Opinion: Realtors should look to the luxury housing market for career progression

May 17 2022, 8:23 pm

Written for Daily Hive Urbanized by Faith Wilson, who is the founder and president of Faith Wilson Realty Group under Christie’s International Real Estate.

The world of work is changing; this is something almost everyone can agree on. The pandemic continues to have a major influence on how – and where – Canadians are choosing to work. Remote work is more tangible than ever before, hybrid work scenarios are on the rise, and people are realizing the importance of work/life balance.

In light of the “Great Resignation,” many are reassessing who they work for, what is important to them in a role, and whether they are ready to quit a job they are unhappy with. Employees are more in tune with their purpose, and they need to find work that aligns with their values in an industry showing no signs of slowing down. The real estate market is one such sector.

Despite the impacts of a global pandemic, the market continues to boom in Canada and professionals are scrambling to enter the realty profession. At one point last year, the Toronto region had at least one realtor for every 88 adults. The surge in interest to work in the real estate industry has left a mismatch between the number of available listings and the volume of new talent.

Seasoned professionals who wish to distance themselves from a saturated market, advance their careers, and ultimately specialize in one area may find their niche in BC’s luxury real estate market. This thriving space offers opportunities to participate in a world-class arena while building a personal brand in a high-profile sector.

Be a part of something bigger

In BC alone, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) represents over 24,000 commercial and residential realtors. However, the number of professionals dedicated to the luxury segment represents only a fraction of this figure.

While the real estate realm in BC continues to propel forward, the luxury portion is recognized among the world’s foremost markets. Back in 2015, Vancouver ranked top in the global luxury real estate market, with home prices up by 24.5%, placing the city ahead of markets in Sydney, Shanghai, Istanbul, and Munich, among others.

Almost a decade later, demand to live on Canada’s West Coast – and in desirable locations including West Vancouver, the Okanagan, and the luxury resort market of Whistler – remains high. Yet, we are seeing smaller centres where dollars go further also gaining traction for luxury buyers, with opportunities arising in markets like Northern BC.

Flexibility and autonomy

For experienced realtors well versed in the industry, opportunities are plentiful. At a time when the desire for autonomy and flexibility are high on the list of must-haves for workers, the real estate market gives professionals the chance to work from anywhere and manage their own set of clients.

It’s been said that 2022 will be “The Year of The Employee,” and with that in mind, employers must do their due diligence to attract and retain talent in a competitive market. Friday happy hours and foosball tables at the office is no longer enough to satisfy the needs of a workforce undergoing continuous change.

For realtors, those with even a few years of experience can access high-profile listings and subsequently further their careers.

Build your personal brand in the luxury segment

It would be remiss to think moving up the career ladder in the industry is easy. Like many careers, it comes with a unique set of challenges.

Real estate agents dedicated to finding solutions and building their own personal brand see a lot of success. Many have the opportunity to brand-build while benefiting from the profile and awareness of a parent brand – without the micromanagement of a traditional company.

The world of work is not expected to return to how it once was, and now could be the best time to make a strategic change. In the case of experienced realtors, this means leaning into luxury.

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