Different career paths in real estate


The field of real estate is ever-changing, which keeps the demand for jobs and careers high. In fact, the ARELLO (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials) estimates that there are almost 2 million active real estate licenses in America alone. Working in real estate is a great option for those that do not want to work a more traditional nine to five job, but what are the different careers open to you? There are many real estate jobs that you may not even know exist. Whether you want to become a realtor or a real estate agent, whether you want to work for yourself or for a brokerage like Compass – here is a rough guide to some of the different career paths you can take in the real estate sector.

Real Estate Investor

This can be the most rewarding career in real estate – they are the ones who buy the property or land, try to maximize their profits, and then sell on their investment. This job is about understanding investment opportunities, when and where to buy, through extensive knowledge of the market.

Real Estate Agent

This is the most common career in real estate, they are the professionals that help people to buy or sell properties. An agent can be either a buyers’ agent or a sellers’ agent. They can also be a residential or commercial agent.

Residential – they facilitate the process of buying a home. They can be specialized agents focusing on specific kinds of properties such as single-family homes, luxury homes, vacation homes, or condos. This kind of role is all about how well you meet your clients’ needs, it is about customer service, networking, and marketing skills.

Commercial – rather than working on residences, they work in the commercial sector of the real estate agency. Instead of houses, they sell properties to businesses. This specialty is more about being business and financial-minded, working with data such as gross rent multipliers, capitalization rates, and internal rates of return.

Both residential and commercial real estate agents work on commission meaning that agents who find more leads and close more deals make more money. However, commercial real estate agents often earn up to twice as much as residential agents.

Real Estate Broker

A broker and an agent are very similar with the main difference being who they work for. Essentially, real estate agents have to sign with a brokerage and so agents work for brokers. Brokers, however, have the option to work independently or start their own brokerage. This role is all about your entrepreneurial drive. Not only do you need an agency license, but you will also need to complete real estate training courses and pass the broker licensing examination.

Real Estate Developer

Real estate developers buy land and build real estate property on it, this can be anything from a family home to an office building. They are responsible for planning and coordinating the construction process, financing it, and bringing in the team to execute their plans. This role requires you to work with architects, contractors, engineers, construction teams, leasing agents, lawyers, and other professionals.


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BDC 311 : Dec 2023