How to Protect Yourself from Committing the Top 3 Real Estate Licensee Violations in Florida
What are the 3 top Real Estate Licensee Violations?
It’s so easy to prevent these, why would you want to not do them?
|Stay out or FREC 'Jail'|
Some of the stories may bother people. However, when you do something wrong and get caught and are discussed by the Florida Real Estate Commission, you are public record and public information. If you do not want to be talked about in my article or in my YouTube video, don’t commit Violations.
The Number One Violation Real Estate Associates in Florida
|The FREC is your Judge, Jury, and Executioner|
You have to report these incidents when you originally apply for your Real Estate license on www.myfloridalicense.com. Your duty and responsibility to report these types of things does not stop and go away once you have a Real Estate license. In fact they become actually more important than ever before.
The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) always cares about the health, safety, and welfare of the general public, or the consumers, and this especially includes their money. What is amazing to us is how often Licensees will stand before the Commission and their defense is, “I didn’t know.” My advice is, don’t ever say this to the Commission. They can’t stand it when Licensees tell them they didn’t know they were supposed to do something important. They look you in the eye and say, “what do you mean you didn’t know? You’re a Real Estate Licensee. You’re expected to know these things.” And I agree with them by the way.
We have heard one Commissioner in particular ask them , “Do you actually read your continuing education booklet or do you just answer the questions in the back to be done with it?” So far, every single Real Estate Licensee has answered honestly, “I just answer the questions in the back.” While the honesty is appreciated, the practice is not. You need to take your continuing education hours education seriously, especially the core law.
The Number Two Violation for Real Estate Licensees
If anyone out there hands you money, even a penny, you turn it over to your Broker by the end of the next business day not counting weekends and holidays.
Sales Associates and Broker Associates are never ever allowed to do independent property management services. This also includes acting as a rental agent and accepting money for finding a tenant, regardless of who you are finding a tenant for and/or who pays you. Every single penny goes to your Broker. I am shocked at how many stories I hear about Broker Associates and Sales Associates perform property management services and even holding onto extra money. These are both incredibly large chapter 475 and 61J2 Violations.
You would also be shocked if you knew how many Associates register a property management company on www.sunbiz.org . They are idiots. Do not do this.
The Third most popular Real Estate Licensee ViolationThe third most popular Violation that Real Estate Licensees commit on a daily basis is some sort of advertising Violation. There are many ways that these are committed.
1. Broker Associates calling themselves a Broker when they are not a Broker
2. Associate of any kind calling themselves an owner.
3. Not having your Brokerage company information on any of your advertising
4. Not indicating what kind of a phone line your phone number is
5. Occasionally not including your last name
None these are acceptable to the Florida Real Estate Commission.
You may not call yourself a Broker or an owner if you are not a Broker. Having a Broker’s license does not make you a Broker. Having a Broker’s license and only run your own Real Estate Brokerage company makes your Broker, only.
There’s a big trend right now for successful Real Estate agents who had large teams to transfer over to one of the one of the large Real Estate companies who only have one or two Brokers in the state. They have a standalone office and the entire team works out that standalone office.
They like to advertise themselves as realtor/owner. The truth is they are not an owner and is a huge 475 and 61J2 Violation to advertise themselves as an owner. Only a Broker can be a company or an office owner. Associates may only operate at an office registry maintained by their Broker. Only.
The truth is that even if you are a Broker Associate running a large team for one of these afore-referenced Real Estate Brokerages, you own and control nothing. You are nothing more than a glorified Sales Associate. You are on the exact same level as every other Associate on your team except that you are feeding them leads.
If you advertise and market yourself as an owner, you and your Broker are committing a 475 and 61J2 Violation.
If you want to be an owner, come to the Climer School of Real Estate and get your Broker’s license and open your own Real Estate Brokerage company or become a partner in that company and get on the corporate record on www.Sunbiz.org .
You have to have your brokerage company information on all your advertising. First of all everything is advertising. This includes your email signature, your website, your Facebook page, your business card, signs you stick in the ground on sides of roads, etc., everything.
Everything must have your brokerage information. Your franchise is not your brokerage so be careful with that. And there may be some other requirements such as your webpage or if you advertise for a team you need to be aware of.
The only phone number that does not need any type of indicator is the main office line of your brokerage. It is a common misconception that the phone number for your brokerage must be on your advertising including a business cards. This is not true. You do not need the main phone number for your company on your card. However when you put your cell phone number on there or your night direct line, it is a requirement that you indicate that is your cell phone or your evening direct line or something.
The general public must know that this is not your main office phone number.
You have to have your last name on all of your advertising. It needs to be just like it is on your DBPR record so someone can find you if they need. I was looking at the card rack three months ago and a very large franchised real estate brokerage company where we were about to teach a class. I was surprised at how many of the business cards did not have their ages last names.
When I pointed out privately to the compliance officer, they looked at me like I had grown a third eyeball and like I was the biggest idiot that had ever walked into their office. If someone wanted to file a complaint against me with the DBPR, how are they going to find me when all they have to go on is ‘Andy’.
By the way, if you’re one of my students, please remember, bad jokes is not a legally sufficient complaint so don’t even bother.
I am only trying to help keep a lot of you out of trouble
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The sky is the limit. You don’t have to go to college for four years, you don’t graduate with $100,000 in student loan debt to pay off, and you don’t have to look for an entry-level position at a low salary and play the corporate game and work your way up. A Real Estate license is not just career changing, it is life-changing for many people. They are also changing the futures and fortunes of their children and their grandchildren. There are not too many professions where you can say all of these things.
It is not difficult to do the right things especially in the little areas like I’ve outlined. There are plenty of larger, darker, more dangerous Violations being committed every day by Real Estate agents. Why not do the right thing on these little ones. Remember, you are honest, truthful, trustworthy, and of good character. This has to be true or the Florida Real Estate Commission would not have given you a Real Estate license.
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