Real Estate


REAL estate agents are matchmakers, bringing buyers, sellers and homes together. A real estate agent is an individual who works for a real estate brokerage firm and represents one of the involved party's interests during the sales process. The term real estate, or "real property," refers to the ownership of land and interests in land.

Most real estate agents are independent salespeople who provide their services on behalf of a licensed real estate broker. The broker pays the agent a portion of the commission earned from the agent's sale of property. Earnings are almost always based strictly on commission. Good real estate agents understand the local market inside out. They help house- seeking clients find neighborhoods and homes offering the best balance between their lifestyles, concerns and budgets.

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Real estate is a legal term (in some jurisdictions, notably in the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia) that encompasses land along with anything permanently affixed to the land, such as buildings, specifically property that is stationary or fixed in location. There are number of people employed in the identifiable real estate fields such as title insurance, construction, mortgage banking, property management, real estate appraisals, brokerage and leasing, and real estate development. In addition, many were engaged in corporate real estate and in real estate lending in commercial banks, savings and loans, and insurance companies where their jobs are not included in the real estate sector. Over a third of the world's wealth is tied up in real estate. Real estate is collateral for mortgages and a large amount of financial assets. As important as the field of real estate might be, it is also worth recognizing how interesting the work in this field is. Real estate professionals are tied to the development of our society in a very direct way and participate in decisions that will shape the way we live for centuries. Work in real estate is personally rewarding, ever-changing and challenging.

Career Prospects

The field of real estate involves the sale, management and analysis of land and properties. This is one of the largest parts of the economy and offers excellent job opportunities. Real estate jobs tend to be more entrepreneurial and create opportunities to become wealthy if you have the right mix of analytical skills and entrepreneurial drive.

Key Job Areas

Residential Real Estate Agent/Broker

Real estate agents and brokers are usually independent sales professionals who contract their services to real estate brokers in exchanges for a commission-sharing agreement (normally six percent). There are over 400,000 real estate brokers and agents in the United States. To become a broker you must be at least 18 years old, a high school graduate and have passed a written test on property laws and real estate transactions. Most states also require 30-90 hours of classroom training.

Commercial Real Estate Sales

Commercial property brokerage offices use sales associates who market office buildings, hotels and many other types of commercial real estate for brokers. Commercial real estate sales people usually specialize in a particular property type such as apartments, retail, office, hospitality, shopping centers and industrial plants. Most of the large commercial brokerage companies in the United States provide a great deal of local market data and research in order to be able to service a cadre of sophisticated clients who are making multi-million dollar investment decisions. Several trade organizations represent the various commercial real estate subspecialties including the American Industrial Real Estate Association

Real Estate Appraisers

Real estate appraisers provide unbiased estimates of a property's value and quality. Appraisers usually work for banks or for appraiser firms and will normally value properties by finding comparable sales in an area or by as timating the discounted value of cash flows expected from a property. This profession is less cyclical than real estate brokerage because appraisers are required when homes are refinanced-a time historically when the real estate market has been slow. You can learn more about this area from the Appraisal Foundation.

Property Managers

Leading real estate owners require professional property managers. Managers are responsible for negotiating leases, ensuring that tenants are satisfied, that rent is paid and that rents reflect market conditions. The career of property manager requires good interpersonal and analytical skills and a fair amount of negotiating prowess. This job is personally rewarding and allows you to really learn the real estate markets should you wish to embark in business on your own.

Real Estate Advisory

Institutional investors are purchasing real estate more and more. But real estate is not like a stock or bond that you can buy and put in a vault. Real estate advisors help investors care for property and, more importantly, se lect property in the first place by suggesting areas and property types that are likely to experience price appreciation in the future. This job is fun and one that you can get into after getting experience in investing or property management. People who are good with statistics and excel at client contact do well in this job. An example of a leading advisor is Jones Lang Wootton which has 70 offices world-wide.

Development and Construction

You can enter this business working for another developer, moving up to construction manager, or you can strike out on your own, starting with some smaller transactions. Good developers are results-oriented and know how to get work on time which involves managing labor, establishing time estimates, getting appropriate equipment operators and construction crews.

Real Estate Entrepreneur

Real estate is one of the last bastions of the free-enterprising entrepreneur who buys properties in hope that they will rise in value because of improvement in market conditions or renovations. Since WWII some of the weal thiest persons in the world have been real estate entrepreneurs. To make it in this career you need to be savvy, hard-working, willing to take risks and fortunate. Remember, there are others who would also like to become wealthy in real estate who will be bidding on the same deals and properties that you will. It is important, then, to think carefully of how you can succeed in this market through better wits, a superior management approach or a unique niche strategy.

Hiring of real estate executives by REITS, banks and mortgage institutions is on the upswing.

Famous Realtors And Real Estate Development

Disneyland - Walt Disney's "Theme Park" Real Estate Development

Walt Disney is justifiably celebrated for creating characters like Mickey Mouse - but as a real estate developer, his effect on real estate development and theme park construction is no less significant. Disneyland's origins had deep roots in Walt Disney's past. He later told inquirers that he first had the idea for a new kind of amusement park when he took his two young daughters out for fun on weekends and found that, ".existing kids' parks and fairs were often dirty, sleazy, money-grubbing places." In spite of the fact he had never developed real estate or managed a large-scale construction project, Disney nourished his notions of a new kind of amusement park throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s. His idea for displaying Disney characters in a fantasy setting was a bold departure from present-day amusement parks and carnivals that offered rides, games, and inexpensive food. Instead Disneyland was conceived as an extension of the Disney brand, and would be the first "theme park" built in the United States, signaling a major shift in amusement park construction -and, equally as importantly, in real estate development surrounding major attractions.

As his ideas for the development began to expand and take shape, Walt found little enthusiasm for the project within his own company. His brother Roy, the financial director of the studio, strongly opposed it, believing that this "fanciful, expensive amusement park would lead to financial ruin." Most bankers and investors agreed, feeling that Disney's lack of real estate development and construction experience was too large a hurdle to overcome. But Walt, confident of his own vision, sidestepped the studio and began to gather funds by borrowing on his life insurance and selling vacation property in southern California. He assembled a staff of designers, planners, and artists and formed WED Enterprises - the letters were his initials - as a personal corporation to house them.

Operating out of a small building on the Disney Burbank lot, the WED group began a long process of creative brainstorming. Its members conceptualized, designed, and reworked Walt's broad ideas. They visited other amusement attractions around the country to gather data and impressions and flesh out development plans, and with the help of commercial contractors created a rough construction timetable. By 1953 major large hurdles - obtaining financing and securing a location - still blocked the launching of the park's construction. In July of that year, Walt recognized his need to seek real estate development expertise and solicited a pair of marketing studies from the Stanford Research Institute: one would examine the economic prospects of developing Disneyland, and the other the ideal location for construction.

In spite of his lack of real estate development experience, Disney had created park plans that allowed for expansion and resulting construction where the construction company would not interfere with ongoing park operations. After determining the facility could be profitable, the Stanford group closely examined a host of factors - demographic statistics, urban growth trends, population concentrations, traffic patterns, freeway construction, availability of experienced commercial contractors, weather conditions - before recommending a sight in Anaheim, a rapidly growing town just southeast of Los Angeles. The study eventually led to the purchase of a 160-acre orange grove alongside the new Santa Ana freeway; its proximity to a major freeway meant the park was a short 27-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles. Disney had struggled to find additional financing; as he later recalled, he was told by bankers that "the outdoor amusement business was a cultural anachronism that had already declined into senility." A few months later, the financial breakthrough came with a long-term agreement with ABC which brought the television network in as a major investor. (ABC agreed to carry Disney television programming, marking Mickey Mouse's first network appearance and the start of a tremendously profitable partnership for both companies. ABC also agreed to help publicize Disneyland in return for an ownership stake in the property.)

With financing in place and a location secured, construction began in the summer of 1953. Commercial contractors and construction companies fell under the overall leadership of Joe Fowler, an engineer and retired navy admiral who became construction supervisor, and later park manager for ten years. Disneyland was formally opened a year later, on July 18, 1955, to glowing reviews. Disney is justifiably celebrated for creating characters like Mickey Mouse, Snow White and Bambi - but his effect on real estate development and theme park construction is no less significant.

Victor Gruen - Father of the Modern Shopping Mall

Gruen's design used several unique new features that changed the face of retail and commercial real estate development. The exterior walls were blank with all activity focused to the inside. The whole complex was covered by one roof, with air-conditioning for the summer and heat for the winter. The facility featured multiple levels, connected by escalators and fed by two-tiered parking. The result was a sensation in retail development, and mall design, retail properties and real estate development in the United States has never been the same since.Victor Gruen, an architect from Vienna, was asked by a friend in 1939 to design a leather-goods store in New York. The result was a revolutionary storefront, with a mini-arcade in the entranceway filled with glass cases, spotlights, and faux marble, and green corrugated glass on the ceiling. It was, in his words, a "customer trap," designed to lure customers into the store regardless of their interest in the products on display. The idea was new to American retail design, particularly in major cities where storefronts were flush to the street. Gruen received considerable critical praise, and designed stores for real estate developers around the city and in New Jersey.

Gruen's main contribution to commercial real estate development was on a new project for a real estate developer constructing Southdale, the first modern shopping mall. Construction costs totaled twenty million dollars, and the mall had seventy-two stores and two anchor department-store tenants, Donaldson's and Dayton's. Southdale used a unique new design feature: previously, shopping centers used an extroverted style, with store windows and entrances facing the parking area and interior pedestrian aisles. Unlike other shopping centers, Southdale was introverted: the exterior walls were blank with all activity focused on the inside. Suburban shopping centers had always been in the open, with stores connected by outdoor passageways. Gruen had the idea of putting the whole complex under one roof, with air-conditioning for the summer and heat for the winter - it was a visionary concept for a developer, and created significant positive changes for retailers and developers. Another of Gruen's new concepts was to create a multi-level shopping facility; to that point almost every other major shopping center was built on a single level. Gruen put stores on two levels, connected by escalators and fed by two-tiered parking. In the middle he put a courtyard under a skylight, with a fishpond, sculpted trees, bird cages, and a caf´┐Ż. The result was a sensation in retail development. Critics and shoppers raved about the atmosphere, convenience, and design of the mall. Retail property development in the United States (and across the world) has never been the same.

Today virtually every regional shopping center in America is at minimum a fully enclosed, introverted, multi-tiered, double-anchor-tenant complex with a garden court under a skylight. (Many malls have more than two anchor stores - some have up to eight large department stores.) Victor Gruen didn't just design a building; he designed an archetype. He created a retailing model that became the paradigm of retail property development. He gave speeches, wrote articles, and met with scores of real estate developers and commercial contractors in later years; his influence on commercial real estate cannot be overstated. By inventing the mall he invented an entirely new shopping experience and a new business model for real estate developers, commercial contractors, construction companies, and retailers across the United States. Real estate developers quickly worked with architects and designers to develop their own shopping mall plans, and retail stores rushed to fill open space created by new construction. Some properties reached a 90 percent lease rate even before they officially opened, as retailers jockeyed for prime positions (or any position at all) in newly-constructed malls.

At the time of Southdale's construction, large shopping centers were a delicate commercial proposition for most real estate developers. A large shopping center simply cost too much to build and took too long for a developer to recover his costs. Then, in the mid-fifties, something happened that turned the dismal economics of the mall upside down: Congress made a radical change in the tax rules governing depreciation. Gruen's design used several unique new features that changed the face of retail and commercial real estate development. The exterior walls were blank with all activity focused to the inside. The whole complex was covered by one roof, with air-conditioning for the summer and heat for the winter. The facility featured multiple levels, connected by escalators and fed by two-tiered parking. The result was a sensation in retail development, and real estate developers' view on mall design, retail properties and real estate development in the United States have never been the same since. For tax purposes in the early fifties the useful life of a building was held to be forty years, so a developer could deduct one-fortieth of the value of his building from his income every year. A new forty-million-dollar mall, then, had an annual depreciation deduction of a million dollars. What Congress did in 1954, in an attempt to stimulate investment in manufacturing, was to "accelerate" the depreciation process for new construction. Now a mall developer could recoup the cost of his investment in a fraction of the time. Many historians agree the result created a boom for commercial developers. As a result, developers could create projects at a much more reasonable cost for retail clients, who in turn could pass savings on to American consumers, who benefited from a more convenient shopping experience and lower prices.

Many construction companies quickly became commercial contractors, providing services to real estate developers with ties to major retailers. Mall design became so standardized that many commercial contractors focused exclusively on mall construction, traveling around the country from job site to job site. Retailers and consumers asked for more and more convenience: developers responded by designing malls with escalators, elevators, multi-level parking garages, and a host of other design features benefiting shoppers and retailers. Today's mega-malls like the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota are the direct descendants of Victor Gruen's vision. The largest mall in the U.S., the Mall of America includes three levels of shopping. Anchored by eight department stores and four hundred retail stores, the mall also includes an indoor roller coaster and a wedding chapel. Although certainly not on the scale of the Mall of America, within twenty to thirty years most small cities had malls based on the Gruen design, and by the year 2000 most small towns feature at least one mall, however small, based on the concept of two anchor stores with smaller retailers between.

Horoscope - Career for Zodiac Signs

So if you are interested in a career in real estate just checks out these sun signs which are in most favour of this industry.



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