Real Estate Broker Jobs
Up to this point, we have been using the generic term, real estate agent. But to be more accurate, real estate agents are divided into salespeople and brokers.
Real estate brokers and salespeople do the same type of work, but brokers are licensed to manage their own real estate business while salespeople must work under the supervision of a broker. There are also associate brokers, who are licensed to run their own companies but choose to keep working under another broker.
Most states give separate exams for real estate salespeople and brokers and only allow people to take the brokers exam after working as a salesperson for a number of years.
However, a few states have one all-encompassing exam that allows all real estate agents to be licensed brokers upon passing.
Status & Pay
In almost all cases, real estate salespeople are not considered to be employees of brokerages, but rather, as independent contractors. The broker provides desk space, technology, some advertising, a database with likely clients and other services, depending upon the broker. In return, salespeople split commissions with their brokers (beginning salespeople start at a 50-50 split but may be able to negotiate for a 60-40 or 70-30 split later on.) Occasionally, the salesperson will pay a fee for an office and affiliation with a company and keep the rest of the commission. Very rarely do real estate salespersons earn a set salary and receive benefits.
Realtors are licensed real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors. Some use Realtor and Real Estate Agent interchangeably, but this is incorrect, as not all Real Estate Agents choose to be Realtors (however the vast majority are). Real Estate Agents who join the association agree to abide by a higher code of ethics and are subject to certain restrictions and educational requirements. Holding this credential indicates that a Real Estate Agent is honest and held accountable.