REINSW calls for higher training standards

A review by NSW Fair Trading revealed 80% of new entrants never forge a career in the industry

Prospective real estate agents should face tougher entry standards to reduce common customer grievances and reduce high churn rates, according to the state’s peak real estate body.

According to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW), an overhaul of education and training standards in real estate is in the best interests of the consumer and the profession.

The call comes in response to a recent review of training in the property services industry conducted by NSW Fair Trading, which revealed 80% of new entrants never forge a career in the industry.

The NSW Fair Trading review included training details for real estate agents, buyer’s agents, property managers and strata managers.

REINSW president John Cunningham said the overwhelming majority of issues that attract the attention of the regulator and aggravate consumers can be resolved by substantially improving the education of property professionals for both entry and continuing professional development.

“We suggest a higher entry level education standard,” Mr Cunningham said. “It not only better equips the new entrant for the profession, it also allows that new entrant the opportunity to commit themselves to the disciplines required.”

Specifically, REINSW has proposed new entrants complete an additional three training units prior to starting work, along with ongoing study and more practical on-the-job experience, which Mr Cunningham said would grow new entrants into capable, knowledgeable and skilled professionals.

Under the Institute’s suggested educational regime, students will take seven units of competence into the workplace and receive an additional 17 units of competence within the context of practical application and repetition.

It was also noted that the delivery and assessment of training should be undertaken by trainers who regularly update their property industry work experience and skills, and whom must be more qualified than those undertaking the subjects they’re teaching by at least one level.

“The complete education, which involves both classroom and on-the-job training, particularly in a service industry such as real estate is not so much desirable, but essential,” added Mr Cunningham.

“Without it, the service provider is ill-equipped to respond to the demands and disciplines of the profession.”