Here's what you need to know before switching to a career in real estate

17 October 2018 Virginia Brookes


Read the latest article from when our Director Virginia sat down with The Real Estate Conversation to talk about what people need to know before making a career change into real estate.

Do you dread going to work in the morning? Or feel anxiety in the lead up to the work week? In other words, the 'Sunday Scaries'?

Whatever the sign, if you don't feel like you're enjoying your work anymore, it might be time for a career change.

Real estate is a very rewarding industry, but like any industry, it's not without its challenges.

Before you throw caution to the wind and hightail it out of the office, you should do some careful thinking to make sure you're making the right decision.

What are a few things people should consider before jumping ship and starting fresh in a new industry?

Ms Brookes says it's crucial to do your research before starting out in ANY industry.

"Really do your research before starting fresh in a new industry, ensure that you really understand salary rates, how packages are made up and how salaries are paid.

"In most circumstances you need to be prepared that you will be taking a step back or sideways and you will need to be trained in a new role; to be trained in these new roles salaries are generally lower until you have strong experience in your new role.

"Also, ensure that you understand that real estate in many circumstances can pay less than other industries and much of the industry is made up of commission based roles, just be sure that you realise that to earn these commissions can take a good amount of time so don’t expect to be getting these commissions in the very near future.

What are a few key things people need to know about the real estate industry, to decide if it's right for them?

Ms Brookes says real estate is a tough industry, but you shouldn't let that put you off. 

"When getting into the real estate industry, you need to realise that it can sometimes be very long hours. It is most certainly not a 9am to 5pm role!

"For agents, many listing appointments are before or after hours as are some open times. Clients tend to call when is convenient to talk and this is mostly out of hours when they aren’t working.

"Even for support staff who are in marketing or assistant roles, there is plenty of work that needs to be done out of office hours, like auctions and sponsorship events that will have you working well beyond your “normal” hours.

"When dealing with customers, there can be problems, aggravation and concerns. You HAVE to be “thick skinned” enough to last in this industry. You are working with the biggest asset that most people will ever own, and so they can be quite emotional and vocal at times!" she says.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see people make when changing careers?

"Not doing their research! When you are going to make a career change, you should make it your point to seek out as many people as you can that are doing that role and ask for their honest feedback on the role.

"Ensure you understand the positives as well as the negatives, how long it took them to feel comfortable in their role and ensure that this is something you want to do long term.

"Make sure you really understand the salary and if you are taking a drop ensure that you work out your finances to guarantee you can still afford to live. Know what qualifications you need to make the change, in most roles within real estate you currently need to have your certificate of registration as a minimum. This can be a 4-8 week process or even longer depending on your commitment to get the course done in a timely manner," Ms Brookes said.