Interested in the World of Real Estate? Consider These Careers



If you’re a recent grad looking for the right career path, consider the possibilities of a career in real estate.  Real estate is an ever-evolving field with many different aspects at play, and a variety of skill sets and interests can align with all sorts of jobs within this niche.  Don’t be surprised if you discover that you're a great fit for one or more of these five options.

Real Estate Agent

Most people associate this career with selling homes.  However, real estate agents help clients buy, sell, or rent residential and commercial property.  They work under a real estate broker, who does similar work but has a license to manage his or her own real estate business.  More than 420,000 U.S. real estate agents and brokers were at work as of 2014.

All states require agents and brokers to have a license.  Requirements include being at least 18 years old, completing a certain number of real estate course hours, and passing a state-specific licensing exam.  In competitive markets, many employers prefer to hire agents with college courses in real estate, finance, statistics, economics, or related areas.  Larger companies might provide in-house training.  A career as an agent requires willingness to work more than 9 to 5 and good organizational and problem-solving skills.  Agents must have strong interpersonal skills as well as enthusiasm.

Real Estate Appraiser

Another popular real estate career option is that of real estate appraiser.  This individual usually works for appraisal firms or lending institutions and furnishes unbiased assessments of the quality and value of properties.  Appraisers typically work during general weekday office hours and tend to be busy year-round, since appraisals are required when homeowners refinance or are trying to purchase a home with a mortgage.  You might be a good fit if you’re organized, have great analytical skills, and enjoy working with numbers.  Appraisers of real property must pass an exam for licensing in each state.

Property Manager

Property managers might handle residential or commercial developments.  They negotiate leases, make sure developments meet Federal and local legal requirements, and uphold tenant satisfaction.  This career is an ideal fit for someone who wants work that’s personally rewarding as well as the opportunity to learn local real estate markets to start his or her own business.  It requires good negotiating skills, attention to details, and the ability to multitask.  Most areas  require licensing that varies from state to state as well as position to position.

Real Estate Entrepreneur

Do you dream of buying investment properties and eventually becoming a real estate mogul?  Since World War II, many of the wealthiest U.S. residents have been real estate investors with the ability to spot properties likely to rise in value thanks to renovations or changes in local market conditions. To succeed with this investment strategy, you’ll need a number of qualities:  savvy about markets, very knowledgeable about your competition, willing to take on risk, and creative in fining unique strategies to make money.

Investment Banker

Teams dedicated to real estate finance exist in many investment banks.  Members typically repackage mortgages into securities backed by residential or commercial mortgages and similar vehicles.  Some deal with real estate investing and the origination of synthetic leases.  This career is an ideal match if you have an interest in both the investment area of finance and real estate.  Hiring institutions are looking for employees with a strong mix of interpersonal and analytical skills.  Many college grads enter investment banking as analysts.  Math and accounting skills are necessary, along with the ability to work as part of a team and the willingness to put in long hours when necessary.

Surveys show that people choose a career in the world of real estate for many reasons.  What’s the top one?  They're intrigued by physical assets, whether it’s selling them, owning and developing them, managing them, or financing them.    Whether it’s residential property or a commercial portfolio, real estate excites them.  They come from many backgrounds.  For some, real estate is a second or a third career.  It just might be a great match for you as well.
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