Regardless of whether they are just starting out in their careers or career changers – anyone can become a real estate agent. Although the job does not require training, studies, or a specific school leaving certificate, it does require an official broker’s license, a lot of specialist knowledge, social skills, a high level of commitment, a thick skin, and the will to continue to educate yourself.
Brokerage is a must
If you want to work as a real estate agent, you first need an official permit in accordance with Section 34c of the Trade Ordinance. For prospective brokers, this means that they have to demonstrate a certain degree of reliability. In other words: In the past five years, the trainee broker has not been legally prosecuted “for a crime or for theft, embezzlement, extortion, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering, forgery of documents, stolen goods, usury or a bankruptcy offense”. If insolvency proceedings are not or have not been carried out on the applicant’s assets, nothing stands in the way of his dream of becoming a real estate agent. At least from a formal point of view. If a broker wants to become self-employed, he must also apply for a trade license.
The be-all and end-all: specialist and practical knowledge
To operate as a real estate agent, you need more than just a legal permit. After all, without specialist and practical knowledge, it tends to give poor advice. A professional broker knows the local market, its developments, and prices and knows about the supply and demand of the respective real estate segment. He also has knowledge of tenancy law and contract law, land register law, notary law, or building law and is informed about changes in the law and current judgments. He should also be able to advise his customers on tax and financing issues.
Apprenticeship or studies?
How interested parties acquire the necessary know-how is up to them. The term broker is not protected in this country. The job, therefore, requires neither training nor studies.
Heiko Senebald, Head of Communication at the Immobilienverband Deutschland (IVD), nevertheless recommends a well-founded training. Degree programs such as real estate management or business management with a focus on real estate and housing are offered by the University of Technology and Economics in Berlin or the University of Regensburg. Training as a certified real estate specialist is possible at the chambers of industry and commerce. However, courses at the IHK or other institutes such as the European Real Estate Academy (EIA) or the German Real Estate Academy (DIA), both of which cooperate with the IVD, are sufficient.
Patience and Perseverance
“Career and lateral entrants should be aware that the leap into self-employment is associated with certain risks,” said the IVD spokesman. The job demands a lot of commitment and ambition, flexibility, and willingness to provide service. “Often you have to work day and night and also on weekends. Customers expect a broker to be very flexible with you, ”explains Heiko Sebald.
People interested in real estate, for example. Do not want to be fed with addresses as quickly as possible. But rather to well advise. So they also feel that they being taken seriously. A lot of work goes into preparing and checking the property because each one is unique: What is its value, what is the condition of the building, is there a need for renovation, and energy.
Social skills are crucial
Another important quality: a good sense of interpersonal skills. In general, a real estate agent should enjoy dealing with people, be open and communicative. Especially as a consultant, he is a trusted person for his customers. As such, he should respond individually to the wishes and needs. The economic situation, and objections of the interested parties. And on his own initiative points out possible risks when buying or selling a property. Many realtors also work as property managers or property managers. So you are the point of contact for tenants and owners as well as the interface between both parties. This can sometimes lead to conflicts.
Define target group
Anyone who decides to self-employed and draws up a business plan will sooner. Or later confronted with the question of the target group. Specialization can help real estate agents stand out from the competition.
The broker should first decide whether he defines private or business customers as the target group. If the decision made in favor of private customers, there several criteria to filter them. Including the place of residence, age, or gender. If the choice falls on business customers, the broker can specialize as a commercial broker.
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