The field of real estate is always evolving, keeping the demand strong for many jobs and careers associated with it. In fact, the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) estimates that there are nearly 2 million active real estate licensees in the US alone. Real estate careers offer so many benefits to those who don’t want to work at a traditional nine-to-five job.
There’s a wide range of career options associated with the real estate industry – you might not even know some of them even exist! As a result, one might find it overwhelming to decide the right career path. So, if you’re looking to get a job in real estate, you’ll have to do your research first. In this blog post, you’ll learn about different real estate careers along with their job description, salary and requirements to make choosing the right career path easier.
1) Real Estate Investor
Becoming a real estate investor is the most rewarding career in real estate! Real estate investors are those who buy properties or land, try to maximize their profits, and then sell their investment. However, there’s more to this job than just transactions. A real estate investor (a successful one, that is) understands when and where to buy investment properties. This requires them to have extensive knowledge in the real estate market to start making money. Buying blindly puts you at risk of losing your cash and investment. Other requirements for becoming a real estate investor include:
- Being comfortable with the risk involved with the career
- Having funding to buy real estate property or land
- Knowing how to find the best investment properties for sale and analyze their profitability
- Knowing the different real estate investment strategies (buy-and-hold, fix-and-flip, rentals, etc.) and the different types of real estate (residential property and commercial property)
To learn more about this type of real estate career, read: Becoming a Real Estate Investor: Here’s How Anyone Can Do It.
There are amazing benefits to starting a career in real estate as an investor, one of which is the fact that you can invest with little money! Also, you can invest in real estate passively – making money without having much involvement in the investment. On top of that, a real estate investor can make serious money. While there is no set salary for this job, the average annual salary for a real estate investor in the US is $124K, according to ZipRecruiter.
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2) Real Estate Agent
Getting a job in real estate as an agent is one of the best and most common real estate careers. Real estate agents help people sell or buy properties. Meaning, you can either be a buyers’ agent or a sellers’ agent. You can also be either a residential or a commercial agent:
Residential Real Estate Agent
Residential real estate agents facilitate the home buying process between sellers and buyers. You can be even more specialized by focusing on specific kinds of property like single-family homes, condos, luxury homes, vacation homes, or foreclosures. You’ll need a license to become a residential real estate agent, but your success depends on how well you meet your clients’ needs. In addition, before getting into a real estate agent career, you need to have a lead generation strategy. Another requirement to succeed as an agent is having great customer service, networking, and marketing skills.
Commercial Real Estate Agent
Commercial real estate agents are similar to residential agents, but they work in the commercial sector of the real estate industry. So, instead of houses, commercial real estate agents sell properties to businesses. Moreover, this type of real estate careers requires you to have analytical knowledge in business and finance. This is because commercial agents work with data like gross rent multipliers, capitalization rates, and internal rates of return.
Regarding their salaries, both residential and commercial real estate agents work on commission. So, they make a percentage of the amount of real estate property in the transaction. Meaning, agents who find more leads and close more deals make more money. However, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), commercial real estate agents earned twice as much as residential agents in 2017.
3) Real Estate Broker
A broker and agent are very similar in their real estate jobs. The only difference, however, is who they work for. Essentially, real estate agents sign with a brokerage. Real estate agents, therefore, work for real estate brokers. On the other hand, brokers have the option to work either independently or to start their own brokerage. Which one of these real estate careers works best for you? If you have an entrepreneurial drive, consider a career in real estate as a broker.
Wondering how to become a real estate broker? Depending on your state’s requirements, you must spend 1 – 3 years working as a real estate agent first before you can apply for a broker license. You may also be required to complete a training course and pass the broker licensing examination. Thus, becoming a real estate broker is one of the best real estate careers if you’re already an agent and looking to grow your career. According to Glassdoor, the average real estate salary for brokers in the US is $72.5K/yr.
4) Real Estate Developer
Real estate developers are those who buy land and build a real estate property on it. This includes everything from a 4-bedroom house for a family to office buildings. A real estate developer is responsible for planning and coordinating the construction of these buildings, financing it, and bringing in a team to execute the plan. This means that real estate developers also work with architects, engineers, contractors, construction teams, leasing agents, lawyers, and other professionals surrounding the different aspects of the property.
Typically, anyone looking to become a real estate developer must have at least a four-year degree in studies such as Civil Engineering, Architecture, Urban Planning, or Business Real Estate. Moreover, you need to have a good understanding of the economy, real estate market, planning process, and finances. Having skills in multitasking, interpersonal communications, and project management is also necessary to excel in this career path. As for your real estate salary as a developer, it’ll depend on a number of things like years of experience, the company you work for, and type of real estate properties you build.
5) Real Estate Wholesaler
Real estate wholesaling is one of the best real estate careers for making money quickly. Here’s how to wholesale real estate properties:
- Find a distressed property whose owners are motivated to sell quickly
- Convince the property owner to sell the property and sign your contract
- Assess the property’s renovation needs and ARV (after repair value)
- Find a buyer and sell the property for profits
Some confuse the wholesaling strategy with the fix-and-flip strategy in real estate, but these are different real estate careers. First of all, a house flipper buys distressed properties and does the renovations. A real estate wholesaler, on the other hand, does not. Wholesalers need to know the renovations costs and ARV so they can give these numbers to investors and show them the potential profit the property will bring them.
The great thing about wholesaling is that it allows you to get into real estate if you don’t have the financial means to do so. This is one of the best career opportunities in real estate for you if you have an eye for distressed properties and strong negotiation skills. It’ll take some time, but it can reap significant rewards if done correctly!
6) Property Manager
As mentioned, there are real estate investors in the industry who invest passively. Some of them invest in rental properties but don’t manage them themselves. Instead, they hire property management to take care of their investment. As a property manager, you ensure the financial and physical well-being of the real estate property. You’ll also have to ensure the tenants of the rental property are satisfied, and you’ll have to work with the property owner to ensure everything is functioning smoothly.
To become a property manager, you need to have a broker license. You also need to have a certain set of skills including customer service, managerial skills, and the ability to problem solve while on the go. In addition, if you’re interested in a property management career, you’ll need a reasonable understanding of finances, marketing, facility operations, and documenting important information. Glassdoor estimates the average real estate salary for property managers in the US is $54K/yr.
7) Real Estate Attorney
Real estate attorneys are professionals who apply their skills to the legalities behind property disputes. For example, when there’s an issue with the title, documentation, transfers, or other legal problems, the attorney’s job is to step in and settle the tension. Attorneys are the most helpful when providing clients with guidance during the transaction process to ensure the sale of the home is legal.
To become a real estate attorney, you will have to undergo an extensive educational experience. You need to have graduated with a Bachelor’s degrees, passed the LSAT, earned a Juris Doctor degree, and then pass the bar exam. This process could generally take 6-8 years to complete. Then, you also need to spend another 2 years of accumulating experience as a lawyer. Like other real estate careers, becoming a real estate attorney will earn you an impressive salary of $119K/yr according to Glassdoor.
8) Home Inspector
A real estate inspector examines real estate properties for any defects or issues that will cause problems for the buyer, seller, or agent. Inspections are a critical part of the transaction in the real estate industry. This is because a home inspector helps point out any faults and blemishes that might go unseen. Glassdoor estimates the average base salary for a real estate inspector is $38k/yr.
The requirements to become a home inspector changes depending on your state. In California, for example, you don’t need a license to become a real estate inspector. However, you do need to get proper training in real estate to meet your clients’ expectations. As a home inspector, you need to be familiar with roofing, wall structure, plumbing, and electricity – to name a few. That’s why most home inspectors seek out trusted training before they jump into this type of real estate careers.
9) Real Estate Appraiser
Some might think that an inspector and an appraiser do the same thing, but that’s not the case. Appraisers are professionals who determine the value of commercial or residential real estate. Becoming a real estate appraiser means you need to know how to value properties based on their characteristics, location, and by comparing the property to other similar properties.
To become a real estate appraiser, you need an appraiser’s license. To get one, you need to complete 75 hours of basic appraiser education and pass an exam by the state. Since you’ll be working in finance and economics with this career in real estate, having an educational background in these areas is helpful. Moreover, you have the option to work independently or with a larger business and appraise commercial properties. According to Glassdoor, the real estate salary for appraisers is $53k/yr.
10) Leasing Agent
If becoming a leasing agent is your real estate career path of choice, then you’ll be working directly with property owners to find the perfect tenant to lease their rental properties. You’ll have the choice of working in either the commercial real estate sector (leasing businesses) or residential real estate (leasing individual tenants).
Because you’ll be working with both the client and potential tenants, you need great interpersonal communication skills. There’s going to be a lot of face-to-face time with the client and tenant, so you need to know how to navigate negotiations and conversations. Additional understanding of marketing and promotion will help you excel in this type of real estate careers.
11) Real Estate Assistant
Real estate assistants are the administrative support to agents and brokers. Typically, an assistant’s job includes filing documents, answering phone calls, and posting property listings. On paper, this real estate career doesn’t sound like the most glamorous choice. However, assistants are an important part of any real estate operation! Real estate agents and brokers both agree that assistants are irreplaceable and are necessary to grow their business.
In addition, you don’t need a real estate license to be an assistant. You need to have an understanding of how the real estate industry works. This will help you perform your responsibilities quickly and efficiently and you can expect an annual real estate salary of $42K/yr according to Glassdoor. This is also one of the best real estate careers if you want to get hands-on experience working with an agent.
12) Real Estate Marketing Specialist
Searching for a real estate career that doesn’t include interacting with buyers or sellers? Consider getting a job as a real estate marketing specialist. These are professionals who execute the marketing duties for real estate agents and brokers. Their goal is essentially to get a brand seen by the public. This includes managing social media, creating digital content, developing printed materials, writing campaign emails, and managing the overall brand. In other words, real estate marketing specialists touch up the presence of the agent or broker’s business. Without them, the business will have a hard time generating leads.
13) Real Estate Consultant
Say you’ve worked in one of the above real estate careers for many years and you’re confident that you have sufficient knowledge on the real estate industry. If you’re looking for a new job, becoming a real estate consultant is your best option. Consultants are professionals who provide advice to real estate investors or companies interested in buying property and they get paid $67K a year to do so! Their knowledge also allows them to realize trends and predict the future of real estate to provide valuable information to help investors reach their goals. Keep in mind that you need to take a licensing examination to become a real estate consultant.
14) Real Estate Loan Officer
A real estate loan officer helps clients with obtaining a loan to buy a property. Meaning, they collaborate with buyers to finance their purchase within their budget. To get a job as a real estate loan officer, you must be registered with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and in order to register, you must meet the qualifications. In addition, you must also have knowledge in finance seeing as you’ll be helping clients navigate the financial waters of their real estate purchase. After all, you’re their guide through the stress that follows money problems. Glassdoor estimates the average real estate salary for a loan officer is $34K.
15) Mortgage Broker
Are you good with people AND numbers? If you answered yes, you might have a future as a mortgage broker! A mortgage broker serves as an intermediary between the lender and the borrower and doesn’t actually loan any money. Mortgage brokers are contractors who analyze mortgage loan products and advise customers on loan availability, qualification requirements, interest rates, and terms. According to Realtor.com, the average salary for a mortgage broker is $51K and to become one, you need to:
- Undergo the pre-licensing mortgage broker training
- Pass the SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator Test
- Apply for your mortgage broker license
- Obtain a mortgage broker bond
- Develop a network of lenders and buyers
- Continue your education on mortgage lending
Being part of the real estate industry can be very rewarding, but you need to take the right career path that suits you to prosper. Which of these real estate careers are you most interested in? At Mashvisor, we recommend starting a career as a real estate investor. Not only is it the most rewarding, but it’ll open doors of opportunities for anyone thinking of getting a job in real estate! You don’t need to pass a test or have a license to become an investor, you can invest with little (and even no) cash, and you can start making money passively!
The benefits of investing in real estate properties are endless, so why wait? Click here to start looking for and analyzing the best investment properties in your city and neighborhood of choice.
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