You’re probably working towards getting a real estate license in California because you want to work as a sales agent. Or maybe you have aspirations to own a real estate brokerage one day. You’ll definitely need a license to pursue those careers, but they aren’t the only opportunities available to licensed real estate professionals.
There are actually a number of jobs that require a California real estate license and a number of other jobs where it helps to be licensed. Let’s take a look at what all you can do once you have a real estate license in California.
The most obvious career path for people with a California real estate license is to become a sales agent that works for a licensed broker. A salesperson helps clients purchase and sell either residential or commercial property. As you probably already know, it’s a career where you can have one of many specialties from helping military families relocate to finding the most energy-efficient homes for eco-conscious buyers.
Real Estate Broker
In order to become a broker in California you must be licensed and work as a salesperson for at least two years. Take a look at our article on how to become a California real estate broker to learn about the other requirements beyond having a real estate license.
Broker or Sales Assistant
In some situations a broker’s assistant will also need a real estate license. It all depends on their job role and the tasks that they are asked to do. The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) has created an outline that details what an unlicensed assistant is able to do legally for agents and brokers.
A sales assistant will definitely need to be licensed. They typically work for new home builders and step in whenever the full-time agent is unavailable.
In order to list, show and help renters secure a leased property you’ll need to have a California real estate salesperson license.
Managing rental properties, apartment complexes and office buildings requires a real estate license too.
Broker Price Opinions
When a bank or lender wants to avoid an expensive appraisal, they can hire a licensed professional to provide a broker price opinion (BPO) instead. The agent or broker will estimate the value for a home by:
- Touring the property
- Analyzing the neighborhood
- Comparing the home to similar properties that have recently sold
- Evaluating market conditions
- Factoring in potential repairs
It’s basically what a good real estate agent will do before listing a home in order to price the home correctly. Banks and lenders typically use BPOs when a homeowner wants to eliminate private mortgage insurance and needs to know if a home is worth at least 20% more than the loan amount.
Brokerage Office Manager
Office managers at a real estate brokerage may need to be licensed for the same reason as a broker assistant. If they participate in any activities that require a real estate license in California they’ll need to have one.
Teach Real Estate Courses
After taking the Aceable California real estate course you may decide that you like teaching real estate as much as practicing it. Any education provider is going to want to know that you have the credentials needed to teach real estate, like being licensed to do the job.
When a home goes into foreclosure they are bid on by many different people. A foreclosure bidder will monitor which foreclosures are available, research the properties and place bids for investor clients.
Some brokerages hire what’s called a transaction coordinator. The transaction coordinator handles a lot of the tasks once a property is under contract. They mainly handle all of the paperwork as well as scheduling things like the inspection.
Real Estate Consultant
Some businesses and individuals will hire real estate consultants before they start a project or begin looking for an investment. While there are no requirements for having a license, most people will only hire a consultant that is currently or has recently been licensed. Consultants are hired for a lot of different reasons including running comps, providing insight on the current market conditions and making connections with other real estate professionals.
One unique consulting gig is being an expert witness in a court hearing. People will pay good money for an expert who can help them make their case in a real estate dispute.
Today big, Internet-based brokerages like Redfin will pay licensed agents a one-time flat rate for showing buyers a property on behalf of their buyer’s agent. Typically the payment is around $25 to open the house so the buyers can take a look, but that’s really all you have to do. You won’t be entitled to any commission so there’s no need to woo the buyers. Some brokerages require that you be one of their agents to show, but there are some that open it up to any licensed agent.
Related Jobs That Don’t Require a License, But It Helps
There are also a number of other real estate-related jobs that don’t require a license, but being a licensed professional really helps. Think about all of the other professionals that you will work with from the time you get a client to the time you sign papers at the closing table.
Other jobs that licensed real estate agents venture into include:
- Real Estate Writer
- Interior Designer
- Landscape Architect
Many licensed agents also transition into real estate investment. They end up making a career out of leasing their own rentals, flipping fixers and developing properties from the ground up.
Ready to start a real estate career in California? The first step is taking the required real estate courses. Visit the California Real Estate Career Center to learn what you have to do next to get your license.