Last Updated on: 17th January 2023, 04:28 pm
In this post, we’re going to cover a lot more than just the differences between a real estate agent, realtor, and real estate broker.
But in a nutshell…
Real estate agents are professionals that facilitate the buying and selling of houses for their clients in exchange for a certain amount of commission. In short, real estate agents are salespersons. Realtors, on the other hand, are still real estate agents. The only difference is that they are members of an association called the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Being a member of NAR is what gives them the fancy title of being a “Realtor.” And lastly, real estate brokers are real estate agents who are licensed to open up a real estate brokerage firm.
Keep in mind that real estate agents, realtors, and brokers are all salespeople. It’s just the flexibility to do business and to do certain things that differentiate them from each.
Can someone be a real estate agent, a realtor and a broker at the same time?
If you’re an agent who decides to take the necessary steps and requirements to be a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) then you can be a realtor. And if you decide to take additional education and training and pass the real estate broker licensure exam, then you can be a broker. So yes, someone can be a real estate agent, a realtor and a broker at the same time.
Now let’s start answering some commonly asked questions.
What do real estate agents do?
Real estate agents are salespeople, so their work may include any of the following:
1. Finding clients that want to sell or buy a house.
2. Setting up an appointment.
3. Arranging meetings with the Client.
4. Give home property advice.
5. Lead Follow-ups.
6. Property research in the local areas.
7. Run comparables.
8. Run marketing campaigns to get clients.
9. Business-related in-person and phone call conversions.
10. Door knocking when prospecting and some more.
Being a real estate agent can be tough, as with any other profession. And for anyone considering a career in this field, it is normal to have many questions, such as:
How do you become a real estate agent?
To simplify, here are three simple steps to become a real estate agent:
Step 1: Take a pre-license real estate course and the licensing test.
Real estate pre-license course usually takes about 48-60 hours long. This course could be in-person or online and is usually is going to be broken into units. Each unit will have a series of questions in them at the end that you will need to answer and pass in order to unlock the next unit of the full course.
These quiz-like questions are just part of the course and are designed to help you effectively complete the course. They’re not the actual exam that will get you your license upon completion.
Available Courses Here: Take Real Estate Course
What’s next after completing your real estate course?
Once you’ve completed the course, the next step will be to take a real estate practice exam. A real estate practice exam may be required before you can take the actual state licensing exam for real estate agents. Practice exams can be administered by government agencies, or professional associations that have been authorized to do so.
If you pass the practice exam, you will receive a certificate which may be required when taking the actual state licensing examination at your local real estate testing center.
Take your practice exam here: PSI Practice Exam
But what happens if you fail your real estate agent licensing exam?
If you did not pass your first real estate agent licensing exam, you can retake it as many times as you need within the first year after taking it. If it has been more than a year since you took the exam, then you’re gonna have to retake the course before you can take the exam again.
If you have been failing the exam, just know that many successful real estate agents have also failed their real estate exam multiple times when they were just starting out. Keep trying and don’t let this setback affect you.
What’s next after passing your real estate state test?
After passing your real estate state test, you’ll need to put together an application with your state’s real estate commission to get approved for a license.
Note that some states may require you to be sponsored by a licensed broker first before you can apply for a license. This means that you have to have a sponsored broker first that will sign your application for licensure.
Find Real Estate Commission Here: List of Real Estate Commissions Per State
Step 2: Put together an application with your state’s real estate commission.
This application will include your personal identification, evidence that you passed your real estate licensing examination, and/or a signed application by your sponsored broker accepting the responsibility that you’re with them.
Send this application to the state real estate commission in your local area. After this, you can expect to receive your license within the first or second weeks.
Note that in most states, the license that you will receive the first time from your real estate state commission will be just the temporary salesperson license. This is because most real estate state commissions will require you to take a 30-hour post-license course after getting your temporary salesperson license.
The real estate post-license course has a duration of six months to complete. Once you pass it, your real estate state commission will replace your temporary salesperson license with an associate salesperson license.
Step 3: To pick a broker to work under.
After passing your real estate license test, you will need to pick a broker to work under. Having a broker will allow you to legally perform real estate business transactions.
To reiterate: Some states may require you to be sponsored by a licensed broker first before you can apply for a license. This means that you have to have a sponsored broker first that will sign your application for licensure.
What to look for when picking a broker?
It may vary depending on what you find would benefit you the most. But to make it simple…
Look for a broker that has:
- Supportive team and mentors
- Has a fair commission split structure
- Excellent leadership
- Provides marketing training
- Has a high success rate of agents
Note that being a real estate agent is not an easy job at all. But it can be very rewarding in so many ways.
To not get your hopes up, let’s close this post by listing down some of the cons of being a real estate agent.
Cons of being a real estate agent:
- The failure rate in the real estate industry is incredibly high. They even say that approximately 90% of real estate agents don’t make it within the first 3-5 years of being in the business. This is because the real estate business can be a hard career to get into.
- The classes that you take to get your license don’t really teach you most of the real-life scenarios on how to actually sell real estate.
- You don’t get paid unless you close a deal.
- It can be very hard to get clients.
For the sake of simplicity, we make a separate post about what realtors and real estate brokers are and what they do. Read the post here: What do realtors and real estate brokers do and how to become one?
Hope this helps!