Age no barrier to real estate
The perception that the real estate industry is dominated by older people might be about to change, reports Sue Emeny.
Three young people are set to go against the national trend and make their mark in the real estate industry in Palmerston North. Latham Lockwood and Dan Learmonth have recently gained their real estate licences while Michelle Cuming is just about to start the process. What sets them apart in the industry is their age – Dan is 20 while Michelle and Latham are 21.
According to the latest figures released by the Real Estate Agents Authority, the most common age group for women in the industry is 46 to 55, while for men it is 56 to 65.
All three have been given their start in the industry through Ken Watson at Watson Integrity.
Latham, who gained his licence six weeks ago, has got off to a roaring start in his chosen profession. He has already sold two houses and has two others under contract.
He is Palmerston North born and raised but was working in Auckland for just under three years in sales and marketing. He feels the skills he gained there are transferable.
‘‘It was a really good learning curve. My role in Auckland was in sales, marketing and negotiating with many different clients at once, which was critical for my real estate profession.
‘‘I had talked to Ken in general terms about going into real estate but wasn’t set to make a move.’’
Ken contacted Latham in January about working as personal assistant to Marcus Watson, a position he accepted.
‘‘At the time Marcus had 18 exclusive listings, so I was able to help out. It was pretty full on, working full time and studying, but I was fortunate in the way I was able to enter the real estate world.’’
Dan has been with Watsons for three months and gained his licence a month ago.
It’s a far cry from his previous job – working in a golf shop and playing golf whenever he could.
He says since he was in year 11 he has been interested in real estate, so when he saw a position advertised he applied. He knew Ken from the golf course, but had no contacts within the industry.
‘‘This has been a really good environment to study in. I wouldn’t have got through it if I was working at home, as there are too many distractions. Being here gets you into a working mood.’’
Dan and Latham agree that studying for a licence takes a great deal of commitment.
‘‘It was very daunting when I received the first couple of booklets. It was a bit overwhelming and I wondered what I had got myself into. But when you get into it you get on a roll.
‘‘But the study is all relative to what you are doing at work,’’ says Dan.
Latham says he thought getting his licence would be a lot quicker process than it was.
‘‘You have to be committed to the industry and you have got to really apply yourself to the course.’’
Entering the real estate industry comes at a cost. The fee is $1456 through the Open Polytechnic study option and the licence itself costs about $1100, then there’s the cost of
Dan says he has been quite fortunate in that someone he knew wanted to list a house, and he has a couple of others in the pipeline.
He has a plan of action in place. He wants to focus on the Cloverlea area and plans to market himself heavily.
Latham also believes in the personal approach.
‘‘You can’t just pick up the phone and ask to sell someone’s house. You need to get to know people as this is a very personal time in their lives.’’
They agree that it is important that they grew up in Palmerston North.
‘‘It would be very difficult to sell houses in an area you didn’t know,’’ says Dan.
Michelle enters the industry with a background of three years in banking.
‘‘Banking is similar to real estate in that it is personal. Both industries are about finding solutions for clients.’’
She is looking forward to getting stuck into her studies so she can get fully involved in the industry.
She suspects her biggest challenge will lie in returning to studying. She has no pre-determined expectations other than to be accepting of whatever lies ahead.
New faces: Latham Lockwood, left, and Dan Learmouth, right, are newly licensed real estate sales consultants, while Michelle Cuming is about to start her studies.