A majority of real estate offices do not have any established programs to help new agents entering the industry, according to a recent straw poll.
The latest Real Estate Business’ straw poll found 43.2 per cent of the 206 respondents had no set systems in place to support new agents.
Just over 30 per cent of respondents said they had an extensive orientation program, 18.4 per cent use buddy systems, while internships were in a minority with only 7.8 per cent.
Orientation programs have proven to be successful for major network PRDnationwide Corporate, which runs a four-day orientation program at its Brisbane office biannually for its new sales agents.
The recent training event held earlier this month provided new agents with an overview of the company, and sessions covered issues in the industry and techniques for best practice.
PRDnationwide Maroubra’s Kathryn Davidson, who attended the event, said she had benefitted from the networking element of the training.
“It was great to interact with other agents who are at the same stages of their careers,” she said.
“Being able to role play the various situations has given me more confidence to handle any challenges I may face in the industry.”
PRDnationwide Port Stephens agent Ryan Hards said he had enjoyed the experience of seeing head office and getting a greater understanding of the company’s vision.
“I’d recommend the rookie training to any new agents looking to make an impact in the industry,” he said.
“It gives you a real head start – we are learning things about the brand and the wider real estate industry that an agent might take six months to experience in the field.”
Independent group Laing+Simmons runs a scholarship for school leavers in year 12 to complete the Real Estate Certificate of Registration Course.
Laing+Simmons general manager Leanne Pilkington said the scholarship program prepared interested and dedicated young people to practise in any licensed real estate office in NSW. It also represented the group’s commitment to improving levels of professionalism in the industry.
“Candidates complete a work experience period with one of our offices and are mentored by an experienced practitioner, ensuring the right techniques, skills and standards of practise are learned at the outset of their careers,” Ms Pilkington said earlier this year.
The Laing+Simmons Scholarship Program, which has run for over 16 years, has seen more than 20 participants secure full-time roles with Laing+Simmons and continue onto successful careers.
Ms Pilkington said the scholarship program was an effective training initiative and a unique opportunity for students interested in a real estate career.
“Real estate is a dynamic and competitive industry and Laing+Simmons is proud to maintain a leadership position in educating young talent and improving professional standards in the industry through this initiative,” she said.
Support systems, such as internships and orientation programs, may be the key to retaining new agents.
Meanwhile, Sydney-based real estate agency Di-Jones Real Estate has implemented an internship program to attract young recruits. As a result of this internship, 18 year-old Kurt McNevin-Zablocki is already on his way to becoming a real estate agent.
According to director and business owner at McGrath Estate Agents Matt Steinwede, young agents were disillusioned with the industry due to unrealistic expectations.
Mr Steinwede said young agents needed to consider their first few years in the industry in the same way they saw saving money in a bank account.
“After many years, you will begin to see the knowledge pile up and turn into results.”