Real Estate Training Australia (RETA) is an established provider of real estate education, we find ourselves at the intersection of several thought-provoking debates within the industry and often debate on ‘raising the bar in real estate’ as a profession. Our role is not just to equip aspiring real estate professionals with knowledge and skills but also to engage in meaningful discussions that shape the future of real estate. In this editorial, we explore four vital topics that have far-reaching implications for the real estate sector: the entry barrier, the evolving role of real estate agents, agency support, and the choice between independent or franchise affiliation.
1. Is the barrier to entry for real estate too low?
The debate surrounding the entry barrier into the real estate industry is one that merits a balanced perspective. While it’s true that real estate has often been perceived as a profession with a relatively low barrier to entry, it’s essential to consider the broader context.
A low barrier to entry can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it allows individuals from diverse backgrounds to enter the industry, fostering innovation and competition. On the other hand, it can result in varying levels of professionalism and competency among agents. This variance can have consequences for consumers who depend on the expertise and ethical conduct of their agents.
We believe that instead of raising the entry barrier arbitrarily, the focus should be on enhancing the quality of real estate education and fostering a culture of continuous learning. Informed, well-educated agents are better equipped to serve their clients effectively and ethically, regardless of the entry requirements.
2. How do you define the role of a real estate agent?
Defining the role of a real estate agent goes beyond mere transaction facilitation. At its core, real estate is fundamentally about customer service. Agents are not just intermediaries; they are trusted advisors and advocates for their clients. This perspective shifts the focus from sales numbers to client satisfaction.
In today’s market, successful agents are those who prioritise their clients’ needs and build long-term relationships based on trust, transparency, and exceptional service. They offer guidance through the complex process of buying or selling a property, leveraging their knowledge to ensure their clients make informed decisions.
As educators, we emphasise the importance of a client-centric approach to our students. The real estate profession should be viewed through the lens of service rather than sales. When agents prioritise the best interests of their clients, they not only achieve success but also contribute to a more positive image of the industry.
3. Can real estate agencies be doing more to support their agents?
The answer is a resounding yes. Real estate agencies play a pivotal role in nurturing and supporting their agents. Agent success is intertwined with agency success, making it essential for agencies to invest in their agents’ growth and well-being.
Support should encompass ongoing training and professional development opportunities. As the industry evolves, agencies should ensure their agents not only have access to the latest in technology, best practices and training; but what if we also cared for our teams well-being? We encourage agencies to prioritise mentorship and provide a supportive environment where agents can learn, collaborate, and grow… both professionally and personally.
Mental health and work-life balance are equally important considerations. The demands of the real estate profession can be intense, and agencies should promote a healthy work culture that encourages a balanced lifestyle. Providing resources and support for agent well-being is an investment that yields long-term benefits.
4. Do clients choose the agent or the agency? Is it best to work as an independent or within a major franchise?
The choice between working as an independent agent or within a major franchise is a matter of personal preference and business strategy. Both options have their advantages and challenges.
Clients often prioritise the agent over the agency. A skilled and trustworthy agent can build a strong client base and reputation that transcends the agency’s brand. However, major franchises offer the benefits of established brand recognition, marketing resources, and network support.
Ultimately, the decision should align with an agent’s goals and resources. Independent agents have the autonomy to run their businesses as they see fit but may face challenges in building brand recognition. Franchise agents benefit from the franchise’s reputation and resources but may have less autonomy.
For our closing thoughts, the real estate industry is at a crossroads of change, and these four topics play a significant role in its evolution. While we recognise the importance of maintaining accessibility to the profession, we advocate for elevating professionalism through education and a commitment to client-centric service.
Agencies should prioritise agent support and well-being to foster a thriving industry. The choice between independent and franchise affiliation should align with an agent’s unique goals and resources.
Our role as a real estate education provider is to equip aspiring professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate this evolving landscape successfully.
By engaging in thoughtful discussions and embracing continuous learning, we can collectively raise the bar in the real estate industry, ensuring the best possible outcomes for agents and clients alike.