So, You Want to Work in Real Estate, What Next?
You’ve thought about working in real estate. Maybe you’re attracted by the opportunity to earn good money, the flexibility of hours, the connections you get to make or you simply love property. Whatever it is that has attracted you to the real estate industry, it is a good thing. I love working in real estate! But working in real estate isn’t for the faint hearted. Like any job you take the good with the bad, and a career in real estate can be extremely rewarding in terms of providing a challenge, offering career growth and of course there’s the lifestyle and financial freedom that comes with it as well. Let’s not shy away from the fact though, that all of the good stuff comes with plenty of hard work. You’re going to need to roll your sleeves up and get busy.
Like many people who start in the industry I never set out to work in real estate, in fact I never even really had a passion for property. As a television sports journalist I was looking for more life balance, working weekends and late nights was a constant juggling act with four young children under five. So, with that one mission, to find a job that fitted in with my family life, I started a real estate business and decided to grow a rent roll. How hard could it be right? Well, let me be completely transparent here, it was hard work, long hours, and certainly in the early days there wasn’t much of that balance I was craving going on. Then things started to change, and the real estate business has now given me more lifestyle and financial freedom than I ever thought possible. That’s not to say there isn’t constant challenges and events that forces me to pivot and change. In the past 13 years since I started, we have been through multiple major natural disasters, I actually opened the doors to my agency a month after the 2011 floods, a global financial crisis, changes in Government and of course most recently Covid-19. What I have learnt is that many businesses come and go during those challenging periods, but the one business that never seems to go away is Real Estate. Whatever is going on locally or globally real estate businesses adapt and continue to serve clients needs whether that is buying, selling, or renting properties.
Whether you are considering property management or sales, there’s a few key skillsets you’re going to need to possess to work in the real estate industry. These skills you will either intrinsically have them or like many of us, you will need to work on growing and developing certain skills. So, do you have the right skillset to work in real estate?
TOP SKILLSETS YOU NEED TO WORK IN REAL ESTATE
- You love connecting with people
Real estate both property management and sales is all about connecting with people. Building relationships is the core to being successful, and unfortunately if you don’t like people, or you are overly introverted (a little bit is ok) then this is going to be a tough career path for you to take. That’s not to say your relationship building skills can’t be nurtured and developed. But if the thought of calling someone cold on the phone makes you sweaty and sick in the stomach, then this might not be the path for you.
- You are good at conflict resolution
In many jobs or careers there is always an element of conflict. In real estate conflict is on steroids. Especially if you choose the property management path. Many people are fearful and upset by conflict, but at the end of the day conflict and resolving a dispute is simply a skill that can be improved and worked on. I personally was terrible at conflict in my early days. I had a very low emotional intelligence, I took conflict personally, had very little empathy and chose my fight instincts over flight every single time. There was no backing down from a good argument on my watch. That approach didn’t serve me, my clients, my team, or my business well. In the end I had to do some serious work on my emotional IQ and as a result my conflict and dispute resolution skills have now become a super power. I am proof anyone can become good at managing conflict.
- A keen negotiator
Many people think being a good negotiator is a skillset reserved for sales agents only. Let me share a little secret, negotiating is almost a daily task required in property management. From negotiating a new landlord’s management fees, to agreeing to terms on a maintenance dispute, and finalising a lease renewal, all require negotiation mastery. Having the ability and confidence to give and take and find a common ground between two conflicting parties is a skillset that should not be underestimated. Of course in sales negation skills are essential when it comes time to getting a deal together when both the buyer and seller aren’t on the same page with the price. Again, though this is a skillset that can be learnt and developed with practice.
- Great communication skills
Do you enjoy talking to people? If you answered no, then I recommend you reconsider your career path. Talking is the essence of a real estate business. Not only will you have disgruntled clients, hopefully not too many, but you’ll also have new clients to win over and then you need to be out and about in your community or networks communicating with everyone you meet about what you are doing. Learning how to start a conversation with a stranger, deflect conflict and win new business or sell are essential communication skills for life, not just real estate.
- Passion for customer service
This skillset ties into a few of the above, but essentially if you work in real estate, you are in the business of customer service. Just like a retail outlet selling shoes, you are in the business of selling properties or management services. How many times do you complain about customer service, I know I complain regularly and that is because I hold customer service as a core value in my own business. Being polite to customers is one thing, delivering a customer experience, well that is a whole new level service. If you are passionate about serving others in a go above and beyond sort of way, then you are perfect for real estate.
So, ok, once you have your real estate certificate what’s next? You’re going to want to brush up your skills and experience before selling yourself to a business, or if you are really brave you might even be considering starting your own real estate business and I applaud you on this.
With a need for more education, support and mentoring in the industry, I launched a side hustle, that has become my main business, That Property Mum. At That Property Mum we offer a range of free and paid for online courses and resources as well as coaching and mentoring packages to help you start, grow or scale your business. I’ve worked with hundreds of property managers and business owners over the past few years and pretty much everyone struggles with the same things. All of the products and services at I share are the exact tools, systems, frameworks, and workflows that have helped me grow a profitable real estate business over the past decade with a large portfolio across multiple office locations. There’s a huge focus on growing your rent roll, setting up property management systems that scale, incorporating digital marketing through our ‘Done for you Social Media’, and of course there is the one on one coaching and mentoring packages. After suffering multiple health conditions over the years including a heart issue, it became my mission to find an easier way to do not only property management, but also business. If I can’t prevent even just one of you avoid the stressful and overwhelming destination I was stuck in for many years, then my job here is done!