We’ve talked at length about what it takes to become an estate agent. Why? It’s one of the most popular career choices at the moment – and with good reason. It’s a unique profession which mixes challenges, targets, great people, emotions and excitement into one job. You can go as far as you like, you will meet fantastic people, you’ll probably have some weird experiences and you’ll get to see some interesting property – it’s quite unlike anything else.
As you may have seen from our previous posts, you don’t necessarily have to have a qualification to get into estate agency, but how about if you don’t have any experience? Is it possible to impress recruiters?
Of course it is and you might say we have the key, excuse the pun. Here are our top tips:
Arrange some work experience
You don’t have experience? Then get some! The majority of companies are happy to oblige (few will turn down free labour), so you shouldn’t have too much trouble arranging this. The best route is to call your preferred estate agency to discuss the possibility of some work and go from there. This work experience may encompass job shadowing and doing administrative tasks, accompanying agents on viewings and watching what happens when an offer is made – essentially, it will give you a taste of estate agency life.
This will not only boost your CV, but if you make a good impression on your hosts, perhaps they’ll be interested in talking to you about a role in the future – you never know!
Demonstrate your personality
As we mentioned in our blog: ‘Do I need a qualification to be an estate agent?’ personality is vital. Confidence, enthusiasm and initiative may be clichés, but they’re essential. Ambition, drive, and possessing a sense of empathy are equally important – after all, you will be dealing with people when they are making one of the costliest and most significant decisions in their life.
When you turn up for that interview, look people in the eye and have a firm handshake. Answer concisely, reveal your humorous side and show how you would both fit into the team and make a stellar estate agent. Wall flowers need not apply, even if they have experience.
Use social media
Social media has made the job seeking process far easier; it’s also made it possible for people to network, participate in industry discussions, keep up to date on news and get their name out there. Ultimately, it’s allowed people to ‘increase their stock’, as it were: to increase their credibility.
Recruiters routinely check candidates on social media; therefore if you can boost your presence by being a member of groups and forums in LinkedIn, following and contributing to live Twitter discussions and generally appearing interested in the subject, then that will improve your prospects. It suggests that you are serious about a role in estate agency and that you are doing all you can to immerse yourself in it.
Keep up to date
By the same token, keeping up to date with industry news and events – like the state of the property market and being able to make sensible predictions about the future, for example – will help in your endeavour.
Sites to keep an eye on include: Estate Agent Today (also covers Landlord Today, Letting Agent Today and Property Investor Today), naea.co.uk (the news page of the National Association of Estate Agents), Property Industry Eye , the Association of Residential Letting Agents’ site (ARLA) and Property Week.
Think about your transferable skills
The chances are that while you think you don’t have any experience, you probably possess some skills that would be useful in an estate agency role. You worked in retail? Then you likely dealt with all sorts of people, solved problems and used effective communication. Perhaps you’ve also had to deal with difficult customers and use your powers of persuasion. These attributes are all highly desirable in an estate agent.
Maybe you’ve worked in sales where you needed to hit targets, make lots of phone calls and meet deadlines – the same applies. Most of us will have (either in previous full/part time roles, or while in education) developed and used skills that are perfect for estate agency. Consider yours and shout about them!
There’s no denying that experience helps an application, but given the sheer volumes of people who make a full career change from one profession to estate agency, it can clearly be done. Take these points into consideration and you can do wonders for your own chances at becoming an estate agent.