18 Alternate Careers for Realtors without Formal Education

Navigating the intricacies of the real estate world is a challenge, especially for realtors contemplating a career shift into uncharted waters. Often, the path seems narrow, and realizing a lack of formal education can be daunting. This is a concern for many real estate professionals, considering that the traditional qualifications pursued by many are not always an option for those already entrenched in the field.

However, the wisdom, skills, and experience gained in the real estate industry are versatile and can be applied to a myriad of roles both within and beyond the sector. Suppose you’re a realtor seeking a new professional horizon or a career changer inspired by the broad capabilities of real estate expertise. In that case, this comprehensive list will shed light on 18 alternative career pathways—each detailed with where to apply, potential company names, salary statistics, and working conditions. We also sprinkle in some outside-the-box ideas and obscure opportunities to stretch the imagination.

1. Property Manager

Managing the Finer Points of Real Estate

A property manager is the heart of real estate operations and is responsible for maintaining the property’s operations on its owner’s behalf. The role includes ensuring proper rent collection, property maintenance, customer service, and occupancy rates.

  • Starting Salary Range: $35,000 – $50,000

Apply at These Companies:

Working Conditions:

The work of a property manager is varied, ranging from fielding tenant calls to prospecting new investment opportunities for the property owners, which makes it both unpredictable and exciting. There is growth potential for skilled professionals to advance into lead management roles or become property owners.

2. Home Staging Professional

Crafting Inviting Homes for Sale

A home staging professional enhances the aesthetics of a residential property, making it more appealing to potential buyers. They often rearrange furniture and accent pieces and suggest fixes to improve the overall look of a home for sale.

  • Starting Salary Range: $25,000 – $60,000

Apply at These Companies:

  • StagedHomes – Provides a comprehensive certification program and network for home stagers.
  • Houzz – A platform that connects homeowners with interior designers and home stagers.

Work Environment and Industry Insights:

The environment can be fast-paced but creative, as stagers must keep up-to-date with the latest interior design trends and understand the demographics of potential buyers.

3. Real Estate Appraiser

Valuing Properties with Precision

Real estate appraisers objectively assess a property’s value for various purposes, such as mortgage lending, settling estates, and taxation.

  • Starting Salary Range: $35,000 – $50,000

Apply at These Companies:

  • CBRE Group – A leading commercial real estate services company.
  • Colliers International – A global leader in commercial real estate services with vast appraisal opportunities.

Work Environment and Career Advancement:

Appraisers enjoy flexible work hours but must adhere to strict timelines and guidelines. The field allows for specialization in various properties, and experienced professionals often start their consulting firms.

4. Interior Decorator

Imbuing Spaces with Personal Style

Interior decorators plan and carry out decorative schemes to enhance the interiors of residential and commercial spaces.

  • Starting Salary Range: $30,000 – $40,000

Apply at These Companies:

  • Ethan Allen – A high-end furniture retailer and interior design company.
  • The Shade Store – Offers custom shades, blinds, and drapery for various interior design projects.

Workplace Settings and Growth Opportunities:

Interior decorators may work in homes, retail stores, or as independent consultants. The field offers ample job satisfaction for those who love design and can build a strong portfolio of work over time.

5. Real Estate Photographer

Capturing Properties in Their Best Light

Real estate photographers take compelling photographs of properties to attract potential buyers or renters.

  • Starting Salary Range: $25,000 – $40,000

Apply at These Companies:

  • VHT Studios is a national professional photography, image management, and publishing services provider.
  • PlanOmatic – A service that specializes in real estate content, including photography and 3D home tours.

Work Settings and Growth Prospects:

Photographers can be independent contractors or work for real estate firms, with growth opportunities existing for those who can expand into video content or virtual tours.

6. Community Association Manager

Building the Future of Neighborhoods

Community association managers oversee operations within housing communities. It’s a complex role involving financial planning, community governance, and property-related services.

  • Starting Salary Range: $35,000 – $50,000

Apply at These Companies:

  • Associa – A leader in community association management, specializing in exclusive communities.
  • FirstService Residential – The largest community association management company in North America.

Working Conditions and Long-Term Prospects:

Managers can expect to resolve various issues with residents, making this role perfect for anyone who thrives on change and interaction. There’s potential for growth into senior management roles and even becoming a partner in an association management firm.

7. Property Preservation Specialist

Maintaining Lenders’ Assets

Property preservation specialists handle the upkeep and maintenance of properties, often on behalf of lenders or government agencies.

  • Starting Salary Range: $25,000 – $40,000

Apply at These Companies:

  • MCS Solutions is a nationwide provider of property inspections, preservation services, and REO property maintenance.
  • Field Asset Services – A property preservation company specializing in the mortgage field services industry.

Work Settings and Career Development:

This role offers fieldwork opportunities with flexible schedules and the chance to advance into project management or site supervision.

8. Real Estate Blogger

Sharing Industry Insights Through Words

Real estate bloggers create informative, engaging, and valuable content for audiences interested in the property market.

  • Income Potential: Variable

Platforms to Explore and Income Potential:

Bloggers can create platforms, contribute to real estate publications, or work with companies looking to expand through content marketing. Income potential varies based on the blog’s reach and monetization methods, such as ad revenue and sponsored content.

9. Vacation Rental Manager

Orchestrating Memorable Getaways

Vacation rental managers oversee properties rented out to tourists, ensuring they are well-maintained and meeting guests’ needs.

  • Starting Salary Range: $30,000 – $50,000

Apply at These Companies:

  • Vacasa – A leading vacation rental management company specializing in listings in popular tourist areas.

Career Advancement in the Vacation Rental Sector:

Professionals can grow from managing a single property to being regional managers responsible for a portfolio of vacation rentals.

10. Real Estate Virtual Assistant

Bridging the Digital Divide in Transactions

A virtual real estate assistant provides administrative support to agents and other real estate professionals remotely.

  • Starting Salary Range: $25,000 – $40,000

Apply at These Companies:

  • MyOutDesk – Specializes in real estate virtual assistants, with a range of services and teams to suit agents’ needs.
  • Time, etc. It is a popular platform that connects virtual assistants to real estate professionals and businesses.

Work Environment and Future Prospects:

Virtual assistants require strong organizational skills and knowledge of the real estate industry. They often enjoy a flexible work schedule and have the potential to earn more as they take on roles with more responsibilities.

11. Real Estate Investment Analyst

Assessing the Viability of Investment Opportunities

Real estate investment analysts research and evaluate potential investment opportunities, advising clients on their findings.

  • Starting Salary Range: $40,000 – $60,000

Companies to Consider:

Working Conditions and Career Advancement:

Analysts typically work in finance or real estate companies and can progress into senior analyst roles or become portfolio managers.

12. Property Tax Consultant

Navigating Financial Complexity in Real Estate

Property tax consultants help commercial and residential property owners reduce their tax liabilities by identifying opportunities for savings and preparing appeal cases.

  • Average Earnings: $40,000 – $60,000

Job Opportunities and Salary Range:

Many property tax consulting firms broadly hire professionals with experience in real estate, or you could consider starting your consultancy with the right industry connections.

Career Path in Tax Consulting:

Tax consulting offers significant potential for individuals to transition into a more senior, management-level role eventually.

13. Real Estate Auctioneer

Orchestrating Quick and Efficient Sales

Real estate auctioneers organize and manage the sale of properties through bidding processes, often on behalf of sellers or brokers.

  • Starting Salary Range: $30,000 – $40,000 (with considerable variance based on commission)

Potential Places of Employment:

Since auctioneers are often independent contractors, they rely on their reputation and word of mouth for business. They may also associate with auction houses specializing in real estate.

Environment and Growth Opportunities:

Auctioneering can be an exciting and lucrative career, with auctioneers setting their hours and days of work. With experience, there’s potential to manage full-scale, high-profile auctions.

14. Landscaping Designer for Real Estate

Adding Curb Appeal to Properties

Landscaping designers create outdoor environments that enhance properties’ aesthetics and value, often in the context of real estate sales or renovations.

  • Starting Salary Range: $35,000 – $50,000

Pursuing Opportunities:

You can work for companies or start your landscape design business catering to the real estate market.

Growth in Landscape Design:

Landscape designers specializing in real estate can see their services in high demand, especially in competitive property markets.

15. Real Estate Copywriter

Crafting Compelling Narratives for Property Listings

Real estate copywriters create engaging property descriptions and marketing materials to attract potential buyers and renters.

  • Income Potential: Variable

Finding Your Niche as a Copywriter:

Real estate businesses, blogs, and online listings always need copies. This offers flexibility in choosing your projects and schedule.

16. Real Estate Podcast Host

Sharing Stories and Education via Sound

Real estate podcast hosts produce, record, and share podcast episodes on real estate trends, tips, and industry news.

  • Income Potential: Variable

Starting Your Podcast Journey:

Platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify can host your content, and revenue can come from ads, sponsorships, and listener support.

17. Real Estate Software Developer

Aiding Real Estate Professionals with Innovative Tech

Software developers create applications and platforms tailored to the needs of real estate professionals, from agents to property managers.

  • Starting Salary Range: $50,000 – $70,000

Companies Employing Software Developers:

You could work with real estate tech companies or consider starting your own company targeting gaps in the market.

Environment and Prospects in Software Development:

Software developers typically work in a tech environment but have the flexibility to work remotely. The demand for skilled developers in the real estate industry is high, with room for advancement into managerial roles.

18. Home Inspector

Ensuring the Health and Safety of Properties

Home inspectors evaluate the condition of properties, identifying issues that could affect the health and safety of occupants.

  • Starting Salary Range: $35,000 – $50,000

Job Responsibilities and Potential Employers:

Home inspectors are often self-employed or work for inspection firms, and they conduct thorough visual examinations of homes and prepare detailed reports.

Prospects in Inspection Services:

A career as a home inspector can be both independent and rewarding, with the opportunity to specialize further in niches like historic homes or specialty structures.

The list above highlights only a fraction of the opportunities available to real estate professionals seeking a departure from the traditional path. It’s a testament to the adaptability and strength of the skills learned within the industry. For the forward-thinkers among real estate’s ranks, the message is clear: the possibilities are vast, the demand is there, and the path for a fulfilling career is just waiting to be forged.