how to become a real estate agent

As a real estate agent, you will have a fast-paced work lifestyle, operating on the ground in the property market. Do you enjoy poring over the property listings in the paper? When you meet people can you get a sense of who they are, and their taste, so you could direct them to their perfect house? If so, then why not become a real estate agent? You spend your days working in collaboration with buyers and sellers. Also, with property owners and tenants. You advise people on the property market and guide them so they all find their perfect match. Then, you use your expert negotiation skills to wangle the best deal for your clients, without breaking the deal. You need skill, enthusiasm, and knowledge to manage all this. 

Would you like to work in a fast-paced, booming industry? Do you have a nose for a good deal? Do you have a good intuition to find the best property for your client’s tastes? Yes? Well then, why not become a real estate agent? Keep reading to discover the steps you should take to make this exciting career your reality. You might be surprised, it is easier to get started than it looks!

Step one: Choose a course

In order to register as a real estate agent, you need to have some relevant qualifications. There is not a minimum level requirement. However, if you would like to advance your career at a later date you can consider taking a certificate III level qualification. This will set you up nicely to progress your career further down the line. If you have the time and resources you may even want to go above and beyond those minimum qualifications and consider taking a bachelors degree. This can help you keep a step ahead of the crowd.

Step two: Complete a compulsory short course

Once you have your qualifications, you are ready to register to become a real estate agent. You must do this before you are able to work. Each state has a different set of requirements but all of them require you to take a short course first. Check with your local authority so you know exactly what you need to do. You can find more information on this site via the resources section.

Step three: Register as a real estate agent

Finally, when you have passed the compulsory short course you can register as a real estate agent. This is an important step to take because you cannot reliably find work without the registration. Every state in Australia has a set of different rules, so check with your local authority to find out exactly what you need to do. You can find more information on this site via the resources section.

Step four: Look for your first job 

After registering you can begin to look for your first job. Real estate is growing in Australia and experts predict growth to continue steadily. When applying for work don’t forget to tailor your resume and cover letter for each application. In addition, make sure you highlight your qualifications, registration, personal strengths and any experience you may have. 

Step five: Consider a specialisation

Working as a real estate agent there is considerable room for growth and progression. For example, you could focus on a certain type of property or business. Or you might aim your sights to work up the ranks and eventually move into a management position.

Property Manager

In this specialisation, you move away from the buying and selling of properties and focus on rental properties. You take over the owners portfolio of properties and manage them. This usually involves attracting and screening new tenants. As well as making sure tenants take care of the property, pay the rent and meet their contractual obligations. In addition, you arrange maintenance at the property when needed. At the same time, you make sure the work carried out has a high standard.

Residential Real Estate Agent

A residential real estate agent is a specialist in residential properties. You are passionate about helping people to find the perfect home and have keen negotiation skills to win the best deals for your clients. It is important to build up an in-depth knowledge of the area and market you operate within. Successful agents will appreciate the subtle influences of value, such as schools, community centre, and local amenities.

Commercial Real Estate Agent

A commercial real estate agent specialises in the buying, selling and leasing of commercial properties. You could be dealing with office space, retail parks, or industrial premises. In the role, you seek tenants, properties, or buyers for your clients. While using your knowledge of property law and regulations to best advise them. Lastly, you use your in-depth knowledge of the market you work within to best advise your clients on good deals.

Business Broker

In this specialisation, you take a step away from property and transfer your negotiation skills into a new area. In this case, you facilitate the sales of privately owned businesses. You work for the seller or buyer and help them to negotiate the terms and price of the sale. At the same time, overseeing the deal to ensure all parties comply with legislation and everything goes smoothly.

Real Estate Agent Job Description

If you enjoy doing a wide range of different tasks at work, then the work of a real estate agent will suit you well. Every day is different as you juggle all the different tasks required of you. Some of the time you will spend analysing the market keeping on top of trends, and economic developments which can affect house value. Other times, you will be liaising with other professionals, your clients, or potential buyers/ tenants. You may find yourself visiting a property to collect information and then prepare the advertisement for the property. Furthermore, you may meet potential buyers for property viewings, or hold an open house on a property. Within real estate, there is the potential to specialise in residential or commercial properties. Or you may prefer to handle both types of deal.


  • Negotiating sales and leases
  • Preparing property listings for advertising
  • Establishing the minimum sale price using comparative market analysis (CMA)
  • Holding open house events
  • Undertaking property inspections
  • Collecting rent from tenants
  • Arranging maintenance for your clients rental properties when needed

Skills for Success

As a real estate agent it is crucial to have very good people and communication skills. As a part of your daily work you communicate and liaise with property owners, tenants, buyers, sellers, mortgage brokers, solicitors, tradespeople and many others along the way. Furthermore, you should have a knack for negotiation. This is how you will help your clients to get the best deal possible without sabotaging the transaction. You should be friendly, assertive, and work on building a rapport with everyone you come into contact with. Paying attention to your appearance, in order to present yourself as a professional, is also important. In addition, you need to have an in-depth understanding of the local property market so you can keep on top of market trends.

Skills and attributes

  • Excellent negotiation skills
  • Able to work with a wide range of people from all walks of life
  • Sales orientated
  • Pays attention to details
  • Superb knowledge of the local property market

What is the Real Estate Agent Salary Australia?

In Australia, real estate agents earn a median wage of $48,243 per year. This varies according to a number of factors and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 05/’18.

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