The real estate profession has expanded and offers one of the widest career selections in the business world today. Helping people buy and sell homes, office buildings, industrial property and corporation farmland, property management, land development, mortgage banking, urban planning, real estate counseling, appraisal and research are all aspects of a career in real estate.
Advantages and Rewards of a Career in Real Estate
A career in real estate provides flexibility and freedom to set your own pace. Income directly reflects your efforts, with no limits on what astute, hard-working men and women can earn. Successful people in real estate are goal-oriented, persevering, self-motivated, ambitious and people-oriented. The rewards of a real estate career are a potential for high earnings, status in the community, autonomy, time freedom, helping people, the intellectual challenge and the satisfaction from those accomplishments.
Working in real estate allows for independence and choices of environment in which to work, such as affiliation with a large or small firm as a listed salesperson. With more experience and upon passing of an additional exam, becoming a real estate broker is the next step. Brokers can own their own businesses and employ other salespeople.
Education for a Career in Real Estate
Colleges and universities now offer a variety of real estate and related courses. At many of these colleges, students can specialize in a program that leads to a bachelor’s degree in real estate. Some universities offer graduate level courses. Contact your local public library for university and real estate college course information and directories.
Professional Requirements for a Career in Real Estate
Entry into the real estate profession takes preparation. As with other professions, licensing is required. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but all require prospective salespeople and brokers to pass a written exam.
Some states allow students to take pre-licensing educational courses accredited by the state licensing agency before they qualify to sit for the exam. In other states, students can take these educational courses within a specified time after being licensed.
In order to obtain a broker’s or sales agent associated license, more than half the states specify special education and/or experience or their equivalents. However, states are upgrading their license laws and prerequisites for both brokers and sales associates at a rapid rate. Current information is available from your local Board of REALTORS® or the Real Estate License Commission in the state(s) where you would practice.
Getting Started in Real Estate
Entry into the real estate field depends on education, training and interests. Most people begin as sales trainees in a brokerage firm. Other possibilities include office assistant, listing or rental agent, assistant in a department of a large real estate organization, or in the mortgage division of a bank or savings and loan.
Careers in Residential Brokerage
Helping people buy and sell homes is one of the most important and basic services a real estate agent performs. Agents are experts in the process of buying and selling property, financing, government programs, etc. The real estate agent’s expertise facilitates the transaction, saving clients time, trouble and money. Real estate professionals need to have a thorough knowledge of such areas as real estate law, local economics, fair housing laws, types of financing, mortgages and government programs.