Which Florida Real Estate Schools Are Not Teaching Florida Material?

Many Florida schools don’t know what is happening in Florida.  How can you tell?  Like any scam, there are many red flags.  Some of those red flags are…

  1. The “teacher” on the video doesn’t have a Florida real estate instructor license. If they are teaching you how to pass a Florida exam and they haven’t passed that exam themselves, they are a paid actor.  If you want to learn how to act, watch these videos.  If you want to pass the real estate exam, be sure the person has a Florida real estate license.  You can look up any Florida licensee here.
  2. Money-back guarantees. If the school offers a money-back guarantee or a no-pass, no-pay policy, they are not familiar with Florida laws.  Florida schools are not allowed to offer money-back guarantees based on passing.  One of these curriculum providers sent me sample material to see if I wanted to use it.  I looked at the material.  Several of the “Florida” practice questions were incorrect.  I later found out, it was correct information for Tennessee law, but not Florida.  Obviously, I don’t use that material in my classes.
  3. Offering too many states. The phrase “jack of all trades but master of none” comes to mind.  If you have to choose your state on their website, they are likely not familiar with how Florida works.  For example, the Florida test is application based, which means you have to be able to apply the knowledge.  That is not true in many states.  Some of the schools that cover all 50 states offer practice questions that are much easier than our Florida real estate exam.  You will feel confident going into the exam because you did well on the easy practice questions, but you will be dumbfounded when you see how difficult the Florida real estate exam is.
  4. The school does not have a physical Florida address. There are many schools that operate primarily in the cloud.  That works for some people.  However, Florida rule requires that these schools have a physical address and phone number that students can access.  If they don’t have that, they don’t know Florida law.  If their address is not in Florida, they likely know more about their home state than Florida.

None of these are actually indicators that a school is a rip-off or doesn’t understand Florida law.  They are just indicators that it might be.  Much like a bunch of typos in an email does not guarantee that it is a scam.  It’s just one of the indicators.  But just like those emails, the best thing to do is to err on the side of caution.

Demetree School of Real Estate is a Florida-based school.  In fact, we are home grown.  If you are trying to get a Florida real estate license, check out our real estate prelicensing class schedule.

Please note that neither I nor anyone in the Climer family has any relation to Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold the school in 2014.  It has since been sold to a large corporate conglomerate based in Minnesota.  If you are looking for Karen Climer, you will find me at Demetree School of Real Estate in Orlando, Florida.

By |2023-05-18T13:04:56-04:00May 18th, 2023|

What Is A Competing Broker?

Let’s say you work for Broker Bob Realty.  The office consists of Bob and several real estate agents.  In a non-competing brokerage, Bob does not take listings nor work directly with buyers.  His primary role is to run the office and work with his agents to help them succeed.  In a competing brokerage office, Bob is actively engaged in working with buyers and sellers.  In other words, Bob is competing with his own agents for business.  This is what is referred to as a competing brokerage.

There are pros and cons for both ways, but I’m going to tell you way I choose to work for a non-competing brokerage.

In a non-competing brokerage, the broker has time to manage the office.  In a competitive brokerage, Broker Bob is spending half is time getting listings and working with buyers.  He spends the other half of his time running the office.  In other words, he has two part-time jobs rather than one full-time job.  I don’t know about you, but if I’m working full-time, I want a boss who is available full-time.

When everything is running smoothly, you can get by with a part-time broker.  If every deal went perfectly – the buyer liked the first house and the offer was accepted, the home inspection was perfect, the lending process was smooth, and there were zero issues at closing – then real estate would be a part-time job.  But of course, every deal isn’t perfect.  In fact, no deal is perfect.  It’s the same with running a brokerage.  If everything were perfect, then all the broker would have to do is sit on the couch and watch the money roll in.  That is so unrealistic that is doesn’t even happen on TV.  In real life, you have people.  People – whether it’s buyers, sellers, agents, cooperating agents, mortgage brokers, title companies, or anyone else – make things more complicated.  That’s why being a broker isn’t a part-time job.

Another reason I don’t want to work for a competing brokerage is that I don’t want my broker to compete with me, I want him to support me.  Your broker cannot be on your team and be your competitor at the same time.  That is not possible.  You can’t play on both sides of the tennis match.  If Broker Bob is competing with me, then when someone calls the office looking for an agent, is he going to refer that customer to me?  Or is he going to take the customer himself?  Naturally, it’s in his best interest to take it for himself.  But in a non-competing brokerage, he will say, “I’m going to refer you to one of our best agents.  Karen is going to help you get your house sold.”  Will you get a lot of leads that way?  Probably not, but it depends on the office.  Different offices have different rules about floor time, desk duty, in-house leads, etc.  But one thing I know for certain, it is cleaner when the broker is not distributing those leads to himself.

There is plenty of competition in real estate.  In fact, you are competing with other agents in your office.  You don’t need to also compete with your broker as well.

Or consider this … I’m representing the buyer in a transaction and my broker is representing the seller.  Florida is a transaction broker state so this is legal, but what if something goes wrong and I need my broker’s help.  I have to ask the agent (my broker) who represents the other side of the transaction for advice?  That doesn’t sit well with me.

But don’t you want a broker who has their ear to the ground?  Someone who is out in the field and knows what’s going on out there?  It’s a myth that the broker needs to be selling to have a grasp of the market.  Do you think the manager of a restaurant is unfamiliar with the restaurant business just because she isn’t actually waiting on tables or cooking food in the back?  Of course not.  She is very in tune with the restaurant business.  She talks to customers.  She talks to vendors.  She talks to employees.  A good manager talks to everyone.

It’s the same with a real estate broker.  Sure, your broker might not be calling foreclosures every day, but I bet he talks to buyers and seller.  He talks to other brokers and agents.  He talks to mortgage brokers, inspectors, title agents, and all the other people who make a real estate deal happen.  He is keenly aware of the market.  Just like the restaurant manager is involved in a different way than the waiters and cooks, a broker is a different job from sales agent.

Right now, I have my license with Keller Williams at the Parks in Orlando, Florida, and I love it.  Keller Williams is a non-competing broker.  If you are interested in working for Keller Williams, please give me a call and I’d be happy to talk to you.  If you are interested in getting a Florida real estate license, I teach classes at Demetree School of Real Estate.  Give me a call and I can help you get your Florida real estate license.

By |2023-04-18T13:41:22-04:00April 18th, 2023|

How Much Does It Cost To Take The Florida Real Estate Exam?

The cost to take the Florida real estate sales associate state exam just increased significantly.  Now, it costs $57.75 each time you take the state exam.  The good news is that the cost of the weekend exam cram review at Demetree School of Real Estate is staying the same.  So if you don’t want to take the state exam multiple times, consider taking the state exam review class taught by Karen Climer.

When the cost of the state exam went up, the Florida Real Estate Commission voted to reduce the application fee to $62.75.  However, it is still going to cost half of the licensees more to get a license than it used to.  Why do I say that?

The application fee you pay once.  The exam fee you pay EACH time you take the exam.  Last month (January 2023), 47% of the first-time test takers failed and will have to pay to take it a second time.  Even worse, 33% of the repeaters failed and will have to pay $57.75 to take it for the third, fourth, or fifth time.  Some people have taken even more times than that!

The only way to pass the exam is to study.  But more importantly that that, you have to study the right material.  If you don’t know how to study for the Florida real estate exam or don’t know what the best real estate study material is, give Karen Climer a call at Demetree School of Real Estate at 407-456-3448.

By |2023-03-15T12:52:24-04:00February 20th, 2023|

What You Need To Know To Pass The Florida Real Estate Broker Exam

I frequently get asked what is covered on the Florida real estate broker’s exam.  Fortunately for us, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) tells us.  We don’t have to guess.

They publish a booklet called the Candidate Information Booklet. There is a lot of useful information in that booklet. On pages 3-5, it tells you what content is covered on the exam. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Real Estate Brokerage Business – 43 questions
  • Valuing Property – 9 questions
  • Listing and Selling Property – 6 questions
  • Contract – 11 questions
  • Financing – 4 questions
  • Closing Transactions – 12 questions
  • Federal Income Tax Law – 5 questions
  • Investment – 4 questions
  • Zoning and Planning – 1 question
  • Environmental Issues – 1 question
  • Property Management – 1 question
  • Real Estate Market – 3 questions

It even gives you a sample closing statement question.

If you are planning to take to the Florida Broker Real Estate Exam, be sure to check out this little booklet. Also, feel free to take my weekend state exam review. Most of the students in the review class are sales associates. There is so much material on the broker exam that you learned in the sales associate class (and were supposed to remember) that it is worth taking it.

Please note that I have no affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate or Gold Coast Schools.  My father, Ron Climer, started Climer School of Real Estate.  He sold it in 2014.  It has changed hands a few times and it now owned by a large national corporation.  I own Demetree School of Real Estate.

By |2022-12-12T17:08:28-05:00August 30th, 2022|

Demetree School of Real Estate Success Story: Rafi Pinsky at Keller Williams Aventura

It is fun to keep up with past students to hear how their real estate careers are doing.  Recently, I talked to Rafi Pinsky in South Florida.  He attended a class at Demetree School of Real Estate, then I sponsored him to join Keller Williams.  He has been doing very well there since he started, just about a year and a half ago.  Here is our interview…

Tell us briefly about you.

I was raised by my grandmother (my mother’s mother) at 18 months old.  During the first 18 months, my grandmother and mother were in a custody battle as my mother wanted to raise me but was unfit due to alcohol and habits which deemed her unfit to raise a child.  I was in foster care during that period and thankfully I was placed in full custody with my grandmother.  I never met either of my parents and unfortunately was informed of the passing of my homeless mother about a year ago.  I didn’t grow up with any luxuries or any siblings but I was blessed to have all that I needed and all in all, I had a great childhood and a loving parent.  I went through middle school, high school, and three years of undergrad where I worked as a waiter part time before deciding to join the Israeli military.  I served in an infantry unit in the West Bank before returning to New York to finish my last year of school.  After obtaining my Bachelor’s in business, I started working with a friend selling different kinds of loans to small businesses.  When COVID hit, I decided to become a real estate agent with Keller Williams.  I started a podcast at the same time as my real estate career and I’m proud of my accomplishments.  Karen has helped me ace the exam.  I will always recommend her to anyone looking to take the exam and ace it (10/10 would recommend).

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

I’ve been in Real Estate since August of 2020 and have been with Keller Williams from the beginning.

Why did you choose Keller Williams?

I initially interviewed with Douglas Elliman but found their rules on social media posts too restrictive for me.  I interviewed next with Keller Williams and was much happier with the energy there.

What do you like most about selling real estate?

I love networking, solving problems and negotiating.  I can’t say either of them are more enjoyable than the other.

What do you like least about selling real estate?

I dislike when clients aren’t truly willing to proceed and just want to waste my time looking around.  Prospecting can be a drag when not knowing when your next client will come but the early stages of any business are difficult so I’m ok with it.

Where do you find your clients?

I find most of my clients through cold calls.

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 listing (seller representation) where the seller received an offer around $50,000 over appraised value and we still had difficult closing.  Post inspection, the buyer asked for everything to be credited and that was where the war started.  Thankfully, the other agent and I worked well together to close the transaction and after numerous, and I mean numerous back and forth negotiations, almost killing the transaction.  We were able to close by giving part of our commissions as a seller credit to the buyer.  I also spent an entire day physically helping them move out since the movers came late and they were short on time.

How important to your success was joining Keller Williams?

The Keller Williams office in Aventura has a wonderful atmosphere with people who are always happy to help one another. Keller Williams as a whole, is an incredible company for new agents who need guidance and hands on coaching to succeed in a business like Real Estate. I don’t know what the future holds but I don’t have a reason to go elsewhere and I highly recommend KW to anyone who’s about to be licensed anywhere in the country and in any country that has a KW office for that matter.

This is Karen again.  If you are a real estate agent or aspiring agent who is looking for a great place to work (even if it’s not in South Florida), give me a call.


Please note that neither Karen Climer nor Demetree School of Real Estate have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, started Climer School of Real Estate.  He sold it in 2014.  It was recently acquired by a large national corporation.


By |2023-02-09T14:41:06-05:00January 21st, 2022|
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