This week we interviewed Trish Johnson, a real estate agent with a love for wine, chocolate, The Bachelor and the occasional hosting gig on a cruise ship (#lifegoalz). She’s been in the real estate industry for 20 years, working her way up to becoming a partner in a business and lecturing at the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA). She owns a business called Property PR that deals with the words required for marketing property for a variety of agents, agencies and developers. In other words, she’s got a head full of knowledge and we knew we needed to dive into it to find out exactly what this whole real estate gig was really about. 

What does an average day in the office look like?

An average day in the office as a salesperson is dynamic. The industry is all about people so you never know what the next phone call or enquiry will bring.  It’s rarely a dull job as you’re primarily out-of-office work – you can’t be in contact with your market by sitting behind a desk or screen! You need to be seen and talking and engaging with your local community.

What did you do to get where you are?

I obtained a real estate license when I was 25, a legal requirement in South Australia (currently approximately six weeks full time study).  I attribute my success in sales to good customer service, caring for people and their needs, maintaining a high level of professionalism and integrity, and keeping in contact with all of them.

What do you love about your job?

I love the thrill of the sale.  Exceeding my client’s expectations is important to me. I love coming into contact with strangers and developing rapport. I love the flexibility, however with that often comes work outside business hours, which can be draining with a family.

What is the most challenging component of your job?

The most challenging component of the job is being on your game when your body is ready to wind down.  Because many people work, the most convenient time to visit their property with the view to obtaining that listing for sale is later in the evening.  That is when you have to be at your best.  The other challenging thing is working weekends. Thankfully I don’t have to as I am not currently listing and selling full time.

Is the industry competitive, if so why and how did you navigate it?

The industry is very competitive!  You know your competitors and you often see them in your community at local real estate events or industry functions. It can very quickly become personal. Some agencies can also become competitive within their own agency–salesperson against salesperson!  However I have only experienced support and teamwork, which is important for growth, development and job satisfaction.

What are some common misconceptions about your job?

Some people think that all I have to do is roll up to an open inspection and talk to people.  There is so much more that goes on before and after that. It is a misconception that you have to be a bit of a bullshit artist, you need to be able to engage with people in a genuine and professional way.  Another misconception is that real estate is only about property. Wrong. It’s all about people. Your local knowledge of the market etc. can be learned.  Legislation can be learned.  Marketing can learned.  Negotiation can be learned.  Integrity with people must be innate.  You have to care.

Any last thoughts?

Real Estate is a career path that is limitless in its earning capacity.  What you put into it is what you get out of it!  It is a great industry for young adults as they have greater flexibility with their time commitments.  They often have great enthusiasm and energy and a greater knowledge of marketing and its impact on their target market.  If you can keep your integrity and professionalism intact, you will be set for a rewarding and dynamic career.