How to Become a Real Estate Broker in Texas (5-Step Guide)
By Colin Ryan
Every day, more Texas real estate agents are deciding to take the next step in their career by earning a broker license. Becoming a broker enables you to expand your business and earn more money by opening your own firm and managing a team of agents.
In this guide, you’ll learn exactly what it takes to get your Texas real estate broker license.
How Much Money Can a Real Estate Broker Make in Texas?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas ranks fifth in real estate broker pay, with a mean annual salary of $96,630. That’s over 27 percent higher than the national average broker salary of $75,910, and nearly double the average salary for all jobs in the U.S.
In certain cities and regions of Texas, real estate brokers can make a good deal more money. In the Greater Houston area, for instance, brokers earn an average of $103,950.
Plus, compared to most states, Texas real estate brokers make up a smaller proportion of the overall workforce. This suggests that there’s a high demand and less competition for broker services.
To qualify for a real estate broker license in Texas, you must be:
- A citizen or legal resident of the United States;
- At least 18 years of age; and
- A resident of Texas.
The Texas residency requirement is waived for applicants who were licensed in Texas as a sales agent or broker in the last two years, or are currently licensed as a broker in another state.
Finally, every Texas broker applicant must meet the qualifications laid out by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity. If you have had any past criminal convictions, unpaid judgments, or a history of disciplinary actions in another field or profession, you may want to request a moral character determination before proceeding with your Texas broker license application.
5 Steps to Become a Licensed Real Estate Broker in Texas
Becoming a real estate broker isn’t easy, and Texas has some of the most challenging requirements of any state for getting your broker license. But with proper experience, education, and preparation, anyone can earn their Texas broker certification.
TREC’s process for qualifying and certifying brokers in Texas is complex, but it essentially boils down to five key steps:
How Long Does it Take to Become a Broker in Texas?
How long it will take to earn your Texas broker license depends on how much experience you have in real estate to begin with. If, for instance, you’re already an experienced real estate agent in Texas, you may be able to get your broker license in as little as one year.
However, if you’re new to the real estate industry, it may take as many as five years to meet the Texas real estate broker requirements.
Step #1. Satisfy The Experience Requirements
To become a real estate broker in Texas, you must have at least four years of active experience as a licensed agent or broker (in Texas or elsewhere) in the last five years before your application.
In addition to this general requirement, Texas also uses a points system to determine broker eligibility based on what you’ve accomplished during your time as an agent. For instance, each closed sale is worth 300 points, while a buyer representation agreement is worth 10 points. In total, you must accumulate at least 3600 points to qualify for a broker’s license in Texas.
Step #2. Complete Qualifying Education Requirements
Texas has among the strictest education requirements for real estate brokers in the country, requiring 900 total hours of coursework. That said, if you’re already a real estate agent in Texas, you’ve likely completed at least 180 of those hours.
Mandatory courses for real estate broker qualification include:
- Principles of Real Estate I
- Principles of Real Estate II
- Law of Agency
- Law of Contracts
- Promulgated Contract Forms
- Real Estate Finance
- Real Estate Brokerage (completed not more than two years before applying)
In addition to the above courses, Texas broker applicants must complete an additional 630 classroom hours in any of the following topics:
- Real Estate Appraisal
- Real Estate Law
- Real Estate Marketing
- Real Estate Math
- Property Management
- Real Estate Investments
- Residential Inspections for Real Estate Agents
If you’re completing your educational requirements through a college or university, you may also receive course credit for classes in the following subjects:
- Business or Management
- Real Estate
A bachelor’s degree or higher in real estate satisfies all of the related education requirements for a Texas broker license.
Step #3. Submit TREC Application to Become a Broker in Texas
Once you’ve met the experience and education requirements above, you can fill out and submit a Texas broker application form to TREC, along with the relevant application fees. Your application can be submitted online, or by mail.
Step #4. Pass Screening Checks
According to Texas law, you must have fingerprints on file with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) in order to perform the required background check. Any fingerprints you’ve provided to other Texas agencies will not be accepted.
Once you have passed your background check, you can proceed with the last step in qualifying for your Texas broker license.
Step #5. Pass the Texas Real Estate Broker Exam
Finally, in order to complete your qualifications for a Texas real estate broker license, you must pass the state broker exam.
Once you’ve passed your background check, you will receive a notice with instructions for scheduling the exam.
The Texas real estate broker exam consists of 145 multiple-choice questions, divided into sections on national (85 questions) and state (60 questions) laws and practices. Examinees have a total of 4 hours to complete the exam.
PearsonVue, which creates and administers the Texas broker exam, offers a Candidate Handbook with a full overview for examinees. The handbook includes procedures for scheduling and taking the exam, as well as a range of included topics, sample questions, and suggested study materials.
To pass the Texas real estate broker exam, you must answer 60 questions correctly on the national section and 38 questions correctly on the state section. If you fail the exam three times, you’ll need to complete additional education requirements before taking it again.
Reciprocity and Portability for Texas Brokers
If you’re a licensed real estate broker from another state, your options for doing business in Texas are limited. For instance, Texas only allows out-of-state brokers to conduct business remotely. This means you can send clients to view listings, submit offers, and negotiate transactions, so long as you do it from your licensing state.
Some states have reciprocity agreements, which allow real estate brokers from other states to more easily earn their in-state license by using their out-of-state license as proof. Colorado, for instance, offers reciprocity with all other states, provided that out-of-state brokers pass a shorter version of its exam.
Unfortunately, Texas has no reciprocity agreements with any other state. This means that if you’re a current broker moving to Texas, you’ll have to meet all of the Texas broker qualifications, as well as pass the Texas state broker exam.
Resources to Start (and Run) a Successful Brokerage
Once you’ve received your Texas real estate broker license, you can begin building your own brokerage. Here are some resources and tools you’ll need to get your new business up and running.
Real Estate Broker Website
For today’s consumers, real estate broker websites are the most trusted source of information about homes for sale. A real estate website doesn’t just give visitors the ability to browse listings: it’s also the central hub for your brand, a place for you to promote your unique personality and expertise. While your website may not be the first place consumers find you, it’s typically the final piece of evidence they’ll use to determine if you’re the right broker for them.
Resources for Real Estate Broker Websites:
- 39 of the Best Real Estate Websites Powered by Placester
- The Right Way to Build a Real Estate Website: 10 Simple Optimization Steps
Need help with your website? Get started here.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 44 percent of recent buyers looked at properties for sale online as their ﬁrst step in the home buying process. Among buyers who used the internet during their search, 87 percent found photos of properties for sale very useful, while 85 percent said the same about detailed listing information.
By adding MLS listings to your broker website via an IDX integration, you’ll give visitors access to the most complete, accurate, and up-to-date information on listings in your area.
Resources for MLS Integration:
To benefit from your real estate website, you’ll need to drive a steady stream of qualified and motivated home buyers to that website. Methods for generating leads for your brokerage fall into two basic categories:
- Organic leads come in via search traffic.
- Paid lead generation tools, like Google’s AdWords pay-per-click advertising platform, use digital ad placements and targeting to help you reach new audiences.
According to a 2017 Real Estate Webmasters study, 38 percent of real estate professionals actively advertise on social media, while 23 percent use search engine marketing.
Resources for Lead Generation:
- The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Lead Generation
- 15 Real Estate Facebook Lead Gen Ideas for Agents [Ebook]
Pipeline Management (CRM)
Once you’ve captured leads, you’ll also need a way to stay in touch and move them toward a transaction. A great customer relationship management (CRM) system for brokers can help you keep track of your leads’ actions and preferences, along with follow-up actions like tasks and appointments.
A high-quality CRM can also help you manage your brokerage by automatically assigning incoming leads to agents on your team.
Pipeline Management (CRM) Resources:
- CRM Software: 12 Perfect Options for Real Estate Agents
- 7 Ways Real Estate CRM Lead Assignment Helps Brokers’ Bottom Lines
Published on May 14, 2019