If you are thinking about starting a real estate career in Jamaica, you have to understand that this is different from the regular 9-5 jobs. To be successful, you are required to generate good leads, which will provide you with clients in order to get paid. During your interview with any of the top companies in Jamaica, it is a must that they will ask you about your sphere of influence (SOI) or pipeline. This basically means the leads that you currently have, for instance if you want to focus on commercial properties in New Kingston, it would be necessary to have strong connections to generate good leads.
The New Kingston area in this city is considered to be the business capital and boasts head office for virtually all companies, hotels, top restaurants, foreign embassies, apartments, banks and more. So, immediately you know that the competition would be strong in this location and will require you to work harder to get paid.
If your sphere of influence is empty and you cannot get properties to sell or perhaps get investors to rent or buy, then you definitely cannot generate a solid income. A real estate agent lives from the commissions made from rentals, sales or referrals, so basically, no client equals zero dollars. The real estate market in Jamaica is currently experiencing a downturn, with high interest rates and less people able to purchase properties.
So, it might not be a good time to enter this field, especially if you are not equipped with a killer sales skill, some good leads and a lot of patience. It can be pretty difficult to break into this market, particularly in the Kingston and St Andrew areas. This is where you will find the majority of Jamaica real estate agents and brokers, so it would not be an easy play field.
However, if you really want to give it a try, by all means go ahead, as the market is likely to bounce back in the next couple of years. The best way to do this is to start off as a part time agent and have a job that can provide some additional income on the side. But, as soon as you start you should start gathering leads and learn as much as you can about this business in order to be ready when the market gets back some momentum.
You can get leads from different mediums and not just from the people in your immediate circle. Good leads can come from emails, newsletters, fliers, newspaper advertisements, referrals from past coworkers, dinner parties, grocery shopping or just about anywhere. The possibilities do exist, sometimes they might not be noticeable, but if you are proactive and eager for work it will happen sooner than you think.
One of the best places to look is in the real estate classifieds that come in the Sunday Gleaner. Most of the times the persons trying to sell on their own will gladly welcome the help and you could get 2 or 3 new clients each week. Keep in mind that some are up-to-date with the happenings in the market and will prefer to sell on their own or just simple to avoid paying commissions.
You are more likely to find this resistance for the high-end properties, such as a prime beachfront lot on the north coast which is suitable for tourist development. But, the bottom line is that they might not be knowledgeable with the entire sale process and you just might be able to convince them to give you the listing. Good luck!