Careers in Real Estate

Professionals in the real estate industry assist clients to buy, sell, and rent commercial or residential spaces. The main occupations in this field are real estate agents and real estate brokers, the main difference being that real estate brokers are licensed to own, operate, and oversee their own businesses, while agents work for a firm. Both agents and brokers will also assist clients with appraising the value of a property and evaluating strategies for buying or selling it.

In addition to a firm understanding of housing markets and property values, a real estate agent or broker will have a keen knowledge of negotiating between the parties involved in the transaction of a property. They will essentially act as a go-between for the buyer or seller of a property, helping their client secure a satisfactory price for their purchase or sale. The median annual salary for a professional in the field of real estate was $46,260 in 2010, and job opportunities for the profession are expected to grow 11% by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, though these figures don’t guarantee a set rate of pay with any employer.

Required Education for Real Estate

Real estate agents and brokers require special certification in the industry; they do not necessarily require a college degree to qualify for the training, though some real estate brokers pursue online business degrees or classes to refine their management and entrepreneurial skills. During training, potential realtors will be trained in the nuances of property appraisal and various property and land laws involving the acquisition and selling of commercial and residential spaces. They will learn how to draft contracts for purchasing agreements, leases, and other agreements that may be struck between two parties for a piece of property. Real estate agents and brokers will also learn communication skills specific to their trade, including negotiating between parties and speaking with escrow companies.

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