The buying and selling of property has been around for a long time, and there will always be work for good real estate agents. So if you’ve been thinking of a career change, one where you can meet new people, set achievable goals and work in just about any town in Australia, then maybe this is the year you look into how to become a real estate agent.
Can you tell me what’s involved?
The most successful real estate agents share a few common traits. They typically:
Enjoy meeting new people
Look in any agency’s window and you’ll see properties for sale. And these are often just a fraction of what’s on the agency’s books. Each listing represents a person or family selling their home. But more than that, each home may have several enquiries.
That’s a lot of handshaking.
Are fast on their feet
A tough part of being an agent can be the negotiations between the buyer and the seller. The seller wants the best price they can get, whereas the buyer wants to pay the least possible. You need to anticipate and react diplomatically when required.
A real estate agent’s job looks easy on the surface. Show people through a home, take offers, select the highest one and the sale is done. But there’s far more to it.
You’ll need to be available when the sellers and buyers are. That can mean after-hours work.
You also need to:
- Chase new business
- Write and arrange advertising material
- Consult with legal professionals
- Direct photo shoots
- Arrange private inspections when buyers can’t make the public inspections
- Negotiate deals between buyers and sellers
- Take phone calls multiple times per day
Still interested? We’ll describe the basic steps below, including special requirements for aspiring land agents in NSW.
I’m up for it. How do I become a real estate agent?
The exact requirements for becoming a real estate agent in Australia vary in each state or territory. But here are the basic steps, with the exception of NSW (more on this below):
- First, check your eligibility.
- Complete real estate classes.
- Start working.
The steps to becoming a real estate agent are similar throughout Australia, except for NSW. New industry reforms for NSW start on the 23rd March 2020 and will affect new real estate agents as well as existing agents. Jump to how to become a real estate agent in NSW.
1. First, check your eligibility
There are restrictions on who may receive a real estate licence, so check with your state or territory government to see if they apply to you.
Some examples of restrictions are:
- Under the age of 18 years
- Convicted of a crime involving fraud, dishonesty, drug trafficking or violence in the last five to 10 years
- Are an insolvent under administration (e.g. bankrupt or have debt agreements in place)
You can find links to all requirements for each state and territory in Australia here.
2. Complete real estate classes
The units of competency vary across Australia, but your local training providers will make sure you take the units required for your location.
The best way to find your course is to visit MySkills.gov.au and follow these steps:
- Enter real estate in the Search training providers field.
- Add your location and the distance you’d like to search.
- Choose a provider that’s convenient to you.
- Scroll down to their contact details and click on their website.
Some providers will offer the CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice, while others will still be offering the CPP40307 Certificate IV in Property Services (Real Estate) course. Both are nationally recognised until CPP41419 officially supersedes CPP40307 on the 30th September 2021.
To be licensed in NSW, look for a provider that offers the CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice course.
Once you finish the coursework and pass the assessments, you can apply for your licence.
Note: Some states and territories — Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and Australian Capital Territory — require you to work in the field for one to two years before you can apply for your real estate agent licence.
3. Start working
Congratulations! Now you must find somewhere to work. You need to gain experience, and the way to do that is to get a job working for a real estate agency.
Thankfully, some of the biggest Australian real estate firms can help.
Ray White, a real estate group founded in 1902, has a website dedicated to helping people get started in real estate. Simply fill out their form and choose from six options in the “What opportunity are you looking for?” field.
LJ Hooker, another real estate group, was founded in 1928 and has 600 offices across six countries. They also have a site dedicated to helping people get started in the industry.
Of course, you can also check out local agencies near you. Be sure to meet in person with any agency you’re considering as this is a big commitment with a potentially long-term impact.
Hoping to become a real estate agent in NSW?
Under the new reforms set to take effect March 2020, anyone entering real estate in NSW must start as an Assistant Agent in Real Estate, Sales and Leasing.
The reforms will also change the course required for entry into real estate. The new course is CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice. There are five units in the new course that must be completed before you can apply for your Assistant Agent certificate.
To get started, you need to:
- Sign up with a course provider for CPP41419 Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice. Complete the five units of competency and the assessments.
- Apply for your Assistant Agent certificate via the Service NSW website, attaching your identification, evidence of qualifications and any other relevant documents.
- Start looking for brokers or agencies to gain your 12 months’ experience for the next step: the Class 2 Real Estate Agent licence.
Visit this website for more information.
What to expect in the first year
The first year can be tough as you build a network of clients, learn to work the phones and juggle your workload. Most new agents struggle, but stick it out to see the rewards. And the juggling? It’ll become second nature.
Choosing to become a real estate agent is a major decision. It’s not an easy job; there’s a lot of work in making sales targets and a good name for yourself. But if you’re a person who loves meeting new people, building relationships and giving advice, then it may be the best career choice you ever make.
So, don’t hold back. Book your course, pass the assessments, get your certificate and claim your piece of the real estate landscape.
This post does not represent an endorsement of any of these courses or agencies. Information was accurate as of publication date.