Real Estate Writers
Education and Training Requirements
While in high school, build a broad educational foundation by taking courses in English, literature, foreign languages, history, general science, business, and social studies. Such classes usually require written reports, which will ultimately help you to develop your writing style. It’s important to also take computer classes to become familiar with computers and to improve the speed and accuracy of your keyboarding skills. Many writers are also now required to take their own photographs and videos, so it is a good idea to take photography and videography classes if they are offered.
Real estate writers don’t just report on property sales—they often write about the style and design of a building or community. It is a good idea to enroll in such classes as art, architecture, and design to build your knowledge of these fields.
Most, if not all, employers seek candidates with a college education. The type of degree in demand varies from employer to employer. Many successful writers have a liberal arts background, with majors ranging from English to philosophy to social science. Still others have real estate or business degrees. Many employers desire candidates with a degree in communications or journalism. Journalism, especially, is highly regarded because of the strong emphasis on writing and industry-relevant classes such as newspaper and magazine writing, publication management, book publishing, and Internet writing.
There are some traditional colleges and universities, such as the University of Cincinnati (https://business.uc.edu/academics/undergraduate/real-estate/major.html), that offer a business degree with a concentration in real estate. While this degree focuses on the business side of the industry, there are several classes that would definitely give valuable knowledge and training to any real estate editor-in-training.
In addition to formal course work, most employers look for practical writing experience. If you have worked on high school or college newspapers, yearbooks, or literary magazines, or if you have worked for small community newspapers or radio stations, even in an unpaid position, you will be a more attractive candidate. Many magazines, newspapers, and radio and television stations have summer internship programs that provide valuable training if you want to learn about the publishing and broadcasting businesses. Interns do many simple tasks, such as running errands and answering phones, but some may be asked to perform research, conduct interviews, or even write some minor pieces. Turn to the Internet for a list of publications covering the real estate industry. Many magazines post their writer’s guidelines, or any job openings. Visit http://www.vandema.com for links to real estate journals and publications.
Other Education or Training
A variety of webinars, conference seminars, and other continuing education opportunities are offered by professional associations such as the Construction Writers Association, National Association of Realtors, MPA-The Association of Magazine Media, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Topics include editing, writing, interviewing, social media, technology, and real estate trends.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
There are no certification or licensing requirements for real estate writers.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Any experience working or volunteering as a writer or working in real estate will be useful for aspiring real estate writers.
To be a real estate writer, you should be creative and able to express ideas clearly, have a broad general knowledge, be skilled in research techniques, and be computer literate. Other assets include curiosity, persistence, initiative, resourcefulness, and an accurate memory. For some jobs—with a newspaper or a television news organization, for example, where the activity is hectic and deadlines are short—the ability to concentrate and produce under pressure is essential. Above all, you should have a strong interest in real estate-related issues and topics.