How do I become a real estate agent?

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In order for you to become a real estate agent in South Africa you will need to follow the steps below:

Step 1 - Apply for a position as an intern at registered real estate agency

Anyone looking to enter the real estate agency industry as an agent is required to serve as an intern estate agent, under the supervision of a principal estate agent or of a full status estate agent who has continuously held a valid fidelity fund certificate issued by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) for a period, not less than 3 years, thereby creating a mentor-protégé relationship, regardless of any academic, professional or other qualifications which they may hold.

Step 2 - Register as an intern estate agent at the EAAB

After an intern agent has been employed by an agency, they will need to register as an intern agent at the EAAB, they will provide them with an "intern" Fidelity Fund Certificate.

In order to register, a candidate needs to lodge a completed application which consists of:

  • Application form
  • Certified copy of a valid I.D book;
  • Certified copy of a valid passport if not a South African;
  • A valid work permit if not a South African;
  • Required payment or proof of payment for registration;
  • Letter of employment on an official letterhead, signed by the Principal of the firm.

Step 3 - Complete the 12 month internship

All intern agents need to serve as an intern agent for 12 months continuously from the date of the first issue of their "intern" FFC.

During this time the intern agent needs to be equipped with the relevant practical and theoretical workplace knowledge required to operate successfully. Each intern has to undergo training and practical knowledge of all of the following:

  • Industry,
  • Law,
  • Finance,
  • Marketing,
  • Management,
  • Administration, and
  • Paralegal.

It is also required that a logbook is kept in which all the completed activities are recorded and signed-off by the principal/mentor/coach/supervisor assigned to assist and provide the intern with logistical support during the internship period.

Tasks recorded in the logbook include:

  • Listings completed
  • Inspections done
  • Show houses arranged with registers
  • Mandates negotiated
  • Sales/lease contracts concluded
  • Property values established
  • Agendas for and meetings/training attended
  • Proof of time management and time/log sheets.

Step 4 - Obtain a NQ4

After having completed the required 12 months internship it is expected that they must complete their FETC (Further Education and Training Certificate) in Real Estate at level NQF 4 through an accredited provider and receive a certificate of competence from Services SETA (the Services Sector Education and Training Authority)

  • This qualification has 150 credits, equating to 1 500 notional hours (study hours needed to complete the course).
  • It is possible to combine the FETC NQF 4 qualification and the internship so that the intern estate agent can work on these two aspects of the qualification simultaneously, as long as they have completed at least 8 months of their internship.
  • If the intern holds any degrees or diplomas in certain areas, it is possible to apply for and be exempt from completing the FETC.

What topics are covered in the NQF4?

  • Estate Agency Affairs Act and Code of Conduct.
  • Real estate product and services.
  • Legal environment – acts.
  • Legal environment – contracts.
  • Financial process FICA/tax/accounting.
  • Marketing and selling/leasing – immovable property.
  • Estate agency management.
  • Agency administration and systems.
  • Paralegal environment.

Step 5 - Obtain your PDE4

The Professional Designation Examination (PDE) is an integrated knowledge and case study test for estate agents.

After the internship or after the 8th month, the intern estate agent may apply to take their PDE4 exam with the EAAB. After successfully submitting the logbook and Portfolio of Evidence (PoE), the intern will be allowed to enrol and undertake the Professional Designation Examination for non-principal estate agents (PDE4). The Education Regulations provide that no person may be registered as a full status estate agent unless that person has successfully completed the PDE 4 conducted by the EAAB.

The criteria for PDE qualification

  • Only estate agents that have already qualified or been exempted for the NQF 4 (Non-Principals) and NQF 5 (Principals) should apply to write the PDE;
  • Interns need to achieve 65% or higher to pass and be certified.
  • Upon passing PDE 4, the intern’s status will be automatically upgraded to a full status as well as the designation, Professional Practitioner in Real Estate (PPRE).
  • Once the intern estate agent is upgraded to a Full Status Property Sales Advisor, they can operate independently within the company they are employed by.