Becoming a Property Professional
Category General Interest
Becoming a Property Professional
It's the beginning of a new year, and possibly a new you. Have you ever thought of becoming a Real Estate Agent?
We did. We have never looked back. While it's not a walk in the park as some may think, if you put in the time and energy, and enjoy the people you work with, it may be the career for you.
Here is our basic 9 step guide of what to consider when becoming a Property Professional:
- Consider your natural personality.
This is a very people orientated career choice and therefore advisable that you are socially comfortable, as opposed to someone with a preference for underground laboratory experiments. There is a lot of energy and self motivation required to keep at it. A certain amount of 'grit' is required from agents because not every negotiation or opportunity will go your way, so persistence is key.
- Pinpoint the brands / agencies you would like to work with
Are you looking to join a larger, established firm or perhaps a smaller, innovative, energetic real estate company that's open to new ideas and has a solid vision with an exciting growth path? Company culture varies and you want to make sure you have support and you're happy where you are based. Also consider whether you want to work within the residential sector only or commercial space as well. Do your market research and meet with people to find out more. Social media is a good place to start for insight into a company culture and ethos.
- Start your internship.
Once you've pinpointed the agencies you aspire to join, and the regions within which you'd like to grow, it's time to approach them and find out if your style matches theirs, and whether there's an opportunity for you in the organisation.
- Register with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB)
Once you start working with a Real Estate Agency, you need to sign up and register with EAAB. The board regulates the estate agency profession and therefore a fidelity fund certificate is provided as evidence of your registration. This needs to be renewed annually.
- Complete an NQF 4 through an accredited provider
To be a full status real estate agent, you need to successfully complete an NQF Level 4 Real Estate qualification. This equates to 1500 study hours and can be self paced. Material is supplied by the Estate Agency Affairs Board and is relevant and thorough. There are several accredited providers which can be found online, or ideally recommended by the Estate Agency you do your internship through.
- Make sure you have a sense of humour and market knowledge
There's a lot of competition in the industry, and a lot of choice for a potential home owner. There will be strange requests and uncertainty, so it's important to understand that what you consider important may differ to the family or individual you are engaging with. The bottom line is, we all want to deal with professionals who know their business. Purchasing or selling a home is a big decision, and to be a professional real estate agent, you should know the market, the area you work within and the value of the properties you are dealing with, as a minimum.
- Don't have a 9-5 mindset.
Most people work five days a week or more, traditionally between the hours of 8am and 5pm with short breaks in-between to do a number of important things. As a property professional, understanding that you need to fit around other people's schedules is key. Early morning viewings, show day Sundays and after hour meet-ups are the norm. You can make it work for you, but most importantly make it work for the client.
- Work hardest on your relationships.
There's a saying. 'People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care'. A career in real estate is not simply business, we believe that the people we meet become friends. A well rounded, successful property professional is not just looking to do a quick deal, but is looking out for what's fair and best for an individual.
- Continually up-skill and use technology to your advantage
Regardless of the career you are in or plan to be in, everyone should continue to learn. The world is moving faster than ever before and technology is leading progress. Technology will be your best friend, providing you with information, time keeping assistance, lead interrogation and market knowledge. Listing and online search are fundamentals in the residential and commercial property industry, so make sure to know your way around portals, online marketing platforms and CRM systems.
The property market in South Africa is an exciting sector with much in the way of opportunity. I hope I have shared a little insight into this exciting career choice.
Author: Sam Harwood Property