What Is a Real Estate Broker? What Does a Real Estate Broker Do?

As you contemplate a career in real estate, you may wonder about the role of a real estate broker. We’ll answer the question, “What is a broker?” and explain the similarities and differences between a broker and an agent. Then, we’ll give you a job description of a real estate broker so you can determine if this will be your ultimate career goal.

What Is a Broker?

Like a real estate agent, a real estate broker is a licensed professional who assists people in buying and selling properties. However, real estate brokers can work independently, while a real estate agent must have a broker oversee their work. Brokers also can run their own real estate brokerage firms.

What Does a Broker Do?

Some real estate agents become brokers because they want autonomy. Others do it because they would prefer to interact with other agents rather than clients. These brokers spend more time overseeing real estate agents (in return for a share of their commissions.) 

Here are some typical duties of a real estate broker, understanding that some brokers focus on sales and others focus on supervision.

List properties for sale: Brokers help determine the appropriate listing price, create marketing materials, and promote the property to potential buyers. They work to secure the best possible terms for their client. 

Represent buyers: Brokers assist buyers in finding suitable properties based on their preferences and budget. They may show properties, provide information about neighborhoods, and negotiate on behalf of the buyer. They work to secure the best possible terms for their buyer.

Understand the market: Brokers stay informed about local real estate market conditions, property values, and trends. They use this knowledge to guide their clients and other real estate agents in making informed decisions.

Complete paperwork: Real estate transactions involve a significant amount of paperwork, including contracts, disclosures, and other legal documents. Brokers ensure that all necessary documentation is completed accurately and complies with local and state laws.

Oversee and train real estate agents: Brokers must oversee the work of real estate agents to make sure the work is accurate and in compliance with real estate laws and code of ethics. In addition, brokers mentor real estate agents and train them on best practices. 

Manage the office: Many brokerages have a physical office with staff. A broker oversees the management of the staff and office. They also handle the marketing for their business.

What Are the Differences Between a Broker and an Agent?

The key differences between a broker and an agent are their experience level, education, and the scope of their responsibilities.

To become a real estate agent, individuals typically need to complete an introductory real estate pre-licensing course, which varies in length from state to state. After completing the course, they must pass a state licensing exam.

To become a broker, one must work as a real estate agent for several years (which varies by state) and gain practical experience. They must also complete additional education and pass a more comprehensive licensing exam.

As we mentioned earlier, agents must operate under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker. They cannot work independently or run their own real estate companies.

Brokers have a broader range of responsibilities, including those of real estate agents. In addition, they may engage in activities such as property management, real estate investment, and more complex real estate transactions. They often provide leadership and oversight to agents working under their brokerage.

Finally, a real estate agent typically earns a commission for their services, which is usually a percentage of the final sale price. The commission is often shared between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent – with a portion also going to both agent’s brokerages. 

It’s important to note that the specific titles and requirements for real estate professionals can vary from state to state. For example, in Illinois, a beginning real estate agent is called a broker, and those who go back for advanced training are called managing brokers. 

How Do You Become a Broker?

When you are ready to take your career to the next step, Colibri Real Estate can help. But before you can earn your state-specific broker’s license, you must earn your real estate license. 

Get started in minutes by purchasing a pre-licensing course for your state through Colibri Real Estate. We have helped over 520,000 people acquire their real estate license – and we can help you achieve your career goals too!