NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.
From the REALTOR® Store
Real Estate Brokerage Essentials® - Real Estate Brokerage Essentials®: Navigating Legal Risks and Managing a Successful Brokerage, Fourth Edition is the most comprehensive business tool for brokers to run their offices efficiently and minimize their risk for legal liability. This is a must have for all Brokers! (Item 126-359)
Broker to Broker: Management Lessons from America's Most Successful Real Estate Companies - Broker to Broker takes a unique approach to brokerage management by bringing you the ideas, strategies and lessons brokers and sales managers are implementing today. Compiled from the "For Brokers" section of REALTOR® Magazine it offers the best tips and advice on how to manage a residential real estate brokerage. (Item 141-60)
Sample Employee Manual for Brokers - Are you looking for assistance in developing an employee manual? NAR has a sample manual for you to tailor for your employees! (Item E126-155) Note: This employee manual is NOT intended to be used as a policy manual for independent contractors.
Striking Out on Your Own
5 Mistakes I Made Opening My Real Estate Brokerage (Janis Benstock Real Estate Academy, May 25, 2023)
The best thing I ever did for the health of my brokerage was to ask for help by hiring a business strategist. It has saved me so much time on the learning curve and it’s difficult to even put a number on the return on my investment.
How to Start a Real Estate Brokerage (TRUIC, May 11, 2023)
- Typical startup costs are:
- Real Estate Broker’s License - $1,500
- Office lease deposit - $2,000
- First month’s rent - $2,000
- Utilities, Telephone, Internet - $250 per month
- Office signage - $2,000
- Marketing expenses - $2,000 per month
- Employee expenses - (depends on the number of agents)
The 8-Step Guide to Starting a Real Estate Brokerage (Fit Small Business, Mar. 30, 2023)
If you are a leader (a person who guides and communicates well with others), you have the first building block to being a successful broker. However, if you are the “bossy type” who likes to bark orders, tell others what to do, or believe that only your opinion counts, then being a broker is not for you.
Making the Transition From Top Producer to Broker-owner (REALTOR® Magazine, May 4, 2021)
For other real estate practitioners thinking about making the transition from top producer to broker-owner, consider joining your local chamber of commerce. Get to know other professionals in your marketplace. Ask the chamber to support your office’s grand opening, which can help spread the word about your new brokerage and build those valuable relationships with members of the community.
How to Start a Real Estate Brokerage (Placester)
Depending on the type of real estate brokerage you want to start, you’re looking at startup costs of at least $10,000. And that’s if you’re bootstrapping it and jumping in with the bare essentials. Thinking about opening up a brokerage under a franchise? Costs can easily hit $200,000, and that doesn’t include the ongoing fees you’ll be liable for like license renewals.
Creating a Business Plan and Choosing a Brokerage Model
7 Steps to Writing a Real Estate Business Plan (+ Worksheet) (The Close, Apr. 17, 2023)
A killer business plan forces you to think through your goals and objectives, as well as your budget, so that you have a real chance of success right from the beginning. It keeps you realistic and establishes a way for you to clearly monitor and evaluate your success.
Creating a 2023 Real Estate Business Plan (realtor.com®, Feb. 1, 2023)
The most important feature of the plan is that you are brutally honest with the inputs. If, for example, real estate is a part-time business for you, either by design or because your market is seasonal, recognize that this will affect all your metrics, top and bottom lines, and your expected outcomes. If, alternatively, your market is growing rapidly and you will need additional help to manage it and maintain an expected level of service, recognize that and the associated costs involved in recruiting, training. and managing new people.
What Are the Different Brokerage Models an Agent Can Choose From? (PropStream, Jan. 4, 2023)
Taking a cue from popular subscription-based businesses in other industries (like Netflix and Spotify), subscription-based brokerages usually offer agents monthly or yearly service plans.
Agents can often choose from multiple pricing tiers based on their needs. For example, you might pay a base fee for using the brokerage as a storefront and co-working space (where you can meet clients) and a higher fee for additional access to marketing software, training, and other tools and resources.
National vs. Boutique vs. Virtual Brokerages: Which is Right for You? (Aceable Agent, Jan. 20, 2023)
Virtual brokerages, also known as cloud brokerages, are online only with no physical location. Since most agents do the bulk of their work from a home office, a virtual brokerage makes a lot of sense. This this especially true for seasoned agents that have a large contact list and don’t need as much training.
The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Real Estate Business Plan + Free Template (Placester)
The length of business plans vary, but they generally outline between one and five years. For our purposes, we’ve used a length of three years. Few agents are able to fully develop their business in only a year, while planning five years into the future can be very speculative. For most new agents, three years is a reasonable time frame for achieving a degree of financial success and establishing a viable career in the industry.
Write Your Business Plan
(Small Business Administration
Most business plans fall into one of two common categories: traditional or lean startup. Traditional business plans are more common, use a standard structure, and encourage you to go into detail in each section. They tend to require more work upfront and can be dozens of pages long. Lean startup business plans are less common but still use a standard structure. They focus on summarizing only the most important points of the key elements of your plan. They can take as little as one hour to make and are typically only one page.
U.S. Small Business Administration — This website should be the first stop for anyone wanting to start a business. Topics covered include startup basics, writing a business plan, financing, marketing, employment, and tax topics. This site also has special areas for women business owners, veterans, minorities, Native Americans and young entrepreneurs. You can also find a local SBA office for further assistance.
SCORE Association — SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. Since 1964, we have provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur Magazine — From choosing a business structure to naming your business, this website highlights the nitty-gritty basics of business star-ups. How-to guides, online newsletters and a resource center of articles provide helpful information for your start-up.
Inc.com — Inc.'s website provides information on starting, growing, and leading your business.
America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) — America’s SBDC represents America’s nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) – the most comprehensive small business assistance network in the United States and its territories. There are nearly 1,000 local centers available to provide no-cost business consulting and low-cost training to new and existing businesses. Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can go to their local SBDCs for FREE face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training on a variety of topics.
Minority Business Development Agency - MBDA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that promotes the growth of minority-owned businesses through the mobilization and advancement of public and private sector programs, policy, and research.
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) — NAWBO is the only dues-based organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries; and with chapters across the country. With far-reaching clout and impact, NAWBO is a one-stop resource to propelling women business owners into greater economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide.
Books, eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
18 Steps for Starting Your Business (eBook)
The Accidental Startup (eBook)
Business Made Simple (Audiobook)
Business Plans Kit for Dummies (eBook)
Business Plans That Work: A Guide for Small Business (eBook)
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting Your Own Business (eBook)
The Fearless Woman's Guide to Starting a Business (Audiobook)
How to Write a Business Plan (eBook)
How to Write a Business Plan (EBSCO eBook)
Launching While Female (eBook)
The Real Estate Entrepreneur: Everything You Need to Know to Grow Your Own Brokerage (eBook)
Six Steps to Small Business Success (eBook)
Start a New Real Estate Brokerage, Economically! (eBook)
Starting a Business for Dummies (eBook)
Write Your Business Plan (eBook)
Your First Business Plan (eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
As a member benefit, the following resources and more are available for loan through the NAR Library. Items will be mailed directly to you or made available for pickup at the REALTOR® Building in Chicago.
Real Estate Brokerage: A Management Guide (Chicago: Dearborn, 2004) HF 1375 C99 Ed. 6
Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.
The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.