If you’re thinking about getting into real estate, you might find that real estate professionals’ titles can be somewhat confusing. Below is a cheat sheet for real estate career titles, along with a quick explanation of what you are responsible for within each position.
Note that each state regulates its own licensing requirements and titles, so you might find that they vary slightly from state to state. But in general, you will find the following to be the most common real estate career titles used.
Real estate agent
A person with a state license to represent a buyer or seller in a real estate transaction in exchange for a commission. Real estate agents are on the front lines of showing homes to prospective buyers and negotiating transactions for their clients. Most agents work for a real estate broker on a 100-percent commission basis, meaning their income is dependent on their ability to close transactions.
Real estate salesperson
This is another name for a real estate agent.
A real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). REALTORS include agents who work as residential and commercial real estate brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors, and other real estate professionals. More than 1 million real estate agents are REALTORS. REALTORS are expected to be experts in their field and must follow NAR’s code of ethics, which requires agents to uphold specific duties to clients and customers, to the public, and to other REALTORS.
Real estate broker
After gaining some years of experience in real estate sales, a salesperson may decide to become a licensed real estate broker in order to own, manage, or operate their own brokerage. (Note that in some states, there are no real estate agents, just brokers.)
Real estate associate broker
A real estate professional who has obtained his or her broker’s license but continues to work for another broker.
Property managers manage properties that are owned by another party. The property manager acts on behalf of the owner to preserve the property value while also generating income for the property. This person is typically responsible for budgeting expenses, securing renters, collecting rent, complying with laws and regulations, repairs, routine maintenance, and so forth. These managed properties could include residential and vacation properties, commercial retail space, or industrial warehouse space. Property managers are typically paid a fee or a percentage of the rent brought in for the property while under management.
Learn more about real estate career titles
Want more information on real estate career titles, career options, and how much money you can make in different areas of the industry? Check out our blog post titled 30 Real Estate Jobs and Their Salaries.
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