While education levels in the industry have been a concern for some time now, Hamish Barton is among an increasing number property agents who are university educated.
After graduating from high school and working for several property businesses in Qld, Brisbane-based Barton says he knew from an early age real estate would be his calling.
Barton’s education, along with his passion for property proved the right mix for the bosses at Oliver Hume Real Estate Group who immediately offered him a job with the company after he graduated from Griffith University’s. His Business degree, completed last year, includes a double major in real estate, property management and marketing.
Barton’s job offer was on top of being selected as one of the Oliver Hume Corporation Bursary (OHCB) scholarship recipients which gave him a stipend of $2,500 towards his studies and a six-month paid part-time internship with the firm as part of the prize.
By the time Barton graduated, he had been offered a graduate position as a project and sales coordinator in the company to work across markets such as Brisbane, Gold Coast and Ipswich.
“It’s very tough,” Barton said on starting out in real estate industry.
“But early on, I looked to my mentors in the industry who all said the same thing: become educated. I took that advice on board, went to university, completed my studies, and was lucky enough to be selected for the OHCB. Now, I’m employed full time by Australia’s biggest property marketing firm.
“The top agents all stressed that I needed to view the industry as a ‘business.
“The studies were a blend of business and property, so I have a great understanding of the sector I’m in. I believe that learning the business side and understanding the environment of a lot of our clients puts me ahead of many other property professionals,” he said.
Barton said one of the most rewarding moments at Oliver Hume was witnessing new buyers weeping with joy after purchasing their dream block of land at Helensvale’s “The Surrounds” development.
Barton said he is elated to be working on projects throughout the Brisbane and Gold Coast corridor as land prices in the area continue to rise.
“The Gold Coast market is one I am interested to see develop over the next 12-24 months. The prices of land in the region is rising, and I don’t believe it will fall anytime soon. I am lucky to be working in such a strong real estate market,” he said.
Oliver Hume joint managing director Queensland Brinton Keath said the company’s partnership with Griffith University ensures that students have the opportunity to achieve full-time work after graduation.
“Hiring ambitious, energetic graduates and developing them within Oliver Hume is a big asset and these students are committed to understanding all aspects of the industry,” Keath said.
“In real estate, there’s demand for know-how, and we want to support that. There’s a growing focus for agencies to recruit, retain, train and support young people.
“We aim to pioneer activity-based working nationally, and the internship is a prime example of this. It’s important to have employees who understand all aspects of the business, and this is provided through Griffith University’s undergraduate degree which offers a pathway for students to work in the industry.