I am a senior at The University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Economics. I am due to graduate in the spring of 2020 and thus have begun looking for a full-time position. I have taken several real estate classes here and feel I have a good grasp of basic concepts and financing.
I know that I want to get into real estate as that is what I am most passionate about, however, there seems to be a small market for entry-level positions that don’t involve underwriting, the credit markets, or real estate sales. I am looking to be hands on and involved in the decision making process so I can learn more about real estate and it’s intricacies.
I have been reading through Bigger Pockets forums and listened to the podcasts, however, everything seems to be aimed at individuals who already have a career and are looking to invest. Although I would love to invest at some point in the future, I feel I would benefit by first engaging in the field and gaining first hand knowledge.
I would love to begin networking with the Bigger Podcast community and to hear your thoughts about my concerns.
Something I would love some feedback on include:
- What career opportunities exist outside of large corporations? ie. underwriting and the credit industry
- Should I aim to position myself in regions where real estate is likely to grow in the near future?
- How can one be successful in finding a job with little first hand experience? (I know a lot about real estate, but it’s hard to prove that)
- Any input is appreciated!
One profession in real estate is a real estate appraiser. You can also do architectural work or civil engineering. There's also urban planning. Those careers may not be up your alley, but they are in real estate. Otherwise, you're going to be looking at something in finance, being an agent/broker, working at a property management company or for a developer.
Thanks for your reply James!
I would be most interested in appraising, urban planning, or working for a developer. Would a general economics degree qualify me for any of these positions? Also, what role would I take on if I chose to work for a developer?
The opportunities under a developer depend on the size of a developer. Small developers may have an opportunity for an underpaid secretary that does more than just secretarial work. Larger, more established developers have a full range of opportunities from attorney positions to in house accountant positions, property managers, etc. I think the typical position for someone in business/finance (not sure about economics) would be under a project manager. There, you'd typically negotiate contracts, draft budget reports, market studies, etc.
Being an appraiser has its own requirements. You ought to check with your states licensing board to see the educational and employment requirements to even proceed down that path. It's a very independent job in which you pretty much schedule appointments to take pictures of homes and proceed with market research to generate an opinion of value.
Urban planners often work for the government, and they typically want an urban planners degree. There may be certifications required before you'd pursue that.
Hope that helps to give you a general idea.