As has been widely suggested by a number of contributors on real estate blogs, the real estate industry as a whole continues to experience significant challenges from the accessibility and ease in which new participants are so easily able to enter the field.
Whilst an undeniable fact that many in the broader real estate fraternity have achieved great success having adequately completed the agent’s representative certificate, it must also be accepted that all stakeholders from both within and outside of the profession could considerably benefit from far more comprehensive educational requirements.
On a personal note, contrasting the REIV’s week-long agent’s representative ‘course’ in addition to twelve months working as sales agent, with that of having recently completed first year property and real estate studies at a tertiary level has been particularly eye-opening.
In particular, the extent to which the agent’s representative certificate leaves new ‘graduates’ ill-equipped for the fast paced and hectic world of residential real estate is alarming.
Whilst the REIV course presenters were effective in imparting their invaluable experiences onto students, the actual material provided fails to adequately address what many would consider and indeed expect a real estate professional to uphold a working proficiency in.
The emphasis on identifying the ‘legal and ethical requirements’ of real estate is indeed fundamental in any objective analysis, however placing greater attention toward more practical learnings is, in my opinion, of equal or greater significance.
Positioning graduates to be more knowledgeable about the processes involved in selling real estate, including such factors as the importance of understanding a market area and completing a subsequent marketability analysis, analysing the supply and demand relationship and its effects on property cycles, and interpreting financial information such as capitalisation and absorption rates would unquestionably provide a comprehensive base of expertise and insight for new professionals to be able to leverage from.
The benefits that would undoubtedly arise to agents and their agencies, but perhaps most significantly, to the standing and the reputation of the industry within the broader community, would be immediate and lasting.
For agents, an increased proficiency of property related concepts results in a higher level of operating capacity and hence, greater competitiveness in the marketplace in being able to offer existing and future clients more specialised advise and expertise.
For agencies, new agents applying to firms would require less training in theoretical concepts, instead enabling emphasis to be placed on preparing staff for the day to day realities of real estate including selling processes and client interaction.
Furthermore, an increase in the quality of candidates applying for new roles aids a company’s competitive advantage with more sophisticated personal whilst also re-shaping a firm’s future leadership, aiding its viability in the years to come.
Above all else, improving the educational standards of agents unquestionably reforms the real estate industry in that no longer would agents been seen in the same light as spruikers and generic salespeople, but rather as skilled, adept professionals offering highly qualified guidance and consultation in their chosen field of property - in much the same the way as accountants, lawyers and financial advisers are viewed as authorities in their respective fields.
Through re-thinking the low barriers of entry in the real estate industry, we are able to rework the standing of the industry and its participants in society.
Authored by Rob Langton of DevelopmentReady.com.au