Real estate can be a very lucrative career, and you don’t even have to be a realtor to reap the benefits! On the surface, the only careers in real estate appear to be that of an agent or broker, and it can be hard to tell the difference between the two. Real estate agents help people buy and sell properties, while real estate brokers are essentially owners of a real estate business with agents working for them. Realtors, on the other hand, are agents and brokers that are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR)— but these aren’t your only options as careers in this business.
#1: Real Estate Investor
As the name suggests, real estate investors are those who invest in real estate. The goal is to buy property or land and then maximize the profits before selling. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most common activities of real estate investors is renting their properties to others. You can purchase a single-family home, a duplex, a quadruplex, or even an entire apartment complex and earn an extra monthly income by charging rent to your tenants. Though real estate is expensive, there are loan programs out there that can help you with financing.
#2: Property Management
If you’ve purchased a rental property, you’re automatically the landlord or property manager, but there are also companies out there that specialize in managing rental properties. If you’re good at business and organization, then this could be a potential career path for you. As a property manager, you’ll ensure that the property is suitable for tenants and keep an open line of communication with them and the property owner. You’ll also be responsible for the cleaning of the property before a new tenant moves in and maintenance of the property. Typically, property managers need to be licensed, real estate brokers.
#3: Home Inspector
Home inspectors inspect homes and other properties for any problems before it is bought. These inspections do a thorough look-through of buildings to ensure that they’re safe for people to live in or conduct business in. They look for things such as foundation issues, cracks in walls, unlevel flooring, etc. To become a home or building inspector, you should have knowledge of electrical wiring, plumbing, and wall structures. Some states, such as California, will require you to be licensed in order to become a building or home inspector.
#4: Real Estate Appraiser
While building inspectors check the building for defects, real estate appraisers do a similar task to determine the overall value of a property. A property’s value is determined by things like its location and characteristics such as additional features that buyers are eager to have. The property is then compared to other, similar properties in that area to determine its worth. An appraiser’s license is required to become a real estate appraiser.
#5: Real Estate Agent
As mentioned earlier, real estate agents help people buy and sell properties. What many people may not realize is that there are different types of real estate agents, much like there are different types of properties. Residential real estate agents help people buy and sell residential properties (single-family homes, duplexes, condominiums, etc.), while commercial real estate agents help people buy and sell commercial properties (office buildings, restaurant buildings, hotels, shopping centers, etc.). Some real estate agents work with both types of properties, and then you have leasing agents. Leasing agents help rental property managers and owners find tenants in need of a property to rent. This also applies to both residential and commercial properties.
Success in any of these areas relies on how you network with others in your field. It’s much easier to do as a real estate agent that works with a brokerage firm, but it’s really up to you if you’re just an investor. However, networking can benefit you in any area of real estate, as well as any career field.
There are several other careers that relate to real estates, such as interior design. When choosing a career in real estate or any field, choose a path that interests you and one where you can use your strengths.