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REAL ESTATE Getting a License and Other Education

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Legendary Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 24, 2007
Just wanted to get the opinion of those who are currently investing in commercial/multi-family property...

Do you have a real estate license? Are there any major benefits or drawbacks to having your license if you're a professional investor? Was the coursework to get your license valuable? Did you learn much that you couldn't learn from most REI books?

Has anyone taken any continuing education courses that they'd highly recommend? Do you find courses at local colleges or through other associations?

Has anyone taken any university REI courses and have any textbooks they can recommned?

While I've learned a tremendous amount from typical REI resources (books, forums, articles, etc), I won't be able to start investing for a few months (until I move to the area where I will be investing).

In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out other good resources I can utiliize over the next couple months to continue learning and better prepare myself for when I start investing...

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New Contributor
Sep 12, 2007

I took some classes online through Chamberlain RE School (it's in Campbell). You can do everything you need online, including quizzes, tests, etc. If you do a google search for it, you'll find it no problem.

Classes I took were General Principles, RE Finance, and Property Management. I thought the classes were good, although obviously a lot of information that is not completely relevant to what I believe you are looking to do. When I took the classes I never had the plan of becoming an agent, just wanted the info.

You're more than welcome to have use my books if you want to take the classes. I think the classes were around $70 each, which includes the books, so you may be able to take a bit off of that...

More about the information from the classes. In terms of apartment investing, I learned way more from Vollucci's and Berges' books than I did from these. While there is useful info, I think a large portion of the education obtained here is going to be learned in action (and through experiences of knowledgeable advisors).

I have no idea how these classes transfer over to other states and their requirements...


Sep 9, 2007
Wilmington NC
As one who has had an RE lic. in the past, my opinion is that its a hindrance. Ethics requirements as an agent require you to divulge a true and fair retail price and details for a property. Now I'm not saying that you need to be unethical in your personal dealings, but if you want to invest like an investor, you can't pay retail. You'd be better to find a hungry agent that'll really work for you each day and buy properties (at your intended price) thru that agent.

If you want a license that pays for its self, get a general contractors or appraisers license and use them to their potential.
If you're young enough, a sales position (RE or otherwise) is a GREAT way to learn about people. Forget about text books and go find out what people are all about. Its those same people that you'll rent to some day, and if you don't understand them, you more apt to loose than win no matter what you read.

my .00002 cents


Jan 16, 2008
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Jul 27, 2007
I have a broker's license in Ohio and it is a hinderance when it comes to investing. You as a licensee are subject to disclosure rules and fiduciary requirements that may be contrary to your objectives as an investor. I think the license is worthwhile only if you intend to work as an agent. Otherwise, its a waste of time and money and may hinder you. The pre license courses are so very basic that you would be bored out of your mind. The post license classes aren't much better. I don't want to sound negative, but its true. The industry is run by mega brokerages who need huge amounts of new agents to keep their doors open. The fallout rate among new agents is very high and if there is not constant new blood, it doesn't work. For that reason, its way to easy to get a license and way to easy to keep it. The classes and tests are "dumbed down" so that any average high school student could pass them. You would be bored to death and frustrated. Also, the courses are almost entirely about residential real estate because that is where almost all new agents work. Real estate law varies from state to state so it could be different where you live. But, I doubt it. Ohio requires more pre licensing and post licensing education than any other state. At my last CE the instructor very proudly stated that Ohio was the "gold standard" in licensee education. Maybe so, but it is woefully inadequate.


New Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
I would agree with everyone that a license is a hinderance. I rarely make a commission off of it, and have let the commission go to close some deals. It really depends what you want to do, I have kept mine - it cost about $1000 a year to keep. The biggest draw back is that you will be last to find out on some deals because the commission is just 3%, or the agent wants it all.


Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 9, 2007

Most big time investors in the Bay Area do not have licenses. At least the people I encounter.

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Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 15, 2007
Colorado Springs
If you want a cheap option for fulfilling your classroom hours, check your local community college. Almost all of them offer Real Estate Associate and Broker courses for a nominal charge.


- Hakrjak

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