Careers expo grabs would-be recruits' attention

Real estate is rarely presented or considered as a potential career path for senior high school leavers, but one agent is optimistic this is starting to change.

Sales executive and auctioneer at ACTON Dalkeith Jen Ragan recently spoke to students at Skills West Expo, Western Australia’s largest careers, education, training and employment event earlier this month.

According to Ms Ragan, the reception was positive, with many high school students approaching the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia’s (REIWA's) stand to ask questions.   

“People were really intrigued about real estate, she said. I think over the last five years in the market, there’s been a lot of talk that Australians have a fascination with real estate and young people are feeding off that,she told Real Estate Business.

Ms Ragan added that many of the students she spoke to did not realise what a job in real estate entailed.

“People just think it’s an office job,” she said. “It’s a really good option for people who don’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day.

“I wish someone had mentioned it to me when I was in high school that it was a career option, but there seem to be two options: either university or, if you’re not smart enough for that, you go to TAFE,” she said.

“There’s nothing in between and I think real estate is that in between: it’s that balance of intelligence and hands-on skills.”  

Being one of the few female auctioneers in Western Australia, Ms Ragan said there were many young girls who did not realise it could be a role they could take on.

“There were heaps of girls who said, ‘I’d love to do that. I didn’t realise women could do it’. Auctioneering is a part of the profession that’s pretty much off limits to women in Australia.”

Ms Ragan, who was this year named REIWA's Rookie Auctioneer of the Year, said the message she imparted to students was that while real estate is a difficult industry, the financial rewards can be huge.

“Real estate requires a good two or three years before you break a bit of a niche but the reward is the sort of money that your friends who are lawyers and doctors will earn when they’re 50.”

Recent research, however, has revealed that few young Australians aspire to a career in real estate.

Ms Ragan believes that as the industry becomes more trusted and there is more awareness about real estate as a career option, more young Australians will consider it.

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