The term "real estate" has different definitions depending on the context in which it is used. The term might refer to a portion of land including all buildings and permanent "improvements" upon it, the industry of developing, buying, selling or renting property, or sometimes even a professional"s occupation. In common law, the term "real estate" can be interchanged with the term "real property" which also refers to land, built improvements and other permanent fixtures.
Indeed, real estate, whether as undeveloped land, or with improvements, is a popular commodity in today"s economy. Real estate encompasses all types of properties from residential buildings like single family homes and apartment complexes, to commercial spaces like offices, retail suites and industrial buildings. Moreover, there are a broad range of professional occupations within the real estate industry including brokers and agents, appraisers, mortgage specialists, property managers, lenders, landlords, attorneys, and many more. These professionals provide services ranging from developing land and buying and selling properties, to overseeing investments, facilitating loans and the like.