More Queenslanders eyeing off a career in real estate

On the back of a booming property market and an influx of new residents, nearly one in three Queenslanders find the prospect of a career in real estate appealing.

A new survey from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland shows that one in three Queenslanders (32 per cent) would consider a career in real estate, believing it could offer fulfilment and promising future prospects.

The REIQ has already witnessed a significant increase in course enrolments over the past two years, indicating the life of a real estate agent is one many people are already aspiring to.

REIQ Antonia Mercorella said the strong seller’s market and the fallout from Covid lockdowns had led many people to reassess their lifestyle and career choices.

“On one hand we have what’s been coined the ‘great resignation’ with record numbers reportedly quitting their jobs and reassessing what they want out of their career, along with the dawn of a new year causing people to review their options,” Ms Mercorella said.

“No doubt the incredible rate of property growth in Queensland has seen some people lamenting the fact their home made more money than they did over the past year. 

“We’ve also seen greater levels of public exposure and interaction with real estate agents due to headline-making property sales growth as many people have decided to either take advantage of the seller’s market and sell up, or to buy up in order not to miss out.”

Ms Mercorella said with lockdowns impacting both Sydney and Melbourne, life in Queensland looked pretty appealing to many people.

“In Queensland, we’ve been lucky to have relatively few lockdowns compared to southern states, but regardless, our state’s real estate industry has shown great resilience and ability to adapt to keep operating throughout, as an essential service with people needing a roof over their heads.

“All these factors, led to real estate careers being highly visible and desirable at present.”

The appeal of a career in real estate is backed up by data from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), showing there was a 31 per cent increase in the number of new property occupation applications received in 2021 compared to the number received in 2020.

Ms Mercorella said there was a range of opportunities in the current market beyond just sales.

“With levels of interest and inquiry for properties at an all-time-high, many agencies are on the lookout for apprentices and additional staff in all fields, but most predominately in corporate support and property management, to share the workload,” she said.

“It’s also been the instigator for many professionals to upgrade to a full licence and go out on their own – becoming their own boss by establishing their own business.” 

Ms Mercorella said while it was good that many people were looking at entering the industry, they had to understand it was still hard work.

“In a market like this, with high levels of activity and transaction volumes, people tend to assume that being a real estate agent is easy, but it’s no walk in the park,” she said.

“Any agent will tell you that real estate is a fast-moving industry with regular legislative changes that requires ongoing learning, commitment, hard work and very long hours, but the rewards are in line with the effort. You get out what you put in.”

She said a career in real estate could open up a number of different pathways.

“The first thing most people think that it means is residential sales, but that is just one in a multitude of options and avenues where you could take your career,” she said.

“Getting your real estate qualification opens the door to many sectors including, business broking, property management (commercial and residential), buyers’ agency, auctioneering, business development and corporate support, and of course, residential and commercial sales. 

“It’s a career that can be flexible around family commitments, ideal for mums getting back into the workforce or dads looking to enjoy more family time.

“It offers options for school leavers, with great apprenticeships on offer, or opportunities for those who are on their second or third career change. Some even decide to get their real estate licence as a side hustle.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.