Real Estate Education-The Bar is to Low

Real Estate Agent with Prudential Woodmont Realty
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gbone  Real Estate Agent Join Date: Jul 2007 Location: Nashville, TN 298 posts, read 42,060 times Reputation: 122 gbone will become famous soon enoughgbone will become famous soon enoughgbone will become famous soon enough
Default Real Estate Education-the Bar Is To Low
I have made comments on numerous threads about what I perceive as a major problem with the real estate industry, that problem being the minimal requirements to become a licensed agent. I believe that this problem is a significant contributor to the poor reputation that real estate agents in general have. I also believe that this problem is a significant contributor to the plethora of under-educated and incompetent real estate agents.

I realize that each state makes it's own laws for real estate agent education requirements. Below are the current minimum education requirements in Tennessee to become licensed or certified in some selected professions:
  • Cosmetologist/Hair Stylist-must complete 1500 hours of education at an approved School of Cosmetology and pass a State written and practical exam.
  • Manicurist-Must complete 600 hours of education at an approved School of Cosmetology and pass a State written exam.
  • Shampoo Technician-Must complete 300 hours of education at an approved School of Cosmetology and pass a State exam.
  • Real Estate Agent-must complete 90 hours of education at a State appoved school and pass the licensing exam.

I am curious to know what the State requirements in other State's are for similar professions and would appreciate feedback on that.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how low the bar is for someone to become a real estate agent. Additionaly, once a person gets their license, all they have to do is send the NAR their annual dues, take a COE course, and they are a Realtor.

I realize that the NAR doesn't make State law. However, there are a number of things that the NAR could do that would raise the bar in order to become a Realtor. Some of these could be a required mentorship, minimum transactions, earning certain designations, etc. I believe that something along these lines would greatly improve the credibility and reputation of Realtors. I'd like to hear your comments on any of the above.

Comments (12)

Adam Brett
The Adam and Eric Group - Fullerton, CA
The Adam and Eric Group, Fullerton's Finest
I agree completely.  I have 2 bachelors and find most other agents simply do not know how to act professionally.
Jan 21, 2008 03:17 PM
Mike Russell
Mike Russell & Associates - Overland Park, KS
Overland Park Kansas Real Estate
Some states not even that much. I was licensed in Colorado 135 hours, all broker licenses no salepersons. I think we also need to have some sort of minimum sales requirements to renew. Something like a minimum of 5 homes sales every 2 years.
Jan 21, 2008 03:18 PM
Mary Warren
Las Vegas, NV
In NV the requirements are 90 hours of which 18 hours have to consist of NV law, or 6 semester units in real estate principals.  Six units is not very much.  There is also 30 hours of post-licensing required within the 1st year of liscensure.  I personally think a BA or BS should be required. 
Jan 21, 2008 03:30 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

In NC is WAS 90 hours but, has recently changes as we are an all-broker state now.  I do agree that we have far too few hours of training in this business.  We are held so accountable (well, the good ones are!) that we all feel that a bit more education would be most helpful in our professional development.  I'm very surprised that more is not expected in all states.


Jan 21, 2008 03:43 PM
George Bone
Prudential Woodmont Realty - Brentwood, TN
Adam-Thanks for commenting.  Adequate education to become a real estate agent doesn't seem to be a priority with most states nor state realtor associations.  Some states don't even require a high school education, much less a college degree.
Jan 21, 2008 10:37 PM
George Bone
Prudential Woodmont Realty - Brentwood, TN
Michael, I like your idea of a minimum transaction suggestion.
Jan 21, 2008 10:39 PM
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS
I agree - there should be higher standards, it would help weed out the part-timers, and the people who only hang onto their licenses to do friends and family deals a few times a year.
Jan 21, 2008 10:40 PM
George Bone
Prudential Woodmont Realty - Brentwood, TN
Mary-I agree with you on your minimum education requirement.  At the same time, if education requirements were appropriately raised there would probably need to be some type of "grandfather clause" for Realtors who have successfully made this their full time profession for many years.  Perhaps some type of competency exam could be required or certain designations could be required.
Jan 21, 2008 10:45 PM
George Bone
Prudential Woodmont Realty - Brentwood, TN
Debe-I believe many Realtors and non Realtors would be surprised about the education requirements in their states when compared to other professions.  If the NAR was serious about improving the reputation and credibility of Realtors they should make appropriate changes in the requirements.  Just running a national ad campaign about Realtors and their COE just doesn't get it.
Jan 21, 2008 11:06 PM
George Bone
Prudential Woodmont Realty - Brentwood, TN
Carol-Thanks for your comments.  The NAR is in a great position to enhance the reputation and credibility of the profession.  However, until a sufficient number of Realtors express their concern about this I would suspect that not much will be done except to continue the national ad campaign regarding Realtors and the COE.
Jan 22, 2008 07:04 AM
ActiveRain City and State Listing Group
Christiansted, VI


This is a great post because it takes a certain amount of pride in our business to speak up with facts to back your opinion up.

Debe, above has written a post or two that hits close to home on this subject.

Here is the bottom line.

NAR and our State REALTOR Associations are all about numbers. The higher the numbers, the more revenue is generated.

Until we, as current members, step up to the plate and make our points to our current "leaders", we will not have any higher standards than we insist on from this gallery.

The place to start our revolution is not NAR, but our Real Estate Commissions. They set the licensing rules along with our State legislatures. Get to your State congress people and make your point.

George, you or someone, needs to send your post to NAR Legal Dept. along with all the comments you generate, which I hope will be a lot.

This belief of yours goes along with the highly debated discussion of "part-time vs. full-time" agents. It is a bad practice to encourage any Profession to welcome with open arms, under-educated part-time participants with the lax licensing laws we all currently have.

Now, if you could only get each one of us to follow-up with our statements and make an important contact in our government, we'll see some progress. My bet is it will be the same years from now without some sort of powerful drive from those of us that make real estate a CAREER.

You've raised the bar just by talking about it.

Jan 22, 2008 09:29 AM
George Bone
Prudential Woodmont Realty - Brentwood, TN

Don-I appreciate your comments and agree with what you are saying.  I realize we have got to take this issue to the State Legislatures.  At the same time I believe there is an opportunity for the NAR to distinguish itself, which may not be a bad idea with all of the heat it has been taking lately.  I believe that Realtors should not only be held to a higher standard than non Realtor agents, but also should have a higher bar for entrance to the Realtor profession than a real estate agent that is not a member of the NAR.  I believe that the NAR could act more quickly than all of the State Legislatures in raising the bar, and they don't have to wait on the States to make the necessary changes.  I believe that to become a Realtor who is competent, educated, ethical, has credibility, and is in a profession that is looked up to that the NAR should have stringent requirements over and above State licensure in order to be certified as a Realtor.  I suggested some possible requirements in my original post.

I would like to hear from anyone who agrees with this and might be interested in pursuing this.

Jan 22, 2008 10:38 AM