The Covid-19 lockdown has provided the keys to unlock a career in real estate for aspiring agents, with more Bay men and women in their 20s keen to enter the profession.

Changing work circumstances and a profession fuelled by a “hot” real estate market could be attracting more people to the property industry, the Real Estate Authority says.

NZME spoke to four agents in their 20s who switched careers, with one saying lockdown was the “silver lining” that got him into real estate.

According to the REA, 45 Bay people - 23 women and 22 men - younger than 30 have applied for their real estate licences since the lockdown last year. In total, 154 people in the region have applied for their licence post lockdown.

REA chief executive Belinda Moffat said more people were entering the real estate profession, with 45 per cent more new licences issued nationwide compared to 2019.

At the end of February, there were 15,711 active licence holders, which Moffat said was the highest since 2018.

The average age of someone applying for a real estate licence nationwide was 38 years old, which suggested applicants were bringing skills and experience to the real estate sector having had careers in other fields, she said.

Moffat said becoming a licensee was a serious undertaking and the role itself was hard work. “Real estate transactions are complex, and it’s critical that licensed agents have the skills, training and integrity required to support buyers and sellers to navigate a property transaction with confidence.”

Simon Anderson, managing director of the Realty Group Ltd, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said it was exciting to see young people entering the industry operating in a professional manner.


Carlos Del la Varis left the fitness industry for real estate. The 22-year-old joined the Eves Gate Pa office about a month ago. Del la Varis was working at a local gym when his friend and Eves agent Kale Kirk offered him a job a couple of years ago. He said he had been thinking of changing careers for a while and then Covid-19 hit.

“It was lockdown that drove me into real was quite spontaneous.” 

By the end of July 2020 Del la Varis had enrolled at the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology to complete his certificate in real estate two weeks before the course started.

Del la Varis juggled working full-time at the gym and studying part-time for 24 weeks until he graduated last month.

He was later awarded an Eves Scholarship to kick-start his career.

“At first, the giddiness of being my own boss got to me. But then I realised if I am not working I am not getting paid, so it was back to work.”

He said he was not afraid to put in the long hours and strived to be a good agent.

“I’m hard on myself. There is a lot to learn and the learning doesn’t stop,” he said.

“I definitely want to be known as the more personable sort.

He said there were benefits to having youth in the industry, especially with online and social media marketing of property. “There’s a special place for young people in this industry.”


Published in the Bay of Plenty Property Guide 21 May 2021.

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