About Karen Climer

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So far Karen Climer has created 9 blog entries.

Demetree School of Real Estate Success Story: Gigi Benca of Keller Williams in Oviedo, Florida

It is fun to keep up with past students to hear how their real estate careers are doing.  Recently, I talked to Gigi Benca who works Keller Williams in Oviedo, Florida.  She attended a class at Demetree School of Real Estate, then I sponsored her to join Keller Williams.  Gigi has a contagious enthusiasm and positivity.  Here is our interview…

Tell us briefly about you.  

I am Gigi Benca.  I’m someone with a strong work ethic, great communicator alongside professional and educational experience that helps me provide good service to all of my clients.  I walk through life being a good doer.  I truly enjoy helping people and solving their problems.  I’m good at it and know it’s my purpose in life.  I have integrity and I am resourceful.

How long have you been in real estate and how long with Keller Williams? 

One year.

Why did you choose Keller Williams?  

Their belief system:

Win-win or no deal.
Integrity does the right thing.
Customers always come first.
Commitment in all things!
Communication seeks first to understand.
Creativity, ideas before results.
Teamwork together everyone achieves more.
Trust starts with honesty.
Equity opportunity for all.
Success results through people.

As an agent for Keller Williams, I have all the resources and support I need to be a successful agent. The education and the positive environment is the perfect place for me to thrive.

What did you do before you got into real estate?

I started in the culinary industry and quickly got into restaurant management. I worked in the hospitality industry for 10 years.  Running restaurants set me up to be a great business-minded person.  Also made me strong.

What do you like most about selling real estate?

The relationships that I develop along the way.  It’s more than a transaction.  I have a good relationship with all my clients.  I’m a People’s advocate and serve people and in the process you get to know and grow close to one another.

What do you like least about selling real estate?

I don’t know if there is anything that I dislike about real estate.  I must say that some of the agents in the industry aren’t as professional, which is not good for the consumer.

Where do you find your clients?

I do a lot of farming.  Door knocking prospecting.  I also love open houses.  I called a lot of for-sale-by-owners and expireds.  I put myself out every day.  Try to get out there and meet new people every day.  It’s all about being consistent and following up with those people that you meet.

Tell us a story about one particular sale.  Maybe one that was challenging or particularly interesting or anything that made it memorable to you.

I had a client who wanted a pool house.  They had a pretty decent price point.  Due to the housing shortage, we put in the offer and got outbid.  We went and searched again, and got outbid on the house again.  They were very positive people and didn’t give up and we found another beautiful house and we put in a strong offer and they got the home.

During the inspection, we see the house has polybutene for the plumbing, which will make it impossible for my buyer to get insurance on the home.  Before I come to them with the bad news, I begin to negotiate a solution.

I get on the phone with the listing agent and informed her of my findings.  I let her know that I’m going to get a quote for how much it will cost to get the property replumbed so that it is insurable.  I also requested the seller credit the buyer for the cost of that repair.  By the time the inspection was over, the listing agent got back to me and let me know that the seller agreed to my terms.

I was very proud of my instincts to find a solution for the issue before presenting it to my client.  The client truly had a great experience and didn’t feel any stress.

I didn’t just come with bad news.  I approached my client with the problem and the solution.  I also was able to help find a plumber and get the work scheduled.

How important to your success was joining Keller Williams?
Very important. I was very careful my decision on wheel to hang my license.  And looking at the data, Keller Williams has the highest success rate for new agents.

The belief system and the education that KW provides to the agent. You truly learn how to be a skill based agent.  The skill-based agent does well in any market.  I am so happy to be a part of the KW family. ♥️

How can someone contact you if they want to buy or sell their house or come work with you at Keller Williams?  

My phone number is 407 893 2240 or email at gigibenca@kw.com

You can also connect through my website, Facebook page, or Instagram.


Please note that neither Karen Climer nor Demetree School of Real Estate has any connection with Climer School of Real Estate.  Karen’s father, Ron Climer, sold the school in 2014.  It has since been purchased by a large corporate investment company.

By |2023-11-14T11:38:09-05:00November 14th, 2023|

“Those Questions Are Too Difficult”

I got a call today from a former student.  She said, “Karen, I’ve decided that I am going to take your review class.  I tried some of the questions in the exam manual and they are too hard.  I’m not going to do them.  I just want to take the review.”

I told her that she should take the review class AND do the state exam practice questions.  If the questions are easy, you aren’t learning.

Think about weightlifting.  Let’s say that 50 pounds is your comfort zone.  You have a few options.  You can lift 10-pound weights all day long.  That gives you the feeling of accomplishment of having successfully lifted, but it really isn’t helping you get better.  You could also lift 50 pounds.  Then try to lift 55 pounds or maybe even 60 pounds.  That is difficult.  You feel like you aren’t achieving anything because you couldn’t do as many reps.  But that’s what you need to do.

It’s not fun to do the difficult questions.  It’s not fun to get 68% on the practice exams.  But we are often poor judges of when we are learning or improving.  Slower and harder does not mean less productive.  We probably learn more from the difficult questions than the easy questions.

Doing easy questions give us the illusion of mastery.  You feel good about yourself for getting all of the questions right, but you didn’t learn anything.  So focus on doing practice questions, and do all of the practice questions.  If the questions in a particular book are difficult, that exactly the book you need to be studying from.  Then when the state exam comes up, you are ready.  The state exam becomes a 50-pound lift, and you have been doing 55-60 pound lifts in practice.

Please note the neither Karen Climer nor Ron Climer have any affiliation with Climer School if Real Estate or Gold Coast Schools.  Ron Climer sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  Karen Climer now owns Demetree School of Real Estate in Orlando.

By |2023-10-19T09:51:51-04:00July 6th, 2023|

What is the Pass Rate for the Florida Real Estate State Exam?

Every month, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) sends real estate schools the monthly state exam statistics.  Here’s what we learned from the May 2023 statistics for the sales associate exam…

  • The pass rate among first-time takers is 56%. That means that most people pass the first time they take the exam.
  • The overall pass rate is up to 47%. Typically, it hovers around 42% so this is an improvement.  We can ascertain that the test is getting easier or that people are studying more.  I’m betting on the latter.
  • About twice as many people are choosing to take it at the Pearson Vue test center as opposed to the online proctored exam.
  • The pass rate is a little higher for the online proctored exam. I’m not sure why that is or what it means, but it has been true consistently with the online proctored exam.

So let’s look at the broker’s exam…

  • The overall pass rate for the broker’s exam is 46%.
  • The pass rate for first-time takers is 55%. Just like the sales associate exam, most people pass the first time they take it.
  • In terms of online vs. in-person, 192 took it online compared to 165 at the test center.

There are eight different exams on the stats list (appraiser exam are included as well).  The only one where more people fail than pass the first time is the instructor exam.  Not a single person passed the first time they took it.  The overall pass rate when you include the first timers and the repeaters is 6%.

I believe that the top reason that people don’t pass the exam is that they don’t study enough (or they study the wrong things).  If you want to be in the half that pass the first time they take it, check out our review classes at Demetree School of Real Estate.  We offer state exam review classes that focus on what’s on the state exam.


Please note that neither Karen Climer nor Ron Climer are affiliated with Climer School of Real Estate or Gold Coast Schools.  Ron Climer, (Karen’s father) sold the school in 2014.  It has since been sold again to a large corporate education company.  Karen Climer owns Demetree School of Real Estate in sunny Orlando, Florida.

By |2023-07-06T14:11:31-04:00July 5th, 2023|

Can I Take the Florida Real Estate Exam At Home?

In Florida, we use Pearson Vue to administer the state exam.  When you register for the exam, you will notice two exams.  One is for the test at the test center.  The other is for an at-home online-proctored exam.  You can’t tell which is which until you click on it.  If it offers you a choice of locations, it’s an in-person test at a Pearson Vue test center.  If it doesn’t give you a choice, it is an at home version.

In this article, I’m going to be primarily talking about the at-home online-proctored version.  To take the test at home, you must have a decent computer with a decent internet connection.  Your computer must have a video camera, so if you have an old computer it might not work.  Also, you must have a decent internet connection.  If you live somewhere where the internet connection drops frequently, you might want to consider taking it at the test center.

A few things about the at-home version…

  1. You must be in a room. You can’t take it in a huge open area.
  2. You will have to take your camera and show the proctor your desk and the surrounding area.
  3. You can only use one monitor. You have to disconnect the other monitors and remove them from the desk.
  4. Once the proctor approves the test area, no person or animal can come into the room or leave the room. In other words, no bathroom breaks.
  5. The room must be quiet. If you have kids running around, cats climbing on the shelves, or delivery people ringing the doorbell, that’s not going to work.  You need a silent place.  (This isn’t just because it makes a better testing environment – it’s because they require it.)
  6. You will not be permitted to use a calculator or scrap paper. You must use the online calculator and the online whiteboard for scrap paper.  If that’s a problem for you, take it at the test center.
  7. You are required to be silent, and you are required to look at the screen the entire time. You can’t read aloud (even though you are by yourself).  You also can’t look out the window or look off into the distance.  You must look at the screen.

About a third of the people who take the state exam each month, take it at home.  It wouldn’t be my preferred way to do it, but plenty of people do it and it works well for them.

If you are looking for a good review before you take the state exam, give us a call at 407-456-3448.

Please note that neither I nor Ron Climer are affiliated with Climer School of Real Estate or Gold Coast Schools.  My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School in 2014.  It is currently owned by a large corporate entity.  I opened Demetree School of Real Estate in 2019.

By |2023-07-06T14:12:21-04:00June 30th, 2023|

Do I Need A Real Estate License To Flip Houses in Florida?

I get a lot of students who take the class because they want to flip houses.  Technically speaking, you don’t need a real estate license in Florida to flip houses.  If you are selling a house that you own, you don’t need a license.  From a practical matter, though, if you don’t have a license, you are going to be paying someone else a commission.  Legally, you can sell it yourself and not pay a commission, but you can’t list it on the MLS yourself.  So, if you want your house to be on the MLS, you either need a license or you have to pay a Realtor.

This is true of any For Sale By Owner (FSBO) house.  If you are selling your own home, you don’t need a license.  Just stick the FSBO sign in the yard and wait for the customers to come flocking in.  That’s true from a legal perspective.  From a practical perspective, ask yourself…

  • How will I market the house without the MLS?
  • How will I vet the customers before I allow strangers to trample through my house?
  • How will I know what disclosures are required to give the buyer?
  • What if the buyer has questions about financing, inspections, etc.?

That, and so much more, is what you learn when you have a real estate license.

If you are looking for a good school to take your Florida real estate class, Demetree School of Real Estate in in-person classes and online self-study classes.  Our students love us.  Don’t take our word for it – read our reviews.

Please note that Demetree School of Real Estate has no connection to Climer School of Real Estate or Gold Coast Schools.  Ron Climer, my father, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  It was later sold to and renamed Gold Coast School.  I opened Demetree School of Real Estate in 2019.

By |2023-07-06T14:13:08-04:00June 28th, 2023|
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