Death of the estate agent
Although many business sectors were hit hard by the 2008-2009 recession and had to make people redundant, possibly no sector lost more staff than those involved in residential property marketing, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank.
"The latest figures from the Institute of SA Estate Agents show that the number of registered agents dropped by 60 percent. This was attrition in its severest form," said Steward.
A serious shortage of agents
The property marketing sector, said Steward, is now beginning to find itself in a difficult position due to a serious shortage of agents and its predicament was for a long time made worse by the fact that SETA and the Estate Agency Affairs Board had not finalised plans for examinations. Fortunately this has now been done.
"The situation is also not helped by the greatly increased training costs involved in becoming an agent; R10 000 being the figure suggested (but unconfirmed)," said Steward.
Raising the standard of estate agents
"This," she added, "means that many previously disadvantaged individuals will find it difficult to qualify unless bursaries are awarded on a large scale."
The good news, said Steward, is that the new qualifications criteria are already raising the standard of estate agents to a professional level and improving the image of agents and the shortage of agents should now slowly be solved.
A recognised profession
"The residential marketing profession needs a targeted marketing campaign. We have to recognise that with the more stringent educational levels we are now a recognised profession and are competing with other professions for quality staff.
"Todays agents are not just salespeople. They are training paralegal consultants responsible for handling what is in most cases their clients biggest investment."
Article from: www.iafrica.com