James and Sarah Bell, leaders at LinkLearn, answer the most frequently asked question of all our students seeking to join the Real Estate Industry: How do I get into real estate with no experience?
In every profession there is a bit of a learning curve between when you start a job and when you are able to work autonomously, that is without supervision. In real estate, this learning curve is sharper than most other industries.
Each employer is going to have a different recruitment strategy but basically it will come down to what else is on their plate at the time. Employers will make a decision as to whether they have the time and resources to coach someone from their first day in real estate or whether they would be prepared to pay more and poach someone who already knows the ropes.
If you are looking to get into the industry, it can take a bit of patience and tenacity to find the right opportunity – it isn’t a given that when the student is ready, the master will appear. The good news is that patience and tenacity are virtues of a successful real estate agent – so you’re already getting some practice in while you’re job hunting.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a bit of time for you to create the opportunity you are looking for – most of your career as a real estate agent will be spent putting in the effort to create opportunity.
No one is going to choose you to represent them as an agent if you put your business card in a stranger’s letterbox and disappear – same goes for job hunting.
Here are a few ways to get a foot in the door:
1. Set yourself a career pathway
Understand that very few people get a job as a sales agent with no experience and then go earn to be very successful. There is a lot to learn about property and customer service. Consider seeking an entry level position as a administrator or a personal assistant to a sales agent or property manager. You will be able to learn the ropes without all the pressure and then once you are ready, you can speak to your employer about becoming a sales agent or property manager, once you have a bit of experience behind you.
2. Business Development and Leasing
If you are hoping to end up in sales, it may pay dividends for you to spend some time in business development and leasing. Instead of finding, winning and negotiating for sale properties – you can learn and practice the same skills finding, winning and negotiating properties for rent. You can earn good money through incentivised pay programs but also have the security of a steady salary. You will also deal with a greater volume of deals and the stakes are not as high while you’re still finding your feet.
3. Going all in
If you want to go all in and become a sales agent or property manager in your own right, you will need to be prepared and give yourself the best chance of securing a job by demonstrating to an employer that you are ready and worth taking a chance on.
- Even if you have no experience in real estate, if you have some relevant experience from other industries – be sure to highlight that. So if you worked in customer service, sales, finance, construction, marketing, project management – all of these skills are used in real estate, it is just a matter of applying them to new contexts.
- Invest in your training and learn, learn, learn so that you give yourself the best chance to succeed in the event that someone does give you the opportunity. There are some great free podcasts, such as Real Estate Pros by Josh Cobb of Stepps and then specific sales training that is affordable and effective through Tom Panos’ Real Estate Gym.
- Get Fully Licensed – Many real estate sales agents never take the time to obtain their Full Real Estate Licence. If you are new to the industry you will be competing against experienced agents, so becoming a Fully Licensed Real Estate Agent is a great way to level the playing field. If you advertise that you are a Fully Licensed Real Estate Agent, then irrespective of the talent and experience of other sales people, you are arguably more – or just as – qualified to represent home owners for the sale of their property.
- Get yourself a mentor – Make sure that you find an office where there are successful agents who give you the opportunity to learn and shadow them. They will gain a benefit from teaching you but look for ways that you can give back to them in exchange for their mentorship. While you have fewer listings, you can offer to assist them at open homes in exchange for their tips and insights in the local market.