There are so many players in the real estate industry that you can find your place almost anywhere. Generally, people ask me about 4 main roles, but there are countless others. I tend to categorize them as core services and secondary services, just meaning the secondary services depend on the core.
- Wholesale – This is the lowest barrier of entry which also makes it the most competitive nowadays. For a couple hundred bucks you can get going by doing wholesale transactions. In general wholesalers secure deals for low prices and sell the terms of their deal to someone else for a fee or markup. When I started in the business we considered this group of guys the bird dogs of the gang. These guys are good at sniffing out a great deal, usually on poor properties or complex transactions, but either don’t have the resources to purchase or have a different business model in mind. Over the years the wholesalers have turned their niche into legitimate businesses often outperforming traditional brokerages and without all the risk, rules, and limitations. Keep in mind this role is limited in the scope pf services it can legally perform, but can be a good way to step in the game.
- Real estate agent – I find that being an agent is one of the best lanes. As an agent you’re able to do a little of everything. Although it cost a little more to get going it’s probably the best way to learn the entire industry because your job is to support the entire industry. You’re now able to work both sides of a deal take advantage of any transaction that lands on your desk. Most good agents move one to become brokers, investors, developers.
- Investor – Some guys only care about the money involved in real estate. It’s safe, predictable, and real. Some call investors financial architects, sucking the economic life out of communities. No matter what you call them the industry isn’t able to move without them. True investors are long term holders and seek value and performance over quick returns or profits. It takes a hefty bag of cash to get going in this arena so unless you have it laying around or can call an old uncle, it’ll a take a few years of hard work to get to this level.
- Developer – It takes a high level of coordination, people skills, and money but if you are interested in building the environment you live in then development should be the goal. Personally, I’m a supporter of small scale development, but dream as big as your heart desires. The paydays are huge, but there are big valleys between them. It’s good to have cash flow and capital around just in case a project gets off track. Even though there is no license requirement in Texas to be a developer it still is probably the hardest to become due to all the necessary puzzle pieces. The long term payoff in wealth is worth the work.
Because there is so much money circling around real estate transaction you don’t always have to make money in the core services. Due to laws and regulations many secondary services are required as part of transactions, and the rest are necessary at some point in the real estate life cycle. If you can think of anything else add in it in the comments.
- Loan Officer
- Escrow Agent
- Property Manager
Your job is to research how to get into each one of these roles, find out what it takes to be successful, and match yourself with the one that will give you the most success, not necessarily the most satisfaction. If you choose right most of the roles in real estate can be done from the comfort or your home or on a pat time basis.