License Law clarifications and written office policies

In this fourth and final video, Illinois Association of REALTORS® Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance discusses the requirement that sponsoring brokers (with the exception of sole proprietors sponsoring only themselves) have a written office policy in place under the Illinois License Law rules. Find other videos in this series highlighting some of the clarifications to the administrative rules of the Illinois Real Estate License Act of 2000 and the complete list of clarifications at IARlicenselaw.org.

New laws bring new education programs to Illinois REALTORS®

The implementation of the new education requirement for real estate licensees that went into effect May 1 is in full swing with pre-license schools taking on the task of offering a variety of options to accommodate students with varying needs.  The Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) has a new program that will be offered specifically to broker candidates previously testing for the salesperson license category who did not make the deadline for taking their state exam prior to the elimination of that category.

The 30-hour Salesperson to Broker Supplemental Course was designed for those students who have a valid transcript for the previously approved 45-hour course to obtain a salesperson license prior to 4/30/11, but were not able to sit for the state exam through Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP). After successful completion of this course, students will be issued a certificate of completion and will be required to register and complete the 15-hour interactive portion of the new broker pre-license course. After completion of both the 30-hour supplemental and a 15-hour interactive course at one of our pre-license branches, students will be issued a transcript for the 90-hour pre-license broker course requirement which will enable them to sit for the state exam through AMP.  The course can be ordered through the IAR REALTOR® Store at shop.illinoisrealtor.org/catalog/Pre-License

Another home study program available through the IAR REALTOR® Store is the Salesperson to Broker 30-Hour Transition program. This program is specifically designed for those students who want to transition, but do not want to take an exam prep or proficiency exam.  An added bonus with this program is that students who successfully complete the course will also get credit for Course I of the GRI designation!  Successful completion of this program will require a proctored exam at one of IAR’s many proctor locations.

In addition, IAR will be offering blended programs for completion of the 90-hour broker license requirement.  There is an option of taking 75 hours online and 15 hours in a classroom setting, or taking 45 hours home study and 45 hours classroom.  Check our website often as we continue to add more options for completing your educational requirements: www.illinoisrealtor.org/education.

For more information on any of these programs, feel free to contact me, Celliott@iar.org.

Take action for a successful, productive new year

As you transition to the new year, now is the time to think “strategy!” How will you change your business plan in the new year? Here are some suggestions.

1. Invest in a smart phone. Smart phones will help you stay on the cutting edge of technology and help you manage your business remotely. If you have a smart phone make sure you are optimizing its use. The power of the smart phone is amazing and fascinating and can be a rock-solid time-saver if you use it properly. Check with your smart phone vendor on training classes to help you utilize all the unique features of your phone. Or check out YouTube videos. Plus, it helps you stay in touch with your clients which is what they want. In 2010, we saw successful agents move farther head with the use of advanced mobile technology including the iPad. Tablet devices help you stay mobile and offer the ability to deliver powerful listing presentations to potential clients.

2. Stay abreast of new year, new laws. The Illinois Association of REALTORS® works hard to protect your business interests in Springfield at the State Capitol through our lobbying and governmental affairs program. Keep abreast of new laws that impact your business. Be sure to read the January Illinois REALTOR® Magazine article “New Year, New Laws” by IAR Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs Julie Sullivan on new laws that could affect you in your business in 2011. Stay tuned to the IARactioncenter.org on a regular basis for updates as the Illinois General Assembly starts a new legislative year beginning in January.

3. Make your plans as you prepare to meet the mandates of the new real estate license law. Check out the transition flow charts in the January Illinois REALTOR® Magazine for the transition to the new license law which begins May 1, 2011 through April 30, 2012. The salesperson license will be phased to the broker license and a new managing broker license category has been created. The transition period lasts one year and you may use the transition period to obtain one license. Begin setting your strategy. To help you get ready to take the state-approved proficiency exam for the upcoming transition period, IAR has developed an exam prep training program. The exam prep is being offered at over 50 pre-license branch locations statewide. Check www.illinoisrealtor.org for details on courses nearest you. The state-approved proficiency exam is available. The actual classroom transition courses will be approved after the first part of 2011. Learn more about what you need to know about the transition to the new law at IARlicenselaw.org.

4. Take out your business plan, dust it off and rewrite it for the new year. What do you want to do differently in 2011? What solid, fresh marketing strategies do you have for each property you have listed? What do you need to change-up with your listing presentations to impress those clients who are considering you to list their property? What new creative staging ideas do you have? Read up on how you can advance your technology skills and study the value of how photos and video can help to market property in order to impress new buyers. Look to the various tools and resources available to you on realtor.org.

5. Reconnect with past clients and current and old friends. Get out and be social in these winter months to help you build your base of contacts. Get on Facebook and explore how other key social media outlets like blogging or Twitter can help you build your community base. Be entertaining in your Facebook posts and optimistic about the real estate market in 2011. Comment on articles you’ve read or market information you can share. Watch for housing market data released monthly from IAR and NAR. When out and about, talk up the value of homeownership. Utilize the NAR surround sound talking points and other homeownership talking points at www.realtor.org/homeownership. Use HouseLogic to auto-populate your website with key interesting content for your clients. It’s fast and is a free, easy resource for you.

6. Protect your business interests. Utilize the vast resources available to you in the newly created IAR Risk Management Toolkit. It’s a one-stop shop for risk management tools and information that can help you reduce or manage your risk in the real estate brokerage business. A unique member service exclusive to you. Just one of the many free member services available to you through the IAR member service program.

7. Serve your local/state/national association. There are many opportunities to serve the REALTOR® Association on committees and special task forces that need your input. Contribute your views and expand your networking powerbase with REALTORS® from across the state—start locally and take advantage of programs there. Attend the IAR Capitol Conference on April 5, 2011 in Springfield and attend the IAR Business Meetings that week to learn what activities your state association is involved in. Exchange ideas and learn from others.

Get started, aim and take action for a successful, productive new year!

Top content from illinoisrealtor.org

Looking for last month’s home sales data or where to download a sample office policy? These resources are available at your fingertips from the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. In fact, here are the top visited pages from www.illinoisrealtor.org (Source: IAR 2nd Quarter Hit Report)

  1. REALTOR® Search – Search for a REALTOR® by company name, city, last name and/or foreign language.
  2. CE Lookup – Look up your IAR-sponsored continuing education credits.
  3. Free Downloads – Contracts, forms, consumer brochures and other resources available for Illinois REALTORS® to download in .pdf format.
  4. Career in Real Estate – Understand the various educational options and choices for those embarking on a career in real estate.
  5. IARlicenselaw.org – Let IAR be your guide to understanding the rewrite of the Illinois Real Estate License Act of 2000, its rules and provisions.
  6. Market Stats – Find monthly and quarterly Illinois home sales and median prices by county, housing market forecasts by University of Illinois economists and more.
  7. Pre-License Information – IAR licensing and training centers make it easy to start your career in real estate. Learn about pre-licensing requirements and find courses for obtaining your real estate license.

Also be sure to bookmark these quicklinks to stay informed:

NRDS ALERT! You must be a member of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® to access online member benefits. If you are a member and are having difficulties logging in please e-mail IARaccess@iar.org.

How about a Career in Real Estate?

Maybe now is the time to start a new career and practicing real estate is what you have always aspired to do. It would seem from the influx of questions about real estate career choices, there is a growing demand for both pre-license and broker programs. It may be that word is getting around that if you want to get your real estate license in Illinois, now would be the time due to the license law changes eliminating the salesperson category effective April 30, 2012, with no new salesperson licenses issued after April 30, 2011.

Here are answers to common questions I receive about the process and the benefits of getting your license before the deadline.  Keep in mind the hours and requirements change when the transition cycle of April 30, 2011 through April 30, 2012 ends.

What are the educational requirements to obtain my SALESPERSON license prior to April 30, 2011?

You will need to take the 45-hour basic transactions course (classroom, home study or online), pass the Illinois state exam and be sponsored by a managing broker. After April 30, 2011, as a salesperson you will need to transition to a new non-managing broker license category. You will have the option to take a proficiency exam to transition to the new broker license category AND/OR take a 30-hour course and pass the exam by April 30, 2012.

What are the educational requirements to obtain my BROKER license prior to April 30, 2011?

You will need to take 120 hours (includes the 45-hour basic transactions course plus 75 hours classroom, home study or online which are available in five 15-hour modules). By obtaining your broker license prior to May 1, 2011, you can transition to the new managing broker category by taking the proficiency exam AND/OR by taking a 45-hour course and passing the course exam.

So do I take the 45-hour basic transactions course and obtain my salesperson license before the April 30, 2011 deadline, or do I take the 120 hours and obtain my broker license?

It really depends on what path you want your career to take.  If you want to open your own office or be self-sponsored, you would want to take all 120 of the required hours and become a broker prior to May 1, 2011.  If you are content being a non-managing broker then taking the 45-hour course, being licensed as a salesperson, and transitioning to a non-managing broker would be your best option.

If you need assistance understanding the education requirements and changes to the Illinois Real Estate License Law to determine your career path, IAR is available to help. Just e-mail Stacy at SMahinda@iar.org or Carrie at Celliott@iar.org or call 800-752-3275.