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Become A Broker

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Working As A Broker

  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $128,464

    Average Salary

What Does A Broker Do

Real estate brokers and sales agents help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. Although brokers and agents do similar work, brokers are licensed to manage their own real estate businesses. Sales agents must work with a real estate broker.

Duties

Real estate brokers and sales agents typically do the following:

  • Solicit potential clients to buy, sell, and rent properties
  • Advise clients on prices, mortgages, market conditions, and related information
  • Compare properties to determine a competitive market price
  • Generate lists of properties for sale, including details such as location and features
  • Promote properties through advertisements, open houses, and listing services
  • Take prospective buyers or renters to see properties
  • Present purchase offers to sellers for consideration
  • Mediate negotiations between buyer and seller
  • Ensure that all terms of purchase contracts are met
  • Prepare documents, such as loyalty contracts, purchase agreements, and deeds

Because of the complexity of buying or selling a home or commercial property, people often seek help from real estate brokers and sales agents.

Most real estate brokers and sales agents sell residential property. Others sell commercial property, and a small number sell industrial, agricultural, or other types of real estate.

Brokers and agents can represent either the buyer or the seller in a transaction. Buyers’ brokers and agents meet with clients to understand what they are looking for in a property and how much they can afford. Sellers’ brokers and agents meet with clients to help them decide how much to ask for and to convince them that the agent or broker can find them a qualified buyer.

Real estate brokers and sales agents must be knowledgeable about the real estate market in their area. To match properties to clients’ needs, they should be familiar with local communities, including knowing the crime information and the proximity to schools and shopping. Brokers and agents also must stay current on financing options; government programs; types of available mortgages; and real estate, zoning, and fair housing laws. 

Real estate brokers are licensed to manage their own businesses. As independent businesspeople, brokers often sell real estate owned by others. In addition to helping clients buy and sell properties, they may help rent or manage properties for a fee. Many operate a real estate office, handling business details and overseeing the work of sales agents.

Real estate sales agents must work with a broker. Sales agents often work for brokers on a contract basis, earning a portion of the commission from each property they sell.

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How To Become A Broker

Real estate brokers and sales agents need at least a high school diploma. Both brokers and sales agents must be licensed. To become licensed, candidates typically must complete a number of real estate courses and pass a licensing exam. 

Education

Real estate brokers and sales agents must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Although most brokers and agents must take state-accredited prelicensing courses to become licensed, some states may waive this requirement if the candidate has taken college courses in real estate. 

As the real estate market becomes more competitive and complex, some employers are preferring to hire candidates with college courses or a college degree. Some community colleges, colleges, and universities offer courses in real estate. Some offer associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs in real estate, and many others offer certificate programs. Courses in finance, business administration, economics, and law also can be useful.

Brokers intending to open their own company often take business courses, such as marketing and accounting. 

In addition to offering prelicensing courses, many real estate associations have courses and professional development programs for both beginners and experienced agents. These courses cover a variety of topics, such as real estate fundamentals, real estate law, and mortgage financing.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

In all states and the District of Columbia, real estate brokers and sales agents must be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, but most have similar basic requirements:

Candidates must:

  • be 18 years old
  • complete a number of real estate courses
  • pass an exam

Some states have additional requirements, such as passing a background check. Licenses typically are not transferable among states. However, some states have reciprocity agreements and will accept licenses issued by some other states. 

To obtain a broker’s license, individuals generally need 1 to 3 years of experience as a licensed sales agent. They also must take additional formal training courses. In some states, a bachelor’s degree may be substituted in place of some experience or training requirements. 

State licenses typically must be renewed every 2 to 4 years. In most states, brokers and agents must complete continuing education courses to renew their license. To verify exact licensing requirements, prospective brokers and agents should contact the real estate licensing commission of the state in which they wish to work.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

To get a broker’s license in most states, real estate brokers must have experience working as a licensed real estate sales agent. Requirements vary by state, but most require 1 to 3 years of experience. 

Training

Real estate sales agents improve their skills through practice and repetition. Because of the sales environment and the complexity of real estate deals, new agents typically observe and work closely with more senior agents. In addition, some of the larger real estate companies provide formal classroom training for new agents as a way to gain knowledge and experience, while others provide training to employees studying for their real estate licensing exam.

Advancement

Sales agents who earn their broker’s license may open their own offices. 

Important Qualities

Business skills. Because most brokers are self-employed, they must manage every aspect of their business. This task includes reaching out to prospective clients, handling their finances, and advertising their services.

Interpersonal skills. Strong interpersonal skills are essential for real estate brokers and sales agents, because they spend much of their time interacting with clients and customers. To attract and keep clients, they must be pleasant, enthusiastic, and trustworthy. 

Organizational skills. Real estate brokers and sales agents must be able to work independently, managing their own time and organizing, planning, and prioritizing their work.

Problem-solving skills. Real estate brokers and sales agents need to be able to quickly (sometimes immediately) address concerns clients or potential customers may have with a property. They also mediate negotiations between seller and buyer.

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Broker Jobs

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Broker Career Paths

Broker
Real Estate Broker Real Estate Manager
Acquisitions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Regional Sales Manager
Business Development Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Property Manager
Commercial Property Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Property Manager
Director Of Property Management
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Support Specialist Benefit Specialist
Employee Benefits Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Inside Sales Representative Sales Consultant Internet Sales Manager
Finance And Insurance Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Customer Care Representative Inside Sales Representative
Inside Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Vice President Finance Advisor Investment Analyst
Investments Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Leasing Consultant
Leasing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Analyst Underwriter Asset Manager
Manager, Asset Management
10 Yearsyrs
Sales Assistant Service Representative Service Supervisor
Manager, Member Services
6 Yearsyrs
Managing Partner Construction Manager Regional Project Manager
National Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Finance Advisor Operations Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Information Technology Project Manager Estimator Project Manager
Owner/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Realtor Real Estate Broker
Real Estate Management Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Operations Manager Property Manager
Regional Property Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Property Manager Portfolio Manager
Senior Portfolio Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Office Manager Property Manager
Senior Property Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Account Executive
Senior Sales Executive
8 Yearsyrs
Finance Advisor Finance Analyst Account Manager
Territory Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Broker?

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Do you work as a Broker?

Broker Demographics

Gender

Male

61.1%

Female

36.5%

Unknown

2.4%
Ethnicity

White

60.6%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

8.7%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.9%

French

8.6%

Portuguese

4.8%

German

4.6%

Mandarin

4.4%

Chinese

4.4%

Italian

2.9%

Cantonese

2.2%

Russian

2.0%

Carrier

1.8%

Japanese

1.8%

Korean

1.5%

Arabic

1.1%

Hindi

0.9%

Dutch

0.9%

Thai

0.9%

Hebrew

0.7%

Filipino

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Turkish

0.4%
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Broker Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.2%

Arizona State University

7.2%

New York University

6.3%

Northeastern University

5.8%

Texas Tech University

5.0%

University of Arizona

4.5%

Michigan State University

4.5%

Ashford University

4.5%

Georgia State University

4.5%

University of Texas at Austin

4.3%

Temple University

4.2%

University of Florida

4.2%

Syracuse University

4.0%

Florida State University

3.8%

Illinois State University

3.7%

University of Iowa

3.7%

DePaul University

3.7%

University of Georgia

3.7%

Austin Community College

3.7%

University of Denver

3.7%
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Majors

Business

32.6%

Finance

9.8%

Real Estate

6.3%

Marketing

5.7%

Accounting

5.3%

Psychology

4.7%

Management

4.6%

Communication

4.2%

Economics

3.7%

Political Science

3.6%

Computer Science

3.1%

Law

2.2%

Education

2.2%

Criminal Justice

2.1%

English

2.0%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Health Care Administration

1.6%

General Studies

1.6%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.5%

Human Resources Management

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.3%

Other

25.0%

Masters

15.5%

Associate

7.4%

Certificate

3.4%

Doctorate

2.1%

License

1.7%

Diploma

0.8%
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Real Broker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Broker, Emerging Market FX Options GFI Securities LLC New York, NY Apr 24, 2015 $350,000
Interest Rate Swaps Broker Tradition (North America) Inc. New York, NY May 24, 2013 $350,000
Senior Broker, Emerging Market FX Options GFI Securities LLC New York, NY Jul 27, 2015 $350,000
Broker Tullett Prebon (Americas) Holdings Inc. Jersey City, NJ Sep 15, 2013 $300,000
Broker Tullett Prebon (Americas) Holdings Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jun 11, 2014 $300,000
Broker Tullett Prebon (Americas) Holdings Inc. Jersey City, NJ Apr 02, 2014 $300,000
Equity Derivatives Broker BGC Partners Inc. New York, NY Jun 20, 2016 $286,000
Broker Willis North America Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2014 $270,000
Financial Broker-NDF and Rate Derivatives Latin America BGC Partners Inc. Chicago, IL Apr 15, 2016 $270,000
Broker Willis North America Inc. New York, NY Aug 01, 2014 $270,000
Broker Tullett Prebon (Americas) Holdings Inc. Jersey City, NJ Mar 16, 2015 $270,000
Broker Tullett Prebon (Americas) Holdings Inc. Jersey City, NJ Aug 31, 2015 $270,000
Broker Tullett Prebon (Americas) Holdings Inc. Jersey City, NJ May 18, 2016 $270,000
Broker, Latam Ndfs ICAP Capital Markets LLC Jersey City, NJ Sep 17, 2014 $195,000
FAR East Broker ICAP Capital Markets LLC Jersey City, NJ Oct 01, 2013 $180,000 -
$350,000
Shipbroker Smith-O'Hara Enterprises DBA Netco Houston, TX Nov 27, 2015 $178,402
Shipbroker Smith-O'Hara Enterprises, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 16, 2015 $178,402
Broker/Fsa Consultant Laidlaw & Company (Uk) Ltd New York, NY Jun 07, 2016 $178,235
Broker/FCA Consult Laidlaw & Company (Uk) Ltd. New York, NY Aug 16, 2016 $178,235
Broker, Mexican Interest Rate Swaps ICAP Capital Markets LLC Jersey City, NJ Sep 07, 2013 $177,882
Broker, Spot Foreign Exchange Tullett Prebon (Americas) Holdings Inc. Jersey City, NJ Oct 01, 2014 $175,000
Foreign Exchange Broker Enlace New York, Inc. New York, NY Oct 05, 2013 $106,704 -
$180,000
Broker II Guy Carpenter & Company LLC Morristown, NJ Aug 28, 2015 $104,000 -
$122,000
Broker Tullett Prebon (Americas) Holdings Inc. Jersey City, NJ Dec 02, 2013 $100,000
Broker Tullett Prebon (Americas) Holdings Inc. Jersey City, NJ Mar 23, 2014 $100,000
Broker Stormharbour Partners LP New York, NY Jul 01, 2013 $100,000
Derivatives Broker INTL Fcstone Inc. New York, NY Sep 15, 2016 $95,000 -
$115,000
Broker Tullett Prebon (Americas) Holdings Inc. Jersey City, NJ Mar 06, 2013 $90,000

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Top Skills for A Broker

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  1. Real Estate
  2. Financial Institutions
  3. Financial Products
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Broker Owner of an independent real estate company specializing in residential investment property.
  • Performed Institutional Equity Sales advising portfolio managers and analysts of large financial institutions regarding stocks fitting individual fund investment philosophy.
  • Demonstrated and recognized for outstanding ability to effectively market Putnam's financial products.
  • Challenged with originating new business with new clients and expanding the Capital Markets transactions with the Corporate Bank's clients.
  • Analyzed call volume and average call time to monitor Customer Service Representative performance and productivity.

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Top 10 Best States for Brokers

  1. Tennessee
  2. Texas
  3. Connecticut
  4. Virginia
  5. New York
  6. Nevada
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Indiana
  9. Alaska
  10. Rhode Island
  • (28 jobs)
  • (108 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (62 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)

Top Broker Employers

Jobs From Top Broker Employers

Broker Videos

Day Trader Documentary - A day in the life of a multimillionaire forex trader | FX Viper Part 1

What Does a Mortgage Broker Do?

Career Advice on becoming an Insurance Broker by Samantha B (Full Version)

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