Amanda Ryan wanted a career where she could put her business and people skills to good use. She closed her seven-year-old cleaning business and in June last year became an estate agent.
“You are part of something really special,” Ryan said in an interview. “You don’t buy houses every day. This is going to be the house that people are going to live in. They are going to make memories here. They are going to have families, they are going to have birthdays and Christmases.
“So to be able to give someone that key and say, ‘Congratulations, it’s your new home,’ is a huge thrill.”
Ryan, of Keller Williams Capital Realty in Moncton, is one of hundreds of newly licensed real estate agents in New Brunswick.
Figures from the Real Estate Association of New Brunswick show the number of licensed agents has remained relatively stable over eight years, ranging from a low of 780 in 2016 to 930 in 2019.
Then the number rose to 1,025 at the end of 2020 and again to 1,245 in December 2021.
It’s an increase that Dwayne Hayes knows well as the group’s director of education and IT systems. It’s a role that sees him talking to every potential agent for an internship.
Hayes says he can’t give a definitive reason for the growth in recent years.
“We don’t really follow their reasons for entering this industry.” said Hayes. “But you know, it’s an exciting industry and people are always looking for a new career opportunity.”
The growth coincides with a hot housing market. The average home price in the province has risen sharply in recent years, rising 25% over the past year to $248,214.
Active registrations in December were the lowest in two decades, according to a press release from the association.
Ryan said she suspects the market has prompted people to get into the industry.
“They think there’s all this money and everything going on,” Ryan said.
Getting listings is almost like getting gold these days.-Amanda Ryan
She said that made it an interesting time to become a real estate agent.
“Getting ads is almost like getting gold these days. Everyone wants to find ads,” Ryan said.
This means helping customers browse multiple offers so they don’t pay too much.
“It’s really great when you get that signed offer and you can hand the keys to someone and say, ‘Let’s go.'”
As a new agent, she said it takes time to build a reputation and see her work pay off, as a transaction can take several months.
“You have to be able to accept that it takes a long time to see the rewards of your work,” Ryan said.
Ryan said she was personally contacted by people interested in joining the industry.
The multi-step process includes a required course offered by the New Brunswick Community College in partnership with the real estate association.
Online course enrollment has grown from 178 in the 2016-17 school year to 574 in 2020-21, according to NBCC.
For those considering the job, Ryan said it might look easy on the outside.
“People are quite surprised at how hard it can be to learn” because there’s so much involved in legal contracts, Ryan said.