If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a real estate broker, you’re not alone. Many people find the idea of being their own boss while helping others achieve their goals very appealing. But what do you need to become a real estate broker, and what are some practical tips to help you get there?

This article will dive into the following topics:

  • What real estate brokers do
  • What makes them different from real estate agents
  • Steps to getting the proper credentials
  • How long the process takes
67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

What Do Real Estate Brokers Do?

As a real estate broker, you will represent the interests of sellers and buyers. Your job is to help people find the right property, negotiate a deal, and ensure the sale goes as smoothly as possible. Part of this process involves assisting clients with advertising their property and calculating a budget.

How Are Real Estate Agents Different From Brokers?


Both real estate brokers and agents work to sell real estate. They represent a seller or buyer in the transaction, keeping the client’s best interest in mind and getting the best deal for all parties. Brokers can do everything agents do and more, thanks to additional licensing.

Unlike real estate agents, brokers can:

  • Own real estate firms
  • Hire a team of real estate agents
  • Operate property management businesses

Many people assume there is only one type of real estate broker. However, the term “broker” is a catch-all for three different but interlocking categories as follows:

  • Associate brokers: Associate brokers have all the necessary licensing per real estate law. However, they do not manage other brokers or agents and take a desk fee.
  • Managing brokers: This type of broker takes care of day-to-day business operations within the brokerage. A managing broker’s duties often include hiring, training, and overseeing staff members.
  • Principal brokers: Every team needs a leader, which is where principal brokers come in. Principal brokers assume responsibility for the brokerage as a whole and ensure all team members have the proper credentials.
67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

How Long Does It Take To Get a Broker License?

Perhaps the burning question isn’t “What do you need to become a real estate broker?” Perhaps it is “How long does it take to get a broker license?” The answer varies according to your state’s requirements. Two things you must factor into the timeline include:

  • Time spent as a real estate agent. Some people must work for a year as an agent before pursuing their broker license. Others must work as real estate agents for nearly three years.
  • Time spent on the real estate broker course. The required training and coursework can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Then, you must take the license exam and pass it.

Steps To Becoming a Real Estate Broker


What do you need to become a real estate broker? On top of specific skills and a solid work ethic, you’ll need to complete several steps before getting a broker license.

Work as a Real Estate Agent

To become a real estate broker, you must have experience working as a real estate agent. Working as an agent will give you the experience and knowledge necessary for success in this field. If you’re interested in working under a broker, here are some tips on finding a broker to work for.

The best way to learn how to become a broker is by experience. You’ll gain valuable knowledge about the business and local market while working as an agent over time. Working under a broker can also give you an in when trying to enter the profession later on.

Get the Proper Certifications

Not every real estate agent can become a broker based on sheer experience, success rate, or earnings. You’ll need to get the appropriate certifications by taking state-approved broker courses. Specializing in different types of real estate will allow you to narrow your expertise and excel in a specific area.

Take a Real Estate Broker Course

Real estate broker courses are an essential step to obtaining the necessary certifications. When it comes to choosing a course, you have multiple options. However, you must ensure it is state approved to guarantee you’ll qualify for a broker license.

Broker courses can be intense, but you have options regarding the course format. In addition to online real estate broker programs, you can take them in person at the following locations:

  • Community colleges
  • Universities
  • Real estate schools

Pass the Real Estate Broker Exam

Upon reaching the end of the state-approved broker course, you must pass the final exam. Real estate broker exams may vary slightly depending on your state or region, but they share many similarities. For example, you can expect the exam to include at least 100 multiple-choice questions on several primary real estate topics.

Examples of some of the subjects your final exam may cover include the following:

  • Real estate law: You must demonstrate your understanding of real estate law before earning your broker license. This topic typically covers things like zoning restrictions and protected classes.
  • Real estate finance: Understanding aspects of real estate finance is critical to passing the exam and working as a broker. You’ll need to answer questions regarding long-term capital gains, mortgage types, etc. 
  • Real estate contracts: A real estate contract is a legally binding agreement between all parties involved in a sale. You can’t gloss over this because multiple questions about listing contracts will be on the test. 
  • Property valuation: How do you determine a property’s value? How do valuations change from residential to commercial properties, for instance? Your end-of-course broker exam will include these and other questions about property valuation. 

Start Achieving Your Real Estate Goals Today

Many real estate agents wonder, “What do you need to become a real estate broker?” At Local Leader®, we have free digital resources to answer that question and many others (including how to know when to switch real estate brokerages). Sign up for our newsletter to get started right now!