How to be more professional
More than ever, skill and expertise should be a given for any serious property practitioner
The real estate industry in South Africa is slowly but surely conforming to international standards. Our academic qualiﬁcations are now on par with those in countries such as New Zealand and Australia, according to the South African Qualiﬁcation Authority. The new Property Practitioners Bill will, by 2018, replace the outdated Estate Agents Aﬀ airs Act of 1976. A move towards professionalism is imminent. Regulatory body the EAAB and the Financial Intelligence Centre will also review their expectations of property practitioners and estate agencies more frequently.
HOW CAN YOU BECOME A TOP AGENT?
I often get enquiries from agents and principals asking about the highest real estate qualiﬁ cation. My answer: comply with what is expected currently. Keep a logbook and study the FETC Real Estate NQF 4, PDE 4 or NC Real Estate NQF 5, and PDE 5. Also comply with the Continuous Professional Development (CPD), register with PrivySeal (via eaab.org.za) and keep attending training sessions. Real estate is all about people, their needs and emotions, and understanding why they are moving, selling or renting. No app, drone or qualiﬁcation can replace human interaction.
STAY ON TRACK WITH THESE POINTERS
- The EAAB website is user-friendly and updated regularly, so check it often. You can create and access your own portal to send or upload information.
- Understand the industry, not just your area. Read as much as possible, including EAAB circulars and property magazines.
- Capture your non-veriﬁ able points according to your Professional Development Plan, which count towards your CPD cycle.
- Understand how the economy/ﬁ nancial climate aﬀ ects transactions and banks’ lending criteria.
- Take responsibility for your career. Don’t wait for your principal or franchise group to generate leads.
- Learn the value of self-motivation.
- Focus on your personal goals. Adjust these if necessary and don’t become despondent in diﬃ cult times.
- Real estate goes through seven- to 10-year cycles but people need a roof over their heads – there will always be opportunities.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROFESSIONALISM
As a trainer, I often ﬁ nd agents acting unprofessionally during sessions – they book or arrive late, don’t show up or cancel without letting anybody know. Some use their phones during sessions. How can an agent deal with our competitive industry if this is normal behaviour? Treat clients as you would like to be treated, take responsibility and show respect. Real estate is a professional career where an agent earns a professional fee – clients will certainly expect you to be professional. Most of all, have fun. Real estate is an amazing, unpredictable industry. Each transaction is diﬀerent. Be the best you can with every deal, work hard and you will reap the beneﬁts.
Real estate is all about people, their needs and emotions, and understanding why they are moving, selling or renting
Jo-Anne Strydom has 22 years of real estate experience, initially as a sales agent before moving into training. She studied Real Estate Advanced Practices in Miami and is an accredited real estate assessor and moderator in South Africa.