Types of Careers

Residential REALTOR®

A residential REALTOR® is a licensed real estate broker and member of the National Association of REALTORS, who helps clients buy and sell homes in exchange for compensation. Residential realtors are experts in the process of buying and selling property, financing, government programs, real estate law, local economics, fair housing laws, mortgages, etc. A realtor’s expertise facilitates the transaction, saving clients time, trouble, and money. A realtor’s membership in the National Association of REALTORS® indicates that he or she has taken additional ethics courses and adheres to the profession’s highest standards.

Requirements: Broker’s License

Commercial REALTOR®

A commercial REALTOR® is a licensed real estate broker and member of the National Association of REALTORS®, who helps clients buy and sell income-producing property, such as office buildings, hotels, apartment buildings, retail space, hospitality venues, shopping centers, and industrial plants. Commercial brokers are excellent at assessing growth possibilities of a property’s location, current income tax regulations, and purchasing arrangements that give the buyer(s) a greater return on investment. They understand different types of industries and determine variables such as transportation, proximity to raw materials, water & power, labor availability, and local building, zoning, and tax laws.

Requirements: Broker’s License

Leasing Agent

A leasing agent is a licensed real estate salesperson who works with property owners to find good tenants for their buildings. Leasing agents are limited to licensing activities relating to leasing residential real estate. They assess a tenant’s needs and wants for the property, as well as their economic viability, and they handle the signing of leases for property owners. A leasing agent may not accept compensation for the performance of leasing agent activities from anyone other than the sponsoring broker who employs them.

Requirements: Leasing Agent License

Licensed Assistant

A licensed assistant acts in a personal assistant capacity to a broker and also has their own real estate license. As a licensed real estate agent, the licensed assistant must comply with the provisions of the Illinois Real Estate License Act. There is no category of licensure, so the licensed assistant could hold a leasing agent’s license, a broker’s license, or a managing broker’s license. However, a licensed assistant who holds a leasing agent’s license could only engage in licensed activities dealing with residential leasing. A licensed assistant may only work for one sponsoring real estate brokerage company at any one time.

Requirements: Leasing Agent License, Broker’s License or Managing Broker’s License

Unlicensed Assistant

An unlicensed assistant is a personal assistant to a broker, but does not hold their own real estate license and therefore cannot engage in any licensed real estate activities. Generally, an unlicensed assistant is hired for assistance with administrative, clerical and personal activities. An unlicensed assistant is, generally, an employee of a broker, rather than an independent contractor, due to the requirement for oversight, direction, and supervision, and their compensation cannot be transaction based. Consideration should be made regarding whether the unlicensed assistant is an employee of the assisted licensee only or is an employee of the sponsoring brokerage company.

Requirements: None

Managing Broker

A managing broker is a real estate broker who manages an office or is a sole proprietor. This means that he/she has supervisory responsibilities for licensees in one or more office. A broker is not eligible to become a managing broker until he/she is a licensed and practicing real estate broker for two years.

Requirements: Managing Broker’s License, in addition to a Broker’s License (for two years)

Continuing Education Instructor

A CE Instructor is a real estate broker who teaches continuing education courses to other real estate professionals. A broker must be a licensed and practicing real estate broker for at least the last three years to be eligible.

Requirements: Continuing Education Instructor License, in addition to a Broker’s License or Managing Broker’s License

Real Estate Pre-license Instructor

A real estate pre-license instructor is a real estate broker who teaches real estate pre-licensing courses to aspiring, unlicensed real estate professionals. A broker must be a licensed and practicing real estate broker for at least the last three years to be eligible.

Requirements: Pre-Licensing Instructor License, in addition to a Broker’s License or Managing Broker’s License

Property Management

A property manager’s primary function is to maintain a property in order to produce the highest possible financial return over the longest period of time, thereby protecting the owner’s investment. Professional property managers are responsible for negotiating leases, ensuring tenant satisfaction, collecting rents, and fairly pricing units on behalf of leading real estate owners. A property manager must possess strong interpersonal and analytical skills, as well as a fair amount of negotiating prowess. A property manager requires a license if they provide assistance intended to result in the sale or lease of real estate, i.e. showing a unit for sale/lease, negotiating lease or contract terms, maintaining security deposits, collecting rent payments, etc. Onsite residential managers who engage in leasing activities are exempt.

Requirements: Leasing Agent License or Broker’s License

Development and Construction

A real estate developer acquires property as an investment and then makes improvements to produce financial growth. The majority of a developer’s focus is dedicated to a long-term strategy of how to make a property grow in value. Developers are experts in assessing an area’s demographics, growth/growth potential, existing property values, and even traffic patterns. For individual properties, commercial real estate developers manage leases for businesses to operate within owned buildings. A license is required if buying and selling property. And in Chicago, all residential real estate development is a regulated business requiring licensure.

Requirements: Broker’s License (optional); Residential Real Estate Developer License (mandatory)


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