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How to Become a Builder’s Agent

One of the first questions new agents ask about is how to become a builder’s agent.

After all, it seems like a great job. In all of the real estate industry, builder’s agents tend to be some of the busiest. They’re rarely left wanting for listings, and they have properties that practically sell themselves.

But it’s not an easy process. It’s definitely not something that you can just jump into.

If you want to become the agent for a builder, you’re going to have to do a lot of leg work. You will need to become a successful, experienced agent. And you will have to foster relationships within the community.

Finding the Right Builder

Before you do anything else, you should take a look at the builders in your area. A builder’s real estate agent will usually work very closely with a single builder.

Often, they will actually be an on-site agent that works at the builder’s office and sells the properties being developed there. The builder themselves will be your client and will take up a lot of your time and effort.

So, just as a successful real estate agent needs to find a good broker, a builder’s real estate agent needs to find a good builder.

A new real estate agent can focus on finding clients interested in buying into the developments of the builders they are interested in working with. By connecting with a developer as the buyer’s broker, you’ll show them that you can already sell their houses.

And you’ll learn more about how they do business.

Remain professional throughout the process. See how each builder does things and see which builder suits your existing clientele the best. You may find that you have great synergy between your network and a particular developer.

Two business people shaking hands. If you're wondering how to become a builder's agent, you have to build up your reputation.

Establishing Your Reputation as an Agent

A builder isn’t likely to work with a fresh real estate agent. Builders want the best of the best. They want someone who has established themselves inside of the local market and proven how hard they will work.

But while it’s not something that you can do the second you get your real estate license, it is a goal that you can move toward. Builders do need a lot of agents. Every time there’s a new development, they tend to try to find more.

Real estate professionals spend a lot of time chasing leads. But leads aren’t all that establishes you in the real estate business. Whether you’re working as a buyer’s agent or sales agent, you need to network aggressively.

Take an extra real estate course. Go to a seminar and show up to events. Fundraise in your community. The more networking you do, the more visibly, the faster your career will progress. And the more likely a builder will be to trust you with their properties.

Work with a real estate broker that has a good reputation in the industry. Send out mailers. Show that you’re an experienced agent who knows the real estate market. Don’t try to move too fast. You’ll need to build a portfolio of work before you can become a builder’s agent, unless you’re remarkably well-connected.

The more interactions you have with a builder, the more likely you are to become a builder’s agent. Educate yourself about the local real estate industry, take a continued education real estate course, and find out more about developing in the market.

A home builder and a builder's agent. If you're wondering how to become a builder's agent, you'll need to reach out to builders in your area

Reaching Out to Builders

The right time to connect with a builder is when they’re planning a new development. Most builders aren’t looking for new real estate professionals until they have new developments that they want to sell.

Keep track of these new developments. Reach out and let them know that you’re interested in representing them as a sales agent. If you’ve already worked with them before as a buyer’s agent, they’ll know you’re capable of making sales.

Give your builders a call. Tell them if you have a potential client interested in buying one of their properties in the future. Tell them what you think you could do for them. You don’t have to be pushy, but you do need to be confident.

At this stage, your builders will ideally have already heard of you many times. They will have worked for you when you represented buyers and will have received your mailers and marketing.

Don’t be perturbed if they say no. A builder is going to get tons of agents asking about each development. A new real estate agent isn’t going to stand much of a chance; you will need to be an experienced agent before you can secure a builder client.

A builder is likely to have their own real estate team. But there’s no national association for builder’s agents, and there’s nothing keeping you from becoming one as long as you can prove your mettle.

If you’re just starting out and starting to court builders, you can also look for developments that seem to be stagnating. Every real estate agent has one in their neighborhood: a development that was going strong but now has empty lots waiting to be sold. Do some research. Why aren’t they selling?

If you can solve that problem for them, they may be more eager to hire you as an on-site builder’s agent. From there, you can work your way into any other builder team that you’re interested in.

A builder's agent showing a property to interested buyers

Fulfilling Your Responsibilities

What happens once you become a builder’s agent? As the builder’s realtor, you can expect to be extremely busy. You’re going to have a ton of properties to sell. And you may not make as much money as you expect.

Builders tend to be fairly aggressive with negotiations. You may need to pay your managing broker the same, but your home builder will likely want a discount. Still, you’ll be able to make money because you’ll have far more listings.

In the building world, real estate sales move very fast. If you can connect your own buyers with these listings, you can operate as both the buyer agent and the seller’s agent. So, even if you’re getting a reduced cut from the builder, you’ll still be getting a larger cut through dual agency.

Understandably, the more well-connected you are in the real estate market, the more effectively you’ll be able to operate. It’s more likely you’ll know a potential buyer, and less likely you’ll have trouble during the home buying process.

As an experienced agent rather than a new real estate agent, you’ll likely be able to point a buyer to a preferred lender, secure a sale faster, and consequently ease the entire process.

What Does Your Broker Need to Know?

If this is your ultimate goal, you may want to bring it up when you’re looking for a real estate broker for your real estate license. You may be able to find a sponsoring broker who already has a good reputation with developers.

Remember that your brokerage has a lot to do with finding new clients. If you have the support of your brokerage, you may find it much easier to foster the connections you need to get an “in” with a real estate builder.

An agent and builder shaking hands. How to become a builder's agent depends on forming connections

FAQs on How to Become a Builder’s Agent

Why would an agent choose to become a builder’s agent?

A builder can give you a lot of leads—more leads than you’ll find on a platform like RedFin or Zillow. Depending on how the real estate market is in your area, you could find yourself representing dozens of listings at once.

Everyone in the real estate industry knows that being a builder’s agent is highly sought after. While you might make a smaller amount of each individual real estate transaction, you’ll make a lot more as a builder’s real estate agent than operating solo.

What qualifications do you need to become a builder’s agent?

Any successful real estate agent can become a builder’s agent. Most agents will be very experienced, such as an associate broker. But as with being a commercial real estate agent, you don’t need any special certifications or licenses.

As long as you’re an experienced, licensed agent, you can be the real estate salesperson for a builder. You will need to be confident about your ability to sell many houses, and you will often need the support of your real estate brokerage.

Are there downsides to being a builder’s agent?

A builder’s agent is going to be very busy. While you may have met with a single home buyer every day, now you may be meeting with dozens. The real estate business is fast-paced.

The listing agent for a builder is going to be at showings and open houses very frequently. If you’re great at lead generation and really want to make this a full-time pursuit, it’s an excellent avenue. But do know that it’s not a 9-to-5.

Kyle Handy

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