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Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc.
Toronto:
2175 Sheppard Ave E, Suite 307
Mississauga: 1065 Canadian Pl, Suite 203
t: 1-877-447-3642     e: support@remic.ca

Getting your real estate license vs. mortgage agent license

Real Estate Salesperson

So you want to be a Real Estate Salesperson, eh?

RealEstateAgent-VS-MortgageBroker-Agent

Real estate sales can be a fantastically rewarding career…but you need to go in with your eyes wide open!  Like most things in life, successful people make it look easy. But what you see are the results of their efforts, and their money. They’ve had to overcome fierce competition: there are over 100,000 Real Estate Salespeople with their real estate license in Canada or nearly 1 for every 266 adult Canadians.

And they’ve had to invest in their career. Unlike other real estate careers, such as mortgage brokering, real estate can be expensive. It will cost a new Real Estate Salesperson over $6,000 in the process of becoming licensed, compared to just over $1,000 for a mortgage broker. 

That just gets you in the door.  Now you have to pay for marketing, your car, and all of the other costs that will run up your line of credit until you start making some money.

And once you start earning you’ll likely be sharing that commission with your brokerage (and CRA, of course).  But, having said all that, it’s a fabulous career if you’ve got the time and money it takes to make it.  So here’s a breakdown of the time and the money you’ll have to invest to become a licensed Real Estate Salesperson.

What does it take to become Real Estate Salesperson in Ontario

Total Investment: $6,090 (plus brokerage charges, desk fees, advertising, franchise fees, etc)

Time: The licensing process takes from 3 to 4.5 years to complete

To apply to The Salesperson Registration Education Program, you must:

  • have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Equivalent, or
  • be at least 18 years old and pass the OREA Real Estate College Admissions Test (passing mark is 50 per cent)

Educational Prerequisites

Ontario Secondary School Diploma

You must submit one copy of the following items to the Admissions Department of the OREA Real Estate College:

  • Ontario Secondary School Graduation Diploma, or
  • Ontario Secondary School Transcript that clearly states that an Ontario Secondary School Diploma was awarded

The Salesperson Registration Education Program

Phase 1

Investment: $1,820

Time: Up to 18 months (can be done in as little as 4 months if you’re willing to travel)

The Program begins with the Pre-registration Segment which must be completed within 18 months of the start date of the first course.

$500 – Real Estate as a Professional Career – 40 hours

$520 – Land, Structures and Real Estate Trading – 60 hours

$400 – The Real Estate Transaction – General – 40 hours

$400 – one of: (4a) The Residential Real Estate Transaction OR (4b) The Commercial Real Estate Transaction – 40 hours

Phase 2

Investment: $2,910

Time: Up to 12 months

$400 – RECO E & O Insurance fee (annually)

$350 – RECO licensing fee (every 2 years)

$840 – OREA/CREA membership (one-time fee)

$475 – OREA/CREA Fees (annually)

$460 – TREB Registration (one-time fee)

$860 – TREB Membership (annually)

Following completion of the Pre-registration Segment, students have up to 12 months to obtain employment with a brokerage and obtain Registration as a Salesperson with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).  Registration Requirements:

To become registered as a Salesperson with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), you must:

  • be a resident of Canada
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • complete the Pre-registration Segment courses within 18 months of the start date of the first course (Real Estate as a Professional Career)
  • obtain employment with a registered brokerage and make application for registration with RECO within 12 months of completing the Pre-registration Segment
  • apply for registration within one year of successfully completing your last Pre-registration course (The Real Estate Transaction-General and either The Residential Real Estate Transaction or The Commercial Real Estate Transaction)
  • complete and submit the forms approved by the Registrar under REBBA 2002, accompanied by the relevant fee

You may begin trading in real estate upon obtaining Salesperson registration with RECO.

Phase 3

Total investment: $1,360

Time: 24 months

The final part of the Program is the Articling Segment, a mandatory 24-month period following the student’s registration as a Salesperson.

$400 – one of: (4a) The Residential Real Estate Transaction OR (4b) The Commercial Real Estate Transaction – 40 hours  (whichever one was not taken in the Pre-registration Segment)

$480 – Real Property Law – 40 hours

One elective

$480 – Principles of Appraisal – 40 hours

$480 – Principles of Mortgage Financing – 40 hours

$480 – Principles of Property Management – 40 hours

$480 – Real Estate Investment Analysis – 40 hours

Keep in mind that there are many different brokerage models in the market.  Commissions range from 60% to 100% for agents, depending on many circumstances.  Understand that a brokerage won’t pay a high commission for a new agent.  Some charge desk fees up to $1,500 per month, while others charge much less.  Some provide a considerable amount of free training, while others make you pay for it.

At the end of the day you, like consumers, have choice.  You can decide which brokerage to join (as long as they hire you!) and what you want to get out of your affiliation with that brokerage.  You also get to decide how hard you want to work at your new career.  Remember that old saying, “garbage in, garbage out” applies to the self-employed the most!

Mortgage Broker/Agent

So you want to be a mortgage broker, eh?

Mortgage brokering can be a wonderful career choice, as long as you know what you’re getting in to.  With under 11,000 mortgage brokers/agents in Ontario, there is much less competition than for real estate sales.  However, while nearly 90% of consumers use Real Estate Salespersons to buy and sell a home, about 30% use mortgage brokers/agents to obtain a mortgage.  Lots of room for growth, or consumers don’t need mortgage brokers/agents as often as they need Real Estate Salespersons; depends on your outlook.

You are considered to be an independent contractor as a mortgage broker/agent (in the vast majority of situations; some brokerages will hire a broker/agent on salary or as an employee but this is rare).   That means you have all of the other expenses involved in running your own business, such as marketing, your car and all of the other costs that, just like in real estate, can run up your line of credit before you start making some money.

And once you start earning you’ll likely be sharing that commission with your brokerage (and CRA, of course).  But, having said all that, it’s a fabulous career if you’ve got the time and money it takes to make it.  So here’s a breakdown of the time and the money you’ll have to invest to become a licensed mortgage broker/agent.

What does it take to become a mortgage broker/agent in Ontario?

Total Investment:  $1,498

Time: One week up to 6 months (can be done in as little as one week or up to 6 months, in class or online)

In Ontario, to become a licensed mortgage broker/agent you must:

  1. Pass the mortgage agent course – click here for information on the course
  2. Get hired by a licensed mortgage brokerage – click here for information on getting hired
  3. Get licensed by the regulator, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO)

Educational Prerequisites

None – anyone can take the REMIC Mortgage Agent Course (RMAC).  This is the course required to get licensed.

The REMIC Mortgage Agent Course (RMAC)

Phase 1

Investment: $298

Time: One week to 6 months

$298 – $345 – REMIC Mortgage Agent Course (RMAC) – 47 hours

The Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc. (REMIC) is a certified educational institution by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). As such REMIC’s courses are tax free. 

In addition REMIC offers a free job placement assistance program designed to assist graduates in obtaining employment with a licensed mortgage brokerage in Ontario.

Phase 2

Investment: $1,200

Time: 2 weeks to one month

$300 – $400 – Brokerage E & O insurance fee (annually)

$800 – FSCO licensing fee (this is pro-rated- see below)

FSCO licensing fee

Licenses come up for renewal every two years, with the next renewal on March 31, 2016 (the last one was March 31, 2014). The fee is calculated like this: $100 + (# of months to March 31, 2016 x $30).

For example, if you applied for a license on December 1, 2014 then you would pay an application fee of $100 plus (16 months to March 1, 2016 x $30) = $100 + $480 = $580

In total your new career should cost you approximately $1,500 to get started. Your income potential is unlimited, making this a great investment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both careers can be as rewarding as you make them.  Selling real estate and brokering mortgages are well accepted careers in Ontario, with the potential to earn a significant income.  If you’re looking for a career that you can begin quickly and with only a small investment, the nod has to go to mortgage brokering.  Of course, I’m biased because I’m a mortgage broker.

Ultimately, the choice is yours!  I hope this information helps you make an informed decision.

P.S.

You can have both licenses. Something else to consider…

 

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your community!

Joe White
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Joe White

President at REMIC
Joseph J. White has been involved in the mortgage industry since 1988. He began his career as a mortgage agent, and in the mortgage lending sector of the industry he has held positions as National Sales Manager and VP of Sales with two national mortgage lenders.

In the industry’s mortgage brokering sector he is a licensed mortgage broker and has been a partner at a successful mortgage brokerage, manager at two national brokerages, principal broker at a commercial brokerage, founder of a mortgage investment corporation, and is owner and principal broker of his own boutique brokerage.

As an educator, Mr. White has been educating the mortgage industry since 1996.During his 14 years at Seneca College he was a professor and program coordinator and is currently President of the Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc. (REMIC).Mr. White has developed several courses for Seneca College, including the first mortgage broker education program in Ontario,as well as the mortgage agent course.He has written two textbooks used in the mortgage industry and by over 20 Ontario colleges with over twenty thousand copies in print, in addition to several business focused books and e-books. He has instructed over fifteen thousand students and in 2003 won the Excellence Award for teaching and leadership excellence at Seneca College.He can be contacted at joe.white@remic.ca
Joe White
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30 Comments

  • dan desveaux June 15, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    hi Joe,great article here, what’s a good way to contact you?i’d like to talk to you for ten minutes about becoming a broker. Please send me your contact info so i can contact you. Thanks, Dan

    • Joe White June 21, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      HI Dan,
      The best way to contact us is via live help on our website or at 877 447 3642.
      Cheers,
      Joe

  • Chang January 23, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Hi,
    Great article! just wondering what would be the definition of the ‘resident’? Is it be the permanent residence and citizen? Or it means the resident by taxation purpose, who have assets, work, time in Canada? I have been Canada for 3 years nearly for the university, and I am interested become a real estate agent. Would I be qualified for the education program?

    Thanks

    • Joe White February 3, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Hi,
      You would need to contact FSCO at fsco.gov.on.ca for the exact definition, as they are the regulator. We provide the educational program to become a licensed mortgage agent, not a real estate agent. That program is offered by OREA.
      Cheers,
      Joe

      • Uday May 24, 2017 at 9:54 pm

        Hi Joe,

        I see same courses offered on REMIC.CA and OREA.COm
        but who conducts the tests for the Realestate agent and Mortgage agent and certifies?

        • Joe White June 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm

          Hi,
          The courses are not the same. We offer courses for mortgage and life insurance licensing while OREA offers the course for real estate licensing.
          Cheers,
          Joe

  • Nikita August 11, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Joe

    Thank you for the insightful read. I’m a lawyer with 4 years of boutique real estate law firm practice. I’m looking to get my license. Do you know how long the process will take if I’m exempted from a couple of exams?

    • Joe White September 5, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Hi Nikita,
      There are no longer any exemptions for lawyers in Ontario.
      Cheers,
      Joe

  • Jillian Chico September 4, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Hi Joe!

    I am a licensed real estate broker in the Philippines and aspiring to be a realtor in Canada. I hope you could help me. Thank you!

    • Joe White September 5, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Hi,
      Please go to OREA.com for information on becoming a realtor in Canada.
      Cheers,
      Joe

  • Rob November 10, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Joe,

    I’m guessing mortgage brokers don’t have access to MLS?

    Thanks,

    Rob

    • Joe White November 15, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      Hi Rob, you are correct.
      Joe

  • Edgar December 5, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Hi Joe do you offer any correspondence course?

    • Joe White December 11, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      Hi,
      Correspondence is not offered, instead we provide an online course.
      Learn more at remic.ca/online

  • sam January 30, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Hi, are you sure you can be both mortgage broker and real estate agent at same time. I heard you cannot due to conflict of interest.

    • Joe White February 8, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      Hi,
      Yes, you can be both however you should satisfy yourself by checking with the regulator.
      Cheers,
      Joe

  • tiffany March 5, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Hi there, I am 20 years old finished high school and now I am looking to take a course for mortgage agent or real estate. Which one do you think is best for me to start off? I know both industries are very competitive but which one do you think would be easier for me to get started? I heard the mortgage agent industry has been really growing and is almost impossible to get successful, is this true? & what happens after I take the course, how do I go about being a successful mortgage broker?

    • Joe White March 7, 2018 at 1:47 am

      Hi Tiffany,
      Your career choice should depend on what you enjoy doing, in my opinion. Have a look at the real estate industry, mortgage industry and life insurance industry. The costs for licensing including the courses are pretty similar between life insurance and mortgage brokering. Real estate is longer and more expensive. Each have their pros and cons but regardless of the industry, if it’s sales related there is probably a good chance that 80% of the business is being done by 20% of the agents. All three industries require planning and perseverance to become successful.
      We have some great resources for you to refer to, including this one: https://www.remic.ca/real-estate-sales-person-vs-mortgage-agent/
      Have a look at our other posts as well. They cover everything from licensing to marketing.
      Give us a call if you need any more information.
      Cheers,
      Joe

  • Lorena Estacio March 18, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Joe,
    I’m interested to get a real state course how can I start or where can I go?

    • Joe White March 19, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Lorena,
      OREA is the sole provider of this course at orea.com
      Cheers,
      Joe

  • fadhel wahid March 27, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    hi .joe

    can I finance the OREA courses.

    • Joe White April 1, 2018 at 4:35 pm

      Hi,
      You will need to contact OREA (OREA.com) to find out if they offer financing.
      Cheers,
      Joe

  • Kelta June 12, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Hi wondering how hard it is to be an independent broker ? Do you have to work with a brokerage for a certain amount of years before becoming one on your own? How does this work ?

    • Joe White June 20, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      Hi,
      It depends on what you mean by independent. As a mortgage agent you must work for a brokerage, however you are also free to set your own hours and determine how you will find clients, the type of business you wish to do, etc. But you must also follow that brokerage’s policies and procedures. You can incorporate a brokerage and hire a broker to be the principal broker (basically the chief compliance officer). So you can own the brokerage without being a broker. However the most common way is to get licensed as an agent for at least two years, then take the broker course and apply to change your license to a broker. As a broker you can be the principal broker of your own brokerage. I hope this helps explain the process but if you want more info please feel free to contact our office directly.
      Joe

  • Mike July 24, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Joe,

    I would like to keep my full time job, as an Engineer, at least for a while, but also be a mortgage broker part time. Is this possible?
    Thank you!

    • Joe White July 25, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Mike,
      Yes, this is possible and many start in this industry like this. There are many brokerages that hire part time mortgage agents and offer training and support to help them become successful and transition to full time.
      Cheers,
      Joe

  • effat August 17, 2018 at 4:48 am

    hi
    i live in Edmonton
    do i need any English proficiency test to be eligible as a real estate in Alberta? please send me the requirements
    thanks

    • Joe White September 2, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      Hi,
      Please contact the Alberta Real Estate Association for details on this question. Cheers, Joe

  • Neha Sharma August 29, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    hey Joe, just visited the OREA website. It says they are closing down. What is the option then other than OREA.

    • Joe White September 2, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Neha, there is no other option. You must take the course through them until the new course provider goes live.

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