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Festive Holiday Tips for Realtors


As a Real Estate agent why not make the holidays a fun time for you, your staff, and clients. Traditionally winter is a slower time of year for Realtors, this makes for a perfect time to get involved with your community and let your clients (future and current) know you are here.

Everything Merry and Bright

Create and offer holiday themed coloring sheets with your logo incorporated on them. Have a neighborhood gingerbread decorating party or a holiday wreath contest. Hire someone or dress up yourself as Santa (or Mrs. Clause and Elves) and offer free Holiday photos at your office.

Personalized Finishing Touches

This year send out personalized greeting cards or e-cards with a thoughtful greeting in it, and thanking them for their loyalty and business. By taking the time and sending out these personalized greetings you are showing your clients that you are a real person instead of just a business.

Santa’s Local Helpers

To spread the warmth of Holiday cheer, host a local food and toy drive. This will not only bring people through your doors but also show that as a business you care about your community. Send out flyers or broadcast on the radio about your drive, location of your office, and where the donations will be going.

Festive Local Gatherings

The Holidays are a great time to throw parties and other festivities. This year throw a Client Appreciation party and host it at your office or at your local community center. Invite all those who you have recently closed deals with, those who you are currently working with, and those who you hope to work with in the future. By hosting a party, it will be a great way for you to network, showcase your successes, and continue to improve relationships with previous clients that could lead to referrals down the road.

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California Real Estate License Renewal Requirements

Beverly Hills mansions landscape aerial view -Los Angeles

Continued Education Requirements

Real estate salespersons renewing an original license for the first time, must complete 45 clock hours of CalBRE-approved continuing education consisting of:

  • Five separate three-hour courses in the following subjects: Ethics, Agency, Trust Fund Handling, Fair Housing, and Risk Management; and
  • A minimum of 18 clock hours of consumer protection courses; and
  • The remaining clock hours required to complete the 45 hours of continuing education may be related to either consumer service or consumer protection courses.

Real estate brokers renewing an original license for the first time with an expiration date on or after 1/1/2016 or who are renewing on a late basis on or after 1/1/2016 must complete 45 clock hours of CalBRE-approved continuing education consisting of:

  • Six separate three-hour courses in the following subjects: Ethics, Agency, Trust Fund Handling, Fair Housing, Risk Management, and Management and Supervision; and
  • A minimum of 18 clock hours of consumer protection courses; and
  • The remaining clock hours required to complete the 45 hours of continuing education may be related to either consumer service or consumer protection courses.

For subsequent renewals, all real estate brokers and salespersons with an expiration date on or after 1/1/2016 or who are renewing on a late basis on or after 1/1/2016 must complete 45 clock hours of CalBRE-approved continuing education consisting of:

  • One eight-hour survey course covering the six mandatory subjects (Ethics, Agency, Fair Housing, Trust Fund Handling, Risk Management, and Management and Supervision) OR licensees can choose to take each of the mandatory subjects separately; and
  • A minimum of 18 clock hours of consumer protection courses; and
  • The remaining clock hours required to complete the 45 hours of continuing education may be related to either consumer service or consumer protection courses.

Who submits my completed California continuing education?

Real Estate Training Institute is required to submit a report within 1-2 business days of all completed courses. At the end of each course completion Real Estate Training Institute offers downloadable certificates of completion. We suggest students print a copy for their records.

Real Estate Training Institute is expanding their online education to more than just Michigan. We have been working hard to offer top-of-the-line continued education across the United States

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Colorado Real Estate License Renewal Requirements

Colorado State On House and Real Estate Icon Pattern

Real Estate Brokers in the state of Colorado are required to complete 24 hours of continuing education every three years. 12 of the 24 hours must consist of 3 different versions of the four-hour Annual Commission Update course. The remaining 12-hours can be any combination of elective credit hours approved by the Commission.

All active real estate brokers are required to attend the four-hour Annual Commission Update course each year and pass the exam. The course has important information about current statutes and rules promulgated by the Commission. Brokers are strongly encouraged to attend the course early in the calendar year. If four (4) versions of the update course during the license cycle, the fourth class may be counted toward the elective credit requirement. It may not be used for credit in the next/upcoming license cycle

Colorado Brokers renew their license triennially on the anniversary of their original license date. Brokers can renew their license by logging on to their DORA account, filling out the renewal form and paying the $186.00 renewal fee.

Brokers are required by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) to retain all records of their completed continuing education. Real Estate Training Institute offers downloadable certificates of completion for each completed online course.

Inactive License Continuing Education Requirements

If your license has been inactive for longer than three (3) years/36 months, you MUST complete either:

  • The State portion of the Colorado Broker’s Exam, or
  • 48 Hours in Colorado Contracts & Regulations and 24 hours in Real Estate Closings (for a total of 72 hours).
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Did you get your 2016 Real Estate Con Ed Done?

Home button countdown - time to act

Most Michigan Real Estate Salespeople and Brokers are required to have 18 hours of continued education completed by the end of this licensing cycle, which is October 31, 2018.  What you may not know is that at least two hours have to be completed in each of the three years.  That means that two hours must be done by TODAY, October 31st, 2016.

What Do I Do Once I Complete the Education?

Be sure to get a Certificate of Completion if you go to a classroom course. If you take your class online, be sure you print out or have access to a Certificate of Completion proving that you’ve completed the required Michigan Real Estate Continuing Education. The Certificate or document needs to include the following:

  • Name and contact information of the provider
  • Your full name
  • Course title and field of study
  • Date the course was completed
  • How the course was taken (i.e. online, webinar, classroom, etc.)
  • Verification by a representative of the provider
  • Time statement showing course hours (based on 50-minute hour)

How Does the State Know I’ve completed the Education?

All license renewal applicants are subject to an audit by the Department of Compliance. This means if you receive a letter requesting proof that you completed the required education, then you must submit a document with the above information. If you did not complete the required hours of CE, you may be given a grace period to get it done, or the Department may add more hours to your requirement based on how late you are:

  • You may be given up to 59 days to complete the education and before your license is renewed.
  • If the deficiency period is between 60 and 119 days, 4 hours may be added.
  • If the deficiency period is 120 days or more, 8 hours may be added

Have no fear!  Even though you may not always be able to find a classroom course in your area that fits your schedule, you can always go online and complete your Michigan real estate continued education on  your time.

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Michigan is Cracking Down on Real Estate Wannabes


If you’re out there selling real estate without a license, the State of Michigan is coming after you! The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is partnering with Attorney General Bill Schuette to ramp up efforts to hold unlicensed real estate practitioners accountable.

There has been a rise in unlicensed real estate activity

For the past several months, Michigan Realtors ® has been heading up discussions with both LARA and the Attorney General to promote an initiative to deal with this increase.  They are taking a strong stance to keep consumers safe by promoting the Consumer Complaint/Inquiry System making it easy for individuals to file complaints online via a Consumer Complaint Online Form or by calling a Toll Free Consumer Hotline (877-765-8388).

Please be aware when filing a complaint or inquiry that they become public records when submitted to the Attorney General’s office and they may be subject to disclosure to anyone who asks for them.  For complete rules on filing complaints and inquiries, along with a mail-in complaint/inquiry form, CLICK HERE.

For those who would like to get licensed, the Real Estate Training Institute is a great source for taking the State Approved salesperson prelicensure education, as well as broker prelicensure and real estate continued education for real estate professionals who are already licensed.


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Michigan Real Estate License Renewal Requirements

Couple walking with realtor in residential area looking at houses

If you are licensed as a Michigan Real Estate Salesperson or Broker, round one of completing your required continued education is fast approaching. October 31st, 2016 is the first deadline of this 3-year licensing cycle. 6-hours of the 18-hours required continued education, must be on legal topics pertinent to the real estate industry. There are a couple of exceptions to the number of hours needed:

  • If you were licensed from 7/1/12 to 10/31/13, you only need 6 hours of Con Ed, 2 of which must be in legal topics.
  • If you were licensed between 11/1/13 to 10/31/14, you need 12 hours of Con Ed, 4 of which must be in legal topics.

Who offers approved Michigan Real Estate continued education?

The Real Estate Training Institute, a Michigan-based online education provider of real estate continuing education, salesperson and broker courses, has several great courses that fulfill all Real Estate Continued Education requirements. These fast, easy and informative courses can be completed in the comfort of your own home or from your phone as you wait for clients to show.

Michigan Real Estate Course Packages

Real Estate Training Institute is a licensed proprietary school in the state of Michigan offering a variety of online video continuing education and initial licensing courses. Some of the most popular courses include:

  • 18-Hour course package covering Lead Paint Safety, Drone Technology, and Self Defense that includes 6 hours of legal topics.
  • 6-Hour courses covering Lead Paint, Energy, and Bidding, all with 2 hours of legal topics.
  • 4-Hour courses ranging from Personal Safety and Self Defense, Estimating and Bidding for Success, Drones in Real Estate, and Lead Paint Awareness.
  • 2-Hour courses ranging from Property Management, Water Rights and Environmental Issues to Auction Law.

How do I prove to the state that I have completed my CEU’s?

A licensee must retain evidence acceptable to the Department that demonstrates he or she has met the CE requirements for at least 4 years after the date of that certification, and must produce that evidence at the request of the Department.

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October is a Time for Michigan Real Estate Continuing Education

village street with fall leaves on the sidewalk and falling from the trees.

The real estate salesperson license continuing education requirement is 18 hours every three years, with at least 2 hours legal per calendar year (6 hours total CE per year).  At least 6 of the 18 hours must cover legal updates, specifically law, rules and court cases involving real estate.

As of January 1, 2015, continuing education courses no longer require pre-approval by LARA and schools are not be required to report the hours as a condition of renewal of a real estate broker or sales-person license.

The renewal cycle for Salesperson and Broker license is every three years on October 31.

Approved Online Michigan Real Estate CE Courses

Real Estate Training Institute has created two 18-hour Michigan Real Estate continuing education course packages for Realtors: Package #1 is our most popular combination of current events and legal cases.

18-hour Course Package #1

This package consists of three 4-hour courses and three 2-hour courses.

  • Drones in Real Estate: This four-hour course features the new tool Realtors are raving about for marketing and personal use, Drones.
  • Self Defense: This four-hour course is designed to provide important safety tips and precautions for personal safety in the workplace.
  • Lead Paint Safety: This four-hour course will explain what lead-based paint is, and why lead-paint is a problem for property owners.
  • Michigan Water Rights: This two-hour course covers water law and Riparian Rights, inland lakes and streams, the Great Lakes and oceans, and state and Federal judicial systems.
  • Michigan Property Management: This two-hour course will outline some of the most important aspects to keep in mind when considering expanding your business.
  • Michigan Environmental Issues: This two-hour course will cover the issues that have made environmental law more and more prevalent in real estate transactions and litigation.
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REALTOR® Safety for First-time Homeowners

House icon and keys

To wrap up safety month I would like to focus on safety tips you, as Realtors, can give your clients when purchasing a new home. Buying a new home is a huge undertaking and sometimes it’s the little things that are forgotten. Real Estate Training Institute has 4 safety tips that Realtors can give their new homeowner clients.

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 a good idea to change out the garage door remotes as well.

Lighting is everything Famiglia moderna house Esterno di crepuscolo

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.

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.

Home under video surveillance cameraAlarms 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.

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REALTOR® Safety for Brokers

Female Realtor On Phone Outside Residential Property

Preston Taylor here, part of a Realtors job is to meet strangers in isolated locations at odd hours of the day. You put yourself at risk every day (without realizing it) by doing “everyday” tasks that may seem harmless. It is important to have a safety plan in place at the office. This needs to be discussed on a monthly basis to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

An instructor teaching a gun safety class to a group of students.To Carry or Not to Carry

Talk to your staff about obtaining their CPL’s (Concealed Pistol License) and carry. This is not an easy decision to make, not everyone is mentally/physically prepared to use a firearm for self-defense. People must have the mindset to safely and lawfully do so, if they’re not then do not pressure them into carrying a firearm. If carrying a firearm is something your team is interested in, then get trained. Go together as a team and get your CPL. Continued training is a must.

It’s All in How You Walk

Having the client behind you opens the door for many threatening scenarios. Never have anyone at your back while showing a home. The client leads as you direct them to areas of the house. If you don’t already do this, it may take some practice to get used to, but please try to conduct business that way.

You Have a Right

Make sure you and your staff knows their rights pertaining to self-defense. Michigan is a Stand-your-Ground state and has a Castle Doctrine. As a self-defense instructor and officer of the law, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with both.

No Driving Buddies

Your fellow agents should never have the client ride in the car with them. The risk factor far outweighs the gain.

Meeting Face to Face is SaferFemale Realtor shaking hands with new female homeowner in front of house

Stress the importance of never meeting an unknown client on a text only. Having the client(s) come to the office is the best case scenario. If agents must meet their clients by text only, then have them do their homework first. Create a standard set of questions and have them base their decision on the client’s ability to answer satisfactorily.

There’s No Such Thing as to Safe

HAVE A PLAN! Ladies and gentlemen, have a plan in place if things go bad. When you’re in the thick of it is not the time to wonder what to do. Your office should know your plan you should all be on the same page.

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REALTOR® Personal Safety at an Open House

Female Realtor shaking hands with new female homeowner in front of house

Preston Taylor here, this week for REALTOR® Safety week I have decided to focus on safety at an Open House. As a realtor, a huge part of your job is to hold open houses. This means random strangers are coming to a house that you may or may not be familiar with. Here are 8 safety tips for you to keep in mind the next time your feel uneasy or threatened at an open house.

What is your Code Word?

Someone should always be expecting you. Whether its returning home from work, returning or arriving at a showing, or returning from a meeting, someone should be expecting you. Please get into the habit of having safety mechanisms in place if you’re late or don’t show. The sooner loved ones and law enforcement know you are missing the sooner an attempt to locate you can begin. A simple text, phone call or email to let those waiting know all is good is crucial. Have a code word for trouble in case you cannot speak freely.

No Cell Phone, Now What? Picture of woman holding a cell phone on a busy street

Before walking into the house with your client/clients check your cell coverage. What is your life line if your phone has no service where you are at?

Is Your Phone a Distraction?

Don’t fall victim to cell phone syndrome, there is a time and place for its use. Make a conscious decision to be on your phone only after you’ve determined it’s safe to do so

Are you Following or Leading?

Never have anyone at your back while showing a home. The client leads as you direct them to areas of the house. If you don’t already do this, it may take some practice to get used to, but please try to conduct business that way.

Woman in glasses looking to the left thinking Are You Listening to Your Gut?

“If it doesn’t seem right it probably isn’t”, 99% of the time your gut instincts are correct. There is a lot of research on this subject, I recommend the following books, The Gift of Fear, The Survivors Club, and The Unthinkable. Learn to follow your gut.

Is The Driveway Clear?

Never let the client’s car park between your car and the exit. I also encourage you to back in as pulling forward generally is a lot easier than backing up in an emergency.

Do You Want to Risk Your Life?

Avoid going into the basement when showing a home or holding an open house. Your escape options are severely limited if the basement doesn’t have an egress window. If it’s a finished basement, then it is most likely insulated. Insulation along with the concrete greatly diminish the chance that your screams or yelling can be heard outside.

Do You Know Your Landmarks? 2 cars parked in the side driveway of a two story brick house

If you had to yell into your phone to a dispatcher to summon immediate help, make sure you know your exact location, landmarks, crossroads, businesses etc. If technology fails and the dispatcher doesn’t show an accurate location for you (which happens) make sure you are able to give them details as to your location.

Is it Really Worth It?

Things that “never happen”, happen somewhere all the time. No sale is worth your life. At least one person loves you beyond words, don’t let someone with evil intentions take you away from them.