Although most often referred to, especially by financial institutions, as the real estate market usually refers to residential property prices, actual real estate includes any piece of land complete with any buildings, natural resources or crops on it.
The property market, or cost of housing, can be a factor into how good or bad a country’s economy is doing and so that is what is always quoted but that price may or may not reflect the cost of farm land or just potential farm land.
Real estate is actually divided into three categories residential real estate, commercial real estate and industrial real estate. The first, residential real estate obviously applies to housing units and may include houses, detached, semi-detached or row housing, it also applies to duplexes, blocks of flats and condominiums. Commercial real estate refers to properties which are used as shops, offices or similar purposes whilst industrial real estate refers to factories, mines or farms.
Although an estate agency may deal with any and all of these types of real estate, often they have agents that specialize in one or other of these three, in order to provide a better and more experienced service.
If they have someone that specializes in residential real estate, that person will probably be expected to work many weekends and holidays as those are often the only times potential home buyers can get free to look at the different properties available.
If however, they specialize in commercial or industrial real estate, as they are commercial venture, they will probably be viewed sometime during regular working hours. It is perhaps up to each individual estate agency as to whether or not they have agents that specialize in any particular type of real estate as, most agents will have been taught on the job and not be previously qualified for any real estate matters prior to joining the agency.
Although no formal qualifications are needed to become an estate agent, most agencies will ensure that the people they hire are honest, good with customers, perhaps with a customer service background and are competent with numbers. Having become hired by an agency, an agent will start to learn their job from the other agents but may also opt to take on of the distance learning courses offered by either the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP) or the National Association of Estate Agents.
Some of these courses may specialize in certain aspects of the real estate business and so having perhaps become somewhat of an expert in one of the different categories by successfully completing a relevant course, they could consider specializing, if their agency approves. As an estate agent has to know all the laws pertaining to the buying and selling of any real estate they have dealings with, it is often easier to keep up to date with any changes, if you are able to specialize in just one category and possibly be able to give clients better advice.