Agents and brokers may be paid a salary, work on a commission basis or a combination of both. Their incomes vary considerably depending on the employer, the employee's abilities and educational background, the geographic area and the responsibilities of the position.
Usually, newly hired agents and brokers are paid a base salary and look after existing client accounts. To encourage finding new clients, they often receive a percentage of commissions for the new business they attract. Some agents receive commissions from day one, although most choose to receive a salary for six months or longer while they establish a client base.
Most agents and brokers pay their own car and travel expenses. If they operate their own businesses, other overhead expenses may include office rent and staff salaries.