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How Much Does a Real Estate Broker Make in 2024?

Is it worth it to become a real estate broker?
Is it worth it to become a real estate broker?

Becoming a real estate broker is a great way to advance your career in real estate and make more money as a real estate professional. Real estate brokers must go through extensive training and certifications to manage their own real estate businesses and make more money in their careers.

But being a real estate broker and completing extensive training isn’t always for everyone. In fact, some real estate agents make more money than their brokers, which begs the question “how much does a real estate broker make?”

In this article, we’ll discuss what a real estate broker is, how a broker is different from a real estate agent, and answer the question of how much real estate brokers actually make in each state.

What is a Real Estate Broker?

Learn more about real estate brokers and what they do in the real estate industry.

Just like a real estate agent, one of the main duties of a real estate broker is to represent their clients in real estate transactions. They work with clients to understand their needs when it comes to buying or selling properties and build long-term relationships to foster repeat and referral business.

For brokers who run their own real estate company or office, they often handle high-level budgeting decisions for the company and allocate resources to marketing efforts, real estate photography, virtual tour technology, and social media advertising to grow the business. Real estate brokers may also organize networking events to promote listings for their agents. 

Another key aspect of a real estate broker’s job is on the legal side of running a real estate business. They must understand the ins and outs of contracts and all legal documents related to real estate transactions so the terms comply with local laws and real estate regulations. 

Additionally, real estate brokers are also responsible for:

  • Performing market analysis
  • Listing properties on the MLS and online listing sites
  • Negotiating on behalf of clients
  • Showing properties and managing schedules
  • Staying up-to-date on continuing education

As you can see, being a real estate broker isn’t always an easy job. You’ll have plenty of responsibilities and, in some ways, act as the CEO of a real estate company by making strategic decisions.

How Much Does a Real Estate Broker Make?

How much does a real estate broker make this year?

If you’re thinking about becoming a real estate broker, knowing the average earnings and salary is key. Before we dive into the average salary for a real estate broker in the US, it’s important to understand that these numbers vary significantly by state and based on the current real estate market. 

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of a real estate broker is $98,000 with top earners making $155,000+. 

Another factor that affects the earning for real estate brokers is the type of real estate they specialize in. Some brokers focus on luxury real estate in affluent areas, while others specialize in commercial real estate or single-family properties. 

Real Estate Broker Salary By State

Real estate brokers are similar to agents in that the income potential of the job depends on a variety of factors, including the state and locale in which the broker is located. 

Here is a breakdown of real estate broker salaries by state to give you an idea of the best states to work as a real estate broker this year, based on data compiled from Indeed, Glassdoor, and the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

  • Alabama – $87,310
  • Alaska – $91,183
  • Arizona – $100,709
  • Arkansas – $82,055
  • California – $98,223
  • Colorado – $96,669
  • Connecticut – $92,418
  • Delaware – $88,003
  • Florida – $88,835
  • Georgia – $89,245
  • Hawaii – $91,485
  • Idaho – $90,628
  • Illinois – $89,901
  • Indiana – $89,753
  • Iowa – $89,995
  • Kansas – $93,475
  • Kentucky – $84,792
  • Louisiana – $85,953
  • Maine – $92,386
  • Maryland – $98,685
  • Massachusetts – $94,007
  • Michigan – $89,326
  • Minnesota – $96,187
  • Mississippi – $86,601
  • Missouri – $93,790
  • Montana – $84,447
  • Nebraska – $88,701
  • Nevada – $99,894
  • New Hampshire – $84,409
  • New Jersey – $100,636
  • New Mexico – $86,782
  • New York – $99,324
  • North Carolina – $94,772
  • North Dakota – $89,305
  • Ohio – $86,996
  • Oklahoma – $95,972
  • Oregon – $92,119
  • Pennsylvania – $92,305
  • Rhode Island – $75,608
  • South Carolina – $93,062
  • South Dakota – $86,711
  • Tennessee – $91,706
  • Texas – $92,151
  • Utah – $88,176
  • Vermont – $90,354
  • Virginia – $88,468
  • Washington – $97,621
  • West Virginia – $83,735
  • Wisconsin – $84,161
  • Wyoming – $88,662

As you can see, the best states to be a real estate broker based on salary are Arizona, New Jersey, California, New York, and Nevada. However, keep in mind that real estate brokers in these states may be working more hours and taking on more responsibilities than brokers in other states with a lower average salary.

Factors Affecting Real Estate Broker Salary

Here's what you need to know about how a broker's salary is influenced.
Here’s what you need to know about how a broker’s salary is influenced.

We mentioned the fact that a real estate broker’s salary varies based on numerous factors, so let’s dive into the reasons why some brokers make more than others:

  • Current Market Conditions: Perhaps the biggest influence of any real estate professional’s earnings is the current state of the market. When interest rates are high and housing inventory is low, real estate activity stalls and agents, brokers, lenders, and title companies tend to suffer. On the flip side, booming real estate markets allow for real estate professionals to earn higher commissions due to increased property prices and sales volume.
  • Experience and Expertise: Another factor that determines the salary of a real estate broker is the experience and expertise they possess. New brokers who’ve yet to build a solid reputation and client base may not be able to bring in as much commissions as an industry veteran.
  • Commission Structure: A brokers commission structure with their agents and clients can also affect their earnings. Some brokers choose to offer higher commissions to incentivize their agents, while others choose to negotiate commissions based on the complexity of the deal and the services provided.
  • Operating Expenses: Brokers running their own firms must plan for operating expenses and unexpected costs. These expenses range from insurance and marketing to professional dues and licensing fees. Brokers are required to manage these operating expenses effectively to maintain their targeted earnings. 

Real Estate Broker vs Real Estate Agent

Learn the key differences between brokers and agents.
Learn the key differences between brokers and agents.

Being a real estate broker vs a real estate agent comes with several key differences. Let’s break down the top three differences when it comes to brokers and agents.

Licensing and Education

The first difference between a real estate broker and real estate agent is the licensing and education required to become certified. 

Becoming a real estate agent is a relatively quick process and may only take a few weeks to sit for licensing courses and take the real estate exam, although this varies by state. In Florida, for example, aspiring real estate agents must complete a 63-hour licensing course before they’re eligible to sit for the Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Examination.

On the other hand, becoming a real estate broker is much more time consuming and lengthy. Florida brokers must first pass the Real Estate Sales Associate Examination and complete 24 months of active real estate practice before applying for a broker’s license. Additionally, real estate brokers must complete a 72-hour licensing course and pass the Florida Real Estate Broker Exam with a score of 75% or higher.

Supervision

When it comes to supervision and oversight, real estate brokers and real estate agents have several differences. Since real estate brokers are senior real estate professionals, they often oversee agents and help onboard new real estate sales professionals. 

Real estate agents cannot operate independently and must conduct their activities through the brokerage firm. It’s also important to understand that real estate brokers receive a percentage of each sale from their real estate agents. Most real estate agents split their commissions 50/50, although top-performing agents may be able to negotiate a more favorable split.

Professional Designations

Given the requirements to become a broker, most real estate brokers have extensive knowledge of the real estate industry and how it works. They often pursue additional certifications and professional designations, such as Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) or Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) to enhance their skills and credibility in the real estate industry.

Although real estate agents can still pursue certifications, brokers usually have access to a wider range of advanced education and training opportunities.

Should You Get a Broker’s License?

Getting a broker's license isn't right for everyone.
Getting a broker’s license isn’t right for everyone.

Whether or not you should pursue your broker’s license depends on your career goals and your current financial situation.

Plenty of aspiring real estate professionals get started in the industry due to the supposed financial rewards of real estate, but soon after they get started, they realize it’s awfully hard to make it in real estate in the beginning. 

Broker’s License Considerations

If you want to take the leap and start the journey towards your broker’s license, you’ll need to evaluate your current level of experience. Are you already a real estate agent looking to advance your career as a broker? Or are you just getting started in real estate with the goal of becoming a broker?

Regardless of your experience level, you’ll also need to have an understanding of the requirements to become a real estate broker in your state. Use this guide for a full breakdown of broker requirements in all 50 US states. 

It’s also crucial to know the current state of the real estate market before setting off on your broker journey. Is the real estate market hot, or is now a bad time to get started in real estate?

Try asking friends in real estate or message agents on social media to get their take on the current state of the market. While real estate markets change, it’s always a good idea to understand the current market before getting started. 

Lastly, think about the financial implications of getting started as a real estate broker. You’ll need to pay for licensing courses and become a real estate agent before taking additional courses and sit for more exams to become a broker. You’ll also need to pay for study materials and licensing expenses just to be considered for a broker’s license. 

Final Thoughts

This article sought to answer the question of “how much does a real estate broker make” and why you may want to consider becoming a real estate broker. As a broker, you’ll have more control over your real estate business and be able to make high-level decisions about the direction of your firm.

While the requirements to obtain your broker’s license may be significant, there’s still plenty of opportunity to launch your career as a real estate broker and make a good living in any real estate market.

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