Getting started in real estate

Before you join Barfoot & Thompson, there are some things you need to know about how the industry operates and what steps you need to take to get started in real estate.


1. Getting licensed

To work as a real estate agent in New Zealand you must be licensed by the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA), unless you are a lawyer or a licensed auctioneer.

Applying for a licence

You can apply for a licence from the REAA once you've got all the required qualifications and have advertised your application.

What qualifications do you need?

Before you apply for a real estate licence, there are certain qualifications you will need which change depending on the role you want to have:

  • Salesperson - National Certificate in Real Estate Level 4 
  • Branch manager - National Certificate in Real Estate Level 5, version 3 or later

If you have a recognised property degree and want to apply for a real estate licence, you will need to complete an assessment.


It costs around $1500 to $2000 to get your real estate certificate.

Training providers

Barfoot & Thompson trainee program

Our new trainee program is designed to guide and support potential salespeople through their real estate qualification.

If you are accepted as a "trainee salesperson", you'll be able to study for your National Certificate in Real Estate (Salesperson Level 4) via our online learning system. The course is provided by The Skills Organisation for a cost of $1,095. You’ll be supported by your Barfoot & Thompson Manager and the Training Department as you work your way through the 11 unit standards.

Upon successfully completing the qualification, you'll be eligible to apply for a salesperson's license via the REAA, allowing you to sell property in New Zealand.

To find out more and apply, download our information pack and enrolment process.

Please note: To be accepted into this programme, you need to have an contract of engagement with one of our branches (you'll find this in the enrolment pack). To begin this process, we suggest visiting a few of your local branches and speaking with branch managers to find out whether they have any availability. Once you have found a branch to work at, fill in the enrolment forms, make the payment and send the form in to be processed.

Other training options

There are a number of other educational institutions which provide these qualifications, including the ones below:

Find out more about licensing, qualifications and training from the REAA.

2. Becoming an independent contractor

To become a real estate agent, you need to work for a licensed real estate company such as Barfoot & Thompson. You then become an independent contractor, running your own business under the umbrella of the Barfoot & Thompson brand. Find out more about becoming an independent contractor from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

3. Maintaining your licence

Once you've joined Barfoot & Thompson, you can achieve all your compulsory REAA requirements in-house for free. Find out more about the ongoing training we provide.

Want to find out more about sales?

Property management

Property management is very different to sales and does not require people to have a real estate licence. Property managers are not independent contractors.

There are different types of roles within this team, including property managers, support staff and administrators. All members of our team are passionate about the real estate industry and customer service.

Have further questions about property management?

Joining the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ)

If you're salesperson, once you've joined Barfoot & Thompson you will automatically be signed up with REINZ, a national voluntary membership organisation.