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Moving to Melbourne to work in Real Estate? Here's some common questions answered

Melbourne – named Australia’s most liveable city and 10th in the world in Global Livability Index 2022, the title is awarded to our beautiful city with the highest score for stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. You can see why Melbourne is projected to be the fastest growing capital city in Australia from 2023-24 on, overtaking Sydney to become the nation’s largest city in 2029-30 at just over 5.9 million people!

So, if you have decided to make Melbourne your home, let us give you some important pointers to keep in mind when moving to Melbourne. These are perhaps the most common questions we get asked.

We’ve written this article specifically for those looking to make real estate/property the sector they want to work in, as here at Spire Recruitment, it’s our area of expertise and we are always talking with people from interstate, or outside of Australia looking to move to Melbourne to work in property roles.

As of February 2023, states there are 479 active Real Estate agencies in Melbourne. Melbourne is a very large city of just over 5 million people so while clinging to the excitement of moving to this fabulous metropolis, we cannot stress enough the importance of doing your research first.

Real Estate Qualifications – Is My Interstate/Overseas Qualification recognised?

You may be working as a Property Manager or Sales Agent where you currently live and you may have the (local) legal qualifications to be employed to work in this space. Real Estate qualifications from some Australian states are mutually recognised, but some are not. Lots of changes happened in Sept 2021 and you MAY need to completely re-sit the Certificate 4 in Real Estate Practice (CPP41419) to legally work in these fields in Victoria. Our recommendation before going anywhere, is reach out to the Consumer Affairs Victoria to see if your qualification will be mutually accepted.

If you find you need to complete the Certificate 4 in Real Estate Practice to allow you to work in property roles, head along to our website to find out more about this qualification. This includes where you can study, costs, which positions require the Cert 4 and which don’t etc. Remember for many roles, it is a legal requirement (i.e., New Zealand does not require a legal qualification to work in property management like it does in Sales) you cannot just turn up with your suitcase and step into a job without this certification!

Distance and Traffic

Some people underestimate the time (and traffic) to get between distances in Melbourne. They don’t call Punt Road ‘the car park’ for nothing. When looking at accommodation, do not look at a map and guesstimate how long it will take to travel a certain distance to work. This is a rookie mistake made by many, travel times can blow out considerably in peak hours, even if the journey is only a few short kilometres. Wherever possible, travel the distance from your home to your potential new place of work prior to accepting a role.

Property Managers/Sales Agents – Do you need a car for work purposes?

Many real estate companies located in cities/States, other than Melbourne/Victoria provide their property managers with company cars. This used to also be the case in Melbourne many years ago, but today, most companies will expect you to provide your own vehicle for work purposes. Fairwork Australia states if an employee needs to provide a vehicle for work purposes, they will be compensated by way of a motor vehicle allowance or be paid a km rate up to a maximum of 400km per week at a rate of 91c per km. There are still some companies that provide a company car, you will of course need a current Victorian driver’s license to operate the car and be covered by the company insurance policy.

Interviews – Do I always need to attend in person?

One of the silver linings Covid provided is the significant increase in the use of Zoom and Teams interviews. We have many candidates who may be living outside of Melbourne or Australia and make the most of interviewing via a video call for their initial meeting. SOME even get offered the position without a face-to-face meeting, as everyone is very happy with the meeting and happy to proceed. What we probably see more of is where an initial video meeting takes place, and then the candidate meets face to face once they arrive (and may be offered the role at that point) or a candidate will travel to Melbourne, specifically to interview, in person.

This can be a better way, where possible, as both parties can get a better feel for the other, the candidate can see the office/meet the team etc. There is no ‘best practice’ method, sometimes distance or time frames do not allow for a face-to-face meeting.

Superannuation – Adding 10.5% on to your Salary.

We are adding this section in, as many people moving to Australia, do not understand Australian Superannuation. Superannuation is a compulsory system of placing a percentage of your income into a fund to support your financial needs in retirement. Your employer will need to contribute to your super once a person reaches the age of 18. As at January 2023, the super rate is set at 10.5% of your income. This will increase by .5% at the start of each financial year until it reaches 12% in 2025. When starting work in Australia, you will need to provide your employer with your Superannuation providers details so they can start paying into this fund on your behalf.

Here is the important part for newbies. When discussing salaries, always check if the employer is talking base or package. Excuse me… what? Base is where a base amount is paid PLUS super. Package is base plus super combined – a total salary package. For instance, an employer may say the salary on offer is a $60,000 package. This figure is made up of a base salary of $54,299 plus super (10.5%) of $5,701, giving a salary package equalling $60,000. You will receive $54,29 (less tax) and the super component of $5,701 will be paid, by your employer, into your nominated super account.

If your salary offer is $60,000 plus super, you will be paid $60,000 base, plus $6,300 super.

To calculate your anticipated salary, click here. Remember to click ‘Salary includes super’ or not, as the case may be.

Melbourne is certainly a fantastic place to live so if you are thinking of making the move, we are always happy to talk to you more about questions you may have! Feel free to reach out to us on 03 9000 5617

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