Each Legislative Session, I enjoy meeting with the associations and groups that represent the licensees who fall under the Department’s jurisdiction. This week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Great American Realtor Days and sharing recent Department news and improvements that are relevant to the real estate profession in Florida.
Over recent months, we have seen news stories claiming the real estate industry is growing again in Florida, and I am happy to report we are also seeing a stronger real estate market based on licensure trends. For the past six months, the Department has been receiving an average of more than 2,500 real estate applications a month, and so far this fiscal year, we have approved more than 33,500 initial real estate licensure applications! During this same time period, the average real estate licensure processing time has remained under three days. I am thrilled to see this positive licensure trend and am glad we can do our part to get these qualified professionals to work faster.
Over on the enforcement side of our Division of Real Estate, we have restructured the way we are processing cases. Instead of having one team assigned to real estate and appraiser cases, our enforcement team has split, allowing a team of investigators to focus on real estate cases and a team of investigators to focus on appraisal cases. With this restructure, the real estate team is able to focus on issues unique to real estate, allowing them to process cases much more quickly and efficiently. I am very proud of the work the Division has done to make our processes run more smoothly for our customers.
Lastly, as tax day approaches, I want to remind Florida consumers to hire only licensed CPAs when they need accounting services. Licensed professionals are held to professional standards that other tax preparers may not be held to. We co-sponsored a very successful CPA student video contest this year with the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA), and when you have a few minutes, I encourage all of you to visit our YouTube page to watch the videos. The students did a great job sharing the message to hire only a licensed CPA for your accounting needs!
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