Ease Of Entry Into An Estate Agency Career A Warning Sign
Nedbank Property Talk - November 2005

It is no longer only senior office bearers in the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa who are saying that becoming an estate agent is still far too easy and that the entry-level qualifications are too low.

Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Properties, who has had 20 years' experience in property marketing and selling, has added her voice to those in the institute, protesting the ease of entry into an estate agency career.

"Figures published recently by the Estate Agency Affairs Board," said Steward, "show that since May this year 7 200 new agents have been registered in South Africa - an increase of more than 10%, taking the total up to around 65 000.

"I and others are concerned that the industry will not be capable of supporting this number of agents and that the new arrivals are likely to make life difficult for the many conscientious, persevering agents who have lived through previous slump periods and who are always vulnerable when the market begins to stabilise."

Steward said that any review of middle- and upper-bracket homes for sale in South Africa today would show clearly that stock levels are down by 40 to 50%.

"Now is not the right time to be joining the industry," she said. "It is true that prices continue to rise steadily, but the number of homes on the market has been drastically cut in virtually all sectors except the affordable bracket."

Steward said that she had no problem with agents joining the larger agencies because these, in general, only took on new staff if they knew they could provide them with a satisfactory living. Also, the larger agencies trained and led their agents throughout their first two years and then provided them with ongoing update training thereafter.

"The situation is different in many of the smaller agencies," said Steward. "They sometimes provide no training at all - they simply hand out a manual and often appear completely unconcerned if a new agent drops out in his or her first year."

Article by: Nedbank Property Talk - November 2005