Career Development

What Does a Broker Do?

Find out what a broker does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a broker.

A broker is a professional who acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of goods or services. They are paid by commission to facilitate transactions, but they do not own the items being sold.

Brokers may specialize in certain types of products or services, such as real estate or insurance. They may also focus on specific industries, such as automotive or healthcare. Regardless of their area of expertise, brokers play an important role in facilitating commerce by bringing together buyers and sellers who would otherwise have difficulty finding each other.

Broker Job Duties

A broker typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Arranging and negotiating trades between buyers and sellers, including advising clients on current prices and potential opportunities in different markets
  • Communicating with clients to answer questions about their accounts or to provide updates on security prices
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with institutional investors and stockbrokers who represent them
  • Researching investment opportunities and providing advice to clients on how to manage their portfolios
  • Providing trading guidance to clients about when to buy or sell certain stocks or bonds
  • Advising clients on which securities to purchase based on the client’s financial goals, such as saving for retirement or starting a business
  • Negotiating with other brokers to purchase or sell large blocks of securities at favorable prices
  • Recommending new stocks or bonds to add to a portfolio based on current market conditions
  • Providing general financial planning advice to clients, such as setting up an investment portfolio or applying for a loan from a bank

Broker Salary & Outlook

Brokers are typically paid a salary, which can vary depending on their level of experience, the size of the company they work for, and the type of insurance they sell. Brokers may also earn commissions based on the policies they sell.

  • Median Annual Salary: $76,500 ($36.78/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $185,000 ($88.94/hour)

The employment of insurance brokers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for insurance brokers will stem from the need to find cost-efficient ways to provide coverage to clients. As health care costs continue to increase, insurance companies will seek to reduce their own costs by limiting the types of coverage they offer and by increasing deductibles and copayments. Insurance brokers will be needed to help clients navigate the complex insurance market and select appropriate coverage.

Broker Job Requirements

A broker typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most brokers need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to be considered for employment. Some brokers choose to pursue a degree in business, finance or another related field.

Brokers can also choose to pursue a degree in real estate. This is a two-year program that includes courses in real estate law, finance, accounting, business and technology.

Training & Experience: Brokers typically receive on-the-job training from their employer after they are hired. This training helps the broker learn the company’s policies and procedures. It also helps the broker learn the software and technology the company uses.

Some brokers choose to train themselves by taking courses and seminars. They can learn about the different aspects of the real estate industry, including finance, marketing and negotiation.

Certifications & Licenses: Depending on the work you intend to do, you may need to earn certifications to prove your expertise in a particular field.

Broker Skills

Brokers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Brokers use technical skills to understand and navigate complex financial systems. They may use these skills to explain complex financial products to clients and help them make informed decisions. Technical skills can also help brokers troubleshoot technical issues with online tools and software.

Communication skills: Brokers communicate with clients and other professionals in the real estate industry. They need to be able to explain complex financial information in a way that’s easy to understand. They also need to be able to listen to clients’ needs and explain the best options for meeting those needs.

Analytical skills: Brokers use analytical skills to assess client needs and recommend financial products that best suit their needs. They also use analytical skills to evaluate the risks and benefits of various investment options. Brokers use analytical skills to determine the value of stocks, bonds and other financial products.

Negotiation skills: Negotiation skills are the ability to communicate with clients and other parties to a transaction to reach an agreement. Brokers often use negotiation skills to help clients find the right mortgage for their needs and to negotiate the best price for a property.

Business development skills: Brokers can use business development skills to find new clients and develop long-term relationships with them. This can include researching the market and finding ways to attract new clients. It can also include maintaining relationships with current clients and finding ways to retain them.

Broker Work Environment

Brokers work in a fast-paced environment where they are constantly interacting with clients, other brokers, and stock market analysts. They work long hours, often including evenings and weekends, and they are under constant pressure to meet deadlines and quotas. Because the stock market is open 24 hours a day, brokers in different time zones may be working at all hours of the day and night. The work can be stressful, and brokers must be able to handle large amounts of money and make quick decisions. They also need to be able to deal with rejection, since not every deal will be successful.

Broker Trends

Here are three trends influencing how brokers work. Brokers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Brokers Will Need to Be More Technical

As technology advances, brokers will need to become more technical in order to keep up with the competition.

This trend is already being seen in the industry, as more and more brokers are starting to use technology to help them find new clients and close deals. In order to be successful, brokers will need to be familiar with a variety of different technologies, such as social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization.

Brokers Will Need to Focus on Customer Service

The brokerage industry is changing rapidly, and one of the most significant changes is the focus on customer service. As customers become more demanding, brokers will need to focus on providing excellent customer service in order to stay competitive.

This trend means that brokers will need to be able to provide top-notch customer support, whether it’s through phone, email, or in-person interactions. They will also need to be able to understand what customers want and how to meet their needs.

More Use of Technology in Real Estate Transactions

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in real estate transactions. Brokers who are able to utilize technology in their business will be more successful than those who do not.

For example, many brokers are now using online tools to market their listings and connect with potential buyers. This allows them to reach a larger audience and generate more interest in their properties. Additionally, many brokers are using electronic signatures to make the closing process faster and easier for all involved parties.

How to Become a Broker

A broker career can be a great way to start your financial services career. It’s important to choose the right brokerage firm for you, so do your research and ask questions before accepting any job offer.

You should also make sure that you have the necessary qualifications and licenses required by your state. This may include passing the Series 7 exam, which tests your knowledge of securities products and regulations.

Related: How to Write a Broker Resume

Advancement Prospects

After a few years of experience, many brokers are promoted to management positions, such as sales manager, branch manager, or regional manager. Some may eventually open their own firms.

Many brokers also move into related financial occupations, such as investment banking, commercial banking, or financial planning. Some become insurance agents or underwriters, or they may move into other insurance-related occupations. A few become stockbrokers or commodities brokers.

Broker Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we believe in the power of real estate to build wealth, shape communities, and improve lives. We’re looking for an experienced, licensed broker to join our team and help us achieve our mission. As a broker at [CompanyX], you will be responsible for a wide range of activities, from generating new business leads to negotiating deals to providing expert advice to clients. We are looking for a broker who is not only knowledgeable and experienced, but also personable and trustworthy. If you are a self-starter with a passion for real estate, we want to hear from you.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand the needs of clients and provide them with the best possible service
  • Research the market to find the right products and services to meet the needs of clients
  • Negotiate on behalf of clients to get the best possible deals
  • Keep up to date with changes in the market and new products and services
  • Build and maintain relationships with clients
  • Understand the legal aspects of the products and services being offered
  • Comply with all relevant regulations
  • Keep accurate records of transactions
  • Prepare reports for clients
  • Manage client portfolios
  • Provide advice on financial planning
  • Offer support and guidance to clients

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or related field
  • 3-5 years experience working in the securities industry
  • Passing score on Series 7 and Series 63 exams
  • Strong understanding of financial markets, investment products, and trading strategies
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Proven track record of success in sales

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • MBA or other advanced degree
  • Series 24 or 66 license
  • 5+ years experience working in the securities industry
  • Extensive knowledge of financial markets, investment products, and trading strategies
  • Proven track record of success in sales

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