Can You Be an Independent Real Estate Agent? Follow This Steps

If you are a real estate agent, you may be wondering if you can become an independent real estate agent.

An independent real estate agent is one who operates autonomously from a larger agency or brokerage.

An image of a real estate agent
Real estate agent [photo courtesy of PInterest]
Independent agents can set their own fees, choose their own clients, and market their own services.

However, becoming an independent real estate agent also comes with some challenges and responsibilities.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of an independent real estate agent, as well as the steps you need to take to start your own business.

Pros of Being an Independent Real Estate Agent

Some of the benefits of being an independent real estate agent are:

  • Flexibility

You can work at your own pace, set your own hours, and choose your own projects.

Decide which areas and types of properties you want to specialize in, and tailor your services to your niche market.

  • Creativity

You can express your personal style and brand through your marketing materials, website, social media, and business cards.

Use your own methods and strategies to attract and retain clients, without having to follow the rules and guidelines of a larger agency.

  • Profitability

You can keep all the commissions you earn from your transactions, without having to share them with a broker.

Set your own fees and negotiate them with your clients, depending on the value of the service you provide.

  • Autonomy

You can make your own decisions and be your own boss, without having to report to anyone or seek approval from anyone.

Choose who you want to work with, whether it is other agents, contractors, lawyers, or appraisers.

Cons of Being an Independent Real Estate Agent

Some of the drawbacks of being an independent real estate agent are:

Image of two ladies disputing over a property
Image of Real estate agent| PHOTO COURTESY OF ADOBE |
  • Risk:

You are solely responsible for the success or failure of your business, and you have to bear all the costs and liabilities associated with it.

Deal with the uncertainty and volatility of the real estate market, and cope with the competition from other agents and agencies.

  • Workload

You have to handle all the aspects of running a business, such as accounting, bookkeeping, taxes, legal issues, insurance, licensing, advertising, and customer service.

Manage your time and resources efficiently, and balance your personal and professional life.

  • Isolation

You may feel lonely or isolated working on your own, without having the support and camaraderie of a team or a mentor.

Miss out on the networking opportunities and referrals that come from being part of a larger organization.

  • Education

Keep up with the changing laws and technologies in the real estate industry, and invest in your own training and education.

You may also need to obtain additional certifications or credentials to enhance your credibility and expertise.

Steps to Become an Independent Real Estate Agent

If you are interested in becoming an independent real estate agent, here are some steps you need to take:

You need to complete the required courses and pass the exam for a real estate license in your state.

become a real estate agent
Become a real estate agent | MBITION

This will allow you to legally represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions.

  • Obtain a broker’s license

To operate as an independent agent, you also need to obtain a broker’s license in your state.

This will allow you to work without supervision from another broker or agency.

To get a broker’s license, you need to have a certain amount of experience as a licensed agent (usually two or three years), complete additional courses, and pass another exam.

  • Set up your business

You need to register your business name and entity type (such as sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation), obtain a tax identification number (TIN), open a business bank account, and get a business license from your local government.

Purchase business insurance  to protect yourself from potential lawsuits or claims.

  • Establish an online presence

You need to create a professional website that showcases your services, portfolio, testimonials, contact information, and blog.

Create social media accounts (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) that help you connect with potential clients.

  • Market yourself

You need to promote yourself and your brand through various channels  that target your ideal clients.

Network with other professionals who can refer you to their clients or provide you with valuable information.

You may also want to join professional associations (such as the National Association of Realtors, the Counselors of Real Estate, the International Real Estate Federation) that offer you access to resources, education, and recognition.

What is the difference between an agent and a broker?

The difference between an agent and a broker depends on the state where they work.

But in general, a broker has more education than an agent, and can work independently or hire other agents to work for them.

An agent, on the other hand, must work under the supervision of a broker, and cannot own their own real estate firm.

Here are some more details about the roles and responsibilities of each profession:

  • A real estate agent is a person who is licensed to help people buy, sell, or rent real estate.

They must complete a certain number of hours of pre-licensing education and work for a sponsoring broker.

Agents are paid on commission, which means they get a percentage of the sale price of the property they help sell or buy.

They represent either the buyer or the seller in a transaction, or both as a dual agent.

Agents are also called real estate associates or salespersons.

  • A real estate broker is an agent who has also passed their broker license exam.

The main difference between a real estate agent and broker is that a broker can own their own real estate firm.While an agent must work under the supervision of a broker.

Brokers have more training and experience than agents, and can perform some tasks that agents cannot.


Being an independent real estate agent can be a rewarding career choice, but it also requires a lot of hard work.

Have the skills and experience to provide high-quality service to your clients, as well as the ability to manage your own business.

Obtain strong sense of self-motivation and resilience to overcome the challenges that come with working on your own.

If you think you have what it takes to be an independent real estate agent, you can follow the steps outlined in this article.

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