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Real Estate

Guide to the Real Estate Profession

The real estate profession has a vast array of types of real estate, types of jobs in real estate and ways to get started in real estate business. The following guide is designed to help individuals who are considering a real estate profession to determine if the profession is right for them and what type of real estate profession they want to pursue. This guide will discuss the types of real estate jobs, the education required for the real estate jobs, benefits of particular real estate jobs and how to find a real estate job. This guide will also discuss the options of starting your own real estate business and the concept of flipping real estate.

Types of Real Estate Jobs

There are several types of real estate jobs available for individuals who are seeking a career in the real estate profession. The following are the main types and most common types of real estate jobs available to individuals with a real estate background or who are considering a real estate education.


A realtor is the most common form of real estate job. A realtor has attended a real estate school and has the real estate license. Realtors sell real estate and handle the real estate process for individuals who are selling their homes or who are buying their homes. Realtors tend to either have their own business or work for major companies such as RE/MAX.

Property Appraiser

A property appraiser is someone who assesses the value of a property based on the acreage, building, additions and improvements that have been made to the acreage in building. The overall property is assessed and the amount the appraiser assesses the property at is used to determine how much the house can sell for. A property appraiser may work for a real estate company, independently or for a County appraiser's office. The county appraiser's office tends to appraise property for not only real estate purposes and sales purposes but also for tax purposes and real estate insurance purposes.

Real Estate Investigator

A real estate investigator is a real estate professional who has a strong background in property appraisal and in real estate overall. A real estate investigator may be hired by a claims company, insurance company or by a realtor to go in and determine the value of a real estate property or if any damage or liens have been placed on the property. For example, if someone is trying to sell a home and they refuse to let the home be viewed without certain paperwork or they have certain stipulations that seem odd to a real estate or relocating company a real estate investigator may be hired to determine if there are liens on the property that a real estate agent should know about or that a potential buyer should know about. Real estate investigators also investigate previously appraised values of homes and if the home is safe for sale. A real estate investor there may also be used in cases where houses are being foreclosed on to determine the amount a house can sell for or the worth of the home for a bank.

Flipping Homes

Flipping a home is a common phrase that many people understand in regards to real estate. The reason that flipping houses become so popular is due to shows on reality television such as Flipping Out. The shows tend to showcase real estate developers and professionals who buy homes and flip them for higher costs. The following is a brief description of what goes into flipping a home and how this can be a lucrative business for someone entering the real estate profession.

Lucrative Business

For someone with the right background, flipping a home can be a very lucrative real estate business. The general concept is that a real estate professional or someone with a small amount of real estate background will purchase a home at a low rate. These homes can be purchased through foreclosures, quick sales and auctions. Usually the homes are purchased based on research on abandoned properties. A real estate professional or someone looking to start a lucrative business in flipping homes will look on the real estate roles for the County and find abandoned properties. These properties can be purchased for low amounts of money or on auction.

The Process

Once an individual finds the home they want to flip they will purchase the home and begin the flipping process. This process generally starts with an overview of the home to determine what needs to be done to the home. In some cases the home merely needs updated material such as new flooring, new wallpaper, new carpeting and new appliances. However, for older homes or homes that have been massively damaged by previous owners the beginning process may be more difficult. Real estate assessors are brought in to determine electrical needs, planning needs and foundation needs. This will allow the individual who has purchased a home to have a better view of what needs to be done.

The next step in the process is to take what needs to be done and find the least expensive method to do that. Most individuals who flip homes have a strong contracting background, plumbing background or some other form of home construction background. They may also have solid networking with individuals who are in these industries. They will use their networking in their experience to update plumbing, wiring, foundation work and work throughout the home at the least expensive rate possible.

When the house is been brought up to code and a new assessment has been done by a real estate or property appraiser, the house will then be sold on the market for a much higher value than it was bought for. Some of the most successful people in flipping homes tend to buy the house below a $30,000 cost and resell the house for over $100,000. The profit comes in after the cost for the home and the cost for the upgrades has been made. Most individuals who choose to flip homes for a real estate profession will find their profit per home to be between $30,000 and upwards of $100,000 depending on the upgrades made to the home, the investment on the home and how much they have to pay the workers who helped to flip the home. It should be noted that most individuals who go in to house looking as a real estate profession option will tend to have several houses on the market at once rather than one of the time.

Education Requirements for Real Estate Professions

The educational requirements for real estate professions tend to differ greatly depending on the type of job the individual is looking for. The following are some educational requirements for the basic types of real estate professions.

Real Estate Sales

A real estate sales professional may have only real estate salesman training behind them. Real estate agencies offer real estate schools throughout the year through most of their offices. Someone looking to get into the real estate profession will need to go to real estate school. Real estate schools to last between two weeks and six months depending on the type of real estate school the individual chooses. Most schools last less than a month. Real estate schools tend to cost between $500 and $1000 and cover all of the training including the licensing for the real estate professional. At the end of a real estate course, the individual will need to sit for the state real estate exam and pass the exam in order to be a real estate sales agent. In most cases if a company such as Re/Max offers a real estate sales position or offers a position in the real estate school they will tend to offer a job with the company following graduation and receiving the real estate license. If you are looking for a position in real estate sales, the best option is to receive your education for same place you plan on working. This generally offers a discount and it also offers a guaranteed position once you receive your real estate license.

Property Appraisal

Education for a property appraiser tends to vary depending on the state or county the individual is in. For example, in Florida a property appraiser will gain their education through working for a property appraisal office. Each office is run differently, however the generalized education is done in stages and a property appraiser will have their employees attend different classes at different levels of appraising. There are several levels of property appraisal certification that are required. Other property appraisers may attend a property appraisal school either online or through community college.

Miscellaneous Real Estate Training

Depending on the type of real estate profession you choose, the educational requirements can differ vastly. Real estate sales and property appraisal have already been discussed as far as their educational requirements. However, there are several real estate professions that require little to no real estate training or on-the-job training. Depending on the type of real estate you want to go into you will need to do some fact checking for your state to determine if your state requires particular training or if training can be done on the job. You can check with your local real estate board for your state or county to determine what training is necessary for the type of profession in real estate you want to go into.

Staring a Real Estate Company

You may find after several years of working in real estate that you do not want to work with a real estate company such as Re/Max. You may decide you want to open your own real estate company. There are several advantages to opening your own real estate company. Before discussing the advantages of your own real estate company we should first discuss how to start your real estate company. The following is a list of ways to start your own real estate company.

Real Estate Broker

Being a real estate agent is not enough. The real estate agent certification or licensing allows you to sell real estate you will need a broker to handle the vast majority of the real estate transactions. A real estate broker may be someone you will need to hire or you may already have your brokerage license. If you are to have your real estate brokerage license then this is a step you can skip. However, if you do not have a real estate broker's license and do not want to receive a real estate brokerage license then you can hire a real estate broker to handle the aspects of the real estate that you do not want to handle.

Independent or Dependent

The second step in starting a real estate company is to determine if you want to remain an independent real estate company or if you want to be dependent on a corporation. Independent and Corporation mean that you own a franchise company such as RE/MAX, Century 21 or other real estate company. This means that you are under the rules and regulations of that real estate franchise and that a portion of your funds goes to that franchise. If you are an independent real estate company then you are in charge of your own timelines, regulations and adhere only to the state or local laws regarding real estate.


The licensing step of starting a real estate company is vital. Depending on several aspects you may be required to obtain a few licenses or several licenses. The most important licensing you will need to obtain beyond your real estate licenses and real estate sales licenses are the business licenses themselves. Depending on the state or county that you live in this is licensing may require a simple incorporation or they may require that you have other licensing depending on your company. You will need to check with your business and tax office in your local county and with the state in order to start the licensing process. You also need to check with your real estate board in order to determine that you have the proper licensing and how to obtain further licensing of necessary. Without the proper licensing, a real estate broker and a determination if you are independent or working with a franchise you will be unable to move further in the process of starting your own real estate company.

Finding Clients

Finding clients is the last step in starting your own real estate company. You will need to find clients that are ready to work with the new real estate broker. The best way to go about this is to join your local real estate agency corporation, organization or your board of realtors. By joining the board of realtors and by making a name for yourself in the local community will be able to find clients easily. This is where the benefit of working with a franchise comes in. If you work with a franchise you already have a name behind you and will not have to worry about building your name so quickly. With a name like RE/MAX or other well-known real estate corporation you will be able to find clients fairly easily especially in areas that do not already have a franchise location.

Another way to find clients is to put ads in places such as Craigslist or local classified ads. Remember, that finding clients may not be the easiest aspect of starting your own real estate business. You may have to work with companies that you do not want to work with or may have to work with other real estate agents in order to determine a client base and to build your client base. Starting your own real estate company is a goal that most people do not reach for until after they had already made connections, networking and have built a client base with a solid history. If you are just starting out starting your own real estate company may be an endeavor that you want to hold off on. You can also start with flipping houses in an effort to create a client base.


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