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To become a real estate assistant, you will typically need strong office administration skills as well as the ability to work with computers and, in many cases, graphic design software. In some jurisdictions, your job duties may be strictly regulated unless you are also a licensed real estate salesperson. As such, you may wish to obtain your real estate license if you want to become a real estate assistant for a large firm or in an area where unlicensed assistants are very limited in the type of work that they can perform. It is also possible to become certified as a virtual assistant with a specialty in real estate.
Many real estate brokerages and salespeople rely on assistants to perform administrative tasks and provide support for their sales activities. Employers will want to see evidence that you are capable of managing office-related tasks such as handling communications, answering phones, and working with spreadsheets. As brokers and salespeople frequently use graphic flyers and websites to promote their services and sell homes, you may also be expected to be able to work with graphics and photo-editing software. Developing strong computer and Internet skills can greatly enhance your marketability.
If you are licensed as a real estate salesperson, your employer may rely on you to make calls to real estate prospects after you become a real estate assistant. Even if you are not licensed, you may still need to interact with your employer’s clients on the phone, so developing good phone skills and etiquette is important. Similarly, you may be expected to perform receptionist duties in your employer's office, so having a friendly demeanor and maintaining a professional appearance is also crucial to performing this kind of job. Purchasing or selling a home can be a nerve-wracking and emotional experience for many people, and your ability to work under pressure is important.
In many cases, you will not need a college or university education to become a real estate assistant. In general, however, employers will want you to have a high school diploma or its equivalent before hiring you. It may also be to your advantage to hold a certificate, diploma, or degree in office administration as well as at least some training in real estate, even if you don't eventually obtain a license. If you plan to become a virtual assistant, you may also want to complete an online training program in virtual assisting with an emphasis on working with real estate professionals.
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