Alternative Jobs For Real Estate Agents (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Dec. 28, 2020

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Most people assume that getting a real estate license is done to pursue a career as a real estate agent. In the United States, there are about two million people who have real estate licenses. However, many of these individuals use these certifications to go after careers that don’t involve becoming agents.

The Requirements for a Real Estate License

Becoming licensed in real estate is a long process that can vary depending on what state you live in. You need at least a high school diploma and be over the age of 18 before enrolling in a real estate certification course.

Participants go through course curriculum requirements and must complete a certain number of hours before becoming eligible to take the real estate licensing exam. Individuals must pass the licensing exam with a satisfactory score determined by their state before they begin working.

It can take up to six months before becoming licensed in real estate after initiating the process.

Why People Don’t Become Real Estate Agents After Getting Licensed

The cold, hard truth about becoming a real estate agent as a career path is that there’s a huge amount of established competition. Selling and buying a house is a huge decision that can affect a person’s life for years to come.

This is why they only want to work with a trusted professional to help them sell their house. Many people get a real estate license to become agents, only to be disillusioned once they’ve entered the profession because of how difficult it is to build a trusted brand or get clients.

While this sounds like a bleak reality for the two million license holders, you can still take a litany of alternative career paths with a real estate license.

Alternative Career Paths for Real Estate Agents

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  1. Tax Assessor. A tax assessor’s job in real estate is to determine the values of properties for the county. Based on various factors associated with the home, such as size, damage, and location, they arrive at a property value. These figures are used to establish a valid tax rate.

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    Qualifications. In addition to a degree in real estate, this position usually requires additional licensing for property appraisal.

    Average Yearly Salary: $49,000

  2. Real Estate Broker. While the terms real estate agent and broker are often used interchangeably, they represent different career paths and responsibilities.

    While both phrases refer to a professional who facilitates the buying and selling of a home to receive a commission, a broker handles more technical tasks of the matter, such as estimating home value and managing offers. They usually have more experience than real estate agents and sometimes even start their own brokerages.

    Qualifications. On top of receiving a real estate license and working in the field for a specified amount of years varying by state, individuals are also required to pass a broker’s licensing process and exam.

    Average Yearly Salary: $79,000

  3. Commercial Appraiser. A commercial appraiser’s responsibilities include determining how much money business properties are worth, inspecting, and doing administrative tasks. It’s a job that takes a lot of learning as you go, but it can turn into a profitable career.

    Qualifications. There are many hoops to jump through before being considered qualified as a commercial appraiser. Usually, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, coursework hours, and 3,000 hours of supervised work.

    Average Yearly Salary: $80,000

  4. Property Manager. Stepping in as a property manager is an excellent option for people who still want to handle residential living situations and put their real estate license to use but don’t want to be agents. A property manager takes care of a rental location in all the facets that it may need. This includes tasks such as filling vacancies and maintaining the cleanliness of the premises.

    Managing a property takes a lot of effort, but it also has some impressive benefits, such as a flexible workweek and spending your time helping people in their homes.

    Qualifications. The requirements for being a property manager can differ depending on the company who you are employed with. Some properties employ people with as little as a high school diploma, and other places require a bachelor’s degree in business.

    While having a real estate degree is not necessarily needed, it’ll improve your chances of landing a job as a property manager.

    Average Yearly Salary: $60,000

  5. Property Inspector. Imagine a tenant is living happily in their apartment until one day a piece of roof falls on their head, and they sue the building, presenting a significant issue for the owners of the complex. This is one of many scenarios that a property inspector’s services are used to avoid. They handle inspections on behalf of the state or county to ensure that apartment buildings are maintaining safe conditions.

    A property inspector’s job requires a keen eye for detail, an in-depth knowledge of safety regulations, and the ability to complete administrative paperwork detailing their findings.

    Qualifications. Most states require that individuals achieve a postsecondary degree in a study related to construction or building technology. Before beginning work as a property inspector individually, you must be certified and have at least two years of work experience.

    Average Yearly Salary: $58,000

  6. Real Estate Investor. Being a real estate investor is a broad term for someone who has extensive knowledge of the industry and wants to be involved in the finance aspect, rather than selling homes to other people.

    Real estate investors buy and flip houses for a major profit or buy homes to rent out. Either way, this job focuses more on the house aspect than the buyer, which can be intriguing for people who enjoy the analytics of real estate but not the customer service aspect.

    Qualifications. Technically, all someone needs to become a real estate investor is the cash to back up their investment. However, going into this career without any knowledge of real estate, sales, or construction often turns out to be a big waste of money. Most successful real estate investors are licensed, and about half have a bachelor’s degree.

    Average Yearly Salary: $100,000

  7. Home Staging. When people are touring homes that they’re considering buying, it’s often the flawless placement and staging techniques that allow them to see the empty building as a livable space.

    A stager sets up homes on the market based on an analysis of the space to supply trendy furnishings and decorate otherwise empty rooms.

    Qualifications. There is no specific licensing that you must complete before becoming a home stager. Many people who choose to go down this career path still have a real estate license or a degree in a field related to interior design.

    Average Yearly Salary: $48,000

  8. Real Estate Teacher. If you thoroughly enjoy the subject matter that comes with real estate, but you aren’t finding success in being a real estate agent, then teaching classes in the discipline may be the perfect alternative. A real estate teacher can either formally train individuals preparing to take their real estate licensing exam or create their own courses through online platforms.

    Going the traditional route of teaching real estate students in preparation for the licensing exam may pay slightly better, but formulating an online course supplies more flexibility to the teacher.

    Qualifications. Most formal real estate teachers have a bachelor’s degree, coupled with some experience in real estate and teaching. However, making an online course can be done by anyone with the knowledge to do so.

    Average Yearly Salary: $70,000

  9. Foreclosure Specialist. According to federal regulations, the job of a foreclosure specialist is to oversee all aspects that go along with the foreclosure process. Some of the average duties that people who work as foreclosure specialists do are document preparation and record gathering.

    The foreclosure process is a tough thing to witness on a daily basis, but it awards professionals invested in the field a lucrative career.

    Qualifications. Individuals who work as foreclosure specialists must have a high school degree, at minimum, and a few years of experience working in the field. Additionally, most foreclosure specialists are required to complete real estate licensing and learn about foreclosure laws.

    Average Yearly Salary: $45,000

  10. Leasing Consultant. The bridge between a landlord and a potential tenant is the leasing consultant. A leasing consultant’s responsibilities are assisting individuals in the viewing and leasing process of renting an apartment.

    Becoming a leasing consultant is an excellent option for individuals with a real estate license who thrive in a sales environment, but don’t want to deal with the intense competition associated with selling homes.

    Qualifications. While it’s not required, it is recommended that individuals looking to pursue a career as a leasing consultant have an associate or bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field. Most companies hiring for leasing consultant positions will also want candidates with at least a few years of experience and stellar communication skills.

    Average Yearly Salary: $30,000

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Chris Kolmar

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Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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