If you’re thinking about starting in property management or you know someone who was keen to jump in, then this is for you. Property Management isn’t for the faint hearted, and to be totally transparent, its hard work, long hours, and a lot of problem solving and conflict resolution. But on the flip side, there’s plenty of rewards. Stick around and find out why you should be part of this dynamic industry. My two children have actually recently started in the industry. My second son Jackson completed his registration course last year, and is now working as a BDM. They were both unsure what they wanted to do after school. And real estate has provided them both with some direction and a career pathway. I’m so excited to see where this might take them. I sat down with the director of the real estate training organisation Validum Institute, Victor James Pisanos. Validum is one of the leading registered training organisations for real estate. In our conversation, Victor breaks down the steps to get started in the industry, how to choose the right course for you, and how to navigate your way through not only surviving but thriving in the crazy world of real estate.
GETTING STARTED IN REAL ESTATE
‘So how I got into real estate, what I do now is I’m still very heavily involved in the real estate space. So I run a training institute which train real estate agents, property managers, auctioneers, you name it all the accreditation that is required to be in the industry, because a lot of people or a lot of your listeners might not know that you need that accredited training to get into an agency or to do their dream job of real estate,’ Victor said.
Now, property management is not for the faint hearted. And although it has improved in recent years, we’ve got wages have increased support conditions in offices have really increased the coaching and mentoring is getting a lot better. Let’s talk about how somebody gets started in the industry. What are the first steps that they probably need to take?
‘Well, one of the things that you mentioned there was property management, I personally started my career in property management, and reception. So, a lot of people probably do that. And that’s a good pathway for people to get into particularly property management. But before you actually do anything in the industry, and before you can actually work in an agency, you must complete an accredited course called the registration certificate, that’s the entry level accreditation, you can always advance and upskill yourself or upgrade your skills to the full licence or the certificate for in real estate practice. But your first step in the industry should be to complete this registration certificate. And that allows you not just to be a property manager, but if you decide later down the track to change into sales or something or rather, outside of that property management scope, you can do so, so you have that flexibility.’
CHOOSING THE RIGHT REGISTRATION COURSE
What key factors should somebody be looking for when looking to choose the course or registration course?
Victor said: ‘Yeah, look, a lot of people we find there’s a lot of and I don’t want to, you know, speak wrongly all my competitors, but there are a lot of cheaper providers out there that might not be necessarily supporting the students when they do their course. So be aware of the cheaper providers because the support might not be there. I know one of the things that we pride ourselves in No testimonials attest to this is the support that our students will get when they do their course. And don’t make any mistake, you will need some support during your course, whether it be in an IT factor, or whether it be just with your assessment in general, to complete your course and training. So, support is a really, really important one. And being obviously able to contact your provider when you need that support. And being that fast turnaround with marking is also important. We give free priority marking to all of our candidates so they can get through their cost effectively and efficiently.’
QUEENSLAND REAL ESTATE REGISTRATION CHANGES
.Now, the registration costs in Queensland in particular have changed in recent years to come in line with the rest of registration training throughout the country. Now previously, and when I started a long time ago, we sat in a two day course, we did all of our assessment while we were sitting in the two day course, at the end of it, we got our certificate walked away and applied to become a property manager or a sales agent and walked into a job knowing absolutely very little about what to do when it comes to being a property manager. How has that changed now with the new with the new registration courses?
‘Well the qualification and rightly so has increased, obviously, in its units of competency and what you’re going to be taught, okay, because in the past, and not to discredit anyone that studied a long time ago, but the course was a lot probably easier to complete. And this is probably one of the reasons why there is a bit of a stigma in the industry, it’s not a real cause. It’s not a real qualification will now the property industry has its first time in Queensland, a real qualification, the certificate for in real estate practice is actually an official qualification that students do, the registration certificate is actually 12 Out of those units, there’s 19 in the certificate for 12 of those are now in the registration certificate. So, the step up to full licencing isn’t that big leap like it used to be. And the qualification now that exists means that we’re really making our students job ready to embark on the industry. Whereas previously, there was a lot of theory. Now there’s a lot of practicality in the course, documents that pertain to the industry, real life scenarios, and situations that are going to be really genuine to the student. And they can say, oh, I remember reading that or seeing that in my course it vallum them. And they can apply it in a practical sense. Previously to that, it probably wasn’t there was a disconnect with the industry, now they’ve been able to really outsource it, the social media, the marketing that goes on behind the scenes, dealing with conflict with negotiations with clients, as you can appreciate in property management as well. So, all those skills were really embarking on in the new courses, whereas previously that might not have been, you know, so prevalent. But now it is become a major component to the new courses that are now you know, being taught in the industry.’
WHAT TO EXPECT WITH THE COURSE
‘Well, one of the things that we do, obviously, during the course as well we give our students free priority marking, we have a student lounge so that students can access as well. So, you’re not just doing this online, you can actually kind of do almost a hybrid kind, of course. So, you can actually combine it with online and in class. And you can come into the Institute, and we can provide some face-to-face tutoring for our students. But after you’ve completed your course, as well, one of the things that a lot of people don’t realise is we’ve got some great contacts in the industry, people like yourself, who are looking for great people who are maybe graduating in our industry where we can connect those parties together. Now there’s no kickback for us. We don’t want anything as a referral or anything like that. So, there is no I suppose connection to us and the industry. In that sense. We just like to work with everybody. So we like to be as neutral as possible, obviously, and connect with people with good people. And at the moment industry is demand. A lot of people I mean, there are a lot of job ads out there at the moment. We’re getting approached daily by recruiters and agency principals that are screaming for candidates particularly in this property management space. So very fitting that you talk about property management at the moment because there is a massive demand for good property managers out there.’
CAPITALISING ON THE STAFFING CRISIS
There’s some crazy stats out there in real estate at the moment. Some of them are suggesting one in five property managers have left the industry since COVID. So,this is really a good time for new blood to get started in the industry, isn’t it?
Victor said: ‘Absolutely. And for the first time, in a long time, I’ve seen a lot of the principles of saying to, to the industry and us, Look, we were not necessarily looking for experienced people will teach them those skills, you know, we want them to be qualified by you guys that vallum and, and you know, as long as they’re willing to learn, they’ve got a great attitude. There are really some fantastic opportunities out there at the moment. And for the first time ever, I’m seeing a lot of the principles looking for inexperience, but people that have some transferable skills, so it’s not probably fair to say they don’t want any experience, but they want people that have some great people skills are able to problem solve really well and are able to adapt to that environment. Because there is sometimes some controversy surrounding tenants and landlords when it comes to property management. But being able to be aware of those things, being able to accept that there are going to be some challenges, but it’s not going to be the usual ho hum nine to five, you know, you’re not caught behind a desk and property management, which one of the reasons why I loved when I first started in industry doing it because one minute you’re on an inspection, the next minute, you know, you might be challenged by a tenant issue, the next minute, you’re talking to a new landlord, so it can be quite diverse, which is really fantastic. Because it’s such a dynamic role.’
Victor just touched on some brilliant rewards for getting into the industry there, which I totally agree with. I think it gets a bad rap a lot of the time property management, but there are some really good aspects to the job. And like you said, and, I think as agencies are evolving and changing, and the industry is growing, once upon a time, you were sort of stuck as being a property manager, but there’s now more opportunities to move into different roles into BDM. And obviously BDM is that stepping stone into sales as well, for a lot of people.
‘It’s not just people think, you know, when they think of property management, they’re just thinking of property management in a residential space, there’s leasing and commercial areas as well. There’s business development roles, obviously, I mean, you don’t have to come in, you’re not coming into a role as a senior property manager as such, you’re probably going to be working with maybe a leader in that property management sector, or maybe the head of that department. And so, there is normally an induction process. And, you know, I think that one of the mistakes people make is, oh, I’m going to have to do this, and this and this, from the get go. If you’re in the right agency, and you’re in the right environment, you know, you’ll be taught a lot of those skills along the way. And, you know, there are so many cool courses outside of not just the qualification that you can do. There are some great places I know, Kylie, you do a fantastic program with your property managers, for example, we’ve been, you know, talking to our people. Okay, what’s next? I want to get into a property management career. Yes, now we’ve got the ballot and ticket, that’s the passport, but what’s going to make me employable, what’s going to give me that skill base for a really promising career and maybe property management, I’m telling him go and talk to Kylie Walker, you know, so because this is where they’re able to get those extra skills that they might need, because a lot of people don’t realise a lot of agencies use programs now. And they use a lot of software applications for property management. So, this is an area that I’m sure that your program embarks on and gets students even more prepared for a great career in real estate generally.’
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR REAL ESTATE
‘Look, professional development is really important, we endorse it in our programme. And in our course, we actually have a unit of work where it’s not just about, you know, doing the qualification and then saying, See you later. I know everything now. You know, I think it’s a silly anecdote to say, like, you’ve got a driver’s licence, and now you can drive Formula One. That’s not the truth of it, you need to do more training, you need to do more reading, I always say, to the first-year graduate, that certainly I just graduated from a Institute, your first year is about learning, not earning. And what I mean by that is be a sponge, try to grab everything you can. And I don’t just mean in the real estate space. There are some great podcasts out there. You know, and there’s some great institutes that provide a lot of this extra training. So that would be one of the first things I would recommend to people after your qualification to go and seek someone like yourself to get a bit more mentor and I think finding a good mentor in your first year and getting a little bit of extra experience from those people who have lived and breathed the industry. is probably the most critical thing you can do, because you’re going to have some bad days, and you’re going to have some fantastic days. But maybe in your first few months, you’re going to find it a bit challenging, possibly even overwhelming a little bit. So having that mentoring, there is probably one of the best pieces of professional development, I think that you can endorse in your first year.’
I have mentors that I work with every single week and coaches, it is never stops. I mean, you’re always growing, learning evolving. And, you know, I actually wish, I don’t know if you feel the same way, but I wish that I had, you know somebody a lot sooner helping me to get to where I really needed to be. And if I had known what I know, now, 10 years ago, I would have saved a lot of hard work and health conditions.
Victor added: ‘Absolutely it is it can be quite stressful. But the thing that I love about being in property management was and one of the biggest turnarounds for me in the industry was going from property management to sales, because I was kind of working a nine to five kind of role in property management, which was lovely, and doing my 40 hours a week, which was fantastic, then all of a sudden games sales where you’re doing 89 hours a week, and probably not getting the same reward was a big step up for me so I can appreciate what a property management manager does on a daily level, because the next step up into a sales role can be quite different dynamically, and put a lot of stress on you and your body and generally your lifestyle. So that’s another piece of advice that I give to people prepare your family, if you’re going into a real estate career, that your first year is going to be quite difficult, there could be some extended hours there that are going to be expected of you, you’re going to be learning a lot more, and there’s going to be new challenges there that is going to put a strain on maybe a young family or maybe a relationship. So preparing your partner preparing you, your husband or wife or whatever that might be in regards to what you’re embarking on is really, really important, you know, because there could be some financial loss as well, because a lot of people are leaving maybe a career where they’ve been getting pretty decent money and taking a step backwards in order to take two steps forward in a real estate career. So, there could be a changing income for a little while there. As I mentioned, your first year is about learning not earning. So, preparing your partner’s preparing your girlfriends, boyfriends, whatever, for that situation is obviously something in that decision making process that you should discuss.’
If you are thinking about a career in real estate or know someone who is, make sure you check out Validum Institute, or course there are a number of other registered training organisations you can use as well. Do your research and find the best course suited to you and your learning style.