Becoming a real estate broker is something which can normally only be done in two separate stages, as most states need you to pass an examination before you can act as an agent, and then another one before you can become a fully fledged broker. The positive side of this is that you can make a good living as an agent while you are qualifying for broker status. Another positive is that the real estate licensing and qualification system is far less restrictive than many in other industries.
If you are considering this career for the first time, it will be extremely helpful for you to have an overview of the market and an understanding of how the real estate industry operates. When someone has a property for sale, they need to attract buyers. Whereas these buyers have many properties to choose from, the seller has to sell that one specific property. The inherent bias in the market towards buyers can be offset to a degree by effective selling and marketing. To this end, the seller will usually engage an agent or broker to try to finalize a deal with a potential buyer, in the belief that the higher selling price will more than justify the broker’s commission.
Unless you have certain inherent advantages, such as already being a licensed broker from another state or a trained lawyer, you will need to start out by training to become a real estate agent. These agents work under the broker, and are normally involved in the business of selling properties. Some agents buy and sell, and a few even make their entire living by buying properties on behalf of investors. This can be extremely lucrative, as investors are prepared to pay handsomely for tips which will lead to properties they can profit from for many years.
There are some states where acting as an agent and becoming a real estate broker are not so clearly defined, as there is just one licensing system which covers everyone who works in the real estate industry. This is more the exception than the rule, however, and in most states you will need to train as a broker while you are earning a living as an agent. Further study, and an examination at the end of it, will give you the right to act as a broker in a large chain,or to set up your own business and employ your own salespeople.
The examinations you will need to take are taxing enough to prevent those without the necessary knowledge entering the profession, but they are by no means impossible to get through. Diligent practice and study while you are acting as an agent should really be all you need to be able to progress to the next level, as you will be working under brokers and be in the perfect position to observe them at work and know how they operate. The relatively short formal learning requirement should be easily absorbed, leaving you confident of success when the examination comes.
The process of becoming a real estate broker is certainly far easier and quicker than qualifying as a doctor or lawyer, and you can begin earning relatively quickly. If you have sales skills, as well as a knowledge of the local area and property values, there should be no reason why you cannot progress to whichever level you choose for yourself. A knowledge of computer technology and the workings of the Internet will also be invaluable, as so many properties are now sold online. Becoming adept at using modern business software is an important part of becoming a real estate broker.