So: You Want To Be A Real Estate Agent?

Is it easy right? Stick a ‘For Sale’ sign up – and off you go – what could be simpler – the cash starts rolling in, flash cars, new watch, book a holiday…buy a yacht..?

Sorry, I’m going to shatter your illusion! It’s Not Like That.

Don’t get me wrong there is no ‘science’ involved, no masters degree required, you don’t particularly need any outstanding skills either – you will just either ‘have it’ – or – ‘you won’t’.

Yes, this career is great fun, and you can – at times, make money! But every single deal you do will be different, every single deal you do will drain your time, momentum and at times it seems, your life!

You must be prepared to take the bad (often) with the good (sometimes) I guess like all things in life there is a balance.

Here in Malta – (so far) there is no Real Estate Regulation as such, no Licence required – just open a Facebook page – call yourself an agent and away you go. Or you answer the constant ‘Wanted’ adverts promoting ‘New Career – Make Loads of Money’ from a High Street Agency. (On an island of just over 400,000 people there appear to be 100,000 real estate agents – I’m kidding the last count was 1,000)

What I want to give you – is a little reality check, something to think about before you embark on your ‘New Career’

Let’s Start By Asking Yourself A Couple Of Questions:

  1. Am I prepared to work 7 days per week, every week and be available 24 hours a day?
  1. Do I have the organisation skills and the self-motivation to cope with question 1?
  1. Can I work for 3 – 4 – 6 months without a single euro of income?
  1. Can I deal with numerous tasks and clients at one time? All the while NOT allowing this new career to consume every waking hour of my life?
  1. Can I get on with people? Do I actually like people? – or at the very least can I ACT as if I do?

I hate to break the news to you – but only if you have answered YES to all of these – will you have a fighting chance of making Real Estate your career.

So – now that we have got the positives out the way! (my little joke)  Lets ask the next big question:

Why are you choosing Real Estate As A Career Option?

Answer: Money?

The perception is (especially here in Malta – but to be fair most places) Real Estate Agents make loads of cash and do very little work.  What’s not to love?

Oh Oh…I’m going to break this to you very gently, are you sitting down? That concept is just WRONG.

Day one…

In most case’s let’s just imagine you have started day one with your new High Street Agency.  Training for a few weeks, (I hope!) Then ‘shadowing’ an experienced Agent…The Big Day arrives and you are on your own – let the good times roll!

I’m going to be kind – let us for argument sake, let us say that in your first week you have a great property already on the company books and you take the call from an interested viewer.  So, arrange a viewing – what a Sunday morning ?? Your time will be setting up appointments, confirming appointments, driving to viewing, perhaps collecting the viewer as they don’t have a car – and yes they live in Mellieha, the property is in Zurrieq…

3 months…

In the meantime – you have to find new properties, take phone calls, talk to people.  Sunday arrives, the viewing takes place – they are not sure – what else you got? More talking….talk talk talk.  (remember you said you liked people) This goes on for weeks.  NO MONEY That’s 1 month gone…talk talk talk.  Phone calls, driving, viewing, talking, emails, follow-ups, chasing clients. 2 Months are gone – NO MONEY. It’s the weekend the sun is out – friends are of to the beach; you have viewings all day Saturday – NO MONEY. 3 Months…

You get the picture?  You have just worked at least 400 hours, you’ve paid the petrol, your rent fed yourself – you’re probably living off ‘pastizzi’ and office coffee.  NO MONEY.  You may be lucky, the firm you work for may offer a stipend, a little cash to keep you going, until that BIG CHEQUE lands.  (they may want it paid back remember)

6 months…

FINALLY – a Buyer Makes an Offer – It’s accepted! – HALLELUJAH – REJOICE. – Ah..wait a 6 month Konvenju period? – before you get ANY MONEY…

Let’s Do Some SUMS:  You have just worked for 3 Months – It’s possibly going to be another 6 months before real money hits your bank account.  Still Loving The Real Estate?

The property you sold was €250,000.  The company you work for charges 5% Agency Fee – That = €12.500 YIPPEE!!! (Hang ON Hang ON!) You will get a fraction of that – 30%? 40%? 50%?

30% = €3,750

40% = €5,000

50% = €6,250

9 months…

It’s been 9 months….at 50% You have just earned €694.44 cents per month.  Minus, any stipend to the company, minus any borrowing from family. Do you get the idea?  I’ll let you do your own sums if you are on a 30% bonus.  (Don’t cry)

If You Can Handle This Truth …Read On!

As I mentioned at the start – you do not need any particular skill set to be a Real Estate Agent. But you do need Tenacity, Grit, and Determination.  You have to be Confident, Personable, and most of all you have to be Competent. You will only succeed long term, if you are ethical in your dealings, and prepared to put every hour of your time into your business.  Effectively you are your own Boss and that in itself is very attractive.  But being your own boss means being your own secretary, your own appointment maker, your own bookkeeper.  That holiday you promised yourself – when you have a ‘sure fire deal on the table’ – time to choose.

Now anyone would think I am trying to Put You Off from becoming a Real Estate Agent – Not SO!  I just want to highlight the realities of the industry.

I Absolutely Love My Job.  I’m great at what I do, I have created something different here on the Island and I know that this Job was meant for me – (I hope so – I’ve been involved with property for decades!) However, in truth not many people are the same.  Just look at the coming and goings of different names in property portals on the internet.  The constant ‘Wanted’ ads placed by High Street Agencies (Does this mean ‘new’ positions and expansion – sure sometimes; or more likely, staff turnover?)


To be in with a chance of success, you will have to be super organised, super positive, super special.

Getting over your first 12 months is an accomplishment – and that is what it will take: 12 Months – NO MONEY.  Year 2 – some money. Year 3, you may just become a Real Estate Agent after all.

If you still think this is the industry for you then I Stand Up and Applaud. Congratulations – (prove me wrong…?)

Now you may not believe this – But This Article is a recruitment advert – If you still have what it takes (re above!) Get in touch.  I’m interested to hear what you have to say.

As we are we offer something a little different to the High Street Agencies.

Julie Mckenzie.