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I want to have a business in real estate, yet I also want to be an Anesthesiologist. How can I pursue both at the same time, especially with a demanding major like neuroscience and then medical school?

I really love houses, house plans. designing, home décor, and everything that deals with homes. But i'm also interested and attracted to the medical field. I would love to do both, but feel like I may have to choose one. I love real estate more, but it would require a lot of work and it's not as promising as medicine, at least at first. Yet, I love the environment of the hospital and working with a medical team...so I'm torn. I would love to do both, but I need help as to how, if it's even possible! #medicine #neuroscience #interior-design #real-estate #anesthesiology #home-decor #house-plans

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Jane’s Answer

Hi Joshua!


Like Christian I also know a lot of people who do real estate 'on the side', however I think it's important to note that when they have another full time careers, the real estate aspect is a very distant second. The amount of time required to be involved with every aspect of a home you list would be extensive. The lists of interests regarding homes you mentioned is usually covered by several people! Architects, builders, interior designers, interior decorators, and home stylists all have a distinct set of skills and knowledge (though some people do overlap these, generally they specialize and some - like architecture - require more training & certification). When I worked for an interior design firm it was not unusual for us to log 20 hours a week on one of our big projects, and this was while the architect was spending 5 hours and the construction crew/construction manager 40 hours+ on site. There are a lot of details that have to be managed such as sourcing materials, getting quotes and placing orders, managing subcontractors, checking in on progress, and dealing with the inevitable hiccups that occur!


Investing in real estate, on the other hand, can be relatively easy and low-involvement (you can hire an management company to manage rental property for you), but if you are looking to actually make money quickly through real estate I think you'd probably need to be pretty involved (HGTV has made 'flipping' houses look like easy money, but you really have to be in the right place at the right time for it to work).


Another thing to consider: the barriers to entry in real estate are low. You don't have to have a special degree or special training to buy and sell houses and you could get into it at any time in your life, especially if you have some capital saved up. Becoming an anesthesiologist on the other hand requires much more preparation, and it may be harder to go back to something like later on in life.


I'm a big fan of having informational interviews with people - find some people in your area (or the place you would like to live) who work in these industries and reach out to them! Ask them what they love and hate about their work. See if you can shadow a designer/architect/real estate agent for a day or two. And good luck!

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Christian’s Answer

I have many friends that in addition to their career also invest in real estate. I suggest you pursue your interest but also to be honest with yourself. Tailor what you do to the time and financial commitments you reasonable can make.


If you know your going to be tied up in medical school, a residency program, or starting a new practice as a physician, maybe you join in a partnership with friends versus carrying the risk yourself (whatever your venture).


I know someone who had to travel for work around the country. Whenever he was working in a location he would buy a home and rent out the other rooms. When it was time for him to transfer out, he would move out and rent out his room as well.


I know someone else who went in with a partner and only does the maintenance work on homes they buy and rent out. Their partner covers the financing.


I know someone else who is a realtor as their second job!


I think I know 2-3 people who buy homes in areas they are familiar with and flip them (upgrade them and sell them). This is very risky as it is sensitive to market downturns so consider rental options to weather market cycles.


Real estate is expensive and mistakes can be devastating financially. Consider the down side risks as well as the opportunities before jumping in.


Good luck!

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Linda’s Answer

Hi Joshua,
In order to pursue a career in real estate, you will need to have an active real estate broker sponsor your application; however, in Texas you must complete a number of courses and take and pass the sales agent licensing test before you would be eligible to sell real estate. In order to see what the course requirements are for a sales agent, go to www.trec.state.tx.us which has links for the different categories.


There are a number of course providers on-line which provide classes over weekends, during the week, or in a consolidated format; however be sure that the provider is accredited before taking the class. A list of accredited providers can be found at the aforementioned website.


I am a Real Estate Broker and have had a license for 22 years. While it is possible to sell real estate while pursuing another career, remember the main time for showings and sales are nights and weekends. Both of the professions you are expressing interest in are fairly demanding, but it is always possible to get your real estate license by taking courses during summers and spring breaks, getting your license while still pursuing your medical profession.


I wish you good luck in your endeavors.

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John’s Answer

Joshua - Real estate is a great field, and one that can offer you significant rewards and income when worked properly. However, many people make the mistake that selling real estate can be done effectively and profitably on a part-time basis because of the ease of entering the field and the romance of real estate. I think you need to ask yourself a few questions. Are you getting into real estate as a hobby, or as a serious career? What are your income and expense expectations? Do you want to be a real estate investor or a Realtor? If you are looking at this as a real estate investor, do you want to retain properties and lease them out, or do you want to possibly flip/resell them quickly? If you are looking at this from the angle of a licensed Realtor, how much time do you believe you can dedicate to building your business, and are you going to be doing this alone or partner with someone? Are you going to go with a nationally branded company, or more of a local shop? How much training and mentoring will you need, if any? How much time can you honestly dedicate to your real estate versus school/anesthesiology?


I have been in the real estate/mortgage field for over 20 years, and most often real estate agents who try to work part-time are caught off guard with how little money they make compared to the amount of time they have to put in. If you are initially considering real estate more for the experience and income is not the primary consideration, real estate can be fun. If you are looking at it for the money, it can be a fantastic career, but be honest with yourself. Take into consideration that you will most likely have to work weird hours (weekends and evenings), be at your customers' beck and call, spend money before you make money to get licensed and pay your necessary monthly expenses (dues/gasoline/food/clothes). You will have to get out there and market yourself, cold call, attend networking events, and definitely have a thick skin for all the no's.


The good news is that real estate is a fairly low-cost way to start a business, but remember this. Treat it as a business and it can pay you like a business. Treat it as a hobby and it will pay you like a hobby. Hope this helps, and best of luck with whatever you pursue!


John

Thank you comment icon Thank you, John! This reply is coming years to late! I asked these questions after just graduating high school, and I never knew anyone even looked at them until now! I’m now a junior in college and a whole lot has changed! I have so many more questions! Also, I see you’re also in Dallas!! Joshua
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