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Real Estate Agent

Māngai Hoko Whare/​Whenua

Real estate agents arrange property and house sales for clients.

Pay

Pay rates for real estate agents vary as they are usually paid on commission.

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 2019.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a real estate agent are average due to high competition for positions.

Pay

Pay for real estate agents varies as they are usually paid on commission. This is usually a percentage of the price a house sells for, and is negotiated with the client before the house is put on the market.

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the average income for real estate agents is $84,500 a year.

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Occupation Outlook – Real Estate Salespeople', 2019.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Real estate agents may do some or all of the following:

  • advertise and market properties
  • arrange and host open homes
  • build relationships with sellers and buyers
  • complete sales and negotiate contracts
  • research the housing market and property values
  • organise building inspections and reports.

Skills and knowledge

Real estate agents need to have knowledge of:

  • sales and marketing techniques
  • networking and relationship building
  • real estate market trends, nationally and in their area
  • property laws and regulations
  • mortgage financing, basic accounting, and business contracts.

Working conditions

Real estate agents:

  • may work long and irregular hours, including weekends and evenings
  • are based in offices
  • travel to local homes or commercial properties that are for sale.

What's the job really like?

Real estate agent video

Shane Brockelbank talks about life as a real estate agent - 1.57 mins. (Video courtesy of Professionals Redcoats)

Shane: I'm Shane Brockelbank, I'm a real estate agent for Professionals in Lower Hutt, I'm married with two kids, born and raised in Lower Hutt, and I absolutely love selling houses in this region.

My philosophy on real estate really is just to focus on the people. You don't need to know a lot about the property, you don't need to know a lot about the home itself. You need to know a lot about people and how to build that trust and that relationship with them. And I think once you've been able to build that rapport with people selling real estate is really easy.

So I had never ever thought that I’d sell real estate. After I'd gone overseas I joined the New Zealand Fire Service as a firefighter in Lower Hutt and then I thought I’d just try something else and real estate was it.

A lot of agents will focus on the price. They'll tell you that they're going to get you between this and this, where that's almost impossible to say. So I'm not an agent will focus on the price hugely. I think if you focus on the process of selling the home the price will take care of itself.

It's really important as a real estate agent that you’re available and you need to have those support systems in behind you to allow you to have that time, which is something that we've really focused on.

I do all my appointments and I do all my viewings but having that team in behind is something that is really important. Kerry and Susan are my assistants. Their focus is really to make sure we're not missing anything while I'm out there looking after people and doing offers.

What will happen is that you've rung me for an appraisal, I'm going to come around, we’ll probably be there for 10 to 15 minutes to have a look through the property. I will go away we put a full appraisal together for you which will have all your marketing options and then when I come back for my second appointment with you we will discuss all these things and we'll come up with a plan how to maximise the best possible result.

A lot of people say to me why do I sell more homes than anybody in Lower Hutt and I would say the main reason for that is that I'm able to negotiate people and if I'm able to negotiate with people at the end of the day that will get you a better price than any other agent within the Lower Hutt district I'm sure.

This process shouldn't be a stressful process. I'll come over and meet with you and we'll make a plan to get you the best possible price for your home.

Entry requirements

To become a real estate salesperson you need to have a New Zealand Certificate in Real Estate (Salesperson) (Level 4). You will also need to apply for a salespersons's licence from the Real Estate Authority to legally work in New Zealand.

You can become a real estate agent or branch manager after at least three years' experience as a salesperson, and completion of the relevant qualification:

You will also need to apply for a salesperson's licence from the Real Estate Authority to legally work in New Zealand.

Licensed real estate professionals must also:

  • be over 18 years old
  • be able to pass a criminal history check
  • have a driver's licence and their own car.

 You can also apply for a salesperson’s license if you have a relevant Bachelor’s degree.

Secondary education

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a real estate agent. Useful subjects include accounting, business studies, digital technologies, economics, and mathematics.

Additional requirements for specialist roles:

Branch manager

To become a branch manager you need to:

  • complete the New Zealand Certificate in Real Estate (Branch Manager) (Level 5) after you have been working for three years. This was previously the National Certificate in Real Estate (Branch Manager) (Level 5)
  • apply for a branch manager’s licence from the Real Estate Authority to legally work in New Zealand.

Real estate agent

To become a real estate agent you need to:

  • complete the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Level 6) with the real estate strand after you have been working for three years. This was previously the National Diploma in Real Estate (Agent) (Level 5)
  • apply for an agent’s licence from the Real Estate Authority to legally work in New Zealand.

Personal requirements

Real estate agents need to be:

  • self-motivated and hardworking
  • skilled communicators and negotiators
  • honest and trustworthy.

Useful experience

Useful experience for real estate agents includes:

  • sales work
  • public relations
  • customer service.

Registration

Real estate agents must be licensed with the Real Estate Authority (REA).

Real estate agents may also choose to register with the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

Find out more about training

Skills
0508 547 557 - www.skills.org.nz
Real Estate Authority
0800 367 732 - info@rea.govt.nz - rea.govt.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Slow housing market limits opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a real estate agent are average because a shortage of houses for sale limits selling opportunities. There are still chances to become licensed, but your success will depend on what is happening in the real estate market.

There is more competition to sell houses in the major urban centres, where house prices are high. Opportunities for new salespeople may be better in smaller towns and rural areas.

According to the Real Estate Authority, 15,237 real estate professionals worked in New Zealand in 2020.

Small range of employers

Most real estate agents work for one of the six main agencies in New Zealand. 

  • Professionals
  • Bayleys
  • LJ Hooker
  • Harcourts
  • Barfoot and Thompson
  • Ray White.

Sources

  • Goodall, N, 'CoreLogic Monthly Property and Economic Update for September 2019', 19 September 2019, (www.corelogic.co.nz).
  • Helm, A, real estate agent, Bayleys, careers.govt.nz interview, January 2020.
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Occupation Outlook – Real Estate Salespeople', 2019, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
  • Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, ‘June 2020 Property Reports and Regional Commentary’, 14 July 2020
  • Real Estate Authority, ‘Licensing Statistics’, 31 July 2020.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

With further training, real estate salespeople may progress to become real estate agents or branch managers.

Real estate agents may specialise in selling residential, commercial, or rural properties.

Portrait of a real estate agent showing a family a suburb house and looking at the camera smiling

Real estate agents help clients find suitable homes

Last updated 26 February 2021