As a landlord or property manager, you may occasionally have to work with a real estate agents for various reasons. How much do you know about the 10 different kinds of real estate agents out there who may approach you? Blogger Richard Montgomery sets out the definitions of each so you will know more about them.

By Richard Montgomery

Agents differentiate to gain market share, intensify knowledge, promote, conserve time, and allow them to work in a way they enjoy. This practice is known as niche marketing. Here are the common specialties in residential real estate – there may be more.

No. 1 – Generalist

The anti-specialist, they turn away no business. They do not limit themselves in any way. A comparison in a different service may be an emergency room physician. They take what comes through the door. The majority of real estate agents are generalists.

No. 2 – The listing agent

They limit their practice to listing property. They do not work with buyers but focus their time and energy on helping sellers.

No. 3 – Buyer agent

These agents advertise as a buyer agent, but will take listings as well. They may or may not utilize a buyer agency contract. They prefer working with buyers but do not want to limit opportunity.

No. 4 – Exclusive buyer agent

Limit their practice to buyer agency. They require a buyer agency agreement and will not accept listings. In large metro areas often work in a brokerage that does not take listings.

the 10 types of real estate agents

There are 10 types of real estate agents today. Photo via

No. 5 – Territorial agent

They limit their activity by boundaries. In large high-density cities, sometimes by streets or individual blocks. The smaller the town, the fewer territorial agents.

No. 6 – Property value agent

Price range is how these agents limit clients. They can work in many markets, but most often found in larger cities with populations more than 300,000 people. In smaller markets, lack of high-end inventory may necessitate flexibility in their brand-building identity.

No. 7 – Property type agent

Many markets develop specialists based on location and type of property. Farm brokerage, vacation property, and apartment specialists abound. Many cities have neighborhoods with declining property values and agents that specialize in those areas.

No. 8 – Team agent

Some agents form teams and pool their energies and expertise. From two people to groups of six people or more collectively can list and sell more real estate than an individual.

No. 9 – Captive real estate agents

Condominiums and home builders often will engage real estate agents who work exclusively for the developer, and no one else.

No. 10 – Unlicensed agent

Practicing real estate without a license is illegal, but that does not mean imposters do not exist. The increase in real estate teams may elicit more complaints. An internet search for “posing as real estate agents” will reveal that unauthorized activity is not so uncommon.

Also today, there are more real estate agents with a specialized practice than there were twenty or thirty years ago. Consumer behavior, competition, government regulation, technology, and innovation are the major factors that are driving change.

Read another of Richard Montgomery’s blogs here: 7 Great Reasons To Invest In Smaller Multifamily Real Estate

About the Author:

Richard Montgomery gives no-nonsense real estate advice to readers’ most pressing questions through his website Dear Monty. He is a real estate industry veteran who has championed industry reform for over a quarter century. He knows real estate investing, from up-close, get-your-hands-dirty rehab to armchair investing using your self-directed IRA as your funding vehicle. In his nearly half-century in the industry, Monty has bought and sold investment properties, founded a real estate brokerage company using a non-traditional consumer driven model, run his own successful brokerage and is former CEO of Corporate Relocation Services. In addition, he is a consultant to businesses and entrepreneurs and also shares his knowledge with inquisitive readers through syndicated newspaper columns. You can ask him your real estate questions at