New career – new you! From barista to BDM

Careers,  Buyers and sellers

What do a barista and a real estate professional have in common?

A lot actually, according to recent REIQ graduate Nathalie Southwell.

Southwell – who now works as a business development manager at Macwell Property Management – held a number of customer service roles before pursuing a career in real estate.

However, it’s the skills that she learnt behind the coffee machine that proved the most valuable when transitioning into a career in real estate.

“Building rapport with complete strangers and turning them into what feels like personal acquaintances is not a requirement of your role as a barista, but it definitely helps,” says Southwell.

“Working as a barista seems as simple as making a coffee, putting it on the counter and not seeing that person again.

“I took it upon myself to always learn people’s names, what they liked and didn’t like, what they did for work, how their family was and always conversed with them – even on their worst days.”

Southwell says these interactions – no matter how small – helped her to build a bigger picture of a customer’s life in a short amount of time, which has been exceedingly helpful in her new role in real estate.

“I have found that these skills have been vital in my transition to real estate, as I deal with lots of different people on a daily basis.”

Southwell decided to study a registration course with the REIQ, in the hopes of securing a position as a receptionist with a real estate agency,
However, her training with the REIQ accelerated her career faster than expected.

“I had always had an interest in real estate, especially the leasing/management side of property and settled on the thought that maybe I could start out as a receptionist and work my way up,” says Southwell.

“It all blew up quickly from there.

“The REIQ training is presented and delivered in the most accessible way and has been one of the only courses that I have gotten more out of it than just a piece of paper.”

The up-and-coming BDM says although her career in real estate is just beginning, the early months have already proven to be an exciting and enjoyable challenge.

“Real estate is not a one-size-fits-all industry and I am learning very quickly that it has no limitations or boundaries,” says Southwell.

“No two days are the same, and I am constantly meeting new people and building my own network within the realm of real estate, which is pretty exciting.

“The future of my career in real estate will be very eventful and exciting and I can’t wait to put in the hard work and grow from here on with the wonderful opportunity I have been given.”

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