Careers in Real Estate

Real estate offers rewarding careers in many related fields. Some of Real estate jobs provide flexibility, freedom and unlimited earning potential but no guaranteed income. Other are more or less office jobs related to real estate. This article may help with your Real Estate career choice: Real Estate Careers


What if you don’t have a big budget?
How you are going to get leads and customers?
Read about what kind of groundwork you should do before diving into the world of Real Estate…

“Real Estate – Occupation of Kings!” poster

Being a real estate agent is often the very first thing that comes to mind when people start thinking about working in real estate. Learn about basic steps, requirements, positive and negative aspects of this career and see if this is what you would like to do after all: How To Become A Real Estate Agent

If you are still very excited about becoming a real estate agent after reading the article, try to KEEP CALM and BUY THIS POSTER… and continue reading about careers in real estate!

Keep Calm and Call an Agent poster

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Starting a Career in Real Estate on a Shoestring Budget

Starting a career in real estate on a low budget is not an easy task as with almost any other business. There are no secret magic tricks can bring a flood of listings and home buyers overnight. Your social connections, friends and relatives may give you positive signals before you start but when the time comes they will not be able to provide a stable stream of leads at best or any leads as it happens in most of cases. All of this means that even before starting a real estate career future agents should do some ground work for their future business activities and save as much as they can to have a decent marketing budget and enough money to cover at least 6-9 months of living expenses.

A less risky way of testing the waters and at the same time learning how to be successful in real estate is to find an assistant job for one of the top real estate producers. As a rule, assistants get paid a salary, which reliefs some financial stress. At the same time the work load can be heavy in addition to other preparations you will be doing for starting your own career in real estate after getting a license and learning enough from the best real estate professionals.

What kind of preparations you should be doing considering a very limited budget?

Select your geographical real estate farm (area or areas where you would like to conduct your real estate prospecting).
Get familiar with most common problems that home owners might have in that area then search for solutions to these problems.
Create educational materials, help guides and a directory of the best reliable professionals that may help to solve these problems. This usually takes time and you may have to do a lot of research to come up with really useful information relevant to your particular farm. Many real estate agents have a practice of establishing partnerships with local businesses which cuts the cost of advertising and helps with referrals to both sides.

Before establishing partnerships with these businesses make sure that they have a good reputation among locals and provide quality service to their customers.
Get your own website with a domain name related to your area (not to your name) and start putting information about all aspects of living in that area online.
Learn how to write SEO-optimized articles. Write as much content as you can for all demographic groups. Your goal is to become the most useful and complete source of information for existing and future residents. To achieve this goal you will need to get some feedback from the residents. Think of creating a neighborhood problems paper survey and hand-deliver it on weekends at least to a portion of your future farm. It should be very short – just a few questions about the most common problems they experienced with their property and their rating of contractors who were fixing them.

It all may seem like an outdated door–knocking but without personal interaction you may never figure out what kind of common problems residents are struggling within this particular area.
It could be anything: rotten decks or fences, leaking faucets or toilets, pest infestation, or poor internet connection, etc.
If some of the problems are common you will need to find effective solutions for them because very soon it will be your farm. By providing these solutions to people you’ll be earning their trust and they will remember you.

Starting a real estate career requires a lot of leg work in addition to mastering all digital methods of marketing.

This leg work is a bit different from the old style real estate farming and door knocking. Nowadays realtors don’t need to walk their neighborhood as sales people. Many top producers don’t even talk about real estate at all with people they meet during these walks. Instead, they focus on residents and their problems offering advice and help.

When they are asked by potential clients: “What makes you uniquely qualified to handle my specific problems?” they answer: “Many of the solutions to your problems are already listed on my website which means that I know very well how to solve them”.

This is the most important fundamental secret most new real estate agents miss: your marketing should not be about you, your achievements or all the things you are going do for you client if you will get the listing. It is all about offering solutions to clients’ problems in every piece of marketing material you send, email or personally deliver to them.
Your website must become an educational center and each real estate farming postcard or email newsletter with real estate market updates must contain links or QR codes pointing to these pages.

All of it looks like a lot of work, research and learning and it is, indeed.
Too often new agents completely overlook this preparation stage and go in the battle armed only with business cards, newspaper ad and a few poorly memorized Mike Ferry’s scripts.

This is why close to 80% of them never see any success even after spending tremendous amount of time and money.
Trying to get listings from FSBOs is another popular low budget real estate trick that a few agents have mastered. Starting a real estate career concentrating on FSBOs can be very discouraging for new agents who lack experience and skills to convince potential clients, although it certainly doesn’t hurt to try.

Real estate prospecting postcards could be exactly what new agents need for starting a real estate career with a limited budget. Printing cost for high quality full color postcards is pretty low and the main expense would be mailing the cards although with the latest EDDM option it can be reduced to only 16 cents per card regardless the size.
There are many real estate farming postcards ideas that can be used for multiple purposes like driving traffic to the main website, collecting email addresses, distributing coupons from agent’s partners, informing residents about community events sponsored by Realtor and participating partners and many more. The trick is distribute not only the traditional Just Sold postcards that the vast majority of real estate agents do but use your cards as a bait for residents who are interested in topics related to home ownership but have no intention for listing their properties for sale at this moment. But they will in the future and they have to know you personally and trust you, so at the right moment your name comes.

These topics may include remodeling, different types of structural repairs, decorating, fixing appliances, landscaping, buying a vacation property or dealing with pests, finding a local babysitter, house-sitter or pet-sitter, and others that may depend on specifics of each community.

When people sell their house, hiring a moving company can be a huge problem for many people who do not like reading a fine print. Create a series of very detailed guides and articles about everything related to the process of selling the house including preparation and moving out and advertise those through your real estate prospecting postcards. This will help you in gaining trust and a reputation of an expert among the residents. Helping people always pays off.

Starting a career in real estate without a big budget requires a lot of planning and tedious work. At the same time having a large budget often leads to a failure because of lack of planning. Shelling out thousands of dollars on magazine ads and signing up real estate internet marketing companies is a very poor business model. You have to start building your real estate business yourself and then outsource some time-consuming tasks.

To summarize, when starting a real estate career you need:

  1. Find solutions to the most common problems in your future real estate farm
  2. Create educational materials and articles based on these solutions
  3. Build an automated website with email-collecting capabilities
  4. Create an amazingly detailed and SEO-optimized content for the website about all the aspects of local communities
  5. Find local business partners
  6. Print farming postcards with QR links to different sections of your website
  7. Start collecting emails via website and your real estate farming postcards

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How To Become A Real Estate Agent

If you are considering your options on how to become a real estate agent, you are probably not alone. When real estate market starts to heat up, a lot of people may consider starting a real estate career: real estate commissions are financially attractive, the schedule is flexible and initial investment to get into the business is relatively low compared to other professions.

becoming a realtor
I want to be a Realtor

As one old agent told me, “when real estate market is at its peak, the only thing it takes to becoming a successful real estate agent is to breathe.” There is no lack of buyers and sellers which results in an abundance of business in the up market. It takes patience, established clientele base and skills to survive the down market. While weighing in your options, carefully consider the drawbacks of real estate profession: as an old saying goes, one-third of real estate agents are in business, another third is getting into business, and the final third is getting out of the business. Of that third that is in business, only small percentage does practically 90% of all the volume while others have an occasional sale or two.

Before starting a real estate career, you might consider finding a mentor first – a successful real estate broker or agent who may be in need of a part-time assistant. This is a safe way to see real estate profession from inside the trenches, learn from a seasoned professional and decide if you really want to invest time and money in becoming a real estate agent. It may take a lot more than you think if you really want to learn how to become a successful real estate agent.

The basic steps to becoming a real estate agent are relatively few and straight forward:

  • You must be 18 years old and citizen or legal resident of USA;
  • You must fulfill the required number of educational hours which differs from state to state (for example, CA requires 135 hours while TX – 180 hours of required education);
  • You must find a sponsoring brokerage (unless you chose to have inactive license)
  • You must pass the licensing exam and background check, including fingerprinting.
  • You must have enough savings to help you with the marketing and to sustain you through the first few months until your business starts growing.

Take Real Estate Courses

Get educated!
Get educated!

Getting required educational courses is relatively easy whether you decide to enroll into online real estate courses or your local community college that offers real estate pre-licensing courses. Prepping yourself for the state exam to become a licensed real estate agent takes some study. There are plenty of options to chose from, with some real estate schools offering a complete package including required courses, review materials and exam preparation test with guarantees that you will pass the real estate exam (student that doesn’t pass their real estate salesperson’s licensing exam with the state on their first attempt will receive a full refund PLUS an additional 10% for a total of 110% of the purchase price returned). Note that guarantees as to the passing of real estate exam are not legal in some states so they are not offered in states, such as Florida and Tennessee, for example.

Another advantage of online real estate courses is that you may take them at your own pace (at night when kids are asleep or when you have spare time on the weekends). Many people are considering becoming a real estate agent as a change of career and it is an excellent option to slowly delve into while you continue working your old job. The study materials are not overwhelmingly complicated though real estate financing and property taxes topics can be confusing at first. Give yourself plenty of time to study and practice, practice, practice before licensing exam – this will ensure that you have the greatest chance at passing your test on the first try and that you can finally be on your way to becoming real estate agent.

Choosing a Brokerage when Starting a Real Estate Career

While searching for a sponsoring brokerage, you may find out that some do offer their own educational courses and may even pay for your licensing exam. It may be a great option if you are sure you want to work for that brokerage after you get your real estate license. An additional advantage of in-house training is that as a new agent, you will get hands-on mentoring after your licensing process is complete. Some brokerage firms require mandatory training for new agents for 1-2 years which will include marketing, MLS classes, paperwork review, farming groups, etc. Others will want you to take classes and exam prep on your own but will offer mentoring with veteran agents after you get a license. Go and interview with a few real estate brokers and see which makes you feel more comfortable – you will have a close relationship with your broker for a long time and you must feel comfortable enough to ask for help and advice when you need it. Check out the atmosphere in the office – as a new agent you need lots of help in a stimulating environment, so make sure your firm is not too cut-throat competitive (you won’t survive) or overwhelmingly cozy and filled with real estate agents that are there mostly for socializing and coffee (you will fell asleep at the wheel and will never prosper).

Besides finding the brokerage that is within your comfort zone, decide if you want to work for a big international brand name company, a small real estate brokerage local to your market or one of online discount brokers that will only charge you flat fee per transaction instead of percentage of your commission. The recent studies found that the brand name has very little to do with consumer preferences – brand is trumped by personal referrals and trust that is associated with a certain sales person as an expert in a local market. So it all depends on the business model you would choose for yourself. Check what resources each brokerage is offering to its sales agents – as a new real estate agent just starting in business every free perk can be a huge help. If you already have an established network you are bringing with you from a former career you may not need a lot of hand-holding and may feel more comfortable navigating on your own while paying less of your commission to the brokerage. There are many choices of business models out there so do your homework before making your decision. You can always change brokerages down the road if you feel it would be a better fit for your business.

Even if you will find a great firm keep in mind that the best way to learn and be paid at the same time is finding one of the most successful real estate agents in this brokerage who would be willing to take you as an assistant.

Get Your Real Estate License

You have finished your educational courses and practice test, have an idea where you want to work – now it is time to take your exam. Don’t delay actual exam date – do it while the material is fresh in your memory and keep practicing until your actual exam date. Exams are usually offered in major big cities, so you may have to travel to take your exam. You can find all necessary applications and exam dates on your state’s official government website, under department or bureau of real estate. The exam and licensing fees vary from state to state but you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars total. For example, for California, exam fee is $60, 1st re-scheduling is $15, all consequent re-schedules are $30, re-examination fee (if you don’t pass on your first try) is $60; license fee is $245 which includes fingerprinting. You also have to provide a proof of citizenship or legal residency in the United States and have a clean criminal record (no felony or misdemeanor convictions).

After successfully passing your exam, you have to wait for your license to be issued and mailed to you, before you can practice any real estate sales activities. You can take that time to familiarize yourself with the current inventory of homes for sale and required paperwork for an active listing or sale, attend sales meetings, broker’s preview and open houses, as well as work on your budget and marketing plan. After you finally receive your license, you would also need to join a local real estate board (to be able to participate in the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS) as well as National Association of Realtors (NAR) – they both require membership dues that will total around a thousand dollars. Another necessary expense item is an electronic key that will allow you unlock the box that stores keys for the houses offered for sale. Without it you won’t be able to preview properties or show it to potential buyers.

You may already know that simply getting your real estate license doesn’t mean “windfall profits” even during the most favorable times for real estate.

The questions is not “How to Become a Real Estate Agent” but “How to Become a SUCCESSFUL Real Estate Agent!

This is why you will need to spend a lot of time learning from the best in real estate field and keep taking online real estate courses or find free real estate training if those courses are too expensive.

Starting a Career in Real Estate Requires a Budget and a Marketing Plan

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as real estate agent salary, unless you are working as an assistant to some big-shot real estate agent who is paying you out of his pocket for your duties (which may be a good idea for a new licensee). If you are on your own, be prepared to have a realistic budget for some necessary start-up costs while depending completely on your savings or support of a spouse while you get your business going.

You would have to get business cards, your own custom business website, signs (when you are lucky to get a listing), some printed materials such as farming postcards, marketing newsletters or fliers to let your personal contacts know that you are now in business of real estate. Don’t ignore some free ways of publicity such as Facebook (where you can create your business page and post interesting facts and promote your brokerage listings until you get your own), Youtube , Google+ ,Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. These and many other real estate marketing ideas will be discussed later in more details. Designing and following your own business plan based on these ideas and methods is the key to becoming a successful real estate agent.

Follow Your Real Estate Marketing Plan

You would also have to prepare yourself mentally for many pitfalls and difficulties that come with real estate profession. It may take months before you see the first paycheck – even if you are lucky to get your first sale relatively soon (after six months of intense marketing). Don’t forget to factor in the time it takes to have your first escrow to close – 30-45 days or more. And sometimes houses fall out of escrow if the seller and the buyer can’t compromise on repairs or the buyer doesn’t qualify for the loan. All that time you have to eat and pay for your own mortgage. Most new real estate agents are starving and sales persons who become successful in the business don’t usually depend on quick money and can weather several months without commissions.

Learn how to be successful in real estate by working for top agents or brokers.

Real estate is people’s business, so if you don’t enjoy heavy interactions with people you won’t be successful. Even if you are a “people person” you have to practice saintly patience to deal with sellers and buyers every day. Even the most gentle and kind people can lose their cool when their home equity is at stake – the most valuable and significant investment of their lifetime. Real estate transactions also have a tendency not to go as expected and these thirty or forty days can become most stressful time for buyers and sellers, not to mention agents involved in the transaction.

What other qualities are important to be successful as a real estate agent?

Home inspectors may find major problems with the property that neither party is ready to deal with; loan approval process can present numerous challenges. So your task is to be on the top of your customer service game and demonstrate extraordinary organization skills to keep the process going while keeping buyers, sellers, and other agent informed and happy. Real estate transactions have strict legal deadlines that have to be met in performing inspections and filing requests and responses. If you miss one of these deadlines it may mean the failed transaction and lost money. Be prepared to become the best negotiator, peace-maker, confidant, and hard-truth deliverer to keep all contractors and parties to the transaction happy.

The flexible schedule you were dreaming about may not be what you expected, at all. Sometimes it may mean meeting with clients at night, when it is most convenient to them, or show a house when you’d rather be at your child’s recital. It may mean long hours, busy weekends and no vacations for a while, until you team up with someone to look after your business when you are gone. Flexible schedule, as you will learn, means that you have to be flexible to accommodate your clients’ needs. You should be prepared as soon as you get that phone call to drop what you are doing to show a house or save a transaction that is falling apart. Otherwise you lose that client and a potential paycheck to another agent who is willing to serve them right then and there.

Becoming a real estate agent may put a lot of stress on you and your closed ones. Ensure your family’s support and understanding that you may miss on some Friday date nights and Saturday morning games while you are building your business. Seasoned real estate agents make their own rules and usually pick one day a week when they are not accessible (either Sunday or Monday) so they can recharge their batteries and get their sanity back.

Prepare for More Real Estate Courses in Order to Stay Licensed

After you get your real estate license, it will take money to stay licensed as you are obligated to fulfill certain continued educational requirements every few years and pay renewal fees. These courses are available from numerous accredited real estate schools, both online and through correspondence materials that you can order. These real estate continuing education classes will take time and money to complete, though you can pick a few hours of education through the educational seminars offered by title or Escrow Company, which will list the amount of credits you get if you’d attend. Don’t delay until the last minute to complete your courses as it might be quite stressful to finish them by the deadline. You must also pay your board and NAR fees yearly (close to a thousand dollars) that you have to budget for to keep you going.
Becoming a real estate agent nowadays means that you not only will have to constantly educate yourself, be very friendly with the latest technology, keep testing new marketing methods but also be computer-smart and learn how to automate or outsource time-consuming tasks to be able to enjoy your new profession.

It does take a lot in order to become a successful real estate agent!

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How to Get Started in Real Estate

RE-tycoonReal estate careers have expanded and do not include only real estate agents who help home buyers and sellers in the residential market and know how to sell a house, but include a variety of jobs in real estate: commercial brokers, appraisers, brokers dealing in farmland and industrial properties, property management specialists, financial and mortgage consultants, investment property specialists, new homes sales consultants, urban planners, real estate counselors, and research specialists. You have to analyze what each job requires and what will be the right fit for you. The question “How to get started in Real Estate” depends heavily on what type of the real estate career path you will choose.

The advantages of some of real estate careers are self-evident: you can work at your own pace, set your own hours and be your own boss while there are no limits on how much you can potentially earn. It requires self-discipline, motivation, and continuous education to become a successful real estate agent. Starting a real estate career can mean autonomy, financial freedom, high earnings, and constant intellectual challenge for the right goal-oriented individual.

Though there is no course that can teach you everything you need to know on how to become a successful Realtor, there are certain educational and licensing requirements that have to be met in order to enter into real estate profession. Specific educational courses can vary from state to state but all states require that a prospective sales person should pass a written exam. Most of the states require that students take accredited pre-licensing real estate courses before they are allowed to take an exam. All states are upgrading their licensing policies all the time so it is important to familiarize yourself with all the licensing requirements beforehand.

Most of the newly licensed real estate agents start in a big or small brokerages where they can choose most suitable environment and change firms, as they wish. As they gain experience and expertise, they can take the nest step and become real estate brokers after additional education courses and passing the broker’s exam. Brokers can own their real estate business and employ sales people. While it opens new horizons for independence and brings potentially bigger real estate broker salary, it also means bigger responsibilities and liabilities.

The other options for new licensees can include a job with a successful real estate agent who employs a team of specialists: transaction coordinators, property managers, buyer’s agents, marketing specialists, office assistants, etc. Other possibilities may include an office manager for a brokerage, escrow officer or processor in the mortgage firm or bank division specializing on real estate loans.

How to Get Started in Real Estate Residential Brokerage

The real estate sales person dedicated to helping people buy and sell homes is one of the most common real estate careers and something that comes to mind when we say “real estate agent.” Almost all of us dealt with real estate agent at one time in our life either renting or buying a place to live and we appreciate when they are professional, knowledgeable and share their expertise in real estate laws, financing, local economics, and government programs. Without them we’ll be lost in all the intricacies of real estate transaction, with all its contingencies, inspections, repairs, negotiations, and paperwork.

But it also means that to be successful real estate agents that bring expertise to the table, they have to be continuously educating themselves on ever-changing laws and regulations of real estate and at the same time constantly improving their marketing skills in the evolving world of social and web media. When technology is rapidly changing the structure of many businesses, real estate is not exempt. Most of the real estate searches are starting online and that means that real estate agents have to educate themselves in the basics of information technology, search engines optimization, and keyword searches. Computers changed the traditional escrow process into a secure paperless transaction so agents that are not familiar with latest computer programs for real estate or are afraid to make a change, do not have future in the bold new world.

Careers in Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate brokers specialize in leasing, selling and buying of properties used for businesses and industrial manufacturing. Sales associates need to understand the structure of different types of businesses and determine application of variables such transportation, proximity to resources, labor, local building and zoning codes, and tax laws.

If you think that commercial real estate means fast money and minimal hours, this career is not for you. Commission is the primary source of income, while some firms will offer small supplemental salary or let you draw salary against future commissions. Commercial agent will usually retain 3% on all sales and lease agreements while brokerage will keep 30-40% of that fee, typically paid 30-60 days after closing. Commercial real estate deals can be extremely complex and are usually time-consuming, taking anywhere from 6 months to a year from start to closing. So a back–up fund covering up to a year of essential expenses is very important for every commercial real estate agent, especially the one just starting in the business.

Educational requirements for commercial real estate may include 60-90 hours of coursework before the written exam to obtain license. Many of them can be completed as real estate courses online or through local colleges. Bachelor degree in real estate may by-pass this requirement and is preferable. Continuing education is needed to renew commercial real estate license every two or four years, depending on state’s licensing requirements.

Successful commercial real estate agents have a wide social circle that includes society power players. You would have to be outgoing, energetic and able to convince total strangers to trust you with millions of dollars of their money invested in a transaction that can potentially go wrong. In a addition to sales skills, commercial agent needs to have a vast knowledge of global economy and trends of a local market place with thorough understanding of financing and tax laws. If you are patient, outgoing, knowledgeable and prone to distractions of a hectic, fast-paced office environment, this career is right for you.

Careers in Farm and Land Brokerage

Farm and land sales persons deals with acquisition of land for farming, residential, commercial or industrial expansions and would have to poses special knowledge in all of these fields. Farm and land broker is a complex niche in real estate that requires knowledge of local zoning laws, environmental issues, crop rotations, weather cycles, water and mineral rights as well as urban development trends, costs of development, government land regulations and tax laws. In addition to all the specific knowledge, successful farm and land brokerage has to be skilled in corporate negotiations and specialized marketing. Some of the most typical transactions will include buying and selling land for farms and ranches, sales of undeveloped tracts of land for further development and urban growth, sales of land marked for repurpose (such as new developments in place of closed military bases), subdivision and lot wholesaling (for future commercial and residential use) and site location and assembling parcels (for example, a major retail chain acquiring a big piece of land from multiple sellers). All these transactions present numerous complexities and require specialized knowledge, so it is not rare to see farm and land brokerages targeting specific niche of the real estate business.

How to Get Started in Real Estate Appraising

appraisals-powerReal estate appraisers determine the value of real estate properties. These values can differ based on the purpose of the appraisal: assessed value for tax purposes, replacement value for insurance purposes, market value for resale, investment value for investors, asset value for accounting or income value for rental evaluation.

In order to become a real estate appraiser, the applicant must complete certain amount of education hours and obtain a trainee’s license. As a trainee your pay will be minimal until you complete a certain amount of trainee hours, so it will be beneficial to find one a several appraisers that will be your supervisors at the time of training and teach you the basics. The other option would be to get a job at the bank who hire trainee appraisers with license and no experience. The more work you do as a trainee, the faster you’ll complete required hours of trainee experience.

It is also advised to get a real estate sales associate license so you can get access to local MLS for comparable sales, though you may not intend to perform sales duties. Some MLS boards will allow paid access to affiliates such a appraisers and assistants without real estate license.

Certified Residential Appraiser must complete 200 hours of education and 2,500 experience hours and pass the exam administered by the jurisdiction that awards appraiser’s license. In addition to requirements, individuals seeking to become a real estate appraiser must be comfortable in applying a practical knowledge in math, economics, statistics, and real estate construction. This profession requires lots of travel, real estate inspections, data input, value assessment, and compiling reports.

Careers in Property Management

Property manager’s primarily set of duties includes maintaining the income-producing investment property so it will net the highest return on investment for a longest period of time while minimizing the expenses. Investment properties can be commercial (office buildings, retail complexes) or residential (apartment buildings, condominium properties, vacation rentals or single family homes owned by investors) as well as health care facilities, senior housing projects, government-subsidized public housing complexes.
Property manager’s duties typically include a variety of activities related to all aspects of leasing a property, maintenance of the property and its grounds, keeping all financial records including tax information and marketing a property when it becomes vacant to ensure its full rental capacity.

To become a successful property manager take courses in management, accounting, business administration, tax laws and finance aiming for a bachelor degree, as it provides better employment opportunities. Become a certified property manager taking certification courses aimed on best managing techniques for commercial and residential properties, business practices, and leasing and rental laws. Many states require that property managers are licensed, so check with National Property Management Association for regulations in your state.

Try to find a job as an assistant property manager at the real estate office that handles rental properties or specialized property management company. This will give you valuable experience to learn about all the duties without assuming entire responsibilities. Your duties may include collecting rent, assessing late fees or coordinating repairs and cleaning.

While you become more experienced, you can even purchase and manage your own rental properties, while taking care of all aspects: marketing, credit checks and applications, financial records, tax and mortgage payments, maintenance and cleaning after tenants. Professionally managing your own investment property can yield good income while providing freedom and schedule and flexibility.

Career in Urban Planning

Career as an urban planner is one of the many possibilities for a real estate professional interested in improving the environment and creating communities while focusing on efficient utilization of available resources. Urban planners will study urban growth, anticipate the areas of further development and create plans for future use of land in cities, suburbs, counties, and municipal areas. Behind every planned neighborhood, expanding business, downtown area or an open lot there is an urban planner working on how to best to improve the community and work with existing surroundings. As economy grows and cities develop and urban planners will be always needed to accommodate growing population and revitalize established communities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of urban and regional planners will grow 16% by the year 2020.

An advanced degree is required for most urban planner positions, usually master’s degree from an accredited planning program. Applicants who enter these master’s programs will typically have a bachelor degree in economics, political science, geography, or environmental studies. Entry level planners will also need 1-2 years of work experience in architectural firm, public policy or economical institute. Students can gain real-life experience through internships in related fields while finishing their education.

Besides professional education, urban planners should posses certain skills and abilities: strong speaking and writing skills to communicate their reports to wide variety of audiences including public officials and community members; analytical skills to analyze statistical data from market research data, census and environmental impact studies; decision-making and management skills to choose appropriate plan of actions and make sure that it is accomplished in time.

How to Get Started in Real Estate Counseling

Career in real estate counseling is considered a pinnacle of real estate careers, as to become a counselor you have to be an experienced, knowledgeable and respected leader in the field of real estate, recognized by your peers. Among real estate counselors there are brokers, appraisers, land planners, accountants, attorneys specializing in real estate, property managers, bankers and real estate executives. Real estate counselors provide paid services advising on all matters of real estate, including sales, purchasing investment properties, land development, etc. There is an exclusive organization of The Counselors of Real Estate with only 1100 members word-wide. Membership to CRE is extended by invitation only and be considered as a member you have to be recognized by your peers, clients and employers for the combined scope of professional expertise, leadership, impeccable judgment and integrity.

Real estate counseling is not considered a specific discipline, such as brokerage, management or appraisal. Rather, real estate counseling is a process that requires an extensive range and depth of knowledge, technical competency, unbiased analysis, critical inquiry and trust. Its purpose is to provide objective guidance that achieves results in the best interests of a client or employer in all matters of real estate: location, international real estate, financing, enterprise management, investment analysis, planning, feasibility, tax consulting, mergers, and acquisitions. Strategic real estate decision-making depends on excellence in real estate counseling.

Career in Real Estate Research

Real estate research analysts primarily are employed by firms specializing in economic research focusing on real estate demands, all aspects of financing. population growth, local market trends, investment analysis and physical real estate research dealing with construction engineering, efficiency, building materials selection, and safety issues. Real estate researchers contribute to decision-making process of many other real estate professionals: brokers, investors, property managers, urban planners, and real estate counselors.

When pursuing entry-level work, real estate analysts typically posses a bachelor degree in economics, finance, engineering, public safety or related field depending on the chosen specialization. Many real estate research analysts will obtain real estate license in order to gain experience in real estate field. Background in residential or commercial real estate sales is a must for a successful career in real estate research. Some employers may require a professional certification from candidates such as Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) offered by CCIM institute. Key skills include excellent communication skills, analytical skills and familiarity with professional computer software.

A typical day of the real estate researcher starts early with reading of all available resources on latest news and local market trends in the respective sphere of expertise, preparing a report for current or prospective client, face-time at the office, meeting with clients and may extend past the end of the business day to participate in formal or informal networking activities.

In conclusion, knowing how to get started in real estate’s different fields may offer an easier path to a job of your dreams that will provide income, flexibility, and freedom in a challenging environment and help shape lives and future of our communities.

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