Real Estate Careers for Beginners

12 Replies

Hello Everyone,

I am new to bigger pockets and have recently graduated with a BA in Human Development from Washington State University and I have recently relocated back to Las Vegas where I am originally from and have always had a passion for real estate. I was not a huge fan of school but decided to complete my education because of the financial assistance and the opportunity to obtain a degree with no debt.

Similar to many biggerpocket contributors, my long term goal is to build a strong portfolio of properties which lead to financial freedom.

With this being said, I am currently interested in finding a career within the real estate industry which will provide me with knowledge and a strong opportunity for a high income.

As I have read on many forums, it seems to be beneficial to become an agent but my question is:

  1. Which real estate job/position will allow me to earn a consistent income at first, in addition to gain knowledge on the job to save some money for the startup cost (education, license, marketing, etc.) of becoming an agent before diving in full-time as an agent?
  2. Will it be beneficial to work part-time as an agent alongside my job for 6 months to 1 year to gain some experience before diving in full-time? What is the most efficient way to transition from a part-time agent to full-time?

Hi Aqeel,

I am doing the same thing.  Decided to go the Real Estate License route in order to work with a team that I can learn from.  The advise I have received so far is that you get what you put into it.  If you go full time on this you will do well and improve year over year. If you this part-time maybe not as much. 

Good luck on your journey!

@Aqeel Muhammad First off, congratulations on graduating.  Secondly, I would suggest you think about going about this slightly differently.  I am not an agent nor do I work in the real estate industry however,  I am a real estate investor.  

I would suggest that you look at getting the best job (regardless of industry) and use that to generate a good income by which to build your financial reserves from which to invest.  There are many resources like BiggerPockets that you can utilize to gain and grow your knowledge and skills.  Your learning does not have to come from specifically working in the industry.  You can also get your RE license while working a full time job.  This will allow you to grow your real estate investing as a side hustle.

Best of luck in all your investing.


@Aqeel Muhammad

As @John Barrett stated, having a solid W2 job will pay dividends near term. Will you be making as much as a rockstar RE agent or MLO? Definitely not. What you will have is a dependable source of income you can borrow against to get your first few properties. If you play your cards right, keep your over head super low, and save; you’ll be able to take your MLO or RE exam and transition more seamlessly after you have a few rentals paying the bills.

Hope this helps!

I couldn’t agree more with @Joshua Baker and @John Barrett . You can learn anything you want, and you can meet anyone you want. Get a job that interests you and allows you to build investable capital, and in the mean time build your network and education. Meet agents, investors, lenders, wholesalers, anyone you can. Read books, listen to podcasts, talk to people with experienced anything you can to gain knowledge. Combine all that and you’ve got a sweet recipe for success

Thank you all for the great advise!

@Jose L Torres My plan would've been to give myself a 6 month to 12 month window to learn as much as possible before transitioning into the industry full time. After talking to a few local agents I have definitely learned that it is not a part time kind of business and it will take lots of effort and persistence to succeed. Do you believe working as a part time agent with the intent to become a full time agent within a 6 - 12 month period of time be a good idea?

@John Barrett & @Joshua Baker  Thank you guys for bringing up the idea of taking another route! When it comes to building a portfolio from the ground up, how is having a strong w2 income in comparison to a 1099 income more beneficial for investing ? In other words, will a w2 income make the process of getting loans for investment properties easier than a 1099 income?

Aqeel Muhammad 


@Patrick Menefee Thank you for your response also! I definitely plan to start finding more local individuals who are currently active and building relationships with these individuals to learn as much as possible. In addition, I plan to contribute more to bigger pocket forums as a beginner to gain a solid foundation of knowledge.

@Aqeel Muhammad I do suggest you have a full time position earning a decent income while doing part time real estate agent on the side as there are a lot of expenses to being an agent. I started as an administrative assistant to appraisers at an appraisal firm here. From there I learned to write an appraisal and calculate as is or arv. I also had free access to the mls and networked with lots of agents, appraisers, and lenders. Im now the business manager for the appraisal firm but I have my real estate license on the side and owe a lot of my knowledge in investing to the appraisers.

@Aqeel Muhammad I have definitely found having a solid W2 job has made investing in real estate easier. Specifically with regards to getting conventional financing.

There are many creative financing methods as well but I see starting with a low down payment option on an owner occupied property as the easiest entry point into real estate. Combining this with a house hacking or starting with a small multifamily could allow you to lower your monthly expenses and boost your saving for investing.

Having stability in your personal and financial life will allow you the flexibility to work on things you are passionate about. Life’s a journey and there are many ways to get to where you want to be. This is but one of the options available to you.


@Account Closed Thank you once again John for such an insightful response. House hacking and utilizing an owner occupied property for my first investment sounds like a great idea and I will definitely start working on gaining more knowledge on how to successfully execute a house hack after getting a solid income established. 

@Aqeel Muhammad

You could work in the planning dept for your county, join the zoning board, get a job at a development firm, county legislature. So on. There are plenty of jobs relating to real estate that pay a steady wage.

Being an agent requires all of your time, energy and money. Great if you’re looking to start a sales business, kinda great if you want to be an investor but a total waste of your resources if you don’t plan on selling houses.

Hi @Aqeel Muhammad ....welcome to BP and congrat on your degree!  There are some other considerations to take int account for your question.  Some of them concern the local market; your skill strengths; and your overall goal in real estate.  Best of luck to you.