There are millions of people engaged in the real estate business with zero ownership in actual buildings. To use myself as an example, aside from ownership, my involvement in real estate is as a consultant, asset manager and industry writer. All of these endeavors in real estate can be accomplished without requiring ownership.
Following are five professional tracks tied to real estate each "dipped" in the daily life of being a real estate professional without requiring ownership of hard assets.
Property Management. This is the largest employer of real estate professionals with millions engaged in on-site and off-site management of real estate assets.
Consider that every real estate asset type known to man requires management; from multifamily (of course) to single-family rentals, homeowners associations, tenant-in-common buildings, office, medical office, industrial and light industrial, retail, warehouse, public facilities, hospitals, race tracks, water parks, theme parks and timber land. There is no shortage of assets requiring management. Select your specialty and become the best there is in that arena.
Appraisal. The appraisal business is not as cyclical as many believe. All throughout the recession, as an example, although sales were slow banks were consistently assessing their collateral through appraisal. I do know one Appraiser that drives a Ferrari, but I'm guessing that is not the norm.
Mortgage Banking. Like appraisers, real estate sales are only one source of business for mortgage bankers; the business cycle includes sales, re-financing, redevelopment and construction loans. Notes get re-cast, sold and swapped. It's a never-ending product supply chain with real estate assets acting as the underlying collateral to the movement of billions of dollars in mortgages each year.
Vendor and Suppliers. Every property needs vendors and supplies. Every property. Assets require from skilled labor and parts, appliances, paint, roofing, locks, windows and flooring. The list goes on including; landscapers, pool supplies, fencing, driveway repair, pest control.
Insurance. This category of work in real estate is required by every owner- even for assets that are free and clear. Every property has insurance needs ranging from hazard insurance, fire, storm damage, liability and fixtures.
There are other categories, of course, but let this short list provide you with some food for thought on how be become engaged in real estate "in addition" to ownership. There is nothing that says you can't do both!
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Mr. Wilhoit is the author of three books: How To Read A Rent Roll: A Guide to Understanding Rental Income and Multifamily Insight Vol 1 & 2 – How to Acquire Wealth Through Buying the Right Multifamily Assets in the Right Markets. Multifamily Insight Vol 2 — just out!
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About This Blog: Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. See multifamilyinsight.com