How Many Jobs Are Available in Real Estate?
Table of Contents
A buyer's agent is a specific type of agent who represents people who are buying a home. These individuals may or may not be selling a home as well. Typically, a buyer's agent determines the homebuyer's needs and then finds properties in the area that may meet their needs. They then complete the offer or bid, a contract to purchase the property, negotiate the terms of that contract, and handle the closing process from the real estate point of view. Buyer's agents must have a real estate license to provide these services.
The seller's agent is the opposite of a buyer's agent. In this situation, the real estate agent works with people who are planning to sell their homes. They may or may not be planning to purchase another property. Seller's agents must be well versed in understanding market trends and comps for the area. They must also work closely with sellers to negotiate offers, market the home for sale, and handle the closing process. Seller's agents typically work to sell the home for as much as possible.
Agents can work as both a buyer's and a seller's agent simultaneously — they don't need to specialize as one or the other unless they want to. However, this may lead to a case where the agent represents both a seller and the buyer who wants to purchase the seller's home in rare cases. This is known as dual agency and is not recommended. It is even illegal in several states because it results in the agent not representing each client to the best of their ability.
Real Estate Broker
A real estate broker or managing broker is a person who has completed their education a step further than what an agent has. They are then qualified to manage a real estate office and may have more than one real estate agent working under them. Those who have a license as a real estate agent may wish to pursue additional education to reach this point. Keep in mind that industry experience is often necessary before working as a broker. There may be a licensing requirement for brokers in some states as well.
Real Estate Clerk
A real estate clerk is a straightforward career path, and there is no need to have a real estate license to work as a clerk. Most commonly, these individuals work to provide supportive services to real estate agents. Many work within the real estate office. They may help with updating and maintaining real estate records if working for the county. Others handle administrative duties for agents within the brokerage. A clerk's job may change day-to-day. Sometimes, people work as a clerk while earning their license to become a real estate agent, though that's not always necessary.
A real estate brokerage is a busy place with numerous people trying to do the same type of tasks. An office manager's job is to help oversee and manage the office's day-to-day operations, including ensuring clerks are available, taking incoming phone calls, managing professional services for buyers and sellers, such as title services or home staging. Office managers may also handle the actual tasks of maintaining the space, such as maintenance and keeping the area inviting and welcoming to prospective buyers and sellers. Office managers still need to know a bit about the real estate industry, but they do not have to maintain a license or hold a degree to do this type of work.
A real estate loan officer works with buyers who need to obtain a loan to purchase a property. A loan officer has ample education and training about the financial aspects of purchasing a home, such as helping borrowers qualify for a loan, comparing different types of real estate loans for them, and helping to meet the needs of underwriters, or those who approve the loan. These individuals have a good knowledge of the industry, but they also know lending well. Most must be registered to provide services in the state.
Real Estate Lawyer
Those passionate about law may wish to pursue a law degree with a concentration in real estate law. To work as a real estate lawyer, a person must have a law degree and be licensed in the state to do so, and they often complete their education to become an attorney taking specific courses in residential and commercial real estate law. Their work may include creating contracts and leases, managing documents, reviewing titles, and overcoming any real estate disputes. Attorneys may work with buyers or sellers but may also work with people who own land and need help with some legal aspects of it.
Real Estate Analyst
A real estate analyst, or financial analyst, has the job of helping to support a real estate agent or brokerage in understanding the real estate market as a whole. They typically handle a lot of research that goes into the process of operating a business in real estate. This may include determining trends, making predictions about the market, aiding in investment decision-making, and supporting sales. They may also work for real estate organizations and government organizations, among others. These individuals may also work to support investors purchasing rental properties or developing commercial properties.
A foreclosure occurs when a borrower fails to make payment on their loan, and the bank takes action to either sell or take possession of the property. A foreclosure specialist is a person that works with a private lender or a bank. They typically work to review the property and manage the documentation process for the sale of the property. Most often, they work on a case-by-case basis helping the bank or lender quickly sell the property so it can recoup some of its investment. Those who wish to work in this field should have a good understanding of real estate sales and finance and the legal aspects of real estate.
An escrow officer works on the lending side of the real estate industry and typically operates as a third party in the transaction. They help to ensure the mortgage transaction occurs as it is supposed to and support both the home buyer and the seller in the process. Though laws differ from state to state on the job and requirements of an escrow officer, they typically manage the movement of money during the transaction. This may include holding money paid into an escrow account by the buyer to hold the transaction. Then, they help manage the title closing process and move the loan from a bank to the appropriate parties for the seller.
Real Estate Appraiser
A real estate appraiser provides insights and expertise to help determine the value of a property, such as homes and, in some cases, commercial property. This involves visiting the property for an inspection and using data to compile facts and research the real estate market and area trends. Appraisers typically work for an appraisal agency or, in some cases, work on their own. These professionals need industry experience and training to provide their services. There are licensing requirements for real estate appraisers as well. They may also work for government agencies providing appraisals for tax purposes.
Real Estate Inspector
A real estate inspector has an essential job in any real estate transaction. This person's job is to enable the buyer, seller, agent, lending organization, or other involved parties to learn about the condition of the home or other property. The lender often contracts an inspector to ensure the property's value and condition meet their expectations to allow the loan to go through. Other times, real estate inspectors can provide buyers with insights into any faults or concerns in the home that may be addressed in the sales contract. As a result of how much work they need to do, inspectors typically need to be licensed and have ample experience in the field.
Other Real Estate Jobs
Many other real estate jobs exist. Each is a bit different in their tasks. Here are a few examples:
Property managers: These individuals typically oversee several properties or homes on behalf of the owner. For example, property managers tend to oversee apartment and condo complexes that are rented out.
Lease Administrator: Lease administrators maintain and create leases for rented properties. This may include commercial or residential property. They typically handle the requirements of the tenants as well as the legal side of creating contracts.
Real estate investor: A person who purchases real estate as an investment fits into this role. They may do so to improve the property and sell it or may purchase to maintain it as a leased property. Their goal is to see an income from the property in some way.
Loan underwriter: A loan underwriter works with the lending company. They typically help to verify that the buyer of a property is qualified to make that purchase. They gather data and make decisions about whether or not to lend to the individual.
With many different opportunities in the real estate world to consider, those who want an interesting and diverse career can typically find something that interests them in this field. Real estate is a growing and changing field. That means new opportunities may become available. While working as a real estate agent is still one of the most sought-after options, there are other ways to break in and do well, as these career options show.