Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Broker License

How do I get a Michigan real estate broker license?

  1. Complete 90 hours of approved real estate coursework within 36 months of application, unless licensed continuously.
    All potential brokers in Michigan must complete an approved 90 Hour course. Real Estate Training Institute offers this course online in HD video so you can fit it into your busy schedule. The onscreen instructor, Gwyn Besner is available to answer any questions you have while taking the course.
    Note: if you have been a practicing attorney for 5 or more years you only need to take 30hrs to become a licensed broker.
  2. Submit your real estate license application. Go to www.michigan.gov/icola to apply for a license. Upon accessing iCOLA, you will be asked to create an account, pay your license fee, and submit your license application electronically.
    Note: You must have at least 3 years’ full-time experience as a real estate salesperson, or equivalent experience before applying as a broker (Rule 205).
  3. Register with PSI and pay the $76 exam fee.
    To schedule your exam date, call PSI at 1-800-733-9267. Use the 24/7 Automated Registration System or speak with a representative between 7:30 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. ET. You will be informed immediately after the exam whether you passed or not. PSI will import your exam data into your iCOLA record within 48 hours of successful completion of the exam.

Where is the Michigan real estate broker exam offered?

  • Gaylord
  • Grand Rapids
  • Holt
  • Marquette
  • Southfield

What are the initial real estate licensing fees in Michigan?

Michigan operates on three-year cycles so initial licensing fees decrease each year. 2018 is the last year of a licensing cycle to fees are as follows:
Brokers & Associate Brokers: $71
Branch Office: $30

Who do I contact at the state level about getting a Michigan real estate license?

Contact Information

Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Board of Real Estate Brokers & Salespersons
Website:  http://www.michigan.gov/realestate
Phone:  517-241-9288

Licensing References

Michigan Real Estate – Frequently Asked Questions
Michigan Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons — Occupational Code


Licensing Resources

Should You Get A Real Estate License?

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Salesperson

Why You Should Upgrade to A Broker License

 


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Top 5 Real Estate Markets for 2020

Surprisingly, the cities expected to have the most growth in 2020 are nowhere near the large coastal cities you may expect. Instead, home buyers are flocking to areas where they can get more for less. Growing cities in the midwest and southwest dominate growth. Here are the cities that are expected to show continued growth throughout the year.

Boise Idaho

Boise, Idaho 
Median Sale Price $295,000
Home Price Change: +8.1%
Sales Change: +0.3%

Idaho currently has one of the highest rates of job growth in the nation, many of which are in technology which can only mean one thing. Housing is flying off the market and the prices are increasing. Buyers who can spend between $300,000 and $400,000 have the most options.


McAllen, Texas
Median Sale Price $152,000
Home price change: +4%
Sales change: +4.4%

McAllen is the retail center of South Texas and Northern Mexico with 27% of the city's workforce employed in the retail sector. Edinburg is a separate city within metro McAllen that is also seeing a housing boom. A four bedroom house runs under $200,000 so it is popular among many residents that work in McAllen.


Tucson, Arizona
Median Sale Price $230,000
Home price change: +3.3%
Sales change: +3.4%

Luxury home sales are slowing or stagnat across the country - except in Tucson. Homes priced from $800,000 to several million dollars are moving as soon as they hit market. Large companies such as Caterpillar recently moved downtown, bringing jobs to the area. The military base also generates about $2.5 billion dollars annually for the Tucson economy.

This growth in economic activity coupled with the climate are bringing people in from all over the country - 45.2% of listings are viewed by people who live out of state.


Chattanooga, Tennessee
Median Sale Price $189,000
Home price change: +3.6%
Sales change: +2%

Chattanooga is conveniently located between Nashville, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia but cheaper than both. The city recently completed a $120 million redevelopment of its riverfront. The area now has apartment buildings, family-friendly restaurants, museums, an amphitheater, and parks. As a result, prices are going up. A two-bedroom condo with river views will run about $300,000, on the other hand, a single family home in the suburbs is going for $200,000.

 


Columbia, South Carolina
Median Sale Price $178,000
Home price change: -0.2%
Sales change: +5.5%

Columbia is known for its ultra-affordable homes - making it attractive to buyers from all over the country. The Fort Jackson Army Base, Amazon fulfillment center, and University of South Carolina also draw home buyers from all over the country. The city is so popular, bidding wars often drive up low list prices.

Neighborhoods near the University have homes from $100,000-$200,000, while areas closer to downtown are generally higher priced.

 


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How to Handle Bad Reviews

What is the first thing a potential client does when looking for a real estate agent? If you answered "look for reviews" you're correct. So what do you do if you have bad reviews?

  1. Avoid being defensive. It's natural to have hurt feelings or want to retaliate when someone speaks poorly of your business. Avoid this reaction. Instead, do a little research.
  2. Google your name to see if there are any additional negative reviews about your practice. If you find a pattern, for example, multiple clients saying your staff is rude and unhelpful, you know where to start. If you only have one bad review, that's great news!
  3. Talk to anyone at your company who may have interacted with the unhappy client. It's possible a misunderstanding occurred or you have an unreasonable customer on your hands. Either way, it's best to know what you're up against before you respond.
  4. Now that you understand the problem, you're ready to respond. Make sure you respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, in a positive manner. When responding to bad reviews start by thanking the reviewer for their time and valuable input. Apologize for their poor experience without making excuses (yes, even if their complaint is unreasonable. This shows future customers you are dedicated to keeping your customers happy). Let them know how you plan to address the problem. The response below not only addresses client concerns, but also encourages the client to take the conversation off of a public platform, and shows potential customers your dedication to customer care.

Example: "Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback. We are very sorry you had a bad experience with our company. We are working with our staff to ensure we are able to provide top-quality customer service in the future. We would appreciate the opportunity to make things right with you, please call our office between 8am-5pm to discuss possible solutions."


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Safety Tips for Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Professionals, in particular, need to be cautious of their surroundings.  Especially during an open house or private showing.  You can't avoid showing your clients their dream home, but there are certain precautions you need to take to ensure your safety.  Here are 7 personal safety tips to keep in mind during your next open house or showing.

  1. Arrive to your destination early and become familiar with the home and its surroundings.  Is it in a populated subdivision or in the woods or country setting where cell service is spotty?  Check various areas where cell phone coverage might be limited. This is good to know in case you need to make an emergency call for help.
  2. When parking your vehicle, be cognizant of exits and potential escape routes.  Always get in the habit of backing into a parking spot nearest the entrance. Avoid areas where your vehicle might become blocked.
  3. When your client arrives, ask them to allow you to go up to the house to make sure that the entrance was secured properly.  Once you've determined that the area is safe for entry, and checked your phone for a strong signal, you can direct your clients to enter the home.
  4. Clients should always be walking ahead of you. Direct them to where you want them to go and remain in a position where you are able to escape quickly should the need arise.
  5. Try your best to create opportunities where direct access to your person is obstructed. If you are showing a kitchen and there is an island or peninsula feature, remain on the side closest to your point of exit while the client is on the other. Never sit beside the client on a couch, but rather sit across from them while discussing buyer-seller negotiations or other paperwork.
  6. When showing the property, keep your dialogue with the client real estate specific.  Avoid personal conversation and details of your personal activities, schedules etc.
  7. Take a moment during your tour to mentally assess how this showing is going.  If you have a gut reaction that something is not right, it probably isn't and you should listen to your inner instincts.  If you have any concerns at all, take action. Grab your cell phone and check for signal strength. If the signal was clearer outdoors by your car, excuse yourself and politely explain that you need to call the office. Call another realtor to the location or cut the showing short and leave immediately. Usually, if the cell signal is not strong, the homeowners will have a landline phone.  Pick up the phone and call your office, using your predesignated signal or code phrase to alert someone that things are not right at this showing.

These are just a few of the many valuable skills you will learn when taking Certified Training Institutes Personal Safety and Self Defense 4 Hour CE Course. Real Estate Professionals, learn valuable safety skills and meet your continuing education requirements at the same time. Be prepared for the unexpected, visit Real Estate Training Institute, choose your State and take this class today!

 


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The El Paso Real Estate Market Is Growing Rapidly

People are moving to El Paso, Texas. Until recently, El Paso has been known as a small, quiet town on the U.S.-Mexico border. These days, the city's abundance of low-cost homes is causing a housing boom.

A lot of the new homeowners are coming from Arizona and California to enjoy the city's low cost of living or to live near the Fort Bliss military base.  A brand-new three bedroom home with stainless steal appliances and granite counter tops can be bought for just $150,000-$165,000.

Realtor.com® has released the following forecasts for El Paso, TX:

Median home price: $150,000
Sales growth: 7.9%
Price growth: 2.5%


With a booming housing market, real estate agents are in high demand. Make sure you stay up to date with state requirements so you can remain licensed.

Do you need Texas real estate continuing education?

Sales Agents and Brokers must complete 18-hours of continuing education classes every two years. Salespeople must include 8-hours of TREC Legal Updates I & II (These are 4-hours each). The other 10-hours can be based on elective training topics that are approved by TREC. Brokers must also complete a 6-hour TREC Broker Responsibilities course. The remaining 4-hours may be filled with TREC approved elective courses. Sales Agents must complete 90 hours of qualifying education during the first renewal cycle.

Complete 18-hours of TREC approved online continuing education in HD video with Real Estate Training Institute!

Las Vegas Real Estate Market Expected to Grow in 2019-2020

Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the only housing markets expected to grow over the next year and a half. This is in stark contrast to the market they faced just a decade ago. Las Vegas was among the first and hardest hit during the 2008 housing crash. Entire neighborhoods were plagued with foreclosure signs and new construction came to a complete halt.

Today's market is made up of young buyers relocating for tech jobs. They are attracted by the low mortgage rates, affordable housing, and Nevada's lack of income tax. With these features combined, houses are flying off the market just days after becoming available.

Realtor.com® has released the following forecasts for Las Vegas, Nevada:

Median home price: $277,574
Sales growth: 0.9%
Price growth: 7.9%


With a booming housing market, real estate agents are in high demand. Make sure you stay up-to-date with state requirements so you can remain licensed.

Nevada Real Estate Continuing Education:
Brokers and salespeople in Nevada must complete 24-hours of continuing education classes every two years,  half of which (12 hours) may be completed online. First-year licensees (brokers and salespeople) must complete 30 hours of specific courses. Requirements for subsequent licensing cycles are 24-hours of continuing education include:

Salespeople: 3-hr Agency | 3-hr Contracts | 3-hr Ethics | 3-hr Law & Legislation | 12-hr Electives
Brokers: 3-hr Agency | 2-hr Contracts | 2-hr Ethics | 3-hr Law & Legislation | 2-hr Broker Management | 9-hr Electives

Complete 12-hours of online continuing education online in HD video with Real Estate Training Institute!

Minnesota Real Estate 6/30 Deadline

How do I renew my Minnesota real estate license?

Minnesota real estate salespeople and brokers must renew their licenses every two years by June 30th. To meet renewal requirements, you must

  1. Complete 30 hours of continuing education
  2. Pay a fee
    • Salesperson: $60 + $10 technical processing fee
    • Brokers: $120 +$10 technical processing fee
  3. Go to the Minnesota Real Estate Commission portal and renew your license be 4:30 pm central time on June 30th.

What continuing education is required to renew my Minnesota real estate license?

You must complete 30 credit hours of approved courses each 2-year cycle. Courses are broken into two 15 hour modules. Courses must include:

  • 1 credit hour of Fair Housing
  • 1 credit hour of Agency Law
  • 1 credit hour of Residential Contracts for 2016-2017 renewal
  • You cannot take the same course twice in a licensing cycle

When must my Minnesota real estate license continuing education be completed by to avoid license lapsing?

Continuing education must be completed by June 30th, however, if you wait until the last two weeks of June to complete your continuing education you risk having your license lapse as well. It takes the state time to process realtor renewals, if your renewal is not processed by July 10th your license will lapse.

Where do I find courses to renew my Minnesota real estate license?

Real Estate Training Institute offers Minnesota approved online continuing education courses to renew your license. We offer a 15-hour package and individual courses to meet requirements for your 2017 module. Individual courses are also available.

Who submits my continuing education to the state of Minnesota?

Real Estate Training Institute will submit all Minnesota resident continuing education. Nonresidents are responsible for submitting their own continuing education to the state. Continuing education certificates are available immediately after completing courses.

 


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Renewing Your Ohio Real Estate License

How do I renew my Ohio real estate license?

  1. Complete 30-Hours of approved continuing education
  2. Log in to the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Real Estate eLicense Center
  3. Enter your license information and pay the appropriate fee

What is the fee for renewing my Ohio real estate license?

  • Salespersons: $135
  • Brokers: $180

How do I tell which continuing education requirements I have completed?

The certification number includes a letter that serves as a course-type designator

  • D – Core Law
  • G – Civil Rights
  • C – Canon of Ethics
  • E – Elective*
  • F – Computer Specific Elective*
  • B – Computer Basic Elective*
    *A licensee may only take a maximum of 15 hours of computer electives

How can I find my Ohio real estate continuing education due date?

Visit www.com.ohio.gov/real to look up your license requirements

Do my 10-hour post-education courses count towards my 30 hours of continuing education?

No, the state of Ohio requires you to complete the 10-hour pre-licensure course and 30 hours of continuing education.

I have extra continuing education credits; can I use them for the next renewal cycle?

You may roll over 10 hours. These hours will count for elective courses, they will not count towards the 9 core course hours.

Where can I find Ohio real estate continuing education?

Visit www.realestatetraininginstitute.com and choose from the selection of state-approved courses.

Who Submits Completed Continued Education?

Ohio Division of Real Estate requires that both the course sponsor and the licensee submit certificates of completion. Real Estate Training Institute reports course completions to the Division within two business days of completion. A course completion certificate will be available to print immediately upon completion of the course. It is the licensee's responsibility to submit all completed continuing education certificates to the Division when renewing their license.

 


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Using Drones to Spruce Up Your Listings

The real estate business is changing. The market is increasingly competitive and most prospective home buyers check online listings before contacting an agent or viewing homes in person. Drones can help your online listings leave a lasting impression on potential clients.

How do I use drones to enhance my real estate listings?

Drones are a great tool for capturing the scope of homes and properties. For example, drones can be used to provide a moving tour through the inside of large homes, giving prospective buyers a much better idea of property layout and dimensions than photos. Drones are also useful for displaying properties with magnificent views or large yards. Often drones are used to take video or pictures from high altitudes to capture a full view of the yard in relation to natural surroundings such as lakes or woods. The photo above is a particularly dramatic example of using a drone to capture the magnitude and beauty of properties.

Should you take your own drone photos?

Many real estate professionals choose to take their own drone photos due to the costs and hassle of hiring a drone pilot. A few of the key motivators are listed below.

  • Certified drone pilots can cost up to $200/hour - this adds up quickly once you consider travel time between properties.
  • As a real estate professional, you are already accommodate the schedules of property buyers and sellers.  You don't have to be subject to the drone pilot's schedule as well- if you get your own certification you can take photos on your own time.

Do I have to follow any regulations to use drones for my real estate listings?

Yes, all commercial drone pilots must possess a Remote Pilot in Command Certificate which can be obtained by passing the FAA Remote Pilot in Command Exam.

  1. Pay the $5 fee and register any aircraft that weighs more than 0.55lbs.
  2. Pass the $150 Small UAS Remote Pilot Exam – exam prep is available here.
  3. Pass a TSA background check
  4. File FAA Form 8710-13

Is there exam prep available to help me study for the FAA Remote Pilot in Command Exam?

Yes! Real Estate Training Institute has created an online HD video FAA Remote Pilot Exam Prep Program with licensed real estate agent and certified drone pilot, Greg McMaster. This course is available 24/7 from any internet capable device so you can study on your own time!

 


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Hot Real Estate: Shopping Center Sold in Saint Paul

A multi-tenant shopping center in a growing area is now off the market, after being sold for $3.1 million.

Mid-America Real Estate corp. sold the Lexington Shoppes, 34,000 square feet of retail area. The shopping center is in the booming neighborhood of Saint Paul, which has seen increasing real estate interest in recent years.

The market is hot, and for good reason.

Saint Paul is 20 minutes outside of Minneapolis and a rising business star. According to the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership, the labor force has increased faster than the rest of the state and country. It’s also expected to keep growing by 5.2 percent over the next half-a-decade.

Saint Paul consistently ranks one of the best places to live, for factors including low housing costs and cost of living.

Saint Paul’s community is attractive to potential homeowners for its sports, recreation and art and attraction. The city ranks has a high density of artistic opportunities, and large numbers of theaters – only second, behind New York City.

The partnership’s website also highlights that the region is conducive to working moms and young college grads. Income opportunities and affordable housing make it an attractive place for people to settle down, both young and old.

Price-per-square-foot in homes on the market increased from last year and closed-sales went up too.

Saint Paul is definitely a city to keep your eye on.

For more data, visit http://maar.stats.10kresearch.com/docs/lmu/x/SaintPaul?src=page

 


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