What does it mean to be an Agent vs. a Broker?

It’s different from one state to another. In Tennessee, the difference between an agent and a broker is pretty straightforward. As a pre-licensed student, you’re going for an affiliate broker license. After passing the state exam, you’ll become an affiliate broker. Once you have three years of experience as an affiliate broker, you can pass another exam to become a broker. As a licensed real estate professional, you’ll also need to join your local board and the National Association of Realtors to become a Realtor.

Do I have to work with an agency, or can I do it on my own?

Yes, you have to work with a firm, meaning you have to be affiliated with a managing broker who has your back and takes responsibility for you. This is one of the ways that the Tennessee Real Estate Commission protects the public. Even if you’re a brand new agent, you have the support, training, and guidance of a managing broker behind you. This is important because people don’t want to make the biggest financial transaction of their lifetime with someone who just learned how to pass the real estate exam.

What can I do with a real estate license?

With a real estate license in Tennessee, you can do a lot of things. It’s a single license that covers all aspects of the real estate business in the state. You can sell residential, commercial, or rental properties throughout the state, and even refer clients to other agents in other parts of the state or the country. It’s a great way to start a new career or to expand your existing one.

If I'm an investor, should I get a real estate license?

If you’re an investor, getting a real estate license is definitely worth considering. With a license, you’ll have a better understanding of the industry and access to Tennessee real estate contracts, which are some of the best in the country. These contracts provide protection for your investments and can help you save money in the long run. Plus, as a licensed agent, you can capture some of that commission and add to your bottom line. While it’s not necessary, it’s definitely a smart move.

Does my Tennessee license work in other states? And if not, how do I get licensed in other states?

No, your Tennessee license does not work in other states, and Tennessee does not offer reciprocity. However, you can get licensed in other states by passing another test and meeting other requirements like Continuing Education and E&O Insurance. It’s important to consider where your business is going and whether getting licensed in other states is necessary or if finding referral partners is a better use of your time and resources. We discuss this in more detail in class and can help you make informed decisions.

What kind of continuing education do I need to renew my license?

In our state, you need 16 hours of continuing education every two years to renew your license. However, that’s just the minimum requirement. If you want to excel in this industry and earn more commission, you should invest in yourself by taking additional classes and getting designations. By joining the local real estate board, you can also access over 200 hours of free or reduced-cost classes every year, although these classes are primarily focused on maintaining your license rather than building your business.

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