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Becoming A Real Estate Sales Consultant

Frequently Asked Questions: 


1.  How Does the Tandem Realty Group application process work?

The company requires a CV outlining you prior employment and including a statement explaining why you think you are suited for a real estate career.  A company representative will arrange an interview with a sales manager in your area. If you meet the company expectation, a second interview is scheduled with a director of the company.   The company will then either a) sign you up in an Independent Contractor’s contract and you proceed to independently get your certificate and licence or b) suggest you go and get your licence through an independent training provider, then come back once you are qualified and sign an Independent Contractor’s contract.


2.  What qualification do I need to become a Salesperson?

The “National Certificate in Real Estate,” Level 4. Go online to the Real Estate Agents Authority. www.reaa.govt.nz. .Read the Information for Licensees. Here they outline the procedures for you.This qualification can be done through an independent training provider and through some company’s; for example, we offer it through the Harcourts Academy.


3.  Where do I do the training for the National Certificate?

You have a choice of a number of tertiary providers. They range in price from $999 to $1,400.  Some people are eligible for Student Loans to complete these courses.  Some are totally internet based (on-line), some are totally contact classes (some are a mixture).   It depends on your personal situation as to what method of study you choose.  Some of the organisations are: The Skills Organisation (used by the Harcourts Academy) Open Polytechnic of NZ, Unitec and Tafe.


4.  How Long Does it take to get my National Certificate?

You work at your own speed with online courses: as you complete one unit, you move onto the next. They can be done in as little as 6-12 weeks, but you have 8 months to complete them online. It depends on how much time you can commit to completing them and how quickly you are able to get them done.  Contact courses vary but are usually over 12-16 weeks.


5.  Can I Sell As Soon As I Pass The National Certificate?

No. As per the REAA regulations: you then need to apply to the REAA for a licence.  This can take from 4-6wks to be issued; as there is a requirement to place an advert on the REAA website for 2 weeks to see if there are any objections from the public.


6.  What type of Contract Do I Sign?

It is a contract for an “Independent Contractor.” It sets out the job description, company expectations, legal obligations and a schedule for commission payments and costs.


7.  Do I Get Paid A Salary or Retainer?

No, Salespeople are totally commission based.  There is a Harcourts Scholarship offered annually, it closes 30th of April each year. If you get accepted for the Scholarship, Harcourt’s will help you financially to get certified and into the industry. Details and application forms are on the Harcourt’s website: www.harcourts.co.nz


8.  How Long Will It Take to Make My First Commission?

It is totally up to you. Some people take longer than others.  We recommend that you have approximately 4-6mths savings behind you after getting your National Certificate. You are effectively setting up a new business.  You will be an “Independent Contractor,”” under the umbrella of a real estate company which provide: a desk, a phone line, internet connection, use of printers and proven systems, a supportive management environment and on-going training but the rest is up to you. You will need to be able to support yourself while setting up your own business and paying for all extra costs: like marketing materials, colour copies, signs, laptop, mobile phone and connection, Harcourts scarf/tie, car insurance, indemnity insurance, etc.


9.  How Do I Get Paid?

Harcourts first takes its share off of the top of the full commission: roughly 9% for the franchise fee and Harcourts Foundation donation. You would then get paid from Tandem Realty Group: your % of the commission plus the GST content.  The commission is split into two parts: a listing commission, and a selling commission. The listing commission is slightly higher, as the company rewards those who bring in the stock to sell. If another Salesperson sells your listing: you receive the listing commission and they receive the selling commission. If you sell your own listing, you receive both sides of the commission. If you sell someone else’s listing, you receive the selling commission.  These commissions are given to you after Tandem Realty Group takes its % from the top of the listing commission and from the top of the selling commission.


10.  Do I Have to Pay GST?

Yes. As a “Self Employed Business Person” you are responsible for paying tax on any income you make to the IRD. However, you are also able to claim the GST back on your business costs. You need to start keeping all of your receipts.  We recommend you contact the IRD with all questions about GST and being self-employed.  Once you are registered for GST, we do recommend you to pay your GST two monthly rather than annually, as it is just easier to keep up with once you are very busy. We can also recommend for every payment received, you automatically place an adequate % in a separate bank account; this is not a requirement, just a suggestion.


11. Is there any other training required?

Tandem requires all new consultants to do the six day In House ‘Harcourts New Consultant Course.’ The course is four days concurrently, and then a two day follow-up course, six weeks later. This comprehensive course covers all Harcourts systems and the Harcourts way of selling real estate. An extensive series of manuals and information are provided to help you start your career in real estate. This course is $613 + GST.  Harcourts also offers extra, free training courses throughout the year, and Tandem offers regular in-house training and support as well.


12.  What Office Obligations Are There?

Salespeople are put on a duty roster by the Office Administrator or Manager on a random interval throughout the month, all Salespeople getting equal opportunity to do duty. These are weekday only, either a morning session of 9am-1pm or an afternoon session of 1pm-5pm (this does vary between offices sometimes). Those on duty take all phone enquiries or walk-ins regarding properties, either listing or selling, as long as the person enquiring is not working with another Salesperson or hasn’t asked for another Salesperson in the office. If you cannot be at a duty that you have been booked in for you must find someone else to swap your duty for another time and day that you can do. This is a responsibility of the Salesperson.  Salespeople are required to be at the office meeting and caravan (viewing all of the latest listings and/or auctions) on Tuesday mornings. Starting at 8:30AM every Tuesday and ending whenever the meeting is over and the new houses on caravan have been viewed, usually around 10:30/11 (depending on how many new houses have been listed).


13.  Do I Pay for Any Office Costs?

You receive a desk space for free (if space becomes limited, this is not guaranteed if you are not producing). You will also receive a DDI phone number (long distance calls are charged to you) and internet connection for free. Black and white photocopying is free. Colour copies are 16c each. We also provide free forms and marketing/listing folders, with necessary forms, for free. We do not charge you for our office staff or management, you will receive their help and guidance for free.  However, any stationery and office supplies for running your business are your own responsibility; for example: pens, felt pens, pencils, ruler, rubber, stapler, staples, hole punch, hanging files, storage folders/boxes, extra furniture or equipment, staple gun and mallet for putting in signs, etc. You also must pay for your own marketing materials; for example: flyers, appraisal packs, signage, calendars, promotional material, personal advertising, etc.  Please see the New Salespeople Costs sheets for more information, or speak to your office manager.


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