Real Estate Careers - FAQ
risk adviser logo

Real Estate Careers - FAQ

The Real Estate Industry is a vibrant, fast paced workplace that can yield great rewards. At RECD, we are inundated with calls from individuals looking to make the first step into a long lasting career.

Success in Real Estate takes patience, effort and a genuine passion for the Industry. Many agents work 6 days a week and late into the evenings – you’ll need to be a good at time management to make sure you maintain a healthy work/life balance!

Real Estate is a long standing, traditional industry that values individuals who choose to work from the ground up. The longer you have been in the industry, the better your knowledge and the more confidence agencies have in your abilities. This in turn will help you increase your earnings potential!

Do I need a qualification to work in Real Estate?

YES. The qualification differs between states.

The qualification is a legal requirement for individuals working in Real Estate. Having the relevant qualification (details below) will allow you to undertake any role within Property Management or Sales. Agencies are by law unable to hire anyone for these roles without the qualification. The only role that does not always require the qualification is as a receptionist, however it is becoming more common for agencies to ask their receptionists to have undertaken the course, so that they can help out the PM or Sales departments during busy times.

RECD recommends all candidates, including Reception candidates complete this qualification prior to beginning their real estate career search.


Victoria - Agent’s Representative Certificate

The Agent’s Rep Certificate Course is offered at several educational institutions, however RECD recommend candidates undertake the course with the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV ). The REIV runs these courses weekly, and they can be undertaken full time, part time or via correspondence.

New South Wales – Certificate of Registration

The Certificate of Registration Course is offered at several educational institutions, however RECD recommend candidates undertake the course with the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW ). The REINSW runs these courses weekly, and they can be undertaken full time, part time or via correspondence.

The cost of these courses varies between states. Check the websites for details. The cost will be borne totally by yourself – a potential employer or recruiter will not pay for you to undertake the course. Having the certificate not only legally entitles you to work in Real Estate, it is a show of dedication that you intend to have a career in real estate.

Do I need to provide any other documents?

In Victoria and New South Wales, it is a legal requirement for individuals working in Real Estate to not have been convicted of certain offences. As such, you will be required to provide a current Police check to any employer or recruiter, upon commencement of registration and / or employment.

When you register with us, or when you are employed in a role, you will need to complete a Statutory Declaration (which we or the employer will provide) that states that you have not been convicted of these offences and that you will obtain within 6 weeks a Police Check that verifies this. Failure to provide a police check, or providing a police check showing relevant convictions, are grounds for dismissal. It is important to be open and honest about any issues in your past as there are ways to apply for permission to work in Real Estate, even with the convictions, if you are a strong enough candidate. If you do not disclose any issues that are later discovered, this is also grounds for dismissal.

Should I do Sales or Property Management?

This is entirely a personal question. When you undertake your certificate you will be given a fantastic insight into the realities of working in both streams of Real Estate.

Sales and Property Management are governed by different legislation and it is rare for individuals to swap back and forth – you will need to decide which best suits your personality, work ethic and personal situation.

Is it easy to get a job in Real Estate?

Real Estate is not an easy industry to break into, however once you have, the returns are well worth the effort. Returns include allowances, increased tax deductibility and a true ‘career’ – not just a job.

Real Estate is difficult to break into as it is an industry that highly values in-industry experience. Many roles are directly involved with properties worth hundreds of thousands up to several million dollars – an error could be incredibly costly! As such most roles to require a level of experience within the industry – entry level roles are in the minority.

I can’t get a job because I don’t have experience I don’t have experience because I can’t get a job!

Don’t Despair!! There are entry level roles out there. A lot of these are recruited through RECD and often we do not have to advertise them due to the volume of entry level candidates we have on our candidate register. If you are an entry level candidate it will be in your best interests to register with RECD so that we know you are looking when a role becomes available!

What are the entry level roles called?

Starting out in any industry is difficult, but knowing where to start is the key! Whilst you may have the aptitude to learn and do many roles, you will need to start in an entry level role that will put you in the perfect position to learn. The Real Estate Industry is incredibly specialised with many little details that you can only learn on the job. It also deals with millions of dollars worth of transactions and strict legal requirements – a small error can have a huge impact, causing sales to fall over or extra costs incurred. Be patient! It is important to start in an entry level position so that when a role with more responsibility becomes available, you have the perfect grounding to slide straight into it.

Property Management

When you are looking for entry level PM roles, keep an eye out for the following:

  • Real Estate Receptionist
  • Leasing Consultant
  • Assistant Property Manager
  • Junior Property Manager
  • Rental Administrator

These roles will give you the skills and knowledge to move up into a full ‘Property Manager’ role. Managing a portfolio is a lot of responsibility and requires knowledge you can only gain ‘on the job’. Unfortunately having leased a property in the past or owning a property is not enough to be put on a portfolio without any ‘in industry’ experience!


Many agencies will recruit through word of mouth or via direct application for sales roles. If you are looking to head into sales – research the area and the agencies that you would like to work for and make contact. They will be looking for you to sell yourself to them – after all in sales, that is the job! If you can show the agency that you mean business, have a strong desire to learn and grow within their company and have a great personality, you won’t have any problems!

Many entry level roles in sales are called:

  • Sales Cadet
  • Sales Assistant
  • Sales Administrator

If you are unable to secure a full sales role initially, working in Sales Administration will give you excellent grass roots knowledge of how sales works and will put you in the perfect position to transition into a full sales role later on.

I’m undergoing a career change after many years in a different industry. Am I too old?

NO! Your experience in another industry will have given you business and communications skills that you can bring across to your new roles.

Whilst many entry level candidates are younger, many agencies enjoy the wealth of knowledge and maturity of an older candidate. If you are motivated with a strong work ethic – Real Estate will be glad to have you!


Call us on:

VICTORIA: 03 9949 8290

NEW SOUTH WALES: 02 8667 7979

from the web

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real time and stay up to date with content that matters to you.