Spring Is in the Air!

Mike Brennan

By Mike Brennan

The birds begin to chirp, the snow is melting, and thoughts turn to continuing education?!

There have been some legislative changes which impact the timing and the courses a real estate licensee must take. Reviewing these requirements will ensure no interruption in your license status when the licensing year ends on June 20 18.

The year for Minnesota real estate licensee runs July 1 to June 30. This is obviously different than the calendar year, and sometimes difficult to remember. Each licensee is expected to renew their license at the end of a two-year cycle. Whether you renew in an odd numbered year or even-numbered year depends on the initial date of application and approval.

Renewal requires that a licensee pays a renewal fee and has maintained their education credits.

Regardless of the date for renewal, each year (remember from July 2017 to June 2018) a licensee must follow the state laws outlining how many credits are required. This can be somewhat confusing so let’s examine what the law says under Chapter 82.61 Licensing: Continuing Education:

All real estate salespersons and all real estate brokers shall be required to successfully complete 30 hours of real estate continuing education during the initial license period and during each succeeding 24-month license period. At least 15 of the 30 credit hours must be completed during the fi rst 12 months of the 24-month licensing period.

To simplify things: A licensee should take 15-plus hours of continuing education each year regardless of when their renewal date occurs.

If a licensee does not earn the minimum of 15 credit hours in the first year of the two-year period, their license may be made inactive by the state. We have licensees contact us stating that the licensee is still using a multiple listing system (MLS) and they are not aware that their licensee is turned off! Continuing to show property, listing dwellings and leasing houses while your license is inactive is punishable by a gross misdemeanor and a fine of up to $10,000. If your CRM software is still working, your company Intranet is allowing usage and your MLS access is still working is not an indication of your license status. Checking the state’s website at Pulse Portal is still your safest bet. Checking your license in mid-July is advised.

As part of (not in addition to) your education, you must complete a class identified by the commerce department as mandatory education. This year, the class is called “Agency, Fair Housing & Special Entities Authority.” The course is three and three-quarter hours (half day class) and covers one hour of agency, one hour of fair housing and the complicated world of power of attorney, trusts, estates and more. There will be a 20-question exam at the end of the class which the education provider will distribute and score. You need 75 percent or better to earn credit for the class.

These classes are offered regularly at schools like ours and some brokerages and associations of REALTORS® offer them at different locations around the state and cities.

As part of the class and due to state law, it is required that the education provider obtain feedback from you. This is your opportunity to give input about next years’ topic. We are regularly contacted by the Minnesota Department of Commerce asking for input of topics. This is your chance to push the courses you feel would be most beneficial to the licensees in the field.

Cheers to a fantastic 2018 and we will see you in classes soon!

Mike Brennan, DREI candidate (Distinguished Real Estate Instructor), C.N.E, RENI Instructor, CDEI has been teaching license and continuing education courses for over 15 years. Mike teaches at the MN Realty School and has been in the real estate business for over 20 years, first as a sales agent, then broker and now instructor. Author of many courses, Mike was a nominee for Inman News’ Most Influential in the United States in the real estate business. Mike teaches license courses and is actively involved in the development of CE classes, required modules and the real estate industry. For more information, call (651) 644-5856 or visit www.mnrealtyschool.com.