With the average age of an estate agent now standing at around 54, it is evident that the Industry requires new entries. But why is that the case? Why is the average broker aged 54?
Gary Phelps, sales manager at Icon Property Group, writes on the topic of Becoming an Estate Agent and shares some experiences with the view of giving you, the reader, some insight into this career sector in South Africa which has excellent rewards, but comes at a great sacrifice.
The South African Real Estate Sector is undoubtedly in constant need of recruits who are self-motivated, well structured, and have an end-goal in mind.
Phelps says that being a Real Estate Agent is not a job, or a career, it’s entrepreneurial at the essence of it, and you must have a desire to own, manage and run a successful business, because if you cannot accept the fact that you are a business within an industry, and merely making usage of a bigger platform to establish, develop and grow your brand, then your decision-making processes will be minimal.
The industry demands lots of time, effort, money and commitment, and should not be considered a career opportunity if you are not able to commit to continuous development training, disappointment, and cancelled deals.
What to expect when starting as a Real Estate Agent
Phelps recommends that a new Agent, whether they are signing up as an Intern or a full status Agent, must have a minimum of six months’ cash flow to sustain their lives as it is currently, with the flexibility of a spike in their mobile phone bill, data, petrol and maintenance of the car, as these mentioned items shall now be in frequent usage.
Family support or a circle of close friends who can give emotional support is also crucial, because the hours are unpredictable, and with the proper support the transaction is more comfortable.
“Weekends” are something of the past, and a more strategic way of doing life (the family) will have to be thought of and implemented.
The demand of your clients will also beg the question of having to manage your time better, so get ready for calls at irregular hours, and demanding clients, wanting what they want, when they want it – not always, but be flexible.
Icon Property Group provides monthly group training sessions, facilitated by Elna Schulze, and another one-on-one training session per month, between Elna and the individual Agent. This is paramount for the ongoing training and development of the agent, and to ensure the agent remains focused on their business plan.
Within your first 90 days, you must have your business plan ready for submission, review, and approval by management, to ensure that it fits into the SMART module.
Five keys to assist you in becoming highly successful:
– Have a business plan.
– Ensure to have a coach/mentor to whom you will be accountable.
– Embrace technology, social and digital media advertising, as these tools will help speed up your process.
– Have a budget and stick to it – this will ensure that you can function according to your plan (leave a buffer of 10-20%, just in case there is a spike in business, which requires additional funding).
– Be sure that you are joining a brand, not just because you have heard the name before, but because they support your vision too, and share similar values.
What qualifications do you need to start trading as an Estate Agent?
– An Estate Agent must have a valid FFC (Fidelity Fund Certificate) on the date of sale of a property, to demand payment/earn commission.
– To apply for an FFC, as an Estate Agent, you must join a company which is registered with the EAAB. You then enroll with them and write under their brand.
– If you have registered as an Intern Agent, you will have to complete a 12-month internship and after that, you can write your NQF 4 exam. If you pass the exam, you will receive your full status qualification.
What shall your earnings be? This is the question…
Phelps recommends that a business plan is critical, as this allows perspective to be maintained, and to serve as a guide for income, and for general performance. The possibility for an Agent to earn R50 000 per month every month, is possible and doable, but strategic planning and execution will be required.