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Tuesday Apr 28, 2009

New qualification is worth the effort

THE real estate industry, like many other business sectors in South Africa, is subject to a range of regulatory changes aimed at making estate agents more proficient.

While many in the industry regard the extra training associated with this as a schlep, the government, through the Department of Trade and Industry, requires all agents to attain a specific standard by December 2011 if they want to practice as real estate agents.

Jill Corfield is a veteran trainer in the real estate industry, a former Estate Agency Affairs Board Member and contributing author to the new study guide recently published by the EAAB.

She says the new regulations have hit the industry like a tidal wave.

"Going through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process is rather like being pregnant - it is awful while you are going through,  but once you hold that beautiful baby (Portfolio of Evidence) in your arms, you forget about the pain and the misery and just glow in the satisfaction of having become a qualified, full status agent."

Corfield says agents resist the process, not because the material is difficult, but because they have little time to do assignments while working hard trying to earn money in a subdued market.

"Self-discipline and strict time management are the keys to success in this venture."

Corfield says all agents should enter the qualification process sooner rather than later, because it is a differentiator in an industry with so many unqualified agents.

"Agents who already have achieved this are a true testimony to this as they will all say, irrespective of which assessment centre they used, the knowledge they learnt as a result of the exercise was brilliant," she said.

"They all feel they have moved to the next level, are more professional, and are able to offer a much more comprehensive, informed ser-vice to their buyers and sellers."

Corfield says she attended a meeting at the Estate Agency Affairs Board on April 17 where she was handed a copy of the long-awaited new Study Guide for the Professional Estate Agent - NQF Level 4, which is the official training curriculum for intern agents.

Corfield says the earlier publication, An Introduction to the Fundamental Principles of Estate Agency, will remain a valuable asset in the real estate library.

She says that the material for the principal at NQF Level 5 is also only months away.-Sunday Tribune


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