Looking for career opportunities in real estate and achieving your dream of working on your terms?
A realtor is a good career choice as you help people realize their dreams of finding an ideal home or selling property at a fair price.
Real estate agents who have active licenses and are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) are called realtors in the USA. Their numbers in the country as of June 2023 were around 1.5 million.
Realtors in Florida can make as much as $100K per year, and with Florida’s real market on the rise, there’s a lot of room for higher earnings in the future.
Florida’s real estate market is showing no signs of slowing down, and as of September 2023, the number of homes for sale saw a 4% increase, compared to last year. On top of that, the total number of new homes added to the state’s market also grew by 12% year-on-year.
Requirements to Be A Realtor in Florida
To start your journey to become a realtor in Florida, first go through the steps necessary to be a licensed real estate agent. Completing the pre-licensing coursework as mandated by the Florida Real Estate Commission is the way to start off.
For any aspiring real estate agent willing to engage in the buying, selling, leasing, or appraising of personal or commercial property, getting a license is a must.
Without a license, you will legally be unable to partake in the transaction between a buyer and a seller.
To be awarded a real estate license in Florida, complete a fixed number of hours of coursework provided by a state-approved provider. It might be an in-person college or university, or an online training program as per your convenience.
Real estate aspirants must complete 63 hours of pre-licensing coursework to get ready to take the final exam.
Only after passing the real estate license exam do you become eligible to be awarded the Florida real estate agent’s license.
Age and Legal Requirements
Is it hard to become a realtor in Florida? The answer is NO if you follow all the stages as laid down by the Florida Real Estate Commission and fulfill all the basic prerequisites to go through the process.
These are as follows:
- You must be a minimum of 18 years old to be eligible for a license.
- You must be a legal citizen of the US or a lawfully admitted alien.
- You should preferably have a high school diploma though it is not mandatory.
- You must not have any criminal history or felony against you.
- You must be ethical in your conduct and truthful in your provided information to pass the background check.
These requirements apply to everyone, irrespective of their background or ethnicity.
Note that if you have any criminal record from your past, you should disclose it during your background check. Depending upon the crime and its severity, you may or may not be disqualified to apply for a real estate license.
Background Check and Fingerprinting
The purpose of the background check is to rule out unethical, criminal, and incompetent individuals. This ensures only lawful and compliant aspirants can appear for the licensing exam.
For verification purposes, you will need to submit your fingerprints, along with some legal proof of your identity to the Florida Division of Real Estate (FREC).
To get your fingerprints taken, you can visit any of the state-approved institutions, kiosks, or trained technicians.
Only when you have completed and passed your background check, you will be eligible to appear for the final exam.
Steps to Become a Realtor in Florida
Going through the Pre-licensing Coursework
Anyone looking to get a Florida real estate license must first go through the 63-hour pre-licensing course as required by the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC).
There are several in-person real estate license schools or online course providers from which you can choose any state-approved course provider. To find them, you can visit the FREC website for more details.
The duration of the course lasts between a few weeks to months. As part of the coursework, you will be taught about the fundamentals of real estate, including topics such as - real estate principles, real estate law, real estate finance, ethics, and regulations among other foundational subjects.
A pre-license education is not required if you have a four-year degree in real estate or a related field.
When you have finished the pre-licensing course and gained proof of completion, you will then become eligible to appear for the state licensing exam.
Pass the Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam
Wondering how to become a Florida real estate agent after completing the pre-licensing education?
Taking and passing the real estate licensing exam is the next step in your journey.
To take the final exam, you must first apply to the FREC with documents to prove your pre-licensing course is completed. You will also be required to submit proof for your background check and verification (including your fingerprints).
To do so, you can visit the FREC website and simply submit all the required documents online.
Once you have been verified, you can take the Florida real estate sales associate exam inperson at one of the examination centers or complete it online from a state-approved exam provider.
The exam is three hours in duration and it will ask you 100 multiple choice questions to test your knowledge and training. 70% or above is the minimum score to pass the real estate licensing exam.
How to Apply for a Florida Real Estate License
If you complete and pass the exam, then you will automatically receive your license within a period of a few weeks. However, your license will be inactive.
The next step is to activate your license. To do so, you need to apply with a DBPR RE 11 Sales Associate form.
You can complete and submit this form online on the FREC website, or you can mail it directly to the address of the institution.
Find a Brokerage to Work With
The final step in your journey to become a Florida real estate agent is to find a sponsoring broker who is willing to employ you. Florida state law requires every new license holder to work with a supervisory broker.
Generally, once you obtain your license, it is easier to find a brokerage firm with whom you can work and learn the ropes.
To do so, you can search for local brokerage firms or independent brokers in your state, and reach out to them seeking sponsorship
Additional Considerations for Becoming a Realtor in Florida
Joining a Realtor Association
Simply earning your real estate sales agent license isn’t enough, you must go the extra mile to progress in your career. The easiest way to ensure high career growth is to join a realtor association in Florida.
One can simply complete an application and submit the necessary paperwork and proofs to become a member of the local realtor association.
The foremost advantage of joining a state-approved association is the number of people you’ll meet. Not only will you learn from their experience, but it will also allow you to establish trust and familiarity in the local real estate community.
As a new and emerging realtor, it is important to put yourself out there and expand your network. The more you are seen and heard, the more likely you are to be at the right place when opportunity strikes.
Continuing Education Requirements
Completing additional continuing education is a must for every licensed professional who wants to advance in their real estate career.
To advance in your career and maintain your membership of the National Realtor Association, the state of Florida requires every licensed real estate professional to perennially renew their license.
This means you will have to complete post-licensing education, or continuing education which will require you to complete at least 45 hours of coursework within 12 or 24 months of getting your license.
Completing continuing education is mandatory for all realtors and sales agents.
Note that the continuing education guidelines vary as per the different states, and if you wish to renew your license, it’s best to consult the state‘s local real estate licensing authority for the most up-to-date information.
Building a Clientele and Gaining Experience
So you have become a realtor in Florida, but how can you take your business to the next level and grow your earning potential?
In real estate, the key to success is to network and engage more. The more people know you, the more they’ll think of your services when the need comes. Similarly, the more people you network with, the higher the chances will be of converting them into potential clients.
This is why working with a supervising brokerage is important early on in your career. You will learn the tricks of the trade from seasoned professionals. By working with experienced brokers, you will learn the inside-outs of the real estate market of Florida.
Gaining experience is the best way to advance your career as a realtor. One needs to have patience, dedication, and perseverance to identify opportunities and one must know how to convert them into earnings.
Can I become a Florida realtor if I have a criminal record?
If you have a criminal record, you may or may not become a realtor.
The Florida Division of Real Estate (FREC) determines whether an individual’s criminal history is suitable for him/her to apply for a real estate license or not.