In today’s day & age, the work of a real estate consultant can be quite multifaceted. As someone interested in transacting in (or on) property, you will not only be buying or selling a house. Marketing, finance, law, as well as a host of other related disciplines, will also factor into the equation as well; areas which a professional real estate affiliate normally specialises in (so you won’t have to!).
If your goal is to eventually become a competitive real estate consultant, a college course in real estate – or one of the fields closely intertwined with the industry – can mark a significant step towards realizing this ideal.
This piece covers the different types of educational accreditations that a real estate consultant normally needs (or should have, at any rate) to set up shop, and how you can go about acquiring them.
Why study real estate at all?
But first things first.
If you have the capital and the drive to start a business, you may as well proceed to form a real estate consultancy after simply working to obtain the requisite license. And what’s more, you may even become successful in the endeavour. A degree, however, would not only increase your chances of becoming triumphant, but may also help in adding a much greater degree of depth to your profession (and all your client interactions). A level of understanding which may not otherwise be possible, but which will probably aid you in attaining higher profit margins.
In some countries, academic (or even instructional) real estate qualifications don’t count for much; while in others, they are highly determinative of whether an average client even bothers to show up at your firm’s doorstep.
In Pakistan, for instance, you do not require a license (as of yet) to become a real estate consultant. But if you’re completely unfamiliar with the dynamics of the industry and/or the laws that ‘fix’ its functioning, you will need to go through a hard grind before you manage to take your business towards greener pastures. Moreover, while the (general) modernisation of the real estate sector has meant that the country’s property market data can easily be retrieved through newly emerged online real estate portals like Prop.pk, you would still be hard-pressed to make any actual sense of this statistical information; thereby defeating their purpose.
This latter part, to be fair, probably applies to the ground workings of the real estate sector in every country. So even if you’re already a realtor and in-charge a successful business, it would still be a good option to study real estate properly.
Your probable goals as a real estate consultant
You may already have decided that you’re going to work as a realtor. However, how you should go about conducting this business can be a more complicated decision to make. The following considerations (whether you’ve set up a business, or are interested in pursuing a university certification) may come into play:
- Do you wish to work independently and maintain your own business?
- If you have your own business, how much capital can you muster for it?
- In the above case, what exactly will be your focus (business orientation)? Property marketing, sales, consultancy, or investments?
- Do you wish to work with a business on a contractual (ad-hoc) basis?
- Should you consider partnering with another business?
- As a working professional, can you regularly spare some time for attending classes on a fixed schedule?
Your answer to all of these questions can significantly determine the type of educational route that you can practically opt for.
If you’re looking to work independently, for example, and have enough capital at your disposal to establish a local brand (with still some study-time to spare), a Bachelors/Baccalaureate in Business Administration (BBA) degree with a focus on marketing and real estate can possibly serve as the best option.
For working in a more investment-centric business setup, however, you should instead go for one (or more) degrees in finance, real estate, and/or law. For a sales-based business arrangement, a baccalaureate in real estate coupled with sales – or alternatively, a general BBA degree with sales & real estate as focus subjects – would be a suitable choice.
Lastly, your choices may also be limited by whether you’re working full-time or not.
If you are already working, you would probably not be able to attend classes with fixed timings (as in a traditional university arrangement). In such cases, the best option would be to go for a certified online programme; one which allows you to study according to your own schedule.
Some U.S Colleges (offering Real Estate Degrees) that You Should Note
Once you’ve made up your mind on this front, the matter becomes a lot simpler. If you’re a U.S resident (or possess a study visa to the country), consider the following institutions that provide online courses in real estate:
East Tennessee State University
ETSU’s Department of Economics and Finance provides a similar real estate degree programme as that of UofM: the BBA in Finance with Concentration in Real Estate certification. The real estate section of the course focuses on distilling/researching the theories of urban & regional economic growth and development. The students also study the ‘economic, social, financial, and legal problems involved in acquiring, holding and disposing of real estate.’ Furthermore, the course puts a spotlight on the fundamentals of conducting property appraisals.
Temple University offers a BBA degree with a major in real estate. Its BBA in Finance course provision can also serve as a highly flexible and customisable degree option for budding real estate specialists. The former, in particular, is especially designed to provide an educational foundation for real estate students – with a core focus on understanding the workings of property markets.
The degree, further, focuses on the practical aspects of real estate investments, financial analyses, financing, real estate appraisals and valuations, property management, residential & commercial brokerage and marketing, and corporate real estate analysis.
Purdue University Global
A central concern of the Purdue University System that acquired it just last year, Purdue Global (PG) offers an accredited online BS/BA degree with a real estate concentration. The course delves into the basics of common real estate practices, laws, and sales – and focuses on imparting practical skills to get you fully employment-ready following its conclusion.
There are, of course, a number of other collegiate course options available for you to pursue (both in the U.S, and globally) – including diplomas and less-than-4-years certifications. These short-term accreditations allow you to expand your knowledge without undergoing the rigour of a full-fledged degree programme; while also being lighter on your bank book.
A total ‘win-win scenario’, as some might choose to term the affair!