Are There Too Many Real Estate Agents in Florida?

Sometimes, before someone registers for class, they ask me if there are already too many real estate agents in Florida.  What they really want to know is “Is there room for me to break into this field?  Or is the field already saturated?”

There are a lot of people in the real estate industry, for sure.  But there is still plenty of room for you.  The Orlando Business Journal publishes a list of the top real estate agents each year.  The best agent in Central Florida sold 1,324 houses last year.  Their gross volume was $471,220,000.  That person has less than 1% of the market share.  There were thousands of other people working in the industry as well making a good living.

So there are already a lot of agents, but we are talking about an area where more than 30,000 houses were sold last year.  You couldn’t sell that many if you want to.

This is a field where you just need a small sliver of the pie to make a very good living.  It is also a field where there is a lot of dead weight.  What I mean by that is that there are plenty of agents who sell 1-2 houses a year, sometimes even no houses.  These people are not your competitors.

Go ahead and get your real estate license and start your new career today.

Please note that I have no affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate or Gold Coast Schools.  My father, Ron Climer, owned Climer School of Real Estate until 2014.  He sold it and it was eventually purchased by Gold Coast Schools, which is owned by Colibri.  I own Demetree School of Real Estate, which is a small business.

By |2024-01-18T10:52:52-05:00January 18th, 2024|

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|

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 |2023-10-19T10:06:19-04:00May 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 |2023-07-06T14:23:39-04:00February 20th, 2023|
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