Connecticut Real Estate Agent Taxes and Deductions

Every real estate agent is grateful for tax deductions this time of year. However, it is tough to determine what can and cannot be written off as a deduction.

  • Advertising costs are one of a real estate professional’s most common expenses. Examples include business cards and mailed flyers. Be sure to keep records of all your advertising expenses.
  • You can also use your training as deductions. If you paid for seminars, continuing education, anything you did to improve your skills.
  • An often-missed deduction is auto expenses. If you travel, there are options. You can either keep track of your mileage and use that as a deduction or your expenses such as gas, insurance, and repairs. I recommend keeping track of all auto expenses and using the option that gives you the best benefit.

There are over a hundred deductions that you can use as a real estate sales agent. For more information on taxes take a look at our Connecticut approved 3-hour continuing education Taxes course.


CONNECTICUT REAL ESTATE LICENSE RENEWAL FAQS

How do I renew my Connecticut real estate license?

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is now offering license renewal online! All renewal notices are sent approximately 30-45 days prior to the expiration date of your license. If you received a username and password on your renewal notice, you may go to www.elicense.ct.gov to renew.

If you did not receive a username or password on your renewal notice, send an email to dcp.online@ct.gov and include the following:

  • Name
  • License, permit or registration type
  • License, permit or registration number
  • Email address
  • Which login you are requesting:
    • User ID and Password for full access to your account and renewal
    • Fast Track Renewal PIN for access to renew only

If you would prefer to renew by mail, send an email to dcp.licenseservices@ct.gov and include the following:

  • Name
  • License, permit or registration type
  • License, permit or registration number
  • Email address

Where do I find classes to renew my Connecticut Real Estate license?

Real Estate Training Institute offers Connecticut approved online for both Brokers and Salespersons.   Classes are available 24/7 on any internet capable device with the benefit of our friendly support staff to guide you through your renewal process.


 

Share

How Cyber Criminals Use Real Estate Transactions

Criminals are hacking into the email accounts of real estate agents or other persons involved in a real estate transaction and using the information to dupe a party into a fraudulent wire transfer. The hackers often send an email that appears to be from an individual legitimately involved in the transaction, informing the recipient, often the buyer, that there has been a last-minute change to the wiring instructions.  Following the new instructions, the recipient will wire funds directly to the hacker’s account, which will be cleared out in a matter of minutes. The money is almost always lost forever.

The National Association of REALTORS® urges its members and state and local REALTOR® associations to be on high alert for email and online fraud. In May 2015, NAR issued an alert regarding a sophisticated email wire fraud hitting the real estate industry. Since then, the incidents of online scams targeting practitioners have continued to rise, but the advice is the same. Bottom line: Do not let your guard down! Start from the assumption that any email in your inbox could be a targeted attack from a criminal.


 

Share

Missouri Real Estate License Renewal FAQs

How do I renew my Missouri real estate broker or salesperson license?

  1. Complete the 12 hours of continuing education including 3-hours of core (MO Laws, Broker Supervision and Escrow Account Management, Fair Housing, Property Management, Commercial Brokerage or Agency and Brokerage Relationships.) – Missouri Approved Online HD Video Continuing Education Courses
  2. Step 2: Use the license and pin numbers sent to you by the state about two months prior to your renewal deadline, to renew your license online: https://renew.pr.mo.gov.

When is my Missouri real estate broker or salesperson renewal deadline?

Brokers must renew their licenses by June 30th of even-numbered years. (2018, 2020, 2022...)
Salespersons must renew their licenses by September 30th of even-numbered years. (2018, 2020, 2022...)

What is the Missouri real estate license renewal fee?

$50 | Broker (Active or inactive)
$40 | Salesperson (Active or inactive)
$150 | Non-Resident Broker (Active or inactive)
$100 | Non-Resident Salesperson (Active or inactive)

What happens after I complete my Missouri real estate broker or salesperson continuing education?

Real Estate Training Institute will submit your continuing education certificates to the state within 10 business days. Once your continuing education has been submitted you can complete the renewal process
*You will be able to print a copy for your records immediately after course completion.

Do I have to complete continuing education if my Missouri real estate license is inactive?

No. Continuing education is not required while on inactive status, however, before the licensee can activate the license, completion of the 24-hour Missouri Real Estate Practice Course is required.


 

Share

Using Drones for Real Estate Marketing Part III

This is a snippet from Drones in Real Estate, an online HD Video course available for real estate continuing education credit in several states. Select your state to see if this course is approved for continuing education.

PART 3 OF 3 | Read Part 1 or Part 2

RESORT AND HOTEL ADVERTISING. Similar to real estate videos, what better way to show off a spectacular hotel situated on the perfect piece of property than to provide potential visitors the kind of video footage and aerial imagery only a small drone can provide? In a time when hotels and resorts are fighting tooth and nail for advertising impressions and to stand out from the crowd on hotel booking applications and a glut of travel websites marketing agencies understand that unique video perspectives offer an edge in an otherwise tired marketing mix.

LOW ALTITUDE BANNER ADVERTISING. OK, not exactly a video-based commercial opportunity, but while I was writing an earlier article for Vtrep.com on a beach in Cancun, I did see a hexacopter flying down the beach at water’s edge toting a banner advertising a local nightclub and had to chuckle. (The pilot was flying FPV (first person view) using a GoPro video camera mounted on the aircraft and sending the video feedback to a monitor attached to his controller.)

When you show a savvy, creative business owner a drone, their eyes usually light up. It is easy to visualize the many ways in which you can improve the marketing presence of your company using the skies, and flying by your competitors in the process!

There are many different scenarios where you can use a drone for marketing purposes, such as:

  • Drone Advertising. Just about every company in the world can find a use in this! It is pretty much the same concept as an advertising blimp you see so often at large events, except for a fraction of the cost. Also, drone technology allows handlers to set automatic flight paths, speeds, and patterns that will allow you to get much more advertising bang for your buck.
  • Water-Side Fly Overs.  Any business that is on or near water (millions across the U.S. and the world) will love to get a gorgeous flyover of their establishment overlooking the beautiful water. Just think of every beach restaurant and bar on earth. In addition, marinas and the boating community will find it as an incredible way to increase exposure and get truly spectacular footage that can be used for a marketing campaign. Not to mention the ever-growing oceanfront hotel and condo properties that will surely love it.
  • Brand Awareness. Regardless of what type of company you're involved with and where they're located, everyone could use a little more brand awareness. If you're a real estate agent, you can take amazing shots of properties that will allow people who would normally not be interested or know of your brand to be instantly hooked. The idea of drones themselves is so fascinating to the public that by being one step ahead, your business can take off flying!

 

Share

Using Drones for Real Estate Marketing Part II

This is a snippet from Drones in Real Estate, an online HD Video course available for real estate continuing education credit in several states. Select your state to see if this course is approved for continuing education.

PART 2 OF 3 | Read Part 1

The potential of drones has been recognized in the real estate industry, and more people prefer to use drones for commercial purposes, specifically those in the real estate marketing business. This is chiefly because drones can be used to capture stunning images of properties for use in property listings, hence making it easier to sell or earn some popularity in the market. Drones use groundbreaking technology to allow for an innovative new way to market a property.

Just imagine viewing a new property through aerial footage. Wouldn't it be beautiful? Think about the endless marketing possibilities for this type of videography and photography. A drone can easily be equipped with a high-resolution camera enabling it to capture still images and shoot video that was previously incredibly difficult to be obtained. Consequently, this will allow potential buyers to view the photos or video to get a feeling for the size and layout, the architecture and the land of the home.

Some caution must be considered though when approaching a listing to shoot. The neighbors need to be made aware of your intent to fly if they are relatively close. All of our flight operations were met with positive attitude, some curious and others will ask if they can watch you operate. It gives you a chance to explore the positive side of drone operations with those that aren’t sure of this new emerging technology.

  • 85% of buyers/sellers want an agent who has video marketing
  • 15% of agents have a video presence
  • One video is equal to 1.8 million words
  • One video is equal to 3,600 web pages of text
  • 80% of viewers will remember it
  • Success in videos relies on creative production

 

Share

Using Drones for Real Estate Marketing

This is a snippet from Drones in Real Estate, an online HD Video course available for real estate continuing education credit in several states. Select your state to see if this course is approved for continuing education.

PART 1 OF 3

When it comes to real estate, a video has been shown to attract sellers AND buyers, boost listings and increase sales. Video promotions are highly sought, and you’ve no doubt noticed that video results are appearing along with text-based results when you search for anything in Google or other search engines these days. But not all videos are the same!

The most effective videos are the ones that evoke emotion. Creating that sense of belonging. Visualizing their family living in that home, spending time together entertaining friends, children playing in the den or taking in some sun on the beach.

Many real estate agents have obtained aerial photography using airplanes and helicopters, which can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per flight and limit the number of properties you can afford to shoot. Drones can significantly cut the cost of shooting elevated imagery. Viable models start at a few hundred dollars, and camera attachments are moderately priced and enable you to use their aerial footage on many more listings, regardless of price range.

Depending on your equipment setup, drones can shoot stills, video or both. You can edit and share the video using a number of tools and without extensive experience or expertise. Drone operation mostly requires a steady hand and a cool head. There's no need to hire a professional pilot. And even if you do choose to outsource your drone photography, it might still be less expensive than hiring an airplane or helicopter.

Homeowners want to be represented by agents that present their property in the best way to get top dollar. Buyers love to watch and connect with high-quality video. When you provide quality services, you can expect better exposure and ROI for the agent AND the property. Drones make aerial imagery affordable.


 

Share

How to Start a Sales Team

Step 1:  Look at yourself, evaluate your strengths and your weaknesses. This may be difficult for some of you, but this will be what makes or breaks your team. Make a list if you need to.

Step 2: Find and hire a partner. This may be more difficult than step one. You will need to find someone who offsets your weaknesses. The opposite of you per say. You will need to trust this partner to get things done, even if they are not doing it your way. They will most likely have a different way of thinking.

Step 3: Now its time to plan. You and your partner will need to get a plan together. Don’t feel like you must sit down and figure everything out on day one. This will be a learning process, but you and your partner will have a great start on your team.

Step 4: What to do onceyou and your partner are established. you will want to take a step back and evaluate what you have going on. What areas are you and your partner struggling to keep up in? Are you feeling rushed to make it to showings? Consider a showing assistant. Maybe even a personal assistant. Every person on your team will have a key role. 

Lastly, remember you have to achieve the small goals if you want to make it to the end goal!

Want to learn more about Agency Relationships, and more? Check out our Georgia Code of Ethics Continuing Education course.


 

Share

Safety Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Many first-time home buyers are unaware of the simple methods that can be used to increase safety. Here are a few tips from Real Estate Training Institute you can give your clients when purchasing a new home. 

  1. Change those locks! The first thing that homeowners should do is change the locks on all their outside doors. There is a chance that not all of the keys were collected, and someone could still have a copy. It is also wise to change out the garage door remotes as well.
  2. Lighting is everything. Having a well-lit exterior is great for discouraging criminals. Encourage clients to check all light fixtures for any burnt-out bulbs that need to be replaced, and for any places that lighting needs to be installed.
  3. Be Neighborly. It is always a good idea to meet and get to know the local community and neighbors. They can provide an extra set of eyes looking out. Encouraging clients to meet with their neighbors helps build a relationship that allows them to notify each other more comfortably if something is amiss.
  4. Alarms are not a bad idea. A home that has been on the market might be a magnet for criminals. Installing an alarm system will not only be a deterrent for criminals but also give homeowners peace of mind in their new home.
Share

Florida Real Estate Agents, Are You Ready for the March 31st Renewal Deadline?

Half of Florida’s real estate licenses must be renewed by March 31, 2018. Real estate professionals can determine when their license expires by searching the Florida Licensing Portal.

How do I renew my Florida real estate broker or sales associate license?

  1. Complete the 14 hours of continuing education including 11 hours of specialty and 3 hours of Florida Law Core – Florida Approved Online HD Video Continuing Education Courses
  2. Step 2: Go to MyFloridaLicense to renew your license and pay the appropriate renewal fee
    Brokers - $77 | Sales Associates - $69

What happens after I complete my Florida real estate broker or sales associate continuing education?

Real Estate Training Institute will submit your continuing education certificates to the state within 1 to 2 business days. Once your continuing education has been submitted you can complete the renewal process
*You will be able to print a copy for your records immediately after course completion.

Do I have to complete continuing education if my Florida real estate license is inactive?

Yes. Inactive license holders must complete 14 hours of continuing education including 11 hours of specialty and 3 hours of Florida Law Core and pay state renewal fees - Brokers - $77 | Sales Associates - $69


 

Share

2018 Real Estate Trends

2017 has been a great year for real estate. Housing prices are up and there is an influx of people interested in buying a home. Real estate is expected to remain a large market throughout 2018, but a few key changes may affect your business.

  1. Get Ready for Supply to Catch Up with Demand
    It's been three long years of housing shortages but realtor.com is predicting an increase in homes on the market by the second half of 2018. Of course, an increase in supply will lead to a decrease in overall cost. This should help prospective home buyers find a place that meets their needs and budget. However, this increase in for-sale homes is mostly due to new builds which will not help the "starter home" market.
  2. Millennials are Expected to Join the Housing Market in a Big Way
    Millennials as a whole are having more luck taking out mortgages of varying prices, enabling them to purchase houses other than"starter homes".  Millennials are expected to make up 43% of home buyers by the end of 2018. Check out this list of features commonly requested by millennials.
  3. The Southern market is booming
    Cities like Tulsa, Oklahoma, Little Rock, Arkansas, Dallas, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina are expected to see more than 6% growth compared to 2.5% nationally. This draw is partly due to climate and partly due to the low costs of real estate and living. 

DO YOU NEED TO COMPLETE CONTINUING EDUCATION
FOR YOUR REAL ESTATE LICENSE?

STATE-APPROVED CLASSES IN HD VIDEO OR FULL NARRATION 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Share