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5 Entry Level Real Estate Jobs for Beginners in 2024

Two real estate agents discussing a property outside.
Is a career in real estate right for you?

Pursuing a career path in real estate is one of the best choices you can make. Acquiring skills and knowledge in this industry can open up doors to lucrative careers and financial freedom with persistence and hard work.

However, breaking into the real estate industry is often easier said than done. Many real estate career paths require certifications, extensive training, and hundreds of hours of schooling before getting started.

For those who want to work in real estate but don’t know where to get started, this article is for you. We’ll break down the pros and cons of working in real estate, common career paths, and the best entry level real estate jobs for beginners this year.

Why Work in Real Estate?

You should work in real estate for the right reasons - not to get rich.
You should work in real estate for the right reasons – not to get rich.

Whether it’s because of popular HGTV house flipping shows or the glitz and glam of Los Angeles real estate life in Netflix’s Selling Sunset, many real estate newbies have an idealistic view of what working in real estate looks like.

The cold hard truth is that very few real estate agents end up selling multi-million dollar mansions in the Hollywood Hills. And for those that do, it takes extreme amounts of hard work and dedication to get there. 

Here are some down to earth reasons to consider working in real estate:

  • Income Potential: While you may not be wheeling and dealing Beverly Hills homes to celebrities right away, real estate still gives average real estate professionals the ability to make a comfortable, and sometimes above average, income.
  • Diverse Career Paths: Unlike other specialized fields, working in real estate gives you the opportunity to pursue a variety of different careers that best suit your skills and lifestyle. One of the benefits of working in entry level real estate jobs is that you can start in one role and pivot to another field if you wish to make a change.
  • Schedule Flexibility: Many real estate jobs have schedule flexibility, which means you aren’t required to sit at a desk from 9 to 5 each day. Real estate professionals often make their own schedule and have the freedom to enjoy life outside of the office.
  • Life Skills: Most basic concepts in real estate aren’t taught in school, which means a majority of Americans don’t understand how mortgages work or how to purchase a home. Working in real estate gives you the skills needed to make smart financial decisions when it comes to buying a home and managing your finances.
  • Entrepreneurship: In many ways, working in the real estate industry makes you an entrepreneur. You have the opportunity to build your own business and personal brand for better control over your career trajectory and the possibility of making extra income in addition to your full-time job.

Drawbacks of Entry Level Real Estate Jobs

Frustrated real estate employee at her desk contemplating if a career in real estate is right for her.
Real estate isn’t the right choice for everyone.

Working in an entry level real estate job is a great way to start a lucrative and rewarding career in real estate. However, consider these drawbacks before jumping into the field.

Low Starting Salary

Many entry level real estate jobs take on the brunt work of larger real estate operations, which means new employees are the lowest on the totem pole. Beginners in the real estate industry should expect to work for low wages in order to get the experience needed to break into higher paying fields in the future

Additionally, new real estate agents and loan officers must build their “book of business,” or a database of clients that bring in repeat business. In some cases, building a client base can take years before bringing in consistent income.

Long Hours

Another drawback to working in real estate as a beginner is the likelihood of working long hours. Many real estate professionals work irregular hours on nights and weekends to accommodate their clients’ schedules.

Working an entry level real estate job may impact your work-life balance and force you to sacrifice your regular weekend activities. 

Upfront Costs

Some real estate jobs require licensing and certifications with a high upfront cost. Real estate agents must take licensing courses and sit for their state and national exams, which can add up to several hundred or even thousands of dollars.

Real Estate Cycles

New real estate professionals must understand that real estate is a highly cyclical industry. Just like the stock market, real estate experiences highs and lows, which means your income can fluctuate significantly.

New real estate professionals should have a plan in place during down markets and how to replace lost income. Many real estate agents start side hustles to provide a cushion during weak real estate cycles.

5 Entry Level Real Estate Jobs

Here's the best entry level jobs for new real estate professionals.
Here’s the best entry level jobs for new real estate professionals.

Getting started in an entry level job is the best way to launch a career in this dynamic industry. Let’s take a look at the best entry level real estate jobs to consider this year.

Real Estate Assistant

A real estate assistant supports real estate agents and brokers in a variety of different ways, often depending on the specific needs of the brokerage. However, most real estate assistants help with administrative tasks like:

  • Answering phone calls
  • Responding to emails
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Maintaining accurate records

Real estate assistants also assist with marketing efforts. They may create and distribute marketing materials to prospective clients and help manage the social media presence of agents or brokers.

Becoming a real estate assistant is a great option since there are few required qualifications, as most real estate brokers want their assistants to demonstrate strong organizational skills and basic real estate knowledge. Most assistants learn important real estate terminology and best practices on the job.

Additionally, many real estate assistants work in the role prior to taking their real estate licensing exam. This trajectory allows real estate assistants to acquire the basic skills needed for success before becoming a real estate agent or broker. 

Junior Loan Officer

Junior loan officers are very similar to real estate assistants, but for the mortgage industry. Most junior loan officers start early in their career under the guidance of an experienced loan officer before pursuing training to become a licensed loan officer themselves.

A junior loan officer also performs administrative tasks for their senior loan officer, including communicating with borrowers, following up with loan processors, and gathering contract information for new loans. They may also network with potential clients and manage emails and appointment scheduling for their senior loan officer.

Many large mortgage lenders have training programs for junior loan officers and hire on an ongoing basis. Additionally, local mortgage lenders may have openings for junior loan officers looking to get started in the mortgage industry. 

Appraisal Trainee

While the appraisal industry doesn’t get the same amount of attention as other real estate professions, there’s plenty of opportunity to start a lucrative career in the field. One of the best ways to do so is as an appraisal trainee.

Just like junior loan officers, appraisal trainees work under a certified appraiser to learn more about the appraisal industry and to prepare for a career in appraisals. They often accompany certified appraisers on property inspections, conduct market research, and write appraiser reports for their clients.

Unlike junior loan officers and real estate assistants, appraisal trainees may require licensing prior to getting started. This often includes a certain number of education hours and passing an exam to become a certified appraisal trainee.

Property Management Assistant

Property management deals with handling the day-to-day operations of rental properties and managing tenants. Most property managers spend their time coordinating maintenance and upkeep for properties and vetting new tenants. 

The role of a property management assistant is to support the operations of the senior property management team. They may work for large property management companies or small businesses that manage one or two rental properties. 

Most property management assistants aren’t required to pass licensing exams or have formal education prior to starting. Similar to the other roles mentioned above, property management assistants aim to acquire the skills and experience needed to advance their career in property management. 

As a property management assistant, you’ll work on a variety of tasks depending on the needs of the company and the scope of their rental property operations. Here are a few common responsibilities:

  • Tenant communication
  • Financial management
  • Rent collection
  • Administrative tasks
  • Marketing and tenant acquisition

Property management is a vital function in the real estate investing industry, which means gaining experience and knowledge in this field can lead to many opportunities down the line. 

Real Estate Marketing Assistant

One of the most important parts of running a successful real estate business is marketing and promotion. Whether it’s online with social media, Google Ads, and Zillow advertising or through offline channels like direct mail and billboards, getting the word out about your real estate company is crucial for a thriving business.

That’s why real estate marketing assistants are so important. Some of their roles include social media management, email marketing, content creation, search engine optimization, and event coordination. Their primary goal is to generate awareness and drive leads to grow the real estate business.

Real estate marketing assistants typically don’t need special certifications. However, salaries for this role are often low, and most marketing assistants have plans to advance their careers down the line after gaining relevant experience in the industry.

Final Thoughts

Launching a career in real estate is one of the best decisions you can make. Most basic real estate knowledge isn’t taught in school, and plenty of young professionals don’t even consider real estate as a viable career path.

It’s important to keep in mind the downsides when it comes to working in real estate. Expect long hours, low starting salaries, and volatile real estate cycles before you see success in the field.  

Regardless of which entry level job you pursue, it’s important to understand that the primary goal should be to acquire the skills and knowledge needed for success in real estate. With this in mind, you’ll be on your way to building a strong foundation for a successful career in real estate.

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