Joseph Autilio, executive director of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons, answers agents’ questions regarding real estate licensing in Massachusetts.
WORKING AS AN INACTIVE LICENSEE
Q. How can I do referral work if I’m an inactive licensee?
A. Inactive and active licensure was created when the legislature enacted continuing education. Inactive licensees are those licensees who do not complete all 12 hours of continuing education for their two-year license term. The Board must designate a license as inactive where the licensee fails to complete continuing education.
Inactive licensees are considered unlicensed and cannot work as real estate agents as defi ned in General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 112, Section 87PP, with the exception that they can earn referral fees for the referrals that they make to licensed active brokers. Those licensed active brokers can pay inactive licensees a referral fee for the referral. It is the continuing education statute that permits inactive licensees to make referrals to licensed active brokers. An active broker is a broker who has completed the continuing education requirement.
It is important to keep in mind that while an inactive licensee can make referrals to licensed active brokers, and indeed some inactive licensees do only referrals, this will not satisfy the one-year work experience requirement that a salesperson must complete to ultimately become a broker.
Many inactive salespeople believe that since they place their license with a licensed active broker, they are obtaining the requisite one-year work experience requirement with that broker. This is not true at all. While inactive salespeople may “place” their license with an active licensed broker, the inactive salesperson is still unlicensed and only permitted to do referrals. Keep in mind that an active licensed salesperson must be affiliated with a broker to work, since the licensing law requires this.
BOARD’S EDUCATION CURRICULA
Q. Can education providers use curriculum designations that are different from those listed on the Board’s pre-licensing and continuing education curricula?
A. No. The Board typically sees education providers using designations on their educational offerings that are used by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) since some of NAR’s courses are often identical to subject matter areas of the Board’s curriculum. Board curriculum subject matter often satisfies both the Board’s curriculum and NAR designation requirements.
However, when the Board conducts its routine audits of licensees for compliance with the continuing education requirement, the designations through other providers like NAR do not match the Board’s designations. When requested, subject matter offerings of the Board’s curriculum that a licensee completed should be reported using the designation information in the Board's curriculum itself.