Florida Real Estate License Fees Cut 50%

A little relief comes to FL Real Estate professionals beginning July 1, 2019. Gov. Ron DeSantis and DBPR joined FREC in announcing a fee change for 200,000 licensees in Florida.

The lower renewal cost begins with the next renewal cycle that ends on Sept. 30, 2019. The temporary fee reduction, which lowers license renewal fees by 50% for licenses of real estate brokers, real estate sales associates and real estate broker branch offices will continue through the renewal periods of licenses expiring March 31, 2020, Sept. 30, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

License renewal fees for real estate brokers will drop from $72.00 to $36.00 and from $64.00 to $32.00 for renewal as a real estate sales associate or broker branch office.

The upcoming license fee reduction is projected to result in an estimated savings of over $8.8 million dollars for eligible license holders in Florida. Pursuant to section 455.219, Florida Statutes, FREC is authorized to implement a waiver of license renewal fees for a period not to exceed two years when the profession's trust fund monies exceed the amount required to cover the necessary functions of FREC.


Don't let your license expire!

Here are the requirements needed to renew your Florida real estate license:

How do I renew my Florida real estate license?

Florida requires all real estate licensees to renew their license through their Online Service portal. If you have not already registered, you will need to do so before you may renew your license. Once you have registered, you will receive an email with a temporary password and then you will create your own unique, secure password. (Check your spam or junk mail folder if you don’t receive that email right away.) After you have successfully logged in you will be able to link your license to the online account you created.

Create your Online Account
Link Your License to Your Online Account

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

$32 | Sales Associates
$36 | Brokers

CE Requirement 1st Renewal:

  • Sales Associate - 45 hours
  • Brokers - 60 hours

CE Requirement Subsequent Renewal: 14 Hours
Required Courses: 3-Hour Florida Core Law

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

Yes! We will report your course completion to the Florida Real Estate Commission. Rosters are submitted three times a week and can take 24-48 hours to be reflected in the FREC database.

Millennial Home Buyers: What They Really Want

Millennials love analyzing and making very informed decisions about everything in their life, given the Internet has made this process quite easy.

They have different expectations for their lives and look for uniqueness in all aspects. The majority of real estate markets nowadays consist of a large number of millennial home buyers. In 2018, Millennials were responsible for 1/3 of all home purchases. Millennials will continue to drive the market, especially as they become more financially stable.

It’s important to understand what features home buyers are looking for in a home and to know how to make sure those features are being showcased, especially when targeting Millennial home buyers. Here are the top 4 selling points Millennials are looking for in their home. 

  1. Walkable location and accessible amenities
    • Proximity to work and play options are high priorities to this group. Contrary to popular belief though, Millennials are targeting suburban communities with a short drive to a big city for social interaction. 
  1. Move-In-Ready, Single Family Homes
    • Millennials are eager to swap their rental apartments for single family homes. Homes that require little maintenance appeal to this market so that they may spend weekends relaxing instead of completing repairs & maintenance. 
  1. Energy Efficiency & Technology:
    • Millennial home buyers want to have complete control over their systems. This generation will pay more for automated or voice-activated devices like HVAC systems and appliances. 
  1. Fancy Outdoor Space:
    • Weekend entertainment is especially important to this generation. As such, must-haves include fenced-in backyards, patio areas and outdoor cooking areas. Millennial buyers want to create a relaxing outdoor retreat. 

It is important to understand what Millennial buyers, those born between approximately 1980-1995, want in their next home. Location, community amenities and energy - efficient features all factor into their buying decisions. Since they make up such a large portion of today's potential home buyers, it’s vital you understand the above things they are looking for when shopping for home. Homeowners and real estate agents who understand these things and who know how to highlight them greatly improve their chances of a quick and profitable sale.

THE VIRTUAL REALITY TOUR ADVANTAGE

The benefits of using virtual tours to attract real estate buyers have multiplied over the years. Virtual tours attract qualified prospects and increase conversion rates so much so that now, you can’t afford to run your real estate business without having virtual tours on your website.

Virtual tours have turned out to be an effective tool in engaging customers with their selected real estate professional. Instead of staging a time consuming and strenuous open house event, a virtual tour remains open for anyone who wants to visit. This saves you valuable time and resources, as such, this customized approach reaches your target audience leading to an increased chance of a sale. 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 and when you use virtual tours for real estate, the customers are more likely to engage with your company as great visuals have more captivating power.

When you use a virtual tour, you can present all types of information related to the project in the presentations. 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. Home buyers are keen to know about the amenities, features, wall color and floor design allowing the viewers to focus on the details that matter to them. Virtual tours allow viewers to explore a property independently and to enjoy and visit each room they want to see.

Virtual tours have turned out to be a powerful marketing weapon for real estate companies. These visuals increase the chances of selling the property by assisting you to easily reveal the key selling points of the project and tailoring the features according to your target audience. Unlike plain still images, virtual tours can keep the viewer glued to your website for up to an hour. As they explore each room, it’s easier for them to dream about buying and living in the house. Automated human voice technology for narrations keeps the viewer captivated during the virtual walk through. Many real estate professionals choose to take their own drone photos due to the costs and hassle of hiring a drone pilot.


Before you can begin using drones for your virtual tour, you must first complete the following steps:

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

Here at The Real Estate Training Institute we have 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!

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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Social Media Success for Real Estate Professionals

Now more than ever, social media marketing is essential to promoting yourself as a real estate professional. Gone are the days when home buyers would open a newspaper to look for properties for sale or look up names of real estate agents in a phone book.

Therefore, it is imperative for any real estate agent to use social media in marketing their businesses and listings. And while any realtor can open a Facebook or Instagram account, it's not always as clear how to use social media as a tool to send the right message to the right people at the right time. In our course Social Media Marketing for Real Estate Professionals you will find valuable need to know information to make yourself and your business a social media success! Here are 3 steps to get maximum exposure for your brand and properties online.

1. Use Different Platforms

Remember all platforms are different and the voice and message should match that. The top 3 social media markets are Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Of course, there are many more, but don’t spread yourself to thin trying to market on every platform.

Post photos on Instagram to generate leads.

Instagram is widely considered the perfect social media platform for realtors. There are more than 700 million users on Instagram, who reportedly press the "like" button on images about 4.2 billion times per day.

  • You get engagement by doing polls on insta-stories (very effective) and asking a question in the last line of the caption. Getting users to engage on your account is one of the best ways to grow and connect with your audience.

Without a doubt, Facebook is the king of social media.

With more than 2 billion users worldwide, it is easy to understand why the brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg is the first thing that comes to mind when one hears "social media."

  • Use the 80/20 rule with updates: 80% of posts ought to be customer-centric while 20% should be about the business. It also helps the cause of agents to post about happenings in and around their communities like local charity events, school-related activities or even gas prices (especially when they're low)

 Tweet to promote listings.

The volume of tweets will greatly boost a realtor’s exposure. The more tweets a real estate agent sends out, the more leads can be generated. In addition to sharing listings, there are other types of content or pieces of information worth tweeting, like advice on moving as well as tips for staging and upgrading homes.

  • Hashtags are also very important, as people use them to search for a particular topic on Twitter. Agents should use hashtags like the geographic area they operate in, recent events or keywords that their target market may be searching.

2. Use more videos and photos

Just like many others, it’s tough to turn the camera on yourself….but you have to get over it! The reality is that no one cares that your video isn’t professional grade all the time, your hair isn’t perfect or that you stumble over your words occasionally. Being yourself is the key. People will respect your effort and want to do business with you if you are authentic. Establishing that you are likable, good at your job, and can be trusted are the keys to winning!

  • Sharing images and video clips on your social media platforms can also greatly enhance the engagement level of real estate agents online.

3. Measure social media metrics.

Finally, real estate agents should identify and track their social media metrics to gain a better understanding of which strategies are working and which should be replaced or tweaked.

    • Metrics like the number of "likes" per share, number of followers and level of engagement can guide real estate agents toward what they ought to do with their social media campaigns. Facebook Audience Insights will tell you which kind of posts generate interest, and which kind lead to unfollows.

 


 

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS

Learn the ins and outs of social media marketing from experts that work in both social media and real estate.  Use these tools and tricks to upgrade your personal and professional profiles, drive leads, and increase business.

$39.00Add to cart

Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against NAR

The lawsuit filed by home seller Christopher Moehrl in March of this year is on its way to making traditional home buying and selling a thing of the past. The NAR, 20 of the largest MLS’s across the country and 4 of the largest real estate broker franchises, are being accused of violating federal antitrust laws by conspiring to require home sellers to pay buyer commissions at an inflated amount. The end goal of said plaintiff is to make selling a home more affordable by changing how agents share commissions on local MLS’s.

NAR’s “Buyer Broker Commission Rule”, “requires all brokers to make a blanket, non-negotiable offer of buyer broker compensation” in order to participate in MLS. Without using MLS brokers cannot effectively market their properties and sellers are paying both brokers commissions which results in an ineffective and anti-competitive market.

There are 2 problems with the current archaic system. First, since the buyer’s agent will get ½ of the commission, it may induce them to cherry-pick listings to show only those properties with the highest commissions. The second problem is that the commissions presume full-service work on the parts of both agents. What happens if the buyer knows what property they want? That greatly reduces the workload of the buying agent, yet they still receive the same commission for less work.

What does this all mean for the future of Real Estate? This consequential lawsuit (if the plaintiff wins) will change the percentages that come with Real Estate transactions, making a big impact in the Real Estate Industry. With the opening of MLS to something that provides for competition, it will swing the doors wide open for internet brokerages such as REDFIN and ZILLOW. With more transactions happening virtually, salespersons and brokers will have to market themselves in new ways. The days of print and tv ads are dwindling and social media presence will be essential. We can help guide you in making yourself an invaluable player online with our Social Media Marketing Course! Learn the ins and outs of social media marketing from experts that work in both social media and real estate. We provide you with tools and tricks to upgrade your personal and professional profiles, drive leads, increase your network and business!


 

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS

Learn the ins and outs of social media marketing from experts that work in both social media and real estate.  Use these tools and tricks to upgrade your personal and professional profiles, drive leads, and increase business.

$39.00Add to cart

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!

Who Should Pay the Buyer’s Agent?

Traditionally in America, the home seller pays the buyer’s agent, however--that tradition is under fire due to new lawsuits filed in Chicago against the National Association of Realtors and others. The outcome of the cases could have far reaching impact in the world of American real estate.

According to a recent Washington Post article, class-action lawsuits have been filed against NAR, the nation’s four largest real estate brokerages, and the MLS companies they use. The suits state that federal anti-trust laws have been violated by the named entities by forcing sellers to pay the buyer’s agent inflated commissions.

The claimants state that the buyer’s agent should be paid by the buyer in a competitive market, and also that the split commission contracts enforced by MLS companies often cause the seller’s agents to be unfairly compensated.

The outcome of these suits could affect home owners and buyers as well as agents and brokers.  Some say that if the courts rule against the defendants that commission rates for buying and selling agents will go down in order for agencies to stay competitive in a customer’s market. If home buyers were required to pay their agent’s commissions instead of the sellers, they would negotiate directly with the agent to pay only for services rendered, as opposed to the blanket commission currently paid by the seller.

The downside to such a situation going into effect is that when it comes to purchasing a home, buyers are already at a financial disadvantage—forced to pay for closing costs and moving costs on top of the price of a home. According to the Post, some Realtors say that the added expense of having to pay their agent’s commission would put a heavy strain on “first-time and other cash-short buyers”. This could have a negative impact on real estate markets across the country.

 


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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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