How to get your real estate licence

How to get your real estate licence

Thinking of applying for a real estate licence? The following article will tell you everything you need to know about how to get your real estate licence. We will outline the application process, the costs, qualifications and helpful tips for those new to the industry.

As a registered sales consultant you are essentially running your own business. The amount of effort you put in relates to the results you will achieve. A commission based job often means, if you are not selling, you are not earning. It also offers time sovereignty and uncapped earning potential.

Like setting up any business, it’s a journey of perseverance, hard work and resilience. For a newly licensed salesperson, there is a six month probation period. Whilst you can do a lot you will not be able to negotiate or prepare a Sale and Purchase Agreement without the assistance of a Manager or senior Licensee. In this cut and thrust, commission based industry, financial support is not guaranteed. It is recommended to enter the industry with the ability to support yourself during the early stages.  

Important skills for a successful real estate salesperson

You may have the silver tongue and the good looks, but these are negligible features in the competitive environment of selling houses. The important metrics for success lie in the ability to form and nurture business relationships, good planning, communication and strong work ethics and resilience.

There is no mould of the perfect sales person. Everyone has their own style, but there are certain skills inextricably valuable to the practise. Some of these include, communication skills, ethical responsibility and resiliency. An unrelenting drive to learn, listen and up-skill both independently and in a team environment. 

If you are passionate about property and value relationships with people, however, it can be a very rewarding industry. Similar to running your own business, a career in sales can offer flexibility, independence and financial autonomy. It’s an industry that is suitable for anyone, at any stage of their career.

The first step is to get a licence. 


Before you sign up to get a licence, you need to check your eligibility.  The Real Estate Authority (REA) serves as a useful guide. 

In short, you need to be 18 years or over and demonstrate you are an honest, fit and proper person. You will also need to have the right qualifications (National Certificate in Real Estate Salesperson Level 4). 

There are several checks and balances when you apply, or renew, to get your licence. Some of these include;

  • consenting to a criminal history check, as well as
  • meeting a standard of conduct and character to the REA Registrar.

You are unable to seek a license if you have had a real estate licence cancelled; have any other prohibitions; or if you are a lawyer or a conveyancer. 

Where/how do I get the necessary qualifications?

There are a number of educational organisations, which offer classroom based or online training. These include, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Open Polytechnic, TAFE College, and Unitec.

Different organisations have different methods of training, study options and course fees, which are worth contacting them about individually. However, all of these courses provide the prerequisite knowledge, skills and requirements for entry into this dynamic industry. 

If you prefer in-class teaching and the ability to attend classes Monday-Friday, then the Unitec programme is likely your best bet. If learning from home at your own pace suits your lifestyle more, head over to TAFE College or the Open Polytechnic

What does it cost?

Typically, fees run $1,500 – $2,000 to get your National Certificate, depending on which training provider you choose to study with.

I have my qualifications, how do I get a licence?

Once you have completed your qualifications, you must then apply for your Salesperson’s licence. Your licence is issued by the Real Estate Authority and you must apply within 3 years of your course completion. This is an entirely separate process to receiving your qualifications, independently conducted by the REA. It can take up to a month to receive your licence. The licence is a passport to legally work as a real estate salesperson and sell property within New Zealand. 

You can also make an application in the REA licensee portal. You will need all the required documents, a RealMe account as well as the fees and levies. There is a full list of the required documents. In short, you need your driver’s licence/passport, evidence of your qualifications and CV. 

Choosing an agency.

When choosing a real estate agency or salesperson to work for it’s vital to do your research. While the first step is to inquire if there is a vacancy in the office of choice, you should also research what ongoing training and support is offered. Having the support of a high-performance team and a great sales manager means you can accelerate your career with confidence.

Ask the agency about their technology and systems and how you can utilise these to grow your business. Covid-19 has driven many changes in real estate. The pandemic has accelerated the shift to more ‘online’ processes, so look to choose an agency that not only has great systems but one that is always looking to innovate.

Selling property is a serious business. It is important for you as a salesperson, the agency and your clients, that you are meeting all the legal and ethical obligations when selling real estate. An agency with an in-house compliance team to help with all your paperwork, contracts and compliance work, will give you confidence that both you, and your clients are covered.

Self-promotion is a big part of being a realestate salesperson and first impressions count. Look for an agency that has the ability to provide you with marketing support and innovative campaigns to help sell your properties and grow your business. Assess each agencies brand and how they align with you as a salesperson. It makes perfect sense to use the power of a strong agency brand to help build your own.

Working with Damerell Group.

Here at Ray White Damerell Group, we offer a world class, practical training academy for the next generation of salespeople. For us leadership means being supportive, collaborative and investing time in our people to build a culture of success. We work with our people to set goals, challenge the ‘norm’ and innovate to give our teams and our clients the experience possible. 

The extensive leadership programmes and accelerator sessions, include the ever successful Ray White Accelerate Sales Programme. We also provide weekly auction training with one of New Zealand’s best auctioneers, Daniel Coulson. This training gives you the essential knowledge and skills to succeed at the most critical part of the sales process. 

Our managers don’t work on day-to-day sales transactions, so are able to dedicate their expertise to help your career and business grow. With an experienced marketing, administration, finance and compliance team working behind our salespeople, you know that you’re getting the best support to succeed.

Find out more about joining the highly successful Ray White Damerell Group team.

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