A career as a real estate agent involves you starting out on a sales path and chalking up experience before choosing between remaining just sales focused or embarking on leadership and management roles.
Choose a sales or leadership path
Whether you’re a fervent property salesperson or someone who enjoys leading and mentoring others, the choice is yours to pursue your passion.
In leadership roles, you will be engaged in recruitment, team building and training roles, project IC roles or even a hybrid of all.
A focus on sales means your income is derived purely from brokering property transactions.
Presentations, home showings, financial analysis and solutions crafting are part of the job of a sales person.
The typical property agent’s career path begins by focusing on pure sales in selected segments like HDB, new launches, resale condominiums, landed or commercial properties.
Experience in sales and the multiple facets of our industry such as negotiations, prospecting and marketing and client portfolio management prepares you for a future career in management and team-leading as you will know exactly what your salespeople need and be able to walk the talk with them.
However, being a top sales agent does not automatically make you a top leader. There are different of skills involved which you would have to hone such as:
Mentoring skills to help your agents achieve their peak potential
Conflict resolution skills
Coaching skills such as overcoming mindset or behavioural issues
Management skills as you would need to learn to trust people and delegate tasks
Consulting skills so you are able to spot areas for improvement and propose strategies to overcome them
A career path in team leading is optional and some agents choose to focus purely on sales for the entire lifespan of their careers.
Team Leader role
A focus on leadership & management means your income is derived through team building, mentoring agents and business management.
In leadership and management roles, you will begin recruiting and training agents on the skill sets and systems that you have developed over the course of your sales career.
No one steps into a leadership and management role fresh from taking their RES exams and it takes time to hone a wide breadth of skills necessary to coach and mentor others.
For some, it is a natural extension of their passions in teaching and they may find team-leading far more satisfying and meaningful than a pure sales career.
For this, there is no right or wrong path.
Only what feels most natural and appeals to you as everyone has different strengths and passions.
I have personally witnessed ex-teachers who became great salespeople but were most engaged and fulfilled in their roles as trainers and mentors to their team.
The benefits of a management career is how it creates something akin to a semi-passive income as you get paid for every deal done by your team and are able to scale much more than if you were relying only on your own effort.
As such, you could be on a month-long holiday and still be paid daily without being present.
That said, it does not mean there’s little work involved (Why I call it semi-passive).
A great team leader is required to excel on many fronts and to be a strong pillar of support, hope, encouragement and inspiration to his agents.
He/She needs to be in constant contact with his people to ensure they are performing at their fullest potential and correct and guide them when required.
Great team leaders also have to consistently lookout for new marketing trends and skills that their agents would need to thrive and adapt to the ever-changing world of real estate.
Full-time team leaders are generally busier on weekdays as they are spent meeting agents, coaching them on the job and troubleshooting agents’ business processes.
Project In-Charge roles
A focus on Project IC roles means that your income is derived from leading and managing project launch agents to sell out a project.
Project ICs typically are team leaders who start to take on the project leading and command the entire agency’s sales force to market a developer’s new launch project.
This role requires great leadership skills to train, manage and motivate real estate agents from all divisions of an agency to come together as one to sell out a project.
Project IC roles can be especially lucrative when markets are fast-moving and volumes high and many team leaders aspire to take on such roles at some point in their careers.
This role generally requires one to be knowledgeable and great public speakers as they will need to conduct mass briefings to internal and co-broke agents.
Weekends are usually also their busiest period as they will need to help their project agents to negotiate and seal deals in the show flat.
Developer and Agency Marketing Staff roles
Choosing to go corporate is one path you could take too.
After some years in sales, some property agents get tired of the constant sales grind and prefer to seek employment in marketing roles with their agency or with a developer.
Some do so because they preferred a more structured routine job or were not earning much in sales.
But there are those who were doing well and found it compelling to switch just to experience “different hats” while they were young.
The pros of being staff are a basic salary, fewer earnings fluctuations risks, less stress in constantly needing to generate leads, and usually being in a position of authority.
The cons are of course the usual that are related to employment such as fixed hours, fixed pay and less freedom.
Note that, in every developer or agency, there are only a few open positions at the top at any one time and few manage to rise up to it to enjoy higher incomes and job perks.
Whereas as an agent, you eat what you kill. And there’s no limit to how much you can achieve.
This article is contributed by Stuart Chng, Senior Associate Executive Director of OrangeTee & Tie, is a renowned leader and personality in the real estate industry.He adores music and can play a few instruments decently without upsetting his neighbours. When not doing so, he enjoys pillow fighting with his son and coming up with silly puns which barely amuses his wife.
Professionally, he is a licensed real estate agent, investor, team leader, speaker and columnist for several property newsletters and blogs and is often quoted in media interviews on 938FM, Channel 8, PropertyReport, PropertyGuru and other publications. Throughout his career, he has helped many clients grow their wealth by selecting great property investments and managing their portfolios actively. Read his clients’ reviews here.
Stuart has also coached many top million dollar producing agents from different real estate agencies in Singapore. Read his agents’ reviews here.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Property, Opinions