Feb 18, 2022
Have you ever thought about being a real estate broker or wondered what it’s like to be one? Being a broker is not about breaking houses, or worse, hearts. Kidding aside, all it takes to become a real estate broker is to get a bachelor’s degree in real estate management, then apply for a license and get a certification from the government.
But then again, why should you become a real estate broker in the first place? The process you will have to go through for this role may also be difficult, so why bother? Well, to answer these compelling questions and then some, we’ve come up with this comprehensive article to help put you on the path to becoming a professional real estate broker in the Philippines.
Let’s start with the basics!
Before we tackle the whys and the hows of being a real estate broker, let’s first talk about what real estate brokers, agents, and realtors are and how they differ from one another.
A real estate broker earns a living from professional fees or commissions made from a real estate transaction, be it a sale, exchange, or lease. They act as an agent or middleman in transactions, and they are authorized to discuss the negotiations and offers between two parties. Brokers are licensed by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
An agent, on the other hand, is basically an associate of a real estate broker. They help with what brokers do, and they do this because of the expectation of a share from the commission, professional fees, or other types of compensation should the deal become successful.
This is where the basic difference comes in. A real estate agent acts only under the supervision of a real estate broker. An agent alone cannot be signatories to papers, documents, or agreements in an official real estate transaction without authorization from the real estate brokers, who are signatories.
Real estate agents also cannot practice the real estate profession without being accredited by brokers. Doing so would mean they are “colorum” or unregistered practitioners, which is illegal.
A realtor is just a general term for real estate brokers, accredited agents, members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR USA) or the Chamber of Real Estate Builders’ Association Inc. (CREBA). Basically, if you’re either a broker or an agent, you are a realtor. You are trademarked as a REALTOR if you’re a member of the aforementioned associations.
Similarities: All of these three titles practice the real estate profession in the country, therefore all of them are obligated to adhere to the Code of Ethics of Real Estate Service Act (RESA).
Do you want to see what a successful real estate broker looks like? Look no further, as here’s Ben Caballero, a real estate hero and a record holder. He is one of the top real estate brokers in the United States after selling 5,793 homes in 2018 alone, totaling an amount of $2.2B.
Ben is also the world’s first billion-dollar real estate agent after selling 5,491 homes in 2015. He is the owner of HomesUSA.com and focuses on home sales in the Dallas area, where he also lives.
You may not be as successful as a real estate broker like Ben, but you must know that it is still a worthy job to have. According to Salary Expert, the average base salary of a real estate broker in the Philippines is Php524,087 per year. That equates to an hourly rate of Php251.96.
To be more specific as to how this average is derived, an entry-level broker with one to three years of experience earns an average salary of Php298,291 per year while a senior-level real estate broker with at least eight years of experience receives an average of Php672,193 annually. That doesn’t include bonuses yet, which hover around the Php103,000 mark.
If you’re planning to be a real estate broker there are certain skills necessary for you to have or develop in order to succeed.
First, a real estate broker must have great communication skills. You must have the verbal talent and confidence to convince clients into purchasing or selling properties. Remember, only through successful transactions can you earn commissions and professional fees.
Honesty, familiarity, and persistence are also some other traits that will land you your commissions as these would make clients feel like they are personally being assisted in their purchase or sale, helping make the transaction seamless.
Don’t worry, a formal education and actual experience will teach you to develop these skills, but you will have to work on them more to be really, really good.
Another good skill would be mastery or a deep understanding of the real estate industry. People who know the ins and outs of their job are going to be better than those who don’t.
With industry knowledge, you will be able to address all the requirements of your clients and find good deals for them. This would show up in conversations with your clients as your understanding of the job would shine, making you a more trusted ally in their decision-making processes.
Time management is good to have as well. Meeting deadlines and informing your clients about deadlines are essential as it shows your meticulousness. It also helps secure the success of the transaction as brokers, together with their agents, will handle the time-sensitive details like delivery of documents and other requirements.
You must also be quite knowledgeable of the areas where the properties being sold are. When purchasing a property, wouldn’t it be nice to have all the pertinent information?
This is where a good real estate broker comes in. They must be well-equipped with details, especially about the areas where their clients are interested in doing business.
Simple things — like being able to answer questions about basic cost requirements, local laws, establishments, and transportation in the vicinity — are important in securing your clients’ peace of mind during the negotiation process. It also helps that this trust carries over to the next deal where they may most likely hire you again.
Lastly, you will need a ton of patience. You can never be sure in this industry, as economic factors such as lower purchasing power, lower real income, and even natural calamities like the pandemic may affect the decisions of many possible buyers and sellers. So the best asset to have is patience. It also helps in handling the more demanding clients.
Now that you have an idea of the essential skills a real estate broker must have, let’s discuss how you can become one. Here is a step-by-step guide.
Like all professions, a formal education is the first step and the most important of all. How would you succeed or even hope to get a license if you don’t have the knowledge and training about the industry, right?
So the most logical thing to do is to study. Learn about the profession, get some professional work experience (preferably with a licensed broker) and work toward earning a real estate management degree.
After getting your degree, it’s time to take the Real Estate Brokers Licensure Examination (REBLE). You need to apply for the exam first at the PRC. Here are the requirements:
Make sure to submit these requirements on time. The PRC will assess and approve your application, after which you will receive your exam permit.
If you’re really serious about passing the examinations, then you should do a review of everything that you’ve studied in your first step. A simple online search easily shows a number of reviewers available for free.
Try the practice tests too to ensure that you will be able to handle everything during the actual test day. There’s nothing wrong with a practice run; even F1 drivers do it.
There are also exam reviewers available for purchase in online stores if you want the whole process to be easy. Lastly, you can enroll in a review center. Nothing beats studying with other people.
Reviewing for the licensure examination has never been easier as it is nowadays. You just have to believe in yourself and stay composed.
After taking the exam, you just need to wait for the PRC to release the results within 3-5 working days. When you’ve passed the exam, you may register at the PRC website for your Professional Identification Card and Certificate of Registration.
Now it’s time to register with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, or HLURB. You will need to submit another set of requirements here, so make sure to gather them immediately.
The purpose of the HLURB Certificate of Registration, besides being required by the law, is to ensure that you are legally allowed to sell low-cost housing and condominium properties.
Once you have successfully received your certificate, it’s time for the real thing. You can either go independent or apply for a position in a real estate agency.
Now that you have a clearer idea on how you can start your real estate career, it’s time to go into the details. You will have to enroll in a bachelor of science in real estate management course. It’s not offered in all colleges and universities in the country, but don’t fret as we have researched a list of schools offering the course in different parts of the Philippines.
The HLURB is a government agency mandated to regulate land and real estate transactions, so it has the power to grant the new brokers’ entry into the industry.
The aim of the HLURB is to protect people from fraudulent transactions. Getting a certificate of registration from the agency would make you a legitimate professional in real estate transactions.
Here are things you would need to present and submit when applying for an HLURB license:
1. Submit the required documents to the nearest designated HLURB branch where you will be issued an assessment form.
2. Pay for the necessary fees at the branch’s Accounting Department. Make sure to get a photocopy of the Official Receipt.
3. Submit the Official Receipt to the Records Section, and then wait for the processing.
4. Once all that’s done, the HLURB will give you a time and date of when to claim your certificate and ID. They are usually released 15 days after filing, so keep count of the days and take note of the actual date specified.
If you’re just renewing, the process is almost the same. The only difference is the processing fee. You will need to bring a copy of your latest HLURB ID and certificate and a stacking fee of Php200 for each year that has passed between your renewals.
Before the introduction of the Republic Act No. 9646 or the Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines (RESA law) back in 2009, real estate brokers were licensed under the Department of Trade and Industry. Those brokers who have been plying their trade before the RESA law was enacted are qualified to get a license from the PRC without taking the real estate broker licensure exam. If you’re one of them, you’re good to go.
To explain why this happened in the first place, the primary goal of the RESA law is to ensure the security of land real estate buyers and their transactions. The job’s importance is treated in the same way as doctors, architects, and lawyers, as the need for regulation is paramount to the continuity of the industry.
A lot of real estate buyers treat the decision as a milestone, so it is important to secure the interests of the people and a safe real estate marketplace for all.
To become a certified real estate broker, the requirements are actually higher than running for president of the republic. Because of the government’s goal, a real estate broker must check all the boxes in this list:
Once you have satisfied the initial requirements as discussed, you can now start applying for your PRC license. These documents are needed in the process:
The PRC may request for additional documents aside from the ones listed above, so be ready to submit those too. When you have submitted all of them, you will be required to pay the fees to take the exam before being given the permit.
The exam is held in March of every year in several testing centers across the country. If you’re worried that some things you’ve learned may have gotten blurry over the years, here’s a list of the accredited real estate exam training centers to help you prepare for the next big step in your career.
The job of a real estate broker is actually a very helpful one. When someone wants to buy a house and make sure that everything is legitimate and to their satisfaction, all they have to do is go to a real estate broker, inquire, and possibly hire them.
Real estate brokers are armed with all the necessary knowledge. They are also registered with and licensed by the PRC, which gives them the authority to manage purchases, sales, and other real estate transactions. In other words, their job is to ensure that you will have a safe and smooth experience, as mandated by the government.
A broker’s main job is to be an agent of either the buyer or the seller in a transaction. They cannot represent both in the same transaction as that would be against their code of ethics.
To explain a real estate broker’s services more simply, they are like lawyers who do the research and negotiation for you in a case, except they do it in the context of real estate transactions. Incidentally, aside from brokers, you may also need the help of a law practitioner to cover the legalities of the transaction.
Although brokers act as agents, there are also real estate agents/salespersons that most people encounter. As explained at the start of the article, they are usually associates of real estate brokers, and they do day-to-day tasks under the supervision of a broker like viewing properties or informing the clients about the area. They cannot sign any legal documents in relation to the transaction as only brokers can do that.
To sum up, this is a list of a real estate broker’s roles and responsibilities:
We haven’t mentioned the very first step to starting your career in real estate but you just did it.
Studying and getting a bachelor’s degree isn’t actually the first step — it’s having the initiative to learn about the job by reading this article.
We’ve put down all you have to know to start your path toward becoming a real estate broker. Now it’s time for you to take the next step. Who knows, maybe one day you won’t just be the Philippines’ Ben Caballero, but your very own celebrity. Good luck!
Check out our other articles for further readings on real estate.
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