Firstly, to register as a real estate agent, people are required to attain a Certificate of Registration by successfully undertaking a four-day course. Additional training is required to attain a licence to practice legally as an agent. Real Estate Courses and certificates vary from state to state in accordance with legislation.
The Australian real estate industry is a dynamic, fluid and complex environment. Characterised by a range of external factors, the industry is affected by fluctuations in the economy, interest rates, demographics and unemployment rates. All of these determinants influence supply and demand and consumer confidence. It is an agent’s job to understand the nuances of the industry and traverse this multi-aspect and constantly shifting landscape with confidence and authority on behalf of a client.
Real estate agents sell, lease, manage and buy properties on behalf of clients. A successful agent is goal-focused, performance driven, committed, autonomous and people-oriented. Qualified agents operate across a range of roles and speciality areas. Within the scope of real estate, agents can specialise in:
- Residential sales
- Commercial sales
- Property management (residential or commercial)
- Buyer or vendor advocacy
- Business Broking
Every sector requires a solid and comprehensive understanding of property and a depth of knowledge regarding all laws and legislations that apply to real estate agents. Agents legally act on behalf of their clients, a role which carries a weighty responsibility. A large part of an agent’s job is drawing up contracts, informing clients of their legal obligations and rights, and overseeing large financial transactions. Agents trade on assets worth millions of dollars on behalf of others. As such, there are several Acts that stipulate agents’ fiduciary duties and set out appropriate agent codes of conduct and best practices. Carrying out these duties with diligence and care is imperative to maintaining a high ethical standard and client approval.
Almost every person who owns property will enlist an agent to manage it at some point. Real estate is a lucrative and highly competitive business. With uncapped income potential per property, real estate agents need to capture client attention by setting themselves apart from their peers. Since the deregulation of commission rates, agents now operate in an open market which allows them to set their worth based on expertise, experience and the services they provide. Such a competitive market requires real estate agents to distinguish themselves from their peers by trading on their greatest asset: themselves. In an industry so heavily entrenched in customer service, as agent’s fees, service, knowledge, and experience are neatly packaged within their ability to engage, communicate and influence people.
Personality, charm, and charisma are all part and parcel with being a real estate agent. Gaining client trust, and making them feel comfortable with, and prioritised by an agent are crucial to securing listings. Agents spend most of their workday talking with people, so being able to connect easily and effectively with people is paramount. Whether it meeting with potential clients, conducting open houses or negotiating with buyers and sellers, agents are required to consistently engage and impress people. Agents are not only representing their clients; they represent themselves and their agency for review. Because agents work on commission rather than salary, their income is performance driven, and their business is deeply contingent on exceptional customer service and satisfaction.
A cut above the rest
The autonomous nature of the role requires agents to be self-motivated and goal-oriented. The harder an agent works, the greater reward they are sure to receive. Effort and an honest enthusiasm for helping people are key to succeeding in real estate. Readily accepting the odd hours and flexibility of the job, forging trusted relationships with clients and network building through positive referrals go a long way in a service industry. Possessing a comprehensive understanding of the broader property market and keeping abreast of market trends and property prices is a basic requirement. Having an in-depth knowledge of local markets, understanding community benefits and the more nuanced selling points of a neighbourhood, as well as understanding selling trends and boasting tailored marketing strategies based on demographic and location are what sets great agents apart.
To attract client interests, agents need to put their best foot forward, first time every time. Creating an adaptable and effective marketing strategy that integrates new and old media, tailoring campaigns to meet client needs and utilising various mediums to connect with a range of potential clients helps agents differentiate from each other. Setting fees and rates that reflect your level of expertise and experience, and garnering a positive reviews and client referrals helps homeowners separate the wheat from the chaff.
In the competitive landscape of real estate, agents are working harder than ever to place themselves above their competition. With homeowners increasingly using property portals like to request agent information and compare agent fees and services, agents are rapidly evolving to satisfy consumer demands and strengthen their business.