To get real estate agent license, or not to get...

11 Replies

Hello All!

My business partner @Matt Wood   and I are, in the grand scheme of things, new to real estate investing in the Atlanta area. We are putting together our "5 year plan" to make this a full time career and have debated back and forth one question in particular that we would love to get outside opinions on... that is, should we both get our real estate agent license, or should we limit it to one of us? Someone that we have a great amount of respect for in this industry cautioned us against both getting getting our license as it would limit our ability to negotiate deals. We would love to hear insight on the pros and cons for both sides of the coin on this as well as what has/currently works for others!

Thanks in advance for the insight...

Mike

@Mike O'Connor  

Welcome. 

The key I reason I will never pursue a real estate license for myself is the fact that it is not my full-time job. My understanding is that it comes with many yearly association dues that eat at your bottom line. I would run the numbers and see if both of you having a license makes up for that loss. 

I got my license a few years ago to save $ on commissions. So far it's working as planned. The other benefit is having direct access to MLS. Most of my deals have come from MLS. There are great networking opportunities available as an agent which keeps me connected to the local pulse of my market.

I recommend you speak with some of the local Brokers and ask their advice regarding if one or both of you should get licensed. 

Good luck!!

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Originally posted by @Mike O'Connor :

Hello All!

My business partner @Matt Wood   and I are, in the grand scheme of things, new to real estate investing in the Atlanta area. We are putting together our "5 year plan" to make this a full time career and have debated back and forth one question in particular that we would love to get outside opinions on... that is, should we both get our real estate agent license, or should we limit it to one of us? Someone that we have a great amount of respect for in this industry cautioned us against both getting getting our license as it would limit our ability to negotiate deals. We would love to hear insight on the pros and cons for both sides of the coin on this as well as what has/currently works for others!

Thanks in advance for the insight...

If the objective is access to the MLS then you should consider only one partner w/ the license while the other becomes an assistant. If the objective is to save on listing your property then you'll have to ensure your partnership agreement has provisions for the person w/o the license to share in the savings; i.e. the commissions. The only reason I would see for both of you getting a license is if you eventually want to start a brokerage firm together.

Thanks all for the great feedback. I think as of now, we are going to go the route of having one of us be the "assistant" of the other until we see a need for us both to have the license.

As someone with a real estate license, I couldn't imagine doing what you're speaking of without it. As mentioned before, just having immediate access to the MLS data is crucial. Plus, saving the commission $ on even one deal will outweigh any association or licensing fees you pay that year. The other thing to consider is that with a real estate license, you'll have a Supra Key (or similar) so you can see properties on your terms. If a deal comes up that seems too good to be true, don't you want to know before the rest of the public sees it and puts in a contract? I like the idea of only one of you getting the license though--if you're partners in this, it really would be redundant for you both to have a license. That being said though, the one with the license will need the most availability in his schedule.

How to get a Georgia real estate license. Read that, take an online course and go make some money!

@Mike O'Connor  and @Matt Wood  

Getting a real estate license is a good idea for both of you....having a knowledge be Real Estate or any other subject will always protect you as you are better educated and more aware. Having said that don't underestimate the time commitment its not a weekend course that you take a test and you are done. There is a huge time committment because you have continuing ed, courses, ethics standards, tests etc. Seriously consider your long term goals/objectives what you plan on doing with the REI license is it simply to get access to MLS or buy sell and the time you can allocate towards the same.

Good Luck  

One other thing if you are a Realtor in GA and own investment property there are a lot more restrictions on the licensee to do property management so you may have to get a separate property management company or create a separate entity..don't know how that works but keep that in mind. 

At least one of you getting a license will greatly benefit your RE business.

The yearly fees are minimal. You will pay for your yearly fees in commissions earned from 1 or 2 properties bought off the MLS.

@Mike O'Connor  @Chris Farrugia I agree with what Chris said regarding getting the license. The benefits outweigh the costs substantially and if you do just one deal a year you'll likely cover your costs for MLS fees, association fees, suprakey fees, and CE(continuing education). That is assuming the one deal a year is a decent deal, not some 50k rehab project. With all the added benefits of seeing homes when you want, having MLS access, as well as networking and commissions, you can't pass it up. I would say though that only one of you probably needs one. Maybe later your partner can get one, but I'd stay as a single agent for now.