Real Estate Careers
A residential REALTOR® is a licensed real estate broker and member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 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, and more. A REALTOR'S® expertise facilitates the transaction, saving clients time, trouble, and money. A REALTOR'S® membership in NAR indicates that they do business according to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and adhere to the profession’s highest standards.
Requirements: Broker License
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. Commercial REALTORS® 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 License
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
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 License or Managing Broker License
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.
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 offices. 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 License, in addition to a Broker License (for two years)
Continuing Education (C.E.) Instructor
A C.E. 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 License or Managing Broker License. Download the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Registration (IDFPR) application.
Pre-Licensing Education Instructor
A Pre-License Instructor is a real estate broker who teaches all Pre-License Courses for brokers and managing brokers unless the license is "restricted" by the Division of Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The License is portable and may be held by the individual licensee to teach licensed Pre-License Courses at licensed Pre-License Schools.
Requirements: Download the requirements from the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Registration (IDFPR).
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 License
Kate Sax, RCE, e-PRO, CIPS
Vice President, Professionalism & Career Development
Director, Professionalism & Career Development
Manager, Education Services
Education Service Specialist