Call for real estate industry ‘development plan’

Qualified and experienced agents are becoming like top soccer players – an elite band increasingly to be found only in the “big name” teams in the real estate industry, or operating in niche markets..
The reason, says Lew Geffen, chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty in SA, is that only the larger groups can currently offer the extensive training, technology and marketing resources they need to be able to perform at their best and advance their careers.
“Theoretically, anyone can become an estate agent at any time by taking the appropriate courses, passing the set exams and registering with the Estate Agency Affairs Board.
“However, there is considerable expense involved in obtaining the NQF level 4 and 5 qualifications that are now compulsory in SA, and besides that, new entrants have to do a year’s apprenticeship. What is more, the slow market at present means that new agents have to count on having to support themselves for at least six months before they can expect to start earning.
“This is all impacting badly on the industry as the traditional entrants were divorced mothers who needed to earn big money but are now thoroughly put off by the idea of the year’s apprenticeship. There are obviously also not very many people who can live without earnings for six months so entry to the industry at this time is very restricted and the number of active agents remains low. Indeed, there are now only around 30 000, compared to more than 80 000 at the height of the property boom three years ago.”
Geffen says there is an advantage for consumers in the current situation, in that most of the agents left in the industry are seasoned professionals who have proved that they know how to get results in a tough market.
“These are also the agents who have been quick to appreciate the increasing complexities of the property sale and purchase process in SA  – and who are so committed that they have embraced the new qualification requirements as an opportunity to further increase their skills and professionalism.”
But there is also danger here, he says, and that is the possibility of dousing the lively entrepreneurial spirit that encourages people to enter the real estate industry and that makes good agents great. “Just as in soccer or any other sport, interest is likely to wane fast if only the big teams can afford to play and then they field the same players over and over again.
“What really keeps competition alive is the possibility of an underdog team making it into the big league, or a star player emerging from obscurity. Our industry urgently needs a development initiative to make sure that talent does not go unrecognised or unrewarded for lack of resources – and more importantly to ensure that our service to consumers keeps being honed by healthy competition.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Cape Town’s popularity as a world-class tourist destination has resulted in a spike in the number of homes available for holiday lets and fuelled investor demand for sectional title units with short term rental potential.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      Sappi, one of South Africa’s oldest global companies and a leading global supplier of sustainable woodfibre products, has moved its global and regional headquarters to a new site on the corner of Oxford and 14th Avenue in Rosebank.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      There’s an old saying in real estate that you should seek to make a profit when you buy, not only when you sell – and a large part of succeeding at that endeavour is buying a home in an area with desirable features that will enhance the resale value of your property.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us