Requirements for Real Estate Continuing Education
Real estate agents and brokers must stay up to date on the latest knowledge in the field for the good of their real estate career. As such, they must take continuing education to have a valid license. Florida real estate professionals are required to renew their professional licenses every two years. And the requirements for license renewal include staying updated on the new developments in the industry. There is a defined amount of continuing education CE hours that you must complete to keep working as a real estate professional.
Real estate continuing education requirements differ from one state to another. These prerequisites are written in the relevant state laws and executed by each state’s real estate commission. Each state has a specific time frame, due date, and other such requirements for post-licensing and CE.
What is Continuing Education in Real Estate?
To understand CE in real estate, it is a good idea to first look at how agents and brokers first get their license. To qualify for a license, you have to complete anywhere between 60-145 hours of pre-licensing education. The number of continuing education CE hours is different for different states. Second, you have to pass your state exam to finally get authorization for work.
The license is valid for a specific amount of time. Once you get your permit, you have to maintain it to keep operating as an agent or a broker. Most states write the expiration date on the license. You must complete the CE courses and apply for renewal by the expiration date printed on your license. In Florida, real estate licenses are valid for two years. You must apply for renewal before the deadline.
What are the Continuing Education Requirements for Real Estate Licensees?
As stated earlier, CE requirements are different for different states. However, agents and brokers must meet the CE requirements to successfully renew their licenses. Depending on your state, you would likely be required to complete 12-30 hours of CE in 2-4 years. Even though you can complete the courses in a physical classroom environment, most states have no problem accepting online certifications via state-designated schools.
When it comes to Florida, sales associates are required to complete 45 hours and brokers 60 hours of post-license education before completing their CE. The Florida real estate continuing education comprises 14 credit hours. You have to complete the required CE credits every two years.
The 14 hours CE is broken down among three core courses:
Florida Core Law - 3 hours (mandatory)
Real Estate and Business Ethics - 3 hours (mandatory)
Specialty credit - ethics (you are free to choose from among different courses)
Keep in mind that depending on your state, you may have different mandatory courses and topics in your CE education. Also, some states have a higher CE credit hour required for the first renewal of your license. Subsequent renewals will require a lowered amount of credits.
Many industry professionals get confused between post-licensing courses and CE. It is essential to understand that many states require a one-time post-licensing course for new agents and brokers. You do not need to take the courses every time you have to start your CE education to keep working in the industry.
On the other hand, CE is required before the date written on your license. No matter what your state, this is mandatory for every broker and sales associate.
How do I Maintain my Real Estate License?
As a sales associate or broker, you know how important it is for you to maintain your professional license. Your license needs to be valid for you to work in the industry. And the main requirement for keeping your license is continuing education. You must contact your estate commission and do your research about the requirements in your state for your professional credentials, which will undoubtedly include CE requirements. Completing your CE will help you maintain your license.
As stated above, education requirements to maintain your professional credentials involve some mandatory courses. You must complete the educational requirements and apply for the renewal of your license before the expiration date mentioned on your license. In Florida, you may choose to alternate one Florida Real Estate Commission meeting for three CE credit hours every renewal cycle. In such a case, you have to inform your estate commission at least a week before you plan to attend the meeting.
Benefits of CE
Most professionals opt to go for CE courses to broaden their knowledge of the industry and the new developments in the sectors. The course content will acquaint you with important and relevant laws, ethics, safety, and marketing that are beneficial for your career. Getting advanced education will help you expand your knowledge as well as let you work in the industry.
It provides you the best chance to explore and improve your understanding of a niche that you are interested in trying as a career. For instance, it is a good idea to pick a specific course content that focuses on the marketing of beach or vacation houses if you are interested in green housing. Never forget that a niche will hone your skills of catering to the specific needs of targeted clients and increasing your earnings, including your real estate commission.