So, you’re interested in a career in real estate. Before you settle into the first opportunity that presents itself, you should know that there are surprisingly a lot of career paths in real estate. While not all of these roles are right for everyone, if you really want to work in the industry, there’s definitely a position that is made to suit your personal strengths, job skill set and desired lifestyle.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the real estate career options you have to choose from.
Real Estate Agent
Career Overview: Assist with the buying and selling of properties. You can either work on behalf of buyers or sellers.
Requirements: To work as a real estate agent, you’ll need a license and to find a real estate brokerage firm that you can work under. To succeed as a real estate agent, you also typically need good interpersonal skills.
Salary Range: $10,000 to $103,000 plus an average of $48,078 compensation in commissions (according to Glassdoor). This salary is highly variable because it depends on how many properties you sell.
Arguably the most common career path in the industry is becoming a real estate agent. That’s because it offers a lot of flexibility, virtually unlimited income potential, and the opportunity to interact with others instead of being confined to a desk. Additionally, there are options for the type of real estate agent you want to be.
Residential Real Estate Agent
This is probably the typical career path you think of when you picture working as a real estate agent. Residential real estate agents help with the buying and selling of residential property like homes, apartments, and condos. More and more so, residential real estate agents are also helping with rentals; either helping renters find their ideal space or helping landlords fill vacancies.
Commercial Real Estate agent
On the other hand, commercial real estate agents help businesses buy and sell properties such as office spaces, storefronts, and buildings. In general, commercial and residential real estate agents perform similar job duties, commercial agents are typically required to have a degree and working knowledge of business or finance concepts.
Career Overview: Renting out land or property to tenants.
Requirements: While there are no formal requirements for becoming a landlord, you will need financial resources to purchase, repair, and maintain the property you rent as well as basic managerial skills.
Salary Range: $47,524 to $102,202 (according to Zip Recruiter). Income is dependent upon the type of property, number of properties, and rent collected.
Whether you already have a property that you’re considering renting out or want to start investing in property rentals, becoming a landlord can be a lucrative opportunity—just make sure to avoid these common profit-killing mistakes.
In addition to simply renting out your property to tenants, you need to be prepared to address their needs by being able to fulfill maintenance requests, resolve any issues that may arise, and manage vacancies. If you want to take a more hands-off approach to be a landlord, especially if you own several rental properties, it may benefit you to hire a property manager.
Career Overview: Managing residential or commercial properties.
Requirements: There typically aren’t any certifications or technical requirements to become a property manager, however, it depends on your state. That said, having credentials and affiliating with a respectable firm can help you move up in your career.
Salary Range: $35,000 to $89,000 (according to Glassdoor)
Depending on the type of property and extent of services needed, this can include a large list of administrative activities like collecting rent, creating and managing budgets, providing customer service and handling communication with tenants, managing vendor relationships and payments, marketing, and more. As the property manager, you are responsible for maintaining smooth operations of rentals on behalf of the owner. For this, you must have a good work ethic and be self-motivated.
Real Estate Broker
Career Overview: A broker performs the more technical aspects of buying and selling property like writing contracts.
Requirements: A broker’s license is required for this role. Depending on the state you live in and the job duties you want to undertake, different licensing levels are required.
Salary Range: $43,000 to $127,000 plus commissions which average at $78,429 (according to Glassdoor)
Unlike real estate agents, real estate brokers can work independently. You also have the option of working as a broker’s associate where you work for another broker or a brokerage firm. Brokers typically have one or more real estate agents who work under them to handle the client-facing side of sales.
Real Estate Appraiser
Career Overview: Real estate appraisers are responsible for assessing the value of land or property.
Requirements: Appraisers need to complete a certain number of hours of training (dependent upon the state’s requirements) and obtain a license. Other certifications can be obtained for higher-level positions.
Salary Range: $34,000 to $76,000 (according to Glassdoor)
As with most other real estate career paths, real estate appraisers can specialize in either residential or commercial real estate. Real estate appraisers are responsible for determining the value of a property and tasks that are required to accomplish that end goal. Some of the job duties of appraisers include inspecting properties, evaluating and verifying legal documentation, and preparing reports.
Real Estate Attorney
Career Overview: Oversee the legal aspects of real estate transactions to ensure the correct processes are followed.
Requirements: Real estate lawyers must hold a law degree and pass the bar examination like all other law disciplines. Following law school, it’s recommended that you get a certification for specialization in real estate law.
Salary Range: $43,000 to $131,000, but the average salary is $109,011 (according to Glassdoor)
Real estate lawyers typically attend the closing of property purchases alongside the buyer to ensure the validity of the transaction. They may also represent buyers or sellers to resolve disputes, negotiate on behalf of clients during the purchase process, review documentation before a sale is made, and help individuals navigate foreclosures.
Find the Right Career in Real Estate & Get Started
Depending on your skills, one of these careers may be a great opportunity for you to carve your path in the real estate industry, even if it’s just a foot in the door to another position you’re aspiring to. Figure out which job description best fits you and get started working toward the requirements so you can begin your real estate career.
Alexis Maness has a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications and is a contributing editor for 365businesstips.com. As a professional content writer, she has over five years of experience and is a contributing writer for several San Diego magazines. Alexis specializes in topics related to business, marketing, finance, and hospitality and tourism.
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