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How To Become A Real Estate Managing Broker in Illinois

By Elizabeth Elstien

So you want to become a real estate managing broker (formerly called a broker) in the State of Illinois? Most people have the wrong impression of real estate as a get-rich-quick occupation. In reality, real estate is a tough business where you may face long and often irregular hours, can be on call to clients at any time and must wait weeks or months (especially with a short sale) to close a sale and get paid with no assurance that the sale will actually hold together until closing.

On the positive side, active real estate managing brokers have several essential freedoms that real estate sales agents (now known as brokers in Illinois) do not -- namely, a managing broker can start her/his own firm, hire agents to work under them (if they wish), and receive commission payments directly without splitting it with any managing broker working above them.

Managing broker candidates must have an active Illinois real estate salesperson/broker license and show proof of two years of experience as a real estate salesperson/broker in the state of Illinois over the preceding three years. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) administers the licensing laws that help protect the public when buying or selling real estate.

Candidates of color seeking to further their real estate careers and become a managing broker, Illinois offers a minority scholarship to be used toward tuition, fees and books. Check out the details of the Illinois Minority Real Estate Scholarship to see if you qualify.

Here's a complete rundown of the requirements you need to meet to take the next step in your career and become a real estate managing broker in Illinois:

  1. Be at least 21-years old.
  2. Hold at least a high school degree or equivalent
  3. Possess the aforementioned minimum of two out of three years' experienced as a licensed salesperson/broker.
  4. Take 45 additional licensing requirements to include a 30-hour approved course of managing broker pre-license subjects along with a 15-hour managing broker pre-license applied management supervision interactive course. Coursework may be completed in classes, online or a combination of both.
  5. After the required coursework is completed, contact the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) who will have the coursework exam sent to the proctor location of your choice.
  6. Register to take the state licensure exam with Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP), who administer the test. First, register as a "student user" on the VIP Portal tab to get an identification number, enter coursework completion date and then select a test date and location.
  7. Apply for your managing broker license after passing the state exam by sending in an application along with the required $150 licensing fee and appropriate documentation to IDFPR (see above link).

For varying reasons, some managing brokers elect to continue working under another managing broker (in which case they are recognized as an associate managing broker). But for those who elect to start their own firm, the capital needed is relatively small, but you will still need several thousand dollars to get licensed, acquire and maintain Errors and Omission (E&O) insurance, post a bond, join real estate associations, market your firm to potential home buyers or sellers, and perhaps recruit agents to work under you.

Then, as with any real estate career, it may take months until you get your first sale and the commission check that comes with it, so it's recommended that you have financial stability, whether through a second job, a spouse or several months of savings, to survive this time period as your business gains momentum.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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