Steps to Move from Real Estate Agent to Broker

Becoming a real estate broker is an excellent way to further your career in the real estate industry. Not only do brokers tend to make more money than agents, but they also have more control over their businesses.

Brokers have an average income of $93k – $120k, double or triple the average income of an agent. Are you ready to take your career to the next level?

Difference Between a Real Estate Agent and a Broker

If you’re new to the industry, the first step is understanding the difference between a real estate agent and a broker. A real estate agent helps people buy, sell, or rent a property, and they are licensed to do so by the state where they practice.

A broker is an agent with additional training and education. The state also licenses them, but they can work independently. In some states, brokers can also own real estate companies with other agents working for them.

Many of the responsibilities of a real estate broker are the same as an agent. They still help people buy, sell, and rent a property. However, as a broker, you will have additional obligations. This includes supervising other agents, handling the finances of your real estate company, and marketing your business at an even higher level. Responsibilities include:

  • Listing and marketing properties for sale
  • Helping clients find suitable properties
  • Negotiating sales contracts on behalf of clients
  • Overseeing real estate transactions
  • Providing guidance and support to agents working with you
  • Ensuring all real estate transactions are carried out according to state laws

Agents may be interested in becoming brokers for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is that brokers typically earn more money. In addition, as a broker you’ll have more control over your career path. You can open your own real estate company or work for a more prominent firm. You’ll also have flexibility to specialize in certain areas of real estate, such as commercial or high-priced residential properties.

The Four-step Process for How to Become a Broker

Now that you know the difference between an agent and a broker, we can outline the steps you need to take to become a broker. As a real estate agent, you have already done the following:

  • Completed a state-approved real estate course
  • Passed the real estate agent certification test

If you’re a real estate agent, you’re already halfway there, depending on your state’s requirements. How to become a broker involves a few more steps.

Step One: Work as a real estate agent.

Before becoming a broker, you must have at least two years of experience working as a real estate agent. Depending on the state, you may need even more experience. This ensures you have the necessary knowledge and skills to become a broker. During this stage, build up your list of clients and hone your skills. Learning how to negotiate, understanding real estate law, and developing high-level communication skills are essential as a broker.

Step Two: Acquire specialized certifications

Though not a required step in your journey on how to become a broker, taking specialized courses will give you an edge over the competition. These courses will deepen your understanding of real estate investment, appraisal, and property management, among other topics, which will make you more knowledgeable and attractive to potential clients. More specialized training includes military relocation, green real estate, and real estate for seniors.

Step Three: Complete a state-approved real estate broker course.

You must complete a state-approved real estate broker course, similar to the agent course. The time required for this course varies by state, but it’s typically around 12 months. Many programs are designed to learn at your own pace, but they require you to finish within a specific time frame.

For example, in Pennsylvania a total of 240 hours of coursework is required. You can take it at your own pace, but you must complete the coursework within ten years of beginning the program. This will give you a broad overview of what it means to be a broker. The course covers real estate law, ethics, and brokerage management.

Step Four: Pass the real estate broker exam

After completing the broker course, you must take and pass the real estate broker exam. This is usually a multiple-choice exam that tests your knowledge of real estate law and practice. Once you’ve passed the exam, you will be officially licensed as a real estate broker.

The Benefits of Becoming a Real Estate Broker

Becoming a real estate broker takes time and effort, but the benefits are rewarding.

  • Independence: As a broker, you can work independently. You don’t have to report to anyone but yourself, which gives you freedom in how you run your business.
  • Increased earnings potential: With a successful brokerage, you can earn a lot more money than you would as an agent.
  • More control over your career: As a broker, you have more control over your career path. You can choose to specialize in certain areas of real estate or work with specific types of clients. This allows you to build a successful career tailored to your strengths and interests.

Tips for Building a Successful Real Estate Brokerage

Now that you know how to become a real estate broker and the benefits, it’s time to learn how to build a successful real estate brokerage.

Build a strong team of agents

As a broker, one of your most important tasks is to build a strong team of agents. Agents work with clients to buy and sell properties, and since part of the sales commission benefits you, choose wisely. Be sure to hire experienced, personable agents knowledgeable about the area where they’ll work.

Develop a niche market

Another key to success is to develop a niche market. This means focusing on a specific type of property or clientele. By specializing in a particular area, you’ll become an expert who meets your clients’ needs and stands out from other brokerages. 

Leverage software and technology

In today’s world, leveraging software and technology to run your business is essential. Many types of software can help you with everything from marketing to transaction management. In addition, platforms like allow electronic payments, which is more efficient and secure than paper checks.


Becoming a real estate broker unlocks many doors. You have the opportunity to earn more money, work independently, and build a successful business tailored to your strengths. If you’ve been thinking about how to become a broker, it’s essential to understand the steps involved in this process. Building a strong team of agents, developing a niche market, and creating a solid branding strategy are all essential for success. Additionally, leveraging software and technology is critical in today’s world.

So make sure you’re using the latest tools like to help run your business. With the right planning and execution, there’s no doubt that you can be successful as a real estate broker. Schedule a demo of the platform today to see how we can help you take your business to the next level.