What does a residential real estate agent do?

Residential real estate agents assist in the selling and leasing of private residential property. This includes conducting inspections, arranging advertising for properties, and drafting sale and lease contracts. Many residential real estate agents also manage properties on behalf of landlords, including monitoring renters’ compliance with their tenancy agreement, taking rent payments and managing maintenance requests.


  • Sell and lease private properties
  • Provide advice to clients on the property market
  • Arrange advertising
  • Conduct open homes and property inspections
  • Manage tenancy agreement compliance

What skills do I need to be a residential real estate agent?

Residential real estate agents must be highly motivated. They must work well with people from a variety of backgrounds, and have a strong customer service skills. It is critical that residential real estate agents have a good understanding of property law and contract negotiation. The ability to communicate well and manage time effectively is also important to be successful in this type of role.

  • Self motivated
  • Good people and customer service skills
  • Thorough understanding of contract negotiation and property law
  • Strong negotiation abilities and a persuasive manner
  • Strength in communication and time management


Residential real estate agents have numerous options for specialisation as their careers progress. Many choose to become dedicated property managers and others choose to move into more senior roles and become an estate agency principal or owner.

Property Manager

Property managers look after rental properties on behalf of the owners. Their role includes attracting new tenants, ensuring those tenants are looking after the property, paying rent and meeting their tenancy agreement obligations, as well as coordinating maintenance for the property as it is needed.

Estate Agency Principal

An estate agency principal is someone who, in addition to completing the usual activities of a real estate agent, also coordinates the activities of a real estate agency. This can include staff recruitment, budget management, training and registrations for staff, and general advertising and promotions. Some estate agency principals own their own agency or franchise, while others are managers.

Study pathways for residential real estate agents

The requirements to become a residential real estate agent vary from state to state. Most real estate agents have a certificate III level qualification as a minimum, and have also completed the relevant short course or licensing program required to become a registered real estate agent in their state.

Getting Started

For those wishing to learn more about a career in real estate, it can be useful to gain an understanding of property law through a short course as a first step.

Skill Building

Real estate agents wishing to gain additional knowledge and skills in their field can undertake diploma or even bachelor level qualifications.

Professional Development

Undertaking further study in business management can be an effective way for real estate agents to move into more senior positions. Options include an Advanced Diploma of Leadership & Management or a Bachelor of Business Management.

Industry Recognition

Registered real estate agents have significantly more success at gaining employment and performing well over the course of their career. Registration is managed on a state-by-state basis and requires the relevant licensing and certificate of registration program to be completed

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your residential real estate career. Take a look at our sample resume and cover letter and put your best foot forward when you apply for real estate jobs.

Job Prospects and Salaries

The real estate industry is growing strongly and is projected to keep doing so. Real estate agents tend to work slightly unusual hours and a longer week than average. Salary levels vary dependent on the property market the agent is working in.