Agents and brokers may be paid a salary, work on a commission basis or earn a combination of both. Incomes vary considerably depending on the employer, the employee’s abilities and educational background, the geographic area and the individual’s responsibilities.
Usually, newly hired agents and brokers are paid a base salary and look after existing client accounts. To encourage them to find new clients, they often also receive a percentage of commissions on any new business they attract. Some agents work on a full commission basis immediately, although most choose to receive a salary for 6 months or longer while they establish a client base.
Most agents and brokers pay their own car and travel expenses. Those that operate their own businesses will also pay other overhead expenses such as office rent and staff salaries.