How to Become a Real Estate Broker

Whether you are looking for information on how to become a real estate broker, or interested to know more about the education and license requirements, you will find in this in-depth article all you need to get under way on a solid ground.

I have provided answers to questions you may have including: what is a real estate broker, the skills you must possess to succeed as a broker, salary information, job prospect, pre-licensing classes and licensing information as well as life after certification.

Although the requirements differ by state, there are a few general national requirements you must fulfill as a licensee. Such obligations include fulfilling course requirements, having previous real estate agent experience and passing licensing exams.

What Is a Real Estate Broker?

How to become a real estate broker

A real estate broker is a certified expert who deals with the selling and leasing of income-yielding estate properties like apartments, shopping centers, stores, depots and industrial parks.

Each of the 50 states in the U.S. has distinct laws that define the relationships between clients and real estate brokers.

In the U.S., the affiliation between a broker and his clients was primarily recognized in the English common law of agency. During this time, the broker was given a fiduciary relationship with clients. The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) was created to bring together Minority Real Estate Professionals all over the country to promote evocative exchange of ideas within the Real Estate industry.

Real Estate licensing laws and regulations can, thus, change from time to time. To ensure you stay up-to-date with the current trends in the Real Estate industry, I have provided you with the link to check possible changes in real estate broker license law.

Skills You Need to Be a Successful Real Estate Broker

To succeed as a broker you must possess the following basic skills:

Strong communication skills. You need strong communication skills to be able to communicate effectively with your clients, associate brokers or estate agents who work under you and be able to negotiate on your clients’ behalf to ensure that you meet their individual needs.

Independent working ability. As a broker, you are expected to work independently. Thus, you must possess excellent skills at attracting and retaining clients.

Management ability. You must be able to manage your employees and appropriately manage your brokerage finances.

Real Estate Broker Classes and Training Requirements

Real estate broker classes and required pre-licensing training vary from state to state. You would generally be required to be trained for some of the following courses:

  • Law of Agency
  • Property Management
  • Law of Contracts
  • Real Estate Practice
  • Advanced Real Estate Finance
  • Real Estate Accounting
  • Real Estate Principles
  • Business Law
  • Trust fund handling
  • Consumer protection
  • Fair housing
  • Ethics
  • Risk management
  • Escrow
  • Real Estate Office Administration
  • Advanced real estate law
  • ICT Applications in Real Estate
  • Common Interest Developments

Ensure you enroll with an accredited institution.

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree or higher education from licensed institutions may exempt you from the associated real estate training requirement but you may be required to submit your transcript for verification. California, for example, allows accredited attorneys to become brokers without taking the requisite classes if they pass broker's licensing exam.

Real Estate Broker Exam

When seeking how to become a real estate broker, you must first possess a real estate agent license and gain experience as a real estate agent under a brokerage for a number of years.

The licensing exam requires you to understand basic national and state real estate laws. The number of course hours you require depend on your previous experience as an estate agent. You must complete your state’s continuing education requirements after passing the national real estate broker exam to be certified.

State requirements are varied. California and Florida, for example, require a minimum of two years of experience as a licensed estate agent; Indiana only requires one year of experience and Arizona needs three years of experience.

California licensees must complete 45 hours of ongoing education every four years. Several states recognize licenses from other states and issue licenses to existing brokers on demand without supplementary education or exam. However, such brokers cannot operate legally in the state without first being licensed.

Obtaining a Real Estate Broker License

The licensing requirements and fees vary from state to state but generally, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Fulfill specific course requirements: you must complete a given number of real estate college classes depending on your state’s requirements.
  • Have a certain amount of years of experience as an estate agent.
  • Carry out finger print checks for criminal records.
  • Do background checks.
  • Pay appropriate licensing fees.
  • Take and pass the licensing exam. If you fail either State or National exam, you’ll be required to complete 30 hours of qualifying classes and 60 hours of qualifying classes if you fail both exams.

Real Estate Broker Job Prospect

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job prospect for real estate brokers depends on the overall economy. The forecast shows a slow employment growth of 2% between 2014 and 2024. BLS statistics also show that average employment of real estate brokers will spike correspondingly with the nation’s overall employments by 11 percent between 2012 and 2020.

Real Estate Broker Salary Range

As a real estate broker, you’d typically receive commissions for a successful match of a seller's real estate with a buyer and help sellers market and sell their property under the best terms and at the highest possible rate.

Your salary expectation would depend on your state, the housing market, your reputation and experience, the amount and types of transactions you complete, your ability to attract clients and your network of customers.

In some states, the average salary ranges from $51,267 to $57,360 annually. However, the average national estimate for Real estate broker’s salary in the U.S. is $38.56 per hour and $80,210 per annum.

Your Job as an Estate Broker

As a real estate broker, you act as a mediator between sellers and buyers of real estate property. Your role as an estate broker is generally to provide advice to prospective sellers or buyers given that the real estate law varies from state to state and province to province. These roles may change. Endeavour to stay up to date by checking out the current real estate trends. You may be required to handle any of the following roles:

  • Conduct comparative Market Analysis.
  • Give Overall Market Overview.
  • Give your Broker's Price Opinion.
  • Market sellers’ real property to potential buyers.
  • Assist buyers and sellers through the procurement and selling process.
  • Assist sellers to do FSBO paperwork preparation.
  • Prepare guides on best property marketing and selling strategies.
  • Carry out consultation with clients for a fee.
  • Engage in leasing deal for a fee or commission.
  • Take care of Property Management.
  • Do property swap and property Dutch auction.
  • Prepare contracts and lease terms in some states.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Real Estate Broker?

The time period varies from state to state but it is generally between one to three years in duration. You must have worked as an estate agent within this stretch of time before applying for a broker’s license. The time period may also depend on how long you take to obtain the required training and pass the licensing exams.

Life after Training and Licensure

As a licensed broker, you can either work independently or in collaboration with another broker. An independent broker is also referred to as principal or qualifying broker while an associate broker works in collaboration with another broker in a brokerage.

Independent brokers open up their own real estate company while as an associate broker you’ll continue to carry out a role similar to the one you had as an estate agent within a brokerage. As an associate broker, you may still be able to work with the brokerage that employed you as an estate agent.

Working as an associate broker helps you to gain experience that will be invaluable when you eventually decide to launch your own firm. If you want to be independent, you must develop strategies to get clients. You must be able to launch aggressive marketing campaigns both online through the social media and offline through conventional media and through word-of-mouth recommendation to friends and previous clients.


You have enough information to guide you in your career path as an estate broker. Ensure you that meet all the requirements stipulated in this article, if you want to succeed. You can, as well, obtain information about licensing and license renewal through the officials of Association of Real Estate License Law.


Mike Davidson

Mike Davidson has been in the real estate business since early 2000s. Presently, he works as a real estate coach helping agents and brokerages achieve their goals whilst teaching them a panoply of new technologies, office and team management and how to cope with their job pressure.