How to launch your career in real estate as an Agent
Is your 2022 career goal to take steps towards working in the real estate industry?
A career as a real estate agent can involve everything from supporting clients to downsize or upsize their home or buy their first property, to guiding them through the property selling process. Other careers in real estate you may wish to consider include becoming a mortgage broker, property developer, buyer’s agent, appraiser, auctioneer, or leasing agent.
While the real estate industry provides a lot of exciting career opportunities, succeeding can be tough as it’s a competitive industry. According to ABS data, there were over 136,000 people employed in ‘real estate services’ in 2016-2017.
But just because it can be challenging doesn’t mean it’s impossible. In fact, with the right skills, attitude, and knowledge, you can set yourself apart from the competition.
So what exactly do you need to do to succeed in real estate? Read this guide to find out. It highlights the key competencies you’ll need to make your mark in the industry.
In order to support your clients’ needs, you’ll need to develop a strong understanding of the property market. Understanding the ins and outs of the market – including the latest trends, forecasts, and relevant laws – will be essential when undertaking your responsibilities as an agent, such as making property valuations.
Your market expertise will also ensure you’re always providing your clients with the most accurate and helpful advice.
Once you start working in the industry, demonstrating consistency will be vital to your success. When you’re consistent with your approach, your clients know precisely what to expect. They can also trust that you have their best interests front and centre with all decisions, both big and small.
Shaun Stoker, the Director of Ray White Surry Hills told OpenAgent that his commitment to consistency and strong sales history has kept customers coming back over his 14+ years of real estate experience.
‘I’m very committed to the job and I’m consistent. I work six days a week, and I really care about what I do and about getting the best possible outcome for my clients.’
Friendliness and approachability
It may seem like obvious advice to be friendly and approachable as a real estate professional. But the importance of these qualities cannot be overstated, especially given that real estate professionals are in the people business.
After all, buyers, sellers, and investors are looking to work with professionals who are approachable, supportive, and easy to talk to. They want to know that there’s no question too small or ‘silly’ that they can ask you, and that your answers will always be truthful and guided by your expertise.
A good way to work on these skills is to get a customer-facing part time or casual job working in hospitality or admin.
A strong sense of professionalism is an easy way to set yourself apart from others in the industry. So what exactly does professionalism as a real estate professional entail? Everything from providing honest feedback to clients and being transparent, to sticking to your word.
John McLeod, the owner of Harcourts Bulimba in Brisbane, told OpenAgent that being a real estate agent is akin to ‘building a business within a business’.
‘It’s eighty percent attitude and twenty percent skills. You have to do the hard yards.’
While it can indeed be tough, John explains that if you’re prepared to do the hard work to make it work, ‘it is very rewarding.’
A real estate professional who goes above and beyond in helping their clients have a smooth experience will always come out on top. Your help and advice could save your clients significant time, energy, and money. Showing a willingness to guide them through every step of the way is therefore pivotal.
Thoughtful touches, such as a congratulatory gift at the conclusion of the sale and calling in an extra agent to assist with inspections, are also always appreciated and can help to solidify a long-lasting relationship.
The art of following up shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to succeeding in real estate. Research from OpenAgent shows that of the 2,000+ agents who received over 58,000 referrals from the company over a 12 month period, 13.3% of genuine seller leads that went to market were not responded to by a single agent. Based on a 2.0% commission rate, that’s the equivalent of $20m per annum being lost in business.
Following up doesn’t just involve reaching out to leads. It also means following up with existing clients after you’ve engaged with them and showing initiative. Remember, they’re far more likely to recommend your services if you have an enduring relationship with them, so make the effort to maintain it.
So how can you develop these key competencies?
Now that you know about some of the most important competencies you’ll need to succeed in real estate, you’re probably wondering how you can develop them.
The good news is that you may already possess some of the soft skills you need as a real estate professional, like friendliness and approachability. For other, more technical skills and knowledge, it’s helpful to undertake relevant training to develop them.
Each state and territory has different application and licensing requirements to become a real estate agent. While it’s not mandatory to undertake tertiary education, having a relevant degree to your name can help you develop the very skills you need to succeed. If you want a leg up in the industry, the following degrees are worth looking into:
What other jobs are there in the real estate industry?
There are many other jobs in the real estate industry that you may wish to consider. In addition to job opportunities involving property economics, real estate investment, and property development, you can also work for a real estate company in the areas of data analytics, marketing, or sales.
If you are interested in taking one of these paths instead, consider the following degrees:
Like with any career, success in real estate doesn’t come overnight. It takes a concerted effort to build up the skills to make your mark. By taking steps to develop the skills highlighted above, you’ll put yourself on the right track to becoming a sought-after real estate professional.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Monica Mizzi is a senior SEO and content marketing specialist at Doorsteps, where she aims to help demystify the process of buying, selling, and investing property. When she’s not working, she enjoys dining out with friends, exploring new places, and yoga.