Choosing Real Estate as an Alternative Career Path: The Right Choice?
Whether you’re looking for an entirely new career or a lucrative way to supplement the income from your existing employment, you may have considered moving into the real estate sector.
It’s no secret that the potential remunerations in this industry can be significant – but is it sensible to make the leap? In this article, we explore the benefits and pitfalls of moving into the real estate field, whether on a full-time or “side-gig” basis.
Here are some of the benefits of working in real estate:
- Significant Earning Potential
Property will always be in demand – making it a valuable asset. Yes, markets may rise and fall, but there will never be a time when homes are redundant as a commodity.
There are also a number of ways to add value to a property, including:
- Adding sought-after features
- Dividing into multiple rental apartments
- Adding land purchased from a neighbor
- Selling with planning permission or developmental approval
Any of the above will help you to make a profit and move further up the ladder.
Jobs in the real estate industry are now more versatile than ever, thanks to the huge rise in remote working solutions. Now, you can handle your property-related duties almost entirely from home or alongside additional employment.
Tools like chatbots and 3D interactive property renderings will help to keep potential clients informed and engaged until you are able to actively communicate with them in person.
There is also a great amount of variety in terms of the specific discipline you can take on. Just a few of the available options include:
- Managing a large property portfolio as a landlord
- Working as a real estate agent
- Flipping houses
- Becoming a “venture capitalist” or “angel” property investor
- Running holiday lets
- Starting a property maintenance or management firm
- Working as a property developer
- Opening a real estate marketing firm
- Specializing in PropTech
- You Can Choose the Scale and Direction of Business Growth
Independent real estate professionals are generally able to choose the amount and size of projects they take on. They can also set their own prices list of specialisms.
Of course, it’s important to note that – in imposing restrictions – you could be outcompeted by other professionals in the field who are willing to expand and do more.
- Every Day Brings a New, Exciting Challenge
As a real estate professional, you may find yourself traveling to all kinds of places and meeting a range of different and interesting clients. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to be creative, to take risks and to experience exciting pay-offs for your hard work. If you are resilient, inventive and ambitious, this may well be the property (house) sales industry for you.
As with almost any potentially lucrative practice, real estate comes with its own challenges and risks. Here are just a few:
The real estate industry is so heavily saturated that it can be difficult to stand out – particularly if you are a newer, smaller, independent player. It’s easy for larger businesses to outperform the rest as a result of their access to huge amounts of capital, which can prove a huge challenge to SMEs.
In most cases, in order to achieve success, you’ll need to be able to offer a greater number of excellent products or services than anyone else – for a more appealing price. You’ll also need to have an exceptional marketing strategy.
Making a loss is very easy in the world of real estate. Property markets can be volatile, and are heavily linked to national and global economies – which can change overnight. This makes it easy to find yourself heavily out of pocket at any time, though no fault of your own, and there are very few safety nets in place.
You’ll also be responsible for large amounts of other peoples’ money and a great deal of sensitive data – and it will be up to you to protect it for them or face serious legal repercussions.
- You Get Out What You Put In
This could be considered an upside or a downside depending on how much time and energy you are able to give to your work.
In many cases you need to be willing to sacrifice a great deal in order to be a success. Free evenings and weekends may become a thing of the past – at least while you’re setting off, but often long-term. If this is something you can do, however, the payoff can be considerable.
You’ll also need a great deal of capital behind you to “buy into” this industry. Almost every product or service is “big ticket”, so it’s very hard to make a start on a shoestring.
- A Huge Proportion of the Job is Outreach
Returning clients are rare in the world of real estate. After all, people don’t tend to move home very regularly – and if they do, the chances that you’re operating in a past client’s next intended destination will be slim.
This means you’re bound to spend a lot of time trying to win over new customers, partners, investors and other industry players through marketing, PR and endless outreach.
The endless pitching can become very repetitive and demotivating, so you need to have a great level of resilience in order to keep pushing.
If you feel that you’re in a position to take advantage of all the upsides listed above, while effectively circumventing or guarding against the pitfalls, real estate may just be the new career path for you.
Be sure to make a clear plan – including well-researched contingencies and financial projections – before committing to this new venture. If you’re smart and well-prepared, you may just be a big success!
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