Preparing for a Career in Real Estate

Tiger Tracks for careers in Real Estate


Real estate offers a wide array of career opportunities.

  • Real estate requires patience, innovation, diligence, trustworthiness, interpersonal skills, andbusiness acumen.
  • It is important for you to determine what aspects of real estate appeal to you and what route isbest to achieve your objectives.
  • Acquiring an internship can greatly aid in the development of your understanding of real estate.
  • Establishing relationships with working real estate professionals is a vital experience tolaunching a successful career. 


Effective communication skills and an understanding of business concepts and models areessential if you are interested in a career in real estate. Your coursework at Hampden-Sydney willprovide preparation for a career in real estate regardless of your major. Although there is no single course of study that is absolutely essential for someone interested in real estate, the Economics and Business programs at Hampden-Sydney are, in general, specifically advantageous platforms fromwhich to begin a career in real estate. The following are suggested courses:

  • Economics & Business courses: Money & Banking; Financial/Managerial Accounting; Nature,Management, and Environment of Business; Urban and Regional Economics; EconomicForecasting; Corporate Finance
  • Elective Courses: Public Speaking (Rhetoric); Statistics & Calculus (Mathematics)

Fields of Real Estate

Research the various fields of real estate, and determine which one sparks your interest:

  • Appraisal: the process of placing value on a property
  • Brokerage Sales: playing an intermediary role between buyers and sellers of properties
  • Development: the development of new land or the redevelopment of existing projects
  • Finance: mortgage and equity financing of new and existing properties
  • Investment: ownership, leasing, management, and disposition of real estate properties
  • Property Management: overseeing and managing real estate assets

Programs and Extracurricular Activities

  • The Career Education and Vocational Reflection Office helps you negotiate the challenginginternship search by offering lessons in résumé and cover letter writing, networking, and interviewpreparation.
  • The Center for Entrepreneurship and Political Economy provides you the experience,connections, and skills to help you bring your businesses to market. Furthermore, it shines light onthe role that government plays in the marketplace.
  • On-Campus Speakers - Hampden-Sydney attracts many speakers from all backgrounds. Attending these talks will expand your breadth of knowledge and can provide networkingopportunities with individuals practicing real estate.
  • The Tiger Fund: Student Managed Investment Fund - For those interested in real estateinvestment or finance, the Tiger Fund provides a competitive opportunity to practice the valuationand market analysis techniques learned in class by managing a portion of the school's endowment.

Graduate Study and Certifications

  • The MBA: a highly respected degree for any field of business
  • Master of Science in Real Estate: strategically prepares you to concentrate in real estate byfocusing on the more technical aspects of the real estate process, such as principles of development,market analysis, and real estate finance.
  • State Approved Real Estate License: Each state has unique real estate laws, so to provide realestate services, one must pass a state approved exam. In certain states, commercial and residentiallaws vary which may require you to take a separate licensing exam depending on your industry ofchoice. While there is no class required before taking a state-approved exam, many preparationclasses are offered.
  • Specialized designations are also a way to demonstrate proven success in Real Estate, somenationally recognized designations include Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM),Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR), Certified Leasing Specialist (CLS), LEEDCertification (LEED), and Multi-Family Accelerated (MAP)

Recommended Reading

Wall St. Journal; Shock Exchange, Ralph Baker '89; The Snowball, Warren Buffett; Buy, Rent, andSell: How to Profit by Investing in Residential Real Estate, Robert Irwin; How to Win Friends andInfluence People, Dale Carnegie; The Big Short, Michael Lewis

Alumni with careers in real estate