Identify Property Industry Employment Requirements (Stock and Station)

Identify Property Industry Employment Requirements (Stock and Station)

Identify property industry employment requirements (stock and station)



Starting work in the stock and station sector

Getting started

Employment conditions

The NSW industrial relations process

Real Estate Industry (State) Award 2003

Office presentation

Personal presentation

What should you wear?

Personal hygiene

Body language and non-verbal interaction

First impressions



Verbal presentation

Meeting and greeting customers

Written presentation


Diversity of cultures

The importance of diversity in the workplace

Eliminating discrimination in the workplace

Non-English speaking backgrounds

Equal employment opportunity

Personality types

Professional development

The Office of Fair Trading

Other government entities

Professional associations

Other professional associations

Check your learning



When you commence work in the property industry, you will realise you have entered a large, diverse and vibrant profession. Whether you’re working in real estate, stock and station, valuation or in any of the many professional associations supporting the industry, you will find yourself on an exciting journey of discovery. As with most things, you learn best when you’re able to put your knowledge into practice, by carrying out the day-to-day functions assigned to you in your new role.

It’s important as you take these first steps that you have a sense of the traits most likely to help you succeed — that is, what makes you ‘employable’. At the same time, it’s important to know your rights as well as your responsibilities in the workplace.

For example, in the modern day workplace, it is especially important to be aware of our responsibility to support diversity — both internally and externally. This means our attitude to customers and colleagues who are different to ourselves needs to be examined. You are extremely likely to encounter differences in gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation, religious belief, and even personality.

The way you act as well as the way you look; the way you behave as well as the way you approach your own professional development are all factors that can assist or compromise your success in the industry.

This topic will support you in building the following knowledge and skills:

  • identify employment requirements for the property industry, including your rights and responsibilities as a stock and station agency employee
  • use effective communication strategies to build rapport with customers
  • assess your own personal presentation and professional image
  • identify opportunities for continuing training.

Starting work in the stock and station sector

Stock and station agents are employed either by large pastoral companies or small private agencies. The demand for stock and station agents depends on the state of the rural industry, which is affected by factors such as interest rates, commodity markets, overseas prices for primary products and seasonal conditions.

Getting started

You can work as a stock and station agent without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. However, entry to this occupation may be improved if you have relevant qualifications and/or knowledge and experience in related areas such as livestock, bookkeeping, insurance and real estate.

You can also become a stock and station agent through a traineeship in Property (Livestock Services) or Rural Business. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

As costs, duration and entry requirements vary, you should ask your TAFE NSW teacher for further details about how best to progress your career.


Whenever you start a new job at a new organisation, there is likely to be an ‘induction’ period.

An induction is a structured program in which you are introduced to your new colleagues and work area, the tasks expected of you and the systems and processes by which you will be expected to work. Its prime objective is to get you up and running in your new role as soon as possible. A thorough induction will usually have outcomes to help you survive your first day, your first week and your first month.

Your induction period is often also known as a ‘probation period’. Being on probation recognises that both you and your organisation are still feeling your way. Until you’re performing your new role, it’s difficult for you to know whether it’s a role in which you feel totally comfortable and competent and confident it’s the role that will make you happy. On the other hand, until your organisation observes you performing this role, it’s difficult for them to be assured that you are the right person for the job.

So use the induction period to convince your employer they’ve made the right decision in giving you the job.

Employment conditions

In much the same way that there are laws in NSW and in Australia which protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices in the market place, there are other laws which protect employees from unscrupulous behaviour of employers. This area of law is known as ‘Industrial Relations’. Let’s look more closely at the factors that determine pay and employment conditions that will impact your career as a stock and station employee.

The NSW industrial relations process

Two approaches are used to determine the terms and conditions under which people are employed in the real estate industry – in fact in many industries:

  • the traditional award system
  • a system of registered agreements, the results of ‘collective bargaining’ processes with individuals or groups of individuals.

You should be clear that the traditional award system covers the majority of those who work in the real estate industry, and to date, only a handful of specific enterprise agreements have been registered in the property industry.

Enterprise agreements

An enterprise agreement sets out the minimum conditions of employment for employees engaged in particular types of work in the same way as an award. However, unlike most awards, enterprise agreements are specific to a particular enterprise or project.

Enterprise agreements are negotiated voluntarily between the two parties involved, that is, the employer on the one hand and either the individual employees concerned or a union on behalf of those employees on the other.

All agreements must comply with relevant NSW or federal laws that provide employment rights and obligations, such as minimum entitlements to parental, annual and long service leave. An enterprise agreement must have a dispute resolution procedure where there are more than 20 employees.

As the agreement is negotiated between an employer and their employees directly, unions and employer groups may be excluded from the process.

No doubt you became aware of the public attention surrounding industrial relations through the changes introduced to the collective bargaining process by the former (Howard) federal Government. These reforms, known as Work Choices, included a transition to a new type of collectively bargained agreement called an Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA).


Despite the availability of enterprise bargaining, most people in Australia still work under an industrial award that establishes the terms and conditions by which they are employed. The real estate industry award is determined in accordance with the Commonwealth Industrial Relations Act 1996 (Cth).

Whereas most employees working on the land are covered by the Pastoral Employees (State) Award, as a stock and station agency employee, but depending on your specific role, you are very likely to be covered by one of two awards:

  • The Real Estate Industry (State) Award 2003 — applies to the majority of people employed in the property industry
  • The Real Estate Industry (Clerical and Administrative)(State) Award 2002 — covers additional real estate employees.

Other awards include:

  • Real Estate Industry (State) Training Wage Award
  • Real Estate Industry (State) Superannuation Award
  • Real Estate Valuers (State) Consolidated Award (for real estate valuers)
  • Clerical Industry (State) Training Wage Award
  • sundry awards that apply to cleaners, caretakers, gardeners and so on.

Real Estate Industry (State) Award 2003

This Award covers salespeople, property managers, property officers, licensees-in-charge and commission-only salespeople who work in the industry, including stock and station agencts. It sets out the minimum terms and conditions under which they may be employed.

In broad terms, your employment conditions are established in two ways: by the award and by statute. For example, rates of pay are provided by the award itself, while holiday entitlements and long service leave are stipulated in other particular pieces of legislation.

Note that the award conditions, provisions and entitlements cover many issues that impact on your day-to-day activities and work arrangements. These include such considerations as:

  • job classifications
  • rates of pay
  • rostered days off
  • locomotion allowance
  • telephone allowance
  • Employment Agreements
  • payment of expenses
  • meal breaks
  • supply and use of mobile phones
  • requirement to wear uniforms
  • salesperson’s commission statement
  • leave eg sick leave, maternity leave, long service leave, compassionate leave, annual holiday leave (and leave loading)
  • public holidays
  • jury service
  • superannuation
  • grievance procedures
  • termination of employment
  • redundancy arrangements and severance pay

The most important of these provisions from your point of view is the Employment Agreement, which summarises your pay and conditions. We’ll look at it in more detail shortly.

To see the Award, go to and search for the Real Estate Industry (State) Award 2003.

Let’s now investigate job classifications and provisions for days off, and move on to review the grievance procedure provided under the award.

Job classifications under the Award

The number of employment classifications covered by the Award is quite extensive. You should be aware of the functions and pay scales of the major classifications. The following summary should help:


A licensee-in-charge is a holder of a licence under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act who is employed to be the person in charge of a place of business, as required by the Act.

Licensees-in-charge may not be employed on a part-time, casual or commission-only basis. They must be full-time employees who are effectively in charge of an office.


A salesperson is employed to sell or lease land and buildings. The Award also covers people who sell project homes, businesses, timeshares, retirement accommodation as well as stock and station salespeople, but not those involved in the sale of livestock.

There are three classifications of salesperson: commission-only, salaried and probationary.

  1. Commission-only salespeople work for an agreed percentage of the commission on settled sales. They are not paid a weekly salary or allowances but they do have entitlement to payment for annual and long service leave, and rostered days off. Employers make provisions to supply mobile phones and uniforms, or reimburse the costs associated with their use.
  2. Salespeople working on a commission-only basis must hold a real estate, stock and station or business agent’s licence.

Salaried salespeople are paid a weekly salary, allowances and commission in accordance with their employment agreement.

  1. Probationary salespeople are employed on a weekly basis, but are paid a minimum salary of 80 per cent of the prescribed weekly rate for a salaried salesperson. To prevent exploitation of their position, the following additional conditions apply:
  2. the period of probationary employment is a maximum of six months
  3. only one probationary salesperson can be employed for every two other salespeople, unless they are the first salesperson employed by the office.

All other provisions of the award and normal allowances apply.

Probationary employment is usually offered to people who have not been in the industry before and whose income-earning capacity is unknown.

Note the award specifically states that a “salesperson” is not a person employed for the majority of their time in the sale of livestock.

Property manager

This property manager has responsibility for the property management functions of an agency for and on behalf of any employer of “any rural property including, but not limited to dairy farms, sheep and wheat stations, mixed produce farms, fruit or nut plantations, market gardens and mini-farms, with or without improvements whether built or to be built”.

The property manager’s role includes the supervision of property officers.

Property officer

A property officer is someone who assists the property manager in the property management functions of an agency.

Their salary is calculated according to a system of three grades:

  1. Grade 1: a minimum of three years’ experience in property management and the ability to work with limited supervision
  2. Grade 2: a minimum of one year’s experience, and the ability to work under general supervision
  3. Grade 3: less than one year’s experience, and requiring direct supervision; that is, direct instructions and regular progress checks.

For any property officer under the age of 21, a sliding scale based on a percentage of the Grade 2 salary operates:

  • 20 years: 80 per cent of Grade 2 rate
  • 19 years: 70 per cent of Grade 2 rate
  • 18 years: 60 per cent of Grade 2 rate.

Property officers who work their way through this scale until they reach the age of 21 automatically move to Grade 2 pay rates, since they then meet the experience criterion.

These classifications may only apply to salaried salespeople, property managers and property officers — not to casual or part-time employees.

Casual and part-time employment

Casual employment arrangements are unlikely to occur very often; however, provision for such an arrangement has been made in the award. Casual sales employees are employed and paid by the day, whereas casual property managers and officers and auctioneers and agricultural consultatns are employed and paid by the hour. Travel and other allowances are paid on a day-to-day basis, calculated as one fifth (20%) of the weekly rate for each day worked.

Part-time employment applies to salespeople who work less than five, but at least two, days per week and who are paid on a daily basis of one fifth of the prescribed salary for each day worked. It also covers property managers and property officers who regularly work fewer than 38 hours per week and are paid one thirty-eighth of the prescribed salary for each hour worked.

Part-time employees also qualify for payment of travel and other allowances on the basis of the daily or hourly rate applicable. All other provisions of the award, such as holiday and sick leave are calculated on the basis of one fifth of the entitlement for each day worked.

Grievance procedure under the Award

The grievance procedure provided in the industry award outlines the mechanism for resolving disputes. If you find yourself involved in a dispute with your employer over a matter contained in the award, remember that you should follow the established procedures in resolving it. These are recorded in Part A, Clause 18 of the Award. See: Grievance Procedures.

Salaries and commissions under the Award

Salaries and commissions are covered in Part B of the Real Estate Industry (State) Award 2003.There is no requirement under the Award for a commission or incentive scheme to be paid to the employee, although it is very much an industry standard to do so in the fields of selling, and increasingly so in the field of property management. If employers don’t offer such incentives, then there is a real risk that they won’t hold onto or attract the better employees.

Different offices have different incentive schemes, and employees will negotiate their own scheme depending on their job classification, whether they are licensed, and the level of their skills, knowledge and experience.

Neither the salesperson nor the agency is entitled to their commission until the sale is completed or ‘settles’. This can be 6 weeks or longer after the contract for sale is exchanged.

Office presentation

While every workplace is different, most will have a waiting area, customer service area or front desk. These areas—and the area outside the front entrance—should make a good impression on all who enter.

Comfortable chairs, pot plants or flowers, a water cooler, and current magazines reflecting the nature of the business will all contribute to an overall positive image.

Where customers see old copies of The Land or The Rural Press lying around your office, they are very likely to think you and your colleagues are not up to date with current livestock or other agricultural prices and issues that concern them.