Persistence has paid off for Rotorua teenager Jon Parrington, who is believed to be one of the youngest people to secure a real estate licence in New Zealand.
Mr Parrington was granted a scholarship by Harcourts Rotorua, giving him 12 months fulltime work, during which he was allowed to study and complete his papers for his real estate qualification.
On December 31 last year he turned 18 - the minimum age for being qualified in the industry - submitted his application, and received his certification the following month.
"He is possibly the youngest in New Zealand," said Harcourts Rotorua director Glenn Austin, who said he had been impressed by the teenager's determination to enter the industry.
"He'd been knocking on my door for more than 18 months asking about a career in real estate. His persistence impressed me. Lots of young guys have great ideas then five minutes later they change their minds, but Jon was determined he was going to be a real estate salesperson. I know he's got aspirations to be more than that at some time."
It was rare to find someone of that age who was so focused, he said.
"On top of that he's been learning every job in the office so that when he does get out there, that will give him a lot more knowledge than the average salesperson who is a lot older than him. And it's great to have young blood coming in."
Mr Parrington was too young to enter the industry directly from school, so first completed a course at Waiariki Institute of Technology, and subsequently worked in a restaurant while persisting with monthly meetings with the Harcourts boss.
"The scholarship meant I was watched and supervised and learnt in the best way possible," he said.
"It provides a great structure to learn everything in the business."
He added that while being young could be seen as a negative, he believed young people had the ambition, drive, motivation and energy to succeed in the industry.
"There is new technology coming into the business and it is great to have tech-educated real estate agents."