Most people view a career in real estate as limited to either sales or “flipping” houses. The general thought is, the person becomes a Realtor, sells homes, and then an investor “flips” the houses the Realtor sold them, like a scene taken from an HGTV episode. This scenario prompts the question, why is the general perspective on real estate careers so limited? Well, that is because beyond becoming a Realtor, career pathing in the industry is not widely discussed.
As a Licensed Real Estate Broker and Adjunct Real Estate Instructor, I often educate my sales team and students on the many career paths in and beyond residential real estate. Real estate is a multifaceted trillion-dollar industry that offers a variety of lucrative career paths beyond residential sales and “flipping houses” that are often overlooked. For many individuals, their real estate careers begin as a licensed sales associate working for a real estate brokerage company – in many cases, a residential real estate brokerage. Now, residential real estate can be lucrative.
Still, one of the challenges with this career path is that most licensed sales associates start as generalists because they have not developed their specialty or market niche. Another challenge sales associates face is an overcrowded market. Most markets and many submarkets are over-saturated with sales associates, therefore increasing competition for deals, causing disenchantment of new associates.
If you have a passion for the real estate industry but aren’t keen on the idea of selling or “flipping” houses, keep reading. I have listed five careers that most people don’t know but should consider.
1. Real Estate Investment Analyst:
A career as a real estate investment analyst offers a potentially long-term career path to someone with a solid skillset in finance, accounting, or business administration. Real estate investment analysts crunch numbers and are exposed to a variety of large projects of various property types.
2. Real Estate Investment Consultant:
A career as a real estate consultant is best suited for someone who has established expertise in a specific type of transaction or property. For example, a 20-year career as a general contractor can be translated into a consultancy for real estate investors whose strategy is to design, build, and lease. As a real estate consultant, your experience in other industries enables you to uniquely define your value proposition to a variety of clients.
3. Real Estate Investment Appraiser:
Property appraisal is a valuation service, and most states require the individual to obtain a license to perform an appraisal. This position is attractive to entrepreneurs because most appraisers work independently and often telecommute. Appraisers analyze property information and create reports that inform decisions for many parties. If you’re seeking a meaningful career and don’t mind traveling to view properties, this is a path to consider.
4. Real Estate Investment Developer:
Real estate development can be a very lucrative career. Real estate developers originate from various industries, and many driven by a passion for real estate. However, most have a solid understanding of finance, property marketing, and commercial credit.
5. Housing Counselor:
Housing counselors work one-on-one with individuals usually in preparation to purchase their first home. I worked closely with housing counselors for several years and believe one of the most significant benefits of being a housing counselor is the personal fulfillment gained from helping a family buy their first home. There is something to be said about enjoying the work you do and knowing that you’ve made a positive impact in someone else’s life. In addition to personal fulfillment, housing counselors enjoy a flexible schedule and a dynamic environment.
These are just a few of the many career paths in real estate. If any of these careers interest you, I encourage you to connect with someone in one of these positions through social media to learn more about their job and how to get started. Also, do an online search for the Real Estate Commission for your state and find out the requirements to obtain a real estate license. A license may be required if you plan to become a real estate consultant or housing counselor. If you are interested in becoming an appraiser, search online for your state’s appraisal board to find out the licensing requirements.