Thursdays around here are supposed to be “Thematic Thursday”, which loosely means, “The theme of this blog is real estate, so on this day, I will describe the work of a real estate professional.”
I have heard lots of misconceptions and confusion about what real estate professionals actually DO, so I will give you some helpful information from time to time about what the business of residential real estate is. I will also veer over into raw land and farm and ranch from time to time.
Here’s what a real estate professional might look like after she exchanges her ‘appointment clothes’ for her blog-writing t-shirt and shorts.
In order to become licensed in the State of Texas, a person must complete:
180 classroom hours of the following qualifying real estate courses
Principles of Real Estate I (30 classroom hours)
Principles of Real Estate II (30 classroom hours)
Law of Agency (30 classroom hours)
Law of Contracts (30 classroom hours)
Promulgated Contracts Forms (30 classroom hours)
Real Estate Finance (30 classroom hours)
(This is directly from the Texas Real Estate Commission website.)
Then you take the licensing test and pass it. That will give you an inactive license. A salesperson’s license only becomes active when she works for a broker.
So, a broker has even more experience and courses to become a broker because a broker is responsible (and legally liable!) for everything her licensed salespersons do professionally. A licensed salesperson does not work for a client. A licensed salesperson works for a broker, and it is the broker who is working for the client, even if they never meet. This is spelled out for the public in a handy-dandy document that TREC requires me to give you at our first conversation about specific real estate: Information About Brokerage Services.
Now, back to ‘training’. The state legislature is the body that sets the licensing requirements, and in Texas, they have prohibited themselves from increasing classroom requirements by more than 3 hours per legislative session. So far, in recent legislative sessions (which happen every other year), our requirements have been increased. I am all in favor of this- real estate is a complicated business and a salesperson does well to choose a brokerage that gives plenty of additional training and mentoring!
Salespeople and brokers are required to renew their licenses every two years. I am coming up on two years and I have already renewed my license until August 2019. First-time renewals require 90 classroom hours on certain topics and an additional 8 classroom hours on legal issues. I chose to get my Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation with my 90 hours.
While it is possible to do all the ongoing training online, I choose the more challenging route of taking classroom hours. I find that being in a room of 20-60 people is stimulating and offers me countless insights from everyone else’s experiences. Discussions are great! How to take days and days of classroom time during a busy set of transactions in my professional life? It’s HARD and will probably require temporary sleep deprivation. My truly challenging moment was two full back-to-back days of classroom instruction while fielding 20+ offers on a property. We can’t work during the class hours, so it all has to come in breaks and after driving home at night.
If you look on the TREC website, you can find me (License #659436) and see that I have taken more than just the 98 hours of instruction time in order to renew my license- all my official classes are listed. There are unofficial classes, too, especially from lenders and from title companies. I love going to these and finding out, or reminding myself, of laws, practices, and procedures.
The next designation I plan to earn is Senior Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®), helping older people with finances, living arrangements, and modifications of real estate.
I took last week off and went to the Seattle area to help out with:
These two grand-persons, while their parents were teaching.
You know what? Even when I’m out of town, I still have my phone, I still check messages, and I still have real estate conversations.
Have a question for me? Call me at 512-970-9121, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m here!