By Elias Magers | Feb. 11, 2019 12:00 PM
Becoming a real estate broker is the next step agents take in their careers. As a broker, you have the ability to independently represent clients in the home buying and selling transaction. You won’t have to hang your license with a brokerage, because you’ll be the one running the show.
But, you can still work at a brokerage. Those who do become broker associates. A broker associate carries the same responsibilities as a real estate agent, but they possess a higher expectation of professionalism, integrity, and leadership.
Each state has their own rules and requirements to becoming a broker, but the process remains the same no matter where you live. You need the right experience, education, and pass your state’s broker exam.
How to Get Your Real Estate Broker License in California
Here’s how you can get your real estate broker’s license in California:
- Have 2-years experience as a real estate agent (4-years experience as a part time real estate agent)
- Pass the additional education requirements
- Submit the right documentation
- Schedule and Pass the Real Estate Broker State Exam
Once you complete these 4-steps, you will receive your very own California real estate license. Then, you can represent yourself independently or you can possess a greater reputation at your current brokerage.
#1. 2-Years Salesperson Experience
Salesperson experience is a requirement before you become a broker. You need at least 2 years of experience as a real estate salesperson before you earn your broker’s license.
Now, some people want to skip these 2 years as an agent and jump to their broker’s education. Doing so is a severe injustice to your career. Those 2 years are unparalleled in worth to any other experience.
You earn valuable knowledge as an agent that serves as the foundation for your future broker career. This is a learning opportunity that gives you insight on how a brokerage operates from a real estate agent’s perspective.
You also receive experience working with agents and brokers. In other words, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn from people in the position you want to be in.
But, before you even become a real estate agent, you must first pass your state’s requirements. They vary from state-to-state, but the standard requirements are completing an accredited education program and passing the state exam.
Only after passing the state exam can you earn your salesperson license and then interview with a brokerage. If the brokerage thinks you’re a great candidate, you hang your license with that brokerage thus starting your real estate agent career.
#2. Pass the Educational Requirements
To become a broker, you have to complete the academic requirements. A broker’s education is filled with deep knowledge of the real estate market including its laws and economics. That’s why learning from an accredited educational program is required before taking the state exam. To become a broker, you must take the following real estate classes:
- Property Management
- Office Administration
- Legal Aspects
The curriculum requirements are designed to give students a wholesome understanding of the real estate market through the lens of a broker. This is the basic information that brokers need to start their career. Of course, the best education comes from participating in the field as an active broker.
#3. Real Estate Broker State Exam
The broker’s state exam tests your knowledge over the subjects you learned in the educational program. The topics covered on the state exam contain a wide breadth of the material you’ve learned, so studying the entirety of every subject is important to your success. Along with this, the exam is designed to test your English language skills, such as reading, writing, and spelling. You are also tested on the arithmetic used as a broker.
You don’t need a 100% to pass the exam. So long as you score 75% or higher on the exam, you pass and are eligible for a broker’s license. Getting a full night’s sleep, eating a balanced meal at the start of the day, and taking your time are a few common test taker strategies to ace an exam. But, the best way to pass the test is by studying the course material.
Once you pass the state exam, you are eligible to become a real estate broker. But, not until you file the right paperwork.
#4. Submit the Right Paperwork to the DRE
After you pass the exam, you receive your license. To get your license you must file the right documentation and send it to the Department of Real Estate. Every broker must go through the paperwork process to be properly documented in their state.
You have to send in the Broker License Application (RE 200) with the application fee. Along with the application, you must complete a Live Scan Service Request (RE 237). According to the DRE, a license cannot be issued until they receive a fingerprint.
After sending in the correct documentation, you’re mailed your very own broker’s license that you can hang wherever you want.
Final Thoughts on Becoming a Real Estate Broker in California
The path to becoming a broker takes time. If you start your career with the mindset to become a broker, you’re jumping through hurdles and chasing this job title for the next few years. Instead of focusing on the title, become focused on the education. When you pursue your career with the intent to learn and grow, you become open minded to different pedagogy and thus build a wholesome perspective on the real estate industry.