1. Which sector of the industry do you want to work in?
Real estate offers two main sectors – residential and commercial. Residential is a very personal transaction; you are mostly helping someone to buy or rent where they are going to live, so it is a more emotional transaction.
Commercial on the other hand is generally more of a business transaction, involving facts and figures, so there may not be as many emotions that come into play.
2. What department, within your chosen sector, do you want to work in?
Once you have chosen your sector, you’ll need to evaluate your skill set to decide which department to work in. Different roles within real estate require different skill sets – the obvious being whether you are more sales, property management or admin focused.
Evaluate where your strengths lie. If you are organised with strong time management and problem solving skills, then you may be more suited to a property management or administration role.
If you are good at working to targets and negotiating, you may be more suited to a sales role.
3. What are your character traits?
If you are outgoing, confident and prepared to work long hours and to achieve set targets, then sales could be the path for you. Bear in mind that there are also many other traits that a good salesperson requires such as being an influencer, resilient and a good listener.
If you are more of a calm, rational, problem-solving type who wants to build long-lasting relationships with their clients then property management is probably more your style.
Property management requires loads of open communication where you are acting as the go between with several parties. Strong conflict resolution skills are a property manager’s best friend.
4. What do you want to earn?
Any entry-level role in real estate will generally offer you the industry award. How you build on this depends on which path you choose.
If you are looking long-term for a higher fixed salary, then property management can provide this. However if you like the idea of earning an uncapped salary, where you are rewarded for your efforts, then sales will give you a chance to earn big commissions.
5. What kind of work structure are you looking for?
To excel in sales you need to be prepared to work when your clients are at home, meaning evening and weekend work is essential. Property management up to a certain stage in your career will require weekend work too.
So if you are looking for a Monday to Friday role, initially it may be best for you to start in administration.
However if you choose to take the commercial path in sales or property management, this can mean a purely Monday to Friday role. Bear in mind though that some offices will ask for tertiary qualifications in commercial, so further study may be required.
VIRGINIA BROOKES is the Director and Founder at Resolver Recruitment.