How to become a real estate agent

Become a real estate agent

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There are several reasons why becoming a real estate agent makes a lot of sense for someone who loves to manage their own schedule:

  1. Every body needs to live somewhere so everyone needs a home/unit etc
  2. Most property owners don’t enjoy the tension, pressure and attachment they feel if they opened their homes to strangers themselves
  3. Many people don’t enjoy sales or negotiating with buyers on reasons to get the best price, preferring to get someone else to do it for them
  4. Apart from standard real estate days like Wednesdays and Saturdays real estate agents can be flexible with their working hours
  5. If you choose the right real estate agency you’ll be able to work as an independent consultant

Becoming a real estate agent can be getting a job or starting a business

Real estate agents help people buy houses and units as well as sell them and in Australia most real estate agents are sales agents who act for the vendor or property owner. Real estate agents spend part of their time prospecting in their local areas to find property owners who are ready to sell their home and the other part receiving calls about the properties they have available for sale, presenting a house for sale and negotiating with interested buyers to get the best price for the owner (vendor).

The other type of real estate agent is a buyers agent who works for the buyer to find properties that suit the home buyers search profile.

Getting a job as a real estate agent

To get a job as a real estate agent you need to complete a Certificate of Registration which is a state based registration and normally managed by the Department of Fair Trading or similar. As a real estate agent employee you’ll find you can be rewarded in these ways:

  • Base Salary and shared commission (split between all team members)
  • Debit / Credit System where you are paid a base and commission where the commission you earn is used to pay for the base you’ve been paid
  • Independent contractor where you run your own real estate agent business under the real estate licence of a major brand like McGrath or Belle Property.

Employed real estate agent commission

Real estate agents have historically earn their fee as a percentage of the sale price of the home and that rate can vary between 1% and 6% but the important thing to understand is that the AGENCY gets this amount and you as an employee earn a percentage of this commission. The agent/agency commission can range from 75/25 in favour of the agent to 40/60 in favour of the agency and has to be negotiated with the real estate agency.

Stating your own real estate agency

When you start your own business you can buy into a franchise style system like the major brands: LJ Hooker, Ray White, Century 21 etc or you can go it alone as your own brand and build your profile locally. If you do go alone it’s important to understand the changing role of digital marketing to find property vendors who are looking to sell their homes.

When you start your agency you’ll be responsible for both the sales and marketing as well as the administration and accounting considering that trust accounting plays an important role in the property selling process.

  1. Key Steps in Becoming a Real Estate Agent
  2. Do the Certificate of Registration
  3. Register with the state authority in your state
  4. Find a job or decide to start your own real estate agency
  5. Complete the full real estate licence course

Steps to starting your bookkeeping business

Here’s a quick guide to help you on your journey in starting your own real estate agency:

  • Choose a business name and domain name and REGISTER them
  • Choose a business structure (trust, sole trader, company etc) and REGISTER it
  • Set yourself up with the ATO for ABN and GST
  • Open up a bank account and Paypal account
  • Decide what you want to offer and how much you want to charge
  • Create a website to promote your services and rates
  • Create business cards so you can network and get new clients
  • Setup your own bookkeeping software so you can start invoicing
  • Join a professional industry organisation to provide credibility (usually the Real Estate Institute in your state)
  • Register with Department of Fair Trading as a registered real estate agent
  • Ensure you keep up to date with your state based legislation on how properties can be offered for sale
  • Build your business
  • Pay your bills on time, save some money and enjoy yourself too!

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