Real Estate Associate

"This might not be the top of your career ideas list, but let me tell you—being a real estate agent leads to an amazing lifestyle. I might not be “rich and famous,” but I do earn a solid income, I am able to make my own hours and I can choose the clients I want to work with. I help clients sell or purchase properties, and my focus has been on single-family homes. Clients are at the centre of my work, and I hope that in the end I’ve been able to provide them with satisfying results. I’m methodical in compiling information to advise clients on sound deals, and I’ve had to become an expert on mortgages, legal requirements, land taxes, market conditions and prices. I read people well, and I am persuasive as a sales agent. I’ve completed all of the licensing requirements to be an independent agent, and I’m part of a firm that gives me support, but also quite a lot of autonomy. I often partner with one other agent on larger sales, but most of my work is done on my own terms and at my own pace. When I’ve got time in my schedule, I take on several clients, staging homes, organizing open houses, negotiating deals and working through the details of the sale. I am part salesperson and part counsellor, as I help people assess their needs and then acquire (or release) properties to make their lives better."

Salary Range:

$80,000 - $95,000

The Tip

Don’t underestimate the value of word-of-mouth advertising. When I finish with a client I always give them some kind of personalized gift of appreciation and also a follow-up survey asking for feedback designed to improve my services. Don’t be afraid to assess yourself. It can only lead to improvement.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Evidence-based Decision Making
  • Evaluate market conditions and comparable properties

  • Guide clients methodically through decision-making processes


Advanced Research & Analysis Skills
  • Critically analyze market data, inspection reports and mortgage information

  • Synthesize information from multiple sources

  • Experience with house plans, zoning requirements and bylaws
     

Knowledge of Human Behaviour
  • Able to “read” people well to understand their preferences, personality traits and real estate needs

  • Understanding the decision-making process and stages of change as they relate to buying and selling property

Advanced Communication Skills
  • Strong verbal skills

  • Present complex information in a straightforward manner

  • Excellent marketing skills; photography and social media skills an asset

 

Inter-personal Skills
  • Work with diverse populations

  • Work with colleagues as partners

  • Able to adjust pace, detail and priorities as suit the client
     

Intra-personal Skills
  • Client-driven

  • Able to manage stress

  • Strong visual and spatial skills

 

Additional Skills
  • Strong organizational skills

  • Patient, able to manage uncertainty

  • Enjoy hosting events and networking

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)

  • Post-degree studies in interior design

  • Completed licensing process to become registered with the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA). Currently a member in good standing of my local real estate board.

 

In addition to an undergraduate degree in psychology, I completed some interior design classes through our university’s continuing education program. I love the staging process of a sale. When you present a home well, it sells well. The impact of that first impression can’t be denied.

Employment Experiences:
  • Retail worker for local antiques market

  • Frontline receptionist and personal assistant for real estate firm

  • Store manager, retail environment

 

Most of my positions have been sales-related, and I learned a lot when I was a personal assistant and receptionist for a real estate team. I took some pre-license courses and then went through the certification process to become an agent. I’m so glad I took those steps early. I learned a lot about the business and I know that my experience will pay off as I grow into this industry.

Community Experiences:
  • Organize a local lending library focused on children’s books

  • Volunteer at my children’s elementary school

  • Active member of parents’ school council

 

I’ve been involved with some community projects (building playgrounds and mending fences). Last year I bought a rental property nearby that I’m pleased to say has become a home for a great family. I intend to be an excellent landlord and hope my tenants will feel safe and well-cared-for in their home.

Contextual Experiences:
  • I’m a parent of two children and this career gives me a chance to be with them in the mornings and at home when they return from school. I do some evening showings and weekend open houses, and my family is very supportive when these events take me away from home life. My kids have sometimes come with me to major events and I think they are also beginning to get a feel for the kind of work I do.

 

It’s funny that I don’t enjoy moving. I have been in the same home for over a decade now, and I don’t think that I’ll want to move my family any time soon. I enjoy helping others to find the home of their dreams, though. It’s a fantastic experience to have a house that really becomes a home—a foundation for a great life.

Relationships:
  • This kind of work is ultra-relational. I love people and enjoy the process of buying and selling property. I like the rush I get when I close a deal, and I appreciate that feeling of being able to help clients find what they are looking for, whether it’s a buyer with the right price, or a purchase of a great home.

 

Relationships are key to this kind of work. Open houses give lots of opportunities to meet new clients, as do online portals and conversations in the grocery store line. I’m always “on” and ready to be of help when it comes to real estate needs.