What’s Changed for Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker Continuing Education?

paper plane leadership concept - red paper plane leading the row

Back in January 2018, changes to the Real Estate License Act became effective, including significant updates to “modernize” education and renewal requirements. While some changes took effect right away, much of the implementation was deferred until 2019, so the IDFPR had time to develop transition plans for these significant changes. Among other things, the IDFPR needed to approve schools and courses that satisfy the new requirements.

Brokers and Residential Leasing Agents were the first to experience the impact of these changes, as they prepared for their 2020 renewal. Managing Brokers are up next, as you complete the education required for your upcoming renewal.

Here’s what you need to know to be successful with your upcoming Managing Broker license renewal. As a reminder, Managing Brokers must complete 24 credit hours of education before renewing.

Core A and Core B Continuing Education Courses Have Been Retired

For the previous renewal, Managing Brokers had to complete 12 hours of Core and Elective CE before renewing their license. That included the following:

  • 3-Hour Core A (Required Subjects)
  • 3-Hour Core B (Legal Subjects)
  • 6-Hour Elective or Core B

Now, all Core A and Core B courses are no longer available. (The course approvals have expired, for all schools). The subjects that were formerly categorized as Core B may still be offered as Electives at a school’s discretion.

You Need to Complete a New “Core” CE Course

The former Core A and Core B requirement has been replaced by a single “Core” curriculum requirement. Managing Brokers must now complete:

  • NEW 4-Hour Core (Subjects required by state law)
  • 8-Hours of Electives

Online Distance Education Is the New Self-Study

As part of the new requirements, Core continuing education courses may only be completed in an interactive format. This includes classes, webinars, and online distance education courses. The good news is that all courses completed in an interactive format do not require a final exam.

Core credit cannot be earned with a self-study course, whether book-based or online (such as PDFs). This means that only Electives may be completed in the traditional self-study format.

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Is Required

Effective January 1, 2020, every Illinois professional licensed by the IDFPR, including real estate licensees, must complete at least one hour of sexual harassment prevention training before renewing their license. The training must be provided by a division-approved education provider.

All real estate licensees must be sure that their Elective CE hours include sexual harassment prevention training before renewing their license.

Broker Management CE Is Still Required

Managing Brokers must complete 12 credit hours of Broker Management, which may only be completed in an interactive format (live webinar, class, or online distance education). Self-study is not permitted.

More to Come

There are more changes on the horizon. If you need help, Real Estate Institute is available to guide you to a successful license renewal. Here’s another resource that provides a summary of the significant education changes. For future updates, subscribe to the Real Estate Institute blog and you’ll receive an email with the latest posts.

Real Estate Institute has been a leader in real estate education for over 25 years. Our team of experts is standing by to answer questions about your requirements, our continuing education courses and the renewal process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us online or at 800-995-1700.


IDFPR Announces Broker 45-Hour Post-License Requirements and Curriculum

House model on wood table. Real estate agent offer house, property insurance and security, affordable housing concepts

The Real Estate License Act was recently amended, and newly licensed brokers have different education requirements, depending on the date of license issuance. Yesterday the IDFPR Division of Real Estate announced details about the new 45-hour Post-License curriculum that will enable schools to begin developing courses to satisfy the requirement.

Requirements for Brokers Licensed BETWEEN Aug. 9, 2019 – Nov. 1, 2019

  • 45 credit hours Post-License education, consisting of three 15-credit-hour courses:
    • 15 hours of Applied Brokerage Principles
    • 15 hours of Risk Management/Discipline
    • 15 hours of Transactional Issues
  • Brokers must complete at least 1 hour of Sexual Harassment Prevention training before renewing their licenses, which will be included in one of the above courses.
  • Each course requires its own 50-question final exam, which must be administered by the education provider delivering the course. (No exam exemptions for live training or online distance education.)

License Renewal Deadline

  • To remain active, Brokers must renew their license before expiration (by April 30, 2020).
  • Due to delays in the 45-hour curriculum announcement, the IDFPR may grant an extension until November 1, 2020 to complete the Post-License education requirement. They will continue to evaluate whether this is necessary, based on the actual availability of these courses. For now, Brokers should plan to complete their post-license requirement as soon as courses become available.
  • There is no extension for the 1-hour Sexual Harassment Prevention training. This portion of the education requirement must be completed for the April 30, 2020 license renewal deadline.

Course Availability

The announcement indicates that the department will begin licensing courses on March 1, 2020.  With the course requirements only published yesterday, it will take education providers time to review, plan, create and receive state approval for all three new 15-hour courses. Therefore, it’s unlikely that education providers will be able to create quality courses and acquire the required approvals so quickly.

Real Estate Institute has been offering an opportunity for brokers to pre-register for the 45-Hour Post-License program at a discounted price. This will give these students immediate access to the program once it is approved by the IDFPR.

Real Estate Institute has been a leader in real estate education for over 25 years. Our team of experts is standing by to answer your questions about your requirements, our continuing education or post-license courses and the renewal process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us online or at 800-995-1700.

Real Estate Agents Need to Know … To Tell or Not to Tell?

Real Estate Agents Have a Duty to Disclose

Illinois real estate agents and Realtors® live in an age of disclosure. They are governed by laws that require them to disclose, disclose, disclose.
That seems easy enough, right?

Well, not always…

For example, did Bob the Broker do the right thing in the following scenario?

  • Bob the Broker had a vacancy in an apartment building that he owns with his sister. Bob’s sister is not licensed. Bob and his sister signed a one-year lease with a tenant. Bob did not disclose his status as a real estate licensee to the tenant.

Many real estate agents would do the same as Bob the Broker – not feel the need to disclose their status as a real estate licensee in a personal transaction involving a rental property. There seems to be a lot of confusion on when to disclose your status as a licensee.

What does Illinois law say about disclosure of real estate license status?

  • The Real Estate License Act states, “Each licensee shall disclose, in writing, his or her status as a licensee to all parties in a transaction when the licensee is selling, leasing, or purchasing any interest, direct or indirect, in the real estate that is the subject of the transaction.”

How does Illinois law apply to our hypothetical scenario?

  • Even though his sister is not licensed, Bob the Broker is in violation of the law for failing to disclose his status as a licensee.

What, if anything, could have been done to prevent the problem?

  • Bob the Broker could have disclosed his status as a licensee in writing to the tenant.

Unfortunately, many licensees learn the law the hard way by getting reprimanded by state regulators.

Real estate agents and Realtors® are faced with dilemmas on a daily basis. It’s critical that they understand the possible pitfalls. The state-required real estate post-licensing course is one way for new broker licensees to review real-world scenarios.

Learn more about post-license education at Real Estate Institute, where the goals are to help you become better prepared to handle these challenges, avoid disciplinary actions taken against you, and succeed in your real estate career.

Can an Illinois Managing Broker Exchange Their License for a Broker License?

Managing Broker License Step DownThis real estate license renewal season, there has been an increasing number of Managing Brokers considering whether this license type is right for them. They want to know what it takes to “step down” from their current Managing Broker license to a Broker license. Although the Illinois Real Estate License Act was amended in 2013 to include this option, administrative rules to support this procedure have not yet been established. In other words, it’s complicated.

Some Background

Illinois real estate professionals might obtain a Manager Broker license for any of the following reasons:

  • To self-sponsor their own license
  • To sponsor other licensees
  • To act as a managing broker

However, the Illinois Real Estate License Act permits Managing Brokers to act in the capacity of a Broker (and be sponsored by another Managing Broker).  Presently, more than 40% of Managing Brokers are sponsored by some other licensee.  Many of these sponsored Managing Brokers acknowledge that they don’t intend to change roles and would prefer to “step down” to a Broker license.

In August of 2013, Illinois license law was amended so that Managing Brokers have an option to “return” their license and receive a Broker license in exchange.

Considering the Pros and Cons

If You Keep Your Managing Broker License… If You “Step-Down” to a Broker License…
Work Independently
You can sponsor yourself. You must be sponsored by another Managing Broker.
Work Independently or Sponsor Other Licensees You can be sponsored or sponsor yourself and other licensees You cannot sponsor other licensees.
Date of License Renewal Your license renewal deadline is
April 30, 2015 (and April 30 of subsequent odd-numbered years).
Your license renewal deadline is April 30, 2016 (and April 30 of subsequent even-numbered years).
CE Requirement 12 credit hours of Core and Elective CE plus
12 credit hours of Broker Management CE
You must complete 12 credit hours of
Core and Elective CE

Increased Interest Preceding the License Renewal

In response to the additional continuing education requirements (and related expense) for Managing Brokers, there have been more inquiries from licensees who are interested in “stepping down” to a Broker license.  These licensees want to avoid completing the 12-hour Broker Management CE requirement, which is an interactive course (and self-study is not permitted).

It’s Not Really An Option … Yet

Although the license law was updated over a year ago, the administrative rules that enable the IDFPR to support this change have not yet been updated.  Without this update, there is a lack of guidance regarding the forms, fees, and other details  necessary to implement this feature of the license law.  As a result, Managing Brokers are in a holding pattern and cannot actually complete this process.

Coming Soon, But Not Too Soon

The Real Estate Division is actively working to propose administrative rules that address this and other inconsistencies in the currently approved rules.  Given the process required to implement rule changes, it’s very unlikely that Managing Brokers would be able to “step down” before the April 30, 2015 license renewal.

What Should You Do?

If you are among the licensees waiting to make this change, you may be tempted to skip the Broker Management CE requirement and wait for the green light to exchange your license.  Don’t Do It! 

The license exchange option will only be available to active licensees (who renewed their license).  This means you must first complete your current compliance requirements, in order to be eligible for this change.  For details about your current license renewal requirements, look here.

Also, be aware that if you ever decide to give up your Managing Broker license, there’s no undo button. To become a Managing Broker again, you would need to have been licensed for two of the past three years, and then complete a 45-credit-hour pre-lciense course and pass the state licensing exam. (You would need to do this even though you formerly held a Managing Broker license.)

Still Have Questions?

No problem, call and chat with one of Real Estate Institute’s knowledgeable customer representatives:  800-995-1700

2011 Real Estate Educator of the Year Named

On Friday, May 20, the Association of Illinois Real Estate Educators (AIREE) presented its highest honor – the 2011 Real Estate Educator of the Year award – to Scott B. Toban. The association recognizes Scott’s numerous achievements and contributions to the real estate community in Illinois.

Educator of the Year - Scott Toban

Since focusing his career on education in 2004 as a Principal at the Real Estate Institute, Scott has established himself as a leading Illinois real estate educator.  Scott’s 16 years as a practicing lawyer and his unique experiences in a variety of professional settings have strengthened his abilities as a dynamic speaker and teacher of various education topics, including real estate law, brokerage practice, ethics and professional responsibility.

Immediately prior to joining the Real Estate Institute, Scott was a partner of the international law firm Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP (now, Mayer Brown LLP).  Scott’s legal practice has concentrated on real estate, finance and professional regulation.  Scott earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School in 1995, and he graduated with highest honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelors of Science in Accountancy in 1992.  He is a Registered Certified Public Accountant in Illinois. 

Recognizing Scott’s knowledge and passion for the real estate industry from multiple perspectives (as a lawyer, real estate broker and educator), Governor Quinn appointed Scott as a member of the Illinois Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board and the Illinois Real Estate Education Advisory Council in 2010.  Scott has already made a key impact on Illinois real estate brokerage by contributing revisions to the recently adopted Administrative Rules implementing the Real Estate License Act of 2000.

This is not the Real Estate Institute’s first Educator of the Year. Real Estate Institute is the only professional education provider in Illinois to have two generations of award recipients. In 2002, Alan Toban, Scott’s father, was recognized for his achievements as an accomplished author of numerous real estate, mortgage and finance books, as well as his 30 years of experience in real estate and finance.

IDFPR Announces Important Changes in the Final Rules

The final rules implementing the Illinois license law transition requirements allow an ALL self-study format for transition education programs.  (Originally, a 15-hour live/interactive class component was required.)  Under these rules that are in effect, agents can now study and test at a time and place convenient for them.

This change to the transition rules provides a tremendous benefit to licensees.  By completing this new transition education program, salespersons transitioning to the broker license only require ONE-STEP!  The 30-hour self-study program satisfies the transition requirements and EXEMPTS licensees from having to complete continuing education for their first renewal.

There’s good news for brokers transitioning to the managing broker license too.  By completing the 45-hour self-study program, which satisfies their transition education requirements, they are EXEMPT from having to complete a live/interactive Broker Management Continuing Education class for their first renewal.  If you have taken BMCE in the past, you know that an exemption from this program offers a huge time and cost savings.

Real Estate Institute Leads the Way … AGAIN!

Real Estate Institute immediately responded to the IDFPR’s announcement as the first approved school to offer the new transition courses.  According to Alan Toban, Director at the Real Estate Institute, “I firmly believe that there is no question about how to transition now.  Taking a high-stakes, one-attempt exam adds unnecessary stress to the already stressful and confusing real estate changes.  Over the years, we’ve found self-study to be the most desired and popular option for our students.  We’re strongly recommending this new transition solution to all licensees.”

Apparently Alan’s recommendation is working.  Most offices and individual licensees that were originally enrolled to take the proficiency exam have switched to the preferred transition education program instead.

Real Estate Licensees Required to “Step Up or Step Out”

The hot topic for Illinois real estate licensees is the transition that will take place beginning in May of 2011. Earlier this month, the Association of Illinois Real Estate Educators (AIREE) held its 2010 Winter Conference at DePaul University Conference Center in the Chicago Loop. The conference was attended by over 100 educators from throughout the state.

Changes to the Illinois Real Estate License Act signed into law by Governor Quinn in 2009 will eliminate the real estate salesperson license category. Those individuals who currently hold real estate salesperson licenses will be required to take additional education and apply for what will be a new category of broker license. Real estate salespersons who don’t transition to the new license will lose their license and be forced to stop practicing. During this same transition period, individuals holding a broker license under the current standards must either take additional education or give up the privilege of self-managing and managing others.

Scott Toban of the Real Estate Institute addressed the conference, explaining the new licensing standards. He explained that each licensee has a one-time option to pass a proficiency examination demonstrating that they don’t need the additional education. Scott also spoke about the new increased education requirements for initial licensure and entry into the real estate business in the state of Illinois. Scott, by appointment of the governor, serves on the Illinois Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board and Real Estate Education Advisory Council.

Alan Toban, founder of the Real Estate Institute, addressed the conference to explain the new way training must be delivered. Alan explained, “Licensees will no longer be asked to merely memorize dates or lists of rules. The new law insists students receive training that will prepare them for real-life situations affecting the public they serve.” Alan further explained, “Under the new law, a consumer of real estate services is to receive written notice from a licensee declaring whose interests the licensee is actually protecting.”

Inside the Illinois Proficiency Exam Pilot

 During the month of November, the Real Estate Institute helped Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) test the Illinois Proficiency Exams for the upcoming real estate transition.  As part of the amendments to the Real Estate License Act of 2000, licensees will have a choice of facing the proficiency exam or taking coursework to earn the right to transition to the new license titles.  A passing score on the exam will allow licensees to transition without taking the 30-hour or 45-hour post-license education courses.   The exam is expected to be available to all licensees in January 2011. 

Keeping You Honest
The purpose of the proficiency exam pilot program was to verify the suitability of the exams for use as the Real Estate Transition Proficiency Examinations for both the salesperson-to-broker transition and the broker-to-managing broker transition.  Real Estate Institute participated in the pilot with the cooperation of about 140 brave licensees. 

According to Alan Toban, founder of the Real Estate Institute, the reactions of the test takers were mixed.  “I heard people say that it was a little difficult for them, but seemed like a fair exam for a current licensee.” 

Deborah Hammersmith, Real Estate Institute receptionist, observed the crowds after the exam.  She noted, “After the exam, the test takers congregated to ask each other how they responded to particular questions.  They discovered that they all did not have the same exam and that questions varied.  They all acted like this was a big surprise!”

Years in the Business – No Guarantee
At the other end of the spectrum, Alan said, “A few seasoned salespersons and brokers found the exam very challenging and questioned whether they will pass. They were stunned that, after being in the business for so long, they didn’t know everything!” 

Clearly a passing score is not guaranteed by your years in the business.  Alan further explains, “It’s been a long time since some of these folks studied for their license, and a lot has changed. The additions that were included this year alone caught many agents off guard.  Do you know the differences among a ‘broker,’ a ‘managing broker,’ a ‘sponsoring broker’ and a ‘broker who manages’?”

The exams, which were given on paper, will now be scored by AMP, and any comments about particular questions from those who took the exam will be reviewed. (Later, the Real Estate Institute will make the exam available online for instant scoring.)   AMP will also check for any questions that seem to create a problem for a disproportionate number of candidates.  The bottom line is: Don’t think you are going to waltz into this test and ace it.  According to Alan, “You do need to be proficient.”

The reactions of the pilot test takers confirmed Alan’s suspicions that test preparation would be beneficial.  “With only one opportunity to pass the proficiency exam, I recommend a good exam prep tool to refresh your knowledge and, in some cases, introduce you to new laws that you may not be aware of.”