Real Estate Broker
What you need to know
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.
Some real estate brokers and sales agents work in a typical office environment, while others work out of their homes. In both cases, real estate workers spend much of their time away from their desks, showing properties to customers, traveling to see properties for sale, and meeting with prospective clients.
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
- 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.
The average pay for real estate brokers and sales agents in the United States ranges from $23,600 to $178,720 as of May 2019.
The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.
Employment of real estate brokers and sales agents is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.
The millennial generation will be entering the prime working-age and household-forming age cohort over the next decade. This generation has delayed home ownership because of financial and personal considerations. Therefore, their entry into the housing market should increase demand for real estate agents and brokers.
Real estate brokers and sales agents must complete some real estate courses to be eligible for licensure. 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 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.
Discover some of the courses you will take pursuing a degree in Real Estate.