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Real Estate Brokers picture    Real Estate Brokers image

Real Estate Brokers are professionals who are involved in the sale of houses or other properties on behalf of sellers and/or buyers. In most states, brokers hold advanced licenses and manage a real estate office. In many cases, the office belongs to the broker; however, some brokers work for commercial real estate firms, overseeing real estate transactions. Brokers do many of the same things as Real Estate Agents, although brokers are distinguishable by the fact that only they are licensed to manage their own real estate businesses. Agents usually work under the supervision of a broker and provide their services to the broker on a contract basis. When the agent earns a commission, it is usually split between the agent and the supervising broker.

Many brokers are not merely overseers but are themselves active in arranging sales of houses or other properties. In this capacity, brokers often do the same jobs as agents. They interface closely with clients on issues such as the presentation of the property, the way it will be sold, the cost, and the viewing times. In this capacity, brokers need to know the local market well and they also need the ability to derive a good estimate for a minimum selling price. They also need to advertise the property effectively and to draw up the legal papers and arrange financing and insurance once an agreement is reached.

Responsibilities

In today's world, real estate brokers make heavy use of the latest advances in computer technology. Basic information about all of their agency's listings is routinely placed on office computers. In addition, advertisements containing pictures of properties and their listing information are commonly posted on Internet sites as an effective means of advertising. Brokers also use computers to research other properties and to keep current on the latest prices in the local market.

Brokers have a wide variety of daily duties. A partial list of many of these is as follows:

  • Manage and operate real estate offices
  • Supervise agents who handle real estate transactions
  • Obtain agreements from property owners to place their property for sale with a real estate firm
  • Research similar properties that have recently sold
  • Compare properties in order to determine a competitive market price
  • Appraise property values
  • Give buyers virtual tours of properties using computers
  • Act as an intermediary in negotiations between buyers and sellers over property prices and settlement details
  • Generate lists of properties for sale along with their locations, descriptions, and available financing options
  • Maintain knowledge of real estate and fair housing laws
  • Be fully cognizant of local economies, available mortgage options, and financing options
  • Check work completed by attorneys, loan officers, and other professionals to ensure that it is performed properly
  • Monitor fulfillment of purchase contract terms
  • Arrange for financing of property purchases
  • Accurately assess growth possibilities of the area where a property is located
  • Maintain awareness of income tax regulations, local zoning regulations, building codes, and tax laws
  • Rent properties or manage rental properties
  • Arrange for title searches of properties being sold
  • Ensure that environmental regulations are met on properties being sold
  • Develop, sell, or lease property used for industry or manufacturing

Job Characteristics

Brokers and agents have similar work environments and job characteristics. They often work more than 40 hours a week and much of their work is done during evenings and on weekends. On the plus side, many brokers have the luxury to a large extent of determining their work schedule so as to be able to schedule time off when they need it. Brokers typically work out of an office, spending much of their time on the phone and/or on the computer. Some even work out of their home. When brokers are out of the office, most of their time is spent on the road meeting with prospective clients, showing properties to customers, or surveying the local area to analyze properties for sale.

A career as a real estate broker requires a good amount of both diligence and determination. The job can be both emotionally and financially rewarding, but it can also be challenging in terms of preparation needed and frustration engendered. There is a good deal of daily interaction with people. For this reason, brokers need to possess attributes likely to attract prospective customers. A pleasing personality, a good appearance, and enthusiasm for the job will help a broker build a strong client base. In addition, good judgment, strong organizational skills, maturity, and an ability to inspire trust will also serve a broker very well.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (USDL BLS), employment of real estate brokers is expected to grow about as fast as the average profession through the upcoming decade. This projection, however, does not factor in shifts in the economy, which are not always predictable. The real estate industry in general is extremely sensitive to swings in the economy and most especially to shifts in interest rates. During periods of low economic activity and rising interest rates, the volume of sales declines and so do the earnings of agents and brokers. The USDL BLS notes that factors which point to job growth for real estate workers include relatively low interest rates and a general perception that real estate is a sound investment. Factors which may slow job growth include recent improvements in technology which now allow customers to perform their own searches for properties online, lessening to some extent the need for brokers or agents to perform the same function.

There is a good deal of turnover in this profession and as a result, a large number of job openings tend to arise on a regular basis. The profession is attractive due to its relatively flexible working conditions. Historically, many retired people and homemakers were attracted to the real estate field due to the flexibility of being able to enter, leave, and later return to the occupation based on the strength of the real estate market and/or their personal circumstances. Recently, however, there have been fewer part-time workers owing to an increase in startup costs caused by increasingly complex legal and technological requirements. Both part-timers and full-timers who are starting out in the profession can expect to face stiff competition from their better established and more experienced counterparts in obtaining listings and in closing sales.

The principal sources of earnings of real estate brokers are commissions on sales. Commission rates vary according to the value of the property and the commission-sharing arrangement associated with the transaction. In general, brokers share commissions with agents who work for them on any sales generated by the agent. Commissions are often divided among several agents and brokers when buyers and sellers are represented by different agencies. Earnings can be sporadic depending on the strength or weakness of the real estate market at any given point in time.

Real Estate Broker Classes, Certification, and Licensing

In every state, real estate brokers (as well as real estate agents) must have a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition, brokers are also required to have between 60 and 90 hours of formal training. Brokers wishing to work for larger firms would be well-served to earn a college degree. There are hundreds of colleges and universities offering courses in real estate leading to associate's, bachelor's, or masters degrees. Those seeking a career as a real estate broker should consider taking courses in statistics, finance, business administration, marketing, law, accounting, and/or economics.

All states require brokers to be licensed. Each state has its own process for obtaining a license and information regarding the procedure in a particular state can be found by contacting the state's real estate commission. Generally speaking, state requirements for brokers usually include between 60 and 90 hours of formal training and a specific amount of experience selling real estate, usually 1 to 3 years. In some states the experience requirements are waived for applicants who have a bachelor's degree in real estate. Candidates are also required to pass a comprehensive brokers exam which includes questions on basic real estate transactions and laws affecting the sale of property. In some states, licenses must be renewed annually by earning continuing education credits.

Brokers and agents alike can benefit from joining their area's local real estate agents' association. An equally beneficial move would be to join a national association such as the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which boasts over one million members. NAR also provides continuing education courses, which can satisfy some states' annual requirement for maintaining a license. Also, the widely-recognized designation of "Realtor" is a registered term belonging to the NAR, and only brokers and agents who belong to the organization are allowed to use the term.

Resources

Major Employers

Well over half of all real estate brokers are self-employed. A large number of them operate their own real estate agency, most of which are generally small. Many of these brokers have franchise agreements with national or regional real estate organizations, whereby the broker pays a fee in exchange for the privilege of using the widely known name of the parent organization. Under this arrangement, franchised brokers often receive help in training their sales staffs and in running their offices.

Schools for Real Estate Brokers are listed in the column to the left.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Real Estate Brokers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Real Estate Brokers jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover 120 $-2,222
Birmingham 120 $-2,222
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage -2222 $70,750
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 1240 $31,180
Mesa 1240 $31,180
Phoenix 1240 $31,180
Tucson 190 $40,830
Flagstaff 70 $-2,222
Prescott 70 $30,710
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway -2222 $97,070
North Little Rock -2222 $97,070
Little Rock -2222 $97,070
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 2820 $54,320
Los Angeles 2820 $54,320
Anaheim 2820 $54,320
San Diego 970 $64,310
Carlsbad 970 $64,310
San Francisco 920 $71,800
Hayward 920 $71,800
Oakland 920 $71,800
Ventura 160 $-1,111
Thousand Oaks 160 $-1,111
Oxnard 160 $-1,111
San Jose 150 $-1,111
Santa Clara 150 $-1,111
Sunnyvale 150 $-1,111
Arden 150 $134,960
Arcade 150 $134,960
Sacramento 150 $134,960
Roseville 150 $134,960
Riverside 90 $54,080
Ontario 90 $54,080
San Bernardino 90 $54,080
Santa Rosa 80 $46,950
Fresno 70 $76,530
San Luis Obispo 60 $-1,111
Arroyo Grande 60 $-1,111
Paso Robles 60 $-1,111
Bakersfield 50 $39,390
Modesto 50 $60,250
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Colorado Springs 180 $63,540
Boulder -2222 $63,480
Fort Collins -2222 $65,580
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 40 $145,170
West Hartford 40 $145,170
Hartford 40 $145,170
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 1090 $49,240
Miami 1090 $49,240
Fort Lauderdale 1090 $49,240
Sanford 550 $115,620
Kissimmee 550 $115,620
Orlando 550 $115,620
Tampa 370 $-1,111
St. Petersburg 370 $-1,111
Clearwater 370 $-1,111
Jacksonville 150 $-2,222
Cape Coral 110 $96,790
Fort Myers 110 $96,790
Tallahassee 90 $36,140
Gainesville 50 $41,040
Daytona Beach 50 $78,780
Ormond Beach 50 $78,780
Deltona 50 $78,780
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 350 $86,950
Sandy Springs 350 $86,950
Atlanta 350 $86,950
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 220 $98,800
Lahaina 40 $50,270
Wailuku 40 $50,270
Kahului 40 $50,270
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 50 $52,390
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria -2222 $69,480
Bloomington -2222 $139,710
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson -2222 $56,110
Carmel -2222 $56,110
Indianapolis -2222 $56,110
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Topeka 70 $49,130
Wichita 30 $49,360
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lafayette 60 $59,890
Baton Rouge -2222 $36,350
Bossier City -2222 $41,120
Shreveport -2222 $41,120
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 70 $64,810
Portland 70 $64,810
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 350 $-1,111
Columbia 350 $-1,111
Baltimore 350 $-1,111
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Detroit 330 $75,290
Dearborn 330 $75,290
Warren 330 $75,290
Wyoming 90 $75,870
Grand Rapids 90 $75,870
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia -2222 $28,950
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings -2222 $27,950
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 40 $47,360
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Reno 50 $47,770
Paradise -2222 $64,260
Henderson -2222 $64,260
Las Vegas -2222 $64,260
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester -2222 $104,920
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque -2222 $37,250
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 1100 $43,620
Greensboro 530 $40,460
High Point 530 $40,460
Chapel Hill 380 $39,980
Durham 380 $39,980
Winston 310 $30,060
Salem 310 $30,060
Asheville 260 $30,380
Fayetteville 210 $38,980
Wilmington 200 $35,920
Morganton 110 $32,520
Hickory 110 $32,520
Lenoir 110 $32,520
Jacksonville 100 $30,120
Greenville 90 $24,360
Burlington 50 $71,390
Rocky Mount 40 $-1,111
Goldsboro 40 $35,760
New Bern 40 $36,160
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 250 $104,950
Toledo 70 $53,360
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 240 $-1,111
Tulsa -2222 $23,820
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bend 170 $30,370
Redmond 170 $30,370
Medford 60 $-1,111
Corvallis 40 $-2,222
Salem -2222 $61,760
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 190 $66,530
Harrisburg 60 $88,170
Carlisle 60 $88,170
Hazleton -2222 $58,290
Barre -2222 $58,290
Scranton -2222 $58,290
Wilkes -2222 $58,290
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 40 $-1,111
Carolina 40 $-1,111
San Juan 40 $-1,111
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 230 $62,380
North Charleston 180 $51,910
Charleston 180 $51,910
Florence 30 $50,830
Beaufort -2222 $58,300
Bluffton -2222 $58,300
Hilton Head Island -2222 $58,300
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 210 $49,490
Nashville 210 $49,490
Murfreesboro 210 $49,490
Davidson 210 $49,490
Knoxville 120 $62,080
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
The Woodlands 870 $70,080
Houston 870 $70,080
Sugar Land 870 $70,080
Fort Worth 830 $80,350
Dallas 830 $80,350
Arlington 830 $80,350
San Antonio 170 $41,780
New Braunfels 170 $41,780
Midland -2222 $30,110
Mission -2222 $48,280
Edinburg -2222 $48,280
McAllen -2222 $48,280
Austin -2222 $61,240
Round Rock -2222 $61,240
Temple -2222 $64,180
Killeen -2222 $64,180
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 170 $63,000
Orem 50 $57,400
Provo 50 $57,400
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 40 $-1,111
Burlington 40 $-1,111
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 340 $-1,111
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 330 $66,830
Tacoma 330 $66,830
Seattle 330 $66,830
Silverdale -2222 $39,120
Bremerton -2222 $39,120

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Real Estate Brokers

To find out more about building a career as Real Estate Brokers, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Real Estate Brokers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Real Estate 45,740 90% $57,450
Banking And Credit 1,020 2% $56,720
Construction 720 1% $65,000
Civil Engineering 610 1% $68,130
Office Services And Staffing 530 1% $53,840
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Real Estate Brokers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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