The real estate industry involves the buying, selling, valuation, development, and investment of properties. These activities can take place at the individual consumer sector, business-to-business sector, or investment banking sector. The real estate industry has a direct impact on the hotel and lodging industry, the gaming industry (e.g. casinos), home building, and real estate investment trusts (REITs), all key drivers of the economy.
Many investment banks on Wall Street and elsewhere have groups dedicated to real estate, which are good places for someone who has an interest in both real estate and investment banking. Products involve the repackaging of mortgages into residential mortgage-backed securities (MBS), collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) and commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS). Other popular areas include the REIT stock, bond and preferred stock origination business, lodging investment banking, principal investing in real estate and synthetic lease origination.
Developers should have a strong understanding of business in general, and the real estate industry in particular. Course work in finance, business law, economics, engineering and architecture is helpful.
All 50 states require real estate agents and brokers to be licensed, most state require prospective agents and brokers to complete courses in real estate.
Professionals in reals estate must have a good understanding of tax laws, zoning regulations, contract law, finance, and general business acumen. Depending on the role (broker, appraiser, etc.) licensing or professional certification may be required.