Do a search online for most hated professions and ours will rank right up there alongside Politicians, Bankers, Lawyers and Traffic Wardens.
What always makes us smile though is how many people say; ‘I’d so love to do your job!’
We’re incredibly proud of our profession and very passionate about it so if you are considering a career in Estate Agency here’s some things to think about.
In our Director, Matthew Ryde’s soon to be reached milestone of 30 years since starting in the business he has seen hundreds of people join and leave agency. Those who have made successful careers in the industry tend to have some key traits that anyone looking for a career should take note of.
This is a business where you generally work for free. Remember that ‘No Sale – No Fee’ promise the majority of agents commit to, well how many other industries can you think of where you will work for a client for say six months and never get paid a penny nor get anything to cover the costs you’ve incurred?
Most of the people who leave our business have never come to terms with dealing with this. Struggling with rejection, with disappointment is the main cause of discontent.
To survive in Estate Agency you need resilience and determination. The survivors keep going however hard things are, they get knocked down but bounce straight back up and keep trying again and again.
When the hard earned sales you’ve slaved to create start falling apart, when clients change their mind on a whim and back out of a sale or purchase, or both, you do everything you can to salvage the situation and you get on and make your next sale as well.
If you are going to make a career in this business you need to be self-motivated. You measure yourself against high standards that you must set for yourself and against the best you work with. There is no place for ‘If it’s alright for them then it’s ok for me’ thinking in the office. To succeed in sales you will need great listening skills, you’ll need to develop or make use of life skills and experience. You need to be able to build rapport, to be trustworthy and to do what you promise to do. You need to be humble, open to criticism and you need a desire to learn and improve.
We know a great number of brilliant estate agents who will all have stories of how they worked for so long doing a seven day week. Matthew remembers lengthy periods of eighty to one hundred hour weeks as do many of his compatriots. Can someone explain what a lunch hour is please!
Matthew can introduce you to agents who will have spent a twelve month period in the industry not earning a penny to keep a business afloat or staff in jobs. Seriously, how many of you would do that?
Estate Agency is actually one of the few seven day a week twenty-four hour a day jobs because if you really want to be an estate agent then you are an estate agent wherever you go and whenever.
Not scared off yet?
How do you get started?
We’re only going to talk about residential sales here as there are different disciplines in our industry and the entry in can be very different.
The beauty of residential sales is that it isn’t age specific. We can name great people in the industry whose ages range from teens to seventies and all points in-between.
So here you go.
Get your CV in order, keep it short and sweet especially if you are more mature with a long career.
If we’re looking at a CV we want to see personality and drive, to see what someone has achieved on their own merits. We’re not interested in ‘I was in a team that delivered a project on time’, we want to find out how they were part of delivering that project. What skills did they display? We’re not the only people who scans CV’s this way.
Please check spelling and grammar as well. There is a shudder every time we see a cv with mistakes or incomplete sentences.
You have one chance to make a first impression! Burn that message into your brain and never let it fade.
Do you need qualifications, relevant experience?
Not necessarily. Matthew will tell you that when he is out and about he looks at how people conduct themselves in their business, how they deal with him as the customer. If he sees someone he thinks has the makings of an estate agent then he’ll tell them and ask if they’ve thought of a career change. Our job revolves around attitude, professionalism and drive.
If you can, get out on the street and take your CV to the businesses you are approaching. Estate Agency is a people business. There may not be a vacancy at that point but make yourself memorable and your CV may get a review further down the road. If you walk in and impress you stand a much better chance of getting a job or at least an interview. If you can’t sell yourself what can you sell?
Different businesses will give you very different introductions to the industry. All have something to offer, some have more than others. Research who you want to work for.
Social media and the internet can be your friend here. Search out industry leaders online, follow them on LinkedIn, join discussion groups as well. Never stop learning.
Look at Twitter to see what estate agents are doing. Scan facebook pages to see how the agencies promote themselves and look at the agents websites. Ask friends and family about their experiences and which agencies impressed.
When you get an interview know as much as you can about the business you are applying to join. Prepare questions you want to ask in advance and be prepared to work your socks off if you get the job.
Just turning up to work each day isn’t anywhere near enough! If you don’t want to be the best at what you do please think carefully before applying for a career in estate agency.
If you do think the industry is right for you we wish you every success.
We think ours is the best job ever and of the people we know the ones who generally get the most job satisfaction are the people in agency.
Good luck and we look forward to following your career as it develops.