Attention, Brokers! Are You Sure You Need to Renew Your License Now?

You may have received a Broker renewal application from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).  DO NOT SEND IN THIS APPLICATION if you are a Broker who plans to transition to the new Managing Broker license.  Managing Brokers do not renew their license until next year (April 30, 2013).  However, your deadline for transitioning to the new Managing Broker license remains April 30, 2012.  Make sure your transition application and fee are postmarked no later than April 30. 

If you are a Broker and do not transition to Managing Broker, you must complete the 12-credit-hour continuing education requirement and submit the renewal application and fee by April 30, 2012. By renewing as a broker, you will also lose your right to manage other licensees or sponsor your own license.

If you are unsure about your remaining requirements, please call the Real Estate Institute. You’ll speak with trained experts who have access to extensive resources.  We’ll review your license status and help you stay on the right track.

Deadline Approaches for Illinois Real Estate Proficiency Exam

If you plan to take the proficiency exam (state-based transition test), make sure you schedule your test NOW.  All students enrolled for the proficiency exam must test by March 15, 2012.  There are no extensions to this IDFPR deadline!

Exams must be taken at approved real estate pre-license schools.  Test times are limited, so contact your school immediately to schedule your exam.  Real Estate Institute has opened additional test times to accommodate our students.

Real Estate Institute is also offering students additional time and testing convenience to meet the state license transition requirements.  Real Estate Institute students who are currently enrolled for the proficiency exam may transfer their registration to our ALL-in-ONE transition education program. This gives our students an extra 45 days! We will apply the full cost of their previous enrollment with our school toward the cost of this more flexible transition solution.  If you are a Real Estate Institute student who would like to take advantage of this exclusive offer, please contact us at 800-995-1700.

Important Real Estate Transition News – IDFPR Releases Combined Transition/Renewal Application

On February 1, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation released a new salesperson-to-broker transition application that combines the transition AND renewal fees on the same form.  Starting today, you MUST use this combined form.  There is a new online and paper-based application available at the IDFPR’s website.  Here’s a link to the application forms. All Real Estate Institute students who complete our 30-credit-hour transition course will receive the new combined application with their certificate of completion along with an envelope addressed to the IDFPR.  Your application, certificate and fees must be postmarked on or before April 30, 2012. 

 Please note: Salespersons who fail to meet the April 30, 2012, transition deadline will lose their licenses.  There is no late renewal. A salesperson who does not transition will need to take a 90-credit-hour broker pre-license course and pass the state exam to continue earning commissions and referrals.

If you have questions about the new combined transition/renewal application, please call the IDFPR at 217-782-3414.  If you have questions about satisfying the transition education and testing requirements, we have the following comprehensive resources available for you:

  • Transition Education Requirements and Online Enrollment – click here and select your license type.
  • Transition Frequently Asked Questions – click here.
  • Continuing Education Frequently Asked Questions – click here.
  • Transition/Renewal Next Steps – after you have completed your education and testing, click here for instructions on what you do next.
  • Real Estate Institute customer service representatives are available Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer your questions and complete your enrollment.  Call 800-995-1700.

Who is Winning the Real Estate License Transition Race?

In our completely unscientific study this week, it looks like broker licensees are in the lead.  We’ve had considerably more inquiries and more transition enrollments from brokers than salesperson licensees. Since salesperson licensees significantly outnumber brokers in Illinois, we found this surprising. 

We’re still scratching our heads trying to figure out why.  With all the time and effort that has been spent to obtain and maintain the salesperson license, letting it go just doesn’t make sense.  We assume a lot of salespersons still do not understand the change. Salespersons do not have the option of renewal. Transitioning from the salesperson license to the NEW broker license is the only option. So what’s the holdup!?!

  • Are salespersons waiting until closer to the deadline?
  • Are they waiting for the market to recover?
  • Are they hoping the state will change the rules?

The bottom line is that if the transition requirements (education and submitting the paperwork and fees to the state) haven’t been met by April 30, 2012, you can no longer work as an agent – no more commissions, no more referrals, no more license.  When an average commission would pay for 10 transitions, keeping an active real estate license seems like the right thing to do.  We know that the market will get better.  We know that there will be referral opportunities.  It would take legislation to change this law, and it’s just not changing.

It’s time to take back the lead! 

If you need help understanding transition education and the related state forms, give us a call at 800-995-1700 or visit our website.

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.

READY, SET, TRANSITION! IDFPR Applications Are Now Available

This week, the applications that are required to complete the Illinois real estate license transition became available from the IDFPR.  The online and paper applications can be accessed at the department’s website:  http://www.IDFPR.com/REtransition.

Please note:  The online / electronic application is only available to licensees who elected to transition by completing the proficiency examination.  Licensees who opted to complete the transition education program (which we strongly recommend) are required to submit the paper application. 

The obvious question that follows is … WHY?  The paper form is necessary because there is currently no process for approved schools to electronically report transition course completions to the IDFPR.  As a result, licensees are required to submit an original copy of their certificate(s) of completion to the IDFPR with their paper application.  Without a copy of the certificate(s), it won’t be possible for the department to verify that the transition requirements were satisfied – so don’t forget to provide this additional paperwork when submitting your application!

The IDFPR has established an electronic reporting process for proficiency exam completions.  This one was a bit easier because all of the reporting comes from one vendor – Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP), the company responsible for creating, maintaining, and grading the proficiency exam.  It’s not clear how often AMP will be reporting course completions to the IDFPR, so you may not be able to file your online application immediately after passing the proficiency exam.   (We’ve already heard from some students who ran into this “roadblock.”)

As a reminder, we offer convenient self-study programs that allow you to satisfy the transition requirements.  Call or visit our updated transition website today!