So you’ve struck out on your own: You’re following your dreams and controlling your destiny by starting your own brokerage. Now it’s time to set up healthy systems and routines, develop consistent and effective branding, and find strategies for generating company leads. You will also find resources for staying up-to-date on the legalities of running a brokerage, tips for hiring and recruiting, and ways to keep your finance in check.  Learn how to develop office policies that speak to the culture you’re building, find out how other brokers overcame some of their toughest problems while starting a new business, and get advice on everything from advertising on social media to establishing a wellness program.


We've 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 a password.

Striking Out on Your Own

7 Steps to Build a Successful Real Estate Business (Noobpreneur, January 30, 2018)

Ready for Your Own Brokerage? (360 Training, September 4, 2017)

Starting a Brokerage: What to Do (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 2017)

Starting a Brokerage? 7 Questions to Consider (REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 2015)

5 Tips on Starting Your Own Real Estate Agency (Realty Times, Mar. 9, 2015)

Can You Handle It: Manage Your Own Brokerage? (Chicago Agent, July 30, 2012)

How to Launch a Successful Real Estate Brokerage in Today’s Market (KW Blog, Oct. 8, 2012)

Real Estate Brokerage Office Management (The Balance, 2012)

Creating a Business Plan and Choosing a Brokerage Model

Infographic: Establishing Your Business

Develop a Business Plan That Propels Your Entrepreneurial Success (Investors Business Daily, July 17, 2018) E

Embracing the Modern Real Estate Business Model: An Interview With Broker Chad Gaughan (Placester, September 28, 2017)

Starting Out in Real Estate: Franchise, Independent Firm or Solo? (Intuit Quickbooks)

Other Ways of Pricing—Alternative Real Estate Business Models (The Balance, Sept. 21, 2016)

A Spectrum of Service Models is Changing the Way We Sell Homes (Washington Post, Mar. 6, 2015)

Boutique—Today’s Real Estate Brokerage Business Model (Realty Times, Sept. 20, 2013)

The Evolving Brokerage Model (REALTOR® Magazine, Nov. 2012)

Creating Your Business Plan Blueprint for 2013 Success (RISMedia, 2012)

16 Steps to Your Best Business Plan (REALTOR® Magazine, Dec. 2011)

Create Your Business Plan (Small Business Administration)

Business Plan Preparation (Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado)

Useful Websites

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 — As "Counselors to America's Small Business," SCORE provides counseling for would-be entrepreneurs through email and confidential one-to-one meetings. 389 chapter offices provide this free service. SCORE's website offers free e-newsletters, online articles, quizzes, tips and a business toolbox.

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.

Books, eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The Accidental Startup (Kindle, eBook)

Business Plans Kit for Dummies (Kindle, eBook)

Business Plans that Work: A Guide for Small Business eBook)

How to Write A Business Plan (eBook)

Legal Guide for Starting and Running a Small Business (eBook)

The E-myth Real Estate Brokerage (Audiobook)

The Real Estate Entrepreneur: Everything You Need to Know to Grow Your Own Brokerage (eBook)

The Small Business Startup Kit (eBook)

Start-Up! A Beginner's Guide to Planning a 21st Century Business (eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Broker to Broker: Management Lessons (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley , 2006) HF 5500 F87b

Real Estate Brokerage: A Management Guide (Chicago: Dearborn, 2004) HF 1375 C99 Ed. 6

Real Estate Brokerage Essentials: Managing Legal and Business Issues (Chicago: National Association of REALTORS®, 2006) HD 1386 N21

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.


Common Brokerage Models

This infographic shows common brokerage models, compensation structures, and other details of brokerage firms.

Legal Action Program

Provides financial assistance to support litigation of significance to the real estate industry and private property rights.