Categorized | Job Hunting

Real Estate Job Opportunities

Posted on 13 June 2009

Real estate jobs offer real commitments, real rewards.

The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates over and over, virtually guaranteeing record numbers for real estate transactions. With the strong housing market comes increased opportunity for real estate professionals. Total home sales are projected to top the 5 million mark this year–the second-highest tally on record–says David Lereah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. New home sales are projected to go over 900,000.

Those wanting a piece of the real estate pie can gauge their potential for success with one word: commitment.

Feeling at Home in Real Estate

Can I work seven days a week if necessary? Can I work for a year with no income? Ask yourself questions like these, advises Barbara Lach, president of the Columbus, OH, Board of Realtors. “Real estate doesn’t work well as a hobby. You won’t be informed if you only work weekends. Your buyer won’t have the same advantages,” says Lach.

When someone needs a realtor, they’re going to call the person right in front of them.

Patience and a financial cushion are vital, considering it may take three to five years to become established. “You must have an income to sustain you until you get some commissions under your belt,” Lach adds. “You’ve got to have the money to advertise your listings. You have dues to pay, classes to take. There are designations you can work toward, and they all take money. The commitment needs to be there.”

Full-time Realtor Shirley Meuser went into real estate after her family sold its sausage business in 1996. Fortunately, she had the time and the savings to commit. “The different aspects of real estate keep it interesting,” Meuser says. “You learn about restored homes and new builds; you meet different affiliates and business associates.”

Lach agrees: “I enjoy the people, the challenge of doing a good job, knowing what goes on in my community, and reading the newspaper every day. We’re challenged by what’s going on, what laws are changing. It’s very stimulating.”

Get Your Foot in the Door

real estate Real Estate Job OpportunitiesLicensing is required for a job as a real estate agent. Requirements vary nationwide, but all states require passing a written exam. The local board of realtors or state division of real estate can provide information about requirements. A college background isn’t necessary, but it may be helpful. Liberal arts students, for instance, will find that their reading and writing skills are beneficial.

A former nurse, Lach has now worked in real estate for 21 years. “There are a lot of people who have changed careers and entered jobs in real estate. There are a lot of nurses and teachers in our industry. I think they were skilled at dealing with people and the concerns people have.”

Making a Name for Yourself

“A lot of it is marketing,” says Meuser, who’s no stranger to distributing personalized magnets, calendars, and direct mail. She also uses a slogan (“The Name You Know; The Name You Trust”) that pays tribute to her family’s former business, which operated for nearly half a century.

Lach’s face and phone number grace an advertisement on a grocery cart. “You have to find ways to set yourself apart,” she says. “When someone needs a realtor, they’re going to call the person right in front of them. You have to make yourself known.”

Beyond Picket Fences

If helping the Joneses relocate doesn’t sound appealing, there are other specialties. Commercial brokers, for example, help clients buy and sell apartment and office buildings, retail stores, warehouses, shopping centers and industrial parks. Industrial and office brokers handle property used for industry or manufacturing. Land brokers deal in land for farming and acquisition of rural land by cities for development.

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, predicts jobs for real estate brokers will increase 13.5 percent by 2009 and openings for sales agents will increase by 9 percent by 2009. Realtor magazine’s annual income and expense survey showed that the typical respondent–a full-time practitioner in his or her early 50s, with some college education–earned a median income of $50,000 and an average income of $69,910. Annual incomes in 2000 ranged from zero to $800,000, the survey found.

The competitive real estate field is ultimately built on relationships–and relationships take time. “If you’re committed,” Lach says, “it’s a wonderful career. I haven’t looked back.”

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