real estate career?

I am really interested in real estate. I just graduated from college. At that time, I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I know real estate is what I want to do.

I think I want to get into commercial development. The problems are that I have had multiple people tell me all different things to do.

I have been told to:
Go get my JD/MBA. I am interested in real estate law, but I think I want to be more on the development side.

Go work at a bank. Learn the financial back bone of the real estate market. Get an MBA at the same time.

One of my friends dads owns a big construction company. I could work for him, be a construction manager at some point, get my MBA. Then move on.

I kinda feel that my best route is the work at the construction part first. Because eventually I want to get into development, and it would be great to know this stuff. Lets say, I work for a bank and get an MBA, I am never going to go back to working as a project manager in construction. I figure it is best to get it done now, then move on to working for a bank or a developer. That way I offer a lot of experience, and I should be well on my way to owning my own company someday?

what does everyone think? cus my mind is spinning.

Howdy Stbomb15:

I am almost 50 and still do not know what I want to do for a living. I too think about going back to school for my MBA. I graduated in 77 with a BS in Business from UNC. I worked construction, digging ditches to start during the summers. In the past I have seen builders who actually knew very little about basic construction. The wife had money and they wanted to be builders and so they started some houses. I agree that a construction background is vital. Knowing how it all fits together and the steps involved and working with different subs is an education in itself. I am currently doing a 31 unit rehab and it is a piece of cake because I have been there and done that.

If you want to get into development you should do construction for sure and then work your way into working for a development company. You may not need a full MBA to reach your goals perhaps several finance courses and real estate classes will help . You could do these at night if you have the burning desire that you seem to have.

Just my 5 cents worth. Good luck.

Thanks for the advice.

Another question about the construction side of things. 1) his construction company develops schools, buildings, churchs, stuff like that… he did some work for the cavs stadium and browns stadium too. I eventually want to get into condos, and stuff like that. Resorts. Would this hurt or hinder me, or is learning the basic back bone of construction going to be the same no matter what I am building?

  1. Would getting a job in construction and an MBA help me to get a job with a developer some day?

I am an engineer with an MBA. I find that the only thing that my formal education does for me is get me a job that pays me a lot of money. I use that money in my real estate. There is nothing that my formal education taught me that helps me in real estate. I worked as a project engineer for 5 years building chemical plants. That taught me how to deal with contractors and contracts etc. I learned about capital versus expenses at work. But I learned how to purchase properties, deal with tenants, and all the real estate issues on the street. I joined a mentor club. They provide me with leads on good contractors, and access to discount tools, like real estate comps, and MLS and things like that. But no education that you will ever find will teach you how to make money. That is only taught on the street. That is why anybody can get rich.

Right. But I can’t get a job with a developer at this point. I don’t offer much value. I also think there is a lot I can learn before working with a developer to enhance my value to him and eventually be able to have my own development company.

So I am figuring, working as a Project manager, get an MBA, then going straight to a developer or working on the underwriting with a bank, then moving onto a developer… Then starting a company. I am just trying to give myself the best foudation I can.

What is your degree in?

Nothing that pertains. I went to a liberal arts school. I majored in communications.

Then you need to start where you want to start and convince someone to hire you. You will have an uphill battle just like in any field getting somebody to hire you. One place that the type of degree is not as relevant is in sales. They want someone who can sell. If you can sell them on hiring you, then they will. That can get your foot in the door. The only advanced degree that might help is a JD. A JD changes you from whatever you are historian, engineer, accountant, etc. into a lawyer. Then you can choose to do real estate law. An MBA doesn’t qualify anyone to do anything. It enhances what you do. For instance an accountant with an MBA is still an accountant, a marketer with an MBA is still a marketer, and an engineer with an MBA is still an engineer. An employer will still have to have a need for whatever your base degree is in to hire you. Good luck


I have been talking to many people the past couple days. I really want to get into real estate development. I know I have an uphill battle, but luckily I know a guy that owns a construction company. After talking to a couple developers, they said that would add a lot of value to me. After a few years of working with a construction company, I would be able to go work for a developer on the business side of things… Eventually having the know how to start my own development company up.

just curious but are you saying you just got out of college as a liberal arts major and now want to jump full steam ahead into large commercial real estate development? kinda like donald trump? i think everyone else does too. I think the best way is to learn to crawl first. Most people start with 2 or 4 family homes then move up to small apartment buildings and such. you need to get yourself as a corp. so you can build credit and a track record before banks will finance large deals.


Like Tedjr, I also graduated from college (NCSU) in 1977 with a double degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. I earned my MS in Systems Management in 1982. I even applied for the Syracuse University MBA scholarship program in 1986. 16 full scholarship applicants were accepted for that class, I was the first alternate in case someone decided to cancel – for the first time in eight years, noone cancelled. In 1987, I was offered a full scholarship for the Baylor University Masters in Health Care Administration program, but I decided to do something else with my life instead.

I can honestly say that my education got me good jobs, but did nothing to prepare me to be a rental property owner. Well, perhaps some of the business finance course I took in graduate school contributed somewhat, but I learned what I know today in the school of hard knocks and from real estate websites such as this one.

I have been retired (self-unemployed) since 1998 and real estate investing is still a “hobby” for me. How can anything that is so much fun, something I never “work” at, be called work? I will probably only acquire five new properties for my rental portfolio in the next year. I have three under contract now, though one is promised to my wife as her 2004 Christmas present.

Suggest you either go to graduate school to get good jobs that will finance your real estate investments. Or, instead, go to the real estate licensing class to become an agent. Work in the real estate business to learn. Perhaps become the sales and marketing representative for a developer. This will let you observe the construction manager and learn his job before you are actually thrust into the role.

dave i am happy you like investing in real estate. i am very hesitant. My parent made a small fortune doing that and working regular jobs. they owned one home and rented it. The rent paid for the mortgage on another rental property. That rent paid for the mortgage on our primary. My parents didnt have to really make a mortgage payment for about 9 years. that adds up if it goes into a savings account. However there were many times they had problems with tenants and i am hesitant because i dont know if i have the patience to tolerate those thigns and go through legal channels rather than do it “my way”

I have been reading these posts for some time and only just now registered to reply to your question. I have a teaching degree and am a licensed real estate broker. I bought a RE/MAX franchise several years ago, got it up and running and kicking butt in my little town–then sold it to go back to my first love–real estate investing. Whether it’s rehabbing, sub2, or flipping to other investors, this is the only life for me. With my RE/MAX, I was working till 11pm or later more nights than I can count–and did I mention I have 4 kids? Go to and sign up for his training. He’s awesome. You’ll come away with a direction, not just some more letters after your name. If it’s real estate you love, don’t spend any more time in college. You have to find someone who knows what you need to know and will teach it to you.

Being in the business i would hvae to say the best way to learn is by doing. I think its hard for someone to just teach a general class or lecture on Real Estate investing. Everyones situation is unique. It depends on so many factors like credit scores, credit history, and how you qualify for a loan. Also state lending laws play into it also. Anyone looking to get into investing thier best bet is to talk to a good mortgage consultant to see what your personal options are.

Thanks… A lot has come since I posted.

  1. I took the LSAT, it sucks.

Anyways, I have a couple options, I think I will probably go to law school in a year and half, that gives me a good amount of time to learn. my main goal is to become a developer, some of the best developers around Cleveland are lawyers, they said it helped them a lot. They went into real estate law, the branched out… that is the plan.

A developer, Apollo housing capital, has some available internships, my friends mom put me in contact with them, and the lady there said she is going to put her best foot forward for me. They are even looking for someone to work part time after the internship. Which would be great. So I am going to see what happens.

I also have the option of working with a mortgage firm? Don’t know much about it, but my cousin’s buddy runs it. he said I would learn all the financial stuff?

more options, I am just weighing em all.