Real estate careers offer an array of options within the fun, exciting world of real estate. If you like real estate but want a career that’s outside the typical real estate salesperson career box, consider the many alternative real estate careers, which range from real estate appraiser to real estate adviser, from property manager to brokerage owner--and a growing list of additional choices.
Alternative real estate careers allow you to specialize within a specific niche. Property management career options include commercial, multi-family and residential property management, while real estate appraisers can choose to own their own company or work for a real estate appraisal firm.
Real estate licensees can choose to specialize within the commercial, residential, land, or resort market segments, or become licensed as brokers and open their own brokerages.
Education and Training
Most traditional and alternative real estate careers require some level of professional training or education. Real estate education, overseen on the state level, often includes pre-license, post-license, and continuing education–as well as a licensing or certification exam.
Depending on state and industry-specific laws, many forms of real estate career education are offered via online training, or distance learning, which means you can train on your own schedule. Career education ranges from a few months to a couple of years, and most traditional and alternative real estate careers require ongoing continuing professional education.
Go beyond the minimum educational requirements for additional professional training to advance to greater and more lucrative career opportunities. Advanced real estate appraisal designations include MAI, SRA or SRPA, while real estate advisers can earn the Consumer-Certified Real Estate Consultant (C-CREC) designation.
Real estate trade associations and professional organizations provide a wealth of information about specific alternative real estate careers, including training, legislative updates, and industry news.
The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and the National Property Management Association (NPMA) are invaluable resources for property managers, while real estate appraisal organizations include The Appraisal Institute and American Society of Appraisers.
The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) professional organization offers a wealth of information for real estate advisers. The National Association of Real Estate Consultants (NAREC) provides news and training tools to help consultants analyze and address consumers’ needs.
Alternative real estate careers offer you the freedom to make your own schedule, be your own boss, and work from almost anywhere you choose. Do you love your real estate career but need a new work area? Check out the reciprocal licensing laws–which allow real estate agents and other professionals in one state to become licensed in another state with only minimal additional training–between your state and other states.
Whether you’re new to the real estate industry, or an established real estate professional looking for new career challenges, an alternative real estate career can offer personal and professional rewards. If you're ambitious and love working with people, any one of the numerous alternative real estate career options gives you the opportunity for career growth, flexibility, and high earning potential.