08 Jul 2019

The benefit of a rigorous apprenticeship

REBAA is the national industry association for buyer’s agents. Members abide by a strict code of conduct and full member status requires a minimum of two years’ of consistent buyer agency work. Licensing, appropriate insurances and sponsorship from two existing members are part of the entrant criteria. REBAA focuses on promoting their members, raising market awareness of our industry body, and always seeks to protect consumers from industry misconduct and risk. REBAA caters to learner and provisional members and offers a mentoring program for those who seek one-on-one support from an experienced buyer’s agent.

In the next of our series on ‘The benefit of a rigorous apprenticeship’, we ask REBAA QLD member, Zoran Solano, to share his apprenticeship experiences with honest reflection and candour:

When we talk about a rigorous apprenticeship, none are as intense as living with your mentor full time.

Like some high school kids, Zoran had a part-time job outside of school. While most were working in retail or hospitality gigs, he was working with his mum, award-winning buyer’s agent and long-standing REBAA member, Liz Wilcox from Hot Property Buyers Agency. 

“Weekends for me were a mix of open for inspections, auctions and listening to my mum on the phone making work calls,” Zoran reflects.

“Loud speaker in the car became my class room. The constant conversation listening to a client talking with my mother and then at the other end hearing, hearing her negotiate with selling agents all gave me valuable experience that I only now realise helps me in my day-to-day work.”

But for Zoran, property was in his blood. His grandfather, an Italian migrant, had used his modest income to purchase investment properties and some of Zoran’s earliest childhood memories were doing maintenance and renovating rental properties.

“Once a month or so, I remember jumping in the car with my uncles, loading up the lawn mowers and going around to the blocks of flats my family owned,” he said.

“Half the time I would be too young to keep up with the mowing so I would just sit with some of the tenants and have tea and biscuits.“

Knowing he would have a career in buyer’s agency, Zoran finished school and waited a year before his 18th birthday to apply for his real estate licence. During this time he held a position in operations management for a traffic control company. Again providing people management skills that would become invaluable in buyer’s agency.

“A few months before turning 18, I went into the REIQ to undertake my training for my real estate licence and on my 18th birthday when most teenagers are getting their car licenses, I submitted the paperwork to the Office of Fair trading and within a few weeks I was running my own clients under the close supervision of my mother Liz,” recalls Zoran.

“Since then I have never looked back. Over the years I have spent times working in various disciplines of real estate including sales, auctioneering and property management. All of these experiences have helped me shape a well-rounded view of property to the benefit my clients, as well as for my own investments.”

Being a part of REBAA throughout Zoran’s 12-year career as a buyer’s agent has also opened doors for him to learn from like-minded experienced professionals and mentor others within the industry.

“The ability to meet with my peers in a social and educational environment has allowed me to create some great relationships within what is a cottage industry of sole practitioners,” he says.

“Sometimes in business you feel very alone but the ability to call on others within the small fraternity of the buyers agency industry has been one of the best value propositions of being a REBAA member.”