Skip to content Skip to Live Chat

BUSINESS CAREER GUIDES

Real Estate Broker Career

OVERVIEW

What Is a Real Estate Broker?


 

Real estate brokers play an integral role in property transactions, serving as trusted advisors in guiding clients through the complex real estate landscape. 

A real estate broker is a licensed professional who acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers, assisting them in the process of buying, selling, and leasing commercial, industrial, and residential properties. They should have extensive knowledge of the local real estate market, legal regulations, and industry practices, enabling them to provide support to their clients.

The main responsibility of a real estate broker is to represent their clients through the intricacies of a real estate transaction. This includes overseeing inspections, repairs, and legal documentation that must be completed before a sale can be finalized. By coordinating with different professionals throughout the process, brokers ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect their clients' interests and facilitate a smooth and successful transaction.

While brokers usually employ sales agents to work directly with clients and handle many of the previously mentioned tasks, they retain ultimate responsibility for all transactions that pass through their brokerage. In this capacity, they're often referred to as the principal broker. The principal broker also assists with property showings, provides detailed market analysis, and guides buyers through the process of making competitive offers.   

RESPONSIBILITIES

What Does a Real Estate Broker Do?

To become a successful real estate broker, you need more than just keen market knowledge and the ability to negotiate deals. The outcome of your brokerage depends on your ability to attract potential clients, effectively manage employees, and maintain a firm grasp on your brokerage's financial matters. 

Here are some of the most important responsibilities that go into running a successful brokerage:

  • Creating property listings: Real estate brokers are responsible for writing compelling property listings that show the unique features and selling points of each property. They leverage their understanding of market trends and buyer preferences to highlight the most attractive aspects of a property and capture potential buyers' attention.
  • Advertising available properties: To facilitate maximum exposure and reach the right audiences, real estate brokers use a variety of advertising methods. This includes online platforms, social media, print media, and other marketing channels to promote their properties.
  • Scheduling open houses and showings: Real estate brokers coordinate open houses and showings to provide future buyers with an opportunity to see the property in person. They manage appointments, organize property tours, and create a welcoming environment to help clients make informed decisions.
  • Taking photographs of properties: Visual representation plays a major role in garnering excitement from potential buyers. Successful real estate brokers prioritize taking high-quality photographs of properties to create appealing listings and marketing materials.
  • Helping clients determine their property needs and budget: Real estate brokers have to nurture an intimate understanding of their clients' specific needs and financial capabilities. Through in-depth consultations, brokers assist clients in deciding on details like location, size, amenities, and budget. 

Where Does a Real Estate Broker Work?

Real estate brokers operate in various settings. They can choose to work as self-employed professionals, establishing their own independent real estate business, which allows them the freedom to set their own schedules, define their business strategies, and build their brand. 

Alternatively, brokers can work within established real estate agencies, collaborating with other professionals, benefiting from established networks and resources, and accessing a wider range of listings. They also work at rental and leasing companies, assisting clients in finding suitable properties to rent or lease.  

Brokers can also be employed by property management firms to oversee the operations and maintenance of real estate assets, ensuring efficient property management. Additionally, licensed brokers can work as associate brokers, meaning they work as an agent under an existing brokerage. In all these settings, real estate brokers provide their expertise to clients, guiding them through the real estate market and ensuring successful transactions.

EDUCATION & BEST DEGREES

How Do I Become a Real Estate Broker?

The journey to becoming a real estate broker involves a combination of education, experience, and licensure. Here are the steps you should take to pursue this career:

1. Consider getting a bachelor’s degree in business or finance

While a bachelor's degree is not a hard and fast requirement to become a real estate broker, having a degree in business or finance can provide you with a strong foundation of knowledge and skills that can be beneficial in your career. The coursework in these degrees covers topics such as economics, marketing, accounting, and real estate principles.

2. Complete a state-approved real estate sales course.

Most states require individuals to complete a state-approved real estate sales course to become a real estate professional. These courses provide knowledge about real estate laws, practices, contracts, and ethics. The duration and content of the course will vary depending on your state's requirements.

3. Pass your state's real estate agent licensing program.

After completing the real estate sales course, you must pass your state's licensing requirements. This exam tests your knowledge of real estate principles, laws, and practices. Once you pass, you'll receive your real estate license, allowing you to work under a licensed broker's supervision.

4. Obtain work experience as a real estate salesperson or agent.

Practical experience is an important step to becoming a real estate broker. Working as a listing agent provides valuable insights, builds networks, and strengthens your understanding of the buying and selling process.

5. Get certified in real estate.

While not required, obtaining professional certifications in real estate demonstrates expertise and commitment to the field. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) offers certifications like Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), which typically require experience, education, and passing an exam.

6. Complete a state-approved real estate broker course.

To qualify for the real estate broker licensure, you’ll need to complete a state-approved real estate broker course. This course delves deeper into advanced topics, such as real estate law, finance, property management, and brokerage operations.

7. Pass the real estate broker exam. 

After completing the real estate broker course, you'll take the exam specific to your state. It typically covers a broader range of topics and assesses your understanding of complex real estate concepts, ethics, and broker responsibilities. Passing the exam will grant you the real estate broker license, allowing you to operate independently and open your own brokerage.

Best Degrees for a Real Estate Broker

Marketing – B.S. Business Administration

For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:...

For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:

  • Time: 71% of graduates finish within 40 months.
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 41 total courses in this program.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Marketing and PR manager
  • Director of marketing and communications
  • Director of publications
  • Customer intelligence manager
  • Marketing sales manager

Marketing is a creative and exciting field—and one where an undergraduate degree will open better opportunities.

Supply Chain and Operations Management - B.S.

This online supply chain and operations management program will prepare...

This online supply chain and operations management program will prepare you for real-world experiences in business.

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish similar programs within 42 months.
  • Tuition: $3,575 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 36 courses in this program.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Operations Manager
  • Facilities Manager
  • Industrial Production Manager
  • Distribution Manager
  • Buyer/Purchasing Agent
  • Project Management Specialist

With incredible growth opportunities in supply chain and operations management, this program helps prepare students to meet industry needs and become credentialed experts.

Accounting – B.S. Business Administration

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?...

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 42 months.
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 41 courses in this program.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Accounting manager
  • Financial director
  • Vice president of finance and operations
  • Chief financial officer
  • Forensic accountant

Take your first step toward CPA certification and learn how to use GAAP, ledgers, and journals.

Finance – B.S.

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant...

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant industry skills.

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish similar programs within 42 months.
  • Tuition: $3,575 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 41 courses in this program.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Financial analyst
  • Finance director 
  • Investment banker
  • Insurance agent
  • Accountant

The competency-based model at WGU allows you to move as quickly as you can master the material, and do your coursework on your schedule. Flexibility is key with the B.S. in finance at WGU.

How Much Does a Real Estate Broker Make?

$76,860

Real estate brokers have the potential to earn a significant income, primarily through commissions earned from real estate transactions. The actual earnings are hinged on factors like years of experience, location, market conditions, and individual performance. 

According to Indeed, the average annual income for real estate brokers is approximately $76,860. However, it’s important to note that this figure can vary significantly depending on the aforementioned various factors because the true earning potential for real estate brokers is incredibly broad.

With salaries ranging from around $16,000 to $210,000 per year or more, real estate brokers stand to make a handsome salary depending on some important factors. The lower end of the income spectrum may reflect entry-level or part-time positions, while experienced brokers operating in lucrative markets usually achieve the higher end and beyond.

Commissions are a percentage of the transaction value and are typically split between the broker and the brokerage. The commission structure may vary, but it is common for brokers to earn a percentage of the sale price when representing buyers or sellers. This means that the more transactions a broker successfully facilitates, the higher their income potential.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Real Estate Broker?

5%

The job outlook for real estate brokers is positive, with a projected 5% growth in employment from 2021 to 2031. This growth will be driven by factors such as population expansion, increasing real estate transactions, and the ongoing demand for professionals well-versed in property transactions. 

Approximately 54,800 annual job openings are expected, encompassing both new positions and those resulting from retirements or career transitions. While the industry offers promising opportunities, the competition remains significant. Aspiring brokers can enhance their prospects by acquiring a strong skill set, building a professional network, and staying updated with industry trends. 

SKILLS

What Skills Does a Real Estate Broker Need?

Real estate brokerage demands a versatile skill set to thrive in the competitive and ever-evolving real estate industry. To effectively serve clients and navigate the complexities of property transactions, real estate brokers must possess diverse skills. The most important skills include:

  • Written and verbal communication skills, including presenting information.
  • Strong negotiating skills.
  • Marketing knowledge.
  • Analytical and research skills.
  • Understanding of legal matters.
  • Team leading skills. 

By continuously honing and developing these skills, brokers can differentiate themselves, provide exceptional service to their clients, and build a thriving career in the dynamic world of real estate brokerage.

Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

Next Start Date
{{startdate}}

Interested in Becoming a Real Estate Broker?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.