The importance of real estate training

Before the change in legislation and real estate agents requiring a qualification to sell a property, just about anyone who had some sales experience and their own transport was able to make a living from the real estate industry.

With the introduction of qualification and compliance requirements, those days are over and consumers can be assured that the real estate agents who are currently in the industry are professionals who are equipped to deal with every aspect involved a property sales transaction. 
Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that with the current regulatory requirements and qualifications that real estate agents have to obtain in order to trade within the industry, the general standard of professionalism has vastly improved over the past few years.  He notes that these higher standards that are now expected of agents means that they will need to be trained in a variety of disciplines and continue with ongoing training and development to keep up with an evolving industry and market.
For this reason RE/MAX of Southern African is launching their Accredited Global Learning Centre (GLC), a real estate learning academy that will provide agents with the necessary skills and compliance education. The GLC Intern Programme for new recruits, now offered by RE/MAX GLC    is Services SETA accredited.
“Within the real estate industry a professional parameter has been set in order to ensure that consumers are protected. Purchasing a property is one of the biggest financial decisions a person can make, which is way it is so important that the agent handling the deal can provide them with sound and professional guidance to the highest standard,” says Goslett. “The consumer should be able to trust that the agent has the right experience and knowledge to provide them with the correct industry, legal and market information that they require.”
Goslett adds that there are several key qualities that a professional real estate agent working in today’s industry should have, among the most essential qualities one would look for are honesty, product and market knowledge. “Other aspects that make a good real estate agent include someone who is reliable, efficient, and punctual and who has a proactive attitude.  The real estate agent of today needs to be resourceful, highly organised, have excellent negotiating skills and be client-centric.  They also need to be assertive while maintaining a friendly manner, be computer and social-media savvy and have strong face-to-face communication skills to order to build lasting client relationships,” says Goslett.
He notes that it is also essential for an estate agent to understand finance and budgeting in order to assist their clients to determine their affordability levels and find a home that best suits their criteria, while still fitting into their financial constraints. “There is a long list of attributes that a successful real estate needs to have. Perhaps one of the most important qualities that real estate agents require is openness to learning and gaining more knowledge. An agent needs to be able to adapt with the times and keep up with market trends, as well as the ever-changing laws and regulations,” says Goslett.
Technological advancement and the easy access to information on the internet means that it is even more important for real estate agents to be open to learning in order to manage the ever-increasing demands of an informed consumer base. “Consumers have empowered themselves with the knowledge that is available to them, which means that in order to add value, agents must have a greater knowledge of real estate than the consumer. This means that agent and client partnerships are now operating on a higher standard base and agents need to ensure that they are adequately trained to meet the standards,” says Goslett.
Margy Nicol, GLC Development Manager at RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says: “While a large number of real estate professionals within the industry have a tertiary education, specific real estate training is required in order to provide the best possible service.  The GLC has developed a customised version of the EAAB’s compulsory log book, specifically for these highly qualified but inexperienced new entrants to the property industry”
She adds that in order to cater to the range of customer needs in today’s market; agents need to become a rich resource. As a result, real estate-specific training is ever more necessary with both and buyers and sellers looking to work with an agent who is an expert in their field, who can confidently answer, or quickly find answers to host of questions. “If a real estate agent wants to be successful, training is not optional – it is imperative,” Nicol concludes.

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