Having a Florida real estate license opens up a flexible career path where you get to make your own hours and enjoy unlimited income potential. But which real estate license should you pursue, a real estate agent license or a broker license? And what's the difference between the two?
In this post, we'll explain the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker in Florida.
What Does a Florida Real Estate Agent Do?
Real estate agents, often referred to as “real estate sales associates” by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), handle real estate sales transactions on behalf of buyers and sellers.
You’ll often see real estate agents:
Showing homes to buyers
Marketing homes for sale
Holding open houses
Negotiating the terms of a sale
Managing properties owned by investors
Handling complex commercial property transactions
Working with appraisers, inspectors, title reps, and escrow officers to close a deal
The pre-license Florida real estate course teaches you the basic practices and principles of the industry, but sales skills are also critical as a real estate agent because the primary responsibility of real estate agents is to sell real estate.
All Florida real estate agents work under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker.
What Does a Florida Real Estate Broker Do?
Florida real estate brokers can do everything Florida real estate agents can do. But, unlike agents, brokers are permitted to act in a supervisory role. Florida brokers are licensed to oversee the work of real estate agents and take a share of the agent’s commission.
You’ll often see brokers:
Onboarding new agents to the brokerage
Holding meetings for all the brokerage’s agents
Approving new listing paperwork
Mediating disputes between agents
Training and guiding the agents in the brokerage
Generally managing the agents in the brokerage and supervising their work
Should You Become a Florida Real Estate Agent or a Real Estate Broker?
If you enjoy sales and prefer to work directly with buyers and sellers to help them complete their real estate transactions, you’ll likely make a good Florida real estate agent. And if you have strong leadership skills and prefer to manage other agents, you’ll likely make a good Florida real estate broker.
But you should know that you can be a broker and still focus on real estate sales. Helga Villarreal of The Keyes Company, for example, chose to be a Broker Associate. This means she has a broker’s license, but her daily tasks look more like those of a real estate sales agent than a broker.
“I wanted to learn more about the business and have the broker title, but I enjoy working with my clients too much to give that up," said Villarreal. "I would rather help people find homes than spend my time managing other agents.”
How to Get Started as a Florida Real Estate Agent
All real estate professionals in Florida start as real estate agents. Only after 24 months’ experience as a licensed real estate agent can you apply to become a Florida real estate broker. The steps to get started are as follows:
Take your pre-license education. You can take the Florida real estate course online as a more convenient, less expensive alternative to traditional on-campus courses.
Take and pass the Florida real estate exam.
Have your new broker activate your license.
How to Become a Florida Real Estate Broker
To become a Florida real estate broker after serving two years as a licensed real estate agent, you’ll just need to complete a 72-hour course specific to real estate brokers and pass the real estate broker exam.
Whether you decide to stick with the real estate agent title or pursue your broker’s license, your new career begins with a Florida real estate license. Enroll in your Florida real estate course today to get started.