When somebody mentions the words real estate and career in the same sentence, most of us usually go straight to one specific job, that of a real estate agent. We are all familiar with treading the real estate path to become an agent who works to facilitate the buying and selling of properties, but that isn’t the be-all and end-all of what jobs the real estate industry has to offer. There are many more career paths related to real estate and housing than you might think, so don’t count yourself out of the sector just because you don’t want to become the traditional estate agent stereotype.
Let’s take a closer look at the wider sphere of real estate-related careers as they relate to housing and construction. Perhaps you will come across one that you had never considered before that takes your fancy!
As a mortgage broker, you are still very much involved in the business of helping people to move into a new home, but at the forefront of the financial side of things. A mortgage broker acts as the intermediary between the lender (bank or financial institution) and borrower (the house buyer) to enable the completion of a real estate transaction. The broker works with multiple lenders to attain the best potential mortgage loan for their client. They are also able to advise the borrower on what level of a mortgage they can afford and calculate payments. It’s not the most glamorous part of the process, but essential.
Property developers are one step ahead of real estate agents, in the sense that you aren’t showing off the property for someone to buy; you are the one getting it into a saleable condition in the first place! Property development can be an incredibly fun and rewarding career if you have an eye for detail and an understanding of what is important and trendy in the housing market at any given time. It’s one of the more hands-on elements. As a property developer, you can also choose to be a landlord of any properties you own rather than selling them after development.
Take an even further step back and you have the career of an urban designer. This is a career that isn’t focused so much on individual and specific properties, but more on the creation of entire areas and neighborhoods that will then become of interest to everyone down the real estate ladder. Someone interested in this job will take a course in urban design then work with local communities, planners, architects, traffic engineers, landscape artists, and transport officials to ensure that an area is being created that is going to be suitable and desirable as a new neighborhood.
If you are interested in the planning side of things but not necessarily an entire town’s worth of admin, then an architect might be a good career path for you. Qualified architects have control over the planning and creation of a brand new property that will then be handed over to the estate agents to sell. This is a great line of work for creative people who enjoy structural challenges and incorporating the preferences of prospective homeowners. It can be a very varied and interesting career because, in an ideal world, you will never have to design the same house twice. Every day can be about something new and exciting.
Moving away from the creative side of property and back into the admin side, there is also the career of a housing officer that is incredibly important. As a housing officer, it will be your job to find appropriate accommodations for some of those in your community that are in the most need. This can be an incredibly rewarding way of interacting with the real estate market, matching families with properties that are going to help them get back on track after a bad experience, etc. Rather than dealing with private properties, a housing officer has dominion over the properties that are owned by their local council. Their day-to-day job will involve everything to do with the placement, management, and maintenance of these properties, from initial housing to responding to complaints and everything that makes up the smooth running of a government housing scheme.
There are careers related to real estate that offer the creativity some people seek. To be a home stager, you need to have an eye for design and décor, but also need to be able to manage a budget. As a home stager, you may work for a real estate agent where the focus will be on getting homes up for sale ready to be photographed and for showings. This is often needed to be done on a minimal budget because any expenditure will eat into the realtor’s profit. The aim is to present a house in its best light to achieve the best selling price. Otherwise, you may work for a property builder/home construction firm, setting up show homes for new housing developments. The aim here is to present a lifestyle to potential buyers/renters.
Real Estate Photographer
Another of the creative careers, photographs are a major factor in presenting a property. Its importance has increased in recent years as more and more property sales have moved online. Photos are an important marketing tool. Pictures of the exterior and interior can make a huge difference to the sale advertisement. You do not need to have a license or be qualified but you need to be able to produce great photos which means you need top-of-the-line equipment and also have excellent editing skills. You may work for a single real estate company or work as a freelancer picking up jobs through various channels.
When you think laterally, there are more jobs and careers relating to real estate than you imagine. There are many ways to be involved with “housing” other than selling. There are jobs for creative types, people who want a comfortable 9-5, and those seeking a professional career.