More education and less undercutting could be what agents need if they want to match the earnings growth of their industry peers.
Salaries within the real estate industry have risen by an average of 12 per cent, according to research from Gough Recruitment conducted in late 2014.
Asset managers led the way with a 16.7 per cent increase, followed by retail property operations managers with 14.3 per cent and strata managers 13.3 per cent.
Real estate agents increased their earnings by only five per cent.
Gough Recruitment CEO Joel Barbuto said there is a correlation between faster growth in wages and higher education levels and specialised skills.
“For example, if you are an asset manager, you have been to uni for four years, you have had a career that has progressed and there is probably only maybe 50 companies in Sydney that you could work for,” Mr Barbuto said.
“Whereas a real estate agent can do a five-day course to get into the industry, and work for 10,000 real estate agencies.”
Travis Coleman, director of Acton North in WA, said Acton has implemented a traineeship program to boost the education and earning power of their new agents.
“What we’ve tried to do is get people in to learn the business and maybe have dual roles,” Mr Coleman told Real Estate Business.
“We’ve got quite a few property managers who are freely giving up time on Saturdays to help senior agents so they can build their skill sets, with the hope of reducing their transition period into becoming an agent themselves.”
Brisbane Real Estate principal Benjamin Smith said agents would have bigger pay packets if they were not so quick to drop their commissions.
“The public know they can go around the corner and somebody else will do the job for less money,” Mr Smith said.
“Agents have got to hold the line on commissions. It comes back to the agent themselves.”
Mr Smith told Real Estate Business that agents who “buy business” don’t appreciate the value of their profession.
“I don’t know of any other profession that does it – lawyers don’t do it, doctors don’t do it, accountants don’t do it,” he said.
“If an agent is a good agent, he’s every bit as qualified as those [real estate] professionals.”