Real Estate Sector, a great career option with multiple advantages

Prof. Anupam Saxena, Associate Dean and Director of School of Real Estate, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NoidaAnupam Saxena

Planning to start a Career? Think and decide wisely, because it’s your own career that you are deciding, which means the kind of work that you will be doing five, ten or twenty years down the line. Imagine, doing something that doesn’t excite you or give you satisfaction? I’m sure we don’t want to get into something like that and which is why it’s important you read through.

On one hand they say follow your passion and make your hobby your profession, but at the same time many people are unable to decide how to make hobby a profession or what really excites them the most. Not knowing many answers, we end up taking up professions with a shorter vision and then within a few years the depression starts setting in and we start dragging ourselves to work.

Having looked closely at many industries and their nature of work, having looked at the global scenario and practices, and above all looking at which industries and jobs shall not become a victim of automation, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, I have narrowed down on one industry, which I understand can have its ups and downs, like any other industry, but will never be down and out – that one industry is Real Estate.

Now first, let me break the myth here – real estate does not mean real estate broker only. Yes, that could be one function, but it means much more than a Broker with many job functions and multiple employers.

What is Real Estate sector?

Real estate sector is one of the most globally recognized sectors. It comprises of five sub sectors – housing, retail, hospitality, commercial and Industrial & warehousing. In India, the real estate sector is the second-highest employment generator, after the agriculture sector. It is also expected that this sector will incur more non-resident Indian (NRI) investment, both in the short term and the long term. 

Why Real Estate as a career?

Reason 1 – one of the most rapidly growing sector:

  • High investment potential: Real estate sector is forecasted to reach US$650 billion, representing 13% India’s GDP by 2025;
  • Driven by increasing transparency and returns, there is a surge in private equity (PE) investments and FDI in the country;
  • The residential sector is growing big with a requirement of 20 million affordable houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna;
  • Increase in urban housing and rapid urbanization will lead to more requirement for Retail, Commercial, Healthcare, Education and warehousing real estate;
  • Post-COVID, India is looking forward to more manufacturing units setting up here leading to increased demand for industrial and commercial real estate, which in turn will boost the demands for residential and other real estate asset classes.

The most interesting argument in favor of Real Estate that I’ve come across is that it is one of the three essentials for human survival – roti, kapda aur makaan (food, clothing and house), however real estate is the most important for all since even food and clothing are made inside real estate only. This means, as the population grows, so will the demand for real estate grow.

Reason 2 – Variety of jobs and functions:

Real Estate sector is not just about becoming a real estate broker. This industry provides many interesting and creative jobs, which are certainly not repetitive and offer an altogether new canvas as you move from one project to another. Each Project and Development brings with itself a whole new set of challenges and a great sense of satisfaction and achievement, once the project has been successfully completed and delivered to the users.

The various key functions are:

  1. Business development: A serious function that requires market research, feasibility studies, micro and macro-economic understanding of the location and a host of other factors to decide the Project to be built.
  2. Legal due diligence: Utilizing the understanding of legal framework behind land transactions for land purchase.
  3. Valuation: This involves establishing the acceptable market value of land or property
  4. Design and planning: deciding how much and what to build, based upon the local building bylaws and market requirement
  5. Finance: This involves roles related to both Project Finance, which means financing of a project by a Financial Institution to Housing Finance, which means financing of a house by a Bank
  6. Sales and marketing: Involves the selling of Residential properties and leasing/letting of residential/commercial/retail properties and also the option of becoming a Broker
  7. Corporate real estate asset management: This is about managing real estate portfolio of any corporate, one of the most critical components of any business after HR
  8. Facilities management: this is one function that is so crucial that without this no building or business can survive – this looks after managing key services of the buildings and complexes, which makes them usable. For example, when you visit a Mall, you find all services to be spick and span – lifts and elevators, air-conditioning, power and back-up, cleanliness, security, parking, landscaping, etc. everything at its best – thanks to a team that is managing them all in the background and providing you with a great experience all the time.

According to the above mentioned job functions, there are a variety of job-roles that come into play and based upon one’s aptitude these roles can be chosen and also can be changed over a period of time as you grow in the industry.

Reason 3 – variety of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities

This is an industry that involves very high investment, but at the same time it is one industry that produces one of the costliest products that one buys in one’s lifetime. Accordingly, the revenues earned and the potential for individual earning is always very high and while one gets high salaries compared to other industries, one also earns high incentives in this industry.

At the same time, there are opportunities based upon the investment capabilities of an individual to become and entrepreneur and successfully pursue one’s own business. In USA, for example, every month there are about 17,000 search clicks by people enquiring how to become a real estate broker. In fact, in USA it is ranked as one of the top 5 professions as well, mainly because of the respect and the income associated with it. In India, one can pursue any entrepreneurial opportunity, right from becoming a broker to a valuer to a developer and much more.

Reason 4 – Safe and long-term

This is one industry that has been there since historical times and will be there for any number in future, because everything we do is only inside real estate and we cannot survive without real estate anymore. The reason why from the pre-historic times people have been living in a shelter, whether a cave or a house is that we cannot survive the harsh weathers and all other threats in the open.

Looking back historically, even during the biggest of the global recessions to any pandemic, the reason why the national economies have come out of recession is Real Estate – just because people keep buying residences and more so during recessions and pandemics because of the safety and security a residence provides to a family.

And finally, this is the industry which offers a great lifestyle, opportunity to meet interesting people, working from plush offices, being on the move, travelling, entertaining, throwing parties and managing events and having lots of fun.

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