While many young Australians have dreams to become lawyers, doctors or accountants when they finish school, 18 year-old Kurt McNevin-Zablocki is already on his way to becoming a real estate agent.
The year 12 student from Sydney’s eastern suburbs is halfway into a two-year school-based Australian apprenticeship at boutique agency Di Jones, which is part of the Property Services (Agency) Certificate III course he is currently undertaking at TAFE.
For one day a week, Mr McNevin-Zablocki works at the agency, participating in internal training, including sales training, and splitting his time between the different departments and sales agents in the office.
“I’ve found it really good,” he said. “I’ve learned how to prepare an appraisal, how to make up the marketing plan for the vendor, how to research how much you should sell a property for, what you need to do for an open house and what kind of correspondence you need with an owner to market a property.”
Mr McNevin-Zablocki approached Di Jones four years ago via an email, seeking an opportunity to work casually with the agency. After two years in an office support role, he moved into his present traineeship position.
The budding sales agent is unique in that few young Australians aspire to a career in real estate.
A recent National Centre for Vocational Education and Research study of 2,000 teenagers found not many – in fact none – wanted to be a real estate agent.
“I think if their parents were involved in it and they had more contact with the industry, they would have more idea of what goes on,” Mr McNevin-Zablocki said.
He said his interest in real estate was sparked by his parents, who renovated and sold properties as investments.
“I met with agents when they were doing that and I always thought it would be interesting and exciting to do,” he said.
Mr McNevin-Zablocki said a lot of his peers still did not know what they wanted to do after school, while others had an ideal career path but were uncertain about it.
Managing director of Di Jones Real Estate Susannah Anderson said Mr McNevin-Zablocki’s knowledge and confidence had improved enormously during his time at the office.
“He is really part of the team,” she said. “The agents in the company and all the employees love having him here. It’s great to have a student here with us and they enjoy teaching him."
She added that traineeships were an easy vehicle for companies to provide school students insight into industries as well as employment.
“I think it’s great because from a student’s perspective, you get an opportunity to make sure it’s an industry that you want to get into before you’ve even left school,” Ms Anderson said.
Although his traineeship comes to an end in December, Mr McNevin-Zablocki hopes to become a sales agent in the eastern suburbs area and continue working at Di Jones.
“At the moment, I’m just thinking of staying in real esate and later down the track if I decide to go to uni and do some course, I can do that anytime. I’ll just see how it works out," he said.