Real estate is one of the few career paths that offers a flexible work schedule, job satisfaction, and unlimited income potential, all without requiring a college degree.
We want to show you what it takes to launch your new career. Here’s how you can become a Realtor in Florida.
What Is a Realtor®?
Before we get into the step-by-step details of becoming a Realtor, we need to define the term. You’ll often hear “real estate agent” and “Realtor” used interchangeably, but they don’t actually mean the same thing. A real estate agent is someone with a state license to practice real estate sales. A Realtor is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). All Realtors are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are Realtors.
Why Become a Realtor?
As a Realtor, you’re held to a higher ethical standard than your average real estate agent. Realtors are bound to the NAR Code of Ethics. This added accountability means that savvy buyers and sellers choose Realtors over real estate agents every time. If you want to show prospective clients that you’re serious about real estate, joining the NAR and becoming a Realtor is worth the extra step.
Besides the instant credibility boost, there are several other benefits to becoming a Realtor, including:
- Increased networking opportunities,
- Ongoing professional training,
- And legislative advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels.
Before You Become a Realtor, You Must Become a Florida Real Estate Agent
Becoming a licensed Florida real estate agent gets you about 95% of the way toward becoming a Realtor in Florida.
Here are the 5 steps you’ll need to take to get your Florida real estate license.
Meet the basic qualification requirements.
You must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and have a social security number.
Complete your pre-licensing education.
You’ll need to complete a 63-hour pre-license real estate course from a state-approved educational provider.
Apply for your real estate license.
In Florida, you apply for your real estate license before you even take your real estate exam. To apply, simply submit the application along with an $83.75 application fee and proof of completing your pre-license education.
Pass the exam.
You can schedule your exam directly with Pearson VUE. You’ll need to bring two forms of I.D., as well as proof of your education completion with you to the exam. You’ll need to get 75 out of 100 points to pass the exam.
Activate your license.
Once you pass your Florida real estate exam, you can print your Florida real estate license from the DBPR website. However, your license is inactive until you find a sponsoring broker to activate your license. Florida requires all real estate sales agents to operate under a supervising broker. So once you have chosen a broker, your new broker will complete the RE11 Sales Associate Form to activate your Florida real estate license.
Taking the Extra Step to Become a Realtor
All the real work is done! Now all you need to do to become an official Florida Realtor is join your local chapter of the Association of Realtors. Simply complete the application to join and pay your new membership dues. By joining your local association, you’ll automatically be a member of the Florida Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.
Is There a Downside to Becoming a Realtor?
The downside to being a Realtor is the annual expense. You can’t expect all the benefits to come for free! The total amounts vary by region since local Associations set their own dues amounts. For 2020, every Realtor in Florida is paying $185 in NAR dues, plus around $146 in Florida Association dues, plus whatever dues the local Association levies.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if you want to become a Realtor in Florida. You do have the option of practicing real estate as a licensed real estate agent without taking the extra step to become a Realtor.
You can always start with your real estate license and become a Realtor once your business gets going. Don’t let the annual Realtor dues keep you from starting your new career as a real estate agent!