What does actually having a real estate brokerage involve? The value of the real estate brokerage sector is currently $155 billion. However, in order to make money and establish a brokerage of your own, it is crucial to obtain authorization, create a business plan, and plan out your finances.

Only licensed brokers can start a brokerage. Once you have generated the business plan and made sure you have the money you need, you’ll need to start recruiting people. Agents then collaborate with you and you will receive a portion of their profits from the sales they make.

Establishing a profitable brokerage from the beginning may be taxing, however, it can be accomplished if one persists. Let’s take a detailed look at what it takes.

Steps to Start a Successful Real Estate Brokerage

1. You must be Licensed

The specifics for getting certified as a stockbroker are not uniform across state lines; the expenses associated with the application, the requirements to be met and the manner in which the process is handled vary.

It is vital to get in touch with your nearby real estate bureau to find out what actions you must take. However, most steps for acquiring a brokerage license are roughly the same in most states:

You Need a Real Estate License

In order to acquire a brokerage license, obtaining a real estate license is of utmost importance. Completing the necessary steps to obtain a license from your state, including passing the required tests and paying any needed fees, as well as staying current with the license’s requirements, are all important.

You Need Education

A majority of states necessitate that brokers who are attempting to obtain a broker permit complete a uniform number of pre-licensing instruction. The precise number fluctuates, but generally, you need to put in a minimum of 45 hours of schooling prior to filing for a broker’s authorization.

You Need Experience

If you are inexperienced in the real estate industry, it is not probable that you will be able to be approved for a broker’s license. Realtors must have two or more years of experience in the sector before they can even submit an application for their license.

Examine the regulations specific to your state, but many states require buyers’ agents to have possessed a certain number of deals before being given the qualification to request a license.

You Need to Pass a Broker’s Exam

Next, there’s the broker’s exam. Realtors must pass an extensive and comprehensive test in order to get started in the real estate business.

It is imperative to prepare for the exam by studying and increasing your understanding of the material, so courses have been created to ensure that people can be as ready as possible.

You Need to Pay a Fee

Lastly, the fees. The fee to apply for a broker license varies from one state to another, but is usually between $150 and $200. After obtaining your license, you must determine which type of brokerage to establish.

2. Research your Competition

The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials estimates that roughly two million real estate licenses are in use in the United States. It is essential to investigate the competition to comprehend precisely who (and what) your business will be compared to before opening a broker.

What is the most significant thing to consider when conducting your inquiry? The commission rates of your competitors. And they vary dramatically. At one extreme, brokerages like Redfin may charge a listing commission of 1.5% and a buyer commission of 3%.

At the other extreme are individuals such as Purple Bricks who ask for a single payment of approximately $3,000 in order to get a home listed. But your other competitors are your clients themselves.

A study from Inman reveals that before interacting with a realtor, about 70% of purchasers already have a certain property in mind.

The client’s understanding of the steps in purchasing a home has grown significantly. People are not only taking the time to compare different options, but they are also more conscious of the expense associated with the choices they make. So make sure your brokerage is offering competitive rates.

3. Determine Your Budget

Having control over your funds is essential when managing a brokerage, so be mindful of how much money you are spending on operating costs. It is important to allot money for items such as an online broker platform, required licenses, promotional expenses, and salaries for brokers (if bringing any on board).

You should add in your monthly outlays such as gasoline, internet charges, programs, and phone bills in your calculations. And it quickly adds up. The monthly expenses for your brokerage could look like this:

  • Utilities – $250
  • Office space – $2500
  • Marketing – $1500
  • Office expenses – $200
  • Insurance – $300
  • Staff (2 x brokers) expenses – $4,000 (plus commissions)

It is evident that costs just to maintain the stock broker’s operations can be as high as $8750 each month. It is essential to make a detailed plan before beginning your business to figure out how much reserve money you need from the very beginning.

4. Write a Business Model and Business Plan

It is now time to formulate precise plans for the brokerage after having ascertained your rivals and estimated expenditures. The research of Quickbooks revealed that 64 percent of businesses which had constructed a business plan were successful in developing their organization, while only 43 percent of those that had not generated one did the same.

How you create a business plan will vary based on your vision, but there are core issues every brokerage needs to understand like:

  • Defining Your Marketing Strategy
  • Creating a Financial Plan
  • Implementing Action Plans
  • Evaluating and Revising Your Plan

But a business plan takes time and effort. This is your scheme for the next 1-5 years of your brokerage, and it can help you think about how prosperous your brokerage could be.

5. Determine Your Legal Structure

Are you planning on going solo? Opening up a brokerage with partners? Or forging your own corporation? Figuring out what type of legal structure you should use while setting up a brokerage is the subsequent significant step.

Establishing your organization will in the end determine the financial liability of your brokerage. There are four legal structures brokerages normally fall under:

Creating a corporation is a legal way to differentiate a brokerage from its owner’s individual status. By signing up your brokerage as a corporation, it allows you to have possession of assets, fullfill tax responsibilities, and sign agreements while using the corporation name.

If you don’t wish to complicate matters (or you will not be recruiting any agents), a sole proprietorship might be a viable choice. If you operate a brokerage as a single owner, you will bear all the responsibility for any financial gain as well as any debts.

Registering as a partnership with a partner will entail both of you assuming personal accountability for the brokerage.

Registering your brokerage in a Limited Liability Company form will afford you and your collaborators a certain degree of protection from personal liability. LLC companies still acquire tax and flexibility benefits that are accessible to companies registered as a partnership.

6. Choose an Office Location

As a broker, it is important to provide your agents and employees with a suitable workspace that enables them to succeed, feel secure, and be productive.

Your choices are:

  • Brick-and-mortar: Physical office
  • Virtual setting: Agents work from home

If you opt to have a physical office space for your brokerage, you must also contemplate how big the premises should be.

Moreover, when you have a physical office there are extra outlays to think about, for example, tables and chairs, computers, photocopiers, stationery, telephones and personnel—all of which can be pricey. Nevertheless, this arrangement can approve a greater percentage of the commission to be shared between the broker and the agent.

A setup where everyone who works for the company operates remotely can be more cost-effective. Agents might need to cover the costs of their own computer, cell phone, and furniture. Under this agreement, the commission divided between a broker and agent would be reduced.

In order to have staff operate remotely, the cost associated with purchasing computers and phones should be taken into account.

No matter what kind of office you select, it is important to equip it with cutting-edge technology that will make sure everything works properly.

7. Determine Your Staffing Needs and Hire a Strong Team

You are not obliged to employ a team as soon as you launch your brokerage.

However, as your company expands and you are preoccupied with other roles, you will no longer have the necessary time to fullfill all of the tasks, for example, accounting, administration, instructing, promotion, functioning, etc

Alongside this, you should employ agents to take care of more localized matters while you concentrate on more pivotal transactions and act as the broker-owner.


It doesn’t matter the size of the brokerage you own, you ought to hire a team of quality personnel who will follow your mission, visions and values. This may include some or all of the following positions:

  • Operations
  • Accounting
  • Listings manager
  • Trainer/Development
  • Transaction manager
  • Marketing
  • Administrations
  • IT
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) system manager
  • Recruiter

For a team to be successful, the individual who has been chosen for each job needs to be a good fit for the part.

No matter if you need somebody who stands out and does lots of customer-related work, or somebody who likes to spend more time on the details behind the scenes, putting together a successful team isn’t only dependent on their technical abilities.

Selecting and promoting a worker’s essential traits is something you are capable of aiding them with in order to make them prosperous in their positions.

No matter what type of organization you set up, it is essential to have the right atmosphere if you want to be successful.

When recruiting personnel for your team, be sure to evaluate their personality and principles, as creating a harmonious office setting would be easier when everybody shares the same business morals. The personnel in your workplace ought to show consideration towards one another, so that both employees and staff members have respect for each other.

Pro tip: While it is important to “watch your pennies” when starting and running a brokerage, you should always have access to an attorney and an accountant who have the expertise to guide you while building your brokerage. Set a budget to hire vendors and consultants who have the expertise to implement systems.


Bringing on new agents is essential to the accomplishment of your brokerage because their sales will provide money for your company.

If you are looking to bring people onto your team, you must decide if you want to recruit experienced agents or those who are only just getting their license. Having a combination of the two is usually a good idea and has its advantages.

Hiring Seasoned Agents vs Newly Licensed Agents

Experienced agents come to the job with an existing network of customers, thus needing minimal instruction; this allows them to quickly establish their work place’s credibility and bring in a profitable gain for the brokerage.

When deciding on an experienced agent, keep in mind that they could have a different approach to work than you do.

Agents who have recently acquired their license tend to have a greater eagerness for accomplishment and are ready to attempt novel approaches or put in extra hours. Them being the new agents, they can be shaped to act the same way your business executes, compared to the ones with a background who may have gathered negative actions with the progression of time.

In the event that you decide to bring on new real estate agents who are not yet certified, it is important to have a training program in place with a coach who is responsible for implementing it. Be prepared to allot more resources in the beginning when working with freshly hired agents.

Regrettably, real estate agents tend to frequently change jobs, whether they’re new to the profession or experienced, so it would be a good idea to employ a consultancy to assist with your hiring practices.

Ensure that your representatives don’t meet with disappointment, but be ready for other roadblocks that might cause your agent list to fluctuate in the long run.

Using data to build your real estate team will give you a unique competitive advantage. It enables you to discover and connect with top talent faster. The right insights simplify assessing ‘agent-brokerage fit’ and keeping track of your hiring performance along the journey.

8. Create Marketing Collateral

Once you have established what your company is going to be called, decide upon a brand identity, locate the necessary premises, and make plans to recruit staff, it is now time to generate some buzz around your new brokerage firm. There are several approaches you can take to this depending on the marketing strategy you have in place.

You might decide to throw a big launch celebration or promote yourself on Facebook, Instagram, or Google. However, you will also want to create longer-lasting digital and printed marketing materials like the following:

  • A professional website
  • Business cards
  • Postcards, brochures, or flyers
  • Real estate signs
  • Open house signs

9. Establish a Lead Generation Strategy

As an agent, you may have identified multiple natural strategies to attract prospects and could possess a well-developed circle of acquaintances that you can rely on for suggestions.

As a broker, you are probably anticipated to deliver more ways of finding prospects to assist your reps, regardless of whether they are experienced or rookies, in establishing their business.

Companies which specialize in lead generation exist to assist agents in locating potential people to sell and buy properties that they wouldn’t have identified on their own. For example, you can provide your representatives with access to applications like Zillow Premier Agent, which gives them the ability to be displayed alongside listings.

BoldLeads is a service which provides agents and brokers with automated CRM tools to link up with probable buyers and sellers. Every tool offers distinct software that can be tailored to fit the agent’s financial plan.

It doesn’t matter what equipment you select, it is essential to come up with a plan for subsequent contact to rapidly ascertain the purchaser’s requirements.

Using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program like Top Producer can help you keep track of prospective leads, and it has an impressive history of success. To learn more, consider visiting its website.


Beginning a venture, most especially an estate agency, is a hard job that necessitates extensive periods of time, dedicated effort, and a huge gamble. However, the payoff can be beyond your wildest expectations.

Benjamin Franklin famously declared that if you do not prepare, you are training for your own demise; which is why it makes perfect sense that he appears on the $100 note. Preparing in advance, creating expectations, and building a foundation can be the keys to your achievement as a broker-owner.