You’d think that only people who help individuals buy and sell Texas real estate need to get licensed with the Texas Real Estate Council (TREC). Actually, though, in many cases, property managers need to get real estate licenses, too.
Should you get licensed? Find out here.
Do property managers need to be licensed in Texas?
Two different state laws govern when a property manager needs a real estate license.
TRELA §1101.002(1)(A)(x): Per this section of the state’s occupations code, you need not just a real estate license, but a broker license, when you “control the acceptance or deposit of rent from a resident of a single-family residential real property unit.”
Texas Administrative Code Rule 535.4: Per this rule, you need a real estate sales agent or broker license to:
- Operate a rental agency
- Show a property
- Solicit listings
- Negotiate for listings
- Use rent to pay for services at a single-family home residential unit
- Deposit rent money from a single-family home residential unit
- Arrange for a tenant to occupy a residential unit (if you don’t own the property or lease it from the owner)
- As that last point suggests, there’s a key exemption: if you own a property, you can rent it out without a real estate license.
Additionally, as long as the employer has a real estate license, their salaried employees can manage and lease property they own.
Long story short: in most cases, owners and high-up supervisors will need a real estate license to manage property in the state of Texas.
How do I get a Texas real estate license?
Getting your Texas real estate sales agent license is a five-step process:
- Complete the pre-license education. The TREC requires all potential real estate licensees to complete 180 hours of education on real estate-related topics. That sounds like a lot, but you can take the pre-license training hours online and at your own pace.
- Apply with the TREC. Once you’re done with your pre-license hours, you can apply for your license. Oddly enough, this application is called “Inactive Real Estate Sales Agent License” (Form ID: ISL-9). By inactive, the TREC just means you don’t have your license yet. You can find this application online.
- Get cleared by the TREC. They make sure that you’re going to do right by your clients. To that end, you’ll need to get fingerprinted so they can run a background check on you.
- Pass the exam. Pearson VUE administers this exam for the TREC. You can use this page to schedule your exam and access the candidate booklet and study guides. The test can feel a little daunting so we offer a test prep kit to help you get ready to ace it.
- Get sponsored. Finally, you’ll need to find a broker to hire you to work for their real estate business.
Getting your real estate license takes some time, but the penalties for going without a license when you should have one are stiff. You’re looking at a Class A misdemeanor, up to a year in county jail, and a fine of up to $4,000. Get your license and cover your bases.