Real estate brokers hold a specialized license to operate their own brokerage or manage a team. To become a broker, agents must meet a rigorous set of requirements. These requirements include fulfilling educational prerequisites, having practical experience, and successfully passing a state-specific broker licensing exam. Learning how to become a real estate broker with the six steps below will help agents understand this role’s process, qualifications, benefits, and challenges.
In addition to following these steps, agents interested in becoming brokers should continuously stay informed about industry changes. You can learn about changing industry trends through continuing education (CE) classes offered at online real estate schools like The CE Shop. The school offers an array of CE courses to help agents stay up to date with real estate regulations and best practices. Its online curriculum also ensures agents are prepared to excel in the rapidly evolving real estate landscape.
1. Meet Broker Requirements for Your State
Each state has its own broker licensing requirements. Hence, it’s essential to research your state’s specific regulations when learning how to become a real estate broker and embarking on this career path. One of the primary requirements demanded by most states is previous real estate sales experience. This requirement ensures that brokers have had firsthand exposure to the industry dynamics and have previous experience with client interactions.
Below are some examples of how many years of real estate experience is required to become a broker in the listed states:
Real Estate Broker Requirements
2 years of full-time licensed salesperson experience or a four-year degree in real estate
2 years of full-time licensed salesperson experience or at least three years of experience in the real estate field
4 years of active experience as a licensed salesperson
24 months of real estate experience within the past 5 years
As indicated in the table, many states require at least two years of prior salesperson experience before an agent can become a real estate broker. States may have age and special insurance requirements. They will also be performing background checks at the time of application. Agents are able to learn the requirements for how to get a real estate broker license through their state’s official website.
Click on your state below to see specific requirements:
State-by-state Broker License Requirements
2. Complete Prelicensing Real Estate Education Requirements for Brokers
Navigating the process of how to get a broker’s license for real estate includes completing educational prerequisites. The specific educational requirements vary from state to state but are generally a set number of broker prelicensing education hours through an accredited real estate school. For example, Minnesota requires brokers to have 30 hours of broker prelicensing coursework, and New York requires 152 hours.
There are a few states that will allow individuals to become a broker by meeting an educational requirement. For example, attorneys in New York admitted to the bar are exempt from the educational exam and experience requirements to become a broker. However, they still must submit an application. Whether you are already an agent or transitioning into the industry from another career, accredited online courses can help fulfill the educational requirement.
Here are a few of the best online real estate schools that help you understand how to become a real estate broker and meet the education requirements:
3. Pass the State Broker Licensing Exam
To officially become a real estate broker, agents must pass the state broker licensing exam. This exam is designed to assess your understanding of key real estate concepts, laws, regulations, and ethical practices specific to your state. Thoroughly studying and preparing for the exam will ensure you are well-equipped to successfully pass the exam confidently.
Many schools offer exam prep courses with targeted guidance, helping agents focus on the most relevant content. PrepAgent is a trusted and established name offering brokers on-demand exam prep courses. Its preparation for the exam involves access to interactive flashcards, exam prep videos, plus a provided exam prep e-book. Students who prefer live online interactions can join PrepAgent’s live online webinars to cover exam topics, vocabulary, etc. All of the course packages come with a 100% money-back guarantee.
For tips on how to pass the exam with flying colors, check out our article How to Pass the Real Estate Broker Exam in 8 Steps.
4. Understand the Role & Responsibilities of Being a Broker
Understanding the role and responsibilities of being a real estate broker is a fundamental step toward a successful real estate career. Licensed real estate brokers play a pivotal role in real estate transactions—overseeing negotiations, managing agents, and guiding clients through complex processes. Some brokers choose to venture into the commercial real estate world as well. By understanding the significance of this role along with what is expected when getting a broker’s license, agents will be better equipped to excel in the real estate industry.
A broker’s responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks. Not only are you expected to contribute to the smooth progression of real estate transactions, but you may also have to manage others in non-agent positions. Those positions can include administrative assistants, managers, marketing team members, etc. Additionally, brokers tend to become the go-to source for legal compliance and ethical considerations.
Additional tasks and responsibilities of licensed real estate brokers include the following:
- Transaction oversight
- Training and development
- Business development
- Strategic planning
- Marketing strategies
- Market analysis
- Client relationship management
- Legal knowledge
Agents embark on the journey to become a real estate broker because they are prepared for the additional responsibilities of this designation. However, it’s important to note that brokers still have the option to operate similarly to licensed real estate salespersons without necessarily taking on the expanded role of overseeing transactions and managing a team.
5. Decide if You Want to Start Your Own Brokerage or Lead a Team
After obtaining a real estate broker license, agents have the option of becoming an associate broker of a team or starting their own brokerage. Starting your own brokerage is a significant undertaking that gives you autonomy and control over your business. This path allows you to shape your brokerage’s culture, brand, and operations according to your vision. You’ll have the flexibility to set your own business strategies, marketing approaches, and client service standards.
Here is a list of pros and cons of starting your own brokerage:
|Ability to scale and grow the brokerage based on your vision.||Significant upfront costs for office space, staff, technology, and marketing.|
|Build direct relationships with a list of your own clients.||Responsible for administrative tasks, legal compliance, and managing staff.|
|Potential for higher earnings and a larger share of the brokerage's profits.||New brokerages may face competition from established firms.|
|Full control over business decisions and strategies.||Takes time to build a client base and establish a reputation in the market.|
Alternatively, leading a team of agents within an established brokerage provides you with an opportunity to leverage your experience and expertise to mentor and guide others. As an associate broker, you become a source of support, knowledge, and leadership for your team members. This role involves fostering a collaborative environment, setting performance standards, and helping agents succeed.
Here is a list of the pros and cons of managing a team:
|Exposes you to a diverse range of transactions and challenges.||Balancing managerial duties with your own real estate transactions can be challenging.|
|Leverage the resources, infrastructure, and reputation of an established brokerage to support your team's operations.||Limited autonomy operating within the framework and policies of the brokerage.|
|Lower financial and operational risk.||Pressure to meet performance expectations.|
|Stability in terms of client base, brand recognition, and administrative support.||Team's success depends on the performance of individual agents that you may not be able to choose.|
6. Develop Your Real Estate Marketing & Lead Generation Strategies
Your approach to marketing and lead generation will contribute to your brokerage’s success. Whether you are managing a team within an established firm or forging your path as an independent entrepreneur, effective marketing strategies help generate leads for your team. These strategies will not only provide you with business opportunities, but also help you foster meaningful connections within the real estate community.
In today’s competitive market, standing out requires a well-thought-out approach that leverages various channels. From digital platforms to traditional networking, brokers must craft a compelling presence. Online marketing platforms showcase your properties, while engaging content guides new leads in understanding the services you offer. Participating in local community events, hosting informative seminars, and building strategic partnerships can also establish your reputation and expand your reach.
Whether you’re nurturing a team or building a brand from scratch, mastering real estate marketing and lead generation is crucial to staying ahead in the real estate industry. Leverage these top online lead generation tools to help you get started:
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Pinpointing a finite average real estate broker salary is difficult because it varies depending on factors such as location, education, experience, and the brokerage they are affiliated with. However, according to Recruiter.com, the average broker salary ranges from $25,460 to $174,120.
It’s important to note that experienced brokers with a successful track record and strong client base can substantially increase their incomes. The earning potential can also be influenced by the types of properties available, the demand in the local market, and the broker’s ability to provide exceptional service and value to clients.
Navigating the process of how to become a broker can become an opportunity to elevate your career in real estate. This advanced designation empowers you with the ability to lead a team of agents, manage transactions, and potentially start your own brokerage. With increased responsibilities comes the potential for higher earnings and a greater share of profits. Becoming a broker allows you to operate with greater autonomy, shape your brand identity, and engage in a dynamic industry where your expertise can have a profound impact on clients.
The distinction between a real estate salesperson and a broker lies in their roles and responsibilities within the industry. A real estate salesperson is licensed to assist clients in buying, selling, or renting properties under the guidance of a licensed broker. On the other hand, a broker holds a higher-level license that enables them to operate independently, oversee transactions, manage a team of agents, and even establish their own brokerage. Brokers have a deeper understanding of real estate laws, regulations, and practices, allowing them to navigate complex transactions, provide guidance to clients, and contribute to shaping the direction of the real estate market.
Yes. Even though the process of how to get a real estate broker license is already comprehensive, agents must still meet ongoing education requirements for brokers in most states. These requirements are designed to ensure that licensed brokers stay current with evolving industry practices, laws, and regulations. Brokers are often required to complete continuing education courses regularly to maintain their licensure. These courses cover a range of topics relevant to the real estate industry, helping brokers stay informed about market trends and best practices.
Becoming a licensed real estate broker is a rewarding journey that requires dedication, education, and experience. By following these six steps to get a broker’s license, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the process, meet the qualifications, and excel in real estate. Whether you’re aiming to lead a team of agents or manage your own real estate business, the path to becoming a broker can be challenging and rewarding.