The general public may be under the impression that primary careers in real estate involve buying and selling real estate. That may be true to a limited extent because many successful real estate personalities launch their careers as sales agents working for brokerages. Licensed real estate representatives cannot work independently in real estate sales because state laws require that licensees work under brokers until they earn their broker credentials. That said, sales is not the only way to succeed in the real estate sector.
Real estate appraisers play a crucial role in the buying and selling process. They are tasked with preparing estimates of value of specific properties based on comparisons with similar properties, taking into consideration other factors that may affect value. This is a job that requires research and an intimate knowledge of the market and market trends. A real estate license may not always be required for a property appraiser position although banks, real estate brokerages, mortgage companies and government agencies that employ appraisers may consider this real estate credential as an advantage.
The leasing manager is responsible for day-to-day demands of managing a property or a portfolio of properties. The job includes making sure that the properties are managed efficiently to meet budget and profit goals while ensuring a positive experience for all tenants. Leasing managers may work with residential properties such as apartments and condominiums. Leasing managers may also work for commercial developments, including shopping malls, office buildings and industrial sites. The responsibilities include marketing, personnel management, administration, construction supervision and all aspects of tenant recruitment, retention and management.
Banks and mortgage servicing companies employ loan officers tasked with reviewing, researching, approving and managing real estate loans. This career is a detail-oriented job that requires people skills along with comprehensive knowledge of the legal aspects of real estate transactions. Some jobs may require marketing skills as well, so someone with a network of connections in the real estate sector will be successful in this job.
When companies expand, they need a pool of site finders to identify target sites and to move forward with the acquisition process according to the corporate schedule. This is a challenging position whether the site finder is employed in-house or as a contractor assigned to a specific territory. This real estate job requires extensive research, the ability to prepare and present technical reports and advanced negotiating skills to acquire properties at the best prices for the business. Site finders often have to go up against competitors of the business for the same property, so confidentiality, efficiency and trustworthiness are key characteristics for someone in this real estate profession.
The development manager is in charge of new construction for businesses in expansion mode and rehab or remodel jobs that are part of planned maintenance processes. Development managers may have to handle personnel matters if they work with their own team, or they may be corporate employees who are under the purview of the operations department. A certificate in construction management may be a prerequisite for these jobs.
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A career in real estate can turn into a lifelong passion whether one chooses to take the traditional path as a sales representative or diverges into a corporate position involved in leasing, appraising, development or management of residential or commercial properties. USA Today cites that earning a real estate license is a huge achievement, but sales is a competitive job and may not be suitable for everyone. Consider these alternative careers in real estate if you want to try a different path or if a part-time gig in the same sector appeals to you.