How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Georgia
By Colin Ryan
From the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, to the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, to the historic architecture and leafy squares of Savannah, Georgia offers a wide variety of landscapes to call home.
The Georgia real estate market has made a significant recovery in recent years, with the median home price increasing to $189,000 from a low of $109,000 in 2012. Real estate is especially booming in Atlanta, where the median home price has climbed to over $260,000.
Every day, more Georgia real estate agents are choosing to take their careers to the next level by earning a broker license. Unlike salespeople, brokers in Georgia can open their own firms and hire agents to work for them, resulting in a much higher potential income.
If you’re looking to become a Georgia real estate broker, we have good news: The Peach State has fairly flexible requirements for real estate broker licensing. In this guide, you’ll learn exactly what it takes to get your real estate broker license in Georgia.
How Much Money Can a Real Estate Broker Make in Georgia?
Most Georgia real estate brokers earn their salaries via commission—that is, they take home a percentage of each real estate sale that they and their agents close.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgia real estate brokers earn $60,130 a year on average, while ZipRecruiter estimates a mean salary at $75,469. While this is below the national broker average, it’s worth noting that Georgia ranks 11th in the country for cost of living, which means that this amount will go much further than in most states.
To qualify for a real estate broker license in Georgia, you must:
- Be at least 21 years old;
- Have a high school diploma or GED;
- Pass a criminal background check;
- Meet the minimum real estate agent experience requirements; and
- Successfully complete Georgia’s 60-hour broker prelicensing course.
5 Steps to Become a Licensed Real Estate Broker in Georgia
Georgia broker licensing is governed by the Georgia Real Estate Commission. The state’s process for qualifying and certifying brokers in Georgia boils down to five key steps:
- Background Check
How Long Does it Take to Become a Broker in Georgia?
Your timeline for earning your Georgia broker license depends on how much experience you have in real estate to start with. If, for instance, you’re already an experienced broker from a state that offers reciprocity with Georgia, 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 four years to meet the Georgia real estate broker requirements.
Step #1. Satisfy The Georgia Experience Requirements
Like most states, Georgia requires that broker applicants have a certain amount of experience as an active real estate sales agent. However, while most states only require two years of agent experience, Georgia broker applicants must hold an active real estate license for a minimum of three years, within the previous five years, to qualify for the broker exam.
If you plan to use agent or broker experience gained in another state to meet this requirement, you must include a certification of your license history from that state with your application.
Step #2. Complete the Georgia Real Estate Broker Education Requirements
Georgia real estate broker applicants must complete a 60-hour broker pre-licensing course covering both Georgia and national real estate laws and practices. A list of approved programs is available on the Georgia Real Estate Commission’s website.
Step #3. Complete a Background Check
Every Georgia broker license candidate must obtain certified criminal history report through the Georgia Crime information Center (GCIC). You may obtain a GCIC report from most local sheriff’s offices or police stations in Georgia. Broker candidates who do not reside in Georgia should obtain an equivalent criminal background report from their state of residence, or the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
If you’ve been convicted of a crime or sanctioned by any licensing or regulatory agency of any kind, you must include this information on your broker application. Failure to disclose a conviction or disciplinary action may result in denial of a license.
Bring a copy of your background report to your Georgia broker exam testing center (not the Commission) prior to receiving a license.
Step #4. Pass the Georgia Real Estate Broker License Exam
The Georgia state broker exam is written and administered by PSI/AMP, a private company.
Unlike most state broker exams, which test general broker knowledge through a series of multiple choice questions, the Georgia exam is based on “simulation problems.” These problems present the examinee with a real estate scenario or dilemma. The examinee must then use their knowledge of Georgia and national real estate laws and practices to gather relevant information and recommend a course of action or solution. The exam contains a total of 11 simulation problems, 9 of which are scored.
For Georgia broker exam preparation advice and sample simulation problems, consult the Georgia Real Estate Commission’s study guide.
Step #5. Apply for Your Broker License Within 12 Months
After passing the exam, Georgia broker applicants affiliating with their existing real estate firm as an associate broker will receive an active license directly from PSI/AMP will be issued an active broker license.
All other applicants will receive an “inactive” broker license, which can be activated after submitting additional application paperwork. For instance, a broker opening his or her own brokerage must submit the “Open A Firm” application to the Commission. Applicants who plan to become the lead broker of an existing firm must submit a “Change of Qualifying Broker” application.
Reciprocity and Portability for Georgia Brokers
Unlike many states, Georgia allows out-of-state brokers to do business within its borders (including handling showings, closings, negotiations, and other common tasks) as long as they sign a co-brokerage agreement with a Georgia licensee.
Not interested in sharing transactions and commissions with other firms? Consider earning your Georgia license through reciprocity, which allows real estate brokers from other states to more easily earn their in-state license by using their out-of-state broker license as proof. Georgia is one of just a handful of states that offer reciprocity with every other state, provided that the applying broker has a home state license in good standing and passes the required background check. (Florida applicants must pass an additional Georgia Supplement Exam, which consists of approximately 50 multiple-choice questions.)
You are not required to be a resident of Georgia in order to get your real estate broker license. However, you must maintain a Georgia business address if you plan to actively practice in the state.
Resources to Start (and Run) a Successful Brokerage
Once you’re certified as a Georgia real estate broker, you can turn your attention to building your new business. Here are some tools and resources to help you launch or re-launch your Georgia brokerage.
Real Estate Broker Website
As a new broker in Georgia, one of your first steps should be creating a real estate broker website that announces your brand to the world. When shopping for a website provider, be sure to choose a mobile-friendly solution that integrates with your MLS to enable visitors to easily search your most current listings.
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
Real Estate Blogging
To unlock the benefits of your broker website, you’ll need to convince your audience to visit. By adding a real estate blog to your website, you can demonstrate your expertise and get found by your target audience in search engine results. While creating content for your blog can be labor intensive, the benefits are clear: content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing, and generates three times as many leads.
Resources for Real Estate Blogging:
- 101 Amazing Blog Post Ideas For Your Real Estate Website
- 20 Time-Saving Real Estate Blog Ideas for Agents
As you start picking up clients and closing deals, you’ll need an effective system for tracking and sharing financial information. Transaction management tools like dotloop can help you guide clients through key milestones during a sale, while e-signature tools like DocuSign make it easy to securely sign and send all the necessary paperwork.
Resources for Transaction Management:
- The Modern Real Estate Agent’s Blueprint for Earning (and Saving) More Money
- The Best Real Estate Technology for Top Producers, Part 2
Published on September 9, 2019