50 Real Estate Career Paths to Change Your Life

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With so many real estate career paths to choose from, there’s a suitable option for anyone and everyone in our expansive industry.

Whether you’re looking to join the real estate industry, or you’re looking to shift paths within the industry, you’re sure to find a strong fit on this giant list of 50 real estate career paths!

50 Real Estate Career Paths to Change Your Life

This is a looooonnnnnggggg list, so we’re going to break it down into 10 categories:

  1. Sales
  2. Property Transfer Support Roles
  3. Acquisitions
  4. Management
  5. Finance
  6. Development
  7. Legal
  8. Taxation and Insurance
  9. Education 
  10. Technology

Sales-Based Real Estate Career Paths

If you love the thrill of the sale, these eight sales-based career paths could be exactly what you’re looking for.

1. Real Estate Agent

Agents help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. The hours are flexible, the work is fulfilling, and the income potential is high. Agents are not required to hold a college degree. But you must pass a state-approved real estate course and a state exam to earn your real estate license. Learn what it takes to be a real estate agent to see if this is a good option for you.  

2. Real Estate Broker

Brokers follow a similar path as agents. In fact, some states require brokers to be agents first. In addition to helping buyers and sellers with their transactions, brokers can own real estate firms and manage agents. Confusingly, some states refer to the agent role as a “broker” and refer to the broker role as a “managing broker” or “supervising broker” (or similar). 

3. Luxury Property Specialist

Luxury property specialists, also called luxury agents, focus on high-end properties. In high-value markets like Los Angeles, these specialists often work with homes valued at $10 million or more. This niche market requires a deep understanding of the unique needs and wishes of high-net-worth clientele. Interested in luxury real estate? Here’s a seven-step process to becoming a luxury real estate agent

4. Commercial Real Estate Agent

Commercial agents specialize in commercial properties, such as office buildings, retail storefronts, and industrial spaces. This role requires an understanding of complex commercial transactions and market trends. Commercial agents typically complete far fewer transactions than residential agents, but they put in more hours and earn more money on each deal.

5. Leasing Consultant

Leasing consultants focus on renting out residential or commercial properties. They must have strong sales skills and knowledge about the property, leasing agreements, and tenant laws. In many states, residential leasing consultants are not required to hold a real estate license. And this job typically comes with a base pay plus bonuses for signed leases, making this an attractive option for those who love sales but want to count on a steady paycheck.  

6. Real Estate Marketing Specialist

If you love marketing, but don’t necessarily like working one-on-one with clients, consider becoming a real estate marketing specialist. They create advertising materials, manage online listings, and develop marketing strategies for agents, brokers, and corporations. 

7. Auctioneer

Auctioneers sell properties through auctions. This role requires strong public speaking and sales skills. You might also need an auctioneer’s license, depending on your state. 

8. Referral Agent

Some agents earn their income by referring buyers and sellers to other agents. If you enjoy lead generation, but don’t love the detailed work of navigating property transfers, you can simply pass your leads along to other agents in exchange for a referral fee. Depending on your area, referral fees could be 20-35% of the agent’s commission on the deal. 

Real Estate Career Paths that Support Property Transfers

Selling a property takes a village. I know that’s not an expression, but it should be. Here is a breakdown of the many non-sales real estate professionals who help properties transfer from seller to buyer.

9. Transaction Coordinator

Transaction Coordinators (TCs) navigate real estate deals through the contract period to closing. TCs are often hired by real estate agents on a per-transaction basis, often paid a flat fee for each transaction they handle. This is the job for a highly detailed, organized professional who can keep track of lots of moving parts. You would be handling the paperwork for the deal, making sure disclosures, waivers, and other docs are signed timely by all parties. You might also have to follow up with inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, and title searchers to make sure everyone is doing their part so the deal can close on time. 

10. Escrow Officer 

Escrow officers facilitate the transfer of property by holding funds and documents until the transaction terms are met. They ensure the transaction is conducted fairly and legally. In many states, escrow officers are employed by escrow agencies to serve this very specific function. 

11. Land Surveyor

Surveyors are responsible for determining property boundaries. This role requires knowledge of surveying technology, land laws, and documentation practices.

12. Home Inspector

Home inspectors physically assess properties, looking for defects and code violations. Inspectors must be knowledgeable about construction, building codes, and inspection standards. In many states, inspectors must also hold an active home inspector license.

13. Title Examiner/Officer

Title examiners research legal documents to verify the title (effectively, the ownership) of a property. They ensure that there are no disputes or legal issues with the ownership of a property before a sale. 

14. Real Estate Photographer

Real estate photographers specialize in photographing properties for sale or lease. They typically work independently, so they need to have their own equipment. The work can be quite technical with many of today’s listing photos being heavily edited to appeal to buyers and renters. For luxury markets, videography and drone images are also commonly expected of real estate photographers. For a fun spin, and added income opportunity, you could also offer new home photo shoots for homebuyers

15. Home Stager

Home stagers decorate homes to make them more appealing to buyers. This involves interior design skills and an understanding of what attracts homebuyers. Staged homes have been shown to sell for more money than unstaged homes. Staging is especially in demand in luxury markets. 

Acquisition-Based Real Estate Career Paths

Would you rather analyze and acquire real estate than sell it? Check out these career paths in the field of real estate acquisitions. 

16. Real Estate Investor

Investors buy property to generate income through rental revenue or resale. This path requires capital and a deep understanding of the real estate market, investment strategies, and risk management. While this can be a career path of its own, it’s also an amazing real estate side hustle for anyone interested in making money through real estate. To learn more, check out these 18 ways to invest in real estate.  

17. Real Estate Analyst

For the hyper-analytical, real estate analysts focus on evaluating market trends, property values, and investment opportunities. They often work for real estate investment firms or financial institutions.

18. Land Acquisition Specialist

Land acquisition specialists are responsible for finding and acquiring land for development. This role requires negotiation skills and the ability to evaluate the potential of land for various uses.

19. Right of Way Agent 

Right of way agents deal with the acquisition of property rights for projects like pipelines, roads, or utility corridors. This role involves negotiation and understanding property rights and contracts.

Management-Based Real Estate Career Paths

Many properties and portfolios require active management. These career paths can come with sizeable salaries for well-qualified candidates. 

20. Property Manager

Responsible for the day-to-day operations of residential and commercial properties. This role involves handling tenant relations, overseeing property maintenance, and collecting rents. In some cases, the property manager is also responsible for leasing units as well. In other cases, the property manager will supervise a team of leasing consultants. 

21. Corporate Real Estate Manager/Asset Manager

Corporate real estate managers handle the real estate assets of a corporation. This involves strategizing the use and investment of the company’s property portfolio. The assets could vary widely depending on the corporation. For example, a retail brand may have a portfolio of storefronts, while a production company may have various studio spaces and backlots for filming.

22. Affordable Housing Manager

Affordable housing managers manage properties specifically for low-income residents. They must understand relevant housing laws and subsidy programs in addition to general property management responsibilities.

23. Community Association Manager

These professionals manage residential communities or condominiums. They oversee common areas, set community budgets, and enforce community rules. While this can be a paid position, some communities have this position filled by a volunteer. In some cases, this is an elected position with residents of the community voting for the person who will serve this role.

24. Commercial Building Manager

A commercial building manager is similar to a property manager. However, instead of overseeing residential units or a portfolio of commercial units, a building manager typically focuses on one specific building, such as a highrise full of office space. The building manager handles tenant retention and satisfaction, rent collection, and building maintenance. They might also handle leasing or oversee a team of leasing consultants.   

25. REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) Manager

REITs are companies that hold income-generating real estate and share the profits with investors. REIT managers actively manage the portfolio of properties in their trusts. This job requires financial acumen and extensive knowledge of real estate investment models and trends.

Financed-Based Real Estate Career Paths

While many real estate career paths involve some level of finance, these three professions are all about real estate finance.

26. Real Estate Appraiser

Appraisers assess property values for a variety of purposes including sales, mortgages, and property taxes. They must understand property valuation methods and real estate market trends. In many states, appraisers must hold a state-issued appraiser license. 

27. Mortgage Broker/Loan Officer

Mortgage brokers and loan officers help clients find suitable loans for purchasing a property. They also help homeowners tap into their home equity with second mortgages, like home equity loans and HELOCs (home equity lines of credit), and mortgage refinancing. They must understand various loan products, finance, and the loan approval process. This position may require a formal license in your state. 

28. Foreclosure Specialist

Foreclosure specialists oversee the foreclosure process when a homeowner fails to repay their mortgage loan. In addition to foreclosing on the property (or approving a short sale to help the owner avoid foreclosure), the foreclosure specialist might also be responsible for overseeing the disposal of the asset through foreclosure auction or resale.

Development-Based Real Estate Career Paths

Real estate planning, zoning, and developing all fall into this umbrella of development-based real estate career paths. 

29. Real Estate Developer

Developers plan and execute the construction or renovation of properties. This career involves project management, financial planning, and collaboration with architects, contractors, and local governments.

30. Urban Planner

Urban planners work with city or regional planning, focusing on land use, zoning, and community development. This important profession requires a complete understanding of urban design and public policy and often requires a degree in this specific area.

31. Environmental Consultant

Environmental consultants deal with the environmental aspects of real estate, such as soil testing, environmental impact assessments, and ensuring compliance with environmental regulations.

32. Zoning Technician

Zoning techs work in local government to assist with zoning regulations, reviewing land use applications, and ensuring compliance with zoning laws.

33. Historic Preservation Specialist

Perfectly combining a love of history with a love of real estate, historic preservation specialists focus on properties with historical significance. These specialists catalog historical properties and oversee restoration, ensuring compliance with preservation laws. In some cases, preservation specialists assist with day-to-day operations (if, for example, the property is turned into a museum). They might also market these properties for sale to investor-stewards. 

34. Accessibility Specialist

Accessibility specialists ensure properties are accessible and compliant with laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This role requires knowledge of accessibility standards and building codes.

Law-Based Real Estate Career Paths

For those interested in the legal side of real estate, consider these law-based career paths.

35. Real Estate Attorney

Real estate attorneys specialize in real estate law, handling issues like property transfers, zoning, and disputes. To be a real estate attorney, you need a law degree and must pass the bar exam in your state.

36. Real Estate Paralegal

Paralegals assist real estate attorneys with preparing documents, research, and case management. This position requires paralegal training and knowledge of real estate law.

37. Real Estate Lobbyist 

Real estate lobbyists advocate for policies and regulations favorable to the real estate industry. This career requires strong political acumen, connections, and communication skills.

Real Estate Career Paths Based on Taxation and Insurance

38. Property Insurance Agent

Property insurance agents specialize in providing insurance products for properties. They need a working knowledge of different insurance policies and an understanding of risk management.

39. Property Tax Assessor

Each local taxing authority has a property tax assessor to oversee the process of assessing property values for taxation purposes. This position may be appointed by local government (typically at the county level) or it may be an elected position in some counties. 

40. Property Tax Collector

The local property tax collector is responsible for issuing property tax bills and ensuring payment. As with the assessor, this position may be appointed or elected, depending on your county or township. 

41. Property Tax Consultant

Property tax consultants help property owners reduce their property tax liability. Tax consultants often file property tax appeals on behalf of property owners when the local assessor over-values the property for tax purposes. Property tax appeals are an incredible service opportunity for real estate agents who know how to complete a comparative market analysis (run comps). In fact, if you can run comps, the only thing you need to learn is how your local taxing authority processes appeals. Check out The Real Estate Agent’s Guide to Property Tax Appeals: How to Add a Revenue Stream to Your Business in Just 7 Days.

Education-Based Real Estate Career Paths

Do you love sharing knowledge with others? Maybe you belong in an education-based real estate role. 

42. Real Estate Instructor

Real estate instructors educate aspiring real estate professionals. They can work in colleges, private real estate schools, or online platforms. You must have deep knowledge of the industry and often need relevant experience and certifications.

43. Real Estate Coach

If you love training real estate professionals, but prefer providing custom coaching instead of teaching a classroom, you might make a good real estate coach. Coaches who can help their clients advance their careers can charge high hourly rates of potentially hundreds of dollars per session. 

44. Real Estate Content Writer

Skilled real estate writers understand complex market concepts and can explain them in a way audiences can understand and appreciate. Real estate writers range from journalists who keep tabs on shifting market conditions to bloggers who write entertainment pieces on celebrity homes. And there’s a lot of gray area in between. Check out A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Life of a Real Estate Blogger to see what this career looks like in the real world.

Tech-Based Real Estate Career Paths

As with nearly every other industry on Earth, technology is creating new opportunities in real estate. Here are a few career paths for techies. 

45. Real Estate Data Scientist

Data scientists analyze large data sets related to real estate markets, buyer trends, and property values. They use machine learning, statistical analysis, and predictive modeling to provide insights for decision-making in real estate investments and market strategies.

46. Virtual Reality (VR) Property Tour Creator

VR tour creators render virtual tours of properties using virtual reality technology. This role involves capturing 360-degree videos and images of properties and converting them into immersive, virtual experiences for clients. This is especially helpful for clients who wish to tour properties remotely or for new construction buyers who need help visualizing the completed space.

47. Real Estate Software Developer

Real estate software devs create and maintain software solutions specifically for the real estate industry. This could include property management systems, CRM platforms for real estate agents, or transaction systems for secure and efficient property sales.

48. GIS Specialist in Real Estate

GIS specialists use Geographic Information Systems to analyze and visualize spatial data for real estate purposes. This includes mapping property locations, analyzing demographic and market data, and aiding in site selection and market analysis. 

49. IoT Smart Home Consultant

Smart home consultants help builders, buyers, and homeowners integrate Internet of Things (IoT) technologies into residential and commercial properties. This role involves advising on, installing, and managing smart home devices such as connected security systems, energy management tools, and automated appliances, enhancing property value and appeal.

50. Blockchain Real Estate Specialist

With advances in blockchain tech, we’re taking slow, but meaningful, steps toward one-click real estate transactions. Blockchain real estate specialists work implementing blockchain technology in real estate transactions. This could include developing platforms for tokenizing property assets, drafting smart contracts, and making transactions more transparent.

Share Your Thoughts

Do you have experience with any of these real estate career paths? Or are you interested in learning more about any of the options explored? Let us know in the comments!

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