A career in real estate is an attractive proposition, both for recent graduates and experienced professionals seeking a new challenge. For those with an interest in property and a desire to work with people, it can be an extremely lucrative occupation, with realtors earning 1.5-2.5% commission on every property sold. Agents can also choose their own hours and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of working for themselves. If you're about to embark on your new career as a realtor, be sure to take the following steps to make it a success.
Licencing and qualifications
To become a real estate agent, you must obtain a licence to practise, which requires a course of study and an exam. Each country, and each state in the US, has different requirements. Courses in the UK involve practical training within a real estate firm, and successful applicants are granted qualifications by the National Federation of Property Professionals. In the US, each state requires prospective realtors to complete a certain number of learning hours and to sit an exam.
Qualifications in mainland Europe vary greatly between countries. In Italy, agents must take an 80-hour training course and an exam, whereas in Germany, practitioners must attend classes and pursue ongoing learning to remain members of the IVD: the German real estate professional association.
Being your own boss has many benefits, but it can be challenging too. Before becoming self-employed and accepting a commission-based salary, it's important to plan ahead.
You will be in sole control of your work hours and your role. This requires tenacity, enthusiasm and, initially, resilience during long hours spent pursuing potential clients and managing sales. As you develop your portfolio, build a reputation and create a solid customer base, this will ease. Being self-employed also means being responsible for filing your taxes and managing your own schedule, which may be an interesting challenge if you're used to having people assist with your work diary.
Learn about your market
As a real estate agent, you are expected to be extremely knowledgeable about the local area. Clients may wish to know about the best local schools, nearby amenities, or any government or council regulations that might affect them or their property, and it's your responsibility to provide that information. Familiarise yourself with these important details, and refresh your learning on a regular basis so you're aware if something changes.
Align yourself with a broker
Initially, it can be difficult to find new clients and to convince them to enlist your services. To assist this process, most agents begin by finding a broker, like Engel & Völkers, to work with. By doing this, you remain self-employed, but gain the advantages of E&V's brand recognition and reputation as an industry leader. Our agents also receive training and support from skilled and experienced agents in the Engel & Völkers Academy. You can learn how to maximise your career through webinars, exclusive events, and one-to-one training.
If you are interested in starting a career in real estate with Engel & Völkers, visit our careers microsite today to learn more about working with us.