The Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) licensing data shows that in the 2021 calendar year there was a 31 per cent increase in the number of new property occupation applications received, compared to the number received in 2020.

The OFT data reveals that while the overall number of licences and registrations held in the property industry has been relatively steady for a number of years, in 2021, application numbers, particularly for full real estate agents’ licences, began to increase.  

Industry proponents attest that a career in real estate offers so much more choice than many people first realise.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s Chief Executive Officer, Antonia Mercorella, says it wasn’t surprising to see more people attracted to the real estate game in the midst of a seller’s market, coupled with COVID causing people to reassess their lifestyle and occupation.

“Any agent will tell you that real estate is a fast-moving industry with regular legislative changes that require ongoing learning, commitment, hard work and very long hours, but the rewards are in line with the effort. You get out what you put in,” says Ms Mercorella.

Those looking for new roles in real estate were also in luck, with the busy market resulting in many companies advertising for more resources to manage the increased workload.

“With levels of interest and inquiry for properties at an all-time high, many agencies are on the lookout for apprentices and additional staff in all fields, but most predominately in corporate support and property management, to share the workload,” she adds.

“It’s also been the instigator for many professionals to upgrade to a full licence and go out on their own – becoming their own boss by establishing their own business.”

In Queensland, for example, the introduction of government funding has also been a great incentive for employers to recruit apprentices and take advantage of the REIQ apprenticeships program. The program is a win/win for apprentices and employers alike, allowing employees to undertake study while learning on the job.  With generous funding on offer until March 2022 – potentially up to $32,000 of incentives available where eligibility is met — it’s also an attractive option for employers.

Career benefits

Most people think that real estate means residential sales, but that is just one in a multitude of options and avenues where you could take your career.

Gaining your real estate qualification opens the door to many sectors, including business broking, property management (commercial and residential), buyers’ agencies, auctioneering, business development and corporate support, and of course, residential and commercial sales. 

“It’s a career that can be flexible around family commitments, ideal for mums getting back into the workforce or dads looking to enjoy more family time. It offers options for school leavers, with great apprenticeships on offer, or opportunities for those who are on their second or third career change. Some even decide to get their real estate licence as a side hustle,” says Ms Mercorella.

How to make your move

Getting into real estate requires the successful completion of an accredited training course, usually starting with the Registration Course. For those wanting to open and manage a real estate business, the Full Licence Course is available.

Both options are available online or in-person to suit individual learning preferences. Successful completion of the educational qualification is followed by an application to the Office of Fair Trading for a government-issued certificate or licence.

Contact the OFT or Consumer Affairs in your state for further training-based information.