David Forrest talks about a Career in Real Estate

Thursday 09 Aug 2018

WHILE I know my profession doesn’t rank highly on the ‘most admired’ list, I firmly believes real estate to be one of the most undeserving career stereotypes. The property industry is currently Australia’s biggest employment sector at 1.4 million. It touches the lives of all Australians with more than one in four people deriving their income from it whether directly, or indirectly, securing the future of 14.8 million Australians. Real estate is a multi-skilled, technology driven industry which has changed beyond recognition since I first began my career. The notepad and pen days are long gone and as well as being a skilled communicator, you also need to be technically savvy, an excellent negotiator, be organised and make sure you are up to date on the many rules and regulations in real estate. Who doesn’t want a job where you can make people happy, learn leadership skills, have a clear purpose, embrace the latest technology, take on new challenges daily and deliver meaningful outcomes to your customers? It’s relatively simple to get into, and the potential for growth is enormous both in terms of income, and skillset. The people who really do well are usually those who can be adaptable with people on a daily basis. With the highs and lows of an ever-shifting property market, it is almost guaranteed that you’ll have some days when you’ll see clients who are getting a great deal in a downward market and are therefore, rightly enthusiastic and motivated whereas conversely those selling, are usually at the other end of the scale. Being able to respond to the needs of customers and build relationships is hugely important – people buy people and can quickly see through insincerity. Then there is the relationship between property managers, tenants and home owners. It is fair to say that there can be some tricky conversations which need to be had when working as a property manager. The obligations of tenants and landlords is complicated so a lot of the time, our conflict resolution skills are really put to the test. What really makes the industry so interesting to me though, is the people. There are of course the buyers, sellers and owners who we speak to on a regular basis but also, real estate agents tend to be a sociable group of people with big personalities. The energy and enthusiasm of my colleagues is infectious – particularly at industry conferences. People always want to know what is happening in the Cairns market right now, and what my predictions are for the future. Like most places however, Cairns is a multi-speed city with individual suburbs performing differently – considering it as a whole, really won’t tell people much. You have to drill down deeper to get a clear idea of where to buy, when to buy and when to sell. I do enjoy conversations about the property market though as everyone has some kind of interest in it. There is no typical customer and I am fortunate to talk to people from all walks of life with a variety of needs – no day is ever the same.