A career in real estate – is it all Selling Sunset?

29 Mar 2023 The Lodge Real Estate Team


A career in real estate is often seen as glamorous and lucrative, but a seasoned agent will quickly set you straight.

As stubborn misconceptions about real estate as a career persist, we feel it is important to discuss and dissect the untruths, especially for those looking to break into the industry.

For one of our Lodge Home Truths podcast episodes, host Megan Smith was joined by Lodge Real Estate managing director Jeremy O’Rourke, and successful, fresh-faced agents Blair Pointon and Kristina Emson, to reflect on the industry and considerable opportunities it can offer those who are driven to succeed.

Relationships over transactions

Real estate is a career path littered with stereotypes about agents in particular, Jeremy explains. “We often think that a real estate salesperson is a slick talking guy who's gregarious and holds the rest of the room, but it's simply not true.

“Our best salespeople are often a lot more quietly spoken. They are very inquisitive about people. They ask a lot of questions because they are curious, and they solve the problems that people give them.”

In providing a more seasoned perspective of the industry, Jeremy shares his rules to live by.

“Play the long game, make this a game for life, and value relationships over transactions.”

When looking to expand the Lodge Real Estate team, he stresses the importance of attributes such as resilience, a strong work ethic, ability to cope with variety and uncertainty, as well as high energy and enthusiasm.

Investing in yourself as an agent through quality marketing is important. Blair advises that agents should implement a comprehensive plan to market themselves to their respective city.

“Marketing yourself, not just the properties you’re selling, is one of those things that if you make that commitment right from the start, it's going to enable you to really succeed in the industry.”

Brush up on your accounting

Licensed real estate agents are independent and act as contractors, providing flexibility and autonomy around working hours. Blair sees real estate as a great opportunity to start your own business with relatively minimal outlay.

“You require very little to get going, so if you’ve got a good work ethic and discipline, you can create a really good opportunity.”

Though salesperson hopefuls be warned, as Blair says it isn't always quite as easy to comprehend the logistics of running your own business.

“Everyone runs their business differently, so it’s a matter of uncovering the processes that work for you.” His biggest realisation since becoming an agent? He wishes he had taken accounting in school.

“As a young agent, trying to get your head around these business fundamentals is a big thing, you aren’t just being a salesperson straight off the bat.”

Working in a commission-based role also means there is a financial incentive for agents’ varying levels of effort. Kristina, who previously worked in a salary-based role, prides herself on working hard at whatever she puts her mind to.

“I always wanted to be in a role where the harder I worked, the more I could be rewarded for that, so real estate suits me perfectly.”

Take every hour as it comes

Many people are drawn to real estate for its fast-paced, changeable nature, and both Blair and Kristina agree that dynamism is a key motivator.

As real estate agents, Kristina says that flexibility is important. “Previously I've been in a role where I’ve been desk-bound from eight till five, now I’m in a role where my hours are here, there, and everywhere.”

Agents are able to immerse themselves in the varied people and environments that Hamilton has to offer, although being so forthcoming can often result in rejection.

Jeremy acknowledges the unpredictable nature of the job. “It is important to have a lot of resilience as agents have got to be able to bounce back, because there is a lot of disappointment in the business.”

“If you're someone who really backs yourself and you are prepared to put the work in, I do think being in a role such as a salesperson in real estate is something that can be really advantageous to you,” Kristina adds.

Not all Selling Sunset

While it may look like it at times, both guests and host agree that real estate is not all Selling Sunset, the popular Netflix show centred on Los Angeles real estate agents selling multi-million-dollar properties.

“Although it may seem all ‘glitz and glam,’ realistically there are a lot of late nights, long hours and sometimes tough conversations to be had,” says Kristina.

“There are a lot of hard yards that I think a lot of people don’t see.”

Lastly, Blair stresses the importance of empathy. “We sell property for so many different reasons and dare I say, there are sometimes negative reasons why people are selling.

“You've got to be people's financial advisor, counsellor and real estate agent all at the same time. It is important to act thoughtfully and with intention, ensuring the best outcome for all.”

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