What Degree Does a Realtor Need? (Plus Other FAQs)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 16, 2021

Many people interested in the real estate field choose to become realtors but can also work in construction, investment and insurance. If you're interested in becoming a realtor, understanding the requirements of the role can guide you in your career. In this article, we explain what a realtor is, what degree you need for this role and several jobs you can pursue in this industry.

Related: A Career in Real Estate: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a realtor?

A realtor is a real estate professional who's an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Realtors can work in real estate offices or manage their own businesses. A realtor's responsibilities include managing administrative duties, meeting with clients and negotiating purchase agreements. Realtors can be agents or brokers based on their state requirements and licenses.

Read more: Learn About Being a Realtor

What degree does a realtor need?

Real estate employers may not require realtors to have a degree, but earning a degree can provide you with the knowledge to obtain a real estate license. Depending on your intended real estate career path, you can consider different degree programs, including:

  • Accounting: Real estate professionals work with property values and asset evaluations for listing prices and closing deals. Purchase agreements detail specific accounting information for payments and interest, which makes accounting knowledge an important part of maintaining accurate paperwork.

  • Business degree: You can pursue business or business administration degrees with an emphasis or additional coursework in real estate. Business knowledge can help you with the organizational and operational aspects of real estate agencies and brokerages.

  • Communications: A real estate professional manages communication and negotiation between different parties. Along with verbal communication, written formats for advertising and property listings can help real estate professionals communicate important sale details and disclosures clearly.

  • Computer science: With developments in real estate, technology helps to create virtual property models. Various property management application uses may also benefit those with computer science knowledge.

  • Digital marketing: Digital marketing factors such as search engine optimization and social media visibility can help marketing campaigns reach wider audiences. Expanding an audience or client base through digital marketing can increase or speed up sales.

  • Finance: Degree programs in finance teach you how to analyze markets to predict future trends in different industries and what investments may be worth their potential returns. An education in finance can help real estate developers plan their development projects.

  • Graphic design: Creating marketing material and digital advertisements for real estate properties allows professionals to develop engaging content. Using graphic design to create interactive property walkthroughs can help prospective buyers gain an understanding of the potential of a certain property to decide on whether to purchase it.

  • Human resources: An education in human resources can teach a real estate professional mediation techniques and diversity concepts. This provides a professional with the skills to handle various types of clients and settle negotiations amicably.

  • Photography: Visualizing a property is an important part of the buying process so that buyers can imagine how they can develop a space to suit their needs. Understanding photography concepts and how to create aesthetically engaging images can facilitate a property sale.

Related: 6 Steps To Become a Real Estate Photographer

What licensing does a realtor need?

For real estate agents or broker realtors, state-specific licenses can be a requirement. These licenses include pre-license education hours and coursework. You can research your state's requirements to understand what coursework and degree programs you can enroll in to help you get your real estate license.

A real estate agent license allows a realtor to represent a buyer or seller in a property transaction and mediate negotiations. A real estate broker license requires additional training that certifies realtors to manage transactions and employ real estate agents to represent their company. You can become a realtor as an agent or broker by joining your local realtor association and paying annual membership dues.

Related: How To Get Your Real Estate License in 7 Steps

What are important skills for a realtor?

Developing the following skills can help you succeed as a realtor:

  • Attention to detail: Details are an important part of large financial transactions, such as those in real estate. Attention to detail is necessary for drafting legal documents, financial details and preparing a property for transfers.

  • Customer service: Realtors represent their clients to ensure a mutually beneficial transaction for all parties. Having customer service skills allows a realtor to analyze negotiation details to meet their clients' needs.

  • Time management: A realtor can represent various clients at a time while also representing their agency or brokerage. Understanding how to manage time for property showings, inspections and negotiation meetings can optimize a realtor's work process.

What are the average salary and job outlook for realtors and real estate professionals?

The average salary for a realtor is $86,978 per year in the United States. This average can vary depending on education level, work experience, location and employer. Real estate professionals in areas with a higher cost of living can receive higher salary rates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the demand for real estate professionals like brokers and sales agents to rise 4% between 2020 and 2030.

What jobs can a realtor pursue?

Here are some jobs you can pursue as a realtor. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:

1. Real estate assistant

National average salary: $47,544 per year

Primary duties: A real estate assistant is responsible for providing administrative support for real estate businesses or independent real estate professionals. These assistants maintain communications between clients and professionals, schedule appointments, prepare paperwork and maintain document filing systems. Real estate assistants can answer client real estate questions and conduct property tours.

2. Real estate manager

National average salary: $57,992 per year

Primary duties: A real estate manager is responsible for overseeing properties and assets, such as multifamily communities and other housing sections. They use property management tools to monitor real estate portfolios and investments, and they negotiate property contracts. Real estate managers may manage apartment complexes, retirement homes and other facilities.

3. Real estate associate

National average salary: $68,644 per year

Primary duties: A real estate associate is responsible for handling the selling aspect of property transactions. Real estate associates work with sellers to develop marketing campaigns, property listings and prospect showings to help them sell their property efficiently. Real estate associates represent sellers and interact closely with the buyers' agents to conduct property transactions.

4. Real estate agent

National average salary: $94,013 per year

Primary duties: A real estate agent is responsible for guiding property renters, buyers and sellers through the mortgage and lease agreement process. Real estate agents conduct property showings and negotiations between the parties involved in a property purchase. They may represent any party in a real estate purchase to ensure they receive a fair agreement.

Read more: Learn About Being a Real Estate Agent

5. Property developer

National average salary: $96,599 per year

Primary duties: A property developer is responsible for managing construction project contracts and plans. Property developers research and forecast potential areas for development to oversee the construction of industrial, commercial or residential properties. These developers can also work in other industries to develop land for franchises or company chains.

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