Why Have So Few Illinois Real Estate Licensees Transitioned?

Last week, I attended the monthly meeting of the IDFPR’s Real Estate Education Advisory Council. At the meeting, it was announced that 5,082 real estate salespeople had transitioned to the new broker license through the end of September. Meanwhile, 1,898 brokers had transitioned to the new managing broker license category. 

That means roughly 90 percent of Illinois real estate licensees still hadn’t completed the transition process.

Common Misconceptions
Real Estate Institute fields transition questions all day long.  Most licensees who call us enroll for transition education.  However, when some licensees hear about the April 30, 2012, deadline, they seem to have no sense of urgency.  Unfortunately, this mindset could ultimately mean a loss of licensure. 

Based on my interaction with licensees who got in early and took the state’s proficiency exam, many licensees assume that transitioning is an easy, one-step process. For example, many of our students believe that by passing the state’s proficiency exam, they have completely satisfied all the transition requirements.  They don’t realize they must also submit an application for their new license.  For clarity’s sake, let’s break down the different transition methods that are available to licensees.

Salesperson Licensees

  • Salespersons who transition to the broker license by passing the state’s proficiency exam must complete the transition application and submit it to the IDFPR online or by mail to receive the new license. These licensees are also required to complete 18 hours of continuing education before April 30, 2012.
  • Salespersons who transition to the broker license by completing an approved transition course must complete the transition application and submit it to the IDFPR by mail before the April 30, 2012 deadline to apply for the new license. These licensees are exempt from continuing education for the April 30, 2012 renewal.
  • Salespersons who don’t transition to the new broker license will lose their license on May 1, 2012. There will be no late renewals. Salespersons who miss the deadline will have to start the licensing process all over again. This would mean having to take 90 hours of pre-license education and pass the state’s pre-license exam.

Broker Licensees

  • Brokers who transition to the managing broker license by passing the state’s proficiency exam must complete the transition application and submit it to the IDFPR online or by mail no later than April 30, 2012, to receive their new license. These licensees are also required to complete 18 hours of continuing education and 12 hours of classroom/interactive broker management education before April 30, 2013.
  • Brokers who transition to the managing broker license by completing an approved transition course must complete the transition application and submit it to the IDFPR by mail no later than April 30, 2012. These licensees are also required to complete 18 hours of continuing education before the April 30, 2013, renewal deadline. However, these licensees are exempt from the 12 hours of classroom/interactive broker management education for the April 30, 2013, managing broker license renewal.
  • Brokers who choose to remain a broker will need to be sponsored by a managing broker.  They are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education and renew their current license no later than April 30, 2012. Renewal forms for this purpose will be made available after February 1, 2012.

Still confused? 
You’re not alone! The IDFPR has told us that their call volume is high.  The wait on hold for licensees calling about the transition exceeds 40 minutes at most times of day. That’s why the Real Estate Institute has hired additional fully trained customer representatives. We welcome transition questions from company owners, managers, compliance officers and all licensees.  Call us at 800-995-1700 if you need more information.

The Latest News from the Real Estate Educator Association Conference

Recently, I attended the annual conference of the Real Estate Educator Association in Las Vegas.  I am pleased to report that the Real Estate Institute continues to be a leader in real estate education. I learned that we have already been utilizing the delivery methods and techniques that were first suggested by the regulators.  Some of the largest national providers of materials and technical delivery products are now beginning to suggest these methods.  Most schools are finally thinking about offering the type of web-based classroom broadcasts that Real Estate Institute has been doing for the last two years.

Is the Value of Agents Diminishing?
As a licensed broker, I was very interested to hear that the public continues to believe that real estate professionals are the best source for information about available properties.  Of course, if information about property inventories is the main reason buyers and renters are seeking our help, then we are in big trouble.  The internet will be replacing us before we know it. Training real estate licensees about how to emphasize the benefits of the other services they offer to the public was a recurring topic of the conference.

In Real Estate Institute’s new pre-license and post-license courses, we have been training new licensees to better serve the real estate needs of the public. For example, we concentrate on third-party negotiations, which are a huge benefit for prospective clients.  We teach our students how to proceed in transactions ensuring the best price for the party whom they are representing.  Our new continuing education courses will continue to address this issue.

Prospecting with Social Media
There was a lot of discussion about social media (facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) at the conference and the fact that only a very small number of licensees have learned how to take advantage of these forms of prospecting. Based on what I heard at the conference, the Real Estate Institute will be adding programs to assist our students in this area.