The answer is yes. Yes, EVERYone knows a Realtor. But do you know the difference between one who holds a salesperson license and one who holds a broker license?
I’ll be the first to admit the bar is fairly low to get a license to sling real estate. No degree is required. No prior experience is needed…none, you don’t need to know anything about construction or how homes are built, you don’t need to know anything about finance or investments, you don’t even have to do any sort of internship, apprenticeship or shadowing someone more experienced. Nope, you just sit through your state required pre-licensing courses, take the exam until you pass and then hang your license with a brokerage. And just like that, you’re legal to sling real estate, to be a trusted fiduciary to your clients. To guide and *protect* them through the transaction. But hey, no one actually taught you that part in your pre-licensing courses.
Two years ago, on a bit of a whim, I decided it was time to elevate my license, and take the steps to obtain my brokers license. What does that mean? I had to have been a FULL-time agent for at least three years prior. That’s three years of working with and guiding consumers through the buying and selling process, at least 40 hours of each of my weeks. Once I could prove that (with my designated brokers signature / blessing) I could take 2 weeks “off” to sit through N I N E straight days, each 10 hours long, yup 90 hours of classes. Once I made it through my required hours, I had to pass the school exams (broker’s licensing is two exams) before I could sit for my state/federal licensing exam at a testing site.
Boom! I did it all again in the first shot. Not an easy feat, but I take what I do seriously.
To keep my Broker’s license active (in Arizona) I need 24 hours of continuing education credits every 2 years. While I’m rounding out my last couple of courses for my upcoming license renewal, I’m here to tell you, even those 24 hours seems like a small requirement to guide and *protect* the public through a real estate transaction. This coming from someone who’s effectively worked in real estate since before I graduated from the University of Michigan with my degree in architecture. And whom has worked solely on commissions for almost 6 years.
Laws change, software changes, markets change, financing options change – it’s important that I continue to grow and learn in my industry.
I challenge those of you reading this, to use this information to interview your Realtor. Do they hold their salesperson license? Broker license? Are they working full-time? If they’re a new agent, who are they partnered up with to guide them…to guide you? What did they do before they sold real estate? This is the person you’re hiring to guide you through what will likely be the biggest purchase / investment of your life – choose and hire wisely.
As always, if I can help you or anyone you know buy, sell or invest in real estate please reach out. While I’m licensed in Arizona and California, I have a pretty wide network that covers most states!