A real estate broker is a person who acts as an intermediary between sellers and buyers of real estate/real property and attempts to match up sellers who wish to sell and buyers who wish to buy. A real estate broker typically receives a payment called a commission for successfully matching a seller’s real estate with a buyer such that a sale can be made.
This commission can be divided up with other participating real estate brokers or agents when applicable. The real estate broker is a person or business entity whose business is to market real estate for clients.
There are significant differences between the actions, powers, obligations and liabilities of brokers and estate agents in each country. Other countries take markedly different approaches to the marketing and selling of real property.
Functions of a Real Estate Broker
To become a real estate broker, you must first gain experience as a real estate sales agent. Sales agents work for brokerages, helping their employer’s clients buy, sell, or rent houses or other properties. In most cases, real estate brokers train for their jobs by first completing a pre-licensing training course offered by a state-approved school.
Students in pre-licensing courses learn about topics like real estate legal issues, ethics, real estate finance, contracts, taxes, and insurance. Once they complete their training and become properly licensed, sales agents can go to work for a broker.
Real estate brokers guide their clients through the process of a real estate transaction. When representing a seller, a broker lists the property for sale, advertises the property, and arranges and oversees open houses and other viewings.
A real estate broker may employ sales agents to work with their clients and take care of many of the above tasks, but they are ultimately responsible for all transactions that come through their brokerage. They are paid a commission on the final sale and pass some of that commission on to the sales agent who worked on the transaction. Read more
Tools you Need to Get Started
Starting a real estate broker career is not really expensive compared to other related businesses. Some of the tools you need to start to include;
Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Access: This is a comprehensive online tool that allows agents to find properties for buying clients and list properties for selling clients. The MLS charges a monthly fee for access.
Board of Realtor Dues: If you choose to join the Board of Realtors, you will pay annual dues. Though it is not mandatory that you join, most real estate professionals do. Visit the National Association of Realtor’s website for more information on the benefits.
Computer: Ideally, a laptop that you can take with you to the office and to client meetings. You need to have some real estate related software like Loopster Professional Real Estate software install on the computer
Smartphone: You will be on the phone a lot as a real estate agent, taking calls from clients, getting updates from appraisers, home inspectors and loan officers, and setting appointments with potential new clients.
Get a model with GPS so that you can easily find addresses when taking buyer clients to look at homes. You will also be able to stay in contact via email and text and can look up properties in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).
Car: While you do not need a fancy car, it should be in reasonable working condition. Keep it clean and clutter-free; you’ll drive clients around occasionally.
Real Estate License: Though requirements vary from state-to-state, all require licensing. Check with your local Board of Realtors or your state’s Department of Real Estate to find out what you need to do to get a license. Typically, you will be required to attend training classes. Then you will take a state exam. Read more
Business Cards: While many people don’t use these anymore, they are still a staple for real estate agents.
Signage: You will need signs to advertise homes for sale, open houses and other events. Design your own signs using your broker’s logo (in most states this is required). Check with your state’s Real Estate Division for other things to include on your sign that may be required by law.
Invest in a mix of signage: directional signs to help people find your listings, vinyl banners for larger-format advertising and car magnets to alert people who you are a real estate agent. Some signs can be designed to work for every property (such as directional signage). Others should be designed specifically for one listing (list the features, price and address of a home, for instance).
Clothing: Dressing professionally is important in the real estate business. Invest in some nice suits, quality shoes and accessories so that you’ll look nice and feel confident.