I’m an Associate Broker in Virginia. So What?

It’s been just over eight years since I received by Commonwealth of Virginia real estate license.

Charlottesville Virginia Real Estate Broker - Jim Duncan

So now I’m an Associate Broker. No longer “just a Realtor” (and yes, brokers would look at me with disdain when I would say that I was not a broker)

Why the wait? No reason other than I never had a compelling reason to get my Virginia broker’s license.

That changed this year with the opening of Nest Realty Group in Charlottesville.

It’s a fact that the bar for entry into the real estate profession is laughably, perhaps criminally low. We wanted to change that. In Virginia the basic requirements to obtain a real estate license are 60 hours of education, don’t have a felony conviction and be at least 18 years of age. Pretty low. (Colorado, North Carolina are broker-only states, and each state has wildly different licensing requirements)

One of our core philosophies at Nest Realty Group is that we have high standards for our agents, so much so that we wrote this belief in Nest’s Core Philosophies – a Manifesto if you will (more to come about these beliefs over the course of 2010).

Partner with only established, independent, successful agents to create a company known for its agent quality and high standards.

One way we ensure the above is that agents must achieve their brokers’ licenses by the end of their first year with Nest. Frankly, it’s not that much more of an achievement, but it’s something.

A lot of people talk about raising the bar within the real estate industry; I have for many years:

Move Off The Blogs to Change NAR

If A Realtor is Unethical in the Woods

But, We’re ALL Ethical!

(and in fact, recently had the privilege of serving on a National Association of Realtors workgroup specifically tasked with increasing the level of professionalism of Realtors)

Why require Brokers’ licenses of our agents? Simple:

– In the licensing vernacular, it’s one step higher than a real estate licensee.

– It’s an accepted and acknowledged designation – by consumers.

– Experience is required. From the broker’s application form:

Experience Verification Forms verifying that the applicant has been actively engaged as a real estate licensee for at least 40 hours per week during 36 of the 48 months immediately preceding the date of application.

The difference? At Nest we’re actually doing something about it.

Update 8 January 2009: Real estate education requirements by states (PDF)

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  1. Doug Francis January 2, 2010 at 13:04

    Actually, the Commonwealth of Virginia refers to us as “Salespersons”.

  2. Pavel January 4, 2010 at 08:43

    I understand in TN all real estate agents are referred to as “brokers” by the state: “Created in 1951, The Tennessee Real Estate Commission licenses and registers Real Estate Firms, Brokers and Affiliate Brokers.” Your status would be: “Affiliate Broker”. Because of such name differences from state to state I can see how a typical consumer could quickly dismiss any “label” and just think of his/her real estate professional by NAR’s term: “Realtor” (which is not always correct since not all real estate agents are necessarily Realtors – but I believe “Realtor” is the most common, nationally recognized term associated with any real estate agent). Congrats on getting your VA Associate Broker license!

  3. Jim Duncan January 4, 2010 at 09:26

    Thanks, Doug and Pavel.

    In one of the NAR meetings I was in last year, they handed out a spreadsheet breaking down licensing requirements by state; the disparities between states was astonishing. I’m looking for it and will post it if and when I can put my hands on it.

    Some people call us agents, brokers, realtors, ree-la-tors …. 🙂 What’s in a name?

  4. Jim Duncan January 8, 2010 at 22:46

    Thanks to VAR, I have uploaded the PDF with the education requirements by some states … see the post above.

  5. Joan Lorberbaum Moore January 12, 2010 at 14:24

    Actually, Florida rules to become licensed as a Broker have changed. Now requires a minimum of 2 years experience, not one year, to become licensed as a Broker. The 72 hrs of classwork and a passing grade of at least 75 on the state test as well as the requirement that one must successfully (that means pass it!) complete a FREC-approved post-licensing course for brokers consisting of at least 60 classroom hours prior to the expiration of the initial broker license have remained the same.

    The state test is not an easy one. They make it quite tricky

  6. Christina August 31, 2011 at 22:29


    Can you provide a list of which states are broker only?

    Thank you!


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