The real estate business is tough right now especially in Florida, but I definately recommend getting your real estate license as it will turn around because Florida is still one of the best places in the world to live, even if you only use it when your family and friends buy or sell it's definately worth having.
Don't listen to a lot of these people on the Internet regarding Agents & Realtors. Most of these Agent Bashers are usually just disgruntled renters who were priced out of the market and have absolutely no clue how a real estate transaction works. They make statements that are job is so easy and that we're overpaid but yet none of them try to get the license to make "the e********y", makes NO SENSE to me what so ever.
I'm a Real Estate Broker and have only been doing this for about 3 years now and just started my own company, but here's what I would do if I were you.
Your going to need required education. I HIGHLY recommend http://www.goldcoastschools.com/
if you can physically go to any of there classrooms. There cram courses are the best. I passed all my exams on the first try with ease when people I worked for and with had to take their exam 4-5 times, crazy!
I would recommend starting with a larger company just to obtain there training. Century 21 and Coldwell Banker are great.
Now this is something you need to watch out for. Do not sign up with a company who tries to put in a "NON or NO COMPETE" clause in your independant contractors agreement. If you see a "NON COMPETE" clause in there DO NOT SIGN IT or tell them you will NOT sign a NON COMPETE. Because then your stuck working for them forever or have to move 60 miles away to work if you ever want to leave. I think NON COMPETES in real estate should be illegal because your an "Independant Contractor" by definition.
Ok now after you received your training and have done a couple of deals from start to finish, you then should try to find another Broker that's willing to pay you a higher commission. I recommend going to a 100?ommission type Broker where you only pay a per transaction fee, but if you're comforable where your at and making good money then stick with them, but the big companies have a lot of B.S. fees in my opinion that Agents should not have to pay.
Now you have to work under a Real Estate Broker(s) or Developer for one year, but after one year, you then are eligible to take the schooling and the state test to become a licensed Real Estate Broker, again I would recommend Gold Coast. I've obtained my Mortgage Brokers license, Real Estate Agent License, and Real Estate Brokers license through them and all with ease. I'm also going for my General Contractors license in October.
Now as for good books or information. After you get your license, Tom Hopkins has some great sales books. I've read almost all the real estate boks on the market and attended a lot of seminars in the past 3 years and Tom Hopkins is the only Book I listen to over and over again because it's so good. He has a 3 disc set available on amazon.
Sorry for the novel, but I did want you to have some knowledge I wish I had when I started. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me anytime.
good luck to you, SELL2K