Today is the first day of the monthly Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) meeting. The Commission is listening to applicants tell their stories and deciding who should get a license. These are people who have some sort of criminal history. If you have a criminal history, this is what will happen to your real estate application…
If you have a minor misdemeanor from a while ago and included the appropriate documentation, they will probably approve your application immediately. You will never be on the FREC agenda.
If you have a felony, or several misdemeanors, or a recent incident, you might get a letter from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) that says you will be on the FREC agenda. What does that mean?
At first, you will be on the consent agenda. If you are on the consent agenda, you don’t need to go to the meeting. If you go to the meeting, you will learn about the process, which is not a bad thing. But you will not be given a chance to present your case at this meeting.
Many people are approved from the Consent Agenda. Others are pushed on to the next meeting. This is what they call the Summary of Applicants (SOA). The Summary of Applicants section of the meeting is where the FREC members discuss your case and vote on each case individually. There are usually from 50 -75 people each month on this agenda.
If you are on the Summary of Applicants, here’s are a few recommendations. Keep in mind that I am not an attorney, so this is not legal advice. This is just some common sense type of information that I’ve gathered from watching the proceedings.
- Show up to the meeting. You will receive a letter telling you the date of meeting. This is not a subpoena. You are not required to attend. However, it is in your best interest to attend. If you show up, you can present your case. If you are not there, the commissioners only have your paperwork to make a determination.
- Dress like you would dress for court. Yes, there are people who show up in jeans, but I’d recommend you wear a suit. If you don’t own a suit, wear the nicest business clothes you have.
- Send a few recommendation letters or have a character witness come with you. The commissioners consider that in their determination. If you have a broker who is going to hire you once you get your license, that’s a great person to write a recommendation letter. If you have another professional contact, even outside of real estate, that’s another good choice. If not, maybe you have a spouse or parent who is willing to say something nice about you.
- Consider hiring an attorney. Yes, you can represent yourself and many people do, but you are much better off with an attorney. There are a few local attorneys who are there every month representing people. These people know the system. They know how to give you the best chance for getting approved. If you can afford it, consider hiring an attorney.
I don’t know the exact statistics, but it seems like most people get approved. The ones who are not approved usually have a more recent incident or a very serious crime of dishonesty. A crime of dishonesty is something like robbing a bank, writing bad checks, theft, or some sort of fraud.
FREC’s goal is not to punish you again if you’ve already served your punishment. Their only goal is to protect the general public. If they believe you are no longer a threat to the public, they will give you the opportunity to get a license.
Please note that neither I, nor anyone in the Climer family, have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate. My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014. You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.