It’s the question that’s crossed every real estate agent’s mind at least once. Whether you’re about ready to make the jump and get your broker license or are still skeptical, we’ve weighed out the pros and cons for you. Find out if becoming a real estate broker is worth it.
Broker License Pros
You can work for yourself.
Who doesn’t want 100% of their commission? Working as an agent broker means more autonomy and not having to split your earnings, and is usually the biggest draw for agents to get their license. Not to mention, owning the listings is a pretty sweet incentive as well.
When you’re working for yourself, you can take that direction in so many different ways. You could use your license to oversee a team of agents and earn commission off their sales. You can function independently, or you could become an associate broker. Associate brokers can often leverage a higher commission and still work directly with clients.
Becoming a broker opens more career doors.
Real estate agents are pretty limited in how they can grow their career. As mentioned, becoming a broker means you can end up in a managerial or associate role. Another option is becoming a designated or principal broker, and from there you can become a broker-owner (where you own the brokerage).
Another role that’s available for brokers is property management. Property management companies are required to have a licensed broker on staff. You could work for a company or even start your own (and not have to hire a broker).
For any agent who’s feeling a bit stagnant and wants to step into a new role, getting a broker license is a solid next step. After all, you can still work with buyers and sellers, but becoming a broker takes your career into a new direction.
You could increase your salary.
Agents already know that brokers can make more money — but how much more?
The answer varies. Unsurprisingly, states with the most expensive house prices (New York, Massachusetts, Washington, etc.) have the highest annual salaries for agents. But the median agent salary is about $49,000, according to Investopedia. By contrast, the median broker income is around $54,600.
According to ZipRecruiter, full-time real estate agents across the country make between $66,000 and $91,000 per year. Real estate brokers roughly average between $80,000 and $110,000 per year.
While it’s tricky to narrow down exact earnings (especially in a commission-based system), one thing is clear. No matter where you are in the US, your broker license will almost certainly increase your salary.
Broker License Cons
It requires more work to get…
Becoming a real estate broker varies a lot by state. Here are some of the basic things you can expect to encounter:
- Having some form of real estate agent experience
- Taking a broker class
- Passing your broker exam
As far as the variances go from state the state, it’s all over the map. In Massachusetts you need 40 hours of coursework and need 3 years of agent experience. In California, you don’t need actual agent experience as long as you graduated from college with a major or minor in real estate. In Texas, you need 900 hours of coursework!
Before even starting the journey to getting your broker license, you’ll need to spend some time figuring out your state’s requirements.
…and is typically more work overall.
Depending on the role you embark upon with your broker license, there’s a good chance you’ll end up taking on more work. More specifically, a lot of this work is administrative — organizing appointments, open houses, reviewing and writing contracts, building client databases, handling agent and client issues, etc.
Many real estate agents love the thrill of a sale and interacting with clients, and are quickly bored by administrative work. If you’re sincerely happy with helping people buy or sell homes, don’t feel like you have to become a broker — especially if you don’t think you’ll like the work involved.
Greater responsibility comes with greater risk.
As an agent, the brokerage you work for is legally and financially responsible for your transactions. When you become an agent broker, this responsibility transfers to you.
Certain broker roles carry more risk than others. For example, if you plan on managing a team of agents, know that they are your financial and legal responsibility — if something goes down, you could be held accountable.
Find an agent broker program that works for you.
If you decide to take on your broker license, you’ll want to align yourself with the best resources available. RealtyHive has a co-broker program that strives to provide just that. You can shorten the selling process, experience more calls to the listing agent, access better marketing and we hand potential buyers for your listings over to you for free. Learn about becoming a co-broker through RealtyHive, and best of luck with your license!