If you are currently working as a real estate salesperson I have one question for you, why haven’t you upgraded to a broker license? Brokers make more money and have more freedom to create their own schedules. While you must be licensed as a salesperson for three years before applying for a broker license, it is never too early to get started on your 90-hour prelicense program. Below are a few common questions and answers about obtaining a broker license.
Question 1: Why should I become a broker?
- Be your own boss. As a salesperson, you work for a licensed broker. Getting a broker license means you can open your own practice and work alone or hire a team of salespeople to work under you. If you choose to work alone you can keep all of your commissions. If you choose to hire salespeople you can either keep a portion of their commissions or you can charge a variety of fees and allow your salespeople to keep all of their commission.
- Make an average of $23,000 more per year. Brokers make more money whether they’re working with salespeople or not. Between keeping their entire commission and receiving a cut of their salespeople’s commission or yearly fees, they make an average of $23,000 more per year.
- Increase your marketability. Individuals buying and selling high priced homes often prefer working with a broker. Brokers have a reputation for being industry experts with a strong dedication to the industry. As we all know, the higher the home price, the higher the commission!
- Run your own property management company. Property management companies work as a middleman between tenants and property owners. Since the rental industry is hot right now, the ability to run a property management company is a big benefit.
Question 2: Why should I upgrade my license when the market is expected to decline?
Most experts are predicting a drop off in real estate sales over the next few years. Lucky for you, Michigan is expected to be exempt from the rest of the nation’s decline.
Several sources believe Michigan’s real estate market will continue to grow even as rising mortgage rates slow the market for sellers in other areas of the country. Home prices in Grand Rapids are forecast to grow at 8.2%, the largest home price increase in the nation. In fact, real estate resources nationwide are encouraging investment in Grand Rapids and the city comes in second for the hottest real estate markets for millennials.
Grand Rapids isn’t the only area of Michigan experiencing growth. Numbers recently released by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s office show residential property values have increased by an average 12% in more than 90% of Detroit neighborhoods. The rest of the state is expected to experience continually growing housing prices but a declining number of homes on the market. While this may sound like bad news initially, growing home prices mean higher commission rates which can make up for the lower volume of sales.
In other words, while the rest of the country is preparing for a decreasing real estate market, Michigan can expect to see continued growth in urban areas and stable growth in the rural north. Additionally, even if the Michigan real estate market drops off after a few years, brokers are uniquely positioned to continue making a steady income since they receive a cut from all salespersons commissions.
Question 3: How do I get started?
- Complete 90 hours of approved real estate coursework within 36 months of application, unless licensed continuously.
Note: if you have been a practicing attorney for 5 or more years you only need to take 30hrs to become a licensed broker.
- Submit your real estate license application by visiting Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Once there, you can create an account, pay all fees, and apply for your broker license. *NOTE – Michigan is no longer accepting paper license applications, so you must use the LARA online portal!