In most cases, a lot of people often use the terms “real estate agents”, “real estate broker” and “realtor” interchangeably. Although there are some similarities to their responsibilities, there are in fact distinct differences in their functions:
Real estate agent – Is a person who has a basic real estate license. Acquiring this license will involve taking several accredited courses and passing an exam. A real estate agent can represent either a buyer or a seller in a real estate transaction.
Real estate broker – is a person with additional training and education. This person has passed a higher licensing exam than a real estate agent. In most states, before becoming a broker, you need to have a specific amount of experience as an active real estate agent. Brokers also handle the technical aspects of a real estate transaction. Furthermore, the client signs a contract with a brokerage not a real estate agent.
Realtor – is a member of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), a trade association. Realtors must follow the NAR’s code of ethics and they must also be a part of a state or local real estate association board.
To explain further, every real estate broker is a real estate agent (or has been). However, every real estate agent is not a broker. In terms of realtors, both real estate agents and real estate brokers can be realtors, including other real estate industry professionals (property managers, appraisers, etc) but not all agents or brokers are realtors.
A real estate agent is a salesperson who is qualified to help people buy or sell a property. As you can see there are a lot of people involved in the real estate world. However, real estate agents are the key players who coordinate all process to everyone. Successful agents will possess the following traits and qualifications:
- Problem solver
A good real estate agent is not just a salesperson. At times an agent is also a consultant, a business manager, a buyer’s advocate, an analyst, a marketer, and a negotiator.
- Engaging personality
Always be mindful that you are not just selling properties, you are also selling yourself. Being a people person will help you earn other people’s trust and having an engaging personality means that you are confident in your abilities and what you have to offer.
- Has a network of connections
A successful real estate agent has a wide range of connections within the market they work. These networks of connections include co-real estate agents, brokers, appraisers, potential buyers and sellers even mortgage loan officers, home inspectors, etc.
- A desire to help people
As a real estate agent, your main responsibility is to help people. Whether you are staging a home for showing, explaining the home-buying process or introducing a new family to a community, if you don’t have the drive to help people, you will not be efficient.
- Passion for real estate
This will give you an advantage among your other adversaries. Having a passion for real estate is one of the most important characteristics of a successful agent. This profession is more than just selling homes; it requires deeper knowledge about the current trends and data involved in real estate, the local community, sales, and negotiation.