Which Real Estate License Type Is Right For You?

Questions With a career in real estate, many opportunities lie ahead that may not be readily available in more traditional career paths. Many people enjoy the schedule flexibility and income potential that working in real estate affords.

In Illinois, there are three real estate license types to choose from. The residential leasing agent license is considered an “entry level” license. The broker license is the most common license type in Illinois and allows you to do much more than a residential leasing agent. The managing broker license allows you to do everything a residential leasing agent and a broker do, but you have the ability to be your own boss and manage others if you choose. Depending on whether you’ll be working for a real estate brokerage, a property management company or ultimately hope to start your own business, you’ll need to consider which path you take. 

 

Comparing real estate license types

This comparison table will help you determine which license type is right for your career.

Characteristics of Illinois Real Estate Licenses

Residential Leasing Agent Broker Managing Broker
Allowed to sell all property types X X
Allowed to lease residential property X X X
Allowed to lease commercial property X X
Allowed to exchange all property types X X
Must be supervised by a managing broker X X
Held a sales or broker license for 2 of the prior 3 years X
Allowed to work under their own supervision  X
Allowed to supervise other licensees X
Can manage a sales or management office X
Required state examination Multiple-choice  Multiple-choice  Multiple-choice

plus simulation

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For information about real estate licensing, visit the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation’s Real Estate Division

Real Estate Institute’s frequently asked questions have more detailed information about each license type.

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