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Real Estate Broker Careers

The job of a real estate broker involves property management and marketing. He works with clients to buy, sell and rent real estate properties. He also finds clients by promoting the brand, networking, advertising, and offering services to prospective parties.

The broker serves as an intermediary between buyers and sellers during negotiations over property prices and settlement details. A real estate broker works for a commercial real estate firm or operates a real estate office. As a result, you must have a minimum of an associate's degree in real estate, business, or a related field with at least three years of work experience.

Real estate brokers often need a state-issued real estate broker license to practice. Apart from this, you must possess selling abilities, communication and networking skills, and attention to detail. You must also be conversant with relevant computer software and be self-motivated. A real estate broker earns about $78,102 per year. This varies between $39,000 and $158,000.

What Does a Real Estate 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.

How To Become a Real Estate 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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Average Salary
$102,423
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
7%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
11,312
Job Openings

Real Estate Broker Career Paths

Top Careers Before Real Estate Broker

Top Careers After Real Estate Broker

Owner
8.9 %

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Average Salary for a Real Estate Broker

Real Estate Brokers in America make an average salary of $102,423 per year or $49 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $141,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $74,000 per year.
Average Salary
$102,423

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Garland, TX
Salary Range101k - 174k$133k$133,230
Detroit, MI
Salary Range100k - 169k$131k$130,561
Atlanta, GA
Salary Range97k - 170k$129k$128,646
Greenwich, CT
Salary Range95k - 165k$126k$125,909
Washington, DC
Salary Range95k - 163k$125k$125,168
New York, NY
Salary Range86k - 149k$114k$113,871
$54k
$174k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Controller-Real Estate
Controller-Real Estate
Robert Half
Robert Half
01/11/2021
01/11/2021
$130,00001/11/2021
$130,000
Real Estate Controller
Real Estate Controller
Robert Half
Robert Half
01/11/2021
01/11/2021
$140,00001/11/2021
$140,000
Commercial Real Estate Broker
Commercial Real Estate Broker
Burgan Real Estate
Burgan Real Estate
12/31/2020
12/31/2020
$100,00012/31/2020
$100,000
Controller for Growing Real Estate Organization!
Controller for Growing Real Estate Organization!
Randstad
Randstad
12/12/2020
12/12/2020
$120,00012/12/2020
$120,000
Controller for Growing Real Estate Organization!
Controller for Growing Real Estate Organization!
Randstad
Randstad
11/26/2020
11/26/2020
$100,00011/26/2020
$100,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Real Estate Broker Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Real Estate Broker. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Real Estate Broker Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Real Estate Broker resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Real Estate Broker Demographics

Gender

male

52.3 %

female

43.5 %

unknown

4.2 %

Ethnicity

White

74.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

12.3 %

Asian

6.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

49.2 %

French

10.2 %

German

5.9 %
See More Demographics

Real Estate Broker Education

Majors

Business
28.1 %
Finance
6.4 %

Degrees

Bachelors

47.8 %

Masters

15.2 %

Associate

12.6 %

Top Colleges for Real Estate Brokers

1. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

5. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

6. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

7. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177

8. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

9. Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,822
Enrollment
42,529

10. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582
See More Education Info
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Top Skills For a Real Estate Broker

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 22.9% of real estate brokers listed real estate on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Best States For a Real Estate Broker

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a real estate broker. The best states for people in this position are New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Real estate brokers make the most in New Mexico with an average salary of $133,215. Whereas in Nevada and Oklahoma, they would average $131,984 and $131,824, respectively. While real estate brokers would only make an average of $130,622 in Arkansas, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Tennessee

Total Real Estate Broker Jobs:
389
Highest 10% Earn:
$204,000
Location Quotient:
1.68
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Michigan

Total Real Estate Broker Jobs:
383
Highest 10% Earn:
$203,000
Location Quotient:
1.25
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Connecticut

Total Real Estate Broker Jobs:
328
Highest 10% Earn:
$199,000
Location Quotient:
2.51
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Real Estate Broker Employers

1. Keller Williams Realty
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$99,486
Real Estate Brokers Hired: 
483+
2. Re/Max
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$99,484
Real Estate Brokers Hired: 
265+
3. Century 21
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$105,479
Real Estate Brokers Hired: 
146+
4. Windermere
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$99,551
Real Estate Brokers Hired: 
126+
5. John L. Scott
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$99,516
Real Estate Brokers Hired: 
100+
6. Marcus & Millichap
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$100,825
Real Estate Brokers Hired: 
67+

Real Estate Broker Videos

Updated October 2, 2020