Real Estate Marketing

Government calls for lower educational standards for agents

Yes you read correctly, lower. In a major initiative the feds are calling for real estate agents across Australia to have a national license to sell and manage property, replacing the current state-based system. It sounds simple enough to bring in national standards and issue a ticket so I can sell a house in Brisbane or Broome without resitting the exams.

But in one of the greatest head-scratchers we’ve seen in a while the government’s guidelines, released for comment last week, would have agents in a number of states reducing their real estate practice entrance requirements. Through the Real Estate Institutes we’ve argued that a Diploma should be the minimum educational qualification for the issue of a real estate agent’s licence. The government says a Certificate IV will do.

It’s a move to ‘dumb-down’ the industry and I’ll get in before you – we don’t need it. I can’t remember anyone in the public calling for agents to have less education, or that they’re overqualified to handle people’s biggest assets. The industry wants to lift our standards and has asked for mandatory annual training to ensure skills and knowledge are current. Not needed, says Canberra. In the states where it’s currently required they’ll get rid of it.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia says the proposal adopts the lowest common denominator which will lead to an erosion of standards right across Australia.  President Pam Bennett says, “We’re stunned that consumer benefits haven’t been considered in the quantitative analysis outlined in the Regulatory Impact Statement.  Choosing where and how we live is a fundamental and crucial decision in anyone’s life.  Shouldn’t it be handled by a highly qualified professional?”

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