The professionalisation of residential real estate agents has moved another step forward after 60 NSW real estate agency groups voted to proceed with a national scheme.  In a discussion forum at the NSW Parliament House on Wednesday, agencies including Mcgrath, Ray White and LJ Hooker showed their support for the program that will see more stringent governance of the sector, including increased education and tougher licence approvals.

“It is time to draw the line in the sand. The path to gain formal professional recognition is a long one, but there is no need to wait until the framework is in place. We can put the leadership, culture, attitudes and behaviours in place now,” Real Estate Institute of NSW president John Cunningham said.

“After all, we are being asked to provide advice on, and are given the keys to people’s most valuable asset and that requires at a minimum a professional level of advice and service.”
“The reality is anyone can go into this industry by doing a ‘Kellogg’s cornflakes’ qualification and look after someone’s property. It’s just a joke.”

The lack of professionalism in the real estate agency sector is a common and visible problem – agents are regular fixtures on NSW Fair Trading’s monthly register of complaints.
With support from the sector however, the Real Estate Institute of Australia now has the backing to start a national scheme to rectify the problem.

The next step is an extensive consultation with the industry followed by more consultation with the community throughout 2018 as part of the submission to the Professional Standards Authority regulatory agency.

The process could be finalised by the end of 2019.

Some of the changes proposed include a higher number of study units for a real estate certificate. Agents will also need to obtain 12 months working experience before they can apply for a license and another year to be a licensee-in-charge.

The next part of the process is to make mandatory that All Agents are checked via Police Checks, Fraud and Credit Checks on a yearly basis to ensure things remain in check.   The increase in fraud and property management theft across the industry has been a major concern for years.

SOURCE: Fairfax Media Management Pty Limited

Real estate agents to get national scheme

Su-Lin Tan  17 July 2017  The Australian Financial Review