New real estate agent qualifications transforms industry

Those who a few years from now look back on what the South African residential property marketing sector has undergone in recent years will, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, have to accept, firstly, that a radical transformation has taken place in estate agents’ education and, secondly, that this has upped the professionalism and self-respect of agents to a greater degree than any other single factor.

“Estate agents,” said Rawson, “are traditionally proactive, go-getting people primarily interested in achieving sales and therefore likely to be averse to studying. However that has now changed. When I visit show houses at weekends I often find agents studying up their next week’s lessons in between serving clients. It seems to me that they are proud that they are now acquiring a professional qualification on the same lines as financial advisers, asset managers and even lawyers for whom postgraduate education is becoming more and more important. It has been gratifying to many estate agents at last to be able to see themselves as possessing recognized qualifications – which are not that easily come by and which take a year to achieve.”

The Estate Agency Affairs Board’s insistence that agents qualify, added Rawson, has been one of the reasons why their numbers have dropped so radically – in fact by roughly 65% – but this too, he said, has worked in their favour as they are now more and more seen by the public as members of a small, more elite group.

Rawson warned, however, that while the new qualifications undoubtedly raise the intellectual and general knowledge standards of agents, they do not guarantee that the agent will pick up a true service mentality.

“Estate agents,” he said, “are one of the few groups of people whose earnings are entirely result-orientated. They are not paid for the copious advice they are expected to give – even their valuations are free, although in many cases these may have involved hours of research and investigation, furthermore they are often exploited by clients. It is, therefore, understandable (although not acceptable) that many agents tend to give a far higher level of service and commitment to those clients whose properties are likely to sell fast, or who have given the agent a sole mandate at a satisfactory commission.”

This focus on good prospects, said Rawson, is most obvious when it comes to feedback and maintaining contact several times a week which is essential even though the agent may have no news. A “too busy”, entirely results-orientated agent can on occasions avoid contact with his client for days, even weeks.

In these circumstances, said Rawson, it is vitally important for the in-house training systems of the major estate agency groups to continue to focus on service to all clients, irrespective of the prospects — and it is a fact that when such an outlook is fostered it always works in the long run to the agent’s benefit.

“If there is one thing clients appreciate it is an agent who cares and who keeps in contact at all times.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 20 Mar 2018
      Located close to the fast growing Fourways precinct, Dainfern continues to attract local and international interest from buyers seeking a secure lifestyle with affordable entry price of approximately R3 million.
    • 20 Mar 2018
      Property owners in the Durban CBD are addressing the affordability challenge that faces many prospective tenants in their area – and reconfiguring the inner city rental market in the process.
    • 20 Mar 2018
      One of the most misunderstood concepts in the process of selling a property is an exclusive or sole mandate.
    • 19 Mar 2018
      If a landlord opts to use a managing agent for the rental of his or her property, the inspection process can be easier as the agent is not emotionally involved and will certainly have concluded an in-depth inspection report in the interests of all parties.
    • 19 Mar 2018
      We all wish we could have the cheat sheet for selling a property – a simple Ctrl+Shift+C code that will magically secure an offer on your home in an instant. Though it is not possible to provide you with this cheat code (sadly, reality does not come with such perks), it is possible to provide you with a list of the most common blunders some of your neighbours have committed in their efforts to sell their homes
    • 19 Mar 2018
      Although property technology is now widely accepted as an established trend, especially in the international real estate arena, the industry has been cautious to advance and smaller markets like South Africa are still hesitantly dipping their toes in the water.
    • 16 Mar 2018
      Strange as it may seem, there is a stock shortage looming now in the luxury sector of the Johannesburg property market, because astute buyers have for the past few months been hurrying to snap up high-end homes being offered at excellent prices.
    • 16 Mar 2018
      No one likes having to claim but having insurance for your household contents is vital, and at the start of a new financial year, homeowners either applying for new household insurance or revising their existing insurance should take a comprehensive inventory of their possessions and keep track of the total value.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us