There’s more than one way to make money as a real estate agent. Earning your real estate license opens up a lot of different doors. You can go into residential real estate, commercial real estate, property management, investment, appraisal, income properties, development, and many more areas of specialization.
This is a quick guide to the most common
and lucrative ways licensed real estate agents can earn money.
#1 Residential Real Estate
The bread and butter of most real estate
agents is helping clients buy and sell residential real estate. They help their
clients find buyers or properties, negotiate a selling price, and file the
paperwork. As a real estate agent working in residential real estate, you will
spend a lot of time showing homes, running open houses, and talking to your
In addition to family homes or condos,
residential real estate might also include working with landlords and tenants
to find rental units. Standard commissions for finding tenancies are generally
around 10% of an annual lease.
#2 Industrial & Commercial Real Estate
Not every real estate agent works in the
residential sector. It’s certainly the most common and what people usually
think real estate agents do, but there are plenty of opportunities in
commercial real estate. There are some important differences when you look at residential vs. commercial
- Residential real estate is
about personal wants and needs to fit the homeowner and their family
- Commercial real estate is about
meeting business objectives and achieving a rate of return on commercial
Commercial real estate includes office
buildings, retail, hospitality, warehousing, storage, manufacturing, and many
other purposes. It may also involve development, apartments, and raw land
#3 Real Estate Appraisal
Not everyone has the personality or
motivation to become a salesperson. You don’t need to always be selling to
succeed at real estate. One way you can enjoy a career in real estate without
selling properties is by becoming a real estate appraiser.
You become a neutral third-party who
assesses the value of properties. Real estate appraisers may be hired by
sellers to find the market value of their house, while most mortgage lenders
require an appraisal before they approve the loan.
It also turns out that the number of real estate appraisers
is falling rapidly, causing longer waits times and higher fees. That could be a
great opportunity for someone looking to enter real estate appraisal.
#4 Real Estate Investing
There are many, many ways you can start
investing in real estate. You don’t have to have a ton of money to get started,
but a traditional way to get started in real estate investing is saving for a
down payment for a property that you can rent out to tenants.
Renting property means you earn a steady
stream of income which you can use to pay down the mortgage, cover expenses,
and ultimately put money in your pocket. If the housing market causes property
values to rise, you can cash out on your investment with a pretty positive rate
of return given the income it generated in the meantime.
There are many more ways you can earn an
income with a real estate license. To get started, click here and discover your options for real
estate license courses. There’s more to real estate than just residential
property. Find out more about diversifying your career from schools like
RealEstateU, an online real estate license school that offers students tons of
Start planning for your future and get a start in real estate.
Image Credits: Real Estate from TippaPatt /Shutterstock