Realtors, real estate agents, real estate salespeople, brokers, associates, broker’s associates, shall I keep the list going?
The point- there are so many professional titles in the real estate industry that even we get confused.
But even though some use these titles interchangeably they are, in fact, different.
Let’s break down the differences.
A real estate agent is anyone who is licensed to sell real estate. In other words, they are sales professionals who have completed specific educational courses, passed a licensing exam and are certified by their state to assist in real estate transactions- ie. the process of buying, selling or renting property.
After receiving a state issued license, real estate agents join a real estate brokerage, or real estate agency (which we will discuss further below).
Real estate agents can also be called real estate salespeople or real estate associates. The titles are interchangeable.
Real estate brokers are real estate agents who have pursued a higher level of education. Brokers have completed additional courses and passed a supplementary exam, earning themselves a broker’s license.
Real estate brokers can work as real estate agents, or they can work independently and run their own businesses. Brokers can also hire other real estate agents to work for them. When a broker has a team of real estate agents working for them, this team is referred to as a “real estate brokerage” or a “real estate agency.”
Broker’s who have passed the broker’s exam and have a broker’s license, but still choose to work under the management and employment of another broker are referred to as associate brokers.
A ‘Realtor’ must also be either a real estate agent or a real estate broker- AKA they meet one of the sets of the requirements listed above. The difference is that they are also a member of the The National Association of REALTORS® or NAR, the largest trade association in the US, representing over 1.3 million real estate professionals.
What does joining NAR mean for real estate professionals? This agent or broker pays membership dues and commits to upholding the high professional standards and Code of Ethics set by this association.
There you have it — real estate professional titles explained! For more information on this topic and more in the real estate industry, please feel free to contact me today!