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Tuesday Oct 09, 2018

Real estate now an incubator for careers and entrepreneurs

The real Estate sector now an attractive career for young entrepreneurs to alleviate the high unemployment rate according to Ms Ronel Bornman, SeeffÂ’s Manager for Human Resources Development.

The introduction of more stringent requirements for estate agents by the EAAB (Estate Agency Affairs Board) in 2008 was a game changer for the real estate industry, she says. It brought about new qualification requirements, aligning the profession to the Services SETA and National Qualifications Framework.

In terms of the regulations, the career of a real estate agent now comprises of three phases:

Intern Agent (FETC: Real Estate NQF4 and internship)
When you enter the real estate profession, you have to complete the Further Education and Training Certificate in Real Estate NQF4 along with a 12-month internship programme which can run concurrent. During the internship, the Intern Agent will work with a full-status agent to perform various tasks in real estate and work towards the completion of a log book which is submitted to the EAAB and portfolio of evidence facilitated through a Services Seta accredited Training Provider.

An intern agent usually works under the mentorship of a full-status agent, learning the ins and outs of the industry. The intern may sell property, but all legal documentation including mandates and contracts just be signed only in the presence of a full-status agent or principal. The mentor is required to sign off all activities in the logbook.

Full-status agent (PDE Exam, FFC)
Once the EAAB is satisfied that the intern agent has satisfied the requirements, the agent will be permitted to write the Professional Designate Exam (PDE). Upon qualification, the agent then becomes a full-status agent and can then operate on their own, but cannot yet run their own agency. Every full-status agent must have a valid FFC (Fidelity Fund Certificate) which is issued by the EAAB and must be renewed annually for it to be valid.

Principal agent (National Certificate: Real Estate NQF5, one-year service on full status)
While working as an estate agent largely requires an entrepreneurial mind set, there may come a time that you want to work for yourself and set up your own agency. For this, you will need to qualify as a real estate principal. You would have to complete a full year as a full-status agent where after you will need to complete the National Certificate NQF level 5 training through a Services SETA accredited training provider and write the relevant PDE (Professional Designate Exam) level 5 exam.

Ms Bornman says that the new career path of an estate agent requires significant training on an ongoing basis as there is also the requirement to complete annual CPD (Continued Professional Development) training and accumulate points. This is something which recently caught many estate agents off guard as the EAAB has disqualified more than 4 300 agents for failing to comply with these CPD requirements.

Training and development of 873 learners
As far back as 2013, Seeff realised the need to set up a Services SETA accredited in-house training academy to assist agent, from the internship level all the way through to the NQF5 level and especially with the CPD training, says Ms Bornman. The Seeff SMART Academy has become one of the draw-cards for Seeff to attract top class candidates many of whom have gone on to become successful agents.

The flagship programme offered is the structured intern programme including the logbook requirements which provides the intern with all the building blocks to become a successful agent which includes integrated FETC: Real Estate NQF level 4 training with practical and workplace activities, and finally preparation for the exam.
Since 2013, Seeff has trained 973 learners, investing some 108 976 hours and securing grants of R12.212 million to complete their programme.

Licensee opportunities for successful entrepreneurs
Seeff does not stop at just training agents, but offers entrepreneurial opportunities for successful agents to become a Seeff branded operation. The Seeff license model is a more affordable option compared to franchised brands, yet it offers the benefits of being part of a successful national brand backed by the latest technology. The license model also provides the opportunity to remain an owner-operated company, but under a very successful umbrella brand which will allow you to further expand and grow your business within your area.

Seeff does not stop at just training agents, but offers entrepreneurial opportunities for successful agents to become a Seeff branded operation. The Seeff license model is a more affordable option compared to franchised brands, yet it offers the benefits of being part of a successful national brand backed by the latest technology. The license model also provides the opportunity to remain an owner-operated company, but under a very successful umbrella brand which will allow you to further expand and grow your business within your area.

 
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