Career prospects in real estate consultancy

Career prospects in real estate consultancy


Career prospects in real estate consultancy

With increasing number of developers, projects, introduction of new formats, international practices, role of private equities and expansion of multinationals, the real estate industry has outgrown the expected size in last couple of years. Besides, development of infrastructure, government regulations and infusion of FDIs has supported the expansion of real estate sector many folds. With the increasing size of the industry, there is an increasing demand of professionals across all segments. Whether you talk about developers, architects, professional real estate consultants, vaastu experts or contractors, the sector has opportunities and optimistic career prospects in all spheres at varied levels.

Unorganised sector

Though the sector looks unorganised in terms of remuneration, academics and profile offerings but dominant players operating under big banners are bringing much required credibility for job seekers. Amongst all, the most promising job profile is of a real estate consultant who is much in demand both for the commercial and residential segment.

The number of jobs for real estate agents is expected to grow faster than the average, for all occupations through the year 2018. The numbers of players operating in residential agents is massive but it is difficult to find trusted advisors for commercial properties, thus creating a massive demand for consultants in this segment.

In last couple of years, the industry witnessed a major shift in job preference for this sector. Previously, the focus was on banks and financial institutions as secured job option with high pay scales but in last five to seven years there has been a gradual shift from the financial sector the real estate sector. People from different backgrounds are making their mark, whether it is banking, marketing, insurance, business consultancy, or retail.

To the rescue

Although the recent slowdown in the economy affected business of consultants but many of them played the role of the business saviour by offering strategies to curtail down real estate expenses. With the augment of multinational corporates, outsourcing business and expansion of Indian companies, a property consultant’s role is more evident and valued.

Commercial segment

One of the thrills for a real estate consultant is the constant learning he derives from fast-changing market trends, the launch of new projects, change in government reforms, introduction of new formats and changing client’s requirements.

Unlike other industries like FMCG, banking, white goods, a consultant may not achieve sales closure everyday, in some unique instances; the gestation period may run over months or even a year. Go-getters with a patient approach and self sustainers can only make their way in this industry.

Working as a consultant in commercial properties means that you will be interacting with the heads, administration managers and senior management across industries. So, it is equally important for the consultant to keep an update on the client’s industry movement.

One needs to get into the psyche of the client to understand his requirements, not only this, in several instances a consultant is expected to enlighten the client on technical aspects of the property. Marketing commercial properties is a lot different from residential since the purpose of buy, use is absolutely different.

Brokers need to understand different types of industries and determine variables such as transportation, proximity to raw materials, water and power, labour availability and local building, zoning and tax laws. Basic knowledge on vaastu and interiors help the consultant in servicing the client on a broader aspect.

Education in real estate

Although the profession seems to be much in demand in India but the country lacks specialised academic courses and institutes for real estate.  In absence of exclusive courses people have always learnt on the job, there are no standard guidelines or practices which may define the processes. There is an urgent need for institutes on real estate education but trained faculties may be a challenge, since professionals operating in the industry have learnt over the time with industry players and did not have access to organised curriculum or unified guidelines.

However, stringent and timely measures from the government and education systems can help in bringing professionalism in the way the sector operates by giving right education to the fresh blood willing to be a part of progressive sector.

Getting hired

There are two main routes into real estate consulting. One goes directly from the campus (undergraduate and management, primarily) into entry-level positions (research/market analyst, business development). The other leads from industry into midlevel positions from specific industries (eg, banking, insurance, retail, and financial services), functions (eg marketing or client relation associate). It’s a high-paying, high-profile field that offers students the opportunity to take on a lot of responsibility right after their master’s degree and quickly learn a great deal about the real estate world.

After making a stint of two to three years with reputed developers, many people shift from project marketing to real time consultancy. The opportunities are galore in this sector, since it is a highly unorganised market and you see a small time operator in every street. Though advisory in residential and commercial look similar in nature but both of them operate differently. Professional companies operating commercial market look for proven sales record, impeccable organisational skills, and a welcoming appearance.

Getting a job opportunity with a reputed consultant may be a challenge for freshers. However, stint of one or two years in any marketing field with good qualifications may get you an entry level position with a trusted banner in consultancy.
Here, you can earn big money, a large part of the remuneration is sales driven, so more you sell, more you earn.

Looking at the revenues made out of big transactions, after spending two to three years with a professional consultant many practitioners find it lucrative to start their own setup in anticipation of big money leveraging on their network and relationships. In a rare case this plan works but in most of the cases, start-ups feel the heat of the business in just two to three years of establishment.

It is not retail sales where you earn money everyday, real estate transactions involve huge financial investment and such deals don’t happen overnight. Employment with a reputed realtor with strong leadership and experience gives you security of income every month along with annual incentives based on sales targets achieved. Besides, while choosing a consultant in commercial real estate, clients seek trusted companies with long term presence and staff strength; it is easier for them to confide in bigger names.

Working with a reputed realtor can help you learn the tricks of the trade following ethics and complete professionalism.

Being a speculative market, real estate is a high risk high profitability sector; some risks may be short-term, but sometimes the downside run into years. In that case bigger companies sustain their expenditures on previous performances and reserves.

Opportunities in terms of client set, expertise, experiences leadership, goodwill, brand image, network, diversified services, that a reputed consultant can provide you is unattainable in a smaller setup. Bigger organisations have the capacity to take sustained long term challenges.

Perhaps, it is equally important to choose where to work, carefully check the company’s past record, client portfolio, geographical reach, their future plans and career growth they offer you. With the new regulation from the Haryana government, it is becoming mandatory to take licenses before starting operations as a realtor. Though the proposal may look lucrative for many single-handed operators and many would plan to launch their independent operations but it will not be possible for individuals to sustain for many years.

To start the business of a real estate consultant you don’t need huge capital, but manpower and operational expenses are high. Though it is easier to lay down the processes but adhering to them becomes a challenge in a smaller set up.

Ten good skills required to be a real estate marketer are:

*Excellent communication skills

*Smart decision making

*Understand value for money

*Empathetic, create trust factor

*Analytical reasoning

*Deep and positive thinker

*Be aware of the latest market trends as well as future market predictions

*Seriousness in business

*Smart personality

*Efficiency in financial calculations

*High patience levels

The writer is the Managing Director of Realistic realtors Pvt. Ltd., a real estate consultant.

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