Advice for a high schooler interested in RE

Hey guys,

I'm currently a high school student from the Bay Area trying to get into real estate. I'm most interested in becoming a real estate agent, but I'm also interested in becoming a developer/investor. I've always been an hgtv kid and I've always been into the business side of things as well.

My target school would probably be NYU because I want to end up in nyc post college. I've got 1580 SAT, 4.0 unweighted, and some extra curriculars so hopefully NYU is possible.

So my question is: for those of you currently in real estate or looking in real estate, what advice do you have for getting started as a real estate agent? I know there are many YouTube channels giving advice but I would like to know what it's like for someone who has a different view on things. Maybe from some people who are further along in their careers or from some who are just starting.

Thanks in advance!

Comments (19)

Apr 22, 2019

Are you trolling? No one with 1580 SAT would apply to NYU. You have a great chance at Berkeley and UCLA if you are not Asian, and you have decent chances at all other top schools like Stanford Yale Harvard etc.

Minimally I'd attend Berkeley or UCLA with 1580 SAT from California and also save money with in-state tuitions.

Apr 22, 2019

Not trolling. I am Asian though so even with the 1580, Ivies are going to be a stretch. Also, the 1580 is superscored. I've got many friends with stats similar to mine who didn't end up in Stanford/Yale. These days, asians need to win the google science fair or something similar if they want a shot at ivies/ stanford lol. I'm not sure about attending UCLA or Berkeley because I would eventually like to end up in nyc and I feel like if I went to NYU, it would be better for networking and such. If 1580 is a great score for NYU, maybe it would be possible to get some scholarship money from them to help save on the cost.

Apr 23, 2019

At least tell me you're applying to Columbia.

Apr 22, 2019

You sound like a mega tool.

Get a mentor. Doesn't take a genius to be a real estate agent. I know some box of rocks people that are very successful. They're are good with people, can get deal flow via networking, and are able to sell.

Developer/investor is a bit more technical. Again, find a mentor. Learn what they did to get where they are and keep them close.

Third and a half.
Make as many friends as you can in HS/College. If you want to slang cribs they'll be your initial go-to customer base. If you want to raise $ to invest, their parents will be your initial go-to customer base.

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge
It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you
Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"

Apr 22, 2019

Thanks. I appreciate the feedback. Regarding the mentor part, how should I meet mentors? Should I just try to get in contact with successful real estate agents/developers in my area?

Apr 22, 2019

The most important skill is being able to identify who the most knowledgeable people in an area are and figuring out what the most important questions to ask are. Triangulating information from smart people will get you farther than being brilliant yourself.

Apr 22, 2019

Thanks for the advice.

Apr 23, 2019

You should get laid. I know lots of people say this as a joke or to insult someone but I really don't mean it that way.

All I mean is you should enjoy being young while you can, and keep the career stuff in the back of your mind for now. I've met some pretty successful guys in real estate (humble brag, I know) but I was surprised how many of them were cool, fun guys. They're not all Hardos who spent their 20s trying to become CEO at all costs. They're hard working, no doubt. But it's all about striking a balance

    • 3
Apr 23, 2019

Thanks for the advice. Im definitely not one of those guys who plans out every second of my next 5 years, but i do agree that i should probably just enjoy my life more instead of stressing about it. However much of a humble brag it may sound like, I dont stress too much about my grades, my test scores, etc. Im just focusing on exploring my interests and participating in extracurriculars im a fan of. Thats why I was wondering if there was anything I could do get a start in RE. About those successful friends in RE, how did they get their starts? How did you get your start?

Most Helpful
Apr 23, 2019

I agree with the above. Enjoy being young. You're too young to be thinking that far ahead but i think its good you're taking an interest in going to a good school.

Most, if not all the responses, you'll get on here are from commercial guys. These guys work for developers, investment groups, banks and other in-betweens that you probably didn't know exist. So there won't be much feedback on work as a residential agent specifically.

I do remember what high school was like, and I went to one that was pretty high pressure. Everyone was planning to go to top universities, spending big money on SAT prep, and had their 10 year plans set before they even got their driver's license. However, after the start of college and towards the end of it initial plans changed for a lot of people. They either took an internship or certain major/course, and then realized they don't like it, or it was not what they expected. And that's okay. There were others that kept with their plan from day 1 and that's fine too.

The advice that I'll offer is develop, or keep, a good work ethic and learn to be social or outgoing. Being "smart" alone may not be enough or even needed at a high level, personality and being social will help you with networking in college and later on in the professional world.

Apr 23, 2019

I definitely go to a high pressure, intense high school. People are planning out 10+ years in advance; one of my friends has his 20-year plan set lol. I definitely agree that I should probably just chill out and live life. I could definitely work on my social skills, i am pretty introverted. About the in-betweens in real estate like the developers, banks, etc, how would you recommend for me to learn about those things? Is it just something you learn in college or is their information online?

Apr 24, 2019

You lurk on this website. Go to There have been a couple good books mentioned in other threads on this forum.

Apr 24, 2019

There's not a place where you can easily learn it. Browsing old/current discussions on WSO, RE blogs, investopedia and college courses specializing in real estate finance may bring up these different players in the industry, but you really won't be able to understand what or who they are until actually working or when you begin to network. I'd say when you actually have taken your first finance and econ courses in college and have done an internship, or even in your first job, that's when it will make more sense.

Don't worry about all of this though. Like I said, you're very young. This entire forum is dedicated to professionals who are still continuing learning about the industry. The professional experience of individuals can vary greatly. This includes those that are still in college planning for the first job, to those who are several years down the road planning to make career transitions from other areas, to those who have been working in a completely different industry and are trying to break into RE.

Apr 24, 2019

Thanks for the help, i really appreciate it! Ive self studied for macro econ (taking the ap test next week) and ive won fbla titles at the national level so i think a good amount of econ/finance background for a hs student. I definitely have a ways to go though so I really appreciate your advice.

Apr 24, 2019

You have that score and a chance at fantastic colleges but want to be a real estate agent? You don't need a college degree to become a realtor dude you have the bar set low. You can get into a top CRE firm attending one of the listed colleges in this thread and be a realtor on the side if you want.

Apr 24, 2019

Yeah, I do want to end up doing something in RE. I was thinking agent or developer because im not a big fan of cooperate life and having to constantly report to superiors. Ive always been the entrepreneurial type and enjoy the freedom. I was thinking developer for the independence or agent for the ability to work on entrepreneurial endeavours. Regarding the fantastic colleges, in the last 3-5 years competition for top tier universities has grown exponentially and these numbers are pretty standard. I know a couple friends who have gotten into ivies/stanford but they are exceptional.

Apr 26, 2019