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Fresh Look Blog

How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Washington

6/28/18 9:19 AM / by BB French

BB French

As I and many others have advised, anyone who is actively investing in real estate should get their real estate license.  If you are a fix & flip investor, a buy and hold investor, or house hacking your way to financial freedom, consider getting your real estate license. 

This article explains the Top 3 Reasons to get your Real Estate License and outlines the primary steps involved. 

3 Reasons to Get Your License

Reason #1 - Convert More Leads

How many leads are you passing on because the deal does not make sense as an investment? Many 2 guys shaking handsinvestors tell me they just refer those leads to brokers who will pay them a referral fee upon closing. 

First of all, it is illegal for any licensed real estate broker to pay a referral fee to an unlicensed individual.  Secondly, I've never seen an investor effectively make a hand off to a real estate broker.  

When you are licensed and an investor, you can offer your leads options to sell, rather than being a one trick pony.  You will convert more of your leads, more often, because you are solving more problems. 

Reason #2 - Diversify Income Streams

Have you ever had 4 projects going and are sort of in a holding pattern until those projects complete & sell?  If you have your license, you can also be working a couple listings & advising a friend through their first purchase or a buy & hold acquisition. 

This gives you multiple avenues to earn income.  You can fix & flip, you can list, wholesale, and represent buyers. You can even charge a fee to lease someone's rental.   And with changing tides in the market, you are equipped to adapt quickly. 

Reason #3 - Help People

The top 2 reasons are about you, increasing your income and reducing your lead generation costs high five fresh look real estate(because you convert more).  This last one is about other people.  As an investor, you know a lot about real estate.  You know how to create value through market or forced appreciation, you know how to value a property and project future value. You know how to highlight the most attractive features of a property while minimizing its less desirable features.  With this knowledge, you can help your family, friends, and potential clients sell for top dollar or buy wisely.

I was tempted to leave this off the Top 3 list.  Its sounds too cheesy or like a sales pitch.  But its not, most people can agree helping people feels good.   

Remember, the best things in life are free - like helping friends and family when you can.   But the 2nd best things in life are very expensive, which is why we are compensated for our work!

New to Industry

This article assumes you are already an active investor; If you are just starting out with your investing career, I would still advise you to get your license.  Starting out correctly, with the ability to practice and perfect your investor/broker scripts, and brand yourself as a real estate problem solver will get you where you are going much faster.  

How To Get Your Real Estate License in Washington

The State Requirements are:

guy reading a book
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Successfully complete 90 hours of approved real estate education within 2 years before applying for the exam. This education must include:
    • A 60-hour course in Real Estate Fundamentals.
    • A 30-hour course in Real Estate Practices.
  • Be ready to answer Criminal history questions and provide documents if needed.
  • Submit fingerprints for a background check when you apply for your initial license and every 6 years afterward.
  • Pass the broker's exam.

You can take the 90 hour course in person or online.  There are multiple options for education providers, I've had decent experience with Rockwell Institute & RealEstateSchool.org.

Most providers will assist you get your broker's exam scheduled upon education completion.  Once you pass the test, choose a investor friendly brokerage to hang your license (like Fresh Look Real Estate).

That's really it!  In summary,

1) Take the course  2) Pass the Exam   3) Complete Paperwork

And of course, #StayFresh with continuing your education as broker AND investor!


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Topics: Broker Resources, real estate, seattle real estate

BB French

Written by BB French

BB French is Co-Founder & Designated Broker with the Fresh Look Real Estate team. She entered the real estate industry in 2010 is currently a licensed broker & full time investor. BB focuses on small multi-family properties in north end King County and Snohomish County areas. Her clients are made up of primarily self managing owners, buy and hold investors, and the team at Fresh Look.