Do I need to be a RE agent first before opening my own brokerage?

16 Replies

I currently live in NYC and was curious to know if I need to be a real estate agents first before I can get a brokerage license to open my own brokerage firm? What is the process exactly to open up your own brokerage firm? Thank you!

@miguel Garcia you should be able to find the requirements online if you Google it. Every state is different but I'm almost positive every state would require you to have a minimum of X years of experience as an agent . And you also need to take additional courses and another test to be able to open your own brokerage. 

Account Closed thanks man! I found a few info on NYS laws and requirements. Do you know if I can open a Real Estate brokerage firm without experience? For example, in California you only need a college degree if you don't have the experience. Can I open a brokerage firm in California but still live in NYC?

@Miguel Garcia Quite frankly I don't know the requirements. Have you tried looking into this through kaplan or other education providers? They break down all the requirements to become licensed. Every state is different. 

No, you can't. It's not just 2 years experience... it's 2 years minimum as sales person and you have to accrue enough points (x amount of sales, x amount of rentals, etc) which most wouldn't be able to accrue in 2 years. If you're an attorney you can get around all that, and you can skip the educational requirement, and the test.

I think anyone can own a brokerage without a license, you just need a broker of record to run it that has a broker's license. So you could just higher someone that's already a broker, or is an Associate Broker (someone that has the broker's license but is not currently a broker of record) to run your brokerage. It probably wouldn't be too difficult to find someone that would do it for salary or equity, or a combination of the two. Having said all that, it's a tough time to be starting a new brokerage in NYC. The competition is pretty fierce. Look up stories on the recent demise of Town Residential. Why do you want to start a brokerage?

Yes, curious also....why do you Think you want to open a brokerage? Unless you have a large client/fund that would support the business, starting from scratch and having never been an agent/broker seems extremely difficult, if not suicidal.

Requirements for Broker license in NY State are:

  • Minimum age of 20 years old
  • Demonstrate fair knowledge of the English language
  • First complete a New York DOS approved 75-hr Salesperson qualifying course
  • Then complete a New York DOS approved 45-hr Broker qualifying course and pass the exam
  • Applicant has to have worked at least two years, as a licensed real estate salesperson, or has had equivalent experience in general real estate business for a period of at least three years
  • Pass the New York DOS broker licensing exam
  • Have earned 3500 experience points as a salesperson or 5250 points through equivalent experience.

In a hot market anyone can make one or two sales. When the cycle naturally turns the HERDS of brokers and agents get thinned out pretty fast.

The top brokers and agents have already planned for all phases of cycles with investments and deal strategies to flourish no matter what.

Newer agents that start in hot markets have not typically been through down cycles yet. People tend to see big brokerage as this sexy thing. When I started real estate about 15 years ago I dreamed of my name in lights. These days I care little to nothing about that. I saw big companies in cycle swings go out of business completely,merge, or be taken over by other companies.

When sales volume is high then profit can be good but when the market turns and volume drops then overhead expenses at big firms can be HUGE. Often the business owners make changes too late and by then reserves are often gone and they can't recover. I saw this from many companies last cycle. I like staying leaning and efficient to move with the market.

@Jason Lee thanks man really appreciate your suggestions. More curiosity from my part, not really knowing much about real estate and wanting to understand a little more about the dynamics of how and what is needed to open my own brokerage firm.