Everything you need to know about how to become a buyers agent
Can I work Part time as a buyers advocate?
Buyer Advocacy is a serious full-time job.
Established agencies are very unlikely to offer a part-time buyer advocacy role and for good reason. It simply isn’t a part time job.
Some people, particularly newcomers who start a business on their own, often without any industry experience attempt to work part-time as an advocate. However it is almost always short lived. Anyone with a conscious and commitment to good customer service and delivering quality outcomes will soon recognise they cannot do the best job for their client working as a side hustle.
Selling agents can spot a part-time advocate quickly and will not take you seriously. This already places your customer on the back foot and to be really honest, they may as well do the job without your representation if you cannot give them the service they are paying for.
Is buyer advocacy a lifestyle business?
Buyer Advocacy is 6 days a week and after hours during the week.
It is likely that you will be working after hours a few nights per week and be on your phone on the way to date night, sneaking out of a wedding to return a call and staying up until 10pm to finalise negotiations.
It is very demanding on your time and this is something that is very difficult to control due to the number of other parties involved in a real estate transaction.
When the deal needs to be made, you have two choices;
1. Drop everything and deal
2. Lose the deal and have to do your work all over again to find a replacement property for your client.
Can I earn a lot of money as an advocate?
A good, experienced advocate working for an established brand will earn anywhere from $80,000 – $200,000.
If you are new to the industry and learning the ropes you can expect a salary of approximately $60,000 including superannuation and some bonuses for meeting key performance targets.
Looking at houses all day must be the best job ever, right?
It is. But being an advocate isn’t all about looking at homes all day.
Many new entrants to the industry do not understand the full scope of work required by an advocate and just like standard real estate, leave the industry very quickly. You will spend more time conducting due diligence and filling out paperwork than you will spend looking at houses.
You will also spend a lot of time managing people’s expectations and emotions. The property stuff is simple.
The people side requires patience, maturity and diplomacy.
The People Skills
Everyday will be a navigation of varying personalities, competing motivations and emotions. To be an effective buyers advocate you not only have to get the property stuff down pat, but you will also need a degree in psychology.
I say that tongue in cheek, but seriously, it would help.
Everything to do with real estate is entangled in psychology. The more you understand different people and can read what is happening for each party involved in the transaction and how to motivate them the more effective you will be.
Let me give you an example
You will be hired to buy a person a home. You invest a lot of time and hard work into finding that home and finally you find “the one”. Suddenly the buyer who has hired you won’t return your phone calls. Then when they do, they backtrack and completely turn their brief on it’s head. They now want a home that is completely opposite to what they said they wanted.
So you can go off and find a home that meets the new brief, only to find that the client has decided that the small tree that could be removed for $200 is a sticking point for them or they just don’t like the letter box and won’t buy the home.
An inexperienced advocate will lose almost 12 months looking for a home for a client and not get anywhere. It takes experience and working with a lot of different people to resolve situations like these so you can get the outcome your client really wants and also ensure you earn money for all the time you are spending. Sometimes you will lose 12 months and never see any money for all your effort.
Many people who trial the industry discover that it isn’t entirely what they expected it to be.
If you think it is glamorous. You are getting it all wrong.
If you think it will be easy. It won’t be.
If you like a really predictable and stable week where you know exactly what you will be doing and when, and you do not adapt quickly to change, buyer advocacy will be a challenge for you.
If reading people and adjusting yourself to get the best results from others is not something you feel comfortable doing, if you hate being assertive, direct and strategic, Buyer Advocacy work is not for you.
If you think you will have a cruisy job and it will be easy, you will be surprised at just how complicated and how many layers there is to real estate.
I always say that real estate is like an iceberg. People see the tip and think that is all there is. But there is a whole other world beneath that you do not know is there.
If you have passion and a natural ability with property you will rise above the challenges and enjoy the hard work.
yOu will thrive on the challenges and love it.
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your clients life improve in some way due to your work with together.
There is nothing more enjoyable than finding a property that you know in your heart is “the one” and then securing it for your client. It is even sweeter when you know you got them a really great deal or an outcome they would never have got on their own.
So you want to become a buyers advocate? Where to from here?
The first step is to obtain your agents representative license through a reputable real estate training organisation.
Where should I get my real estate license
The Real Estate Institutes in each state are considered the rolls royce of training in the real estate industry. Employers will look more favourably at candidates who have received their training via the Real Estate Institutes.
Conversely, if you opt for a quick and easy online or 3-5 day in person course (without substantial real estate experience behind you), an employer may be concerned about the quality of your training provider and may also be concerned that you have opted for an easier path to your goal of becoming a buyers advocate, rather than a more thorough, dedicated approach.
There is an online program teaching its students to obtain a full license via a fast tracked process and begin their own buyer advocacy business straight out of the gate.
This is not a sustainable or wise pathway into buyer advocacy, is fraught with danger and risk and will not be a successful route for many people entering the industry in this fashion.
More information on this here https://rebaa.com.au/industry-body-calls-for-better-training-for-buyers-agents/
Does REBAA offer a training program?
REBAA does not offer a certified training program for Buyer Advocacy. The best pathway into the industry is via the Real Estate Industry in your state.
Once you have the foundational knowledge and certificate to practice as an agents representative then you can apply to become a Provisional Member of REBAA.
As a provisional member you will be able to access the REBAA mentoring program and access REBAA online Training School. The REBAA online Training School is an online training facility which offers its members on going professional development and special interest courses.
What does REBAA think of the Buyers Agent Institute as a training provider?
I cannot speak on behalf of REBAA, however I can say with confidence that many well regarded buyer advocates are concerned that students are short cutting their apprenticeship and placing themselves at a disadvantage within the industry.
Our biggest concern is that the buyers agent institute are promoting the course heavily to property investors and trades people with no real estate experience to become Buyers Agents.. In addition to this it is promoted as a money making venture above all else.
There are concerns that there is more emphasis on making easy money than on serious career buyer advocacy.
The next step will be to make a start in the industry and earn your stripes .ie. complete your apprenticeship.
This means working under a licensed and experienced real estate agent for a period of 2 years. You will start out on low wages and you will have all the crappy jobs to do, however, everyone starts somewhere and this is where you learn in the trenches under an experienced professional without being a risk to yourself or your client.
Without this important mentorship you will make costly mistakes which could end up in court with substantial financial losses to your clients and subsequently you.
Once you have obtained your agents representative licence through a reputable training organisation you can join REBAA as a learner or provisional member. Through REBAA you can access the Buyer Advocates Mentoring program which will give you access to training from Australia’s most respected and experienced Buyer Advocates.
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