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How To Become A Successful Estate Agent

If you have ever wondered how to become an estate agent, it seems like the first place to look is within. Once you’ve decided you have what it takes, the rewards and job satisfaction can be huge.

HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL ESTATE AGENT

So how does the chief executive of leading property group, Pam Golding Properties, Dr Andrew Golding, describe a successful agent?

Relationship.Relationship.Relationship

“There is, without question, a level of competence, expertise and professionalism that is a given, but there is then an additional so called x-factor, that makes an exceptional agent, which is not necessarily that easily defined and is also not necessarily one thing. In many cases it will be their innate drive and competitiveness but in others it can be specific aspects of their character, their human qualities that make them so exceptional. Fundamentally though, the common qualities of successful agents include a passion for the combination of property and people, and that they love what they do.

“Surprisingly, top agents are very seldom primarily driven by money. Generally speaking, an important driver and intrinsic motivator is being able to influence lives and participate in the positive, exciting and significant moments in people’s lives. Fundamentally, agents are in the business of nurturing and cementing relationships, and effective communication is a key skill. Top agents need to be empathetic but also with the skill to understand both the said and unsaid.

Furthermore, top agents need to be unwaveringly dedicated to an exceptional level of service, says Dr Golding.

Lanice Steward, former president of the Institute of Estate Agents South Africa, describes how to become an estate agent, from that first decision to embark on the journey, to obtaining your real estate qualifications.

From there, it’s up to you whether you become a successful agent--essentially that means being part of the top 20%--or remain part of the average 80%.

According to Steward they are two very different jobs.

Debunking the most common myth

There’s a perception that becoming an estate agent is easy--simply write an exam that’s not too difficult, head out there, sell lots of homes and make lots of money.

This is not true and it is this thinking that historically gave the industry a poor image.

Fortunately, the Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB) identified the need to step in 15 years ago to implement a tighter qualification process to obtain a real estate license.

Today, unlike in the past where you could write a three-hour multiple choice board exam and open up your own business the next day, there are a number of hurdles over which to leap. This has already significantly professionalised the industry.

First steps

Your first task is to find a company who is willing to take you on as an intern and who will register you with the EAAB for a Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC).

These are renewable annually, for every agent, even once qualified.

As an intern agent, which is a minimum of a 12-month programme, you could potentially start earning quite soon, however, bear in mind that it takes an average of three months to transfer a property from date of sale and earn commission, so the reality is that you may need up to nine months’ worth of funding to back you up.

Until you are a full status agent, you are not permitted to sign any documentation and will be required to have a mentor who will accompany you when you list a mandate or complete an offer to purchase document.

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