The image and the reality of the modern Australian real estate agent are, as it turns out, clearly two worlds apart.

Rather than some fast-talking millennial racing from one property to the next, today’s Australian real estate agent is actually a very different person — and decidedly older.

The largest age demographic of real estate agents in Australia is 45 to 59, with 34.1 per cent of all agents in that age range, according to the ABS Labour Force Survey of 2014. This makes sense in a profession where trust is everything; when negotiating the biggest asset they will likely ever own, many mature buyers prefer to deal with agents closer to their own age.

Because of this, real estate is an ideal new profession to contemplate for any person considering a mid-life career change.

“Real estate is a career where we welcome five generations in the workforce, and many successful agents often come to real estate later in life,” says Jo-Anne Hamilton, Curriculum Technical Adviser – Real Estate at Kaplan Professional.

“Clients like that you’ve had a lot of experience when you deal with their property, and someone coming into real estate from another career brings fresh ideas and ways of doing things into the marketplace.”

Kaplan Professional’s online real estate courses offer the complete jumping-off place when looking to start a career in real estate. State-based entry-level programs provide you with the required skills and education to obtain registration and commence a career in sales or property management.

The online licensing programs offer industry-level training to become a licensed real estate agent. As a licence holder, you can operate your own agency, work as an employed licensee, or receive greater credibility in a sales or property role.

For agents already in the game, Kaplan Professional’s online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training programs are a fast, flexible, and affordable way to gain the CPD points necessary to fulfil state requirements to renew a certificate or licence.

“The entry-level courses cover an overview of the real estate industry, including property and consumer protection legislation,” Hamilton explains. “They also usually cover the basic functions and duties of an agent, and what information you need to know at the ground level to ensure that when you start in the industry, you understand all the basic requirements of selling or leasing a property.”

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Pursuing a new career can present some challenges but with the right training you could find a job that you love

Rosalie Gordon of Sydney’s Planet Properties has been in the real estate game for 30 years and believes the profession is a great fit for mature people looking to make a career move.

“The best thing about real estate is the people you meet — both the vendors and the buyers — and then trying to put them together so all sides are happy with the outcomes,” says Gordon. “It’s a constant juggling act of knowing how to cope with all kinds of situations to get the best results in the long run.”

Gordon says real estate can offer good rewards and flexible working conditions, as an agent’s day often includes meeting new clients, inspecting properties, and putting deals together between the interested parties.

“It’s all about networking and managing people’s expectations,” she says. “It’s a fascinating process and the best feeling when you manage to negotiate a result in which everyone comes out of it happy. If you like people, this is one of the best jobs you could ever do.”

Because each Australian state has different laws and regulations regarding real estate, Kaplan Professional offers the most up-to-date information that covers the entire country.

Hamilton believes mature students taking up new courses of study often outperform their younger peers, due to superior abilities to focus on a task until completion, and understanding how a study program can open up new opportunities.

“Changing careers can be nerve-wracking, but focus on all the positives you bring from your previous career,” she says. “Generic skills like excellent customer service, great time management and a willingness to go the extra mile will help you to succeed in your new role.

“Our empathy levels, by and large, grow as we get older, and empathy is definitely required at all levels of real estate transactions.”

One of the main benefits of Kaplan Professional courses is the online delivery: they meet the modern need for flexibility, especially for mature-aged students juggling a range of other life commitments.

With no set intake dates for the courses, you can get started right away. The detailed modules are fully contained, with no need for additional textbooks, and an interactive forum with an online community of students for discussion and support.

“The course is fully online, so you can study at a time and in a place that suits you. So if you can only study at night or on weekends, then this is well-suited for your needs,” says Hamilton. “The course is written by subject experts and the assessors are all experienced practitioners. Students are also guided on how to carry out research online, a skill that’s vital when working in real estate. Anyone completing these subjects can be confident to be fully prepared with the skills needed to succeed.”

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