Why Now is the Perfect Time to Become a Real Estate Salesperson (And How to Get Started)

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales in August reached their highest level in over a decade. A handful of factors contributed to this, but we’ll focus on just one down below. The continued climb in home sales is a signal that if you’ve been thinking of pursuing a career in real estate, now is the time.

Total existing home sales rose 2.4% (6 million) from July to August, which is also a 10.5% increase compared to August 2019. Despite global hardships, these increases aren’t expected to slow down anytime soon.

“Home sales continue to amaze, and there are plenty of buyers in the pipeline ready to enter the market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. "Further gains in sales are likely for the remainder of the year, with mortgage rates hovering around 3% and with continued job recovery."

In August, nearly 70% of homes on the market were sold in less than a month!

One interesting factor contributing to the steady rise in home sales is the shift away from “corporate office culture” and the acceptance of working from home. With many companies planning on keeping people working from home even after the pandemic is over, the value of real estate to both individuals and the economy as a whole has proven vital.

In August, sixty-nine percent of homes were on the market for less than a month. No matter what your current career situation is, you can become a real estate salesperson and take advantage of the current strong market! All of our real estate licensing courses are available 24/7 from any device with an internet connection - meaning you can learn from anywhere at your own pace.

Get started by choosing your state above, and always feel free to contact us with any questions at 1-800-727-7104.

 


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Michigan Online Licensing Portal Update

On August 25, the Michigan Bureau of Professional Licensing (BPL) within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) introduced a new online licensing system for Real Estate Professionals. This system aims to simplify the licensing process by embracing the internet and moving away from paperwork. With the Michigan Professional Licensing User System (MiPLUS), users can:

  • Apply online, track the status of their application, and receive electronic notifications
  • Renew and modify their existing licensing information
  • Verify the status of a licensed professional
  • File a complaint against a licensed professional or report a change in staff privileges

Here’s how to renew your license using MiPLUS:

You must use a desktop or laptop computer to complete the registration and renewal process.

  1. Login to MiPLUS.
  2. Click on the “Licenses” tab.
  3. Find your License Number under the “Record Number” column. Click on the “Renew License” link located under the “Action” column.

Here’s how to apply for a license using MiPLUS:

You must use a desktop or laptop computer to complete the registration and renewal process.

  1. Login to MiPLUS
  2. Click on Apply for License
  3. Accept disclaimer
  4. Click continue to application
  5. Choose Real Estate from the List
  6. Select which application you want
  7. Click continue Application

Here are some FAQs right from LARA and BPL concerning the new system.

Why is the Department moving to the new licensing system?

The new MiPLUS system will replace three main databases that BPL currently uses to manage licensee records. These systems are 20 years old and limit our ability to offer additional functionality and improve the customer experience.

Will the department still be mailing out renewal postcard notifications with the MiPLUS system?

Yes. They continue to mail out renewal postcard notifications.  In addition, renewal emails will continue to be sent as well.

Are license numbers changing? 

Some real estate broker numbers will be changing. They will be notified once records are migrated to the new system. You can always check your license number by clicking on “Verify a License” at www.michigan.gov/bpl.

Will my expiration date be changing?

The expiration date shown on any current valid license will not change. When you renew your current license for the first time in the MiPLUS system, your new license will have an expiration date that corresponds to the date you first received your professional license.

How do I learn how to use MiPLUS?

Visit www.michigan.gov/miplus to learn more about how to use the new system. This page includes information on how to register an account; how to apply for a license; how to renew your license; and how to modify your license information.

 


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National Association of Realtors Disappointed with New Fair Housing Ruling

On July 23, 2020, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced that he would effectively end 2015’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule.

The purpose of the AFFH ruling was to ensure communities complied with the 1968 Fair Housing Act. In order to get any HUD funding, local governments needed to track poverty and segregation in their communities by completing a 92-point questionnaire. Now, without AFFH, municipalities can declare they’re in compliance with fair housing rules themselves, and HUD will accept it based on their word.

Instead of making housing providers pass a sort-of fair housing exam (the 92-point questionnaire), responsibility largely lands on tennents to file complaints. In an official press release, HUD said they can still “terminate funding if it discovers, after investigation made pursuant to complaint or by its own volition, that a jurisdiction has not adhered to fair housing regulations” (emphasis added).

AFFH has been under attack since 2018, when HUD stopped strictly enforcing it. Since then, a 2019 National Fair Housing Alliance report found 31,202 complaints of housing discrimination in 2018, the highest number since the NFHA began collecting such data in 1995.

Concerning the ruling, the National Association of Realtors issued the following statement.

The National Association of Realtors is disappointed that HUD has taken this step, which significantly weakens the federal government’s commitment to the goals of the Fair Housing Act,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, CA. “The viability of our 1.4 million members depends on the free, transparent and efficient transfer of property in this country, and NAR maintains that a strong, affirmative fair housing rule is vital to advancing our nation’s progress toward thriving and inclusive communities. With the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on people of color reminding us of the costs of the failure to address barriers to housing opportunity, NAR remains committed to ensuring no American is unfairly denied this fundamental right in the future.”

 


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Missouri License Renewal COVID-19 Update and FAQs

When do I need to renew my Missouri real estate license?

Due to COVID-19, Missouri has issued the following license renewal deadline extensions:

  • The current 2020 Broker renewal and CE deadlines have been extended until August 31, 2020.
  • The current 2020 Salesperson renewal and CE deadlines have been extended until October 31, 2020. The renewal period for Salesperson licenses begins August 1, 2020 and will run through October 31, 2020.

Click here for more detailed COVID-19 policy update information.

What are my Missouri real estate continuing education requirements?

Salespersons and Brokers in Missouri are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education each two-year license cycle. At least three hours are required to be in a core topic (MO Laws, Broker Supervision and Escrow Account Management, Fair Housing, Property Management, Commercial Brokerage or Agency and Brokerage Relationships).

Are your courses approved by the Missouri Real Estate Commission?

Yes! Our school ID is 30300. Course approval numbers are included in the course title.

Do you report my continuing education to the Missouri Real Estate Commission?

Yes! We will report your continuing education course completion to the Missouri Real Estate Commission within 10 days. It can take 24-48 hours for the completed course to be reflected in your online profile.

How long do I have to complete my courses after I purchase them?

Individual courses are available for six months from the date of purchase. The purchase of a package will give you access to the course work for the full length of your licensing cycle (2 years).

Do I have to complete courses all at one time?

No! You do not have to complete each course in one sitting. Your courses are available to you from any internet enabled device, and our system will keep track of where you start and stop.

Our courses are usually broken into 20-25 minutes intervals, which will make it easy for you to complete your course when it’s convenient for you!

How do I renew my Missouri real estate license?

Missouri Real Estate Commission will mail out a paper renewal notice that will include your license number and PIN. This is usually sent mid to late April for brokers and mid to late July for Salespersons. Once you have that information you will be able to renew your license online.

How much does it cost to renew my Missouri real estate license?

$50 | Broker (Active or inactive)

$40 | Salesperson (Active or inactive)

$150 | Non-Resident Broker (Active or inactive)

$100 | Non-Resident Salesperson (Active or inactive)

Fees Schedule

I missed the due date for my Missouri real estate license renewal, can I still renew?

Yes, however, your license will not be considered active, and you will not be able to engage in any real estate activity until your license is reinstated to active status. Late renewals are subject to a $50 per month or partial month penalty, up to a $200 maximum. Late renewals cannot be submitted online.

Do I have to complete any continuing education if my Missouri real estate license is inactive?

No. Continuing education is not required while on inactive status, however, before the licensee can activate the license, completion of the 24-hour Missouri Real Estate Practice Course is required.

Does Missouri have reciprocity with other states?

Yes, Missouri does have provisions for individuals who hold a real estate license in another state/jurisdiction. Click here for more information.

 


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New York Bill Aims to Stop Real Estate Agent Discrimination

Earlier this year, New York issued 25 subpoenas to real estate agents and companies in response to a Newsday investigation into housing discrimination. The investigation revealed that Long Island real estate agents discriminated 19% of the time against Asians, 39% of the time against Hispanics, and 49% of the time against Blacks.

Now, in response to Newsday’s story, the New York State Senate just passed Bill S6874A. If it reaches the Governor’s desk and becomes law, it gives the Department of State the authority to “fine, suspend or revoke the license of a real estate agent or broker who commits a violation of Article 15 of the Executive Law in his or her capacity as an agent or broker.”

Article 15 of the Executive Law is known as the New York State Human Rights Law which prohibits housing discrimination. As of now, real estate agents or brokers in New York are not subject to Article 15, and cannot be punished by the state for discriminatory practices. This new bill aims to change that.

“Housing discrimination and predatory practices will not be tolerated in New York,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “By advancing this legislation, the Senate Majority is sending a clear message that you will be held accountable for engaging in unfair, discriminatory, and racist housing practices.”

To ensure you never unintentionally discriminate against any of your clients, check out last month’s blog and learn how to test yourself for possible hidden biases. Senator Jim Gaughran, one of the bill’s sponsors,said “public officials must speak out against racism and end segregation and discrimination in our society, once and for all.” We encourage all real estate professionals to adopt a similar mindset and work toward ending discrimination from within the industry.

 


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New Tool Makes Working with Socially Distant Clients Easier

Unfortunately, social distancing isn’t going away any time soon. As you continue to adjust your business practices to keep clients safe, there is a new tool releasing soon that can make it easier for you to sell homes remotely.

OneHome, revealed earlier this month by CoreLogic (a real estate market data and analytics provider) is a virtual collaboration portal that “facilitates seamless interaction between agents and their clients.” Instead of relying on multiple tools to remotely guide your client through the home buying process, OneHome aims to be a “one-stop-shop.” It includes a virtual marketplace where you can directly communicate with clients, AI-enabled home search results, and access to financing, insurance, and home improvement providers all in one portal.

Some unique features that are sure to make your job much easier are the “Planner” and “PropertyFit.” Planner is a guided checklist in the form of a timeline that explains every step of the home buying transaction process - minimizing any client confusion. PropertyFit is where OneHome flexes its AI-learning muscles. It uses the client’s previous home browsing data and shows them homes that are most likely to meet their needs.

OneHome is expected to be nationally available by the end of 2020. As the real estate market continues to shift along with the pandemic, how do you plan on using new technologies with your clients?

PropertyFit Preview Image

PropertyFit uses client search data to match them with homes that meet their needs. Image from corelogic.com

If you’re not already using social media or even drones to help grow your client base, check out our continuing education courses by choosing your state below.

 


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Testing Yourself for Hidden Biases in an Age of Housing Inequality

This month, the National Association of Realtors released a 53-minute training video centered around addressing and overcoming hidden biases in the real estate industry. With a tenet of our mission statement being to “grow our student’s knowledge base,” we’re encouraging real estate professionals in Michigan and all over the country to learn about and assess themselves for hidden biases.

A hidden (or implicit) bias is when our brains automatically (and often unconsciously) associate stereotypes with particular groups of people - which can cause us to treat those people differently. Before you watch the training video, try taking an Implicit Bias test to learn what your unconscious attitudes are. Considering your own hidden biases is an uncomfortable process, but a necessary one. Research shows that “despite people’s best intentions and conscious awareness, some biases can persist.”

Some examples of hidden bias statements gathered from real estate agents are:

  • “I am going to show you some homes in ‘your kind of neighborhood.’ ”
  • You don’t want to live in that neighborhood, you can afford to live over here where you’ll feel more comfortable.”

If you can’t watch the entire course right now, here’s one key takeaway:

Bias Override is a way to make sure that your behavior aligns with your values. Integrating this into your real estate practice means:

  • Developing protocols for how to provide all clients with equal treatment
  • Learning how to manage your mindset so your interpersonal interactions with clients are respectful and successful
  • Creating scripts for how to navigate conversations about subjects such as schools to make sure you are conveying the same information to each client

It’s important to ensure that all of your clients can obtain the exact housing they desire. In Michigan, studies show that housing inequality is still prevalent despite 1968’s Fair Housing Act. A 2016 survey found that in Metro Detroit, black applicants were twice as likely to be denied a home loan as white applicants. In Lansing, black applicants fare even worse with a denial rate three times higher than whites.

This week, join in the fight for housing equality by setting aside some time to recognize your own hidden biases and start taking steps to change your way of thinking.

 


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COVID-19 Brings Remote Notarization Changes to Colorado

Despite an improving market outlook, with new listings increasing by 53% compared to April and interest rates dropping, we’re all still in the middle of a pandemic. If you’re still working with clients who insist on doing things from the safety of their homes, an important bill concerning remote notarization recently passed in the Colorado General Assembly.

Since March 27, an executive order allowed for a temporary suspension of the notary’s personal appearance requirement. But recently, a new bill passed that both extended the remote notary ability to the end of the year and made it permanent starting on January 1st, 2022.

Unlike many other states who already allow remote notarization, Colorado is putting a specific emphasis on privacy. The new bill, “prohibits the use or sale of personal information of a remotely located individual by a remote notary and the provider of a remote notarization system…” So, you can assure your clients that their private information is safe if they choose to use a remote notary.

To make sure your industry knowledge keeps up with this ever changing world, sign up for our online Real Estate Continuing Education courses.

 


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