Real estate agents lease, manage, value, buy and sell various properties or businesses on behalf of their clients.
Working as a real estate agent offers the opportunity to work with people while carrying out a range of different tasks and responsibilities across a variety of locations. It can be very satisfying to assist people with what is often the most important financial decision of their lives.
It also offers the prospect of being your own boss, setting your own hours, and being the architect of your own success. But the career is not for everyone – it can be a hard slog, particularly in the first few years while you are still establishing yourself in the industry.
Ask yourself these simple questions to find out if a career as a real estate agent may be right for you:
Are you ambitious and self-motivated?
Perhaps more than any other industry, real estate gives back what you put in. Because it is commission-based, the harder you work, the more you will be paid. This sounds enticing, but it is only an advantage if you are willing to set goals and work hard towards them, whatever it takes! A sale is never a surety. It is this element of chance that makes real estate exciting, and it usually means that you are in a position to tip the scales in your favour by going the extra mile. But inevitably, you will face the disappointment of a sale falling through. It is just a matter of being prepared for this, and having the resilience to move on and remain optimistic.
Are you willing to put in the hard yards now to reap the benefits later?
A career as a real estate agent is no easy ride. To succeed, you must be aware of the hurdles you will face and willing to put in the hard work to overcome them – often with little support. Even at a large agency, you will be responsible for your own clients and sales. Be aware that in the first few years, you will put in a huge amount of time and effort building your skills, client base and reputation, sometimes with little remuneration. The amount of work you get will also vary based on competition, seasonality and economic conditions. But as time goes on, you will start to see the financial rewards for all the work you have put in.
Are you a people person?
Real estate agents must have a genuine passion for helping people. You don’t need to be a ‘salesman’ – you just need to have the ability and the drive to provide excellent customer service. If this basic desire is there, effective communication skills and influence will come naturally, and good sales will follow. If it is not, clients may recognise this and be less willing to put their trust in you. Be aware of just how much of the job involves talking to people. Are you willing to contact and meet with clients all day, every day while still remaining confident, friendly and polite – even when they contact you on weekends or evenings? Are you confident enough to take the responsibility, liability and risk associated with overseeing what may be the most important decision of their lives?
If you think real estate is for you, visit the website of your state or territory’s Real Estate Institute to find out about the educational requirements. For someone with the right skills and approach, real estate is an incredibly rewarding career both personally and financially.