We sat down with Michelle Alchian, one of our Consultants from Temp Talent's sister company Resolver Recruitment, to find out about her journey in Real Estate and those all-important top tips on how to succeed in this fantastic industry!
- How did you get into the industry?
When I finished high school I couldn’t wait to start work! While everyone was planning their schoolies trip, I was literally going for job interviews in retail between hair and makeup appointments for my Year 12 formal! I had no idea which path I wanted to go down, so decided to hold off on uni and just enjoy working and earning money! I was keen to keep studying so enrolled in Business admin courses at TAFE in the evenings and absolutely loved it. It was actually my mum that suggested I leave retail at 19 years old and get a job at the local Real Estate agency as their receptionist. I fought the suggestion at first thinking it would be lame and boring but she convinced me to at least interview and see how I go. The rest is history!! I absolutely fell in love with Real Estate and the journey continued for the next 20 years (yikes, I am showing my age!).
- Your our career path
My first role was as a receptionist for a small local agency near my family home. It was a great start for me – I was doing everything from answering the phones, sales and marketing, general admin and looking after the office. I was there for 4 years and my boss invested in me to do the Real Estate Certificate of Registration course and help start up the Property Management Department in the business. After 4 years, it was definitely time for a change and after identifying that I enjoyed the sales and marketing side of Real Estate more so than Property Management, I took my next role with an agency on the Lower North Shore. It was definitely a step up for me, going from a small local agency to a bigger team and greater volume of activity and transactions! I remember doing all sorts of crazy hours but boy did I learn and grow so much in this role. I stayed with this office for 7 years and never got bored! As time went on, my responsibilities increased and I really developed my love of Real Estate operations. Fast forward 7 years and I took on my next role which unbeknownst to me would really catapult my career! Little did I know that this small boutique agency I was joining with 6 staff and a driven director with a vision to grow would only a few years later see me managing the operations for 2 offices and over 40+ staff. This role saw me doing everything from hiring, firing and managing staff, office fit outs, sales, compliance, property management, accounts and everything else under the sun in my operational capacity. It was quite the ride and one I only ever look back on with absolute gratitude. Making the final decision to start a different journey in my career was not one I made lightly. I knew I was passionate about the HR component of my role, and it was what I ultimately decided to study between full time work, and when I sat down to speak to Virginia at Resolver we saw the opportunity for me to join her team as a Recruitment Consultant, helping other Real Estate offices find their next future employees. I knew the industry well and respected Virginia who was instrumental in me getting my last role in Real Estate, so the pressure came off the decision making. I get a real buzz from helping businesses find great staff. I get what it is like to have to interview candidate after candidate, hire with fingers crossed, people manage and at times make the difficult decision to let someone go, so I am extra conscious of this when identifying candidates that would suit a business. I definitely don’t have a resume “spray and pray” mentality and am confident that my recommendations are considered and ones my clients and candidates can trust that I am always acting in their best interest.
- Advice for someone who is starting out in the industry or progressing?
My greatest advice for anyone starting in Real Estate is, don’t rush the journey!
Real Estate can be a very rewarding and affluent career path, but it takes time to develop relationships, build a reputation and a client base, so it is imperative that you see the long term vision and manage your approach to success. I have met so many people over the years that have tried and failed and I have met even more that have tried, failed, tried again, pushed through the noise, through the bubbles and through the crashing climates, enjoyed the highs and worked through their lows. Those are the ones that have really reaped the benefits of the wonderful world of real estate! If you are starting in the industry, do your research and try and join a company that offers a solid reputation, training, culture and long-term vision for growth and success. Securing your first job in real estate is the hardest one to get so don’t feel disheartened during the interview process. Remember you are competing against other candidates that may have experience which will ultimately make them more attractive. You may think, how am I ever going to compete for a role without experience, well, it is very simple. First thing is first, get your Certificate of Registration if you don’t have one. Whether you are looking for a reception role or want to get into sales, this will immediately make you more attractive and it is an absolute must have in today’s heavily legislated Real Estate industry. Secondly, be clear on why you want to join the Real Estate industry and why you are applying for the role you are interviewing for. If you show signs of uncertainty or lack of direction, businesses will be less likely to want to take you on and invest time training if they feel like the commitment is not there. Thirdly, if you are being put forward for a job, make sure you are prepared! Make sure you know what job you are interviewing for and who you are interviewing with. If you are working with a recruiter, ask them for a written brief on the role and do your own research on the company so you can go in as prepared as possible. Lack of preparation will be interview suicide, especially if you are in competition with experienced candidates. Have some questions pre-prepared because it shows your seriousness and commitment to securing the job! Preparation also breeds confidence which you will absolutely need in this case. Let your personality come through and try and release the nerves before walking in. Remember, this is not brain surgery, so try not to unnecessarily stress yourself out. Finally as mentioned earlier, Real Estate is a long term journey, take your time to progress. If you are wanting a career as a sales agent, align yourself with a strong lead agent and do your time with them. It can takes years to develop the skills to be successful as a stand-alone agent. Invest in training, coaching, go to conferences and never rest on just clearing your debit credit if you really want to be successful and affluent. Whether it is property management or admin and operations, the opportunities are endless, you just need to look out for them! Again, securing a role with a reputable agency who will invest in your future is amazing, but in return, show them your commitment. The grass is not always greener on the other side so if you are looking to make a move, make sure it is for the progression and opportunity, not just about the dollar signs!