Real Estate Professions

Guest Blog By CU Boulder University Student Scott Rahe

Scott Rahe is currently a senior at the Leeds School of Business in Boulder, Colorado. He is graduating with a degree in finance.  He is also looking to get into a real estate profession once he graduates. The following blog details some of the different real estate professions available to the public. There are many different career paths available in the real estate market. These real estate professions include becoming a commercial broker, residential broker, property manager, or even a mortgage broker. Although there are many other real estate professions available in the market, these four are viewed as some of the more popular career paths.

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Meet the neighbors at my office. These geese think they own the place and frequently block traffic


Commercial Broker

One of the highest generating real estate professions would be to begin a career as a commercial broker. However, there are some different barriers to entry to the commercial side that are not present in residential that agents must take into consideration. Many agents believe it is a good idea to have a year’s income in reserve to help combat these issues. Unlike residential real estate professions, a commercial real estate agent can’t count on a fast start by depending on working with friends and relatives. Unless your sphere of influence is made up of mostly business people, it’s likely that a start in commercial real estate will be a gradual one.

The commercial broker also deals with a different type of client. The typical client isn’t as emotionally involved in the process as a residential client. This means clients will be much more analytical in finding their real estate, looking for the right deal in the right market. Even though there are high barriers to entry into this profession, commercial real estate can be very lucrative. In order for a commercial real estate agent to be successful, they must be willing to work hard, be aggressive, and must be competent in the specific skills needed for the profession.

Residential Realtor

If someone wishes to become a realtor, but does not have the extra income required to gain entry to the commercial market, one might consider another quality real estate profession, becoming a residential real estate specialist. Residential Realtors work in close proximity with their clients in order to find housing possibilities. The sphere of influence for a residential specialist often consists of more people they view as emotional buyers.

Instead of looking for a prime deal of a new piece of real estate, residential buyers are looking for a home in which they feel a connection or emotional attachment. However, there are some steps you must take before considering a career as a residential specialist. The steps include:

1. All brokers must be at least 18 years of age
2. Register for 168 hours of required education through the state
3. Fingerprinting and background check
4. Complete required education
5. Register for and take the Broker Licensing Exam
6. Find a sponsoring broker

Property Management

However, there are real estate professions that don’t require you to act as a realtor.  One of these examples would be a profession in property management. This profession is responsible for maintaining the condition of the property when tenants reside. The four main responsibilities of the property manger include:

1. Understanding the operating expenses and budget of the facility. Once these are determined, they are able to set appropriate rental rates to combat the operating expense and budgeting. These rental rates are also balanced with the current market rates of the time.
2. Find tenants for available units and maintain tenant satisfaction.
3. The property manager also must manage the physical structures of the building. This includes landscaping, plumbing, roofing, electrical, and any other day-to-day problems that may occur on the property.
4. Keeping meticulous records of all events that occur on the property. Accurate record keeping is vital to a property manager especially in terms of accounting and taxes.

Mortgage Broker

Another real estate profession available is a career as a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker is a licensed professional who acts as a middleman between borrower’s and lenders. Banks have used brokers to outsource the hassles of working with borrowers. There are 7 main tasks that every mortgage broker must go through in working with a new customer. These steps include:

1. Marketing to attract new clients
2. Taking a mortgage application from any new clients
3. Gathering all needed documents such as pay stubs and bank statements
4. Walking clients through legal disclosures
5. Pulling, studying, and fully understanding the clients credit reports
6. Shopping for a mortgage that fits all the clients needs
7. Processing the loan once the clients have approval

More real estate professions

An appraiser’s job is to guarantee the value for a property.  This may be in regards to a mortgage or directly for an owner looking to establish a value above and beyond the market analysis a Realtor can provide.   An option for hopeful new brokers becoming a Realtor is to be a Licensed Assistant to an existing real estate professional to start.  This is a great way to get immediately involved in your new career and have a mentor to guide you early on in your new real estate professions career.  Title offices are a great spot to meet Realtors and see transactions.   And real estate attorneys are a big part of transactions too.

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