Real Estate 101: What Is A Designated Broker

Most people are familiar with the buyer's agent and the listing agent because those are the two people they come into contact with when buying or selling a home. There are many more people behind the scenes, however, including the broker. 

What is a broker?

A broker, sometimes called a designated broker or broker of record, is a licensed real estate agent that also manages an office for a national real estate franchise or owns an independent office. The broker is the key person responsible to the state for the actions of the real estate agents in their office and under their supervision. They ensure that the state and federal laws are strictly adhered to by the agents under their supervision, including antitrust laws, foreign investment rules, and the Fair Housing Act.

What is the difference between a broker and a real estate agent?

People often get the terms agent and broker confused. The terms cannot be used interchangeably as they are two very different positions in the world of real estate.

Like an agent, a broker has a real estate license and can assist clients in buying and selling property. However, they also spend much of their time managing the day-to-day operations of the entire real estate office. Some brokers are active agents while others prefer to focus their time solely on building their team's sales skills instead.  

Is a broker the boss of a real estate agent?

In most cases, real estate agents are not considered employees but rather independent contractors for the real estate firm they work with. Therefore, brokers are not legally "the boss." They do, however, oversee real estate transactions in the office, enforce franchise training requirements, ensure that their team remains ethical in all dealings, and assist agents in their office as needed. 

That being said, if you have a complaint about a real estate agent or their conduct, you would likely address it with the office's broker.

What training does a broker need?

While each state's Department of Commerce has rules that vary slightly, you typically need to take a broker's course and pass the associated exam to obtain a broker's license in your state. Additionally, most brokers also apply for a broker's designation from the National Association of Realtors, or NAR, at the same time. The designation obtained from NAR is officially called a Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) designation. 

It is also a common requirement that applicants be at least 18 years of age.

Does a designated broker work on commission?

How a designated broker is paid depends largely on the legal structure of the real estate office that they are working at. If the broker is the owner, they would be paid out of the company's profits, like any other business. If, however, the designated broker works at a branch of a national real estate franchise, they would be paid a percentage of the entire office's monthly sales. Some brokers may have a base salary in addition to this percentage.

The designated broker plays an important role in the real estate industry. To learn more about various real estate personnel and how they can help you, contact an agency such as Lariat Realty Advisors.