Is Real Estate Broker Your Career?

Abbie Ackerly
November 09, 2020
Is Real Estate Broker Your Career?

A real estate career can be both demanding and financially rewarding. But if the real estate agent is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of industry professionals, think again. There are many different and exciting opportunities for anyone who wants to work in this field. You may be an agent or an appraiser, a specialist, or an investor. You may plan to work solely on residential properties or be more interested in commercial buildings. Whatever you select, you need to make sure that you fulfill your position’s criteria and are prepared for hard work. This article explores the ins and outs of being a real estate broker.


  • Working as a real estate sales agent or broker can be rewarding and rewarding, but it’s not simple.
  • A career in real estate needs company drumming, self-promoting, leadership monitoring, customer support, and much, much more.
  • Many realtors are compensated on a commission-only basis, so there is a chance to operate without a paycheck.

Brokers and agents: a general summary

Real estate brokers and sales agents help clients purchase, sell, and rent houses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), real estate brokers and sales agents’ employment is expected to rise by 7 percent between 2018 and 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. By 2028, it is estimated that there are about 394,800 sales agents and 103,000 brokers working in the industry.

Many people believe it’s easy to be a good broker or sales agent. Part of this myth is that it’s a reasonably easy area to reach. While you need a license to work as either a broker or a sales agent, licensing requirements vary by state; it is essential to take the requisite courses, sit for the test, and start working in less than two months.

How do I get started

Having a license is a simple part of it. Effective and sustainable income as a real estate broker or sales agent is hard work and, in most cases, requires a considerable commitment of time, effort, and even money.

While many of the job functions are identical, there are two distinct levels of real estate professionals. The first move is to become a sales agent. This includes a state test to be passed and a license to be issued. Sales agents must work for and under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker.4 The next move is to become a broker. These professionals are expected to pass a second test. After that, they can work separately and recruit sales agents.5 Note that you may also hear the word realtor that can be used by a real estate agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors — the largest trade association in the U.S.—and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Administrative duties

Being a sales agent or broker needs a significant amount of logistical information. Legal records must be correct, and activities with multiple listings must be organized. You may have to do it on any given day:

  • Full, send and file real estate papers, agreements and lease records;
  • Organize appointments, plays, open houses, and meetings
  • Create and distribute posters, newsletters, and other advertising materials;
  • Develop and manage paper and electronic file systems for documents, correspondence, and other materials
  • Establish weekly, quarterly and annual budgets;
  • Create marketing strategies for listings;
  • Create and construct client databases
  • Research on active, pending, and sold listings and draft comparative market analysis (CMA) reports
  • React to text, emails, and phone calls
  • Updating websites and social media accounts

A proven sales agent or broker may have a budget to employ an assistant to perform some or all of these administrative tasks. You’re probably going to have to take care of them yourself while you’re just starting in the industry.

But don’t forget to ask yourself if you’re detailed-oriented and good at paperwork. Do you have the organizational capability and the motivation to perform these administrative duties daily?

Generating Lead

Seeking clients is key to your success as a sales agent or broker: after all, without buyers or sellers, there would be no purchases and thus no commissions. The popular way to create connections and generate leads is through a real estate sphere of influence (SOI) strategy that focuses on generating leads through people you already know, including relatives, colleagues, neighbors, acquaintances, business associates, and other social contacts.

Since most people purchase, sell, or rent property at some stage in their lives, anyone you meet will be a client someday. This means that your day may include meeting and talking to many people regularly, handing out business cards, and filing contact details to build up your SOI. After the first contact is made, you will need to follow up with phone calls, emails, snail mail, or text messages so that the people you encounter will remember your name for the future.

Acting with the customer

You’ll spend most of your day dealing directly with customers, whether they’re buyers or sellers. And bear in mind, it’s not always going to be during business hours. This means that you will have to sacrifice some of your personal time — time that you enjoy with family and friends. And if anything happens at the last minute, it could mean canceling a social function.

As an agent of the seller, for example, you can spend time planning a listing, taking digital photographs of the client’s house, and arranging the home to show well. As a buyer agent, you can spend time combing through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to find acceptable listings and submit them to potential buyers. You will also display the property to interested buyers. You can also accompany clients to inspections, meetings with loan officers, closures, and other events where your presence isn’t necessary.

Inequal Revenue Source

Many sales agents and brokers make money from commissions, usually as a percentage of the property’s selling price. Or less commonly, as a flat fee. In general, fees are charged only if and when a deal is resolved. At the end of the day, this means that you will work hard for days, weeks, or even months without taking any money home.

When you close the deal, you don’t necessarily retain the whole commission since it is mostly split with a few people involved in the transaction. For example, in a typical real estate transaction, the commission may be divided into four ways:

  • Listing Person: The person who took the listing from the vendor.
  • List of brokers: the broker with whom the listing agent works
  • Person of the Customer: person representing the customer
  • The broker agent of the purchaser: the broker with whom the agent of the purchaser works

Let’s say a sales agent picks up a $200,000 house listing at a 6 percent commission rate. The house sells for the asking price, and the broker agent of the listing agent and the broker agent of the seller each receive half of the $12,000 fee, or $6,000.

The brokers then share the commissions with their sales agents — say, 60 percent for the sales agent and 40 percent for the broker — so each sales agent earns $3,600 ($6,000 X 0.6), and each broker retains $2,400 ($6,000 X 0.4). The final breakdown of the commission will be:

  • Listing Agent-$3,600
  • List of brokers – $2,400
  • Buyer Agent – $3,600
  • Broker Agent Buyer – $2,400

To conclude

If you’re comfortable with these realities and enjoy hard work, you’re a self-starter, and like the concept of making your own schedule, a real estate career may be right for you. If you sell enough properties, particularly high-end properties, you can make a significant income.

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