Property has become an increasingly popular Covid-career option with more than 10 people a day enrolling to study real estate at just one institute.

The Skills Organisation has has had to employ two staff members to cope with the increased workload as people sign up for the NZ Certificate in Real Estate.

The school also recorded a 578 per cent increase in inquiries about the real estate course from January and February to March/April.

Garry Fissenden at The Skills Organisation said the increase was huge but this was followed by sign-ups as well.

"There has been an increase of 53 per cent over the previous year – that means we have been essentially signing up over 10 new trainees every day when we would normally be signing up five," he said.

"We've had to employ extra staff members just to cope with that volume."

Enrolments had also doubled at the Open Polytechnic, where 452 full-time students enrolled in the real estate certificate in recent months compared to 283 for the same period last year.

Chief executive Dr Caroline Seelig said there was also a marked increase in numbers for programmes such as construction, financial services, horticulture, business studies and psychology.

"Anecdotally, we're seeing increased diversity in the range of students enrolling in real estate since the Covid-19 national lockdown, including pilots, flight attendants, school leavers as well as immigrants who are relocating to New Zealand."

Fissenden had noted the same at The Skills Organisation and said those signing up were committed to finishing the study quickly and getting to work as soon as possible.

"One thing that is being noticed is the urgency of people wanting to complete is more intense."

Garry Fissenden said more than 10 people were signing up for real estate study every day. Photo / Supplied
Garry Fissenden said more than 10 people were signing up for real estate study every day. Photo / Supplied

"The Skills Organisation allows the trainees more flexibility to pace themselves as they learn, which allows them to get into the real estate market earlier – so obviously this is a bonus."

Real estate agencies had also reported a rise in people wanting to get into the industry.

Industry veteran Don Ha of Remax said a lot of people out of work because of the global pandemic were looking to property sales.

"We know as a result of Covid-19, many New Zealanders have been looking to retrain and real estate gives them the opportunity to quickly reset their career and future," Ha said.

"We want to tap into the huge talent pool out there and provide a life-changing experience for those who want to join us."

Ha was offering new recruits a place in the Remax Rookie programme - an intensive six-week training course that covered everything from marketing and social media to events and prospecting. Materials were available online 24/7 to help new entrants.

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Students could then go on to compete in the Rookie of the Year competition.

Participants compete for a car and a years' worth of personal mentoring by Don Ha valued at $30,000.

Gemma Rowlinson said real estate was rewarding work but the hours were long and irregular. Photo / Supplied
Gemma Rowlinson said real estate was rewarding work but the hours were long and irregular. Photo / Supplied

To be eligible for the competition, participants must be licensed for less than two years on the official start date of January 1, 2021.

Remax agent Gemma Rowlinson won the Rookie of the Year for 2019 and said anyone starting in real estate needed a good mentor.

"I'd suggest finding that person and going along to anything and everything with them from appraisals to open homes to absorb everything they know."

She said real estate was a great industry but the rewards didn't come as easily as some thought.

"It is a lot of hard work and long hours," she said.

"You have to put yourself out there and know that a lot of your workday is at the weekend and in the evenings. It's 24/7 rea

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