EAAB launch ambitious previously disadvantaged intern programme

The Estate Agency Affairs Board’s programme to transform the real estate sector by introducing previously disadvantaged learners into estate agencies across the country – which was proposed and put together by the former Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale – is now about to go ahead and, following its adoption by the new Minister, the Honourable Connie September, will be rolled out over the next ten weeks.

Bryan Chaplog, CEO of the Estate Agency Affairs Board, has asked for all estate agency leaders to sign a pledge form committing their companies to the programme – and, says Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, the response has been on the whole been very positive.

“As proposed at the original summit conference, where I played an integral role,” said Clarke, “the main aim of the programme is to de-racialise the estate agency sector. The goal is to have every agency in South Africa as well as each branch/franchise of those agencies to take on new intern agent from a previously disadvantaged background.”

The agency or branch monitoring the intern, said Clarke, will be responsible for mentoring and teaching their intern via the EAAB and more specifically helping him to study and pass the compulsory NQF4 and later the NQF5 examinations.

It should also be noted, added Clarke, that Services SETA have also confirmed that they will help facilitate the programme.  

“If successful, the intern programme definitely has the potential to fast-track transformation in our sector,” said Clarke. “The day could come where the real estate industry, as it should, truly reflects the racial makeup of South Africa. However, it has to be recognised that the programme will be a sad failure if we do not address certain shortcomings in it.”

The first of these, said Clarke, is that the real estate qualifications courses, while giving interns valuable knowledge on technicalities, legislation and general working of the real estate sector, do not teach the selling, marketing and human relationship skills which are a crucial part of the ‘equipment’ of any successful agent.

“To compensate for this gap in their teachings,” explains Clarke, “the EAAB expects the intern to gather practical experience, in this regard, from their mentor.”    

The shortcoming here, said Clarke, is that the smaller agencies almost certainly do not have learning facilities, learning programs or enough staff to assign a mentor to each and every intern.

A second shortcoming, said Clarke, is that, as the programme is currently being implemented, it appears to expect the intern to be able to support himself completely – for example, put petrol in his car, pay cell phone bills, etc. throughout the initial six month period during which it will be very unlikely if he receives any pay at all because the estate agency industry works on commissions only.

“Some sort of stipend is going to have to be found to get the trainee through these first few months,” said Clarke.

A third problem, said Clarke, is that while many people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds might wish to return to their home turf to operate as estate agents, there are, as yet, far too few agencies in these areas to support them.

The EAAB’s goal, said Clarke, is for 60% of its interns to have a tertiary education and for the remainder to have matriculated.

The Rawson Property Group, said Clarke, is committed to meeting the transformation goals and to finding ‘ingenious’ solutions to work around the problems mentioned with the hope of bringing success to the program. However, he added, the biggest challenge, which is not recruitment but in fact retention, is concerning because only a few agencies will be able to handle this task thoroughly.

“The real value of the comprehensive, holistic training that the Rawson Property Group has always insisted that its agents undergo is now being shown to the full,” said Clarke, “but I am concerned that not all agency groups are able to offer training of this kind – and this will mean that interns will quite possibly be thrown to the lions without all the required skills needed.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 24 Nov 2017
      Demand for secure estate living in Hout Bay has risen sharply in recent years, precipitating a spike in development with estate homes now accounting for 20.24% of the property landscape with the launch of an exclusive new gated development on 26 November adding 20 more units to the existing 1250 estate homes.
    • 24 Nov 2017
      There are some things that money can’t buy – spectacular views from Mouille Point to the V&A Waterfront and a trendy and lively neighbourhood that encapsulates the very best of the Cape Town lifestyle.
    • 24 Nov 2017
      Tshwane’s four-bedroom Mayoral mansion, nestled among ambassadorial residences in the upmarket suburb of Muckleneuk, fetched R5.1 million after spirited bidding at High Street Auctions’ final sale of the year.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, said that the Monetary Policy Committee had once again decided to let the interest rates remain unchanged with the repo rate at 6.75%, and the prime lending rate at 10.25%.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      As the holiday season approaches, most of us are counting the days until that year-end bonus hits our account. There’s nothing quite like a little bank balance booster to get us in the holiday spirit.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      The Adelphi Centre (now entitled “ARTEM") in Sea Point, Cape Town, is being extensively renovated, and once complete will offer an ultra-luxurious galleria style shopping centre unlike any other seen on the Atlantic Seaboard or in Cape Town.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      If you are looking to sell your home in today’s real estate market, there are certain things that you need to include both inside and outside your house. Today’s generation of home buyers is looking toward a more eco-friendly, energy and water conscious home, and if your house stands out then you are more likely to be able to sell it.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      Most people know of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) and that levies must to paid to fund its operations. In this article the experts at Paddocks will address some of the issues that are causing confusion.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us