How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Florida (6-Step Guide)
By Colin Ryan
With over eight thousand miles of shoreline, a warm year-round climate, world-famous theme parks, and vibrant cities like Miami and Tampa, Florida is home to some of the best real estate in the U.S.
The Florida housing market is currently strong: the median home price has increased to $233,000, compared to just $123,000 in 2012.
Every day, more Florida real estate agents are deciding to take the next step in their career by earning a broker license. Becoming a broker enables you to expand your business and earn more money by opening your own firm and managing a team of agents.
If you’re looking to become a Florida real estate broker, you’re in luck: the Sunshine State has some of the most lenient requirements in the country for real estate broker licensing. In this guide, you’ll learn exactly what it takes to get your Florida real estate broker license.
How Much Money Can a Real Estate Broker Make in Florida?
As in most places, the vast majority of real estate brokers do not actually earn a salary. Instead, they earn a commission for each property transaction that they or their agents close.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida real estate brokers earn an average of $65,230 per year. While that’s below the national average broker salary of $75,910, it’s also 30 percent higher than the average salary for all jobs in the state.
In certain cities and regions of Florida, real estate brokers can make a good deal more money. In Pensacola, for instance, brokers earn an average of $95,460, while the Cape Coral-Fort Meyers area pays an average of $82,190.
Plus, compared to most states, Florida real estate brokers make up a smaller proportion of the overall workforce. This suggests that there’s a high demand and less competition for broker services.
To qualify for a real estate broker license in Florida, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old;
- Possess high school diploma or GED; and
- Be licensed as a real estate agent for at least two years prior to applying.
Unlike other states, you need not be a permanent resident of Florida in order to earn a Florida real estate broker license.
6 Steps to Become a Licensed Real Estate Broker in Florida
Becoming a real estate broker can be challenging, but the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) has some of the easiest requirements in the country for getting your broker license.
The FREC’s process for qualifying and certifying brokers in Florida essentially boils down to six key steps:
- Pre-Licensing Education
- Post-Licensing Education
How Long Does it Take to Become a Broker in Florida?
How long it will take to earn your Florida broker license depends on how much experience you have in real estate to begin with. If, for instance, you’re already an experienced broker from one of several approved states, you may be able to waive certain requirements and get your broker license in a matter of months.
However, if you’re new to the real estate industry, it may take as many as three years to meet the Florida real estate broker requirements.
Step #1. Satisfy The Experience Requirements
As noted above, in order to qualify for a broker license in Florida, you must possess an active Florida real estate agent license, and have 24 months of work experience within the five years prior to your application.
Step #2. Complete Pre-Licensing Broker Education
Next, the Florida Division of Real Estate (FREC) requires that all real estate broker license applicants complete a 72-hour pre-licensing course. This course covers a range of broker-specific topics, including real estate law, principles and practices, real estate math, closing statements and escrow account reconciliation. The course valid for up to two years.
FREC maintains a database of approved pre-licensing education programs and providers across the state. To search for one of these providers, visit FREC’s website.
Note that if you have a bachelor’s degree or higher in real estate, you may be exempt from the broker pre-licensing education requirement. To apply for an exemption, submit an original certified transcript with your application.
Step #3. Submit FREC Application to Become a Broker in Florida
Once you’ve completed your broker pre-licensing education and experience requirements, you can submit an initial application to the FREC. This will enable you to take the broker exam and obtain your Florida broker license.
When completing your initial broker application, you’ll need to include documents that certify your pre-licensing education, experience, and current agent (or out-of-state broker) license status. In addition, you’ll need to undergo a criminal background check and submit electronic fingerprints via Livescan. A list of approved Livescan vendors is available on the FREC website.
Step #4. Pass the Florida Real Estate Broker Examination
In order to complete your Florida real estate broker licensing qualifications, you must pass the Florida real estate brokers exam.
The Florida real estate brokers exam is produced and administered by PearsonVUE, and consists of 100 multiple choice questions. Examinees have a total of three and a half hours to complete the exam, and must answer 75 of 100 questions correctly in order to pass.
The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) offers a Candidate Handbook with a full overview for examinees. The handbook includes procedures for scheduling and taking the exam, as well as a range of included topics, sample questions, and suggested study materials.
To schedule your exam and find a nearby test center, visit PearsonVUE’s website.
Step #5. Activate Your Broker License
Finally, once you’ve passed your Florida real estate brokers exam, you’ll be issued an “inactive” broker license. To activate your new license and begin practicing, you’ll need to complete the DBPR’s RE 13 Broker Transaction form.
This form can be submitted at your testing site after you’ve taken your exam. Alternatively, you may fill out the form at home and mail it to the Florida Real Estate Commission.
Step #6. Complete Post-Licensing Education
Congratulations: you are officially a Florida real estate broker! However, your “initial license” is only valid for one renewal period (18-24 months). To receive your full Florida broker license, you’ll need to complete 60 hours of broker post-licensing coursework. These courses cover the topics of real estate investment and brokerage management.
You may complete your post-licensing education requirements through any FREC-approved institution or program, either in person or online.
Reciprocity and Portability for Florida Brokers
If you’re a licensed real estate broker from another state, you’ll face some restrictions when it comes to practicing real estate in Florida. For instance, Florida only allows out-of-state brokers to conduct business remotely. This means you can send clients to view listings, submit offers, and negotiate transactions in Florida, so long as you remain in your licensing state.
Some states have reciprocity or mutual recognition agreements, which allow real estate brokers from other states to more easily earn their in-state license by using their out-of-state broker license as proof. Florida has mutual recognition agreements with 8 states: Alabama*, Arkansas*, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska and Rhode Island. Applicants from these states can have the broker education and experience requirements waived. They must, however, pass a Florida-specific real estate law examination, which consists of 40 multiple-choice questions.
*Alabama and Arkansas applicants seeking a Florida license under mutual recognition must have held an active broker or agent license for at least 24 months during the preceding five years.
Resources to Start (and Run) a Successful Brokerage
Once you’ve received your Florida real estate broker license, you can begin building your own brokerage. Here are some resources and tools you’ll need to get your new business up and running.
Real Estate Broker Website
Whether a prospective client finds you via a yard sign, Facebook page, or listing portal, chances are they will Google your brokerage to learn more. By building a professional real estate broker website, you’ll ensure that they find the best representation of your brand.
When creating your broker website, make sure that it includes MLS listing integration, along with a modern mobile-friendly design and informative content about your business and market.
Resources for Real Estate Broker Websites:
- 39 of the Best Real Estate Websites Powered by Placester
- The Right Way to Build a Real Estate Website: 10 Simple Optimization Steps
Need help with your broker website? Get started here.
To drive traffic to your real estate website, you’ll need to engage with buyers where they spend their time. One of the best ways to do this is through social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.
According to a 2018 NAR survey, REALTORS® ranked social media third among their most valuable technology tools, and said that social networks provided the highest number of quality leads in the last 12 months. Rather than exclusively posting your listings to social media, we recommend incorporating a mix of educational content that your audience will enjoy, as well as personal content that shows off your brand and personality.
Resources for Social Media:
- 15 Real Estate Facebook Lead Gen Ideas for Agents [Ebook]
- The Placester Guide to Instagram for Real Estate
While social media can be a valuable tool for engaging local homebuyers, your exposure is limited to people in your immediate sphere. With online advertising, you can extend your reach to include other real estate consumers in your area.
According to a 2017 Real Estate Webmasters study, 38 percent of real estate professionals use paid social media ads, while 23 percent advertise on search engines. By researching your target keywords and building great ads, you can increase your visibility and generate a major return on a modest investment.
Paid ads enable you to instantly show up highly in Google for your most important keywords.
Resources for Paid Advertising:
Published on May 15, 2019