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It doesn't take too long for me to heed advice and the one consistent thing I'm hearing is to get my real estate license. Great! Question now is: How? I've got a busy job and a 6 month old. Online seems to be the most convenient. Do I need to get licensed in each state I'm interested in investing in? I live in Chicago and have a duplex in Michigan and would like to continue to look in MI. It looks as if I need a sponsoring managing agent here in Illinois. Any advice on these? How do you suggest I approach getting my license?

From what I've learned, Illinois is a broker's r.e. licensing state in lieu of salesperson license, which can be a plus once you've passed...



@Eric La Pratt

I would advise against taking an online course.  In my experience, the quality of the learning is low, and you can network with other future salesmen by going to a physical classroom.  The classes are often offered at night.

You need a license in each state you wish to act as a salesperson.  In your case, it sounds like you just need the one.

Just one additional thought: getting your license is great if it fits into your investment strategy.  If it doesn't, it can actually get in your way.

Are you sure it would be worth it for you to get a license in each state.

Do you know the fee for agents such as mls access, brokerage fees?

How many times a year do you buy or sell?

It doesn't sound like you even have time right now so I would just evaluate why you think it is so important to have.

for you a license has no advantage If you live in Chicago and have property in Michigan you only need a good agent in Michigan.A license is good for an area that you can be active in farming properties, buying and selling, gathering clients etc If you can focus on Chicago then a license can be good for you provided you have time

check out institute online - they have a great online program for getting your Illinois license.

You only need a license if you want to make a commission buying property or selling. And of course you will have access to the MLS

If you plan on purchasing 2+ homes a year then 100% get that license

If you are serious about a real estate investing career the license is the only way to go.

Im at a loss to what you need a license for?  Are you planning on being an agent, wholesaling, or what?  

I wholesale several each month and a license would be a hinderance as an investors.

Both @Joshua Dorkin  and @Brandon Turner along with every BP podcast highly suggest it and, while I'm a newby, the reasons all seem to make perfect sense: Avoid bugging an agent to write offers, access to the MLS, potentially saving a commission and having the ability to give my commission away to the listing agent to help encourage getting things done

Can an Illinois agent see the Michigan MLS & vice versa?

I'm still hashing my plan but getting into cash flow rentals are what I'm interested in. I have a duplex I got in 2011 that has tripled in value and is bringing in great cash flow. I'd like to repeat (or try to get close to repeating) that.

I am an Investor here in Chicago and I say YES get it. I am in the process of getting my license next month & all reasons point towards a license being in your favor. Things you may have to bug an agent to do will be eliminated because you have  access to what they have and you'll save money on deals. 

I wish you all the best of luck with all your endeavors!

We currently have a number of properties we are working on and possibly more than our current buyers can handle.  If you are a cash buyer in Chicago or SE Michigan (Suburbs of, but NOT Detroit) please let us know your parameters and we will put you top of list when we have applicable property.

We market heavily and often can meet your criteria, so the more specific & realistic the better we can serve you!

Keep an eye out for our posting when we debut our new site & app later this year!

I would 1st focus on getting licensed where you live in Illinois. 

You won't have enough time to scout deals or manage your michigan properties yourself so I don't see much value in being licensed out there as you'll need to rely on others anyway.

hi eric. all i can say is just do it. in the future, you will have less regrets about doing it than you would have for not doing it. i had 3 kids, all under age 5, a wife, home and a full time job and i went back to school to learn accounting. somehow, i got thru it all and managed to graduate with a 3.74 GPA. just do it. you will find the right way to manage it

It makes sense to me to get my license in Illinois first since, as James mentioned, I live here now. I'd like to keep my finger on the pulse of the neighborhood we currently own in Michigan but, realistically, Chicago is home for now. I'd imagine it's easier to get a license in another state when you've done the work in another first (kind of loosely like a driving license). I see one vote against online and on kind of for it. I'm not looking to list and show homes like a normal residential real estate broker but just use the license for myself.

Thoughts about online vs. classroom?

Any recommendations that are more specific (ie go *here* to get your license)?

Hi @Eric La Pratt ,

For Illinois you will need to take 90 hours of pre-license education to sit for the state exam.  After you pass the exam you will need to find a sponsoring broker and apply for your license.  Once you have your license you will need to take an additional 30 post-license education before your first renewal.  Also, there is continuing education between each renewal after the first.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has a list of the Illinois Approved Real Estate Schools.  I completed my first 75 hours online using Real Estate Express and the 15 hours of interactive with Baird & Warner.  The online worked for me because I could work on it whenever I had time and so I got through it quickly.  There are a lot of options in the Chicago area so it should not be too difficult for you to find something that works for you.

Let me know if you have any other questions.  I went through the process last year.


I am fairly new to this site and was just reading through the threads about becoming a real estate agent to assist with investing efforts. 

@Eric La Pratt -  I am thinking about becoming an agent and wanted to know.....

1) Did you end up getting your RE license? 

2) Since you have a full time job I was wondering if you have to sell homes at all or do you just utilize the MLS and the savings with being your own agent?

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