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One License, Many Specialties


The real estate industry is composed of a broad spectrum of licensed occupations.  What many people don’t understand is that most experienced professionals within the industry have developed refined niches within the bounds of their license.  I’m an Alaska real estate licensee and AS 08.88.161 defines the duties that require that real estate license.  The thing is, it’s a wide definition and that doesn’t mean one person is necessarily going to be proficient at all of it.


The two most common high-level sectors you’ll see people and companies branch into are either commercial or residential.  For our purposes, residential means someone lives there and commercial is for business use.   Is the licensee selling or managing?  Again, we’re still talking the same basic license, but wildly different specialties.  Then you can dive deeper from there.  Take a licensee who sells the property.  Well, selling a 25 unit apartment complex is a whole different animal from selling a single-family home, even though both would be considered residential.  RPM Last Frontier specializes in residential property management.  Period.  We don’t manage HOAs or sell the property.  It’s not that we aren’t allowed to within our licenses.  It’s that we know what we’re good at.  We are avoiding the temptation to try to be everything to everyone.


So why do you care?  Whether you’re buying, selling, or looking for a manager; you need someone with a deep understanding of your situation and needs.  A landlord with a fourplex would want to search for a real estate licensee specialized in residential property management. A landlord with a retail strip mall would search for a licensee specialized in commercial property management.  Someone wanting to sell their single-family home in Eagle River would look for a licensee specializing in single-family home sales within Eagle River.


The true professionals in the industry have found niches to become experts within.  Be wary of those pretending they’re good at everything.  A swiss army knife is the “right” tool only when the perfect tool isn’t available.


Here’s where it gets even more interesting.  Maybe you own 20 rental properties but don’t want to manage them yourself.  You might not even need a licensee to manage them!  You are allowed within the law to hire what’s called a “resident manager” employee to manage them for you.  Be careful though.  While they don’t require a real estate license, they do need to live on the property for any units they manage and they still need to know fair housing laws inside and out.  Lastly, I hardly ever hear of someone hiring their unlicensed friend to sell their home for them, but it’s something we run into a lot in property management.  Don’t get yourself in trouble by hiring friends and family to manage your rentals without a license.  Collecting rent, answering vacancy calls, or negotiating with tenants can result in some hefty fines if you don’t own the property or live on-site as a resident manager.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.