Think you’re cut out for a real estate career? Read this
Not many real estate groups set up stalls at career days, nor is the profession advocated for by many teachers and parents. So, how does one usually end up in the career?
“Most agents enter the profession purely by chance – and this ‘chance’ usually takes the form of an encounter with an old acquaintance who happens to be doing really well for themselves as an agent. It is very seldom, if ever, that an agent leaves school knowing that this would be their lifelong career. Which is a pity, because a career in real estate can potentially be one of the most lucrative professions a person can pursue,” explains Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
To qualify as a registered estate agent, you must have successfully completed Grade 12 as a minimum requirement before you can begin training. The qualification process includes a 12-month internship under a certified principal estate agent as well as completing a Further Education and Training Certificate (FETC): Real Estate (NQF 4) qualification – principal estate agents require an NQF 5 training certificate – and writing the final Professional Designation Examination (PDE).
But, after qualifying, you will need a healthy dose of perseverance to become successful in this industry. If you want to become an agent, you need to be prepared for a few rough financial months. “This is a business of high risks and high rewards. While you run the risk of going without an income for months while trying to secure a sale, the reward for that risk could potentially earn you more in a single day than a person earns in a year. A successful agent is one who is resilient and who has the financial discipline to survive the quiet months,” says Goslett.
“Beyond this, a successful agent is a people’s person – but genuinely so. A fake smile and a half-attempt at listening will not sell many houses. Real estate is all about building relationships and understanding the needs of a client better than they understand their own needs. At RE/MAX, we believe in creating clients for life. That’s why most of our business comes from referrals. Conclude one transaction successfully and you add a friend and a business partner all in one. However, this can only happen if you truly enjoy working with people.”
As a final piece of advice, Goslett explains that real estate is not a normal nine-to-five job. Aspiring agents need to be prepared to work all kinds of hours and over weekends if they want to secure sales. “Successful agents are the ones who understand that most homeowners work normal office hours, so most real estate-related business will need to happen outside of these hours.
“Real estate is one of those careers that can take a person from rags to riches. But, nobody said the job was easy. For those who get it right, the rewards will soon make all their efforts worthwhile.”