How to Become a Real Estate Managing Broker in Illinois?

Career Guide to Become a Real Estate Managing Broker in Illinois

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.

If you have been working as a real estate salesperson in Illinois for some time, and wish to bring your business to the next level, then upgrading your license to become a real estate managing broker could be a sensible choice.

Rather than making income solely based on your sales production, being a broker allows you to build a team of real estate agents. You’ll be recruiting, providing training and support to your underlying agents. In return, you would get a share of their commission.

To become a real estate managing broker in Illinois, you must:

  1. Be at least 21 years and have a valid SSN;
  2. Have at least 2 years of active real estate sales experience in the past 3 years;
  3. Hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent;
  4. Complete 45 hours of pre-licensing courses from an approved education provider;
  5. Pass the Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker Exam;
  6. Go through a background check;
  7. Submit an application and fee to the Illinois Division of Real Estate (DRE);
  8. Complete the 24 hours CE and license renewal requirement

DRE is the regulatory body that protect consumers in matters relating to real property transactions. They are responsible for issuing the licenses and regulates the real estate industry.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to become a real estate broker in Illinois, income updates, and FAQs on this profession.

(By the way, if you are just starting the real estate career, but haven’t obtained the sales associate license yet, you should read over this career starter guide first.)

But before we start, I want to give a brief disclaimer. This post is not intended as legal advice or state/federal real estate training. It is for general information only. Please always follow your State laws and best practices.

When choosing a real estate school, I prefer one where you could take the courses online. This way, you could study at your own pace whenever and wherever. RealEstateExpress is a trustworthy real estate education provider. You may click here to see whether they offer pre-licensing course in your state. (**)

7 Steps to Become a Real Estate Broker in Illinois

Working in a real estate managing brokerage office in Illinois

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement

Once again, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old, have a valid Social Security Number and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Step 2: Complete the pre-licensing education

You are required to complete 45 hours of pre-licensing courses.

  • 30 hours can be taken online or self study. It must include topics of licensing, operations, escrow management
  • 15 hours of interactive education, which covers Applied Management & Supervision

Step 3: Fulfill the real estate work experience requirement

To ensure you have sufficient experience in the real estate field, you need to work as a broker for at least two out of the three preceding years.

Step 4: Pass the Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker Examination

Studying for the Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker Examination

The Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker Exam is administered by the PSI. The required passing score is 75%, and you’ll be given four hours writing it. The exam fee is $55.

It is divided into two sections, the National Managing Portion, and the State Managing Portion.

What is covered in National Managing Broker Exam?

It consists of ten simulation questions, of which only nine will be counted toward your score. The other one is a pretest question for future examinations. Here is a breakdown:

  1. Agency Relationships and Property Representations (3 problems)
  2. Fair Housing and Other Governmental Regulations (2 problems)
  3. Handling Money (2 problems)
  4. Training and Supervision of Licensees (1 problem)
  5. Plus one primary issue varying by examination form (1 problem)

To give you more details, you could expect questions to be asked about different property types:

  • Residential (in 4 problems)
  • Commercial (in 2 problems)
  • Property Management (in 1 problem)
  • Plus two property types (in 2 problems)

The topics may include the following:

  • Agency
  • Contracts
  • Freehold and Leasehold
  • Property Management
  • Finance
  • Government Regulations and Private
  • Restrictions
  • Description and Measurement
  • Valuation
  • Conveyance
  • Calculations
  • Ethical Behavior (must be incorporated in at least 4 problems)

What is covered in the State Managing Broker Exam?

This portion of the exam has 40 multiple choices. Below is the breakdown.

  1. Licensing Requirements (8 questions)
  2. Laws and Rules Regulating Real Estate Practice (18 questions)
  3. Disclosures (8 questions)
  4. Managing Broker Topics (6 questions)

Step 5: Register with the Illinois Division of Real Estate

After you pass the exam, you will be provided with a score report and instructions to apply for the real estate license. You could register your license through the IDFPR Online services Portal.

Step 6: Go through a background check

The Illinois Real Estate Division needs to protect the public interest, so they will conduct a background check on all real estate license applicants.

To do so, you will schedule an appointment with an approved vendor and submit fingerprints. Then the Illinois State Police will send the results to the Department.

Step 7: Maintain the Managing Broker License

Maintain the Illinois Real Estate Broker License

You need to renew your real estate managing broker license every two years. It happens in odd-numbered years.

You may do so approximately 90 days prior to the renewal deadline at the Online License Renewal Portal. The Department will email you the renewal details.

In addition to the renewal application, you must complete 24 hours of approved continuing education courses, which includes:

On the other hand, to renew a Managing Broker license, you need to take 24 hours of CE courses. It must include:

  • 12 hours of Broker Management course
  • 4 hours of Core course
  • 8 hours of Elective courses (1 hour must be the Sexual Harassment Prevention Training)

The renewal fee is $100 and you can pay it with by a credit card.

A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Real Estate Managing Broker in Illinois

Work Experience RequirementEducationExamFees
Have at least 2 years of active real estate sales experience in the past 3 yearsHold a high school diploma or GED equivalent

45 hours of pre-licensing course

24 credit hours of continuing education every two year
National Portion – 9 problems

State Portion
40 multiple-choice questions

Required passing score is 75%
Broker course $120

Exam fee $55

Background check $60

Application fee $150

How much does it cost to get a real estate managing broker license in Illinois?

Calculating the cost to get a real estate managing broker license in Illinois

It costs approximately $385 to get a real estate managing broker license in Illinois. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Broker course $120
  • Exam fee $55
  • Background check $60
  • Application fee $150

However, if you were setting up a real estate brokerage, the cost of getting a broker license is only part of the expenses. There is also other office expenses such as salary of administrative staff, office lease, furniture, equipment, software subscriptions.

How long does it take to become a real estate managing broker in Illinois?

It takes at least 2 years to get a real estate managing broker license in Illinois. That is the required amount of real estate sales experience. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the pre-license courses, exam, background check, application.

You may speed up in getting the Illinois managing broker license by taking online courses. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to finish the pre-licensing education at a quicker pace.

How Much do Real Estate Managing Brokers Make in Illinois?

How Much do Real Estate Managing Brokers Make in Illinois?

Real estate managing brokers in Illinois earn an average yearly income of $46,820. It typically ranges between $18,860 and $57,220. Top earning real estate brokers are making $101,780. (*)

Your earning depends on many factors. For example, the amount of time per week you are dedicated to run the business and the number of agents in your sales team. Having the skills and vision to delegate tasks to others rather than DIY is another major determining factor.

(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2019)

Here’s another post you could be interested. “Do Brokers Make More than Real Estate Agents? (Facts Revealed)”

I have more questions about the real estate license, whom should I contact?

You could contact the Illinois Division of Real Estate. Below are their contact info:

They also have two office locations:

  • Springfield Office: Division of Real Estate, 320 West Washington Street Springfield, IL 62786
  • Chicago Office: Division of Real Estate, 100 West Randolph, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601

If you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in getting a real estate license. Your first step is to complete the pre-licensing courses. You should select one that has an excellent reputation and long-term track record of satisfying students. RealEstateExpress is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)

(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. Some of the posts on may contain views and opinions from the interviewees. They do not reflect our view or position.


  • Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) (source)
    • Pre-license curriculum (source)
    • Post-license curriculum (source)
    • Managing Broker Continuing Education (source)
    • Criminal Conviction FAQ (source)
    • Fingerprint Guide (source)
    • Real Estate Managing Broker Renewal (source)
    • Sexual Harassments Prevention Training (source)
  • Illinois Real Estate Examination Program Candidate Handbook (source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
    • Occupational Employment and Wages- Real Estate Brokers (source)
    • Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Illinois (source)
  • Real Estate Administrative Code (source)
  • Illinois REALOTR (source)

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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