Covid-19 is the reason Ajit Saini became a real estate agent, and new figures from the Real Estate Authority show he is not alone.
A record number of people joined the industry last year.
Saini, 42, had worked in sales for a large furniture company for many years and had often been told by his family that he should get into real estate.
But he never took their suggestions seriously – until the pandemic struck. Unable to work on the Level 4 lockdown and unsure of what the future held for him, he decided the time had come to take the plunge.
He got his license and started working last October, and he hasn’t looked back since.
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“It was helpful that the market had been booming since I started,” Saini said. “It’s because it takes time to develop your roots and create networks. “
A move earlier this year to Century 21’s new Manuka branch also helped.
With Auckland back in the Level 4 lockdown, it’s a bit more difficult, he said. “But I love the job and look forward to the next step in my career.”
Saini said a large number of people were studying real estate at the same time as him, and figures from the Real Estate Authority confirm this.
Real Estate Authority chief executive Belinda Moffat said despite a brief lull during last year’s Level 4 foreclosure, the authority issued a record 2,597 new licenses in fiscal 2020 / 21.
This brought the number of active real estate licensees in the country to 16,257 at the end of June this year. This was compared to 15,153 in June 2019 and 15,520 in June of last year.
This was the highest level of licensing since the authority’s inception and reflected the very active real estate market, Moffat said.
“It is possible that the economic environment of Covid-19 has contributed to this increase, with skilled Kiwis now seeking new employment opportunities.
“The average age of a person applying for a real estate license is 38, which suggests that applicants bring their skills and experience to real estate after pursuing careers in other fields.”
But the numbers showed that the increase was in the salesperson category. The number of agency directors and agents decreased during the year.
Moffat said there is a need to renew real estate licenses every year and data on this has shown that many new licensees have left the industry after only a short time.
“In general, 21 percent of new licensees were no longer active after one year, while 33 percent were no longer active after two years.
“We will be watching the latest wave of new sellers to see if they are following this trend. “
Although there has been an increase in the number of new entrants to the industry, most of the licensees were experienced professionals, with 40 percent of agents having been licensed for 10 years or more, she said. declared.
The increase in the number of new licensees has come as no surprise to veteran agent Andrew Murray, who is the director of Apartment Specialists.
He said there was always an increase in the number of agents when the market was busy and prices went up.
“It’s easy for agents to be successful when the market is booming, but the art of being a good agent is selling properties.
“So when the market goes down and the numbers go down, it gets harder to be successful. This is when a lot of people leave the industry, as we saw after the last boom.
Most real estate experts predicted that sales activity and price growth would continue to slow over the next year.