The real estate market isn’t going anywhere, which is one reason why it’s such a popular and lucrative career field. Every year, millions of people think about studying to get their real estate license—even more, now that it’s possible to get your real estate license online in most states.
However, most people mistakenly assume that the only career path available to you after getting your real estate license is becoming a full-time real estate agent. While this is the most accessible and most common option, it certainly isn’t the only option. And you might find some of the other possibilities even more appealing.
Real Estate Career Options
If becoming a full-time real estate agent doesn’t sound appealing, your real estate license could help you find your way in one or more of these paths:
- Part-time real estate agent. If you like the idea of helping people buy and sell properties, but you don’t have the bandwidth or interest to invest full-time hours into the career, you can try to manage a part-time career. Choose your own hours of operation and your own clients to turn your career into a perfect fit.
- Real estate managing broker. Being a real estate managing broker sounds like the same thing as a real estate agent, but it requires additional education and training. After getting your real estate license, you can take further efforts to become a managing broker, which means you’ll be able to run your own office with multiple agents working under you.
- Active real estate investor. There are several ways to invest in real estate and become a full-time real estate investor, though no matter what, you’ll have some difficulty getting started (if you don’t have much capital available). You can invest in residential property or commercial property, and choose a neighborhood or area to specialize in. But beyond that, you can become an “active” real estate investor or a “passive” real estate investor. Active real estate investors try to find deals that allow them to make money in bursts, usually in the short term. House flipping falls into this category; in this strategy, you’ll buy an inexpensive house, make repairs and upgrades, then relist the property on the market so you can sell it for a profit. It’s tough to make this approach consistently profitable, but if you have the time and the expertise, you may be able to make it work.
- Passive real estate investor. You could also become a passive real estate investor. These types of investors are focused on minimal effort and long-term value. They invest in things like rental properties and properties with high potential upside, and focus on building value over time. This is a great approach if you’re planning for your eventual retirement.
- Property appraiser. Individuals, businesses, and lending institutions all need the help of property appraisers to figure out exactly what their properties are worth. If you have your real estate license, you’ll have a viable path to become a licensed appraiser. Again, you’ll have a variety of options here; you can work as an appraiser who specializes in either commercial or residential property, or you can work across the board.
- Property manager. If you don’t have the available capital to invest in a rental property, or if you don’t want the extra personal risk associated with investing, you could become a property manager. In this role, you could help individuals choose properties in which to invest, and help them stay functional and profitable. Depending on the goals of your business, you could do things like screen tenants, make repairs, and list the property when a vacancy is available.
- Foreclosure specialist. You could also become a foreclosure specialist, taking care of the paperwork and logistics when a property is the subject of foreclosure. In most cases, you’ll work on behalf of a bank to manage the property.
- Real estate attorney. Real estate attorneys must be very familiar with all real estate-related laws. Earning your real estate license can help you tremendously here, but to become a practicing real estate attorney, you’ll also need a legal education. From there, you’ll have a wide variety of areas in which you can practice.
As you can see, there are many different career options available to you once you get your real estate license—but these aren’t the only options you can consider. Earning your real estate license will introduce you to new knowledge and experience, which you can apply in almost any professional role—and you can use it to support almost any business you choose to start. If you have any interest in real estate or property management, it’s worth getting.