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Property Operations and Real Estate

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Property Operations and Real Estate sector, which is one component of the Property Services industry.

The Property Operations and Real Estate sector includes those involved in residential and non-residential property operation and management, including renting, leasing and managing properties. It also includes those valuing, purchasing, selling, managing or renting real estate on behalf of others. Real estate agents must be licensed by their state or territory of operation.

There were approximately 39,163 businesses operating in real estate services in 2018, with many of these small or sole operators. The sector has faced competition from an increase in owner-lessors managing their own operations without real estate agent services.

Nationally recognised training for Property Operations and Real Estate is delivered under the CPP Property Services Training Package.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment levels for the Property Operators and Real Estate Services industry increased overall by 70% between 2001 and 2021, reaching a peak of approximately 185,500 in 2020 and declining to 178,500 in 2021. Employment levels are predicted to reach around 180,200 in this sector by 2025. The most common occupation in this sector was Real Estate Sales Agent, with approximately 47% of the total workforce in this sector. Employment levels for Real Estate Sales Agents are projected to increase by approximately 6% by 2025, while the biggest increase in employment levels in this sector are for Office Managers, at approximately 14%.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Property Operations and Real Estate-related qualifications have fluctuated since 2016, peaking at 29,040 in 2017 and declining to a low of 21,720 in 2019 before increasing to 25,870 in 2020. Program completions have increased steadily, from 4,200 in 2016 to 7,680 in 2020. The majority of enrolments in this sector in 2020 were at the certificate IV level (95%) and were in the area of Real Estate (91%). Accordingly, the majority enrolments in this sector in 2020 had an intended occupation of Real Estate Agent.

The vast majority of enrolments for this sector in 2020 were at private training providers (91%), with 84% of subjects funded through domestic fee-for-service arrangements and 16% through Commonwealth and state funding.

The largest number of students enrolling in this sector in 2020 were from New South Wales (57%), Victoria (16%) and Queensland (13%). Similarly, 41% of training in 2020 was delivered in New South Wales, followed by 27% in Queensland and 18% in Victoria.

Apprentice and trainee commencements in Property Operations and Real Estate-related qualifications rose between 2011 and 2012, reaching approximately 2,170 in 2012. Commencements fell to a low of almost 720 in 2016 and after an increase in the following years declined to 730 in 2019. Commencements then increased by approximately 231% to reach a peak of 2,400 in 2020. Apprentice and trainee completions peaked in 2013 at 1,120 and despite a small increase in 2019 have declined to their lowest levels in 2020 at approximately 330.

Apprentices and trainees in this sector in 2020 had the intended occupation of either Real Estate Sales Agent (around 1,500) or Real Estate Agent (around 900). Almost three quarters of all apprentices and trainees in this sector were reported by New South Wales (73%), followed by Victoria (17%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the Property Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast, the top generic skills for the Property Services industry as a whole, and therefore for the Property Operations and Real Estate sector are, in addition to knowledge specific to the industry area:

  • Managerial / Leadership
  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) (Foundation skills)
  • Customer service / Marketing
  • Financial
  • Technology.

According to job vacancy data, the top generic skills in demand in the Property Operations and Real Estate sector are:

  • Communication skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Organisational skills
  • Building effective relationships
  • Time management.

Additionally, the job vacancy data identifies the following occupations as most in-demand for this sector:  Property Manager, Sales Representatives, Real Estate Agent, Receptionist (General), Facilities Manager.

In the Property Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast several drivers for change to impact the Property Operations and Real Estate sector were identified, including the adoption of new technologies such as the use of drones to photograph properties for listing and to inspect hard to reach places such as roofs and gutters, the tightening of lending practises in the wake of the royal commission into banking, and the possible introduction of mandatory testing for methamphetamine contamination in rental properties for some jurisdictions.

The Property Services IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast identifies several trends impacting the sector which require the development of new skills. These trends include the use of Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD), which is expected to increase demand for awareness and engagement skills, as well as strategic, technical and managerial skills. Another trend is an increasing need for Strata Management roles to have greater legal knowledge, in order to meet regulatory requirements.

The Property Services IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast notes a significant threat to this sector from automation, with a higher likelihood that much of the work done by Real Estate Agents may be automated within the next 20 years. Customers are demanding online channels to view property information and conduct sales. This sector has traditionally had low engagement with technology, a situation that is shifting due to the importance of social media, building information modelling applications. Those in this sector will need skills in new technology to best manage client engagement and data collection, and to improve operational efficiency.

The Property Services IRC’s 2017 Skills Forecast also highlights the importance of digital technology in this sector. Real estate businesses must now maintain a strong online presence, and technologies such as virtual viewings, online property auctions and mobile apps are increasingly in use. The labour involved in property operations has been reduced through the use of property management software, making it necessary for new entrants to the sector to be able to use these labour-saving technologies. Property managers must also understand sustainability and environmental issues, and deal with laws and regulations in areas such as asbestos presence. An emerging area for this sector is strata management, where managers must comply with a complex regulatory framework and utilise new 3D digital technologies.

According to the Rental, Hiring & Real Estate Sector Profile from the South Australian Training and Skills Commission, sales and customer services skills are of primary importance to this sector moving forward. This profile also highlights digital literacy as being important for new entrants to the sector, meaning it is important for any training in this sector to ensure graduates have a level of digital literacy. There is a risk of automation in this sector as it is so heavily transaction based.

According to the Labour Market and Information Portal, in August 2021 the Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services employed approximately 211,300 people, accounting for 1.6 per cent of the total workforce. The median age for workers in this industry was 42 years and median weekly earnings were around $1,061 per week.

COVID-19 impact

The Property Services IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast states that the Real Estate sector is forecasting a significant downturn in revenue and employment in response to COVID-19. Property, facility and strata management, however, are seeing increases in demand. Maintenance and service requests have increased for residential properties since they are being occupied more than usual.

According to The Shape of Australia’s Post COVID-19 Workforce, as at December 2020 employment was higher now in the Rental Hiring and Real Estate Services industry than pre-pandemic levels, up 3.8%.

The Sector Snapshot: Victoria's Real Estate Sector: November 2020 report reveals the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been keenly felt by the Victorian commercial real estate sector, as a transition to working from home has encouraged many organisations to re-think their use of rented commercial office space and some businesses have been forced to close as a result of restrictions. The incorporation of technology into its operations due to COVID forced the sector to shift even more of its operations online, including online property inspections by prospective home buyers, online routine and end-of-lease inspections and online auctions. While not all online services were successful, the sector has embraced online operations, some of which could remain in the long term.

The report also finds that new workers, particularly property managers, will need to be equipped with the requisite skills to deal with a changing environment, both from COVID impacts and ongoing changes to the Residential Tenancies Act. This means capability in interpreting legislation and understanding ethics and compliance requirements will be essential.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant research, organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

IRC and skills forecasts

Property Services Industry Reference Committee

 

Relevant research

Rental, Hiring & Real Estate Sector Profile South Australian Training and Skills Commission

Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services - Labour Market Information Portal

Sector Snapshot: Victoria's Real Estate Sector: November 2020 - Victorian Skills Commissioner

The Shape of Australia’s Post COVID-19 Workforce - National Skills Commission

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Building Service Contractors Association of Australia

Facility Management Association of Australia

Real Estate Institute of Australia

Strata Community Association

 

Employee associations

Professionals Australia

United Workers Union

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2021, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSIC 2 digit 67 Property Operators and Real Estate Services industry, employment projections to May 2025
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 2245 Land Economists and Valuers
    • 5121 Office Managers
    • 5311 General Clerks
    • 5421 Receptionists
    • 6121 Real Estate Sales Agents.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ06 - Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, viewed 1 August 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 2 digit 67 Property Operators and Real Estate Services industry, 2001 to 2021, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 2 digit 67 Property Operators and Real Estate Services industry, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET students and courses from the following training packages or qualifications:

  • CPP Property Services Training Package, PRD Property Development and Management.
  • Agency Management
    • CPP50307 - Diploma of Property Services (Agency Management)
    • CPP51119 - Diploma of Property (Agency Management).
  • Asset and Facility Management
    • CPP40516 - Certificate IV in Strata Community Management
    • CPP50509 - Diploma of Property Services (Asset and Facility Management)
    • CPP50511 - Diploma of Property Services (Asset and Facility Management)
    • CPP60207 - Advanced Diploma of Property Services (Asset and Facility Management)
    • CPP60208 - Advanced Diploma of Property Services (Asset and Facility Management)
    • CPP60211 - Advanced Diploma of Property Services (Asset and Facility Management).
  • Property Services Agency
    • CPP30207 - Certificate III in Property Services (Agency)
    • CPP30211 - Certificate III in Property Services (Agency).
  • Property Services Operations
    • CPP30309 - Certificate III in Property Services (Operations)
    • CPP30311 - Certificate III in Property Services (Operations)
    • CPP40607 - Certificate IV in Property Services (Operations)
    • CPP40609 - Certificate IV in Property Services (Operations)
    • CPP40611 - Certificate IV in Property Services (Operations).
  • Real Estate
    • CPP31519 - Certificate III in Real Estate Practice
    • CPP40307 - Certificate IV in Property Services (Real Estate)
    • CPP41419 - Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice
    • PRD30101 - Certificate III in Property (Real Estate)
    • PRD40101 - Certificate IV in Property (Real Estate).
  • Stock and Station Agency and Business Broking
    • CPP40407 - Certificate IV in Property Services (Stock and Station Agency)
    • CPP40507 - Certificate IV in Property Services (Business Broking)
    • PRD50403 - Diploma of Property (Business Broking).

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document.    

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

CPP Property Services Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2011 to 2020 commencements
  • 2011 to 2020 completions 
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2020 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2021, Labour Insight Real-time Labour Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2021, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2018 and June 2021 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills / Occupations
    • 67 Property Operators and Real Estate Services.
  • Employers
    • 612112 Property Manager
    • 611399 Sales Representatives nec
    • 612114 Real Estate Agent
    • 542111 Receptionist (General)
    • 149913 Facilities Manager
    • 67 Property Operators and Real Estate Services
Updated: 20 Jan 2022
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