What’s In a Name?

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  • If you’re contemplating a career in real estate, but don’t know where to start, here’s a little help. First of all, decide what role you’d like to play in the real estate industry. The two main sales-related positions are broker and agent, and these can be further subdivided into categories like associate broker, buyer’s agent or seller’s agent.


    A real estate broker is usually the active manager or owner of a real estate company. A broker oversees the agents employed by the brokerage and can step in to resolve issues that may arise in the negotiation or sales process. Brokers are usually also licensed real estate agents, but they have more extensive schooling and stringent licensing requirements. Part of their training is usually to work as an agent for a specific time period before qualifying to take their broker’s license exam.

    An associate broker is someone who’s a qualified broker, but chooses to work in a junior capacity under another broker.

    Real Estate Agents

    Real estate agent are persons who are trained and licensed to act on behalf of an individual or business to buy or sell properties in the state in which they’re licensed. Some carry the designation of REALTOR®, which means that they’re a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and bound by its code of ethics and standards. Whether you’re is a REALTOR® or a licensed agent, you can choose to represent only sellers in a real estate transaction, or to represent only buyers or to represent both, even in the same transaction. Real estate agents can also act as property managers for property rentals, depending on the services offered by the agency they’re associated with.

    Though real estate agents may work for a brokerage firm, they;re usually considered independent agents, and pay a percentage of their commissions for the privileged and benefits of beign associated with an established agency.

    Regardless of whether you want to become a broker or a real estate agent, you must first take a minimum number of credit hours and pass both state and national exams to qualify for licensure; licensing requirements vary from state to state, but federal requirements are the same for every state.

    Brokers require more extensive training and they have more rigorous standards for obtaining their license; both occupations may require continued education and periodic license renewal. You can enroll in a qualified real estate school either online or at a local center of higher learning that offers real estate license preparation courses.

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