Being one of the hottest housing markets in the United States, Florida is a great place to invest as well as pursue a real estate career. Nicknamed the ‘Sunshine State’, it is a favorite tourist destination that boasts year-round sunshine. Florida has a diverse and dynamic economy and is home to numerous global business headquarters. Major industries in Florida include information technology, life sciences, cleantech and homeland security.
Thinking of starting a real estate career today? This article will show you how to succeed in commercial real estate or residential real estate.
Is Real Estate A Good Career in Florida?
The answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’. This is the best time to pursue a career in the real estate industry. Florida has a population of about 22 million, with an annual population growth rate of 1.25%. As one of the world’s favorite travel destinations, it attracts millions of visitors every year. In addition, it is home to dozens of universities and colleges including Florida State University, University of Miami, University of Florida and Florida International University.
A recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that Florida has one of the highest rates of employment in the US. Fortune 500 companies offering jobs in the state include Office Depot, AutoNation, Tech Data, NextEra Energy and Publix Super Markets.
According to Redfin, there were 134,765 Florida homes for sale in August 2022. This represented a 12.1% year-over-year increase. With the increasing sales of Florida real estate, there will always be a high demand for real estate agents.
Do Real Estate Agents Make Good Money in Florida?
The average annual salary for a real estate agent in Florida ranges between $41,117 and $53,537. The salary range varies depending on the city and other factors such as education, certifications, level of professionalism and additional skills acquired.
The top 10 highest paying cities for a Florida real estate agent include Molino, Miami Springs, Bonita Springs, Archer, West Palm Beach, Tampa and Sarasota.
When Do You Need a Real Estate License?
According to a 2019 Statute, you are required to have a real estate agent license in Florida before conducting the following activities for compensation:
- Representing a buyer in the purchase of property
- Representing sellers in real estate sales
- Auctioning, listing, promoting or marketing someone else’s property for sale
- Leasing or renting a property on behalf of clients for a commission
How Do I Get My Florida Real Estate License?
Though becoming a licensed real estate agent might seem daunting, it is relatively easy. According to the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC), the prerequisites for becoming a real estate professional are as follows:
- You need to be at least 18 years of age
- You must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent
- You must have a United States social security number
If you meet these prerequisites, take the following steps towards getting a Florida real estate agent license.
1. Complete a Pre-license Course
The first step is to complete a FREC-approved 63-hour pre-licensing online or classroom course. The course will cover topics such as property laws, agency relationships, real estate statutes, financing options and the realtors’ code of ethics.
2. Pass the Final Exam
Once you’ve completed the course, you are required to take and pass the final exam with a score of not less than 70%. If you don’t succeed, you can retake the exam within a period of one year. If you fail the second time, you will have to complete the entire course again before retaking the final exam.
3. Submit your Fingerprints
After passing your final exams, the next step is submitting your fingerprints to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). This should be done at least five days before presenting your license application. Digital fingerprints can be submitted at any approved location across the United States.
4. Submit Your Application
Submit your application using a printable form or online to the Florida DBPR. You will get your application approval within about 10 days. Once approved, you will receive a notification email from the DBPR with your candidate ID number.
5. Take the Florida Real Estate Exam
Upon receiving your candidate ID number, you can schedule your Florida state exam. This exam is offered daily and can be taken online or a Pearson Vue approved test center anywhere in the United States. The passing mark is 75% and you can resit the exam as many times as you want. All you need to do is wait 24 hours before rescheduling the examination.
Career Options for Licensed Real Estate Agents
Once you obtain a real estate license in Florida, you can pursue any of the following career options:
Real Estate Agent Or Realtor
With a real estate license, you can become a real estate agent in Florida. To earn the title of realtor, you can join the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This requires abiding by the realtor code of ethics and paying annual dues.
As the name suggests, property managers manage the day-to-day running of rental properties on behalf of property owners. This involves tasks like marketing rental vacancies, screening tenants, creating lease agreements, collecting rent and maintaining the property.
Managing brokers are legally allowed to run their own real estate companies and hire other real estate professionals. However, you will need to earn a broker license before becoming a managing broker.
Real Estate Investor
Though you can legally buy and sell your own real estate investments in Florida without a license, having a license gives you an edge as an investor. With a license, you can list your investment property on the multiple listing service (MLS) and even generate a commission on transactions.
Charles Mburugu is a HubSpot-certified content writer/marketer for B2B, B2C and SaaS companies. He is an expert in topics such as social media, real estate, e-commerce, technology, career, wellness and travel. Check out his portfolio and connect on LinkedIn.