Realtor® News

The Attorneys’ Real Estate Council of Palm Beach County and the Broward Attorneys’ Real Estate Councils’ Annual Law Symposium for the Realtors® of Broward | Palm Beaches | St. Lucie was held October 20th via ZOOM.  It was our first online Law Symposium and it was a great success with nearly 250 area real estate agents signing in to see a great program presented by REC Member Real Estate Attorneys.  At the conclusion of the presentations, agents organized into smaller groups in ZOOM “Breakout Rooms” so that attendees could ask detailed questions and interact personally with our Real Estate Attorneys.   Thank you to our speakers Annabella Barboza, Christopher Posner, Giovanni Nicosia, Khila Khani, Salome’ Zikakis and Jacqueline Revis.  Great job!

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Here is a copy of the flyer we used to promote this event.  If you are interested in being a speaker or your REC would like to host an event like these, please contact Rene’ Rutan, The Fund’s REC Relations Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Fund Regulatory Compliance Counsel Robert Rohan reported that the Notice of Emergency Rule announced at the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) Board meeting on October 7, 2020 was published in the Florida Administrative Register on October 19th.  The rule extends the period for offering distance learning of previously approved live, in-person course offerings to January 1, 2021.  The significant changes are requirements that the provider have the ability to video monitor attendance and the courses must specifically be approved for online learning – even if they are already approved for in-person presentation.   Here is a copy of the Notice of Emergency Rule:

DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION

Florida Real Estate Commission

RULE NO.:  RULE TITLE:

61J2ER20-11 Use of Live Streaming Technology for Delivery of Approved In-Person Education Courses

SPECIFIC REASONS FOR FINDING AN IMMEDIATE DANGER TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY OR WELFARE: The Florida Real Estate Commission (“FREC”) is statutorily mandated to require specified Prelicensure, Post-Licensure, School Instructor and Continuing Education (“CE”) courses as prerequisites to initial licensure, licensure renewal, and licensure reactivation of Real Estate Sales Agents, Real Estate Brokers, and Real Estate School Instructors. Pursuant to this authority, the FREC has promulgated rules setting forth the requirements for approval of Prelicensure, Post-Licensure, Reactivation, and CE courses. The rules establish different minimum criteria for in-person vs. online or distance learning courses; and courses are submitted by providers and approved/authorized by the FREC as either in-person or online/distance. If a course is approved as in-person, it cannot be offered via online or distance learning methods, unless it is also approved as an online/distance learning course.

Due to the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, the State of Florida has been under continuing public health emergency orders, issued by, among others, the Governor, the State Health Officer, the secretaries of various state agencies, and local governments. While the public health emergency appears to be abating, there is a continued significant, present, real danger to the public health and welfare from the COVID-19 disease.

In order to help accomplish the public policy goal of preventing the spread of the COVID-19 disease, the FREC has promulgated two (2) prior Emergency Orders, allowing delivery of FREC approved in-person educational courses to be offered through synchronous live video streaming/videoconferencing technologies, such as Zoom®, GoToMeeting®, Microsoft Teams®, or WebEx®, among others. This has allowed the state’s real estate professionals, as well as applicants for licensure, to avail themselves of all FREC approved courses, whether “live” or “online,” while reducing the requirement for an in-person gathering of people. As part of the second Emergency Order issued by the FREC, which expires October 8, 2020, the FREC simultaneously initiated rulemaking pursuant to section 120.54, F.S., to amend the existing rules in Chapter 61J2-3, F.A.C., to make the synchronous live-streaming option available through the end of the calendar year. However, due to the minimum timeframes and statutorily requirements for adoptions of amendments to existing rules, it appears the rule amendments will not be completed prior to the expiration of the emergency rule.

The FREC has been informed that the “gap” created by expiration of the second Emergency Rule and the adoption of the proposed rule amendments will result in more than 100 educational courses currently scheduled being either cancelled or a requirement that registrants travel and physically gather in order to avail themselves of the course content. Given the continued public health emergency, the FREC finds this presents an unnecessary and imminent risk to the public health, safety, and welfare, which risk the FREC has been attempting to eliminate since publication of the first Emergency Order in June. Accordingly, the FREC, by a third emergency rule, will continue to waive the requirement that those educational courses previously approved by the FREC as live or in-person must in fact be presented “in-person,” and authorizes any such course previously approved as live to continue to be delivered by synchronous live-streaming technologies, that allow the instructor or monitor to observe each student. The Board finds that this action is a measured regulatory approach that helps to mitigate the threat of exposure to COVID-19 disease to Floridians, including Real Estate professionals and those that come in contact with them, while still satisfying the purpose and intent of the waived requirements.

REASON FOR CONCLUDING THAT THE PROCEDURE IS FAIR UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES: Given the fact that many providers of educational courses, as well as licensees and applicants for licensure, have relied on the FRECs clearly enunciated policy to allow synchronous live streaming of educational courses, and have planned, developed, scheduled, registered, and paid for these courses; that the FREC diligently followed the rulemaking provisions of section 120.54, F.S. in an attempt to promulgate amendments to existing rules to accomplish this goal through the end of 2020; and that a large number of courses will either be cancelled or persons will be forced to gather in-person to receive statutorily required education; the FREC finds that the continued immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare due to COVID-19 disease necessitates immediate action to eliminate the gap of time between the expiration of the currently effective second Emergency Rule and the effective adoption of rule amendments. In addition, at the same meeting where this Emergency Rule was proposed, the Commission determined to withdraw the rulemaking initiated to amend the existing rules, since this third Emergency Rule will extend the effective period of allowable synchronous live streaming through the end of 2020, which was and continues to be the intent of the FREC. Notice of this meeting was published in the Florida Administrative Register in Volume 46, No. 191 on September 30, 2020. In addition, notice of the FREC’s meeting was posted on the FREC’s official website and was emailed to interested persons and entities.

SUMMARY: The proposed emergency rule authorizes the continued delivery of Prelicensure, Post-Licensure, Reactivation, Continuing Education, and School Instructor education courses previously approved by the FREC to be delivered live and in-person to be delivered via synchronous live streaming / videoconferencing technologies until December 31, 2020. After January 1, 2021, a provider wishing to continue offering courses through synchronous live streaming that technology must apply for approval following existing procedures.

THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE EMERGENCY RULE IS: Giuvanna Corona, Executive Director, Florida Real Estate Commission, Zora Neale Hurston Building, North Tower, Suite N901, 400 West Robinson Street, Orlando, Florida 32801.

It's important to note that this rule change will impact only those presentations where you intend to provide continuing education credits to real estate agents.  Non-accredited presentations would be unaffected.  Visit http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/real-estate-commission/meetings-and-workshops/ for further details.