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October 10th, 2021 – Once You Pass Your State Test; What To Ask a Potential Broker?

So, you’ve passed your test and celebrated…….Now What?

Here are 20 basic questions you may want to ask the Brokers that you interview. Remember, this isn’t a standard job interview. YOU are interviewing the Broker in order to determine if his/her particular office is a good fit for YOU.

This is one of those times in life that “It IS all about you!”

  1. What are the commission splits? (is it 50/50, 40/60?)
  2. Are there any franchise fees? (some of the larger franchises charge up to 8 1/2%)
  3. Do you offer a commission cap? (this would mean, does the Broker have a maximum amount that he/she collects each year before your obligation is met?)
  4. Are there any other broker-related fees? (Monthly office fee, Monthly MLS fee, Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O), Education fee – often charged for the new licensee course they offer, Start-up fee, Desk fees, for example)
  5. What other expenses might I be responsible for? (Lockboxes, eKey – to access property lockboxes, Signage, Business cards, for example)
  6. Do you offer any of the following? (buyer leads, seller leads, websites, closing coordinator/tech support, CE classes, marketing resources, color copies, clerical/admin support for example)
  7. What type of training/classes do you offer and how often?
  8. Are your classes in person or are they online? (live or recorded?)
  9. Who is responsible to prepare contracts? (and who would I ask for help with this? Are they available nights & weekends?)
  10. Do you offer coaching or a mentor program? If so, how does it work?
  11. How many real estate agents are in the office?
  12. How often do you have office meetings, lunch & learns, happy hours, holiday parties, etc?
  13. Are there any meetings that are mandatory?
  14. What do you do to help promote our listings, our office, the agents?
  15. Is office duty required for each agent? If so, how much?
  16. Do you participate, as an office, in community events?
  17. What are your expectations for me?
  18. Can you describe the atmosphere of the office? What is the culture?
  19. Would it be possible to get a tour of the office and meet some of the agents or staff?
  20. Would it be possible to sit in on an upcoming training or team meeting?

BONUS- Can you share your long-term goals for your office?

While it may be difficult to determine the atmosphere and company culture of a real estate brokerage, it is critical to learn as much as possible beforehand.  As a real estate agent, you work independently much of the time, but also need a supportive environment when issues arise and/or when you want to take your business to the next level. 

Choosing the right real estate broker can make a BIG difference to your success and happiness!

Congratulations on your success and both Joe & I wish you all the very BEST that a career in Real Estate has to offer!

Onwards & Upwards!!!


March 2nd, 2021 – Circling Back After A Lull…..

Yes, it’s been entirely too long since a fresh post has been added here on our Blog. Facebook has become the method of choice to spread-the-word regarding class updates/class schedules. (You can find us there: South Jersey Real Estate Academy)

What is that saying…..”Everything old become new again?!”

It seems that the Blog has been calling us back…… over the next month or so there will be a new look and definitely new information, too.

At the current time, we are knee-deep in teaching two Pre-licensing classes via Zoom as well as holding a few CE classes, too.

School News For You!

We are definitely excited about the future for our school. The ability to teach online has opened up lots of opportunities for students who are already out in the work-force and have been unable to commit to on-site classes. We do look forward to teaching again at The Salem Community College after the Pandemic subsides (and it is safe for everyone again), but in the meantime, the Zoom classes have been well-received and quite enjoyable for all.

The Real Estate market in South Jersey remains strong so it is an interesting & good time to begin a new career; whether full-time or part-time. Please feel free to call or message us with any questions you may have.
856-678-4663 and/or

We are forever happy to help!

~ Joe & Chris

Rules & Regs & Broker’s Class – Jan. 24th, 2018

The 1st Semester of the New Year – week #3.

The beginning of Chapter 3 – NJ License Laws. (Rules & Regulations)

This is, as they say, ‘The Meat’. We realize that we have made mention of this in previous blog posts here, but it does bear repeating. The NJ Licensing test has 110 questions. A bit over 30% of those questions are on the material from Chapter 3.

30+%!!  We want to stress this fact over-and-over again….and then again. 🙂

Chapter 3 is that important.

One of the discussions this evening highlighted the responsibility that falls on each Real Estate Agency’s Broker of Record. No matter what the individual agent is doing — or not doing – that Broker of Record needs to be aware. Yep, it’s just like the Mom who needs eyes in the back of her head! The Broker of Record has imputed knowledge. He/She should really be a know-it-all! (and not be criticized for it!) It’s the law…..license law, that is.

What does ‘imputed knowledge’ even mean??
Imputed knowledge means the knowledge attributed to a party because of his/her position, or his/her relationship with or responsibility for another party. Such knowledge is attributed for the reason that the facts in issue were open to discovery and it was that person’s duty to apprise him/her of such facts.

***Now on to brighter things***

Ethics book

30 hours on Agency/Ethics coming right up!

We have a Broker’s Class coming up in early Feb. It includes the required 90 hours of the general Real Estate course, 30 hours of Agency/Ethics and 30 hours of Office Management. 150 hours total. Class will be local, in Salem County, and be held on Mondays & Thursdays – 9am to 4pm. Upon successful completion, you will be approved to sit for your Broker’s test @ PSI. Give a call if you are interested or simply have questions  – 856-678-4663 or email –

October 25th, 2017 – We survived!


We’ve been so busy teaching and learning that there has been a lapse in updates here on our blog. After 13 Chapters and 1 quiz, we are ‘chugging along’, as they say. Everyone survived the 1st quiz…..without too much ‘whining and gnashing of the teeth’ as Mr. P likes to say. Honestly, the 1st quiz is often a wake up call to spend a bit more time studying…..especially the glossary words. Some of the terms in this class are completely new and a tad baffling, to say the least.

*Torrens System

Do you get the point?

You just gotta memorize some of this stuff!

Anyhow, we shook things up a bit tonight by inviting a guest speaker to tell the class about his specialty, “Mortgages”. (Chapter 14 – Mortgages & Financing) Robert Zaleski of Investors Home Mortgage Company was very engaging in sharing his real-world knowledge and many years of experiences in the mortgage industry. It was interesting to learn of some of the recent changes in the business, how to navigate through the mortgage process as a Buyer’s Representative, as well as what difficulties to keep an eye out for. Bob also shared some pertinent information regarding personal safety while working out in the field.

That’s what is great about Bob. He provides what you need, when you need it and then adds that extra-something that is unexpected. Taking a few extra moments to speak about his experiences in learning personal safety and offering a couple of tips that can be put into use immediately was so appreciated by every single one of us in the room.

GREAT job, Bob. You are much appreciated! 

Here he is, in ‘action’:

bob zaleski (2)

He’s the one in the middle. The tough-looking one — lol!

If you are in need of expert advice on obtaining a new mortgage, refinancing a current loan or even signing up for the personal safety class in Swedesboro — Bob’s your guy. He can be reached at: 609-221-6830 or

Look for information very soon about a personal safety class in Salem County
@ Jersey Fitness Center in Pennsville, sponsored by both Jersey Fitness &
The South Jersey Real Estate Academy.

In the meantime, back to work……and the next topic –
Chapter 15-Liens, Foreclosure and Redemption

“A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” Proverbs 22:3




Sept. 13th, 2017 – Down To The Nitty Gritty

Here we are – week two of our new semester. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get down to business. Chapter 1 -‘Historical Development of NJ Real Estate’ and Chapter 2 -‘National Association of Realtors’ of our book are mostly just informational….not really much of this content will be on the NJ Test. We quickly move on to Chapter 3 – ‘New Jersey License Laws’. This is, as they say, the “Big Dog”. The NJ State test to become a Realtor will pull a tad over 30% of its questions from this one chapter.

It makes sense. This chapter spells out in great detail all of the do’s and don’ts for licensees. From advertising to the make-up of the Real Estate Commission to employment agreements to pocket cards to all of the rules & regulations…….it’s all here in this chapter.

So, what is the foundation of all of these guidelines?

The New Jersey Real Estate License Act of 1921 which was designed to license and regulate brokers and salespersons and to establish a Real Estate Commission which developed rules and regulations to protect the public. All licensees in the state are bound by these rules and regulations.

This is exactly why Chapter 3 is the biggest, most important chapter in the entire book. It’s where our careers stop and start. Yes, it is most definitely our foundation.

“Without a solid foundation, you’ll have trouble creating anything of value.”
~Erica Oppenheimer











September 6th, 2017 – First Night & Solar Panels

We are settling into the first night of our new semester. It’s always a pleasure and a bit exciting to meet our new students. People are drawn to Real Estate for many different reasons. Some want a new career, others are interested in investing while several simply want to learn so they can be better informed consumers. It is always fascinating to meet our class and begin to get to know them. By the end of the 16-week course, we all feel like fast friends!

We always begin with Chapter 4, “Estates and Interests in Real Property” because it makes for an interesting night of class. We never want to be boring right out of the gate! (There is plenty of time for the rules & regulations at a later date.) For instance, tonight we got into a lengthy (and lively!) discussion about solar panels on residential properties.

Do the panels make a property worth more?
Are the panels a liability when selling?
What about the condition of the roof?

Is there a good return on the investment?
How about when the panels are leased?
What happens if a buyer is approved for a mortgage yet the solar company refuses to transfer the lease from the seller to the buyer?

Because this is a ‘hot topic’ now-a-days, we spent extra time on this. The bottom line is that leased solar panels cannot be marketed as a valuable improvement on a residential listing at the present time. There just are not enough facts & figures to support this theory. Common sense seems like the panels and the electric savings they allow ought to be worth more to a potential buyer…..except quite often in real-world transactions, the leases present a huge problem. There have been many cases of improper installation, leases that rise in cost to the buyer, utility companies that drag their feet giving the electric savings to the new homeowner, etc., etc, etc. If you do purchase a home with solar power, it is much better if the panels are owned outright.

Solar panels are an unknown and unproven entity, currently. So, our advice to potential sellers, at this time, must be NOT to install solar panels if you are planning to sell your home in the near future…..especially if they are leased panels.  Hopefully, there will soon be positive examples to prove that property sellers really can profit from having solar panels.

But we digress at bit. Back to the learning about ‘life estates’.

Then onto Chapter 5, “Methods of Ownership.”

We wish all the best to our new class!
(and highly encourage them to study the glossary words!!)
“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”  ~Paul Coelho

August 3rd, 2017 – Announcing! New Location!

You know that expression about things coming around ‘full circle’?

Well, SJREA is right in the middle of experiencing that in a truly wonderful way. Many moons ago, Joseph Pino taught the NJ Pre-licensing class at the Salem Community College. Unfortunately, when the market crashed, the demand for the class dipped…..well……crashed……right along with the market. SCC was no longer able to provide the class due to the reduced class sizes.

That was the birth of The South Jersey Real Estate Academy in 2011.

So, it’s rather exciting that in addition to other signs that our market is improving here in Salem County, the interest in becoming a licensed Realtor has grown, as well. The pre-licensing class has found it’s way back to SCC!

Class begins on Weds. 9/6 @ 5:30 pm, and runs for 16 or 17 consecutive weeks (in case of snow) to fulfill NJ’s required 75 hours. Cost: $395 plus $35 for your textbook

We’re awfully happy that classes will be held at SCC once again.
Mr. P is back on campus!
The class will be provided as an ‘enrichment’ class, not for credit. (We just want to make sure everyone understands that.) It’s time to sign up,
so give us a call (856-678-4663), send us a message ( or go to SCC’s website to register. (

January 12th, 2017 – First Things First

Taking the steps to become a Realtor in the state of New Jersey begins with a bit of very important information:

Qualifications for Licensure
(Before committing to a pre-licensing class, you should be aware of several things.)
1) The law in NJ requires all applicants for licensing as a Real Estate salesperson or broker to possess good character, trustworthiness, honesty and integrity. To enforce this requirement, all applicants must submit to a criminal history record check. Upon passing the state test, you will be asked several ‘screening’ questions. Among these questions are the candidates age (you must be over 18), high school education (you must have a high school diploma or equivalent) and your history must be absent of any convictions for forgery, burglary, robbery and theft offenses other than shoplifting, criminal conspiracy to defraud or other like-offenses within the 5 years preceding the application for licensure.

2) As mentioned above, the law does provide that an applicant for a Real Estate license must establish their general good character, honesty, trustworthiness and integrity. Convictions for shoplifting, for other offenses or convictions for the offenses specified in NJSA 45:12-12.1 which occurred more than 5 years ago, or the loss of a Real Estate or other professional license for cause may constitute grounds for the denial of a license application under NJSA 45:15-9. The Real Estate Commission will consider the date & nature of all convictions and other indications of the applicant’s character, honesty, trustworthiness and integrity when evaluating an applicant’s qualifications.

3) The South Jersey Real Estate Academy(SJREA) urges you to call us to privately discuss your situation should you feel that any incidents in your past may possibly disqualify you from obtaining a license as a Real Estate salesperson or broker. Also, consider calling the NJ Real Estate Commission directly for guidance @ 609-282-7272, X50379 between 8:30am and 4:30pm. The commission states that it is always better to err on the side of disclosure than to answer a question in a way that may raise concerns about whether or not your answers were honest. Providing false information during the screening process is grounds for denial of the application. Should there be a concern, please know that a candidate will be given the opportunity to submit a full written explanation.

Please feel free to contact SJREA @ 856-678-4663 or for upcoming class information, applications or with any questions you may have.


Don’t be afraid to ask us!


January 2, 2017 – The End of Another Semester

Boy……. 16/17 weeks sure do fly by quickly. Our students took their final exam at the end of 2016 with good results. ( As an aside, if any of our students ever have a problem with the final, which must be passed by a score of at least 70, they can retake it.)

On Wednesday January 4th, we will review the final, give State test-taking instructions & tips and send our latest batch of students on their way. What a great group of ‘kids’ we had. They will be missed but we always hope to see them ‘out in the field’, once they become licensed.

Our next semester will begin in early February. If you or anyone you know would like information or an application, just give us a call: 856-678-4663 or email: Thanks!

Happy New Year everyone. We think it’s going to be a terrific year for the local Real Estate market!


Best Wishes, Class!!!

October 5th, 2016 – how it all works

We are in the 4th week of our fall semester prelicensing class. It is always interesting to us the varied backgrounds of our students. This class is made up of folks in education, food services, tax prep, sales, handyman services and business among other things. One is retired.

We also have some students sitting in to refresh their memories before they take the state test. Once The South Jersey Real Estate Academy’s semester is completed, a student who has passed our final with a score of at least ’70’ is eligible to sit for the NJ test. That test is given on a computer at a testing center and also must be passed by a score of ’70’ or above.

One thing to keep in mind is that once our class is done, students have ONE YEAR to pass the state test, obtain their fingerprints and place their license with a Broker.


No exceptions.

As the NJ Real Estate commission states, “A year, is a year, is a year.”


That’s where we come in. We stand beside you to help if you run into any difficulty with passing your test. We’ll spend extra time. Allow you to sit in on additional classes. Whatever it takes. We’re here.

“Strong people stand up for themselves. But stronger people stand up for others.”