Residential property marketing and selling is so challenging that that there is simply no room for the under-qualified estate agent, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, when commenting on the EAAB’s ruling that any agent operating without a Fidelity Fund Certificate from January 2014 will be doing so illegally and will not be entitled to collect fees.
“Some people will always resist change, even though it may be to their advantage. There is reluctance among some agents to up-skill, especially if they already have a tertiary education and have regularly attended institute training courses.”
As a result, he says, the number of estate agents operating in South Africa will remain at or around the 22 000 mark. However, he continues, real estate marketing has become so sophisticated that agents and their principals need continual training.
“Training simply cannot stop – and has to include a wide range of information technology skills. In the next three years agents operating without smart phones, iPads and laptops will lose out because their clients have and use this technology daily.”
Also vital, says Rawson, is agents’ assimilation of data related to the property world, which today means “all business statistics”. If an agent cannot give a client an informed opinion of where inflation and interest rates are likely go, how the rand will perform in relation to other currencies, what house rent prices are likely to be and why an area is a good investment prospect, he will lose out. The simple truth is that today’s buyer insists on knowing how good his property is as an investment.