Thinking of getting a buyer’s agent license and becoming one of them? Here is a brief overview.

Buyers' agents (or advocates) are becoming a growing force in the real estate market. People are realizing the importance of having a professional advocate on their side in order to prevent themselves from home buyer’s remorse, and even more, are seeing it as a long-term career. Make sure to do your research before taking the plunge.

If you want to start your own buyer's agency, you'll need a full real estate agent's license - both for yourself as an individual and for the company, you'll be working for. If you are currently an agent's representative (or working under a sub-license), you must complete additional training and experience under the supervision of a licensed manager* before applying to become a fully licensed real estate agent.

Different businesses provide varying levels of training. Some promote a bottom-up training system by pairing experienced BAs with assistant BAs in training, while others provide 'apprenticeship'-style roles for new market entrants. Your state's Real Estate Institute, as well as TAFE and some private institutions, offer training courses. Strength in business operations is also advantageous for those who want to start their own business.

Tertiary business courses (including marketing units) are also advantageous. Buyer's agents, on the other hand, can come from a variety of backgrounds, each with their own set of advantages that can be transferred and used as a buyer's agent.

Experience in client service or professional services can help with client management, whereas analytical disciplines and research backgrounds can help buyers' agents with the science side of their role. Risk management and legal experience can aid in contract management while selling agent experience can aid in understanding buyer/vendor emotions and negotiations. Previous property investment experience is required for those who are committed to serving investment briefs for their clients

Don’t get caught out

Despite charging high enrolment fees, some online non-accredited courses fail to deliver the actual skills required for the role. In terms of salary expectations, these online courses frequently lead to false expectations. As a result, keep an eye out for the following red flags:

  • A professional training body has not accredited the training course.
  • Through Mutual Recognition, the training provider offers a short-term course that leads to a license in another state.
  • The training course provides overly optimistic earnings projections.
  • The training course offers few buyer's agent insights and is primarily concerned with lead generation.
  • The training course supports online portals for selecting a property for your clients but does not provide first principles training to teach you how to search effectively.
  • According to the training course, you can do this part-time.
  • According to the training course, all you need is a laptop and nothing else.
  • The training course does not emphasize the legal risks, obligations, and requirements specific to the state in which you wish to operate.
  • The promotional material is heavy on glossy brochures and promises little detail.

What to look for

When starting a career in buyer's advocacy, it's critical to do your research. A genuine buyer's agent does not accept commissions, fees, or other inducements from vendors. Check that you are fully licensed in the state or states where you intend to buy, and seek advice from your local Real Estate Institute (REI).

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Seek an accredited training provider to obtain the necessary qualifications and licensing for the role.
  • Completing the qualification, as well as any other government-funded courses, will ensure that you have the necessary skills to run a business in the future.
  • Attend monthly meetings and local state-based networking events with other BAs.

Finally, you should be aware that each state has its own property transaction laws and licensing requirements. To get started, please contact your state's Department of Fair Trading/Business Licensing.


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