Got a License? ... Now What?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408

One of my favorite bloggers Karen Anne Stone posted Realtors Charging a Retainer Fee Up Front. Is it Realistic ?

Besides other things she is amazed with 210 classroom hours needed to get a Real Estate license compared to 1,500 classroom hours to get a beautician’s license. Of course, it is in Texas.

The whole point of comparison is that beautician’s license has more credibility. Well, in Florida salesperson has to sit 63 hours and then a test to get the license, but does that mean that Texas licensees are 3.5 times better prepared? Or that they are 3.5 times slower, and that’s the reason they need more time? Or that Texas Real Estate is 3.5 times more complicated than in Florida?

And what do these hours mean anyway?

Our Florida real estate course book ends with a sample test with 100 questions, and one needs to answer 75 of them to pass.

Test yourself. If you have been licensed for more than 3 years, take the last course book, clean, no marks. If you are salesperson, take this course book, and if you are a broker, take broker’s course book. Go straight to the end and without looking anywhere and Googling anything just do the test.

Test - jon Zolsky blogLet me only say that if anyone would without notice put together 100 most prominent brokers and sales associates (that’s how officially they are called now in Florida) and ask them to do the test, unless they are teaching this stuff, the result most probably would be a 100% one. I mean all of them most probably would fail the test.

As instructors use to say, you need it to get the license. You would know nothing, I repeat, nothing about “doing” real estate, but you need to get your license.

So, for a Floridian it really does not mean much. 63 hours of largely irrelevant material, or 210 hours. The real knowledge starts with post licensing course. This one is geared towards real estate.

Of course, what is not relevant IMO, someone else would think is the most relevant. Try this one, that was on my test quite some time ago (as I remember it):

Who is preparing test questions for licensure?

It was a multiple choice scenario with 4 possible answers, 2 of those could make sense: Florida Real Estate Commission or Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

How freakin important to know…

Should “why do we care” be the best answer?

Not that education is not important, absolutely not. But a situation when you need to answer 75 out of 100 questions correctly only to find out that it has very little to do with what you actually need to do, does not sound encouraging to me.

Wasting more time or wasting less time is not education. It is about getting a license.

I can hear critics saying nice things about 63 hours in Florida, or 210 in Texas…. We all know that real estate is local, and people are all different. Maybe one needs 100 hours, and another one needs 50 hours.

Nope. 63 hours.

Why not base it on performance? If you can answer the test questions with flying colors, why not?

Nope. 63 hours…

BTW, how did you fare with the test? If you are in Florida, and you failed the test, you are in good company.

If you are thinking about entering the profession, it is only 63 hours to the right to get a license and then figure that it gave you very little… and start learning the profession. Really learning…

 * Image courtesy of Anonymous9000 via Flickr.com

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Richard Weeks 06/26/2010 09:36 AM
  2. Geri Sonkin 06/26/2010 10:13 AM
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Cheryl - I showed one question in the blog. Even after trying to figure it importance and relevance, I fail. Oh, well.

If you notice, it is not about just passing the  test. It is to  be prepared at least in the very basic to handle the job.

If that were just about how to get the license, it would be a different story. But we are trying to  undrstand a different situation.

You got the license.... Now what?

June 27, 2010 09:37 AM #77
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Wanda - that's an interesting angle. I did not think about it

June 27, 2010 09:38 AM #78
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Charita - what a wonderful comment. And you are absolutely right. The  difference is not jus the hours, but tht beauticians have to get practical skills to pass the test. Why? Because they touch people, and potentially can hurt.

Agents can usually only hurt a wallet.

And I absolutely agree with raising the barriers. It does not guarantee that onle the best would be entering, but that only those, whohave the means. It has nothing to do with integrity.

I had enough problems with entering the industry the way it is. Raise the barrier and so many immigrants would not be able to make it.

Why?

June 27, 2010 09:43 AM #79
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Pippa - I am not going to argue. You know better ... ;-)

June 27, 2010 09:45 AM #80
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Melissa - of course, that's true, but how many professions we know where people get license to do  what they do not know.

Would we allow the doctors to get licenced after pass the basic law pertaiing to practicing medicine? No.

Attorenys? No.

Pilots? No

Beuaticians? No

Real Estate agents. Yes, yes, yes!

June 27, 2010 09:48 AM #81
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Bill - sadly, true

June 27, 2010 09:49 AM #82
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Malik Crichlow
GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist - Maplewood, NJ
Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate

School can never prepare an agent for what its like in the field, but if an agent is passoniate about Real Estate, they will continue to get educated and stay up on the latest so that they can service their clients to the best of their abilities...Great post!

June 27, 2010 04:18 PM #83
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Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

I am a licensed real estate instructor in the State of Virginia and I tell all of my agents that the course is to teach you how to pass a test, not on how to do the business of real estate.  Is it right?  No.  Is it accurate?  Yes.

June 27, 2010 08:28 PM #84
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Mitchell - thank you for such a terrific comment. I can only imagine selling in NYC, and I can understand that brokers their are sharp and knowledgeable.

I would love to agree about the brokers, but what if the broker does not train? I do not believe in things simply happeneing, as in one company they happen, and in another company they won't

I simply do not put the trust in the pre-licensing course, no matter how many hours it can be. It is to pass a test, not to become an productive and knowledgeable agent. Thhis link is missing, and filling the  gap is up to every single agent... wth clients as ginnea pigs.

June 28, 2010 12:53 AM #85
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Deborah - thank you for the comment. I am really learning a lot from the comment like yours. I did not expect it when I posted the blog. There are more angles, and more issues with it, than I could imagine

Very enlightening comment

June 28, 2010 12:54 AM #86
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Laurie - how true. But the difference hereis that hair is attached to the  head, and you can physically hurt a person, and hence all the hours, and not just a boo, but practical tests, while Real Estate is attached to the wallet, and though the amounts can be staggering, it is only money

June 28, 2010 12:57 AM #87
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Richard Weeks
Waller Group - Dallas, TX
Realtor, Associate Broker - Manager Business Development

Jon,

Sorry you are having a problem with that particular broker.  Depending on how long this person has been in business perhaps the education requirements may have grandfathered.

I would say in all states there are some good and bad agents.

If you are having problems with a licensee I suggest you write a complaint and sign it and send to the Texas Real Estate Commission at:

P. O. Box 12188
Austin, TX 78711-2188

June 28, 2010 07:47 AM #88
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Leslie - as you, I often formulate my thoughts when I am writing. That's why I write blogs with some ideas, and then it changes in the process of reading and responding to comments.

You comments are very clever, and I think you would have quite a following on AR.

June 28, 2010 09:56 AM #89
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Rosalinda - that's where I agree with you. License is the right to do business, and now having a good broker or having a "bad" broker, having good mentors or not having mentors at all is a matter of chance, so we are lett ing people ofperate with people's money based on a chance that may be or mabe not there.

That's too much of a gamble

June 28, 2010 10:03 AM #90
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Susan - apprenticeship could be a good idea. We are talking about a supervised and controlled activity, and not the way how broker is supervising agents now, to CYA, but on a structured and defined level

June 28, 2010 10:05 AM #91
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Bill Travis
Captain Bill Realty, LLC - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner

I think working with a mentor and requiring advanced courses such as the GRI and others should be a requirement immediately post license, prior to going out on your own as a licensed agent

July 01, 2010 09:27 AM #92
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Bill - I am afraid that life is changing so much faster than NAR adjusts, that many of these questions will be answered, and not by us.

Google Real Estate or some other venture similar to that (whatever they are coming with) has a potential to so drastically reshape Real Estate, that all our concerns may be irrelevant to Real Estate as it may shift

But right  now, yes, some basic training could help

July 01, 2010 11:58 AM #93
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Richard - of course. However, as I write in the comment above, business models are changing so fast, that we most probably will be faced with changes, which will not be beneficial for us, but we will have either to adapt or to retire

July 01, 2010 12:00 PM #94
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Malik - that's true, and that's fine. Now try to substitute the agent with a 'doctor' or attorney and see if you are still optimistic about how their passion will eventually do miracles for them. Wouuld you want to be that ginnea pig?

July 01, 2010 12:03 PM #95
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Damon - yes, this is a correct assessment.

July 01, 2010 12:07 PM #96
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