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. When representing a buyer, a broker works with their client to determine their needs, locates properties that fit with the client’s needs and budget, helps their client prepare their finances, and takes them to visit properties.
Brokers 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.
Brokers must have strong communication skills to succeed in their field. Throughout the process of a sale, they are in contact with their clients and with other brokers and sales agents, and when it is time to close a deal, they must negotiate on their client’s behalf to ensure their needs are met. Because brokers work independently, they must also have strong business skills to attract potential clients, manage employees, and handle their brokerage’s finances.
What kind of training is required to become a real estate broker?
To become a real estate broker, one 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 states, sales agents 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.
Sales agents who have two or more years of experience in their job and want to become brokers can pursue additional training. Broker courses cover some of the same topics that sales agent courses cover, such as taxes and real estate finance. Prospective brokers also learn about the law as it applies to operating a brokerage, real estate investments, construction and development, property management, and business law.
Some brokers do not open their own brokerages right away and instead continue to work for a designated broker as an associate broker. Associate brokers typically perform the same duties as sales agents employed by a broker and do not hold the same responsibilities and liabilities that a broker who runs their own brokerage assumes. Working as an associate broker can give brokers valuable experience that they can put to use if and when they do start their own brokerage.
Are there any certification or licensure requirements?
Like real estate sales agents, brokers must be licensed by their state. To qualify for a broker license, one must first hold a valid real estate sales agent license and work under that license for a number of years. In many states, brokers must have two years of experience working as a sales agent, but some states require only one year of experience. Other states may require three.
In addition to meeting requirements for experience, prospective brokers must complete a training course that has been approved by their state. A broker training course can take several weeks to complete and can cover topics like real estate law, finance, agency law, contracts, and property management. At the conclusion of the course, students can take their state’s broker licensing examination. Brokers who pass this examination may also be required to pass a criminal history background check to qualify for a license.
How long does it take to become a real estate broker?
Depending on their state’s requirements, prospective brokers must spend one to three years working as a real estate sales agent before they can apply for licensure. It may take additional weeks or months to complete the required training course and pass the broker licensing examination.
What does a real estate broker earn?
The median hourly wage for real estate brokers in the United States was $28.05 in 2012. The lowest ten percent of brokers earned less than $12.32 per hour that year, and the top ten percent made more than $85.07.
Because brokers are paid on commission, their earnings depend on the amount and types of transactions they are able to complete for their clients. These earnings can fluctuate from month to month and from year to year depending on the housing market and the broker’s success in attracting clients.
What are the job prospects?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of real estate sales agents and brokers will grow 11 percent between 2012 and 2020, about as fast as the average growth for all occupations during that time.
What are the long term career prospects for real estate brokers?
A broker’s success depends on their ability to attract new clients. As they gain experience and build a larger network of contacts in their community, brokers can build a stronger reputation and grow their business. Brokers who attract a high volume of business may eventually hire sales agents to work for them.
How can I find a job as a real estate broker?
If you would like to start out as an associate broker, you may be able to continue working for the broker who employs you as a sales agent.
If you would like to start your own brokerage, you will need to find clients for your business. You can advertise your services in social media or in traditional media like local newspapers. You may also receive referrals from former clients.
How can I learn more about becoming a real estate broker?
You can learn more about becoming a real estate broker by talking to brokers in your area. You can also visit the National Association of Realtors website or seek out your state’s association of realtors.
Resources & Partners
- Career List
- Expert Advice
- Contact Us
- Do not sell my info
- Follow us
Our tuition numbers reflect data collected from the National Center for Education Statistics.
- $ = Under $10,000 per year
- $$ = Under $20,000 per year
- $$$ = Under $30,000 per year
- $$$$ = Under $40,000 per year
- $$$$$ = Over $40,000 per year
What is a real estate broker?
Daniel Fishel / The Balance
There are many types of real estate professionals, and knowing the role of each type of professional can save you some confusion during the home buying or selling process. For example, some real estate agents add titles and certifications after their names to help them stand out in a crowd. They might be associates, real estate consultants, salespersons, independent brokers, or REALTORS®—but they are all licensed to sell real estate.
There is some nuance, though. Real estate brokers can work as agents, but agents can’t work as brokers unless they have a broker’s license. Learn more about the similarities and differences between these titles.
- There are many different types of real estate professionals, but their roles vary.
- Real estate brokers are licensed to own their own firm, and real estate agents are the people who work under them as licensed representatives.
- Realtors are brokers or agents who are officially designated members of the National Association of Realtors.
- Other agents represent specific parties in a purchase contract, such as seller’s agent, buyer’s agent, or dual agent.
What Is a Real Estate Broker?
A real estate broker is a step above a real estate agent. A broker generally has more training and subject-matter education than an agent, but not always. A real estate broker can work independently or hire real estate salespersons to work under them. The exact rules can vary from state to state, but most have similar requirements.
Most states maintain a website where consumers can look up an agent’s name, get a license number, and check on any violations filed against them.
In California, for instance, a broker’s license is required to work by yourself. Agents have to work for brokers, but a broker can run their own business. There are three ways to get a broker’s license in California:
- If you have a four-year college degree with a major or minor in real estate and have completed eight college-level real estate courses, you may qualify to take the broker’s real estate exam.
- If you don’t have a four-year degree, the California Bureau of Real Estate requires that you have at least two years of real estate sales experience and that you’ve completed eight college-level real estate courses.
- Lawyers admitted to the bar are exempt from the college-level course requirements, but they must pass the exam.
The broker’s exam is generally longer and more difficult than a salesperson’s exam. Brokers are held to a higher standard of knowledge.
What Is a Broker Associate?
A broker associate is a real estate broker who works for another real estate broker or a brokerage firm. Although brokers could work for themselves, many choose to join a larger real estate network. Some pay a flat fee to the employing broker and some earn a percentage of each transaction.
What Is a Real Estate Agent?
Agents are licensed salespersons. They aren’t real estate brokers. A real estate agent cannot work independently; they must work for an employing broker. Brokers are responsible for their real estate agents’ actions.
Requirements for a real estate salesperson license vary from state to state as well.
In California, applicants must be at least 18 years old and must have successfully completed three college-level courses in real estate. State residency is not a requirement.
What Is a REALTOR®?
A REALTOR® can be a real estate broker or a real estate agent. All REALTORS® are agents or brokers, but not all agents or brokers are REALTORS®. It’s a title that means the individual belongs to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), subscribes to its extensive code of ethics, and pays annual dues.
Members of NAR also belong to state and local trade associations. Complaints against a REALTOR® can be filed with the local board.
What Is a Listing Agent?
Listing agents are also known as seller’s agents because they represent the seller. A listing agent can be a real estate broker or a real estate agent. These agents owe a fiduciary responsibility to the seller under a listing agreement and must protect that interest. In other words, the agent must put your interests first.
What Is a Buyer’s Agent?
A buyer’s agent is known as a selling agent (not be confused with a seller’s agent), a buying agent, or, in some states, an exclusive buyer’s agent.
Exclusive buyer’s agents never work for sellers. However, many agents work with both sellers and buyers, although not usually in the same transaction. Buyer’s agents may or may not require a buyer to sign a buyer’s broker agreement, depending on local custom and law.
What Is a Dual Agent?
Agents enter dual agency when they represent both the seller and the buyer. Dual agency can happen even if two agents are involved—a listing agent and a buyer’s agent—so long as both agents work for the same broker. In that case, the real estate broker becomes a dual agent. Dual agency is not legal in all states.
What Is a Transaction Agent?
In states where dual agency is not permitted, listing agents might find themselves in the position of writing an offer for the buyer. These agents can elect to become transaction agents. They don’t represent either party. Instead, they simply facilitate the transaction.
The Bottom Line
Knowing the types of real estate professionals can help you make informed decisions. For example, when you hire a real estate agent, you may want to dig into the real estate broker’s reputation as well, since that’s who the agent works for. You may prefer to work with a REALTOR® since they’re held to a high ethical standard. Regardless of the type of professional you work with, confirm that they are appropriately licensed and have an excellent reputation.
- Insurance Underwriter Vs. Insurance Agent Salary
- How to Become an Investment Counselor
- How Do I Become a Foreclosure Agent Specialist?
- What License Does a Personal Banker Need?
- How to Become a Title Closing Agent
Lenders, asset managers, developers, hedge fund operators and investors hire real estate agents holding special training certificates to work with “real estate-owned listings” or REOs and “bank-owned properties” or BOPs. These terms describe properties returned by the borrower to the mortgage holder. Real estate agents handling these listings must understand the current sales and rental market and have formal training to accurately complete a broker price opinion. Agents also must understand real estate law, state and federal regulations, and eviction laws. Individual states determine the legal requirements to license real estate agents and brokers, but these different regulations have core requirements made by all state licensing authorities.
Earn a real estate license by registering at a real estate school or traditional university or college, taking the required coursework and passing school exams.
Take and pass the state real estate examination, if required. Find your local requirements on the state department of real estate or professional development website.
Obtain a real estate sales agent license issued by the state department or commission of real estate, division of licensing services or office of professional licensing. Fill out an application, submit fingerprints and copies of your completed coursework. Most states also require official testing certification from your real estate trainer or proof of passing the state-required real estate exam. Pay the fees for fingerprinting and your license.
Interview with real estate companies and select a supervising real estate broker to work under as an REO listing agent. States require agents to partner with brokers who supervise the agents’ actions. Look for brokers holding specialized REO training and with membership in professional organizations such as the National REO Brokers Association to assist you in developing your business.
Take advanced real estate courses to learn to the necessary skills to create a broker’s price opinion and list REO properties. Local colleges with business schools typically offer these classes. State and local branches of the National Association of Realtors also offer training through online classes and webinars.
Register as a lender-, bank- or asset management-approved REO real estate agent. These groups collect names of qualified real estate agents capable of representing properties in specific neighborhoods and geographic regions. Contact the lenders, banks and assets managers directly by researching names and contact information on your state corporation directory available from the department of state website. You may need to search other state directories to locate REO property holders in your state.
Set up your REO listing operation with your broker’s assistance, including collecting state-approved listing forms and interviewing and hiring a helper or partnering with another REO listing agent to assist with taking calls from owners and agents of potential buyers. Partners or assistants also help manage the paperwork, bookkeeping and accounting required by the lenders, banks and asset managers to track the marketed properties.
Solicit REO listings by marketing yourself to national, regional and local lenders. Join professional business associations and societies and use Internet marketing techniques, including Facebook and LinkedIn, to collecting new listings.
Real estate brokering is a lucrative career that offers flexible hours and the opportunity to meet many different kinds of people. In this article, we discuss the duties and responsibilities of a real estate broker and provide you with steps for pursuing this career path. We’ll also cover the average salary and frequently asked questions about becoming a real estate broker.
What does a real estate broker do?
Real estate brokers help people buy, sell and lease commercial, industrial and residential properties. They help negotiate the final contract and guide their clients through every step of the real estate transaction–including inspections and repairs–that need to be completed before a sale. Here are some common duties of a real estate broker:
- Creating property listings
- Advertising available properties
- Scheduling open houses and showings
- Taking photographs of properties
- Helping clients determine their property needs and budget
The average salary for a real estate broker
Real estate brokers earn most of their income through commissions from real estate transactions. This means that real estate broker salaries can vary depending on the housing market and location.
- Common salary in the U.S.: $54,458 per year
- Some salaries range from $16,000 to $210,000 per year.
How to become a real estate broker
Real estate brokers require course training, licensing and on-the-job training. Here are the requirements you need to become a real estate broker:
- Take a state-approved real estate sales course.
- Pass your state’s real estate agent licensing program.
- Work as a real estate agent.
- Get real estate certifications.
- Take a state-approved real estate broker course.
- Pass the real estate broker exam.
1. Take a state-approved real estate sales course
First, real estate brokers need to be trained. These courses teach you about real estate legal issues, real estate finance, insurance, taxes and ethics. You need to be sure that the course you take is approved by your state licensing board to qualify for your license.
2. Pass your state’s real estate agent licensing exam
You must become a licensed real estate agent to become a real estate broker. The exam covers subjects like closing a deal, negotiations, real estate law and working with clients. Each state uses a different exam, so you should check with your state’s real estate licensing board to check the requirements.
3. Work as a real estate agent
Before you can start training as a real estate broker, you must work as a real estate agent. Every state has different requirements, but usually, it is two to five years working for a real estate broker and a certain number of real estate transactions. This experience will allow you to become familiar with working in real estate and build a reputation. It will also let you build a network and reputation.
4. Get real estate certifications
You can earn several certifications to specialize in different types of real estate. This will help build your reputation and focus your brokerage. Some examples you can focus on include military relocation and buyers and sellers, but there are many others. You will need to take courses and pass an exam to earn these certifications.
5. Take a state-approved real estate broker course
Once you gain experience as a real estate agent, you can take the real estate broker course. This course goes into more detail about contracts, ethics, insurance and taxes than the real estate agent course, while also discussing the legal issues of running a brokerage, property management, construction and real estate investments.
You will be held to a much higher standard than a real estate agent, as you will be allowed to work without supervision. Make sure that it is approved by your state’s licensure board so that it qualifies for your broker license.
6. Pass the real estate broker exam
Every state has different exam requirements, but you must pass an exam to earn a real estate broker license. This exam is longer than the real estate agent license, often taking a full day to complete.
Frequently asked questions about becoming a real estate broker
Here are some frequently asked questions about the real estate broker career path:
What education is required to become a real estate broker?
A high school diploma or equivalent is required to become a real estate broker, in addition to completing real estate training programs.
What are the skills I need to become a real estate broker?
You need to have excellent communication and negotiation skills. You need to be able to understand marketing, analyze data and understand legal matters. You should also know about the area where you are working.
What is the work environment for real estate brokers?
Real estate brokers have irregular schedules and can spend a lot of time traveling to meet clients and view properties. You will need to actively find properties and clients, create listings and advertising, write contracts and host open houses. Real estate brokers often work evenings and weekends to accommodate their clients’ schedules and viewing times.
What kinds of computer skills will I need as a real estate broker?
You will need to be able to search for listing details on the MLS database. You should also be able to do basic digital marketing. You will be working in spreadsheets and word processors to analyze data and write contracts.
What is the difference between real estate agents and real estate brokers?
Real estate agents must work for a brokerage. They are not licensed to work on their own. Real estate brokers may still work for a brokerage but they are licensed to open their own and hire other real estate professionals.
Where can I take real estate courses?
There are many options for where to take real estate courses. You should check your state’s real estate licensing board for programs that meet the licensing requirements.
Are there different types of real estate brokers?
Yes, there are three kinds. The principal broker oversees the brokerage and makes sure the real estate agents who work there are properly licensed. The managing broker oversees the daily operations of the real estate brokerage, including hiring and training real estate agents and managing the office staff. Finally, the associate broker has a broker’s license but does not supervise others.
Many men and women who become real estate agents do so, in part, because they have a desire to run their own business. By controlling their own marketing, client care, and other aspects of their operations, real estate agents are able to work as, essentially, small business owners. If, however, your goals are bigger and you are looking to run a larger business, consider starting up your own brokerage.
Why start a brokerage of your own?
There are many reasons why you might choose to start your own brokerage. These include:
A desire to increase your profit potential
By starting your own brokerage, you are able to grow your operations, leverage the time and talent of other agents, and add additional revenue streams to increase your bottom line.
Dissatisfaction with the status quo
If you have new ideas and new perspectives on running a real estate brokerage, you will have more control over implementing those ideas in your own business.
Proven systems and processes to share
If you’ve been particularly successful as a real estate agent, you may have developed your own way of doing things that you’d like to share with newer agents. Put your skills and knowledge to work and help contribute to the future of the profession.
FREE GUIDE: Learn from over 1,000 real estate agents across the country with our Voice of the Real Estate Agent report.
Which should you choose: franchise or independent?
More than half of all real estate agents in the country work for independent brokerages. How do you know whether a big-box franchise or a lean, nimble indie is right for you?
Franchises provide guidance, branding, and support which can be invaluable when you are starting out. In many cases, they also give you access to technology and training and provide built-in name recognition. In exchange for these benefits, they charge hefty franchise fees which can be hard to handle until you get a healthy cash flow established.
Independent brokerages are able to make their own decisions in regard to location, branding, and operations. As the head of an independent brokerage, you’ll have the flexibility to run your business the way you want to. However, you’ll also be responsible for developing and financing your own tech platforms, training strategies, and marketing initiatives.
What are the typical start-up costs?
Starting up a real estate brokerage can come with a wide range of costs, from around $20,000 for a small independent firm to as much as $250,000 plus for a large franchise. The following are some of the start-up costs you’ll incur as a new brokerage owner:
1. Become a broker
If you haven’t already gotten your broker’s license, you’ll want to get the necessary education, sit for the exam, and pay any attendant fees to register as a broker.
2. Obtain legal and financial expertise
It will be important for you to consult an attorney and accountant or financial planner in order to ensure that your business is properly registered as an LLC, C-Corp, or S-Corp and that you have all of the insurance you need. If you plan to take on additional agents, you’ll need contracts and other agreements as well as any proprietary client agreements.
From a financial perspective, you’ll want to make sure you have a plan in place for tracking income and expenses and for properly setting aside and paying taxes. You’ll also want to run the numbers you’ll need to develop a business plan, especially if you plan to seek funding from investors or obtain a loan.
3. Find a location
You’ll need to decide whether you’re going to operate out of a home office or have a standalone business address. Whichever you choose, you’ll have operational expenses like furniture, utilities, technology, and office supplies.
4. Create marketing materials and platforms
You’ll need business cards, stationery, flyers, and promotional materials in addition to signage for the listings you represent. You’ll also need a variety of digital platforms including a website and social media accounts. You may also want to obtain a cloud-based transaction management platform to streamline workflow for you and your agents.
5. Register with the state
You’ll have to pay annually to register your business with the state and to ensure that you are up to date on all of the fees and governmental requirements of running a brokerage.
6. Recruit and onboard agents
If you’re bringing on additional agents, you’ll need to spend time and money on recruitment, incentives, processing, and training materials. Once you’ve taken on agents, you may need to bring in administrative help or hire someone for training, transaction coordination, or other functions. You’ll also have to pay errors and omissions insurance for each agent you take on.
How can you raise the capital you need?
As with any startup, there are a variety of ways to raise capital for your business.
You may be able to finance your startup either through savings or through tapping into your home’s equity. If you choose a lean independent model, you may be able to bootstrap much of your initial startup cost.
You may want to take on a partner to help with either the financing of the brokerage or the day-to-day operations or both. This can be a great model for spouses, friends, or colleagues who have been operating as a real estate team.
Small business loan
You may be able to obtain a small business loan to fund your startup. Look beyond banks to credit unions and the Small Business Administration (SBA) for sources of credit.
You may have friends, family members, or private investors who know you and your work and are willing to help finance your startup. If you have worked a great deal with real estate investors, you may also know private financiers who would be willing to help provide funding.
Why a Custom Real Estate Website Should Be Your Number One Marketing Priority
Study: Real Estate Income Doubles After Your First Year (So Hang In There)
- Real Estate
Stay up-to-date and grow your skills
Thanks for subscribing.
Emails full of tips, news, resources and advice will be sent your way soon.
Real estate brokers negotiate and oversee real estate transactions. They do the same things that real estate agents do, but they have had additional training and achieved a higher license level. That allows them to run their own business and hire real estate agents to work for them.
As you consider how to get involved in real estate investing, you’ll need to understand the basic terms thoroughly. In this real estate broker guide, we’ll go through the proper definitions, qualifications, and duties of a broker.
Real Estate Agent vs. Real Estate Broker vs. Realtor
Agents, brokers, and Realtors are all professionals who can help you to buy, sell, or rent properties. Many use the above three terms interchangeably; however, they have different qualifications and status levels.
Real estate agents are also called real estate associates or real estate salespeople. In most states, a real estate agent must be sponsored by a real estate broker or a brokerage firm.
A real estate broker has completed additional courses and had a certain amount of experience before earning their title. They can work independently or head their own brokerage firm.
Note: In some states, such as Colorado and New Mexico, every licensed real estate professional is referred to as a broker. However, even brokers in these states have to complete additional training before they can hire other brokers to work for them.
A Realtor could be either a real estate agent or a real estate broker, or even a property manager or an appraiser. But not everyone in those professions is allowed to use this designation: Realtor is a trademarked title governed by detailed rules from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR stylizes this term as “REALTOR®” in its usage.
The National Association of Realtors was formed in 1916 in order to create ethical standards within the then wild and unregulated real estate business. Its protocols are still the highest standard of ethics within the industry.
What gives professionals the right to call themselves Realtors is that, beyond their particular license in the real estate business, they have also become members of NAR. This means they pay dues to the organization and have promised to uphold NAR’s strict code of ethical behavior.
Real Estate Broker Qualifications
Real estate brokers must meet the requirements of their particular state in order to become brokers. While each state’s requirements will differ, they will most likely require all of the following qualifications:
- A minimum number of years of working in the profession (usually two to three)
- A certain number of required hours attending specific accredited courses
- The passing of a state test
- A minimum level of sales per year
Principal Broker vs. Associate Broker
Your investor-friendly real estate broker may be an associate broker or might be the principal broker of the firm – also called the managing broker, designated broker, or qualifying broker.
The principal broker will own or operate a real estate office and be responsible for that brokerage’s daily operations. They are the one with the legal authority to sign contracts on behalf of the firm. A principal broker may have associate brokers and/or real estate agents who work for his or her brokerage.
Associate brokers – also called affiliate brokers – typically don’t oversee other agents.
What Are the Duties of an Investor-Friendly Real Estate Broker?
Some real estate brokers prefer to work with home buyers, but others have chosen to specialize in working with real estate investors.
An investor-friendly broker must follow all state and federal laws, adhere to the highest professional standards, and always maintain confidentiality. This includes providing the full range of normal brokerage services, as described below.
What Services Can an Investor-Friendly Real Estate Broker Provide?
Every real estate broker will provide a range of services that includes negotiating sale prices, helping them to close deals, and drafting contracts for buyers and sellers. When you are buying, the broker will submit your offers to sellers and oversee the transaction through closing. When you are selling, the broker will list properties for you and negotiate on your behalf.
In most states, a real estate broker can also provide what’s known as Broker Price Opinion (BPO). To calculate this figure, a broker will use not only the details of that specific property, but also their expert knowledge of the neighborhood, and of sales trends in the local market at that time. A BPO is not as official as an appraiser’s price, but they have been shown to be typically quite accurate.
In addition, an investor-friendly real estate broker might also be a helpful and knowledgeable consultant regarding your goals. They may even be a specialist in the investment strategy you have chosen, whether it’s wholesaling, house flipping, or rentals. They will place their expertise in the local property market at your service.
Real estate brokers will also provide invaluable knowledge of the details of local ordinances in the city and state you are interested in investing in. They can frequently offer connections to trusted local attorneys, contractors, and other professionals an investor might need.
Real Estate Investing Frequently Asked Questions
What is wholesale real estate investing?
Wholesale real estate investing allows you to gain experience in the real estate investing game from home. You can get started with your wholesale real estate investing business by getting in the right mindset, properly setting up your business, verifying the legal requirements, learning the wholesaling process, and jumping into wholesaling.
What’s the best way to get into real estate investing?
Starting your own buy and rent real estate business gives you an additional monthly income and is a good option for starting real estate investing. The steps for owning a buy and rent business are: making a plan, getting a team together, choosing your property type and market, getting funding and making an offer, rehabilitating the property, and, finally, renting it out.
We have everything you need to learn about all these steps, from researching target neighborhoods to calculating rental revenue and preparing an income statement.
How do you form an LLC?
If you’re wondering how to form a limited liability company (LLC) for your real estate investing business, the process is easy:
- Choose your LLC name
- Find a registered agent
- File your LLC formation documents with the state
- Create an LLC operating agreement
- Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for tax purposes
Check out our How to Form an LLC guide to help you with the process.
“Providing actionable and accessible guides and tools to help you succeed”
When thinking of opening a virtual office for your real estate business, there are many things to consider. First of all, you should know what the aim is? Why did you decide to work virtually?
Virtual offices are convenient for real estate agents. Especially, when it’s done right. Here we will provide you with some information on how you should prepare your virtual office.
Have a Strategy
Before you start organizing your virtual office, you should always have a strategy. First of all, think how your business can operate on the market virtually. It’s always a good idea to research successful organizations that already went virtual for inspiration.
Also, think about what you need for your ideal virtual presence.
Setup a Connection and Address
When you have a virtual office, you need to have clear contact information everywhere: on your website, on social media channels, on different platforms you are using. Your prospective clients should be able to access you very quickly. This is especially important as a real estate agent. Also, use as many CTA buttons as you can to encourage your clients to reach out.
Purchase the Services You Need
What kind of services do you need for your virtual office? When you have a virtual office you need different programs and services to communicate and maintain organization such as scheduling programs and task management programs.
The most important thing is how you are going to organize your listings. When you have a virtual office, you need a good and strong property search website more than ever. Property search websites give your clients the best information about avaialable listings.
Setup Your Website
If you are thinking about creating a virtual real estate office, you probably already thought about your website. Setting up a good website, with all the necessary tools and add-ons is a challenging task. Here are some resources for building your website , customizing it , selecting a hosting plan and choosing a theme.
Train and Motivate Your Coworkers
You have all the necessary information. It’s time to train your coworkers and find the ways to motivate them.
How are you going to do that? The most important part is here to stay in touch. Plan meetings once or twice a week. In the meetings you can discuss important subjects, and ask your coworkers if there is anything they would like to discuss.
You can find different ways to improve your co-workers skills. Research online training, or ask them to do it and work on your personal skills together.
The steps to opening a real estate brokerage aren’t all that complicated. Much like any other incorporated company you’ll need to jump through some hoops and some steps will seem to take forever but they are navigable and they can be accomplished with a little careful planning and some good advice along the way.
Pick a company name
Your business name is usually the easiest step until you see that someone else is using your top choice. Spend some time to research what the local competition is called and create a uniquely yours business name that exemplifies your business ethic. You’ll also want to ensure that your choice of the website domain name is available and that social media handles are also not currently being used.
Apply with RECO
You’ll need to have your real estate broker designation and start the brokerage application paperwork with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) to open your brokerage. The process of approval for your brokerage registration can take 30 to 120 days depending on its complexity.
Submit your brokerage application to your local real estate board
To operate in Ontario your brokerage must be a member of a real estate board and you can begin this application process at the same time as your RECO application, with certain aspects of the application to be completed after RECO approval has been received.
Hire a lawyer and set the incorporation process in motion
The legal steps to opening your brokerage are well understood and experience matters towards getting you started efficiently. The Real Estate Council of Ontario provides a lot of information about what you need to do and your lawyer should be very familiar with all the forms and paperwork involved in your brokerage incorporation. You’ll also have to apply for a business license, among other smaller but important details.
Hire an accountant
An accountant experienced with real estate brokerages will have the accounting plan you need to stay compliant with the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA) 2002 from day one.
Open your bank accounts
Your real estate brokerage requires, at a minimum, 3 bank accounts for you to keep separate the money you’ll receive throughout the transactions you administer, as dictated by RECO. Working in conjunction with your accountant these accounts should always be accurate and inspection-ready.
Find an office location
Your office rent is usually your biggest ongoing business expense aside from staff salaries. Be prepared for some tough negotiations as you evaluate different areas to give your business a home.
Create marketing materials to promote your business
Start with business cards, brochures, and yard signs. Be certain that your graphic artist provides your designs in a variety of file formats and sizes so you’ll have on hand the graphic files you’ll need down the road.
Launch a website
Future clients will search for you online, be certain you can be found.
Open for business!
And get to work.