estate agent to the next level. 

This list was compiled from the feedback we got from actual real estate professionals. If they found these books helpful, we are confident you will too!

By Gary Keller

If there is one book you read from this list, this is it. This is a great book for everyone. It will motivate struggling real estate agents who just got licensed and teach experienced ones how to build a business that lasts. What sets this book apart from the rest is that it gives you step-by-step instructions on how to be successful. There are diagrams, charts, and tons of details. If you are serious about a career in real estate, this needs to be the first book you read.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Kevin Ward

If you are tired of saying the same thing or looking for better results, this book is for you. This book helps you take your sales game to the next level by teaching you how to come up with better sales scripts. The first part of the book gives you the foundation for making the scripts work for you. The second half of the book is putting what you learned into practice by developing the actual scripts. Kevin Ward has a no nonsense approach to guiding you through the steps and will build your confidence when you close your next real estate deal.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Michael J. Maher

Michael Maher takes you on a journey through the eyes of Rick Masters, a real estate agent who has fallen on hard times during the Great Recession. Rick meets someone who has built a successful business in the mortgage industry. She shows him a whole new world and convinces him that her methods do work. Basically, you can imagine yourself in Rick’s shoes and simply apply the same steps he took to take his career to the next level. You will learn about the 7 levels of communication for the purpose of strengthening interpersonal relationships.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Og Mandino

This book has been around for a while and for good reason—it’s a staple for any sales professional. This book follows the adventures of a boy named Hafid. He encounters ten ancient scrolls that contain invaluable lessons. This book doesn’t go over technical aspects of selling. Rather, it guides you into forming a winning mindset to not only succeed in sales, but in life in general. The book is filled with words of wisdom that will keep you inspired and motivated to improve your life from the inside out.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Bob Burg and John David Mann

Joe is a go-getter. He is ambitious, motivated, and puts in 100% effort all the time, yet doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere. Joe gets help from a man named Pindar, who is a successful consultant. Pindar shows him that instead of being a go-getter, he needs to be a go-giver to truly achieve success. This means putting yourself in other people’s shoes and trying to help them achieve their dreams before yours. This book is a quick and light read but conveys a powerful message of selflessness.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Larry Kendall

The author gives you a new approach to selling. Instead using old sales methods, Larry Kendall will show you a selling system that is based on science so that you get consistent results no matter who your prospect is. He has tailored the book to the sales professional, keeping it simple and easy to understand. In a nutshell, he says you should focus your energy on providing value to your customer. Don’t focus on closing the sale. By doing that, you will build wealth in more ways than one.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Hal Elrod

This book is designed to get your day started off on the right foot. It will help you feel more energized, motivated, and focused. While some readers feel this is just a regurgitation of Tony Robbins and other well-known life coaches, Hal Elrod gives you the concrete steps to make it happen. He shows you that by waking up a little earlier each day and spending some “me” time first, you will be more productive and get more done.  

Click here to see on Amazon

By Chris Voss

Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator and consults Fortune 500 companies through complex deals that are high-stakes. He shows you how the negotiation tactics and skills he’s learned on the streets can be applied to the business world. This book will help real estate agents primarily during the middle and ending parts of a deal. However, you can apply the same negotiating principles to virtually every aspect of your life, from buying a car or settling a dispute with your significant other. If nothing, you are sure to be entertained reading about some of his stories from the field.

Click here to see on Amazon

By Darren Hardy

This New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller shows you how small decisions in your daily life can have an exponentially big result later. The book walks you through an easy-to-use system and guides you every step along the way to track your progress. The author gives you real life examples of how making even the smallest changes, when applied consistently, can yield great rewards. If you need proof, this book has over 3,000 reviews on Amazon with 85% of those reviews giving it a 5-star rating.

Click here to see on Amazon

By George S. Clason

This book is a great read for any age, and the timeless lessons inside will apply to many aspects of your life. The story follows a rich and powerful ancient Babylonian named Arkad. He’s the richest man of Babylon who describes tales of building wealth. Although this doesn’t directly deal with real estate, it does deal with topics such as saving money and learning how to invest wisely. After all, a big part of being a successful real estate agent is knowing how to stay successful by managing your money prudently.  

Click here to see on Amazon

What do you think about our list?
Do you have any better suggestions? 

Let us know in the comments section below!

Sales Agent License vs. Broker License

In an age of specialization when good paying jobs are few and far in between, a large number of men and women become attracted to the profession of a realtor. With very low barriers to entry and substantial earning potential, the career as a broker in real estate has become extremely popular these days. 

Even though tens of thousands of individuals join the profession of real estate with high hopes, nearly 90% of them fail miserably and quit within the first year. The success rate of newbie brokers may be minimal, but thousands continue to jump on to the bandwagon every year. In such a scenario, it is worthwhile to ask yourself whether you should get a broker’s license or stick with a sales agent license.

Difference between a sales agent and broker

There is a fundamental difference between the job as a sales agent and a broker in real estate. Brokers can work independently while a real estate agent must work under a brokerage with the necessary license. You can become a real estate agent by doing a course and then passing the state and national board exam, but you need to obtain an additional license to work as a broker. A broker is a professional who has also obtained the other license and experience required to function both as a sales agent and a broker. All brokers are real estate agents whereas all agents are not brokers.

Understanding the responsibilities

It is not just the function of a broker that is different from that of an agent. Both have differences in their responsibilities also.

Agents are salespersons in the sense that they represent buyers and seller. They do prospect for buyer and seller leads. They are required to market the properties and find buyers for owners. They show different properties to buyers. A significant function of a real estate agent is negotiating on behalf of their client. They help in drafting the contracts, sales agreements and help their clients during the closing of a deal.

The main job of brokers is to train and manage agents. They recruit new agents and resolve conflicts in their real estate transactions. They review contracts drawn by agents and make sure that they comply with the rules and regulations put in place by the state governments. They must market their brokerage and market the leads they get to their agents.

Once you know the functions and responsibilities of both agents as well as brokers, it becomes easy for you to decide on what you want to grow in the future. If you have an outgoing personality and you believe you can convince others in buying and selling properties, becoming a real estate agent is a good career option for you. On the other hand, if you are better at managing your office and staff, it is a better idea to become a broker.

Benefits of having a broker's license

You can work as a real estate agent without obtaining the broker’s license. However, you must pay the fee of the brokerage that is licensed to conduct real estate sales. It is not just the savings on your commission but also the control you get with a broker’s license that is important while working as a realtor. You also get the freedom to hire other real estate agents to work for your brokerage. This means you can increase your earning potential by having a team of agents working under your brokerage. With a broker’s license under your belt, you can enjoy many more real estate investing avenues that aren’t possible with a simple real estate agent’s license.

Brokers can earn more by recruiting agents under them

Of course, you need a bit more training and education to be eligible to work as a broker. You are one step above an agent who must work for you whereas you can run your independent business. The exam to become a broker is lengthy and requires in-depth knowledge about real estate. It is undoubtedly more difficult than the exam needed to become a real estate agent. Once you get the broker’s license in your state, you can set up your own real estate firm and hire agents to work for you.

How do you become a broker?

Different states have different criteria for obtaining the license of a real estate broker. You need to find out the educational and licensing requirements in your state before you take a step in this direction.

You must be over the age of 18, completed the required broker pre-license courses for your state, and passed the broker state exam. You must have experience as a real estate agent for a specific time depending upon the state in which you are living.

You also need to have accumulated a certain number of points based upon real estate transactions done as a real estate agent. Broker licensing courses are generally on the same subjects as a sales agent’s license.

The bottom line

At the end of the day, it is entirely your personal choice whether you want to work as a real estate agent or a real estate broker. Both professions are in high demand, and both earn attractive income yearly. You can choose to continue as an agent. But if you want to take a different path in your career, you always have the option of becoming a real estate broker.

Residential Real Estate Agent or Commercial Real Estate Agent?

As a realtor, you will most likely either choose to sell a commercial property or residential property. Some people may also opt to do both.

However, if you realize later on down the line that you were wrong, that is okay. You are not committed to staying in either sector forever. You can always change sides.

In this article, we will look at the similarities as well as the difference between the two types of properties to see which one is the best fit for you. This is something you will have to think hard about to see what works best with your style. That is a decision that we will leave you to make based on the information that we will provide.

What is the difference?

Somebody once said that comparing commercial and residential real estate is similar to making a comparison between apples and oranges. Both are fruits, and that is where the similarities end.

On a more serious note, commercial real estate focuses on business needs. These are properties which are leased, sold, rented out to achieve a business objective. One would call it an investment which is aimed at making a predetermined rate of return.

On the other hand, residential real estate focuses on the needs of a homeowner and his or her family. It includes properties which have been bought or built for family use. It is more so described as the provision of housing to the families.

Now that we have a basic understanding of what each entails, let’s dive deeper.

Education

Whether you want to become a commercial or residential estate agent, you will need a license. However, in terms of education for a residential estate agent, you do not need to have a college degree.

As a commercial real estate agent, you will be expected to have a college degree in business. This is to allow you to have a deeper understanding of the professional terminologies that are used in this sector. Terms such as capitalization rates, real estate analytics, internal rate of investment among others which are used in finance and investment will be the order of the day.

If you do not have a basic understanding of these terms, you may have a hard time working as a commercial real estate agent. Although it is not mandatory to have a degree, it comes as an added advantage. For those who do not have a degree in business or finance, but are knowledgeable in finance and investment terms, they can perform equally well in this field.

Training

Both commercial and real estate professionals need the training to be better agents. However, the level of training is different.

Commercial real estate agents will need more training, this more so if they do not have a background in business and finance. In the course of analyzing the real estate markets, they will come up with terms and ratios which require this knowledge. Without it, you will not make much of that information and may be a barrier when it comes to selling some properties.

If you have a weakness in this area, do not panic as there are people who can help you analyze the information, the catch is that you have to incur an extra cost in terms of the consultation fee.

Earnings

The amount you earn in any business will depend on several factors. Some people will make more than others. This is the same case with real estate.

Although there is a belief that those who venture into commercial real estate make more money, there are also some who are doing well in residential real estate. It will primarily depend on your strategy, and the type of real estate business you have ventured in will be secondary.

However, with all factors held constant, a commercial real estate agent is likely to make more money given that they are dealing with a large amount of money. In a business which is commission based, the more significant the amount of sale or purchase, the higher the agent earnings.

You can imagine of an agent who sells the property of $50,000,000 in one deal with a residential real estate who sells homes worth $5,000,000 over a period of one year. The difference will be huge, and the residential real estate agent will have to put in a lot more effort to make the same amount.

Earnings will differ due to the amount of money involved or the value of the property, but the effort which has been put towards making such an amount will vary hugely.

Ease of Selling

It has been mentioned before that it is relatively easier to sell a residential property than a commercial one. Some of the factors which have been given around include the amount of money involved. Also, the fact that we have more people looking for homes for the family than those who are in it for commercial reasons.

I think I will have to end the article with a disclaimer, these are not the only differences and similarities between these two sectors in real estate, we have just looked at a small part of it, but the information can be enough to help you make a decision on where to fall.

Why Real Estate Is The Perfect Career

When making a career choice, there are several factors that an individual considers. These factors help in arriving at the best decision and ultimately selecting a career that will satisfy the individual. 

These factors range from the qualification requirements, ease of entry, future prospect, potential earnings, career advancement, and working environment among others.  A career in real estate can be one of the best choices that you make in your life. Here are some of the reasons why it is the perfect choice.

Low Barrier To Get In

If you have a passion for sales, like interacting with people from a diverse background, have patience and are committed to seeing other people satisfied, this is a career for you.

Unlike other careers, the entry requirements to get into this line of business are minimal.

In terms of the education requirements, with basic education and a certificate course in real estate, you are good to go.

When it comes to capital requirements, this is a career that you can enter without incurring debts. In fact, at times you do not even need to spend anything at all if you do not want to. If you have the information about a property and know somebody willing to take it, you will have earned yourself a commission without the need of a business office, office equipment, and things of that nature. You will have made your money just by using the already existing infrastructure.

Out of the money that you make from such a deal, you will have enough to set the system. I cannot think of any other business which one can start this way, beginning a venture to get some capital to do the same business.

This can only happen in a real estate business. Although it is easy to enter into this career, it does not mean it is for everyone. It belongs to those who are passionate about sales, so do not be afraid that there are a lot of people who try out this career.

Many are called, but a few are chosen. Some of those who join with a mindset of getting rich quickly will get disappointed within the first few months, especially when they find that things are entirely the opposite of what they thought.

High Income Potential

For other types of careers, employees have to wait for years before they finally get a pay raise or a promotion. You may work extra hard for a particular employer only to be recognized with a small amount in terms of a bonus. You may earn them million dollars but won’t get a cent of the business that you have brought to them.

When it comes to real estate business, things are different. Depending on the effort that you put into your work, you can be earning a pay raise every month.

How does this happen? Every month, set a goal of closing one deal a month. Then, when you accomplish that goal, aim for a bigger one than prior month. With this strategy, you will be earning more than you did last month.

If you keep aiming at closing more deals than you did in the previous months, you have an opportunity of making a significant amount of more money.

Income is not constant. It can increase every month. However, on the flipside, you can earn less than you did last month. There may be times where you may even take home nothing.

This can be avoided by having a strategy, aim at making a deal every month and ensuring each time you have more than what you did last month.

It takes hard work, so you have to be prepared to get your hands dirty and burn the midnight oil.

Use strategies that are working advertise widely, target the right market and you will never go wrong on this, you are assured of earning more every month, something that you may not get anywhere else.

Working Environment

If you have ever dreamt of working in an environment where you enjoy total freedom, flexibility and are in control of things, real estate career is what you had in mind.

Working as a real estate agent gives you the freedom to determine when, where and how to work. You will be your own boss, you do not wait to take orders from your supervisors, and you are everything.

You make decisions on which clients to approach, when to do it and how you will get them. If you do it right, you will succeed in this. If you are not a person who likes being caged in an office from nine to five, waiting for instructions from your boss and are restricted on the types of decisions that can make, then a career in real estate will provide you what you need.

It will keep you challenged every day.  It is a profession that will make you go out of the way to find real estate deals, close them, and keep doing this day in and day out. 

However, there is a disclaimer: do not get into this thinking that it will be all easy, sometimes you will be required to work for long and odd hours. You should understand right from the beginning that it can be more demanding than most of the other careers. For those who are patient, remain focused and resilient, hefty commissions await.

How Much Do Broker’s Make?

The income earning potential of a profession plays a crucial role in making it attractive in the eyes of men and women. Real estate broker is a career that is very attractive in terms of income that an individual can make selling real estate for others. Brokers charge a fee for selling real estate for agents which is also referred to as their commission. Brokers can run their own brokerage firm or work for other realty companies and franchises. If they are working for others, they can get a salary of around $70,000- $75,000 per year. But when they choose to run their own brokerage firm, only the sky is the limit as far as income earning potential is concerned.

Based on the level of their experience a real estate broker can command a salary in the range of $56,000 to $84,000 per year. The average yearly salary of an experienced real estate broker around the country is $76,200. This amount also depends upon the geographical area or the housing market you are working in. New York happens to be the best place for real estate brokers in the country as these professionals are getting an average salary of around $137,000 per year there.

However, most real estate brokers work not based on a monthly or yearly salary but the basis of commission. They get a cut on every real estate transaction carried out by real estate agents working under their brokerage firm. The average income of a broker is much higher than that of a real estate agent because a broker has several agents working under him.

There is a considerable variation in the income levels of different real estate brokers depending upon the kind of broker they are and the functions they are performing. Some real estate brokers are managing brokers while others are associate brokers. There are also brokers who themselves sell real estate. As such, the amount of money earned by a broker can be high or low depending upon the kind of activities he is involved with.

Associate Real Estate Broker

A real estate broker who has got the license to work as a broker but chooses to work under the brokerage of any other broker is called an associate real estate broker. These individuals take this step as they find less risk in working under another brokerage firm and they also avoid many expenses that are involved with such a business. These brokers earn a median annual salary of around $55,000. This is much less than what an independent real estate broker earns, but it is certainly much more than what a real estate agent makes every year.

Designated Real Estate Broker

If a broker has his own brokerage firm, he is called a designated real estate broker. If such a professional hires and manages services of real estate agents, he also becomes a managing broker. Even in this category, there are two different types of real estate brokers. Those who hire associate brokers to manage real estate agents working for their brokerage firm are called a designated broker or the broker-owner. The associate brokers these real estate brokers hire to manage their real estate agents are referred to as managing brokers. All tasks of the real estate broker are performed in such a scenario by these managing brokers in the name of the broker who owns the brokerage firm. Managing brokers earn a high level of income, but they also bear lots of responsibilities. They not only look after their clients but also the agents working under their brokerage firm.

Many real estate agents become brokers to keep 100% of the commissions earned from their clients. There are also broker-owners who get a slice of income of other agents, but they also take over the responsibility of sponsoring these agents.

If you are a real estate agent, it is a good idea to get the license to work as a broker. You can get an edge over other real estate agents working in your area and also get an opportunity to hire them to work under your brokerage. You can continue to sell properties. While you get to keep all the commission earned by you as a real estate agent, you also start to get a percentage of the commissions earned by other real estate agents working in your brokerage. Of course, it can be very demanding, but if believe you can work hard and manage your brokerage as well as other agents, only the sky is the limit as far as your income earning potential is concerned.

Broker Owners

If one takes a look at all the real estate brokers, he finds that only about a third of these professionals are broker owners. This means that one out of every three real estate brokers owns their own brokerage firm. There is also a small percent of brokers who run the franchise of another brokerage firm. More than half of the real estate brokers around the country work for others, including other brokerage firms and realty companies, in exchange for commissions or annual salaries.

Expenses From Being A Broker

Now that you are aware of the kind of income earned by real estate brokers, you should also have some knowledge about various expenses incurred by these professionals. Average expenditure of an associate broker around the country on marketing, transportation, and technology comes to around $9,600. The average spending of a broker-owner is much higher, close to $16,000 per year. This is because they have to bear expenses on office, furniture, equipment, utility bills, and so on.

Even though the average salary of a real estate broker is higher than that of a real estate agent, he also puts in a higher number of hours of work every week in comparison to an agent. If you are prepared to work hard, the career of a real estate broker can be very profitable for you.

How Do I Renew My Broker License?

Your real estate broker license is valid for one to four years, depending on your state. For you to renew it for another term, you will be required to complete continuing education and pay the renewal fee. Every state has set its own requirements and is subject to change, so it is important to always check with your state board. 

Continuing education is an essential part of professional development and keeping real estate agents up-to-date on current laws and regulations. It usually does not take very long to complete, and most people can complete them with relative ease. 

CE Requirements by State

California

If you live in California, your license is good for 4 years, and it needs to be renewed before the expiration date that’s on your license. The California Department of Real Estate will mail you a reminder about 60 days before you’re up for your renewal.

For first time and subsequent renewals, all real estate brokers must complete 45 clock hours of approved continuing education.

It must consist of one 8-hour survey course covering the six mandatory subjects (Ethics, Agency, Fair Housing, Trust Fund Handling, Risk Management, and Management and Supervision), or licensees can choose to take each of the mandatory subjects separately.

It must also have a minimum of 18 clock hours of consumer protection topics and the remaining clock hours may be elective courses related to either consumer service or consumer protection

If you don’t renew your license on time, you can renew your license within 2 years from your license expiring however you cannot perform any activities that are related to real estate until your license is reactivated.

Colorado

Licensees in Colorado have a 3-year license cycle. All active real estate brokers need to complete 24 hours of continuing education.

If you were just issued your broker license, your initial license would expire at midnight on December 31st of the year it was issued during this initial license. The newly licensed broker will not have to do any continuing education. However, after that initial licensing period passes, the active licensee well then start their three-year license cycle and have to complete 24 hours of continuing education during that cycle.

Your continuing education requirements during the three-year cycle must include the following:

  • 12 of the 24 hours must be comprised of three different versions of the for our Annual Commission Update Course
  • The remaining twelve hours can be any combination elective hours approved by the state

Make sure that you keep copies of your certificates for at least four years. You will need to be able to provide proof of completion if the commission asks you for it.

Florida

Once you are issued your broker license, your first time renewing will require you to complete 60 hours of post-license education consisting of a 30-hour broker investment and a 30-hour broker management course along with your renewal fee.

 If you don’t comply with these initial renewal requirements by the expiration date on your license, your license will be changed to “Null and void” status.

Following your first renewal and for all subsequent renewals, you’ll be required to complete 14 hours of continuing education and pay the renewal fees to keep the license current.

If you fail to comply, then your license will change to an “Involuntarily Inactive” status.

If your license becomes an “Involuntarily Inactive” for 12 months or less, you can easily reactivate it by completing the required at 14 hours of continuing education and paying a late fee. However, if your license has been in “Involuntarily Inactive” for between 12 months and 24 months, you’ll have to reactivate it by completing 28 hours of reactivation education as well as pay a late fee

Georgia

Anyone who has an active real estate license number that is over 100,000 will be required to complete a total of 36 hours of CE during your 4-year cycle. This must include 3 hours of License Law. 

If you have completed an approved course for CE and you want to retake the same course within your 4-year cycle, you must wait at least one full year after the initial completion date to retake the course. otherwise, it will not count for continuing education credit. 

If your license number is less than 100,000, you do not have to turn in any CE for your renewal. 

Illinois

All Managing Brokers in the state of Illinois are required to renew their license every 2 years on odd-numbered years (e.g. 2021, 2023, 2025). 

Because of the recent changes in continuing education requirements, the DRE will allow brokers renewing in 2020 to submit either of the following:

  • 4-hour Core CE course and 8 hours of education in Elective topics
  • 6-hour Core (Core A and Core B) and 6 hours of education in Elective topics

The broker renewal fee is $150. There is an additional $50 penalty fee if you do not renew on time. 

New York

Real estate brokers must successfully complete 22.5 hours of CE courses. This must include at least 3 hours of instruction related to Fair Housing and/or Discrimination in the Sal, or Rental of Real Property, or an Interest in Real Property, and at least 1 hour of coursework that involves the Law of Agency. 

You will be sent a postcard and an email as a courtesy reminder about 3 months prior to your expiration date. 

You can complete your CE at any time during your renewal cycle. However, you are eligible to turn in the certificates 3 months before your renewal date.

If you are an associate broker, you are required to provide evidence of a sponsoring broker.

Missouri

The Missouri Real Estate Commission requires that active brokers complete a minimum of 12 hours of real estate instruction during their 2-year license cycle, which ends every June 30 on even-numbered years (e.g. June 30, 2020 to June 30, 2022).

At least 3 hours of the 12 total hours must be instruction that has been approved as Core credit. 

Beginning with the 2020 to 2022 renewal cycle, brokers will have to also complete a 3-hour core course in Real Estate Ethics. The remaining 9 hours of required CE can be in either core or elective topics that have been approved by MREC. 

Pennsylvania

The real estate broker license expires on May 31 of every even-numbered year. Licensees are required to complete 14 hours of approved continuing education. 

The Commission will mail a renewal notice to the address of the most recent employer on file.  

Virginia

The Code of Virginia requires that all brokers complete 24 hours of approved CE courses to renew their license every 2 years. 

This must include the following courses:

  • Six (6) hours in Broker Management
  • Two (2) hours in Broker Supervision
  • Three (3) hours in Ethics & Standards of Conduct;
  • Two (2) hours in Fair Housing
  • One (1) hour in Legal Updates and Emerging Trends
  • One (1) hour in Real Estate Agency
  • One (1) hour in Real Estate Contracts
  • Eight (8) hours in Real Estate related subjects (elective courses)

Texas

Texas real estate brokers must renew their license every 2 years by completing 18 hours of continuing education and paying the license renewal fee. 

These 18 hours of CE must include:

  • 4 hours of TREC Legal Update I
  • 4 hours of TREC Legal Update II
  • 10 hours of elective courses

If you have sponsored one or more sales agents, served as the designated broker for a business entity broker that sponsors sales agents, or have been made a supervisor of other license holders, you will need to take the 6 hour Broker Responsibility course.

A renewal notice is mail out to the licensee approximately 90 days before the renewal date. You will not be able to turn in your certificates until you receive this notice. 

For late renewals up to 6 months past the expiration date, you can still renew your license by completing the required continuing education and paying a late fee. 

If you are late on your renewal by 6 months or longer, you will have to apply for a reinstatement of your license.

If it has been over 2 years since your license expiration date, you must retake the state exam. 

Washington

The Managing Broker license expires every 2 years. 

You must certify that you have completed 30 hours of CE during your renewal cycle consisting of:

  • 3-hour Core Course
  • 27 hours of approved elective topics

If you took more than 30 hours of CE during a renewal cycle, you can carry-over up to 15 hours of unused CE credit that was completed within 48 months of your renewal date. 

  • At least 15 hours out of the 30 total hours must have been completed within 24 months of your renewal date. 
  • If you are a newly licensed Managing Broker, the CE hours must start after the date you were issued your license

 

Everything You Need To Know About The California Real Estate Broker Exam

It takes a lot of pre-requisites just to be able to sit for the California broker exam. Not to mention that it’s a long test that will require you to be there all day. So, if you are thinking about “winging it,” you may want to know what you will be going up against first.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the details you need to know (except for the actual questions on the test) about the broker state exam. .

Application

After you’ve met the pre-requisites for education and experience, you’ll need to mail your application, along with the $60 exam fee, to take the broker state exam in California.

There are two ways to file your application:

  1. Broker Examination Application (RE 400B) – This is the standard application form.
  2. Combined Broker Examination and License Application – This is the “fast track” option where you pay all fees upfront. This cuts down on the paper-shuffling, and you end up receiving your license faster. However, keep in mind that all fees are non-refundable, so if you fail the test or change your mind, you will not get your money back. 

Scheduling

The broker state exam is administered by the Department of Real Estate about once a month. You can see the current schedule of availability on their website here.

You can schedule your exam through the eLicensing online system very easily now. This allows you to schedule your test all the way up until 6am on the day of the exam. 

The exams will begin promptly, so it’s important to be punctual and arrive at least 30 minutes early.

Basic calculators will be provided, so you will not be allowed to bring your own.

 

Locations

There are 5 exam sites available:

Los Angeles and surrounding areas
1 Centerpointe Drive
Suite 370, 3rd Floor
La Palma, CA 90623

Fresno and surrounding areas
2550 Mariposa Mall
Room 3070
Fresno, CA 93721

Oakland and surrounding areas
1515 Clay Street
Suite 702
Oakland, CA 94612

Sacramento and surrounding areas
1651 Exposition Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95815

San Diego and surrounding areas
7630 Carroll Road
San Diego, CA 92121

Note: The DRE has an office in Los Angeles that is not an exam site. 

Format

The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and is broken up into 2 parts.

There is a 2.5 hour morning sessions with 100 questions, and a 2.5 hour afternoon session for the remaining 100 questions.

You will need a score of 75% or better to pass. You will be notified of the examination results immediately after you finish. They will also mail you a formal notice within 5 business days by mail.

If you fail the exam, the easiest way to re-apply is through the eLicensing online system. You can try to pass the exam as many times as you need within 2 years of filing your initial application. After the 2 year mark, you will have to re-qualify for the experience and fill out a new application along with the test fee.

Content

The law requires that broker license applicants demonstrate in a written examination:

  • Appropriate knowledge of the English language, including reading, writing, and spelling; and of arithmetical computations common to real estate and business opportunity practices.
  • An understanding of the principles of real estate and business opportunity conveyancing; the general purposes and general legal effect of agency contracts, deposit receipts, deeds, deeds of trust, chattel mortgages, bills of sale, mortgages, land contracts of sale, and leases; and of the principles of business, land economics and appraisals.
  • A general and fair understanding of the obligations between principal and agent; the principles of real estate and business opportunity transactions, and the code of business ethics pertaining thereto; as well as of the provisions of the law relating to real estate as administered by the Real Estate Commissioner.
studying for real estate license

Here are the 7 sections covered in the state exam and how much each section is weighted:

  1. Property Ownership and Land Use Controls and Regulations – 15%
  2. Laws of Agency – 17%
  3. Valuation and Market Analysis – 14%
  4. Financing – 9%
  5. Transfer of Property – 8%
  6. Practices of Real Estate and Mandated Disclosures – 25%
  7. Contracts – 12%

Here’s a detailed breakdown on what’s covered in each section. This is for informational purposes only, and is subject to change.

Property Ownership and Land Use Controls and Regulations

  • Classes of Property
  • Property Characteristics
  • Encumbrances
  • Types of Ownership
  • Descriptions of Property
  • Government Rights in Land
  • Public Controls
  • Environmental Hazards and Regulations
  • Private Controls
  • Water Rights
  • Special Categories of Land

Laws of Agency and Fiduciary Duties

  • Law, Definition and Nature of Agency Relationships, Types of Agencies, and Agents
  • Creation of Agency and Agency Agreements
  • Responsibilities of Agent to Seller/Buyer as Principal
  • Disclosure of Agency
  • Disclosure of Acting as Principal or Other Interest
  • Termination of Agency
  • Commission and Fees
  • Responsibilities of Agent to Non-Client Third Parties

Property Valuation and Financial Analysis

  • Value
  • Methods of Estimating Value
  • Financial Analysis

Financing

  • General Concepts
  • Types of Loans
  • Sources of Financing
  • Government Programs
  • Mortgages/Deeds of Trust/Notes
  • Financing/Credit Laws
  • Loan Brokerage
  • Types of Loan Originators

Transfer of Property

  • Title Insurance
  • Deeds
  • Escrow
  • Tax Aspects
  • Special Processes
  • Transfer through Court Supervision
  • Types of Vesting

Practice of Real Estate and Mandated Disclosures

  • Trust Account Management
  • Fair Housing Laws
  • Truth in Advertising
  • Record Keeping Requirements
  • Agency Supervision
  • Permitted Activities of Unlicensed Sales Assistants
  • DRE Jurisdiction and Disciplinary Actions
  • Licensing, and Continuing Education Requirements and Procedures
  • California Real Estate Recovery Fund
  • General Ethics
  • Technology
  • Property Management
  • Commercial/Industrial/Income Properties
  • Specialty Areas
  • Transfer Disclosure Statement
  • Natural Hazard Disclosure Statements
  • Disclosure of Material Facts Affecting Property Value
  • Need for Inspection and Obtaining/Verifying Information
  • Reports
  • Servicing Diverse Populations

Contracts

  • General
  • Listing Agreements
  • Buyer Broker Agreements
  • Offers/Purchase Contracts
  • Agreements
  • Promissory Notes/Securities
  • Purchase/Lease Options
  • Advanced Fee

Some Final Thoughts...

It is extremely important that you do not try to cut corners and cheat. If you get caught, they will charge you with a misdemeanor. Do not talk to other test takers, copy answers, bring unauthorized personal items to the test, or try to game the system in any way.

You’ll want to reserve a sufficient amount of time to prepare for the exam. There are a lot of education providers available nowadays with practice tests and crash courses. This is a big test, so I advise doing it right the first time.

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