How to decide on a career path in real estate.

09 October 2018


Our Director, Virginia Brookes shared her tips on how to decide on a career path in real estate with The Real Estate Conversation.

It's not hard to find a nine to five job to keep the water running and the electricity on in your apartment. But it is much harder to find a job that really makes your soul sing.

So you've decided on a career in real estate. Congrats! Moving into a new industry is pretty darn exciting, but it can be hard to know which path to take once you're there.

Do you want to be a property manager? Do you fantasize about selling million dollar homes? Or would you rather sell commercial spaces, like offices? 

Or, do you actually just have zero clue what it is you want to do, and that's exactly why you're reading this article?

We've roped in Director of Resolver Recruitment, Virginia Brookes to help you decide which path you should take.

"Work takes up such a huge chunk of our everyday lives and real estate can offer you an array of exciting and rewarding career paths. Which path you choose should come down to your personality, your long-term goals, and the hours and effort you're willing to put in," she said.

Here are some questions Virginia says you should ask yourself before choosing which direction you want your career to take. 

1. What are your character traits?

Wallflowers need not apply for a career in sales, says Virginia.

"If you are outgoing, confident and prepared to work long hours to achieve set targets, then sales could be the path for you," she told WILLIAMS MEDIA.

But Virginia says it's not all about being loud and outgoing.

"Bear in mind that there are also many other traits that a good salesperson requires, such as being an influencer, resilient, and a good listener."

If you're the quiet, reserved type, there's a career for that personality type too.

"If you are more of the calm, rational, problem-solving type who wants to build long-lasting relationships with their clients, then property management could be the role for you," she says.

"It requires loads of open communication where you are acting as the go-between with several parties. Strong conflict resolution skills are a property managers best friend."

2. How much $$$ do you want to earn?

If you're just starting out in an entry level role, you'll only be earning whatever the industry award is, so put away your dreams of driving that fancy new Range Rover... for now.

"How you build on this depends on the path you choose," says Virginia.

"If you are looking long-term for a higher fixed salary, then property management can provide this.

"However, if you like the idea of earning an uncapped salary, where you are rewarded for your efforts, then sales will give you a chance to earn big commissions."

3. What sector of the industry do you want to work in?

The first (and easiest) decision to make is whether you want to work in residential or commercial real estate.

"Residential is a very personal transaction - you are mostly helping someone to buy or rent where they are going to live, so it's more emotional," says Virginia.

"But commercial real estate is generally more of a business transaction, involving facts and figures, so there may not be as many emotions that come into play."

4. Within that sector, which department do you want to work in?

Once you've narrowed it down to a sector, you'll need to evaluate your skill set to determine which department will be the best fit for you. 

"Different roles within real estate require different skill sets - the obvious being whether you are more sales, property management or admin focused," says Virginia.

Ask yourself where your strengths lie. If you're super organised and great at solving problems, a role in property management or admin might be right for you. If you're a skilled negotiator and a stickler at working to targets, sales could be right up your alley. 

5. What type of work structure are you looking for?

If you like working the typical nine to five, and hate the idea of working weekends, it may be wise to stick to an admin role, otherwise, real estate might not be for you.

A lot of roles in real estate require weekend and evening work, so you need to evaluate if this is something you're willing to live with.

"To excel in sales, you need to be prepared to work when your clients are at home, meaning evening and weekend work is essential," says Virginia.

"Property management up to a certain stage in your career will require weekend work too. However, if you choose to take the commercial path in sales or property management, this can mean a purely Monday to Friday role. Bear in mind though, that some offices will ask for tertiary qualifications in commercial, so some further study may be required."