My wife got her real estate license last week!
It took about 150 hours of study, a crash refresher course, and then two exams, but she did it, and with flying colors (whatever that means). In Georgia (and probably everywhere else), having your real estate license doesn’t mean anything until you find a real estate broker to hook up with. This could be a big company like Coldwell Banker, Keller Williams, or Re/Max, or it could be a mom-and-pop real estate shop. Because she only got her license to support our business — and to help friends and family when they need it — she decided to steer clear of the bigger brokerage houses, as they tend to take more of each commission out of our pocket.
After talking to several brokerage houses, she decided to go with Solid Source Realty, and Atlanta-based company with about 2700 real estate agents, many of whom are investors, like us. The financial side of the business is actually pretty interesting. She will pay a monthly fee to work with the brokerage, and then pay a fee for each real estate transaction she completes. There are a couple other fees involved in each transaction, and some recurring fees for things like MLS access, insurance, etc, but for the most part, it will only us about $5000/year for about 40 transactions (for example, 20 purchases and 20 sales). Considering we’d otherwise be paying about $120K for those same transactions if we had to pay commissions, that’s a tremendous annual savings — over $100K — that will go right to our bottom line!
In addition to the savings we’ll get on commissions, we’ll also have access to the MLS, both to find properties and to list properties. We’ll have the ability to negotiate with agents directly and manage our own contracts and paperwork. And we’ll be able to get into any properties we’d like to see (both potential acquisition and potential competition) without having to bother an agent to accompany us. While it took a lot of work these past two months to get her license, I think she agrees with me that it will be well worth it.