Question: I am a practicing sales agent applying to become a broker, but my former employing broker refuses to sign the form certifying that I fulfilled the DRE’s experience requirement. Is there anything I can do?

Answer: When an employing broker is unavailable to certify a broker license applicant’s experience, the applicant may use an alternative method of verifying experience with DRE Form 228.

Experience required to obtain broker license

Along with broker licensing education, broker applicants also need to show a minimum two years of full-time salesperson employment within the five years immediately preceding the application date. Qualified licensed experience is defined as:

  • full-time salesperson employment of at least 40 hours per week devoted to activities requiring a real estate license; or
  • part-time employment as a real estate salesperson, credited on a prorated basis (e.g. 20 hours of activity per week for four years).

To provide proof of this experience, applicants are required to certify their employment through their current and/or previous employing broker using DRE Form 226. [RE 226]

However, when an employing broker is unavailable to fill out the form — perhaps they are deceased, cannot be located or are simply unreliable — there is a remedy available to the applicant. Using DRE Form 228, the applicant is to:

  • indicate the reason they are unable to obtain the employing broker’s certification; and
  • obtain employment verification from two people who work(ed) in a professional capacity with the applicant and are able to attest to their fulfillment of the experience requirement. [RE 228]

When using this alternate experience certification method, the applicant is to submit two copies of RE 228 alongside RE 226. The applicant needs to fill out RE 226 in full, but in the space labeled “Signature of Certifying Broker,” the applicant indicates the reason they are unable to obtain the broker’s signature (e.g. “deceased”).

The two copies of RE 228 need to include identical information on the applicant’s experience, matching the information contained in RE 226, with each RE 228 verified by the applicant’s identified professional colleague.

Other ways to fulfill the experience requirement

The DRE accepts equivalent experience in lieu of the two years of full-time salesperson employment. Equivalent experience may be based on any combination of salesperson employment and real estate related experience.

Equivalent experience needs to be full-time for at least two of the previous five years, or its part-time equivalent. Acceptable experience includes, but is not limited to:

  • experience as an escrow, title or loan officer directly related to the financing or conveying of real estate;
  • experience as a subdivider, contractor or speculative builder, which include duties relating to the purchase, finance, development and sale or lease of real estate; and
  • experience as a property appraiser.

Other real estate-related activities are considered by the DRE, provided they satisfy the intent of the law. For example, experience as a property manager — full-time for two years or part-time for four years — is likely to fulfill the requirements.

Finally, an applicant may bypass the experience requirement when they have a degree from a four-year accredited college or university with a major or minor in real estate.

Keep in mind, the DRE evaluates applications on a case-by-case basis. To ensure a smooth application process and assist the DRE in verifying equivalent experience, provide as much detail, accuracy and consistency in your application as possible.