Gearing up for the challenges faced in real estate training

Jul 31, 2018 | Features

Thembinkosi Mosia is the Chamber Manager: Real Estate and Related Services in the Services SETA.

“We have to follow due process and due process starts in the chamber committee”

There is a real need for new training qualifications in the property sector, but this is one of many challenges faced today by stakeholders involved with the occupational training of estate agents. This emerged during the latest round of stakeholder sessions presented by the Real Estate and Related Services Chamber of the Services SETA.

Apparently, many interns find it too hard to study and get practical experience while financially supporting themselves for at least six months, so they drop out. There are also allegedly problems with rogue training service providers contributing to confusion about the true purpose of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

But there is also some good news.

First the good news. An extension of five years has been granted for the current Services Seta-recognised real estate qualifications to remain registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) till 30 June 2023 said Thembinkosi Mosia, the newly appointed manager of this chamber.

This is good news as the registration period would have ended in June this year leaving the industry without approved training courses.

Mosia said while it is good news that an extension has been granted, the process to develop new qualifications for the real estate sector can’t stop. It is part of his job to kickstart this process of developing new qualifications and realigning the existing ones with the latest demands from the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). The QCTO is responsible for looking after the standards and quality of qualifications and submitting them to SAQA.

The various sectors presented by the Services SETA are mostly all in the process of developing new qualifications, except the property sector who hasn’t developed any new ones said Mosia. He added a process was begun to develop a course for a facility manager, but that was stopped. Mosia said it will be his responsibility to make sure this qualification gets registered, and he said there must be more.

“The question to ask is whether it is the only one that needs to be developed, or do we need to develop another qualification? We need more of you to come and sit in meetings like this, we need your input,” Mosia said.

“The qualifications must be from the industry for the industry,” said Lehloma Ramajoe, senior manager of chamber operations. He explained that the property industry need to communicate to Mosia any needs for new qualifications which will then be discussed in the chamber for real estate before any decision is made.

Pam Snyman, chairman of the real estate chamber, said this is why more organisations representative of the property industry such as Rebosa, Sapoa and IEASA need to be involved with the chamber. She said she understood that not enough nominations were received during the latest round to form a committee and said she’s considering opening up nominations again.

“We have to follow due process and due process starts in the chamber committee,” said Snyman. She also shared the good news that the Services SETA received a clean audit just last week.

Snyman emphasized that the chamber works closely with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) in this process of developing new qualifications for the property sector.

During Ramajoe’s presentation it emerged that there is a big problem with some training providers and the qualifications they offer based solely on recognition of prior learning (RPL). Ramajoe said the property industry need to engage on this topic as there is clearly some confusion on RPL and how it applies to exemption from educational requirements.

“No training provider can only do RPL, they must be accredited to provide a full qualification, he said. He encouraged the industry to report concerns about training service providers to the relevant authority.

Other issues raised included attorneys acting as estate agents and the impact this is having on the real estate industry as well as the strenuous demands experienced by young interns working while studying to complete their NQF4 real estate qualification. Added to this, interns must finance themselves for at least six months before they possibly could earn commission on a sale. This leads to many dropping out, among them also young black people which makes it harder to add more colour to the currently white dominated property industry.

In conclusion, it was agreed more stakeholder sessions are needed to put these issues on the table so that a start can be made to find solutions for them.

Read here what the EAAB has to say about RPL.

* Original sentence read white and male dominated which is incorrect as according to the latest statistics there are more registered female estate agents than male, however males still dominate as the owners of estate agencies. Ed.

You are welcome to email your experiences, thoughts and comments on the occupational training of estate agents to editor@propertyprofessional.co.za.