MultiNET Chief Executive Shaun Rademeyer. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - South Africa is facing a crisis of high and rising youth unemployment where only 1 in 3 young people of working age are employed. 

This distressing statistic not only plays out through the limited earnings potential and future prospects of these youth, but also emerges in stymied business growth.

This number could, however, be minimised if the public and private sector join forces to build a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem for the younger generation, 

"There are a number of great job opportunities for young people in the South African property market. From youth with practical hands-on abilities to do things like electrical or plumbing work, to those who prefer to sell or to arrange bonds, contracts and financing," said MultiNET Chief Executive Shaun Rademeyer.

While being a residential real estate agent is one of the most common career opportunities associated with the property industry, it is by no means the only one. The industry has depth and breadth, and there are many other jobs young people can explore. 

"There are also the more physical aspects of selling a house where manual labour is needed to make the property sellable,” says Rademeyer, “from the painting to plumbing, to electrical work. Youngsters who develop these trade and technical skills can easily go on to establish their own businesses and provide much needed jobs for others," said Rademeyer. 

Career opportunities in real estate

We’ve put together a list of jobs that are both challenging and have the potential to be profitable new careers for South Africa’s youth.

1. Web developers, social media and SEO specialists, AutoCAD designers

The property industry is increasingly using technological solutions to market and sell properties and even to generate home loan applications. Almost every traditional real estate business now has a need for IT-focused employees.

2. Town planner, quantity surveyor, property evaluator

For young people with a passion for mathematics and science, there are a number of great opportunities that require a minimum of a four-year BSc degree in Town Planning or Quantity Surveying.

The BSc Urban and Regional Planning is a three-year undergraduate degree, plus one-year BSc Honours in Urban and Regional Planning. 

To become a quantity surveyor you will need a BSc degree or a national diploma in quantity surveying. You can do an honours degree in your fourth year. 

A property valuer determines the value of immovable property for various purposes. To practise as a property valuer, a diploma or degree in property valuation.

3. Builder, cleaning services, painter, handyman, plumber or electrician

There is a growing demand for qualified artisans in South Africa and right now is the perfect time to pursue this line of work. Career opportunities include plumbing, carpentry, building, electrical expertise or professional cleaning. Most of these require that you do an apprenticeship whilst completing the required studies in your chosen field.

4.  Property practitioner

To start with, there is a 12-month internship where the young person will be paired with a more experienced agent who will teach them the proverbial ropes. They will also benefit from on-the-job training.

The new agent will have to complete an NQF4 Further Education and Training Certificate (FETC) in Real Estate with a Services SETA (SSETA) accredited training provider and a Professional Designation Examination (PDE), conducted by the EAAB.

5.  Attorney or Conveyancer

Property Lawyers help clients deal with a wide range of property-related issues. 

South African law requires that prospective lawyers obtain an LLB degree, work several years in a legal setting and pass an admissions exam before they are able to qualify and practise. You must also be at least 21-years-old and a citizen or legal resident of South Africa.

6. Home Loans Consultant

Home Loans Consultants assist clients with loan and mortgage decisions. Their duties may include contacting people to ask if they want a loan, meeting with loan applicants and explaining different loan options. They also analyse applicants' financial information and choose whether or not to offer a loan. Loan consultants generally work in an institution such as a bank or a bond originator.

To become a Home Loans Consultant in South Africa you ideally need an undergraduate degree in business, finance or another relevant field. 

7. Insurance Advisor/Broker

Insurance Brokers need a wealth of knowledge about all sorts of insurance products and advise clients on which options will suit them best. Brokers also assist clients when they need to make a claim against their policy to see the claim through, and ensure that they are paid out what they deserve.

An insurance broker sells policies from various insurance companies to clients for a variety of things including home insurance.

Insurance brokers require little formal education but must be licensed with the Financial Services Board of South Africa. 

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