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9 Jobs Similar to Real Estate Agent

Portrait of happy female Real Estate Agent.

Real estate agents can be found in just about every city, town, and unincorporated area across the world. In the United States, there are an estimated 1.5 million registered real estate agents, and the field seems to grow more each day. Part of the reason for this is that becoming a real estate agent is a fairly simple process. 

While exact rules vary from state to state, becoming licensed rarely requires more than a few weekend courses and passing an exam. Because so many real estate agents are independent contractors, it can be hard to determine an average salary. There are part-time agents who only make a few thousand a year, agents who hold a license but primarily work as real estate developers or in other areas, and agents who own their own companies who make millions of dollars a year.

While real estate agents can work for a wide variety of employers and in several different capacities, the most common employment situation is to work on commission for a larger company. Real estate agents tend to specialize in an area such as commercial real estate or residential real estate. In some areas, agents may even specialize in a particular type of housing (such as condos) or a specific neighborhood.

Real estate agents must be familiar with their local laws and ordinances regarding property ownership, rental, and transfer. Successful agents will also have the right combination of people skills and property management. While a sales personality is a big advantage, a good real estate agent must also be very familiar with the properties they’re showing and the neighborhoods they represent.

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There are several jobs that are similar to being a real estate agent. In some cases, people holding these jobs may greatly benefit from the skills and training that a real estate agent has, in other cases this might not be necessary at all.

1. Real Estate Investor

Real Estate Investor handing money to broker.

Many real estate investors start their careers as real estate agents. Instead of brokering transactions between interested parties, real estate investors are actually purchasing properties in order to make a profit. Most commonly, this is down through improving the value of the property, then renting or selling for a profit.

Skill Set and Education Required

There is no formal training or degree required to be a Real Estate Investor, but successful investors need to have the business sense to determine if a property is worth putting money into. Many investors have a background as a developer or general contractor, others have previous experience as a rental manager.

Location

Real estate investors are needed all over the world.

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Salary Range

Because investors are self-employed, the salary range is very wide. It is possible to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars on a deal that goes bad, but also possible to make a profit of millions of dollars with the right deal. 

2. Real Estate Broker

Real Estate Broker giving consultation to the customer.

While some states use this term in the same context as a real estate agent, it usually refers to an agent who has had additional training in order to manage an office with several real estate agents. Brokers may oversee their own transactions, but most of their time is spent on supporting the agents who work under them. This means that most brokers will spend most of their time managing advertising and finding new clients. 

They will also assist with training and hiring new agents, and managing the properties under their agents care.

Skill Set and Education Required

Good real estate brokers will need all the training required of a real estate agent as well as additional courses in management in local real estate law. The exact courses will vary by state. A degree in Business Management or a similar field is preferred, but not necessarily required.

Location

Brokers are needed just about anywhere that is large enough to support several real estate agents.

Salary

Brokers’ salary is heavily dependent on the amount of sales that their agents complete. A high-producing broker can make millions of dollars, but many brokers will have salaries in the low six figures.

3. Real Estate Appraiser

Real Estate Appraiser doing property inspections.

During nearly every real estate transaction, a disinterested third party is needed to determine the value of the property that is being purchased. This information is often required by the bank underwriting the mortgage, as they have a vested interest in protecting the money they are loaning to purchase the property. Former real estate agents are often able to use the contacts they made while working in the industry in order to drum up business. 

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Skill Set and Education Required

Typically, a few classes are required (again, the exact amount of training will depend on local laws). Appraisers must keep up with local trends in the market, and be able to put together reports for their customers.

Location

Appraisers are needed just about everywhere that real estate is bought and sold. Many appraisers are able to work from their home offices.

Salary

Most appraisers are self-employed, and their salary is highly dependent on the amount of work they bring in. Typical salaries can range between $15 and $50 an hour. Self-employed appraisers must pay their own expenses, however.

4. Residential Leasing Consultant

Lease contract on a desktop.

Leasing consultants or leasing agents often work for large apartment complexes. Their job is to find tenants for all of the units in a property. The job is a combination of advertising and marketing, direct sales, and customer service.

Skill Set and Education Required

Most states do not require any formal training in order to become a leasing agent. It is usually an entry-level job, and in many cases, the job is used as a stepping stone to eventually becoming a real estate broker or investor. Nonetheless, a degree in Business Administration or Marketing can be an advantage.

Location

While leasing agents can work just about anywhere, there are more job opportunities in areas with a lot of large apartment complexes. Smaller complexes tend to hire consultants who can work on an on-call basis, or they tend to rely on real estate agents who can show multiple rental properties.

Salary

Most leasing consultants will make between $20 and $40 an hour. In many cases, leasing consultants will earn a small commission after they rent a unit.

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5. Foreclosure Specialist

Close-up shot of foreclosure contract.

When a property goes into foreclosure, typically, the bank that holds the mortgage must make sure to have all of their paperwork in order. This includes everything from ensuring that the mortgage holder is properly notified to completing the final paperwork in conjunction with the local courts.

Skill Set and Education Requirements

For many years, foreclosure specialists were only employed by large banks. Smaller banks would use independent contractors when they had a foreclosure come up. Many specialists had little to no training.

The housing crisis starting in 2008 changed that, however. During the crisis, many banks discovered that simply farming out these tasks to someone with little to no training could result in years of delays and millions of dollars of missed fees and payments. As a result, today foreclosure specialists must have several years of training or experience in the field of foreclosures before being given their own cases. 

Paralegals or other people with legal training are often sought after for these roles. Even with this type of training, however, expect to spend several years as an assistant before becoming a specialist.

Location

While foreclosure specialists are needed where a property goes into foreclosure, there are typically only full-time jobs available with large banks in big cities. Private contractors will usually fulfill these roles in smaller areas, but work can be sporadic.

Salary

Salaries for foreclosure specialists are highly dependent on where the specialist is working. Areas with higher costs of living will tend to pay significantly more than more rural areas. Salaries can range from $50,000 to over $100,000.

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6. Real Estate Attorney

Real estate contract with Real Estate Attorney.

Real estate attorneys can work in many different aspects of the real estate industry. Some will specialize in contracts, for example, helping to negotiate deals between buyers and sellers. Others deal only with disputes, helping to solve issues with boundaries and property rights.

Other lawyers will help clients who are trying to avoid foreclosure.

Skill Set and Education Requirements

Real estate attorneys will, of course, need to go to law school and pass a bar exam in their state. Because property law can be so complicated, many attorneys choose to only practice in a single state. After passing the bar exam, many real estate lawyers are able to start practicing right away, but they will often choose to work under a more experienced lawyer for several years before striking out on their own.

Location

Real estate attorneys are able to work just about anywhere, but most tend to work in larger cities that can provide access to a steadier stream of clientele.

Salary

Real estate lawyers will have a lot of variation in their salary, depending on the type of practice they run and the type and amount of clientele they bring in. While $200 an hour tends to be the base rate charged, it is not uncommon to hear of attorneys charging over $1000 an hour for their time.

7. Property Manager

Property Manager supervises the works.

Property managers will typically manage a portfolio of properties owned by multiple clients. They will typically help to control the issues that arise with renting out the properties. Typical duties include collecting rent, addressing problems with tenants, arranging for repairs and routine maintenance, and assisting with showings when a property in the portfolio needs to be rented out.

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Property managers often act as the “go-between” between the tenant and the property owner. This means dealing with both sides of disputes. Property managers will work with both residential and commercial clients, although they often tend to specialize in just one area.

 For example, a typical property manager may only take on storefront properties or condos.

Skill Set and Education Requirements

In some areas, property managers are required to have the same or similar training as a real estate agent, while in others they do not need any specialized training. It is important for a property manager to have knowledge of local laws concerning real estate, and extensive knowledge of all federal and state laws regarding tenant and landlord rights.

Location

Property managers are needed all over the world. They work in just about every area, large or small. In rural areas it is possible for a single property manager to have a wide range of territory spanning over several counties and towns, while in large cities it is not uncommon to find several property managers working in the same large skyscraper.

Salary

Most property managers take a small commission from the properties that they rent out. This means that private business owners have unlimited earning potential, but typical salaries range around $30,000 to $65,000 per year.

8. Automobile Sales

Car sales agent standing beside car.

If you ‘re looking for a job that uses a lot of the same skills sets as a real estate agent but you don’t want to deal with real estate, consider going into automotive sales. Demand for personal vehicles has sharply increased in recent years, and sales are only expected to continue to increase as more consumers trade in their gasoline-powered vehicles for newer electric ones.

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Skill Set and Education Requirements

There is no required education or training required for automotive sales people, but having a strong sales personality is an absolute must. Ideally, people applying for these jobs will already have a background in either sales or the automotive industry.

Location

Automotive sales are located just about everywhere, but an area has to have enough population to support a car dealership. The type of vehicles being sold will vary by location, however. Large trucks are more popular in rural areas, while luxury automotive sales are typically only found in large cities.

Salary

Pay for automotive salespeople is usually on a commission basis. That means pay is highly dependent on the area and the volume of sales made. Experienced sales people can earn in the low six figures, however.

9. Commercial Leasing Consultant

Top view document commercial lease.

Commercial leasing consultants or leasing agents often work for real estate holding copies that own a portfolio of commercial storefronts, warehouses, and similar properties. Their job is to find quality tenants for all of the units owned by the company. The job is a combination of advertising and marketing, direct sales, and customer service.

Skill Set and Education Required

Most states do not require any formal training in order to become a leasing agent. It is usually an entry-level job, and in many cases, the job is used as a stepping stone to eventually becoming a commercial real estate broker or investor. Nonetheless, a degree in Business Administration or Marketing can be an advantage.

Location

While leasing agents can work just about anywhere, there are more job opportunities in areas with a lot of commercial and industrial properties, particularly areas where these properties are owned by large corporations rather than just individual owners who tend to show properties and handle leasing on their own. Some smaller holding companies, however, will hire consultants who can work on an on-call basis.

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Salary

Most leasing consultants will make between $20 and $40 an hour. In many cases, leasing consultants will earn a small commission after they rent a unit.