Real estate is the land and anything permanently attached to it, including buildings

and other structures. It is the basis for most property transactions and a key

element in many investment portfolios. Real estate investments can be risky and

volatile, but they also offer potentially attractive returns and tax benefits.


The real estate industry encompasses all the industries and professions that design,

finance, develop, construct, market, or manage land, infrastructure, or buildings. It is

a vast and diverse field, with numerous subsectors and specialties. For example,

real estate developers buy undeveloped land and then build or renovate buildings on

it to sell or lease to end users. Other real estate professionals, such as brokers and

agents, help people buy and sell properties. They earn a commission on each



For most companies, real estate is the largest or second-largest asset on their

balance sheets. Yet it often fails to capture senior management’s attention. Its

decisions, made mostly within business units and driven by short-term needs, can

multiply shareholder value or diminish it; support a company’s strategy, or hinder it;

raise or lower costs, or promote or impede productivity. These facts make business

real estate a core function that requires senior managers’ mastery of its issues and



Whether you are looking to buy or sell a single-family home, a multifamily property,

or an industrial warehouse, you will need the services of a real estate professional.

Real estate professionals have the knowledge and experience to help you find the

best deals and make informed decisions. They can also help you negotiate with

sellers and builders to get the best possible terms on your purchase or sale.


One of the most important skills for a real estate agent is building and maintaining

relationships with potential clients. Typically, these relationships are built through

referrals from existing customers or from people the agent knows in their sphere of

influence (family, friends, classmates, coworkers). In addition to networking, real

estate agents must be skilled at marketing and advertising, and have a good

understanding of current market conditions and trends. Also read


While real estate has historically had a low correlation with other significant asset

classes, such as equities, it is important to diversify your portfolio. Real estate offers

a number of unique advantages, such as stable cash flow, significant appreciation

potential, and competitive risk-adjusted returns.

Real estate is an incredibly diverse and complex industry, and no two properties are

exactly alike. Each piece of land has its own set of characteristics that affect the

economics and physical nature of the property. The seven most important real

estate characteristics are scarcity, improvements, location, investment permanence,

uniqueness, immobility, and indestructibility. If you understand these characteristics

and how they affect the real estate market, you can take advantage of them to

make smart, profitable decisions.