With the average home sale price in the U.S. topping $370,000 in 2017, careers in real estate are understandably attractive. Real estate agents, mortgage brokers and property appraisers all need to be licensed, but there are other careers in the real estate industry that do not have licensing requirements. Among them are property management, real estate development and real estate scouting.
Career opportunities in property management are forecast to increase 8 percent in the decade ending in 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Property managers generally oversee maintenance, administration and showing and leasing property. Many property managers work for companies that manage a portfolio of smaller properties (single-family homes, duplexes and complexes with fewer than 25 units), while others live on-site at larger complexes. Other managers are employed directly by property owners. Skills helpful in property management: business administration and operations knowledge, familiarity with real estate and rent control laws and household maintenance. Good communication and people skills are a plus as well. Property management also comes with the benefit of a guaranteed paycheck, unlike many commission-based real estate careers. While property management is usually a full-time job, some property managers oversee smaller properties on a part-time basis in exchange for free rent.
Real Estate Development
Real estate developers manage the process of getting things built. They acquire land, they work with local officials to secure the proper permits, permissions and zoning approvals, they arrange construction financing, and they sell or rent the completed projects. Opportunities exist in both commercial and residential real estate development. Degrees in business administration with real estate coursework are standard, and many in the industry start in an entry level position and work their way up. For those with real estate market savvy, an entrepreneurial spirit and access to capital, purchasing homes below market, improving and "flipping" them for a profit is an entry into real estate development on a smaller scale, but with potentially very high payout.
Real Estate Scouting
For those with knowledge of their local market, scouting for properties for out-of-town or busy investors is another potential real estate career. Scouts find properties attractive to the investors they work with and then are paid when transactions close. Sometimes this involves finding distressed properties or owners who have fallen behind on their mortgage and approaching them to see if they are willing to sell. Successful scouts build a variety of contacts and sources to find such information. Knowledge of how to recognize great deals before they are put on the market is essential. Many scouts start on a part-time basis, working their scouting business in addition to working another full-time job.