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What is it like to be a real estate broker?

What does a typical day for a real estate broker look like?

What are some tools of the trade?

What are the requirements and training needed in order to become a real estate broker?

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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


2 answers

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Frank’s Answer

Hello Jose,
I'm not sure how much you know about the real estate sales profession, so I'll give you some basic information. I was licensed as a California real estate agent for about 9 years in California. Since you are from California, as has been stated previously by Maria, a broker license starts with obtaining a real estate license to become an agent. After 2 years of holding a salesperson's license, (that was the requirement back in the 1990s, so you may want to confirm the 2 year requirement), you can then apply to take the real estate broker exam. Every real estate agent needs to have their license with a real estate broker if they want to get paid a commission. The broker supplies the knowledge, real estate expertise, possibly an office and staff, to help you close real estate transactions and allow you to get paid for your real estate work. For that service agents pay a portion of their commission to the broker. This is typically 40-50 percent depending on the agent's experience and skill level. High earners can negotiate for a better commission split. Some brokers will only charge a monthly fee to their agents and the agent is free to keep their full commission. Brokers may manage a staff of real estate agents and earn a part of the commission of each of those agents, or the broker may work alone and sell real estate while keeping the full amount of their earned commission.

If you enjoy talking to people and love being around lots of people, you will like being in the real estate sales business, whether as an agent or a broker. I enjoyed the real estate business for many years but I enjoyed the paperwork and escrow part of the business more than the actual sales part of the job. Eventually I moved to work for a mortgage company and did really well working at an office not interacting with the general public. I found I really like working alone more than working with the public directly.

Some requirements you will need to have is some basic math skills to calculate monthly payments and costs. You will have to look at lots of legal documents as well, so good reading and comprehension is a good skill to have. Good negotiation skills are important. If you like being the peacemaker in a conflict, you will do well in the real estate sales business. You can learn a lot of these "sales" skills as you progress in your experience and learn from other agents in the office by co-listing property with them. But most of all you must love to work with people and not be afraid of rejection as you will get lots of disappointments when a sale does not go through. You are not guaranteed an income so you will have to be a good money manager to manage your fluctuating income. In becoming a real estate broker or agent you're are starting a business and you have to get your customers by meeting people and advertising your services to the public. The real estate profession is an honorable business. Everyone needs a roof over their heads so you have a plenty of prospects in any city to help with moving into a home.
Other fields that are similar to real estate, is the insurance business in which I now work. Transactions typically close faster than a real estate transaction. You get paid faster, though typically less money per sale.
Think about how you would like to help people whether helping them with a home purchase, with protecting their assets with insurance or helping them with a car purchase or other product. There are many potential industries to consider. Some industries require a license and others do not. If you like helping people with purchasing products, then your income can be unlimited.

Frank recommends the following next steps:

Consider if you would like to work in a sales job or in an office job. Whether indoors or outdoors. Working with your mind or with your hands.
One way to determine your future job success is to find out what job suits your personality. I suggest you contact your guidance counselor to see about taking a personality/job tests that will help you better determine the best professions for your personality.
You may also take a simple and free personality test on YouTube or search for it on the Internet under the "Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test (MBTI)". The test has been quite accurate for me.
If you choose a particular industry such as the real estate industry, check out the industry websites that industry has. For real estate you may want to explore the California Department of Real Estate site, if you choose to work in California, or the California Association of Realtors or National Association of Realtors. Many good tips and information is found in these industry websites.
Have fun. Learning and navigating your future career is a great adventure to learn about yourself and the various professions that are available today and in the future.
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Maria Jose’s Answer

I know that each state works different with obtaining the license for Real Estate Sales Agent.
In general, you complete some lessons, study on your own, and take a test.
Once you pass, you are good to go and then can get your license down with a RE office you like.
Each RE office works different, so you might want to interview with different ones before you make a decision.
If this is your passion, you would do great, if down the line you realize it is not for you... you haven't lost much time, as this is something you can accomplish in couple of months. The knowledge you will acquire would be something you keep for the rest of your life, so totally worth trying it. Even for when you become a first time home buyer, this will be helpful.