Build a strong foundation in Real Estate

Build a strong foundation in Real Estate

CAREER PATH

Whether you talk about developers, architects, professional real estate consultants, vaastu experts or contractors, the sector has opportunities and optimistic career prospects in all spheres, at varied levels.

Though the Real Estate sector may be unorganised when it comes to remuneration, academics and profile offerings, dominant players are bringing in the much-required credibility for job seekers. A real estate consultant has been predicted to be much in demand, both for the commercial and residential segment, till 2018.

In the last couple of years, the industry witnessed a major shift in job preference. There has been a gradual shift from the financial sector to preference for jobs in the real estate sector. Individuals from different backgrounds are moving away from banking, marketing, insurance, business consultancy or retail to real estate.

Although the recent slowdown in the economy has affected business, many have played the role of a ‘business saviour’ by offering strategies to curtail real-estate expenses. Besides, development of infrastructure, government regulations and infusion of FDIs have supported the expansion of real estate in India.

Education in real estate
Although the profession seems to be much in demand in India, the country lacks specialised academic courses and institutes for real estate. In the absence of exclusive courses, seekers have always learnt on the job as there are no standard guidelines or practices that may define the process.

There is an urgent need for undergraduate and graduate courses in real estate but sourcing trained faculties may be a challenge, as professionals operating in the industry have learnt the tricks of the trade on-the-job for decades now. So compiling relevant study material on real estate functions and processes may be formidable. Stringent steps from the government and education systems can help to bring in professionalism in the sector.

A number of Management schools have now started offering Real Estate Management as a specialisation.

Growth prospects
There are two main routes in real estate consulting. Students may directly move from campus (undergraduate and MBA primarily) to entry-level positions (research/market analyst, business development). The other leads from industry into mid-level positions from specific industries (e.g: banking, insurance, retail, and financial services), functions (e.g. marketing or client relation associate).

It’s a high-paying, high-profile field that offers students the opportunity to take on big responsibilities right after a master’s degree and quickly learn a great deal about the real estate world. After a three-year stint with reputed developers, many shift from project marketing to real-time consultancy.

There is no shortage of opportunity to excel in this field. Though advisory in residential and commercial may look similar in nature, both operate rather differently. Professional companies operating commercial market look for proven sales record, impeccable organisational skills, and an enterprising nature.

Career prospects
Landing a job with a reputed consultant may be a challenge for freshers. However, two years in any marketing field is enough to handle an entry-level position with a trusted banner in consultancy. In consultancy, one can earn a reasonable salary, as a large part of the remuneration is incentive-driven. So the more you sell, the more you earn.

After spending 2-3 years with a professional consultant, practitioners find it lucrative to start their own setup in anticipation of big money leveraging on their network and relationship. Real estate transactions involve huge financial investment and such deals don’t happen overnight.

Employment with a reputed realtor with strong leadership and experience gives the professional security of income every month along with annual incentives based on targets achieved. Besides, while choosing a consultant in commercial real estate, clients seek a trusted company with long term presence and staff strength.

Working with a reputed realtor can help one learn faster by following ethics and professional guidelines. This being a speculative market, it is a high risk high profitability sector; some risks may be short-term, but sometimes the downturn can run into years.

Quick tip: Opportunities with clients, expertise, experience, leadership, goodwill, brand image, network, diversified services, that a reputed consultant can provide a student is unattainable in a smaller setup.

Bigger organisations have the capacity to sustain long term challenges. Perhaps, it is equally important to choose where to work, carefully check the company’s past record, client portfolio, geographical reach, their future plans and the career growth they can offer you.

Remuneration
Starting salaries in real estate management can fetch an entrant Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 a month. An Assistant Property Manager/Real Estate Consultant should expect to make Rs 40,000 to 50,000 a month after two years of work experience. At the top level, a real estate manager can earn a salary of Rs 70,000 to 1 lakh a month and can also expect an annual bonus along with other fringe benefits.

(The author is the Dean of Academics at Netaji Subhash Institute of Management Sciences, New Delhi)

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