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Real estate consists of selling and buying properties like buildings, facilities, and land. The real estate industry can be a profitable business venture for those who have sharp qualitative and quantitative research skills. Individuals interested in the industry will usually have their start with real estate internships. Most real estate internships are paid or unpaid, function via volunteers, or are designed to offer college credit for those with relevant degrees. Ultimately, internships can help to streamline the intern's career path in the real estate industry.
It is important to select an internship that is aligned with career or life experiences. If the prospective intern is currently working on a degree in real estate finance, then working under the supervision of a real estate loan officer may be a viable option. This is just an example — the prospective intern should work closely with his or her school guidance counselor or mentor when selecting relevant real estate internships.
Unpaid internships — or volunteer work — at a real estate firm will usually consist of desk and administrative work. These types of internships tend not to offer a comprehensive overview of the analytics behind the real estate industry, but are options for those who have limited work or college experience. Most unpaid real estate internships will offer flexible hours that will require the intern to work at more relaxed business endeavors, such as emailing, telecommunicating, or contacting businesses. Due to the nature of these types of internships, most interns may not have the opportunity to start their real estate careers on internships that are volunteer-based.
Paid real estate internships tend to offer a more comprehensive and hands-on overview of the industry, especially when juxtaposed to unpaid internships. Depending on the real estate firm, an intern will usually be able to work closely as an assistant in various career branches in the industry. An intern may be able to work closely on consumer requests with a real estate agent, gather transactions for an escrow officer, or help connect a real estate loan officer with potential clients.
Real estate internships that offer college credit will allow current students to gain credit towards their degrees while gaining valuable work experience. These types of internships are usually offered at college fairs and career development events. Students interested in inquiring about these types of real estate internships should contact their guidance counselors or advisors.