Getting started in real estate

Before you join Barfoot & Thompson, there are some things you need to know about how the industry operates and what steps you need to take to get started in real estate.


1. Getting licensed

To work as a real estate agent in New Zealand you must be licensed by the Real Estate Authority (REA), unless you are a lawyer or a licensed auctioneer.

Applying for a licence

You can apply for a licence from the REA once you've got all the required qualifications and have advertised your application.

What qualifications do you need?

Before you apply for a real estate licence, there are certain qualifications you will need which change depending on the role you want to have:

  • Salesperson - National Certificate in Real Estate Level 4 
  • Branch manager - National Certificate in Real Estate Level 5, version 3 or later

If you have a recognised property degree and want to apply for a real estate licence, you will need to complete an assessment.


It costs around $1500 to $2000 to get your real estate certificate.

Training providers

There are a number of educational institutions which provide these qualifications, including the ones below:

Find out more about licensing, qualifications and training from the REA.

2. Becoming an independent contractor

To become a real estate agent, you need to work for a licensed real estate company such as Barfoot & Thompson. You then become an independent contractor, running your own business under the umbrella of the Barfoot & Thompson brand. Find out more about becoming an independent contractor from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

3. Maintaining your licence

Once you've joined Barfoot & Thompson, you can achieve all your compulsory REAA requirements in-house for free. Find out more about the ongoing training we provide.

Want to find out more about sales?

Property management

Property management is very different to sales and does not require people to have a real estate licence. Property managers are not independent contractors.

There are different types of roles within this team, including property managers, support staff and administrators. All members of our team are passionate about the real estate industry and customer service.

Have further questions about property management?

Joining the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ)

If you're salesperson, once you've joined Barfoot & Thompson you will automatically be signed up with REINZ, a national voluntary membership organisation.

Register for a careers evening and learn about a Barfoot & Thompson real estate career.

Auckland 23 SeptemberRegister for this event if you're interested in working anywhere in greater Auckland

Rodney/Warkworth 9 October - Register for this event if you're interested in working in the Rodney to Mangawhai area

More events will be scheduled soon. Sign up to hear about future careers events