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Baxter_Newkirk_Gen_ZEditor’s Note: The following column from the October issue of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine, was submitted to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate by 18-year-old Baxter Newkirk, who is considering a future career in real estate.

My name is Baxter Newkirk. I’m 18 years old, and I live in Des Moines, Iowa. I’m currently a senior at Roosevelt High School. My mom works in marketing with a real estate client. After hearing my mom talk about real estate, I had a chance to go to a broker conference with her, where I met brokers, agents and real estate executives. I was impressed by their professionalism and their approachability. Everyone was interesting and interested in me.

They seemed successful, yet happy with what they’re doing. My mom always says that I would do well in real estate, and meeting these men and women, I saw how real estate could be a good business career for me. I’ve always known I’d work in business, but I didn’t want to work alone behind a desk from nine to five. I would want to work with other people and be in a more flexible work environment.

Real estate is an attractive career option for me because it fits my social personality and balances office work with field work, where I’m helping people find homes. That is such a big step in their lives, and could lead to their starting families.

I believe a career for people in real estate will never go away, as the people buying and selling homes will always need help or consulting from a professional. Being that kind of professional would be fulfilling to me. I would be a part of building communities. I expect the work has its hard parts, but there would be enjoyable parts as well. The negatives could be how you have to accommodate your clients’ schedules, which means appointments or meetings will be during evenings and weekends. Time management will be very important. There’s also a lot to learn about the business of real estate—it’s not just showing people houses.

As I enter my senior year, I’ve started visiting colleges. The University of Northern Iowa is at the top of my list. It’s an in-state school that’s nationally ranked for its real estate degree program. The degree has the same requirements as a finance degree, plus several real estate-specific courses. I was impressed by their 100-percent placement for real estate-degree graduates. I hope to intern with brokers I met through my mom or some of the real estate executives I met through the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gen Z Advisory Board.

I think more young people should consider this career if they are go-getters. Making money is up to you. While that can be scary, the upside is unlimited. I think the industry can promote itself as a career to young people by partnering with colleges to increase the number of business schools that offer real estate specialization or degrees. Even at the high school level, there might be some classes or job shadowing available that would show students what it’s like to be in real estate. That would get them excited.

I’ve been given tremendous opportunities through Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, and I thank them for helping me confirm my career path. I cannot say yet if I’ll end up an agent, a broker, a commercial specialist or whatever, but I do want to be a part of this business.

For more information, visit www.BHGRE.com.

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