Real Estate Advising Guide

College of Business: Real Estate Concentration

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What is Real Estate?

A common misconception is that careers in real estate only involve selling houses. It is true that a substantial number of real estate industry participants devote their practice to the residential side of the business, but real estate training opens doors to an incredible variety of other career options, and presents many options to meet a wide range of people. Numerous opportunities exist for career development, progression and promotion, and hard work is often recognized and rewarded. Transferrable skills also provide occasions to move into other fields and roles, while internationally recognized skills and qualifications provide opportunities to travel and work abroad.

Career Opportunities in Real Estate 

Real estate offers a huge range of career options, whatever your personal area of interest and experience, including:

Appraisal, agency, and building management

  • Valuing for purchase, sale, letting, investment, mortgage, rating, insurance, compensation, or taxation
  • Negotiating for sale, purchase, leasing, or auction
  • Managing and maintaining residential, commercial, and industrial property

Estate and Property Management

  • Auctioneering, rating, taxation, property investment, portfolio management, and rent reviews
  • Valuing for mortgages, rates, rents, and inheritance tax
  • Facilities management, covering tangible assets, support services, and people


  • All aspects of urban and rural planning
  • Advising on economics, amenities, conservation, and urban renewal schemes
  • Working with planners to implement plans within a given timescale and budget
  • Quantity surveying and cost management 

Finance, Investment, and Development

  • Advising on development, land purchase or compensation for compulsory purchases
  • Financial aspects of real estate, including the sale, purchase, and portfolio management of investment property and the financing of real estate projects
  • Working with and understanding the roles of bankers, accountants, developers, and major institutional investors in real estate
  • Traditional quantity surveying, cost consultancy, project management, contractor surveying, and facilities management
  • Preparing feasibility estimates, contract documents, and procurement strategies
  • Cost planning and control from design to completion
  • Identifying client objectives and translating them into a design brief while ensuring integration, monitoring, and controlling of project contributors


Salary Trends in Real Estate

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” in 2015, there were 421,300 real estate sales agents earning median annual incomes of $45,610; growth is expected at 3% annually through 2024. In 2015, there were 85,800 appraisers and assessors earning median annual incomes of $51,860; growth is expected at 8% annually through 2024. In 2015, there were 313,800 real estate property managers earning median annual incomes of $55,380; growth is expected at 8% annually. In 2015, there were 38,000 urban planners earning median annual incomes of $68,220; growth is expected at 6% annually. There is no Labor Department data available for earnings of real estate developers. While real estate developers’ incomes can be incredibly substantial, the practice of real estate development involves substantial inherent risks as well. Additional information on career tracks in real estate is available from the National Association of Realtors:

High School Preparation

Students who want to pursue the Real Estate Concentration should take college-prep mathematics courses in high school.  Courses in statistics and especially AP courses in mathematics would be of even further benefit.  The University’s Office of Admissions evaluates such matters and handles assigning college credit where appropriate.  Students should also have excellent writing and public speaking skills.  Finally, if possible, take courses to become adept at using spreadsheets. 


How to Major in Economics and Finance with a Concentration in Real Estate

General Education Requirements for Business Majors

200 Level Business Core

300 Level Business Core

Requirements for a Concentration in Real Estate:

Take the following six (6) courses:

ECO 315         Intermediate Microeconomics

FIN 343          Money Markets & Financial Institutions

FIN 344          Real Estate Principles

FIN 444          Real Estate Valuation

FIN 446          Real Estate Finance & Investments

FIN 448          Real Estate Law

Choose three (3) from the following courses:

ECO 372         Economics of Urban Development

FIN 345          Principles of Insurance                       

FIN 350          Financial Statement Analysis 

FIN 420          Investments                            

FIN 494          Directed Studies in Finance   

MGT 457        Franchising                             

MKT 381        Sales Management & Personal Selling

 Complete the PREP Courses

Complete Two additional electives

Complete MGT 485 and 486


Special Programs, Internships, and Directed Studies 

PREP program

Real Estate Concentration students will have opportunities to work as interns in the Center for Real Estate and Economic Development, as well as for a number of firms in the region. Student aptitudes and interests will be matched with internship availabilities on an individual basis. A number of annual scholarships are also available to students studying real estate ranging from $1,000 to as much as $7,500 annually.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Consistent with the University’s priorities, the Mitchell College of Business offers a range of international study opportunities for its students in various regions of the world.  Options include semester-long study abroad experiences in fall and spring semesters and shorter-term options, such as faculty-led short-term courses, usually offered in the Maymester or summer.  Please check with the MCOB Director of International Studies for details. 

Academic Plan

Following an academic plan will help you stay on track to graduate in four years. 

To see a sample academic plan for this major, please click here.  Degree plans provide only a suggested schedule; make sure to meet with your academic advisor to find the actual schedule that is right for you.

For additional degree information, visit the undergraduate bulletin.


For More Information

For more information on this program, contact Dr. Reid Cummings at (251) 460-6710 or or on campus at:

Center for Real Estate & Economic Development
5811 USA Drive South
Mitchell College of Business, Room 126
Mobile, AL 3668

Website: Mitchell College of Business

*The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other majors, please refer to the USA bulletin or contact the department/College directly.