The Real Estate License Professor

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My Hopes of Getting a Canadian Real Estate License Squashed.
The Highest Standards I Have Seen.
This weekend my nephew was explaining to me how he has found his future wife online. Her name is Michelle and she is from Vancouver, BC, Canada. Apparently he had met her using a popular singles website whose name I can't recall right now. He tells me that he can't stop chatting with her and is planning a trip up north soon. I was lucky enough to have visited Vancouver before when I was on an Alaskan cruise. I was surprised how beautiful a city Vancouver is. The streets are clean and the people are friendly. They are also very multi ethnic. So many Asian people which I loved cause I ate some fantastic Chinese food while visiting.
Anyhow I digress... So I started wondering what the process is like to get a real estate license in Canada (or I guess British Columbia... Each province's license is different much like how each state gives a state license here). So here are some of my findings.
I have broken them down in 4 steps:
Step 1
In order to qualify for a license you have to take the real estate trading services licensing course at the University of British Columbia's Real Estate Division. This course is a self paced correspondence course with 20 multiple choice assignments followed by a 3 hour multiple choice final exam. They must be well prepared to sell real estate after attending. Apparently each of these 20 assignments takes between 10 and 12 hours to complete. The course covers financial statements, mortgage finance, local taxation on real estate, building construction, law of mortgages, law of contracts, elements of appraisal, law of agency, title registration of land and local government. This sounds like a pretty serious course.
The Real Estate Council of British Columbia warns that this course is very difficult. They say that on average only 63% of those who start the course actually write the exam. And then only 46% actually pass the course. WOW. Those who get their California real estate license barely have to jump through a hoop. No offense to California Realtors but you have it pretty easy compared to this.
Step 2
All students must satisfy the language proficiency requirement. In order to satisfy this requirement the student must meet one of the following:
  • High school graduation or equivalency.
  • Have graduated from a recognized university degree program at an accredited university or technical school where English is the primary language of instruction.
  • Have successfully completed a three-credit course in English composition or English literature at an accredited university, college or technical institute at which English is the primary language of instruction.
  • Have successfully completed the Real Estate Trading Services Licensing course (formerly named the Salesperson's Pre-licensing course), the Rental Property Management Licensing course, the Mortgage Brokerage in British Columbia (2006 onwards) course or the Strata Management licensing course.
  • Have completed the requirements for the Certified General Accountant designation, including the Business Writing Skills course or equivalent.
    Have held an active real estate license in Canada or the United States for not less than one (1) year during the three (3) years preceding the date of the application.
  • If a student does not meet any of these requirements they can write the LPI exam.
Step 3
After successfully taking the course and passing the exam the student is required to apply to the Real Estate Council of BC for a license. One does this by completing the Application for Representative, Associate, or Managing Broker License Form.
The Real Estate Council of British Columbia warns that this course is very difficult. They say that on average only 63% of those who start the course actually write the exam. And then only 46% actually pass the course. WOW. Those who get their California real estate license barely have to jump through a hoop. No offense to California Realtors but you have it pretty easy compared to this.
Step 4
The student must take the Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course from the BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association). One must register for this five day course within 30 days of being licensed and has up to 6 months to complete it.
All I can say after looking into this is WOW!!! They are really serious about their education in Canada. The average student must be very well prepared. I was thinking that I would maybe pick up a license there to say I have a foreign license but that looks like WAY WAY WAY too much work. I wonder how much work the instructors must have to do in order to become licensed.
Posted by Tom Chambers on February 5, 2007
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