02 Dec 2015
How to Become A Real Estate Agent: The Ultimate Guide

How to Become A Real Estate Agent: The Ultimate Guide

How to Become A Real Estate Agent: The Ultimate Guide
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Guid,Tips,Selling,Auction real estate agents

Why pursue a career in real estate?

Real estate professionals come from many different walks of life. Many people today choose to take courses to allow them to pursue a career in real estate. Some choose this fulfilling career at a young age, while others discover it as a second career.

Not only is real estate rewarding, it can enable you to make a decent living. Real estate agents generally help people buy or sell a home.

Leading market analysts at IBISWorld report that Australian real estate industry expectations are high. They suggest there will be an increase in high-density housing and the population growth will expand the existing real estate industry.

They also predict that real estate industry revenue will increase by 1.6 percent each year, reaching $9.8 billion between 2016 and 2017.

Are you interested in joining the growing industry? Here are some of the main reasons for becoming a real estate agent:

Work for and with people

As a real estate agent, the major part of your job is interacting with a variety of clients on a daily basis. You can help people make their home ownership dreams come true or help them move onto the next stage of their lives, be it a bigger house to accommodate children, their first investment property, or downsizing once the kids leave the nest.

As a real estate agent, you also have the opportunity to work with a team of like-minded real estate agents and other associated professionals such as settlement agents, mortgage brokers, etc.

Degree of flexibility

If you like having more flexibility than the common office job, you will enjoy being a real estate agent. You get to control your own business hours, and are not always stuck in an office.

Most of your time will be spent “on the road” showing properties and meeting with clients. You can specialise in the sale of residential, business or commercial sales, depending on your skills and interests.

Enjoy limitless income possibilities

For many workers, raises are rare; however, as a real estate agent your income potential has no limits.

All you need is a strong work ethic and the proper sales, marketing and customer service training. It takes some patience and effort in the beginning, but once you are an established agent, sales leads will come.

What it takes to be a successful real estate professional

There is a high degree of competition in today’s property market and as a real estate professional, you will need to be dedicated to serving your clients. Although real estate agents have the opportunity to set their own working schedules, they still have to be available when their clients need to contact them. A successful career in real estate generally means working 24/7.  

Real estate professionals should possess certain qualities

Training is crucial for success in this field; however, some personal attributes for real estate success include:

  • A great working knowledge of the local sales area
  • Effective communication and mediation skills
  • A pleasant and caring demeanour
  • The ability to network effectively
  • Being able to work independently without supervision
  • Great attention to detail and strong organisational skills

Real estate salespeople perform a diverse variety of tasks. It is hard to get bored in the field of real estate sales, because you get to perform many interesting duties, including:

  • Generating leads with various marketing campaigns, emails, phone conversations, and Internet and local advertising
  • Discussing how to present the property with sellers, as well as:
    • The method of sale
    • The various costs
    •      
  • Staying updated on the local areas and estimating current market prices and property trends
  • Listing and advertising the details of land or home for sale
  • Holding home opens for buyers
  • Assessing the needs of buyers
  • Locating properties for buyer consideration
  • Taking prospective buyers to inspect properties
  • Presenting the merits of each property and the terms of sale
  • Negotiating the terms of the contract between a buyer and a seller

Real estate training: where to go and what to expect

The exact requirements to obtain a real estate registration vary from state to state, so it is best to check the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training Job Guide. In fact, the exact titles and job responsibilities can differ greatly by state, as well.

It is important to understand exactly which licence you plan to apply for before beginning your training; however, all states require that you complete a basic real estate training course.

The first step towards starting your career in real estate is checking the real estate licensing and registration specifications for your state beyond the short courses or traineeships. In order to work as a real estate agent, you will need to complete the following general regulations:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a person of good character and repute and a fit and proper person to hold a certificate of registration;
  • Understand duties and obligations outlined in the Real Estate and business Agents Act on persons  involved in negotiating real estate transactions and business transactions.

Prerequisites and subjects vary from institution to institution, so contact your institution of choice for more detailed information on requirements, courses and licensing. Registration dates will also differ with each institution, so be sure you don’t miss any course enrolment deadlines. You may be able to study locally or through distance education.

Cover letter and resume advice for real estate professionals

Real Estate agents need to know how to sell, and that starts with selling their own qualifications, skills and talents to job recruiters and potential employers. Think of yourself as a valuable product when creating your cover letter and resume. Focus on your special strengths and use techniques to sell them to the real estate agency to which you are applying.

Click Here to Download Your Cover Letter & Resume Template

Creating effective real estate sales cover letters and communications

When seeking a position with a real estate agency, the cover letter is of optimal importance. It is a great opportunity to showcase your strengths and stand out from the crowd.

The guidelines for cover letters are a bit less strict than with resumes; however, whether you use bullet points or concise paragraphs to outline your skills and experience, be certain to use numerically quantifiable data to grab the attention of potential employers.

Create a clear and concise cover letter

A cover letter is a one-page document to send along with your resume when applying for a job. The four main purposes of a cover letter are to:

  1. Introduce yourself to the employer or hiring manager
  2. Explain the reasons you are a good fit for the job
  3. Fill any gaps your resume may leave – tell your story
  4. Detail important aspects of your resume

Creating a powerful cover letter

Here are some effective ways to make your cover letter the one that gets read and responded to promptly:

Learn about the recipient of your cover letter.

Do your research or call the company to find out the name of the hiring manager or person within the business whom accepts cover letters and applications. Learning this information will allow you to address the correct person in your letter.

You can go to their website, Facebook page, or even check on LinkedIn to find this contact information. 

Explain why you are communicating with them.

After the initial address and introduction, make a bold start and jump right in. State the position you are interested in to get your reader’s attention immediately. Personnel managers and employers are busy people and will not waste time sifting through your article to understand your intentions.

Encourage them to request an interview with you by being clear and direct from the start.

Example of a good beginning:

“My name is John Doe and I would like to formally apply for the position of salesperson for your real estate agency. Please review my qualifications, below, which I feel make me the perfect candidate for XYZ Real Estate.”

Target your cover letter.

Include these three basic paragraphs in your cover letter:

Paragraph One

This first paragraph should include a short introduction that includes:

  • Who you are
  • Where you saw the job posting
  • Why you are interested in the job
  • What your skills are related to the job
Paragraph Two

This second paragraph should serve to show you took the time to read the job posting and learn about the agency before applying:

  • Research the company to learn about them, so you can explain why you are a good fit for them.
  • Highlight specific words and phrases used in the job description
  • Describe your previous job experiences, training, skills and talents that will enable you to meet the agency’s needs, according to the job posting
Paragraph Three

This is the final paragraph where you include a call to action.

  • Let the reader know you are available for an interview and provide your contact information
  • Inform the recipient that you will be in touch with them after a week if you haven’t heard from them.
  • Lastly, thank them for taking the time to read your cover letter.

Set yourself apart from everyone else. 

In order to catch the attention of the company  you are applying to, avoid the following common mistakes:

Being vague and generic –

Too many people write vague cover letters, like this:

“To whom it concern, I would like to work at your company. I am a people person and strong candidate.”

This start to a cover letter sounds like every other one that hiring managers receive. Hiring managers most likely will not make it to the end of this generic letter, but will instead put it to the bottom of the pile.  

Use facts and statistics, and be direct and concise. Hiring managers are paid to be efficient. They have to screen dozens, hundreds, perhaps thousands of applicants to find the best individual for the job.

Neglecting to review your writing –

A cover letter with mistakes will not get a response. Ever. Mistakes show that the applicant did not take the time to check their work and careless. Keep in mind that spellcheck does not catch errors like their, there, and they’re.

This is a negative first impression, so have someone check your cover letter for you. Most people will not notice their own mistakes, so having a second set of eyes to check your work is priceless.  

Ignoring the use of an applicant tracking system (ATS) –

Applicant tracking systems can read resumes, and then use keywords and key-phrases to determine whether to send you to the next stage. Some ATS software can search through cover letters for specific job posting keywords and phrases, so after you proofread your cover letter, check to make sure you have included keywords from the job posting, or any other keywords related to the real estate field.

Large real estate companies that receive a large volume of applications use applicant-tracking systems, so if you are seeking a job at a smaller agency, you may not need to worry about these systems.

Regardless if the company is using an ATS, you should still use any important words from the job posting at least once per document to show that you are detail-oriented. 

Here are some resources for creating cover letters and other job search related communications:

Real estate resume resources and guidelines

Obtaining employment within the real estate field starts with a strong resume. Here are six steps to make yours stronger.

Start with a powerful professional profile.

Instead of listing your career objectives, dive right into your professional profile. Most real estate agents understand the reasons why you are applying for work.

What they need to know is why they should want to add you to their real estate team. By providing a professional profile, rather than a career objective, you can quickly demonstrate to your potential employer why they need to continue reading your resume by doing the following:

1. Be specific

In the first line of your professional profile, provide the most important information, such as your qualifications, licensing and experience.

Example: Licensed Real Estate Agent with 3+ years of residential sales experience.

This shows the employer that you have experience, and are committed to keeping jobs. By telling them what kind of real estate sales you are experienced in helps to determine if you are a good fit for their team.

2. Seek out a good fit when sending out resumes

Avoid wasting time and only send your resume to agencies who are a good fit for your interests and experience. You do not want to apply for a commercial real estate job if your main experience lies within the residential property market.

3. Leverage the power of numbers

Include some specific details on your personal skills and talents, such as achievements, awards and related skills and talents.

Instead of adding fluff to your resume use raw, factual data to back you up. Add some numerical statistics to support your information. This adds strength to your resume and removes doubt from your potential employer’s’ mind. Here are some helpful examples to follow:

  • Sold an average of 30 home sales per year.
  • Conducted monthly training sessions for new sales agents, decreasing onboarding time by 10 days.
  • Expert in creating and implementing customer marketing campaigns, increasing the agency’s acquisition rate by an average of 32% year-to-year.
  • Advise sellers on how to make homes more appealing to potential buyers increasing average selling prices by 16% from initial appraisals.

4. Prove you are a people person

Many real estate professionals mention that they are “a people person” or that they are “people-oriented,” which is fine, but in order to stand out above all the other applicants, you need to mention activities that prove it.

List any organizations, societies or clubs you participate in or have participated in that demonstrate your skills working with people.

5. Understand the relevant skills to mention on your resume

Aside from the usual words like trustworthy, flexible, resourceful and ability to network proficiently, you should include any details you have on all of the related skills you are proficient in, including:

  • Computers and Technology
  • Marketing and Research
  • Negotiation and Interpersonal Communication
  • Business Training
  • Math and Market Analysis
  • Customer Service
  • Federal and Local Real Estate Laws

6. Here are two helpful templates for your real estate resume and accompanying cover letter.

Simply download them to your computer and then add your details.

Click Here to Download Your Cover Letter & Resume Template

The real estate industry in Australia

The real estate sector brings in 2.9 per cent of GDP, which is higher than support services and business administration, support services, hospitality and agriculture. Here is an overview of the current real estate industry in Australia, according to careerfaqs.com.au:

Demand

The demand for skilful real estate sales professionals continues to increase in Australia.

According to Brendan Leahy, CEO at Naked Real Estate, in Perth alone, the increase in properties listed in September 2015 increased to over 4,000 from the same time last year.

Employment

According to the Department of Employment’s Australian Jobs 2015 report, approximately 2% per cent of Australians are employed in the industry, which is the same as in financial and insurance services, as well as arts and recreation services..

In the five years leading up to November 2014, employment increased by 23.1 per cent. Employment for real estate agents is expected to increase within the next 5 years at a higher than average rate.

Real estate agent employment is expected to increase at an above average rate until November 2019, by 27,800 jobs, or 12.6 percent. The vast majority of those jobs are expected to be in the areas of real estate services and property managers.

Median Income

The median income for real estate agents varies greatly. A small proportion of real estate agents earn large salaries, while many who sell fewer properties earn more modest wages.  It is important to consider that the earning potential for successful real estate agents is far higher when you factor in commissions.

Commission rates are dependent on the market you work in and vary from agency to agency as well.

Strategies for a highly-successful real estate career

For those new to the real estate industry, it helps to find a mentor in the form of an established agent, sales broker or consultant. Ask if you can shadow them for a time, and offer your help in any way you can. You can offer to research the market, make sales lead phone calls or complete many other real estate tasks. Naked Real Estate provides ongoing agent support and training from leading agents around Australian.

Align yourself with an agency with a good reputation that provides ongoing training mentoring and market-leading marketing initiatives for its agents. This provides extra tools and motivation when you are first starting out.

John McGrath, author of The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate; You, Inc.; and You Don’t Have to Be Born Brilliant is one of Australia’s most successful real estate agents. His agency business has grown over the past 25 years to control 20 per cent of Australia’s property market. He recommends the following key tips for optimal real estate success:

1. Determine your goals & make a vision

Planning is an important part of starting your career as a real estate agent. By identifying your strengths, you can determine the key areas in which you will provide your customers with value. McGrath identifies the following things needed to succeed in your career:

  • Operate with integrity
  • Have a systematic approach
  • Be disciplined
  • Execute in an orderly manner

2. Stick to your vision

Finding the right agency to start your career can be the key to your success or failure in real estate. Select a company with similar values,  that is willing to help you grow your skills in real estate. McGrath says handpicking a team that shared his vision is one of the reasons his agency has had 25 years of widespread success.

3. Adapt for continued growth

Adapting to environmental and global advances is crucial for getting ahead in the property industry. Technology is a powerful tool that can help agents market themselves and their services, as well as the properties they are selling.

In addition to technological changes, real estate agents will need to adapt to working with a variety of new clients, programs, and tasks.

Ask your more-experienced colleagues for constructive criticism, too. By working hard and being honest with yourself, you will get the sales you deserve.

Helping people find the home or property of their dreams is a privilege that no other field can offer. There has never been a better time to be a real estate agent in Australia. If you are interested in joining the real estate industry speak to the team at Naked Real Estate about how to enter the vibrant, people-centric field of real estate and they can point you in the right direction.


Naked Real Estate are always looking for our next shining star. If you are looking for a career in real estate, contact our office on 08 6254 6333, click here, or email myfuture@nakedrealestate.com.au today!

Written by Naked Writers

How to Become A Real Estate Agent: The Ultimate Guide
Naked Writers

Naked Real Estate Writers collaborating to bring the latest news and trends in real estate for buying, selling and working in the exciting world of real estate. Is it time for you to get Naked?

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