You’re a NJ Realtor®, the WORLD is your oyster!


September 18, 2019

“When I get my real estate license, am I allowed to sell properties down the Shore?”

“Will my New Jersey real estate license let me deal with commercial properties?”

These are just two of the questions students at our Cherry Hill real estate school asked on the first day of the August real estate licensing class. They were quite surprised at my answer.

The entire state is yours!

Once you earn your New Jersey real estate license—the first step of which is to graduate from our 75-hour pre-licensing class—you can assist clients to buy, sell or lease anywhere in the state. And there is no restriction on what type of real estate you help them with.

From a condo in Cape May to a mobile home in Matawan, a beach house in Brigantine, a shopping center in Salem or a hotel in Hackensack. Maybe you have a commercial client who wants to lease a warehouse in West Orange or an investor wanting to buy townhouses in Teaneck—a person with a New Jersey real estate license can handle any of the transactions.

“But wait! There’s More!”

I guess I’ve been watching too many late-night infomercials. Just as the announcer thinks he has enticed you into buying whatever product he is hawking, he always jumps in with, “But wait! There’s more! If you act in the next 10 minutes . . . “

You do not need to act in the next 10 minutes, but there really are more opportunities for Realtors® than the buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants in their back yards. To do that, agents need to expand their horizons—figuratively and literally.

Over the Rainbow

While your real estate license allows you to earn commissions for selling or leasing properties anywhere in New Jersey, the vast majority of Realtors® don’t think about opportunities to earn referral fees.

Here’s how they work.

A couple of years ago, I received a call from a Realtor® in Maine. Her boyfriend’s parents had mentioned that they wanted to sell their waterfront home in South Jersey and she immediately asked them if they would like her to find them the “best” real estate agent with experience and success in selling luxury homes. They agreed.  After interviewing me over the phone for about 15 minutes, she said she was satisfied I could handle the listing and asked if I would pay her a referral fee of 25% of my commission. I agreed. A short time later, we sold the home for $1.1 million and she got a check from me (through our brokers) for well over $8,000.

Not a bad hourly rate for having made two phone calls!

I have had clients who, as I was discussing why they were listing their home, told me they were moving to new jobs, or retirement, or to be with family in Illinois, Arizona, California, Florida, South Carolina, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania—and in each case, they were very grateful to me for connecting them to an agent I had pre-screened for them. And long after I had forgotten doing so, my office administrator would walk into my office and drop a check on my desk. Many times, that referral fee was for thousands of dollars.

The WORLD is your oyster!

But wait! There’s more! Real estate is a global business today. Many real estate agencies are now affiliated with a franchise that has franchisees around the world. In our most-recent real estate licensing class, we had students from China, Spain, Ukraine, Poland, Greece, Mexico and Brazil. It was like a United Nations of Real Estate class! Each of those students now have their New Jersey real estate license. But when they talk to their friends and relatives in their homelands they should remind that that even if they are moving from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo or from Mykonos to Santorini, or from Shanghai to San Francisco, they should contact the New Jersey licensee first. The licensee can then earn a referral fee from the agent to whom they pass the buyer or seller.


At Garden State Real Estate Academy, we teach students how to learn the complex topics they need to know to pass the state licensing exam. Our small class sizes and great instructors have helped our students attain an 85% pass rate on the first attempt at the state exam, compared to 62-63% from all schools combined. But we go further. Our instructors are experienced in the real world of real estate. So we also pass on tips from decades of expertise that will help them “hit the ground running” after they earn their real estate license. Come join us at Garden State Real Estate Academy and let New Jersey’s top-ranked real estate school help you get your license soon!


David C. Forward is a licensed real estate broker and instructor and was first licensed as a Realtor® 31 years ago. During his career, David and his business partner sold more than 450 homes in South Jersey.  He is now School Director of Garden Real Estate Academy, has won numerous awards for real estate sales, is a much-requested public speaker who has addressed audiences on six continents and is the author of 14 books. You can reach David at

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