How Do You Get a Real Estate License in Multiple States?

For some real estate agents, getting a real estate license in multiple states makes perfect sense. For example, you may live near the state line and cross it on a daily basis. On the other hand, you may be moving out of state and wondering what it means for your real estate license. Can you transfer it to your new state? In this article, you'll find useful information on how to get your real estate license in multiple states.

Real estate license reciprocity

Real estate is a state-specific industry. That means that real estate laws vary from state to state, and each has its own licensing requirements. Before becoming involved in a transaction in another state, you should consult legal counsel. If you fail to observe the law, it may result in loss of commission or jeopardize your license. So, before you establish yourself in a new state, be sure to understand its laws.

Don't worry; in most cases, you won't have to start the education and licensing process from scratch. That's because many states offer "license reciprocity". That means that if you already have an active real estate license in one US state, you can apply for a real estate license in a new state without taking all the state-required pre-licensing real estate courses.

Usually, you have to apply for a new state license and take the state test without retaking the coursework. Whenever reciprocity applies, the requirements for licensing are reduced. For example, a customer-service-oriented real estate agent might just need to take a few hours of classes from an online school to secure a license in a new state.

Reciprocity varies from state to state

Have in mind that reciprocity varies from state to state, so there are:

  • No reciprocity states - Those states deny reciprocity to all out-of-state licenses (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming).
  • Full reciprocity states - Those states allow agents to transfer their license from any state (Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia, Washington).
  • Partial reciprocity states - Those states require limited education and examination for real estate agents from reciprocal states (all states that are not mentioned above).

The best advice is to check with your state’s licensing board for specific requirements.

USA map - States with their capitals.

Different real estate license reciprocity and portability laws apply in each state.

Real estate license portability

Some states have real estate license portability allowing out-of-state real estate agents to work in those states to some extent. It is different from reciprocity since it allows agents to cross the border state and conduct a real estate business. Still, it’s not a long-term solution for those relocating permanently to a new area. In general, there are three kinds of portability laws: cooperative, physical location, and turf states. Each of these classifications defines different circumstances under which an out-of-state real estate agent may work within the state.

Cooperative States

In cooperative states, you may be required to have a co-brokerage agreement with a broker licensed in that state. Then, you'll be able to conduct real estate business - property showings, closings, negotiations, and other transactions. However, be sure to familiarize yourself with local requirements before committing to a client looking for property in a cooperative state because some limitations are still possible.

Physical location states

The physical location states only allow you to help your client remotely while you're located in the state in which you're licensed. Since most aspects of the real estate job can be done remotely, that shouldn't be a problem. You may not enter the state for showings, closings, or any other real estate transaction. You can send your clients to view properties, submit offers on their behalf, and negotiate transactions as long as you remain in your state.

Turf States

There are some US states that do not allow out of state real estate agents or brokers to conduct any business in their state:

  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah

Without their state's license, you can't work in person nor even remotely. If you have a client from one of those states, you can refer them to a real estate agent/broker who has a license in that state. Or, you can decide to apply for a license right there by yourself if you have the time and money.

A businessman doing research on his laptop on how to get a real estate license in multiple states.

Researching local laws is crucial if you're planning to move or expand your business.

Conducting business with real estate license in multiple states

Building your businesses in other states means more commissions. However, it also means learning about new, local laws and encountering different document formats, varying requirements, etc. Conducting business for a client who wants to buy a property in another state is tricky either way. Furthermore, local agents may try to poach their business. Also, out-of-state real estate practices are often complex. So, look into state-specific license reciprocity and portability laws thoroughly before determining whether you'll keep a client. If you find local regulations frustrating and client needs just too complicated, consider referring that client to a local agent from your real estate network.

When you have a license that allows you to practice real estate in another state, you must pay income tax in another state. Assisting clients with out-of-state properties may not be so difficult if you have solid experience, a great lawyer, and a tax assistant. You can also seek the supervision of a broker experienced in out-of-state transactions.

A real estate agent showing a property to a family.

Getting your real estate license in multiple states will help you grow your business and expand your network.

Getting a real estate license in multiple states will give you more freedom to move if you have the opportunity to do so. When planning an interstate move, you can decide to choose a state with reciprocity. Or, you can pay to go through the licensing process in the new state. However, make sure that you plan this process well and have appropriate assistance. Professional interstate movers can help you have a simple relocation across the country and avoid stress. After moving, packing, and settling in, you can continue working and making income from your real estate business.

All in all

Getting your real estate license in multiple states will allow you to create your own opportunities and set your own schedule. Also, you'll be able to enjoy the perks of living in your dream location while still having clients and closing deals.



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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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Getting and Keeping Real Estate Clients in 2020

Learning how to get and keep clients in real estate is a never-ending battle. With technology moving at lightening speed, getting and keeping your clients is tough! Understanding how to find qualified clients is more than just getting the phone to ring, it’s knowing how to keep it ringing consistently that will help your business grow.

 Follow Up is Everything

Most salespeople only reach out once or twice and then give up. Knowing your market, understanding your clients dreams and goals, and connecting them is hands down the most important characteristic in a salesperson. Following up, showing them that they are important, and a top priority will take time. Often it is a six-month, year or two-year long process of keeping in touch and providing them value. If you have amazing luck and someone calls you to set up their listing immediately, the rest of us are jealous! Typically it is a drawn out dance between the agent and the buyer/seller. Keeping track of where you are at with each client and every possible client can be exhausting. If you struggle to keep track adding a service to do that for you can save you hours of time. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is build to help you keep track of new and existing clients. Having a CRM that takes care of remembering who, what and when to send calls or emails so you don’t have to remember is a life saver that will pay for itself.

 Relationship Referrals

To get the highest closing ratio, relationship referrals are crucial. If you build strong relationships with current clients, they can expand your network like nothing else can. By using the referrals and relationships where trust has already been established, your business will gain momentum.

 Build a Personal Brand

Your personal brand is the overall impression that your audience gets from your social media posts, marketing, lead generation, and pretty much everything else you put out into the world as a real estate agent. Doing a personal brand audit and deciding on some branding basics will absolutely help you get clients. Come up with a logo, slogan, website, and general aesthetic that you can keep consistent across all your real estate marketing and social media channels. If you’re somewhat tech savvy or at least willing to learn,  a course on real estate social media marketing is a great way to up your skills. Plenty of agents are getting a decent ROI with Facebook and Instagram ads but another great way to get clients is to try to integrate your hobbies into your personal branding. The idea here is to appeal to your audience’s fun side by highlighting hobbies or interests you might have in common. For example, if you’re a baker, you might want to consider making a cute Instagram post with you baking at your new listing, or maybe go out and rate the local bakeries and post the videos on YouTube. Then you won’t just be another real estate agent. Clients who are also amazing in the kitchen will be far more likely to choose you over someone with similar skills who isn’t a baker. Of course, that other agent may have a culinary degree and volunteer at the soup kitchen, but their audience will never know. So, don’t be a secret agent when it comes to your hobbies and interests!

Educate with Insider Knowledge

Educate potential and existing clients. For potential clients, create a blog full of helpful hints and tricks to aide in their real estate search. For existing clients, point out a feature in an apartment or something about a building that a client wouldn’t know by looking at the listing online. People appreciate learning something from their real estate broker. Teaching someone something they didn’t previously know helps to build trust and a feeling for them that you are adding real value to the buying or selling experience.

Fake It Until You Make It

Luck can change your real estate career. We’ve all heard stories about agents who stumble their way into seven-figure listings their first week on the job. For the most part, those stories are true. But luck isn’t everything. Even if a local millionaire takes a liking to you, you still have to prove to them that the risk of hiring you is worth their time. If you are just starting out, you likely don’t have many accomplishments to point to so your personality is going to have to work overtime to seal the deal. Work on yourself and develop the confidence and knowledge that every good agent needs. Read everything you can about real estate and business and face your fears BEFORE you get lucky enough to book that listing presentation.




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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 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
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