Real estate is one of the most important sectors of the economy — after all, everyone needs a roof over their head of one kind or another.
But while most people who think of jobs in real estate probably think first of high-flying investors and developers, the truth is that the real estate industry supports a lot of well-paying jobs that are open to regular people. If you are thinking about a career change and have always wanted to get involved in real estate, here are three real estate careers open to everyone.
1. Building Manager
If you have ever rented an apartment or lived in a condo, you’ve probably worked with a building manager. Building managers respond to tenants problems and concerns, and are usually the first person a tenant will go to when something breaks or there is flooding.
But building managers do a lot more than simply help make sure the needs of tenants are met. They are a vital link between the building’s owner and the people living and working in the building every day. As such, they are responsible for making sure that the building is well cared for, and that everyday maintenance is carried out so that it doesn’t depreciate in value.
Realtors play an essential role in the world of real estate by facilitating purchases and sales of houses, commercial properties, and condos, and also (in some cities) helping to connect renters with landlords. But what does it take to become a realtor and is a career as a realtor really open to anyone?
While the particular requirements to become licensed as a realtor depend on which state you are considering becoming licensed in, in most jurisdictions it is necessary to take a state-mandated real estate course, and then pass a real estate licensing exam.
The length of the course differs significantly between states (in New York, it is a 75 hour online course, while in California the course takes 135 hours), but in most cases it can be completed quite easily within six months, meaning that most people can become fully licensed as realtors within a year.
3. House Appraiser
Typically, people buying a property know a lot less about it than the people selling it. This puts them at a disadvantage — how do they know whether there are serious structural problems that are invisible to the naked eye? How do they know whether or not they are getting ripped off?
The role of a house appraiser is to inspect a property before a sale to ensure the asking price is a fair one. Appraisers consider concrete details (like the state of the plumbing, the roof, and the electrical wiring) and also more abstract ones (like the quality of the light and the proximity to desirable amenities) in determining the reasonability of the asking price.
If you want to get into the real estate market, you don’t need to be an investor with access to millions of dollars in start-up capital. By becoming a building manager, realtor, or house appraiser, you will be able to participate in the real estate economy, grow your knowledge of buying and selling real estate, and earn a decent salary at the same time.
And who knows? Maybe after a few years, you’ll be ready to start making real estate deals of your own!