Election 2016’s Presidential Election Cost and Angry Taxpayer

You love Trump or you hate Trump.¬† I don’t seem to see many moderate views of the presidency this year, but there is an excessive coverage of the “so called” Russian interference in the election.¬† ¬†The amount in question appears to be about $100,000, with 56% of the money spent after voting day.¬† This means the actual dollars spent during the election, when an outcome could actually change, is about $44,000!¬† Of that $44,000, how much is purely pro-Trump, apparently the only concerning part of an unspecified Russian buying advertising?

The nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics estimates spending on the Clinton-Trump contest at more than $2.65 billion, actually down a bit from $2.76 billion in 2012 when Democratic incumbent Barack Obama defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney.   Trump, a real estate tycoon, bought fewer ads than many experts predicted because he benefited from huge amounts of free press.

Source: Election 2016’s price tag: $6.8 billion – CBS News

Spending so low as a percentage, it isn’t visible on my graph!

The odd part of the $44,000 is that a part of that money was actually meant to support Black Lives Matter in Ferguson and Baltimore.¬† My thoughts are that BLM is probably not pro-Trump. I would take two thoughts from the numbers and kinds of ads purchased.¬† Russian ads were meant to create chaos and waste in our country.¬† We are spending how much on the investigation of $44000 in Russian Ads?¬† Does anyone think we are making anything better by spending tax money on the issue?¬† I don’t think we should allow foreign countries to disrupt our elections, but I also think it is beyond stupidity to waste many, many, many times the cost of the ads in question.¬† The point of the ads was to generate disruption, IMHO, and they were, apparently, very effective.¬† Influencing the election with $44000 was, if you consider the .0016% spending, just not possible. The expense and time congress is spending on the issue is significant.¬† Our government is not moving forward and is over-reacting to a tiny expenditure, meant to do exactly what is happening, in my opinion.

Our country is wasting time doing something unproductive, Congress is increasingly dysfunctional and our tax money is being wasted.¬† I’d like to see a health care solution, among other things.¬† So many real problems and we’re spending time investigating something likely intended to create division?¬† I’d say that $44,000 was the most effective bit of advertising in history, but it had a statistically infinitesimal impact on the actual election result.

Signs of an Illegal Rental

If you rent, short or long-term, did you ever wonder if you were illegally renting?¬† ¬†Reading through an article on illegally permitted rental property, I began to think about just how many properties might be illegal on Amelia Island.¬† ¬†A few I’ve experienced or heard of in the past are included below, along with some of the reasons you might choose to avoid the “illegal” route as a tenant or owner.¬† ¬†¬†Rentals or any occupied building is regulated to insure public safety and the safety of anyone providing a service to the resident.¬† Consider a residential fire.¬† ¬†Can the residents be evacuated safely and can the police or fire department safely enter and exit the building?

Woodford 3/4 in. x 3/4 in. Brass Add-On Hose Connection Vacuum Breaker

Outside Spigot Backflow Preventer from Home Depot Source: www.homedepot.com 10/14/17


Legal Long Term Rental or Home

Warning signs of an illegal rental aren’t always obvious.¬† I’ve seen garages with interior wall conversions, a pretty good bet you may be dealing with an illegal partitioning, but far more likely when the door still opens.¬† ¬†Commercial space offered as either residential or commercial might be a sign.¬† Changing use usually means a change to match current code.¬† ¬†Storage buildings or buildings like a detached garage with shared power might be a sign.¬† Is there a separate electric meter?¬† ¬†Do you see permits for daily or weekly rental?¬† These should be visible in city limits, but all short-term rentals should have posted permits, exit diagrams, emergency lighting and backflow preventers.¬† If you don’t notice a few of these, the rental might not be legal.

Are you dealing with the actual owner of the property or their agent?  I hate to think about fraud, but it is common.   Make sure you have some proof the person offering to rent is actually the owner.  Renting remotely, be careful to check for either a company website and licensing or read the feedback if using a site like VRBO.

Everyone wants to rent or buy a safe home, but what happens when a portion of a home is converted into a second “illegal to rent” space?¬† ¬† Thinking about building code, fire walls, separately wired units, window and exit openings and proper access are all required for a reason.¬† I can think of one property with single family zoning and, at one time, 4 to 6 illegal units.¬† The residents were walking up an illegal stairway, to access an unpermitted addition in an attic storage area.¬† ¬†I doubt the property had firewalls, more than one electric meter or even adequate sanitation systems.

Resort rentals are another thought.¬† While it is legal to rent short-term inside city limits, a permit and either the proper zoning or a grandfathered property is required.¬† Buying a rental property based on short-term income can be unpleasant if the property isn’t actually legally permitted for short-term rentals.¬† ¬†The same can be said for long-term rentals or seasonal rentals of more than 30 days.¬† If the units fall short in some way, the income you planned to use for a loan or as investment income, might not be so stable.

Converted commercial space or grandfathered spaces illegally converted are a little less common, but do exist.¬† I can think of one space used as a restaurant, but illegally rented as residential space for some time.¬† The property was sold and completely remodeled a short time later, but the owner was taking a dangerous risk The downstairs pub was actually using power from the upstairs apartment.¬† ¬†Paying the much higher bill finally, as I understand, drew attention to the intermingled wiring and confused billing.¬† ¬†Think about liability for the wiring, insurance, signing a lease for an illegal use…so many risks for an owner!

Alachua Street Opening Approved and Long-Awaited CRA Domino…falls into place…

Something you notice immediately, when looking at an aerial view of Fernandina’s waterfront, is the success of the area south of Centre and the under-development of the area to the north.¬† ¬†Why?¬† Well, the most obvious reason is access.¬† Northward, the access to the water and traffic circulation are forced past an industrial and working waterfront area.¬† While this, in itself, might seem like a good thing, the photo below shows years of neglect and underutilized property..¬† Consider the tax revenue from buildings constructed to take advantage of the view.¬† There have been multiple projects planned, including a hotel planned for the right side of this picture, in my opinion, sidelined partially because of a delay in Alachua‚Äôs opening.¬† ¬†Cost is always a consideration, but having access and good traffic flow through Alachua is likely the final piece of the puzzle to move the CRA forward and creat tax increases allowing for waterfront improvements.¬† ¬†Moving the marina north to reach deeper water, eliminating the silting issue, opening Alachua and improving the infrastructure are all pieces of the puzzle for investors and developers, interested in our waterfront.


Fernandina Beach City Manager Dale Martin has released the following letter from FDOT dated October 9, 2017:

Dear Mr. Martin,

I am writing on behalf of the Florida Department of Transportation (Department) regarding the opening of the highway-railroad at-grade crossing at Alachua Street in Fernandina Beach. It is the understanding of the Department that the City of Fernandina Beach, First Coast Railroad and the Department have agreed in principle to open the rail crossing at Alachua Street in Fernandina Beach upon the satisfaction of certain conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to, the acceptance of drawings for the planned crossing by the Department, the City of Fernandina Beach and First Coast Railroad. Upon acceptance of the drawings by all the parties, the Parties shall enter into a formal stipulation to opening the crossing at Alachua Street in Fernandina Beach. The opening of the crossing at Alachua Street will remain subject to the satisfaction of any other applicable regulatory conditions.


Laura Regalado

Florida Department of Transportation

Source: Fernandina Observer https://fernandinaobserver.com/2017/10/11/fdot-approves-opening-of-alachua-rail-crossing/  10/13/17


I see the changes as essential to the CRA and, combining this change with the release of funds for the marina, expansion of the marina and change to density downtown, we will see tax revenues from previously vacant or very underdeveloped structures.¬† When you change a vacant property like the Goodsell/Front Street Property, LLC, also known as the Standard Marine property, at the corner of Alachua and 2nd, into a highest and best use development piece, tax revenues skyrocket.¬† This one parcel could go from a taxable value of about $1.6 million to something 10 times higher.¬† 2016 taxes on this piece, vacant and nearly unused for years, was $32,298.83.¬† We could easily see $200,000 in additional annual tax revenue, before considering the hotel site on the other corner.¬† ¬†Think about the residential use and vitality added to downtown businesses.¬† ¬† Considering funding for front street improvements, we’re at the verge of seeing a very, very successful CRA!


1980’s Fernandina Waterfront

Years ago, this is what the waterfront looked like at the foot of Center Street.  Things always change.   Looking for a way to insure a waterfront continues to benefit the rest of the city is important.  Using this resource as an economic driver and to improve other businesses is far more desirable than vacant land with a million dollar view.


Master plans are potential visions…often an incentive to investment.

Tax Cuts in the Forest…..

If every tree in the forest were 2 feet shorter, would you notice?¬† I’m reading an article on tax reform and the proposed cuts, including a doubling of the standard deduction, some claim will curb the incentive to purchase a home, leading to a “de facto tax increase on homeowners” according to the National Association of REALTORS¬ģ.¬† I’m not so sure I agree with this.¬† The changes being proposed encourage growth in parts of the economy, going far beyond a single tax cut or change in deduction.¬† Listening to the change proposed to the corporate tax rate and the reasoning, I can see an increase in jobs and vigor in the economy, leading to an increase in real estate value, if not home ownership.¬† ¬†IMG_9104

Where is the issue with the change?¬† I can see an issue as lobbyists make efforts to preserve bits and pieces of the old tax code.¬† The change is dramatic enough, it really is equivalent to making every tree in the forest taller or shorter…if you’re considering the reduction.¬† ¬†“A rising tide lifts all boats” applies to the way I would see this working for the US economy and, I hope, the real estate market.

What about the goal of homeownership?¬† In the past, everyone assumed ownership was the only path possible.¬† Everyone renting, must want to buy.¬† Everyone buying, must want to buy another home.¬† ¬†Everyone should want this…..well….just because.¬† ¬†Ownership stabilizes the market and the vested interest is supposed to be a good thing.¬† What happened when lending standards became weaker?¬† Some of the reason had to do with the promote home ownership agenda.¬† ¬†I pre-qualify buyers or take enough time to be sure a buyer can buy, but should everyone buy?¬† ¬†If you match the ratio, but tell me about a drastic life change in the coming year or a reduction in potential income or two vehicles you plan to replace, that ratio might not mean as much.¬† ¬†If down-payments drop to zero or very low levels, just how much stability is being created?¬† Jobs become the stabilizing factor, not equity.¬† ¬†By equity, I mean money a buyer invests in a property creating a financial disincentive to default on a loan or reduce the price during a stressful period.¬† ¬† I’m not so sure we should artificially incentivize any ownership before a buyer is ready for the responsibility.¬† ¬†There is a snowballing cost to fighting the natural path of a free market.¬† ¬†Removing the low down-payment loans becomes difficult, once they exist.¬† ¬†Changing the incentives becomes difficult, when you consider all the owners with low equity will eventually hope to sell.¬† ¬† When do you make a change?¬† ¬†When the market might make it possible with growth or when the market is at an all-time low?


Ethics and Real Estate….Not “Turtles all the way down….”

“Always put your client first.”

Not “Turtles all the way down…”

In the biggest transactions most of us will see in a lifetime, consideration of fairness does not mean sacrificing the ability to negotiate or market a property.¬† ¬†Fairness insures the client comes first.¬† Fairness insures agents working together are on the same page.¬† Having common guidelines is helpful, but it also encourages consideration of behavior.¬† ¬†I take great pride in subscribing to the standards in the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice followed by REALTORS¬ģ.¬† Learning to do business fairly, paying commissions when offered, presenting offers in a timely fashion, protecting the interests of a client…all are governed by the behaviors and standards laid out in our code of ethics.

When in doubt, consider how it might appear from the perspective of the other party.¬† Are you working with an owner, unfamiliar with the process or standard way of proceeding in a real estate transaction?¬† ¬†Does the other agent feel an offer was presented and were you able to communicate this in a timely fasion?¬† ¬†Having a written standard creates clear professional guidelines.¬† Negotiation doesn’t suffer and professionalism increases as you refer to basic guidelines meant to improve the process.

REALTOR Code of Ethic‚Äôs 2017¬†The Code of Ethics establishes the foundation on how REALTORS¬ģ are to operate as professionals in the Real Estate Industry. Not every Real Estate Professional is a REALTOR¬ģ; only those who adhere to the 17 Articles of the Code of Ethics which defines a higher standard of professionalism and behavior in three categories: Duties to Customers and Clients, Duties to the Public, and Duties to other REALTORS¬ģ. By becoming a REALTOR¬ģ, members agree to the duties and responsibilities outlined in the Standards of Practice for each of the 17 Articles, and are subject to be sanctioned if found to be in violation of any article.

Source: Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of NAR | SRCAR¬ģ

Why does Atlanta love Fernandina? (…Amelia Island)

The TDC does a wonderful job promoting Amelia Island, including Fernandina Beach, the town covering most of the northern half of Amelia.  Why someone might choose a vacation location is often the same reason we seem to be unusually popular with Atlanta.


(Source: Amelia Island Tourist Development Council www.ameliaislandtdc.com 10/8/17)

Lifestyle is one way to think about the island, but what about the small things you might miss in that “Lifestyle” description?¬† ¬† Atlanta and Amelia Island are connected by airports.¬† Moving from one city to another can be an easy commute, but we also have the local airport on the island.¬† Thinking about the way we work, having easy access to great beaches and recreation is important.¬† What about the time it takes?

Atlanta, or any major city, has one thing we’ll never have in Fernandina.¬† Space and population.¬† We’re limited by the size of the island, but that limit means it takes very little time to reach the beach, your favorite restaurant, the gym or….well… anything.¬† I regularly drive home for a healthy lunch and quick trip to the gym.¬† Living less than 5 minutes from my office, I can fit in laps in a pool, an hour of circuit training or time to take the dog for a walk.¬† ¬†We live in a compressed space, with everything good squeezed into convenient distances.

Last night, we met friends over dinner.¬† The trip to the restaurant took less than 5 minutes.¬† We parked about 200 feet from the front door in free public parking.¬† Afterward, we spent some time enjoying Center Street and more conversation with neighbors.¬† ¬†The town and island offers something unique.¬† We’re small enough to have community, but diverse enough to have something for everyone.¬† We ran into a couple last week, with reservations and tickets to a local commuinty theatre.¬† ¬†The things I sometimes take for granted, are unique to someone from a distance challenged location.¬† The video above, from the AITDC, underscores the sheer variety available here.

What is the most common advice I offer to all prospective homeowners?¬† Pick a location close to work, play or both.¬† Time can’t be replaced, even if you ignore the cost of gas or use of a vehicle, you can enjoy vacation hours every day…365 days a year.¬† Longer commutes or distance between the things you need, mean you’re being robbed of time daily.¬† Choosing carefully is a part of location, but can become more important if your household is bigger.¬† The more people, the more often the commutes for work, school, play, shopping or anything, can begin to erode any free time remaining.¬† ¬† Why do I think Atlanta loves Fernandina?¬† ¬†Assuming work can be remote or relocation is possible, Fernandina gives every resident something irreplaceable.¬† ¬†Time!

Proximity, Aggregation and Scarcity

Proximity to Schools, Beaches, Dining, Events and Employment…..

I had a conversation with a client earlier and it made me think about some of the ways to consider value.¬† Appraisers try to attach value and justify the numbers a local market will support for a particular property.¬† Typically, most appraisers will use income, comparable sales or the cost to reproduce the building on a site.¬† Far from simple, appraisal does have limits.¬† An appraiser won’t always think of aggregation of a nearby site.¬† They do look at proximity and relative scarcity, but creatively valuing a site or property is not their job.¬† ¬†Their job is not to considering how to creatively develop a site or performing a feasibility study.

What does proximity mean to me?¬† Several factors make proximity worth considering.¬† Selling quickly and at a good price means being surrounded by homes or properties with similar value.¬† Locations with deterioration nearby or much lesser properties can sabotage marketing efforts and mean pricing at a premium is impossible.¬† Beyond this, proximity can mean proximity to shopping, schools, utilities or other development.¬† I’m working on several sites with nearby development.¬† Water or sewer is coming closer, but I also see potential interest as new construction or revitalization moves closer.¬† ¬† Knowing changes coming to an area makes a huge difference in buyer perception.¬† ¬†If you want marketing material, sometimes just the existence of change or recent permitting is attractive.

Aggregation is another possibility.¬† One listing is worth about the same with or without an adjacent parcel, but the adjacent piece may become available and would be much more valuable with the property I have listed.¬† Shifting retention or just adding to the scale of a development can create economy or allow use of the lease valuable portion of land for entry and more valuable parcels in an area with potential for premium prices.¬† I’m thinking about a specific parcel and how it might benefit an adjacent piece, but recent talk of lot combinations at a City of Fernandina Beach meeting made me think.¬† Combing or dividing property is about finding the best way to use an asset.¬† ¬†As long as an owner follows local requirements, it makes sense to allow the use.

Scarcity is something we are all considering now.¬† ¬†With far fewer properties and far less time on the market, 2017 is, at least based on the reduced inventory, a seller’s market.¬† ¬† Scarcity can drive pricing and reduce negotiability, but what else changes?¬† ¬† Price ranges for a finished product can change, when building sites are scarce.¬† Less prime locations can become a possibility.¬† ¬†Sometimes, as sites become less available, the view of the market changes entirely.¬† ¬†We’re seeing warehouses considered for residential development and a shift in areas like 8th Street and Front Street.

Fernandina is a kind of last bite community for Florida.¬† While the rest of the state developed and attracted tourism, we were relatively quiet until the 70’s.¬† Our tourism changed with Amelia Island Plantation, now Omni, in my opinion.¬† ¬†The Ritz and Summer Beach changed the landscape again and we’re suddenly benefitting by being a late bloomer.¬† The quality of development and redevelopment is higher and the population is unique.¬† We enjoy a live/work lifestyle on the island and attract a variety of residents to work and retire, while much of the state seems to be a retirement “OR” tourism population.

FBCC to allow lot combination Variance Requests for Job Opportunity Areas

This is good government! Avoiding a taking of property rights, seeking compromise and looking for fair treatment is something we all should support.  This was an excellent step toward reasonable.  The job opportunity areas along the beach are small and many lots could only be reasonably used if combined with adjacent property.  Particularly in the small commercial areas along South Fletcher, site requirements make using platted individual lots a difficult hurdle.

During commission discussion, Poynter said that he had always been in favor of the ordinance to allow property owners in the Job Opportunity Areas to request a variance. He believed that to not allow them to even make the request seemed like a taking of private property owners’ rights, since in other areas of the city, property owners can request such variances.

Source: (1) FBCC votes 5-0 to allow lot combination variance requests for Job Opportunity Area property owners; FBCC to hear those variance requests ‚ÄĻ http://fernandinaobserver.com ‚ÄĻ Reader ‚ÄĒ WordPress.com

We should always look for fairness and ways to insure equal treatment.  Private property rights mean protecting your ownership and control of your own property.   The Fernandina Beach City Commission deserves credit for finding a reasonable compromise.

Job Opportunity Areas in Fernandina Beach Comp Plan Economic Element  Economic Development Element 9/24/2017

Easy Projects and First Impressions


I don’t like to recommend costly repair or improvements, unless absolutely necessary. ¬†If you talk with the average owner, they are usually thinking of the next home, not improvements to the home they hope to sell. ¬†That said, I will recommend anything I feel will be worth the effort and cost. ¬† ¬†Simple projects can yield big results.

The front door is often the first impression and a great place to add some effort.  Fresh paint and a darker color to bring focus to the entry is often dramatic.   I prefer dark or black front doors with a fresh semi-premium lockset.   Make sure the lockset is in good working condition, locks smoothly and is properly trimmed with paint.   Use common sense, but if your entry needs help, the door is often a good first step.

What about he steps and walk? ¬† In our last home, we invested in textured concrete stain with a texture additive. ¬†Painting the concrete walk entry area and driveway was well worth the dramatic change in appearance. ¬† Again, use some common sense and read the manufacturer’s instructions, but this is far easier than you might think.


Planted beds are common, but most homeowners don’t know how to mulch beds. ¬† A few hours with mulch and a shovel can make a huge difference. ¬†Most plants grow. ¬†Obvious, but not so obvious to owners unwilling to remove plants as they outgrow the space. ¬† Updating the mulch, removing dirt and replacing oversized plants can make the entry look fresh and current.

10378544_10152516770824210_802429027149608418_n_thumb.jpgWood rot repair isn’t romantic, but I usually walk ¬†property and suggest repair and inspection of anything with a visible appearance of deterioration. ¬† Termites or wood damage can delay a sale or financing. ¬†Knowing first and taking care of the repair or treatment first is far better, in my opinion. ¬†¬†Most of the contracts I use contain either an inspection period or a right to withdraw of some kind. ¬† Taking care of the obvious problems before selling will reduce the chances of a failed contract and encourages a better offer from potential buyers.


iPhones, Damage from Hurricane Irma, Housing Supply, Unpaid Commissions and Licensing

I’m up early, as usual, thinking.   There are changes coming to the industry and I’m thinking about the coming few years.  What do I want to see and what am I planning?

The supply of homes is low, compared to licensed agents.  I think inventory is at the lowest level I’ve seen in the last 30 years.  By low, I mean low compared to the number of buyers and low compared to the number of agents hoping to make a sale.   This isn’t necessarily good for an owner.  If selling, what choices are available?  New construction is climbing and, while builders appear to be making record profits, the cost of materials and labor shortages loom.   What will happen in the coming few months?  Consider the recent hurricanes.  Harvey and Irma created a massive need for construction workers and materials in multiple states.  We may be facing a greater inventory crisis in 2018, but we may also be facing a change to the tax code, with possible elimination of the mortgage write-off.

The new iPhones are out and I’m watching something called ARKit , offering an improvement in virtual or augmented reality.   Think about staging or remodelling.  Landscapers or agents could place changes on an app, potentially changing the way we market homes.  I like to paint a picture of what I think could be done with a property. This is becoming easier….a lot easier!  Houzz a design and renovation network/community released a new version of View in My Room 3D.  This offers a catalog of 500,000 virtual images to stage or plan.    Every piece of technology we buy seems to lead toward augmented reality in daily life.


Palms and debris demolished some docks during Hurricane Irma in 2017

Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey will have an impact locally.  The shortage of labor and material will, perhaps, change the market in 2018, with damage patterns unique to each storm.  I recently surveyed an area with damage from Hurricane Matthew last year.  Several undamaged docks or docks not completely destroyed, where hit hard by Irma.  The direction, tide and wind patterns all change with each event.   While this isn’t a normal occurrence, the size of the storm and impact to Florida is something I’m watching.  In my opinion, labor, material costs and inventory will be impacted in 2018.    Add a possible change to the tax code.  I see some uncertainty in 2018 and 2019, at least in new construction.


I’m continuing to use some social media marketing.  Social media is just a virtual space for anything you make it and what I think of as “real life” social media, bleeds into influence with marketing on social media.  The separation isn’t always easily maintained and connections or online presence doesn’t always equal a great marketer.  Social media is a little like choosing friends wisely in the real world.  If you open the door to anyone, life becomes a little more difficult.   The PRESENCE you create and the way you present yourself online, have a lot to do with what you might be able to do with the influence.  While I like connection and influence, I choose carefully.     I curate several groups and try to choose connections carefully.   If I see negative or unprofessional behavior from a “friend” or connection, they quietly disappear.   I also curate or change the way I spend time online.  In the last few years, I’ve been using a handful of platforms, but I also change, depending on how that particular online space is perceived.   Social can almost take on a personality,  with Facebook an equivalent to a family or class reunion and LinkedIn closer to a professional networking group.  The groups change and the population using the groups changes over time.  Choosing might mean rethinking how I use a certain space or choosing whether to put any effort into the space at all.

Unpaid commissions…..this is on my mind today.  When would you pursue the collection of a fee, when you were definitely the procuring cause of a sale? The answer isn’t always simple.  Without going into any details, I’m considering how to handle a sale made through my efforts and during a listing period.   The frustration in pursuing a fee as a broker, is in judging whether your cost to collect will outweigh the chances of actually collecting.  While I may be standing on the right side of the law and am covered by an agreement, a truly unethical client might actually not be worth pursuing.  Is the client connected to local networks and well-regarded publicly?  If I won an action to recover a fee, could I actually collect or recover the lost court costs?  Will I pay a secondary cost if the client resents being caught?

Licensing is on my mind this morning.  I read an article on a new “flat rate” commission structure from a european franchise.   Flat fees aren’t new, but in a market with far too many agents to afford opportunity for all, rates drop or agents choose another profession.  In the future, I would love to see a much higher bar for the profession.   Ideally, I’d like to see national licensing for real estate, equivalent to the Mortgage Loan Originator licensing.  I’d also like to see added required knowledge in construction, contract law and finance.   It would be simple to add material to the broker and salesperson licensing, but why not make the courses similar?  In other words, require a full broker’s course for every new licensee and only allow them to apply to be a broker after a set level of experience and number of verified transactions.