In its broadest sense, the real estate industry is the largest single industry in the American economy. Within it one might include the construction industry, itself often considered our country’s largest business. In addition, the real estate industry may be said to include the creation, management, and demolition of every residence and business facility in the nation: offices, warehouses, factories, stores, and special purpose buildings such as hospitals and government facilities. The real estate business would include as well the managing of all the undeveloped land in the country: national parks, forests, and the vast quantity of unused federal property.

Real estate professionals are individuals and business organizations whose sole enterprise is performing a real estate-related service or function. A wide range of professions is available to persons wishing to enter the real estate business.