#AskBP 002: Should You Get Your Real Estate License?

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP, Real Estate Investing Basics
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Should You Get Your Real Estate License?

Should you get your real estate license? In this episode of the BiggerPockets #AskBP Podcast, Brandon addresses this question and shares why he doesn’t have his… but you might want yours.

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Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He began buying rental properties and flipping houses at age 21, discovering he didn’t need to work 40 years at a corporate job to have “the good life.” Today, with nearly 100 rental units and dozens of rehabs under his belt, he continues to invest in real estate while also showing others the power, and impact, of financial freedom. His writings have been featured on,,, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media. He is the author of The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down, The Book on Rental Property Investing, and co-author of The Book on Managing Rental Properties, which he wrote alongside his wife, Heather, and How to Invest in Real Estate, which he wrote alongside Joshua Dorkin. A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie) splits his time between his home in Washington State and various destinations around the globe.

    Pyrrha Rivers Investor from Yokosuka, Japan
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great new platform! I like the video feature. Just a comment on CJ Walker who was not a great guy but a great gal whom I admire so I recognized the name as soon as you mentioned. Madam C. J. Walker, was an African American entrepreneur and philanthropist, regarded as the first female self-made millionaire in America. She made her fortune by developing and marketing a successful line of beauty and hair products for black women.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Ahhhhh thanks so much! Yeah, I had no idea 🙂 Appreciate it!
    Lynn J. Virtual Assistant from Lady Lake, Florida
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks Pyrrha, For clearing up and explaining who C J Walker was. I almost fell out of my chair when Brandon thought it was a guy. I enjoyed the pod cast Brandon, it only takes a minute to pull up the background on your famous quote writer.
    Darren Sager Investor from Summit, NJ
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I think an important question to ask when thinking about getting your license is what type of business do you intend to build. I see way too many people try to play too many roles, and that kills their business. They’d be much smarter putting systems into place and scaling their business up versus trying to take on the role of being an agent.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I agree 100%. Trust the guys who do it for a living… that’s what I do!
    Robert Horton Professional from Camden, South Carolina
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Brandon, you answered the question at minute 2:33. You said you would like to have access to the MLS and the ONLY way to gain full access is to have your real estate license. I am flipper by default. My wife and I were both very active real estate agents from 2003-2008. Once the market crashed, I put my license in “referral” and started flipping homes while she continues to practice traditional real estate. I’m able to use her access to the MLS to find foreclosures. Since the foreclosure market has tightened up, I’ve starting searching the Internet like most investors without a license do. I’m finding a LOT of incorrect, old, and just downright bad info on the major real estate sites. Without a license, you really have to trust your agent and hope he/she is always looking out for your best interest and, more importantly, constantly scanning the MLS for possible deals. They need to know they will make a commission on the purchase and on the sale (if it’s a flip). If it’s a buy & hold, I would offer them MORE than the co-broke. People are motivated by money and want to think their time and knowledge is valuable. Another reason to get your license is to save the commission I just mentioned above IF you have the time and don’t have another job, otherwise, let your agent do the legwork.
    Robert Lenfestey Real Estate Investor from Cary, North Carolina
    Replied over 4 years ago
    The guest on the first podcast listed his reasons for getting his license. 1) Access the MLS 2) Access houses 3) Collect commission on the purchase and sales of your portfolio properties. I found these reasons compelling enough to get my license. There is more time and expense involved than I initially anticipated. But I have found the investment worth it.
    Maggie Smith from Sarasota, Florida
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I remember how my first mentor handled this, and built a $$$ multi-million biz. She did not get her license, but hired a personal assistant who did get her license, hung her shingle under a mom and pop brokerage (so did not go into work at the brokerage, just paid low-ball fees for the oversight of the broker). Now the list was “in house” and available to both on their laptops. They would do the MLS checking several times in a 24 hour period- and find the new listings that my mentor would then rush out to see. She would get the best properties under contract when they were hours fresh on the MLS. With no realtor designation, she had the advantage that, in dealing directly with homeowners, she did not have all that verbal and written “declaration that I am a real estate agent” formality that so often scares or alienates the seller- she could be just an “aw shucks” person that the average seller can chat to, invite in, without feeling a salesy pressure. In addition, she did not have to worry about doing something technically incorrect that could lose her her license. It just bypasses lots of misery not to be licensed. For those times where it was to her advantage to collect a commission, she was happy to let her assistant get that extra cash. Win/win for the two of them. Of course, as investors, we should hope to uncover deals that are not even on the MLS. I have chosen not to get a license myself, and work with various agents when I see an advantage to doing so.