Unlock the Hidden Potential: 8 Non-Traditional Careers in Real Estate You Didn’t Know About

Unlock the Hidden Potential: 8 Non-Traditional Careers in Real Estate You Didn’t Know About


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Are you keen on the real estate industry, but perhaps not in the way most people are? If the thought of becoming a realtor or a property manager doesn’t exactly light your fire, don’t turn your back on the real estate world just yet! Real estate is a rich and diverse field, with a broad array of career opportunities that go way beyond the traditional roles we’re all familiar with.

You see, being involved in real estate isn’t just about selling homes or managing rental properties. It’s about creating spaces where people live, work, and play. It’s about building communities, shaping cities, and, in a very real sense, crafting the future. And for that, the industry needs all kinds of talents and skills – many of which you might already possess!

In this guide, we’ll help you unlock the hidden potential within the real estate sector by exploring eight non-traditional careers that could change the game for you. From the artistic eye of the real estate photographer to the analytical mind of a real estate appraiser, there’s a place for everyone in this industry. So buckle up and prepare for an exciting journey into the lesser-known corners of the real estate world. You might just stumble upon your dream career!

Traditional Careers in Real Estate: The Usual Suspects

Before we dive into the unconventional, let’s take a quick look back at the well-trodden paths in the real estate industry. These are the roles you’re likely to think of first when someone mentions a career in real estate.


Realtors are the faces of the real estate industry. They’re the ones hosting open houses, guiding home tours, and, most importantly, facilitating deals between buyers and sellers. While it can be a rewarding career, it’s also demanding, often requiring you to work weekends and evenings to accommodate clients’ schedules.

Real Estate Brokers

Real estate brokers are like the upgraded version of realtors. They have additional qualifications and are legally allowed to run their own real estate businesses. This often means overseeing other agents, dealing with more complex transactions, and taking on a higher level of risk. But with great risk often comes great reward, and many brokers find the challenge invigorating.

Property Managers

Property managers are the ones ensuring everything runs smoothly once a property is purchased or leased. They handle everything from maintenance requests and rent collection to tenant disputes and property inspections. It’s a role that requires excellent people skills, a keen eye for detail, and a good dose of patience.

These traditional roles are essential to the real estate industry and provide plenty of opportunities for success. But if they don’t quite fit your aspirations, don’t worry. As we’re about to reveal, there are many more paths to success in real estate, some of which might surprise you! So let’s venture off the beaten path and delve into the non-traditional careers that could reshape your view of what it means to work in real estate.

The Non-Traditional Path: Broadening Your Horizon

Picture this: You’re at a party, and you mention that you work in real estate. The reaction is almost always predictable: “Oh, so you’re a realtor?” Well, not so fast. While being a realtor or a broker is often the image that springs to mind when we talk about a career in real estate, the truth is, this industry has so much more to offer!

Non-traditional real estate careers are those that break free from the conventional roles we just covered. They’re paths that blend the fundamentals of the real estate market with a vast array of other fields, such as technology, sustainability, writing, photography, and even psychology. These careers often exist in the interstices of disciplines, tapping into the vast potential that the real estate industry offers beyond the conventional buy-and-sell dynamics.

Sounds intriguing, right? That’s because it is! Non-traditional real estate careers can offer a unique blend of creativity, problem-solving, and business acumen, all while keeping you engaged with the fast-paced, ever-evolving world of real estate.

So if you’re ready to challenge your perception of what it means to work in real estate, let’s take a closer look at eight non-traditional careers that could just redefine your professional life. Get ready to broaden your horizons!

1. Real Estate Developer

Ever walked by a construction site and wondered about the magic happening behind those barriers? That’s where real estate developers come in, the masterminds who transform empty lots or run-down properties into vibrant residential, commercial, or mixed-use spaces.

What Does a Real Estate Developer Do?

A real estate developer is like a film director for buildings. They oversee everything, from the initial idea to the final product. They scout locations, acquire land, plan and oversee the construction process, arrange financing, navigate zoning laws, and even manage the marketing and sales of the completed project. In essence, developers create new properties from the ground up or significantly enhance existing ones, adding value to the community and the real estate market.

Prospects of Being a Real Estate Developer

Being a real estate developer can be incredibly rewarding, both personally and financially. It’s a role that lets you leave a tangible mark on the world, transforming landscapes and influencing how people live, work, and play.

The financial prospects are also enticing. While the risks are considerable (as you’re dealing with large sums of money and potentially tricky market dynamics), the rewards can be significant. Successful developers can earn well into the six figures, and those who make it big can become multi-millionaires.

But it’s not just about the money. As a developer, you can shape communities, drive economic growth, and even contribute to environmental sustainability through thoughtful, responsible design.

If you have a knack for seeing the bigger picture, relish the challenge of managing complex projects, and have an entrepreneurial spirit, a career as a real estate developer might just be your non-traditional path in the real estate world. And the best part? You’ll be leaving a lasting legacy, one building at a time!

2. Real Estate Appraiser

Imagine having the power to determine the worth of a property at a glance. That’s a day in the life of a real estate appraiser, a role that is critical to just about every real estate transaction.

Role of a Real Estate Appraiser

Real estate appraisers play a crucial role in the property buying and selling process. They are the unbiased, expert voices that lenders, buyers, and sellers rely on to determine a property’s market value. To arrive at this value, appraisers consider various factors such as the property’s features, location, condition, and comparable nearby sales.

Being a real estate appraiser requires a blend of analytical skills, knowledge of the local real estate market, and an ability to carefully evaluate both numerical data and physical property characteristics.

Potential Earnings and Career Trajectory

A career as a real estate appraiser can be both rewarding and flexible. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate appraisers can earn a median annual wage of around $57,010, but earnings can vary widely depending on location, experience, and specialization.

The career trajectory can be quite stable and offers potential for growth. Many appraisers start by working for an appraisal firm to gain experience before eventually branching out to freelance or start their own businesses. Some appraisers choose to specialize in high-value properties or commercial real estate, which can boost earning potential.

If you love the idea of combining analytical thinking, real estate knowledge, and on-the-ground property assessment, becoming a real estate appraiser might be your ticket to a fulfilling non-traditional career in the real estate industry!

3. Real Estate Consultant

If you’re the kind of person who loves helping others make informed decisions, and you have a wealth of knowledge about the real estate market, becoming a real estate consultant could be your calling.

Understanding the Responsibilities of a Real Estate Consultant

A real estate consultant is like a trusted advisor in the real estate world. Instead of engaging in buying and selling property directly, they provide expert advice to those who do. They work with clients to help them navigate the complexities of real estate transactions, offering guidance on everything from market trends to property valuation, investment potential, and negotiation strategies.

Real estate consultants might also specialize in specific areas, like commercial real estate, real estate investing, or property management. They may conduct market research, analyze property portfolios, or devise strategic plans for their clients. Their role is to ensure that clients make the most informed, advantageous real estate decisions possible.

Benefits of Becoming a Consultant

One of the key benefits of becoming a real estate consultant is the flexibility it offers. As a consultant, you can often set your own hours, choose your clients, and specialize in the areas of real estate that interest you the most.

Another advantage is the opportunity for growth and continuous learning. The real estate market is dynamic, with ever-changing trends and variables. As a consultant, you’ll need to stay up-to-date on all the latest industry developments, making it an excellent career choice for lifelong learners.

Finally, there’s the satisfaction of helping clients achieve their real estate goals. Whether it’s a family finding their dream home or an investor growing their portfolio, your expert advice can make a significant impact on people’s lives and financial well-being.

If you’re someone who enjoys combining in-depth knowledge, strategic thinking, and helping others, becoming a real estate consultant might be the perfect non-traditional career path for you in the real estate industry!

4. Real Estate Photographer

Do you have a keen eye for aesthetics and a knack for capturing spaces in their best light? If so, you might want to consider a career as a real estate photographer, where you can combine your love for photography with the bustling world of real estate.

How Real Estate Photography Can Be a Lucrative Career

With the growing emphasis on online property listings, high-quality real estate photography has never been more in demand. Photos are usually the first impression potential buyers or renters get of a property, and top-notch visuals can significantly boost the appeal of a listing.

Professional real estate photographers can command excellent fees for their services. Depending on the location, the complexity of the shoot, and the photographer’s experience, a single shoot can earn you anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars.

Skills Needed to Succeed in This Profession

As a real estate photographer, you’ll need more than just an ability to take great photos. You’ll need an understanding of what sells in the real estate market and how to capture it visually. This involves highlighting a property’s best features, using light effectively, and composing your shots in a way that makes spaces look inviting.

Technical skills are crucial as well. You’ll need to master the art of interior and exterior photography, understand the ins and outs of your equipment, and be proficient in photo editing software to enhance your images in post-production.

Lastly, you’ll need excellent communication and customer service skills, as you’ll be working closely with real estate agents, sellers, and sometimes even interior designers or stagers.

If you have a passion for photography and are intrigued by the real estate world, becoming a real estate photographer could be an exciting non-traditional career path for you! Not only will you get to do what you love, but you’ll also play a critical role in showcasing properties and helping buyers envision their future homes. Now, how rewarding is that?

5. Real Estate Writer or Blogger

Do you have a way with words and a fascination for real estate? If so, you might find your perfect career intersection as a real estate writer or blogger.

The Role of a Real Estate Writer or Blogger

Real estate writers and bloggers cover a wide array of topics related to the industry. You could be crafting engaging property descriptions for an agency’s latest listings, penning in-depth market analysis articles, creating content for a real estate blog, or even writing a regular column in a property magazine.

Your audience might be potential home buyers or sellers, real estate professionals, investors, or people simply interested in learning about the market. The beauty of this role is that you get to translate complex industry jargon into accessible, engaging content that educates, informs, and entertains.

Skills and Benefits of Becoming a Real Estate Writer or Blogger

Success as a real estate writer or blogger requires solid writing skills, a good understanding of the real estate industry, and the ability to translate complex topics into engaging, accessible content. A knack for storytelling can also be a huge advantage, helping you to craft compelling narratives that keep readers coming back for more.

This role offers a great deal of flexibility. Many real estate writers and bloggers work freelance, choosing their projects and setting their own schedules. Plus, you can work from virtually anywhere!

The financial prospects can be promising, too. Depending on your level of expertise and the demand for your services, you can earn a solid income.

But perhaps the most rewarding aspect is the ability to share your passion for real estate with others, helping them navigate the market, make informed decisions, or simply indulge their interest in the industry.

So, if you love writing and have a keen interest in real estate, consider this non-traditional career path. As a real estate writer or blogger, you could turn your passion into a profession, influencing and educating readers one word at a time. How’s that for making an impact?

6. Real Estate Tech Innovator

In a world where technology has become a vital part of almost every industry, real estate is no exception. Enter the real estate tech innovator, a role at the forefront of transforming the way we buy, sell, and interact with property.

Emerging Tech Careers in the Real Estate Industry

Real estate tech innovators are the brains behind the digital revolution of the property market. They could be creating cutting-edge property listing platforms, developing virtual reality tours for home buyers, or using AI to predict real estate trends.

One growing niche is PropTech, or property technology, which involves applying digital advancements to real estate processes. This could mean anything from developing smart home technologies to designing software for managing real estate transactions.

Another burgeoning field is real estate data analytics. As a data scientist or analyst in the real estate field, you’d use your tech skills to analyze market trends, property valuations, or buyer behavior, providing valuable insights to buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals.

Future Prospects of This Role

The future is bright for tech innovators in the real estate industry. As technology continues to evolve and permeate every aspect of our lives, the demand for tech-savvy professionals in real estate will only grow.

The financial rewards can be significant, with salaries for tech roles often exceeding those in more traditional real estate careers. More importantly, you’d be at the forefront of shaping the future of the real estate industry, making property transactions smoother and more accessible for everyone.

Whether you’re a seasoned tech professional with a passion for real estate, or a property enthusiast with a flair for tech, becoming a real estate tech innovator could be your ticket to a fulfilling, non-traditional career in the industry. Get ready to shape the future of real estate!

7. Sustainable Real Estate Consultant

As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change, sustainability has become a priority across all sectors, including real estate. Enter the role of a sustainable real estate consultant, a position that combines a passion for the environment with property expertise.

The Importance of Sustainability in Real Estate

Sustainable real estate consultants help create and implement eco-friendly practices in the property market. This could involve advising on energy-efficient design, use of sustainable construction materials, or implementation of green property management practices.

The aim is to reduce the environmental footprint of buildings, which according to the United Nations Environment Programme, are responsible for nearly 40% of global energy use and one-third of GHG emissions. The work of sustainable real estate consultants, therefore, plays a crucial role in the global fight against climate change.

Sustainable experts from Illuminem state: “‘Sustainable’ does not mean just protecting the environment, but is also relevant for business, especially real estate. Not only is it wise to consider sustainability in real estate, it’s a must. As the forests we all love face deforestation, it’s important that we aim to keep our home-building ventures sustainable for the future to come as there is only a finite amount of wood. The Amazon rainforest has already lost up to 17% of its total forest, and the tipping point of irreversible damage is around 20 to 25% of deforestation. Real estate sustainability is paramount to saving the climate.”

How to Forge a Career in Sustainable Real Estate

To succeed in this niche, you’ll need a solid understanding of both real estate and environmental science. This could be gained through a combination of education, such as a degree in environmental studies or real estate, and on-the-job experience. Certifications in sustainability or green building standards like LEED can also enhance your credibility in the field.

As for the benefits, apart from the potential for a good income, there’s the immense satisfaction of contributing to a more sustainable future. Plus, as the demand for green buildings continues to grow, so too will the opportunities in this field.

In conclusion, if you’re passionate about the environment and have a keen interest in real estate, a career as a sustainable real estate consultant could offer the perfect blend of your interests. It’s a path that’s not just financially rewarding but also allows you to make a tangible difference to our planet and future generations.

8. Join the Future of Real Estate: Life at New Western

In our exploration of non-traditional real estate careers, it’s only fair we give a shout-out to an organization that embraces these innovative pathways and empowers its employees to create a future in real estate they can truly own: New Western.

New Western: A Competitive Powerhouse in Real Estate

New Western isn’t your average real estate company. With 150,000 qualified investors, an average Glassdoor rating of 4.6 stars, and a home bought every 13 minutes, it’s a competitive powerhouse that’s taking the real estate industry by storm.

But what makes New Western truly special is what the team members say about working there. It’s not just about the impressive stats – it’s about the people, the culture, and the boundless opportunities for growth.

Unleashing Your Potential: Hear from the Team

At New Western, employees don’t just have jobs – they have careers they control, businesses they run. “The best part of my job is the money and freedom,” says Jack A., an Assistant General Manager. “I am able to make my own schedule and control my income. I don’t feel like I have a job, I run my own business.”

And it’s not just about the individual. Seth M., VP of Business Intelligence, describes how his role involves making actionable insights from data to provide better tools and information to agents and managers. This collaborative, data-driven approach ensures everyone on the team has the tools they need to succeed.

Culture and Opportunities at New Western

New Western isn’t just a place to work—it’s a place to grow, to excel, and to impact your life in a matter of months. The company’s culture is dynamic, fast-paced, and designed to help you become the best version of your professional self.

Ezana K., a Sales Manager, says, “This company has given me so many opportunities to be successful. One reason why is because of the structure—top agents train newer agents in what it takes to be successful.”

New Western offers a “work your way” environment, with the structure to learn and the freedom you need to create the work experience (and schedule) that works for you. Whether you are a licensed real estate agent or are considering becoming licensed, you’re set up from the start with New Western’s intensive virtual classroom learning and a cohort of peers who take the journey to success with you.

Your Uncommon Opportunity

With New Western, you will benefit from the knowledge and experience gained while becoming the industry leader and creating many of the methods that have now become standards within the investment real estate industry.

If you’re a go-getter who thrives on pushing through obstacles and have a burning desire to win, New Western could be the perfect place for you to embark on your non-traditional real estate career. This is not just an opportunity to impact your career, but a chance to change your life.

In the words of General Manager Marcela A., “The best part of my job is pretty much everything. I wake up every single day excited and ready to do my best. It is so great, it doesn’t even really feel like work.”

In conclusion, as you consider your future in real estate, remember that the industry is ever-evolving and full of opportunities. So why not consider joining a team like New Western, where your opportunity to succeed is limitless?

Conclusion: Making Your Mark in Real Estate

As we’ve journeyed through the vast landscape of non-traditional real estate careers, one thing is clear: there’s so much more to this industry than meets the eye. From real estate development to consultancy, from photography to blogging, and from tech innovation to sustainable consulting, the opportunities are as diverse as they are exciting.

Each of these roles offers a unique way to be involved in the real estate world, promising not just financial rewards, but also the satisfaction of making a difference, whether it’s helping someone find their dream home, capturing stunning property images, writing about the industry, leading a tech revolution, or promoting sustainability in real estate.

So, if you’ve been contemplating a career in real estate, remember that you’re not limited to the traditional roles of agent or broker. The real estate industry is broad and dynamic, constantly evolving and ripe with opportunities for those willing to think outside the box.

Perhaps you’re drawn to the creativity and precision of real estate photography, or the tech-driven future of PropTech innovation. Maybe the idea of offering expert advice as a consultant appeals to you, or you’re passionate about merging environmental considerations with property decisions as a sustainable real estate consultant. Or, you might find your niche writing or blogging about the industry.

No matter what your interests, skills, or passions, there’s likely a non-traditional real estate career that’s a perfect match. So why not explore these paths? Dive into research, seek mentorship, enhance your skills, and take that bold step into a fulfilling, non-traditional real estate career. After all, the real estate world is your oyster, ready for you to make your unique mark.


Q1: What are traditional careers in real estate?

Traditional real estate careers typically include roles like real estate agents, brokers, and property managers. These roles involve helping clients buy, sell, or manage properties.

Q2: What are some examples of non-traditional real estate careers?

Non-traditional real estate careers encompass a wide range of roles that go beyond buying and selling property. Some examples include real estate developers, appraisers, consultants, photographers, writers, tech innovators, and sustainable real estate consultants.

Q3: What does a Real Estate Developer do?

A Real Estate Developer is involved in buying land, deciding what to build on it (based on market research), arranging for financing, and overseeing the construction process. They might create residential, commercial, or industrial projects.

Q4: What is the role of a Real Estate Appraiser?

A Real Estate Appraiser provides an impartial, objective estimate or appraisal of a property’s market value. They consider factors like property conditions, location, and recent sales of similar properties.

Q5: What does a Real Estate Consultant do?

A Real Estate Consultant provides expert advice to clients on a variety of property-related matters. This can range from helping an investor decide what kind of property to invest in, to advising a developer on the potential profitability of a proposed project.

Q6: How can Real Estate Photography be a career?

Real Estate Photographers specialize in capturing properties in their best light to help agents, developers, and homeowners showcase their spaces. This profession requires both photography skills and an understanding of what makes properties appealing to buyers.

Q7: What does a Real Estate Writer or Blogger do?

Real Estate Writers and Bloggers create content about the real estate industry. This can range from writing articles about market trends, to creating property descriptions, to blogging about their personal experiences in real estate.

Q8: What is a Real Estate Tech Innovator?

A Real Estate Tech Innovator is someone who uses technology to improve aspects of the real estate industry. They might develop new software to streamline property management, create platforms to simplify property searches, or use big data to predict market trends.

Q9: What is a Sustainable Real Estate Consultant?

A Sustainable Real Estate Consultant is an expert in the intersection of real estate and environmental sustainability. They might advise clients on green building practices, or help investors find properties that are both eco-friendly and profitable.

Q10: How can I start a non-traditional real estate career?

Starting a non-traditional real estate career often involves gaining knowledge and experience in both real estate and the specific area you’re interested in (e.g., photography, writing, technology). You might start by taking classes, getting a relevant certification, or finding a mentor in the field. Joining a forward-thinking organization like New Western could also provide valuable opportunities for learning and growth.

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