Top 5 Best Jobs In The Real Estate Industry

Top 5 Best Jobs In The Real Estate Industry

When someone says, “I work in real estate,” the images of Realtors showing clients listings, open house events and for-sale signs are conjured in the bystanders mind. But there are so many more jobs, and even side-hustles (extra work taken on to supplement one’s income) in the real estate sector, outside of being a real estate agent.

Below are five real estate jobs that are worth looking into if you’re thinking of a career in real estate, or if you already have one and would like to make a little extra coin on the side.

Top 5 Real Estate Jobs

Including insides sales agents, administrative, assistants, working on a team, teaching real estate classes, BPOs and more, there are a lot of options out there, but here are our top five picks.

1. Short sales

Only a real estate agent who is well-versed in short sales can navigate these complex transactions. A short sale agent will help homeowners negotiate with the lender holding the current mortgage on the property over the amount of money it’s willing to lose on the short sale, before the home goes on the market.

Some lenders would rather foreclose on a property than allow a short sale. If the bank makes more money between the private mortgage insurance payout and selling the foreclosed home itself, sellers might be out of luck.

A seasoned short-sale agent will have worked with the owners’ lender on previous short sales, which will give him or her insider knowledge on how to best convince the mortgage company that short selling the home is the best option for everyone.

The initial negotiations require a short sale package that shows the owners are unable to pay their mortgage, including a hardship letter and financial records, all of which will be shared with the agent, who must be deemed trustworthy by the sellers.

If you enjoy helping sellers do what’s best for them, you might find short sales to be rather rewarding.

2. Probate

Unless the dearly departed made arrangements to avoid probate, most assets of the deceased will go through the probate process.

An agent will help in these situations by using the proper probate contracts, listing the home as a probate property and making disclosures specific to probate. If not done properly by the time of the hearing, the probate process can drag out six to nine months longer.

A probate agent would list the house at a price that can’t be below 90 percent of its fair market value. The probate agent would also make sure everything is in line to meets the court’s regulations, as to not hold up the already lengthy process.

If helping families, who are dealing with the loss of a loved one, navigate these murky waters, probate might be the place for you.

3. Investing

With all the buzz about fixing and flipping on TV shows like “Flip or Flop,” investing might be the most popular option. Agents who invest are their own bosses, and they get to call the shots and reap the rewards (or swallow the failure).

There are several ways to invest:

  • Buy-and-hold: When you purchase a buy-and-hold investment, you’re looking for a place with the potential to appreciate over time. You have the capacity to hold onto it until the market value is high enough to sell for a profit. Here are a few things to consider with buy-and-hold investments.
  • Fix-and-flip: As the name suggests, a fix-and-flip property is a shorter-term project. The investor buys a home inexpensively, gives it a makeover and updates it, and then turns around and sells the home for a profit.
  • Investment property: Simple as it sounds, this is when an investor buys a property and rents it out to tenants for passive income.

There are plenty of alternative models popping up all the time such as REITs and crowdsourced investing. One thing we recommend is working with a mentor who has done whatever you would like to do investment-wise to help you learn the ropes of investing.5. Property management

4. Property management

Property management is an excellent way to make a living or supplement your real estate agent income. Property managers get 8 percent to 12 percent of the gross monthly rent plus other fees for things like finding tenants.

Most states require a broker’s license, but some require no licensing at all. To look at property management laws by state, click here.

5. Wholesaling

A real estate wholesaler essentially gets paid to bring a buyer to sellers. That’s seemingly what real estate agents do anyway, right? But wholesaling properties is slightly different than working with active listings.

Brandon Jones gives this illustration in an Inman article:

I’ll explain by example: Let’s say you meet John who wants to sell his home quickly, and he doesn’t want to pay any real estate commission or wait for his property to sell on the open market. He wants a cash buyer and a quick sale.

You offer to purchase John’s property for $40,000 cash and close in 30 days. John agrees, and you both sign a contract.

However, you’re not actually the buyer.

You go out tell your real estate investor buddy Dave about John’s property, and Dave agrees to buy it for $43,000. At closing, John sells his house to Dave, and you make $3,000. That’s wholesaling in a nutshell.

This can be an excellent way to make money with off-market properties. You can find wholesale deals through expired MLS listings, bandit sign marketing or checking FSBO listings on Craigslist. But carefully research your state’s wholesaling laws before you get started.


Whether you decide to go the traditional route of selling residential real estate or chose one of these options, you’ll have the added bonus of gratification when helping out the buyers and sellers who need you most.

Dani Vanderboegh is a senior editor for Inman, a leading news source for real estate agents and brokers. She has a master’s degree in editing from the Missouri School of Journalism.

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  • April 15, 2021