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The debate: Is real estate a career for life?

We ask REINSW members which side of the debate they fall on.


Graeme Smith
Principal/Owner at Harcourts Kangaroo Valley

I feel real estate is more of a vocation than a career. If approached with ethics and passion, it can be a wonderful opportunity to help many and diverse people at one of the major crossroads in their lives.

Helping people to achieve their goals around selling and buying property is both a way to positively affect their lives and make a good income.

It can be a stressful career, and if your focus is purely on making money then you are unlikely to make real estate a career for life.

Benefits of age

Unlike many other careers, strength of mind and strength of spirit are more important than your physical condition. By this I mean that growing older is no particular handicap in the job as wisdom and gravitas can be an additional benefit.

If you stay in and around one locality and ply your trade with skill and ethics, I have found that eventually business comes to you with lower levels of effort, which also builds longevity in your career.

Constant demands
In our modern world, one of the principal challenges of a real estate career can be the work/life balance.

This is the age of constant communication and clients can become very frustrated with any delay in your response to their needs. This places increasing demands on your time and life. Finding a balance is the key for many agents.

Not for everyone
With all these opportunities and challenges real estate will not be the ideal lifetime career for everyone, but it does provide many different avenues to build a rewarding and interesting lifetime career.

After 24 years and more than 1100 sales in both the dynamic inner city environment of Perth and now the diverse and beautiful tree-change destination of Kangaroo Valley, I can truly support real estate as a career for life.



Nick McGuire
Business Development and Consultancy Manager at PRDnationwide

There is no doubt that real estate is a rewarding career that offers a range of lifestyle and financial benefits that could tempt an agent to stay ‘in the game’ for life. 

As a former selling principal of a high-performing office in Brisbane, I’m familiar with how engaging and lucrative the industry can be if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and dedicate yourself to your craft. However, is it a career for life? Not necessarily.

Step on the ladder

Roles in real estate do not have to be the be-all and end-all of your career. I would argue that being part of the real estate industry can serve as a vehicle for rapid wealth creation and career redirection.

With the right mindset, tools and work ethic, a new agent can lean on the brand of a strong organisation, take advantage of up-to-date training opportunities and work exceptionally hard in the early phase of their career to build up enough capital to create options for their future.

Each day, employees in the real estate industry utilise and strengthen their expertise in areas such as communications, public relations, effective negotiation, brand marketing, digital marketing, reputation management, people management, public speaking, leadership and business coaching. In time, repetition and experience leads to the development of a formidable personal arsenal that can readily be transferred to many different careers in other industries.

Famous faces

Imagine if business icons and Queensland success stories such as Clive Palmer, Don O’Rorke and John Fitzgerald had remained in their real estate careers for life? These men have generated enormous wealth and imposing reputations from taking the skills honed in real estate and applying that business acumen to mining and property development. I’m sure they would have made formidable sales agents, but real estate was simply a springboard for triumph.