How To Choose The Best Study Material For The Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam

I grew up in Florida and went to college in Alabama.  In the Deep South, like Alabama and Georgia, if you go to a restaurant and order a Coke, they will ask you, “What kind?”  Then you can say, “I’d like Sprite.”  In other words, “Coke” is a synonym for carbonated beverage — what I would refer to as “soda”.

In Florida, if you order a “Coke,” they will either bring you a Coca-Cola or they will say, “Is Pepsi OK?”  So in this case, “Coke” means a specific flavor of carbonated beverage.

Same word.  Different meanings.

I’ve also had the experience in different parts of the country, where I will order a “soda” and the waiter says, “Do you mean pop?”

The same thing, a generic carbonated beverage is called Coke, soda, soft drink, or pop, depending on where you are.  The word “Coke” can mean a specific flavor of carbonated beverage or it can mean any kind of soft drink depending on where you live.

What does this have to do with real estate exam prep?

I have written before about why you should not use any study material from a company that is not physically located in Florida.  About thirty of the states have a state test and a national test.  That material you are studying from those companies is material that is on the national test.  We don’t have a national test, so you are studying material that is not going to be on the Florida real estate state exam.

Imagine you get this question…

Coke is a

  1. specific flavor of carbonated beverage created by the Coca-Cola Company.
  2. term encompassing all flavors of carbonated beverages.
  3. drink that is more commonly referred to as pop or soda.
  4. type of soft drink that is created by multiple companies.

The correct answer is A.  But if you have been listening to Mr. Nationaltestprep, you might think it is B, C, or D, depending on where Mr. Nationaltestprep lives.

Some students insist on studying that material because they can find it easily, it’s free, or it’s in a format they like.  They show up to class and they know what a trust deed is.  That’s great, but we don’t have trust deeds in Florida.  They know what a lease option is.  That’s great, but that’s not on the Florida real estate exam.  They know what fee simple defeasible, emblements, puffing, fructus naturales, fructus industriales, and express easements are.  None of that is on the Florida state exam.

What’s worse than learning extra material is that sometimes they learn incorrect material.  I listened to one of these national company’s YouTube channel for about ten minutes.  In that short time frame, I heard several definitions that were absolutely incorrect in terms of how we use the terms in Florida.  One particular exam prep program was giving incorrect definitions about Florida contracts.  The contract section is 12 points on our test.  You can’t afford to learn incorrect information about contracts!

If you study material that is primarily designed for the national test, you will likely fail the Florida real estate exam.  That is like preparing for your Italian test by studying Spanish.  Yes, Spanish and Italian are similar, but they are definitely different languages.  The best way to pass a Spanish test is to study Spanish, not Italian.  Likewise, the best way to pass the Florida real estate exam is to study material that is written for Florida.

What’s the litmus test for determining whether the material is good for Florida?  Look up the author in the DBPR license portal.  If the author does not have a real estate license in Florida, are they the best person to teach you how to get a real estate license in Florida?  I’m not sure how someone can teach you to pass a test that they themselves have never even attempted.

Please note that I do not work for, nor have any affiliation with, Climer School of Real Estate.  My family sold the school in 2014.  There are no Climers who are affiliated with that school.

By |2023-10-19T10:28:32-04:00July 8th, 2020|

Florida State Exam Practice Question – Fiduciary Duties

One of my YouTube fans recently called to say that she had passed.  She wanted clarification on this question:

Which statement best describes the fiduciary obligations of a sales associate who works for a broker?

  1. The sales associate has fiduciary obligations only to her broker.
  2. The sales associate has fiduciary obligations only to her own clients.
  3. The sales associate has fiduciary obligations to all clients of the brokerage firm.
  4. The sales associate has fiduciary obligations to the broker and all clients of the brokerage firm.

The best answer is D.  The sales associate works for the broker, so the sales associate has a fiduciary responsibility to the broker.  The clients belong to the broker, not the sales associate.  The sales associate is merely a subagent of the broker.  Therefore, the sales associate has a fiduciary obligation to all clients of the brokerage firm, not just the sales associate’s clients.

If you want some more questions that are similar to what is on the state exam (obviously, I don’t have a copy of the exam), feel free to join me in my state exam review class.

By |2023-10-19T10:30:19-04:00July 6th, 2020|

Real Estate Advertising As It Relates To The Florida Real Estate Exam

One of my relatives texted me the other day to ask if he had to put his broker’s license number on his business cards.  The short answer to this question is “no,” but I thought this would be a good time to remind everyone what you need to include in advertising and on signs.  There are a few questions about advertising on the state exam.

For the sign at the office entrance, you need the broker’s name, the trade name of the company (if there is one), and the words, “Licensed Real Estate Broker.”  This is the only time you have to use the name of the broker (the actual person’s name).  It’s also the only time where you need the exact phrase, “Licensed Real Estate Broker.”  There are no specific requirements related to the exact size or placement of the sign, but it must be visible as you are walking in the door.

Now let’s talk about advertising, which is what my relative was asking me about.   Advertising includes business signs, yard signs, newspaper ads, internet ads, t-shirts, pencils, TV ads, billboards, and so much more.  Basically, advertising is anything you are using to promote your business.  There are specific rules for team advertising that I am not going to get into.  Team advertising is not in the FREC Course 1 syllabus, which means it’s not on the sales associate state exam.  However, if you are on a team and are looking for real life information, it can be found in Chapter 61J2-10.026 F.A.C.

Back to individual (not team) advertising … all advertising must include the name of the real estate brokerage (the company name, not the person’s name).  That’s the only thing that has to be there.  Now, I would assume you want to put your own name in the ad.  (It’s not required by FREC, but highly recommended if you want to be successful.)  If you do put your name, you have to put your full name as registered with the DBPR.  I remember someone who was disciplined by FREC because her ads said to “Call Shavonne ‘Rental Queen’.”  Well, obviously that is not her real name.  She could have said, “Call Shavonne ‘Rental Queen’ Edgecomb.”  Or she could have said, “Call Shavonne Edgecomb the Rental Queen.”  In either case, it’s clear what her legal name is.  Don’t forget, though, she also has to have the name of the brokerage firm on there as well.  By the way, this mistake cost the rental queen a $250 fine, six month probation, three hours of class, and the investigative costs of $108.90.

A few other things about advertising … there are no requirements to put a specific phone number, address, email or anything else on the advertisement.  In fact, I’d recommend that you put your personal cell phone and personal email, not the office phone.  There are no requirements to label anything.  For example, you do not need to indicate that the only number I listed is my cell phone number.

For website, everywhere there is a point of contact, you have to include the name of the brokerage firm.  A point of contact is any way you can contact the person.  For example, a phone number, an address, an email address, etc.  Anywhere you have one of those, you have to have the name of the individual agent or the name of the brokerage firm.

Lastly, all of the above information applies no matter who is paying for the advertising.  So if you are paying for your own business cards, you still have to put the name of the company.

If you have any questions about advertising, especially as it relates to the state exam, feel free to call me at 407-493-3974.

By |2020-02-20T17:28:50-05:00February 20th, 2020|

What You Need To Know For The Florida Real Estate Exam – Blanket Mortgage and Partial Release Clause

Let’s say a developer buys some acreage and develops it into 50 lots.  Mr. Developer has a mortgage for the entire property.  You come along and buy lot 36.  You are making your mortgage payments to your bank.  But unfortunately, Mr. Developer can’t afford his mortgage.  His bank forecloses on the entire acreage because that what was put up as collateral.  That mortgage blankets the entire development.  You’re out – now the bank owns your property.  Wow – that would be a bad day.

Once that happened a few times, buyers started to say, “Wait a minute.  This isn’t fair.  I don’t want your mortgage to cover my property.”  So we came up with a new system.  Now, when the buyer buys lot 36, Mr. Developer takes that money and uses it to payoff enough of the mortgage so that lot 36 can be released from the mortgage.  The buyer of lot 36 might have his own mortgage but lot 36 is no longer encumbered by the larger mortgage.  The clause that allows that to happen is called the partial release clause.

When Mr. Developer gets his mortgage, there is a partial release clause in the mortgage that says when he sells the lots, those lots will be released from the mortgage.

There are a few questions about blanket mortgage and partial release clause on the Florida real estate state exam.  Be sure you understand these concepts.  If you need more help preparing for the Florida real estate exam, join me for a class.

By |2021-08-23T10:59:41-04:00January 1st, 2020|

Don’t Collect Study Material – Study The Study Material

Almost daily, I get calls from around the state due to my YouTube channel.  People call with a specific question.  Sometimes they call to register for a class.  Sometimes they call to thank me and tell me they passed the Florida real estate state exam.

Recently, someone called and asked me what study material I recommend.  Here’s a summary of the call:

Caller:  Your videos make things so easy to understand.  Is there any study material you recommend?  Any books or apps or videos I should buy?
Me: I recommend a book called Florida Real Estate Exam Manual by Linda Crawford.  Or you can get the QBank that’s on my website?
Caller: I saw a book on another site called _____.  Should I get it?
Me: I recommend the Exam Manual or the Q Bank.
Caller: What about this app?  Should I get it?
Me: I recommend the Exam Manual of the Q Bank.
Caller: What about this other book?  Is it good?

It was clear that she was asking for my advice, but really wanted me to confirm that these other materials were good.  I said, “If you are a collector, then yes, you should purchase all of those books and apps.  There are people who like to collect study material.  If you are a collector, then yes, you should buy all of that material.  On the other hand, if you are someone who wants to pass the state exam, you should use the material you have.  Don’t buy more books.  Actually, use the books you have.  Study the material.  Do the practice questions.  Really understand the material.”

It reminds me of a group I used to be a part of.  I am a children’s entertainer, so I was interested in learning ventriloquism.  Florida has a ventriloquism club.  After a few meetings, I realized that there are people in the group who has several ventriloquist figures that cost thousands of dollars each, but they never use any of them.  At each meeting, they would bring their new figure.  They’d tell use who made it, what special features it had, who owned or used it before them.  It was show and tell, not a performance.  Then there were other people who would show up with a mass-produced puppet that probably cost about $40.  They would do a short performance with the puppet.

Some people joined the group to become ventriloquists – they even called themselves ventriloquists – but they are actually collectors.  They would have a hard time doing a three-minute routine.  Other people joined to become ventriloquists, bought a cheap puppet but put in the effort, and now are making a living as a ventriloquist.

Don’t pile the books up. Open them up and study from them.  So do you want to be the person who spends hundreds of dollars on study material and can’t pass the exam?  Or do you want to be the person who puts in the effort to study, passes on the first try, and is not making a living selling real estate?

By |2023-10-19T11:07:19-04:00December 20th, 2019|
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