Florida’s Influx of New Real Estate Agents Means Increased Competition

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In 2015, close to 29,000 people passed the Florida real estate exam to become licensed sellers. This on number is up 42 percent from 2010’s low number of licensed real estate agents.

With 2015’s increase, Florida’s total number of licensed real estate agents has surpassed 200,000. The short supply of homes available in the Florida real estate market, means competition between realtors will be fiercer than ever.

The Bob Hogue School of Real Estate in St. Petersburg is one of the state’s most popular real estate schools. Hogue reports that enrollment has been steady in the last few years, as Florida’s market recovers from the crash in 2007. “It certainly isn’t like it was in 2005 or 2006, really the boom times when everybody was getting in. I’ve seen so many ups and downs, and this strikes me as a more stable increase, which I prefer,” said Hogue.

In addition to his several locations in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Hogue is planning to take his business to Gainesville, Ocala, and Venice, in the wake of the current enrollment increase. Through Hogue’s program, students pay $295 for a 63-hour course and a mock exam. Hogue requires students to pass the mock exam before taking the state’s real estate exam.

In order to pass the state’s exam and become a licensed agent, test takers must answer 75 of 100 questions correctly. Of the almost 65,000 people to take the test last year, only 44 percent passed. The majority of these test takers had previously failed the test.

Hogue has been in the real estate business since 1978. He predicts that it will take years for the market to return to normal, as so many Florida homeowners are still underwater on their mortgages.

“There are still so many people stuck in that spot, it casts a negative pall over the market. I don’t think we’re going to see a real strengthening until almost everybody is out of that spot,” Hogue said. Hogue estimates Floridians will see good, strong, steady real estate activity in the next five years.

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