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Entry-Level Positions in Real Estate

What type of entry-level jobs exist in Real Estate? 

Real estate offers career opportunities extending beyond the business of traditional real estate sales. Opportunities for employment exist in: commercial banks, savings and loan associations, insurance companies, mortgage banks, and private appraisal and consulting firms. Real estate building and subdividing organizations, property management firms, and brokerage offices also offer employment. Examples of entry-level real estate jobs include:

 

Residential Real Estate Agent
Description:

Entry-level residential real estate professionals typically work for a Real Estate Broker as a Real Estate Agent. Real Estate Agents help buyers and sellers in the process of selling or renting residential property. Some agents work with buyers, helping them find places to live and negotiate with sellers. Other agents work with the sellers.

Skill Requirements:

In order to sell real estate services you must be a licensed professional in the state where you do business. To become a realtor, all states require that you pass a written exam focused on real estate law and transactions, and that you're affiliated with a broker. Most states require that you have completed a minimum number of classroom hours. There are different organizations through which you can receive your classroom instruction, however the state government issues and oversees licenses. If you visit the National Association of Realtors website you can find information on licensing requirements and where you can take classes in your state. In addition to a license, real estate brokers typically look for individuals that have:

  • Self discipline
  • Quantitative and analytical skills
  • Well-developed verbal and written communication skills
  • Motivation and tenacity
Tasks:

Real estate agents perform a variety of tasks. These often include:

  • Matching what clients are looking for in a house with homes available in the marketplace

  • Selling a client's house in a timely manner at his or her asking price

  • Marketing homes for sale

  • Making networking calls and advertising for new clients

  • Organizing and facilitating home inspections

  • Serving as a liaison between the buyer and the seller
Education:

High School Diploma

Hours:

40 hrs/week (flexible, but weekends regularly required)

Salary:

Commission (negotiated on an agent by agent basis, however entry-level agents typically receive 50% of the brokers commission)

 

Commercial Real Estate Sales Associate
Description:

Commercial property brokerage offices use Sales Associates who market office buildings, hotels, and many other types of commercial real estate for third-party interests. Although there are generalists, commercial real estate sales people usually specialize in a particular property type such as apartments, retail, office buildings, hotels, shopping centers and industrial buildings.

Skill Requirements:

Sales associates must be licensed and have a sponsoring broker to conduct transactions. The salesperson license that a commercial broker holds is the same as the one residential agents use. If you visit the National Association of Realtors website you can find information on licensing requirements. In addition to a license, commercial brokers typically look for individuals that demonstrate:

  • Strong presentation skills
  • Self discipline
  • Quantitative and analytical skills
  • Well developed verbal and written communication skills
  • Motivation and tenacity
Tasks:

There are two different types of Commercial Real Estate Sales Associates: those that represent landlords and those that represent tenants. There is overlap in many of the tasks, which often include:

  • Representing companies and other corporate clients who are looking to lease or buy either a portion or an entire real estate asset.

  • Conducting ongoing prospecting for new business development. This often includes considerable cold calling and direct marketing (be prepared to do a lot of networking and anticipate a lot of internal competition).

Education:

BA, BS, BBA

Hours:

50 hrs per week

Salary:

Commission based

 

Commercial Real Estate - Junior Leasing Agent 
Description:

This position involves leasing space at a property for a third party company or a REIT. A leasing agent is employed by the owner as an intermediary to show and lease vacant space and negotiate leases for existing tenants waiting to renew.

Skill Requirements:

Leasing Agents must demonstrate:

  • Self discipline
  • An understanding of basic finance
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Motivation and tenacity
  • A gregarious, outgoing personality
Tasks:

Tasks of leasing agents often include:

  • Collecting data on the local market and presenting regularly to the owner or REIT
  • Remaining in regular contact with tenants and carefully monitoring lease expirations
  • Maintaining networking relationships with leasing reps within the local market
  • Marketing the building or space available for lease; this often includes entertaining prospective clients and tenants with breakfasts, golf outings, and related special events
  • Managing marketing and operations budgets
Education:

BA, BS, BBA

Hours:

40 hrs per week

Salary:

$26,000 + performance-based commission (can range from 5 - 15K)


Associate Investment Sales Broker 
Description:

Entry-level Associate Investment Sales Broker positions are typically the most difficult to obtain for recent undergraduates looking to enter real estate. This type of broker represents a real estate investor who is looking to buy, sell, or finance a real estate asset. Brokers are hired to provide strategic advice and market knowledge.

Skill Requirements:

Investment Sales Brokers must demonstrate:

  • An ability to develop sophisticated financial and asset valuation models
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Motivation and tenacity
  • Knowledge of marketing and sales strategies
  • An educational background in real estate or prior real estate experience (often a requirement)
Tasks:

Tasks of Associate Investment Sales Brokers often include:

  • Pitching presentations, entertaining, and endless number-crunching
  • Developing marketing materials that help facilitate the sale, purchase, or financing of a real estate asset; materials often include in-depth financial analyses, information about the local market, and detailed property information
  • Working within teams of associates to analyze data and prepare sales proposals and presentations
Education:

BA, BS, BBA

Hours:

50-60 hrs per week

Salary:

Commission based, but entry-level salary is usually between $60,000 - $90,000


Mortgage-Backed Securities Analyst 
Description:

Entry-level Mortgage-Backed Securities Analysts typically work for a third-party entity (Standard &Poor's or Fitch Ratings) that is responsible for rating the mortgage debt being sold or purchased. They work within a team to assign a debt rating to a pool of mortgage-backed securities.

Skill Requirements:

Mortgage-Backed Securities Analysts must demonstrate:

  • An ability to develop sophisticated financial and asset valuation models
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • An educational background in real estate or finance
Tasks:

Tasks of Mortgage-Backed Securities Analysts often include:

  • Data entry, financial analysis, and financial modeling (must be comfortable working in Excel)
  • Working within teams of associates to analyze data and prepare analyses to present to upper-level management
  • Heads-down number crunching
Education:

BA, BS, BBA

Hours:

50 hrs per week

Salary:

$40-45,000


Real Estate Appraiser
Description:

Real Estate Appraisers provide unbiased third-party estimates of a property's value. Appraisers are typically employed with full-service real estate firms, banks, or appraisal firms. Specific information about becoming a Real Estate Appraiser can be obtained at the Appraisal Foundation website. Undergraduates hired prior to earning a license typically begin their career in a market research role.


Skill Requirements:

To perform a real estate appraisal, an appraiser must be a licensed professional. Each state has its own appraiser regulatory program, which must be completed to become a licensed professional. There are three levels of certification: Associate Appraiser, Certified Residential Appraiser, and Certified General Appraiser. In addition to licensure, many banks that hire appraisers require their appraisers to be designated professionals. The process to become a Designated Professional is time consuming, difficult, and unlike licensure, requires a college education. Further information about licensure and becoming a Designated Professional can be obtained at the Appraisal Institute. In addition to certifications, Real Estate Appraisers must demonstrate:

  • A basic understanding of finance
  • Knowledge valuing real estate
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
Tasks:

Tasks of entry-level Real Estate Appraisers often include:

  • Developing detailed reports (reports that often become monotonous)
  • Gathering market information for senior appraisers
  • Writing reports that explain conclusions to a client
  • Conducting research for housing information via the internet and proprietary databases
Education:

High School Diploma

Hours:

40-50 hrs per week

Salary:

$35-40,000 in market research; $50,000 w/license


Real Estate Development Analyst

Description
:

A Real Estate Developer may be an individual, but is more often a partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation that develops (through construction) a piece of property. Entry-level hires typically begin their careers working as Analysts.

Skill Requirements:

Real Estate Development Analysts must be outgoing and aggressive. Many real estate developers maintain lean workforces, so opportunities are scarce. In order to break into the profession, undergraduates must demonstrate:

  • A solid understanding of finance
  • Knowledge valuing real estate
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience working with spreadsheet software such as Excel
Tasks:

Tasks of entry-level analysts often include:

  • Creating and reworking spreadsheets that examine returns on investment (ROI) for the developer
  • Tracking debt payments and returns to equity partners
  • Constructing If/Then scenarios to determine ongoing impacts to the developer and their respective equity partners
  • Conducting market research and comparable project analysis
Education:

BA, BS, BBA

Hours:

40-50 hrs per week

Salary:

$40-50,000