career opportunities in real estate

10 Career Opportunities in Real Estate You Haven’t Thought of Yet

career opportunities in real estate


While a residential real estate agent is one of the most common career opportunities associated with the real estate industry, it is by no means the only one. Yes, the majority of the high profile career opportunities within the industry involve buying and selling residential properties. However, the industry has depth. Whether you’re looking for something with more flexibility, more structure, higher stakes or lower stakes, you’re probably going to be able to find the career opportunity you want within real estate.

Career Opportunities in Real Estate

We’ve put together a list of 10 compelling real estate careers that you might not have thought of. These opportunities are both challenging and have the potential to be profitable new careers for you!

1. Real estate managing broker

Being a real estate broker isn’t the same thing as being a real estate agent, even though the two terms are often informally used interchangeably. The difference between a broker and an agent is that a broker is a licensed real estate professional who has taken further education and is qualified to manage a real estate office with multiple agents. A real estate broker may be a career path to set your sights on if you’re already in the process of becoming an agent and want to know how your career could continue to grow.

2. Commercial real estate agent

It’s natural to think of residential agents when you talk about the real estate industry. After all, that’s what most of the real estate reality T.V. shows are about and you also don’t see images on the cover of the tabloids about which celebrity leased office space lately. However, commercial development can be as rewarding as residential and in some cases may suit your style and strengths even better.

The day-to-day of a commercial real estate agent can include more research. A commercial agent helps businesses choose and secure locations that will boost their bottom line. Sometimes that means leasing great office space, other times it can be finding the perfect location for the next major coffee chain to build a store. For this reason, commercial agents often must put more emphasis on uncovering statistics and data about the area before they complete a transaction.

3. Real estate investor

There are two different ways to be a real estate investor — active and passive. You can think of an active investor as your classic “house flipper.” This person would buy and flip residential properties or support the work of another investor or contractor interested in reselling. A passive investor is someone who puts money into a real estate project without having much involvement in the day-to-day management of a project. Even if you don’t have much money to invest, you can still become an investor in crowdfunded real estate investing.

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4. Residential appraiser

A residential appraiser is someone who collects information on a residential property in order to give a recommendation as to that property’s worth. Appraisers can work privately or publicly. A private appraiser would determine your home’s value before it’s sold or mortgaged. A public appraiser works for the government to appraise your home to determine its value for tax purposes.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for real estate appraisers in 2016 was about $51,850 annually or about $25 hourly.

5. Commercial appraiser

Just like a residential appraiser, a commercial appraiser spends part of their day in the office and the other part in the community assessing properties. While a residential appraiser may rely more heavily on what they learned during their licensing course, a commercial appraiser leans strongly on established appraisers to teach them how to determine the value of a property. Both disciplines require you to get licensed.  

6. Property manager

A property manager is tasked with the responsibility of making sure a property — residential or commercial — runs smooth and is, ultimately, making money for whoever owns it. When it comes to residential properties this could mean wearing many different hats such as actings a leasing agent, a repairman and getting to know the tenants. Depending on the size of the property and the strengths of the property manager some or all of these tasks could be outsourced and the property manager’s role is simply to coordinate them and make sure the property is upkept. This is more common for commercial property managers.  

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7. Leasing consultant

A leasing consultant’s job is to make sure there are tenants in the building. This job can often require you to work evenings and weekends, but a bonus is that it also usually comes with a degree of flexibility. If you enjoy marketing and negotiating this could be a great role for you. Leasing consultants need to get the word out about specials or openings in their building and often throw promotional events or enjoy staying up-to-date on the latest digital marketing best practices.

8. Commercial leasing manager

Often assigned to office space or storefronts, a commercial leasing manager negotiates deals and transactions with businesses. A commercial leasing manager may have career opportunities that require them to keep a watchful eye on changes in the marketplace, as this impacts the budget businesses have for their various property needs.

9. Foreclosure specialist

A foreclosure specialist can be employed by a bank or private lender and is responsible for all the documentation and processes that need to be followed when a property is being foreclosed on. They will review the client’s financial statements and process foreclosure cases so the property can be resold as quickly as possible. A foreclosure specialist needs to be organized and great with deadlines.

10. Real estate attorney

If you love school and want to keep furthering your education beyond real estate, a career opportunity you may consider is becoming a real estate attorney. Real estate attorneys practice in many different areas. They could advocate for tenant rights or provide consul before a major real estate purchase.

Take advantage of the depth of the industry

The real estate industry is so much more than simply residential real estate. It encompasses a broad variety of career opportunities that require different strengths. Once you have your license to practice real estate there are so many different directions you can take your career!