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Fast-tracking your career in real estate

  • Fast-tracking your career in real estate

Working in real estate may not be for the faint-hearted, but it is for the independent minded. You get to be your own boss, manage your own business, and your income will largely reflect how hard you work. 

The New Zealand Certificate in Real Estate (Salesperson) programme at Unitec will provide you with all the skills and knowledge you need to enter this dynamic property industry with confidence, and become a fully-fledged licensed real estate salesperson quickly. 

Ildy Meixner completed the programme in 2016, after 11 years of managing her own business. “I had come from the fitness industry, had my own studio and also contracted to gyms, but I wanted a change and a challenge” says Ildy. 

“I was looking for a new career, something that would really make me want to get up in the morning, and something I would want to do for the rest of my life.” She now works with Bayley’s North Shore Commercial Team, and loves it. 

Gary Qi did the programme three years ago and now has his own agency, Gary Qi Realty, with offices in Karaka, Gulf Harbour and Dannemora, and around 30 salespeople on his team. 

Gary got his first taste of the property market almost a decade ago when, as a student at Canterbury University and studying information systems and commerce, he had a part time job providing computer support for a real estate agency. “I found that in the real estate profession you can help a lot of people to achieve milestones in their lives ... with our job, you can help fulfil a lot of people’s dreams.”
After graduating, he worked in telecommunications and then as a property manager before enrolling at Unitec’s Real Estate programme. “The best thing about real estate is that it offers a diverse career path,” says Gary. “It allows for independence and flexibility. You’re your own boss, so you can develop your own schedule to fit in with your own family life.” 

Why Unitec?

To work in the property market, you need be licensed by the Real Estate Authority (REA), and getting a license depends on requisite qualifications. 

A number of institutes offer real estate training, but Unitec is the only one that offers blended learning - seven weeks in class learning, along with five weeks of self-directed study and assignments. 

Ildy says she loved going back to study, and can’t speak more highly of her lecturer, Richard Harford. “He was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, hands down. He was always inspiring, always helpful and motivating, and his teaching skills are phenomenal.” 

Gary also valued class-based learning. “Being able to have direct contact with lecturers and guest lecturers was important to me - people who are connected to the industry, or work with people who are connected to the industry. That really attracted me to the course.”  

Learning by doing

In Gary’s experience, training through Unitec was the most efficient way of becoming a fully licensed sales person. “I also have to praise Richard, who is knowledgeable and patient ... I think about ten people from my agency are ex-students of his.”  

The programme equipped both Ildy and Gary to hit the ground running. By the time they completed the course, they were familiar with sales and purchase agreements, auction and tender methods, the law of agency and land ownership, council zoning, building law, how to identify misleading and deceiving conduct and misrepresentation.

Ildy says, having worked for Bayley’s for 18 months, she’s confident that this is an industry she would happily work in for the rest of her life. “I’m helping people with property dreams, achieve them. I’d also like to be an investor in the future, and this helps me learn everything I need to know about real estate while helping others.” 

It’s fun, social, and rewarding, she says. “What you earn comes down to how much effort you put in and sometimes, of course, how lucky you are. But people coming in to the industry have to love it even before they start out, then it won’t feel like work when they have to work long hours. It needs to be a passion. But I would absolutely recommend it as a career, and Unitec as a place to study.” 

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