Real Estate

1.What distinct fields are within the Real Estate industry?
2.What skills are necessary for a successful career in real estate?
3.What positions are available in Real Estate?
4.What Real Estate resources are available?

1. What distinct fields are within the Real Estate industry?

Job opportunities in the real estate industry are divided into four distinct fields: sales, management, development, and acquisition and analysis. Although crossover among these sectors is possible, most people start out specializing in a specific area.

Sales and Leasing: This segment includes everything from residential real estate brokers to larger corporations that broker bigger commercial properties such as office towers.

Management: Property managers are responsible for maintaining property values. They deal with tenants, manage finances, and physically tend to the property.

Development: Developers are responsible for taking a property idea and making it a reality. This is a complex process involving architects, engineers, zoning officials, builders, lenders, and prospective tenants.

Acquisition and Analysis: Any kind of investing in real estate requires a thorough understanding of how to analyze the value of a property and navigate the maze of land-use regulations, zoning laws, environmental impact reports, financing realities, and other barriers to buying and developing a property. The people who develop, market, and manage REITs and other real estate investments are financial types, who are charged with evaluating and arranging for the purchase of properties.

2. What skills are necessary for a successful career in real estate?

  • Personable
  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Negotiation
  • Honesty
  • Motivation
  • Analytical
  • Organizational
  • Detail oriented
  • Good memory
  • Knowledge of markets

3. What positions are available in Real Estate?

Residential Real Estate Agent/Broker: Real estate agents and brokers are usually independent sales professionals who contract their services to real estate brokers in exchange for a commission-sharing agreement (normally six percent). There are over 400,000 real estate brokers and agents in the United States. To become an agent or broker you must pass a written test on property laws and real estate transactions. Most states also require 30-90 hours of classroom training.

Commercial Real Estate Sales: Commercial property brokerage offices use sales associates who market office buildings, hotels, and many other types of commercial real estate for brokers. Commercial real estate sales people usually specialize in a particular property type such as apartments, retail, office, hospitality, shopping centers, or industrial plants.

Appraiser: Real estate appraisers provide unbiased estimates of a property’s value and quality. Appraisers usually work for banks or for appraiser firms and will normally value properties by finding comparable sales in an area or by estimating the discounted value of cash flows expected from a property. This profession is less cyclical than real estate brokerage because appraisers are required when homes are refinanced—a time historically when the real estate market has been slow.

Property Manager: Leading real estate owners require professional property managers. Managers are responsible for negotiating leases, ensuring that tenants are satisfied, that rent is paid and that rents reflect market conditions. The career of property manager requires good interpersonal and analytical skills and a fair amount of negotiating prowess. This job is personally rewarding and allows managers to learn the real estate markets should they wish to embark in business on their own. Their training programs include the Certified Property Manager (CPM) and Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) designations.

Developer: Are you willing to work hard and take risks to develop new properties? Then a career in real estate development may be for you. You can enter this business working for another developer, moving up to construction manager, or you can strike out on your own, starting with some smaller transactions. Good developers are results-oriented and know how to get work finished on time, which involves managing labor, establishing time estimates, and getting appropriate equipment operators and construction crews.

4. What Real Estate resources are available?

Vault Career Insider Guides (must use your WFU email to access)
Vault Career Insider – Career Guide to Real Estate
Vault Career Insider – Guide to Top Real Estate Employers
Wetfeet Careers & Industries
Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statics
National Association of Realtors
American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association (AREUEA)
Real Estate Job Store
The Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP)
Professional Builder
National Association of Home Builders
Society of Industrial and Office Realtors
Certified Commercial Investments Member
Associated General Contractors of America
Construction Management Association of America
Institute of Real Estate Management
National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT)
Mortgage Bankers Association
Appraisal Foundation