Considering a Career in Real Estate?

John in Realosophy News

Realosophy is currently looking for a few stars who have what it takes to start a successful career in real estate. About every six months or so, we find ourselves needing to grow our team, and I’d be lying if I told you that it’s easy to find the right people to join us.

But over the last few years, we’ve become better at attracting the best, so I’m hoping that we’ll strike gold again and add to our winning team. If you think this is you, read on and get in touch (or pass on to a star in your life).

What you would do

Officially, the job title we’re hiring for is an Executive Assistant/Office Manager, but in plain English, what I’m looking for is a sharp and motivated right hand person who will help me run all aspects of our brokerage including:

  • Day-to-day management, including the work of continuing to build the systems and culture that have made a well-run company out of the very small operation we started seven years ago
  • Provide support for our very productive sales team including drafting offers, researching properties and client follow up 
  • Financial management including real estate transaction processing, book keeping, bank deposits and expense reports
  • General office administrative tasks including greeting visitors to the office, planning and scheduling meetings, booking appointments, capturing feedback and report generation, ordering and maintaining office supplies and equipment and generally being on top of everything

Now, in the spirit of transparency, there are going to be some things about this job that you may not like. You’ll ideally work a lot, not an-intern-at-a-Hong-Kong-investment-bank-too-much, but definitely enough for me to say that if you’re the kind of person who already has their computer powered down at 4:55pm, it’s not you, it’s me.

Because we’re all stewards of everything we do at Realosophy, you will do some not so glamorous tasks like filing, copying, scanning, emptying the dishwasher and taking out the garbage. If you’re into real estate, you’ll survive this and even do it well because you’ll love being a part of everything around you, but if you don’t like real estate, this will be agony. Have you ever noticed how garbage bags have a way of getting away from you when you’re wearing a suit? And if you’re thinking “I like real estate, but I didn’t go to university to take out the garbage,” that’s fair, it’s important to know who you are and what will get you motivated and what will get you down, and a work environment where everyone does everything may not be the best fit for you.

What you’ll get

You’re going to learn a lot about real estate in a very short period of time. You’ll learn what it takes to build a successful career in real estate – but you’ll be learning how to be today’s real estate professional for today’s consumers which is harder than doing it the old school way because you’ll actually have to know what you are talking about and advise effectively (hint: it’s not always a great time to buy). You’ll get to work with one of the most dynamic real estate companies in Toronto and see firsthand how we are leveraging technology and big data principles on display at to analyze neighbourhoods and homes in ways that help our clients make smarter decisions. And you’ll get an in depth look at all things today’s real estate sales professionals must do well including negotiations, client consultations, legal issues, neighbourhood and investment research and due diligence.

Think of this as your intensive, fully paid internship in residential real estate.

Who you are

This role is for you if you would like to pursue a full-time career in residential real estate sales, but would like to develop your knowledge and experience while earning a salary – before you make the leap into living off of sales commissions alone.

You must have a strong interest in real estate and by this I don’t mean you love watching Property Virgins or some other HGTV show – you’re enrolled in or have completed of one or more of the Ontario Salesperson Registration Education Program (Level 1, 2 or 3) or something comparable.

But your interest needs to go beyond the province’s rather scant accreditation requirements. You want to analyze real estate as a financial investment. You want to understand how neighbourhoods change over time and impact people’s lifestyles. You’re curious to know why one dumpy neighbourhood is going to be the next hot-up-and-coming area and why another dumpy neighbourhood doesn’t have the same potential. Notice I said you’re curious to know why a neighbourhood performs well, not you’re hoping to find out why your current neighbourhood’s a sure thing – otherwise most of Toronto would do well at this job. You want to understand why when showing our clients two seemingly identical and well-renovated homes, both with great home inspections, our research can determine that one is a potential money pit while the other is a good bet.

In short, you have to be a bit of a real estate nerd.

If your primary motivation for pursuing a career in real estate is that you “heard it’s easy and you can make a lot of money,” you’re going to be very disappointed. There’s no easy money in real estate and you’ll be doing a lot of hard things you’ll hate.

You’re probably already an analytically-minded person at your current place of work or study and do very well at pulling together information from multiple angles, making good decisions and communicating extremely well, even under pressure.

You must be detail oriented. I get it - everyone says they’re detail oriented to get the job, just like everyone’s biggest weakness is that they’re a perfectionist. There’s no prize here in fooling me or yourself about how detail-oriented you are – only a bunch of systematic tasks you are going to have to do really well, all the time. If you’re thinking to yourself “I’m more of an ideas person, I don’t like getting too caught up in the details” then you are a) probably not going to like this job and b) going to have a hard time succeeding in real estate. Real estate is a business of details - missing one can cost our clients thousands of dollars.

You’re a self-starter, you work with minimal direction and are comfortable working alone. If this isn’t you, you will get lonely and demotivated and start watching You Tube videos about cats.

You’re good with numbers. People think I’m a bit crazy about this one. I remember a fellow broker asking me “why the heck do you care if your agents can do math, they’re just selling houses”? A fair question from someone whose agents are only in the business of pushing people to buy or sell houses a.k.a the agent that sold your parents their house. The fact is that a lot of our clients find us because they actually want some honest, independent advice. They want someone to help them work through the numbers in their rent vs. buy analysis and objectively tell them if it’s the right time for them to buy. If you’re not great with numbers, and if you get anxious when someone pulls out a calculator or an excel spreadsheet, you probably don’t have the basic math skills needed to advise our clients on their real estate decisions.

Think of this as your intensive, fully paid internship in residential real estate.

It’s not Gladiator

So you’re hyped up only to worry that too many people will apply or you don’t have what it takes – don’t psyche yourself out (of course, if I have to tell you this, I’m not sure a sales career … yada yada). But I get it, employers are demanding and it’s scary out there. If you can honestly say that you meet most of the above – don’t hesitate, get in touch. In addition to the full-time role, we’re also looking for two part-time team players who can manage us over the weekends – again, a great chance to get some hands-on experience in real estate before you make it your full-time career.

Nerdy? Send resumes and amazing flash-designed CV websites that will take out all our computers to with subject “Re Blog Post – EA/Office Manager Position.” Deadline is Jan 16 2015. And just joking about the taking out our computers – we’re not Sony Entertainment so do be gentle with your missives.

John Pasalis is the President and Broker of Realosophy Realty Inc. Brokerage in Toronto. A leader in real estate analytics and pro-consumer advice, Realosophy helps clients buy or sell a home the right way. Email John 

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