Real Estate Investment and Career Choices
Real Estate Career and Investment Questions
When evaluating real estate investment and career choices, the most appropriate starting point is likely to be asking a series of questions. Is this a good time to consider real estate investing or a real estate career? What are some career paths besides sales? What do experts like Warren Buffett have to say about buying real property in the current market? How hard is it to succeed in real estate? What about career training?
The recent history of real estate reveals how this vital field can be simultaneously challenging, confusing and rewarding. Whether you are considering a future that involves real estate or simply want to learn more about the industry, the candid perspectives provided below should be helpful.
Making Smart Real Estate Choices
- Is this a good time to consider a real estate career or investing?
Real estate is a very attractive asset class.— Warren Buffett
Two Important Questions
How hard is it to succeed in real estate?
What about career training?
Here is a short video featuring Valerie Fitzgerald, author of "Heart & Sold: How to Survive and Thrive in Real Estate." Her book is one of the best and most practical books available about the art of selling real estate. For anyone considering a career in real estate, this is must reading.
Make Smart Choices and Ask the Right Questions
The entire economy has been through a wringer during the past few years. I wasn't around for the Great Depression of the 1930s but have a deep sense of what happened and why. The economic and financial turmoil that we have seen in the last several years is unlike anything I have experienced previously in my lifetime. In such circumstances it is not unusual for some (especially politicians) to declare victory prematurely and act like they have solved another problem.
Similarly it is also common that guilty parties (yes, I mean the banking industry in this case) act as if nothing serious has happened and of course everything is back to normal. In fact banks have not changed materially from what they were doing to cause the most recent financial havoc.
In the midst of such chaos, investments and careers are often severely impacted. I cannot think of a better industry for the future than real estate, but for either investing or employment success it is still necessary to make smart choices and ask the right questions.
A final note: real estate investing involves much more than buying and selling houses. Commercial real estate investment includes diverse choices such as apartments, mobile home parks and self-storage facilities. When you invest in commercial real estate or have a career involving commercial property, two concepts will have an ongoing role in your success — property management and due diligence.
What are some career paths besides sales?
(1) Real Estate Finance
(2) Small Business Consulting
Both of these practical and specialized choices are discussed in the following video.
Career Training Video Presentation: Small Business Consulting and Real Estate Finance Careers
"In my experience in the real estate business, past success stories are generally not applicable to new situations. We must continually reinvent ourselves, responding to changing times with innovative new business models."
Career Transitions After Military Service
Real Estate Finance Careers
Some career moves are more difficult than others, and the transition from military service to a business career might just be the most difficult of all. Most of us will readily agree that military personnel deserve the best possible treatment when they return to the civilian workplace. But that's not how it is working out these days.
I am a Navy veteran who has experienced military career transition problems firsthand, but the situation has gotten much worse since I went through these challenges. Because of this, I have decided to devote a significant portion of my time to the career mentoring and training of military personnel who want a small business finance career.
Is real estate for you?— Kenneth W. Edwards
Real Estate Investing or Real Estate Career?
If you are looking for more insights about real estate careers, I recommend taking a look at “Your Successful Real Estate Career” by Kenneth Edwards. It is practical, candid and easy to understand. Most reviewers of this book refer to it as a "must read" for anyone contemplating a real estate career.
Whether you are contemplating real estate investing or a real estate career (or both), analyzing these two possibilities at the same time is a prudent choice. The "success factors" for real estate careers and investment are very similar. Perhaps you do not currently have enough cash to seriously consider investment strategies but are evaluating real estate career options. My strong recommendation is that you still spend the time and money to explore the feasibility of investing in real estate as a proxy for potential success in a real estate career.
Always Avoid Zombie Business Problems
Much More than Location
Several decades ago, it was common to hear real estate experts saying that real estate analysis involved three elements:
Location, Location and Location
There are probably some who still subscribe to this theory. After all, real property by definition is located in a fixed position and cannot be moved. But just as life has generally become more fast-paced and complex during the past 30 years, real estate now defies some of the popular and simple wisdom that has prevailed for so long.
From one perspective, location has become a "variable" rather than a "fixed" factor. If investing in more than one property, you can easily choose that the different properties are either in different cities/states or at least in a different part of the same town. If a possible career is what you are evaluating, some career paths (such as real estate finance consulting) can allow you to serve a nationwide clientele. For real estate sales, location choices will probably not be similarly flexible. As with investing, you are likely to find regional differences in the current and future prospects for real estate. The most appropriate career location might depend on your mobility as much as anything.
Improving the Bottom Line in Investments and Careers
Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.— Katherine Whitehorn
© 2012 Stephen Bush