Educational material now available for CPD

IMAGE: Courtney McKenna of PropAcademy

The EAAB announced that the CPD 2021 material will be uploaded in the coming weeks thereby making the CPD programme available from 1 October 2021 to all eligible estate agents.

Experience has taught the EAAB that there are some estate agents who experience difficulties in navigating the CPD portal which compromises their ability to complete the CPD programme. In this regard, the EAAB will, in due course, issue a schedule to remotely assist the affected estate agents using a meeting virtual platform.

“We wish to further reiterate the position we have clarified before that, all estate agents who did not take advantage of the CPD fee ministerial waiver in 2020 and made payment towards the CPD programme, will not be required to pay 2021 CPD fees.

“Conversely, all estate agents who took advantage of the ministerial CPD fee waiver for 2020, will be required to pay CPD fees for 2021.

“We urge those estate agents who have not yet done the catch-up to finalise their 2020 CPD programme before 1 October 2021,” the EAAB said in a statement.

The EAAB thanked the stakeholders for their patience and understanding.

Courtney McKenna of PropAcademy said continual professional development (CPD) is just that – information that keeps stakeholders up to speed with changes to legislation, regulations and general knowledge within the property industry.

“CPD is commonplace in most professions and has been so for years. Property practitioners are dealing with the public daily, and more than that, advising them on property-based investments.  This cannot be done without knowing current changes to various property related Acts. CPD also keeps you ahead of the pack with changes in the financial world that relate directly to the property industry.

“There are two aspects to CPD. One is verifiable CPD points, where you are required to achieve 15 points in 5 different property categories. Verifiable points are only attainable directly from the EAAB through the property practitioners EAAB portal. These verifiable points are in the form of online learning material, videos and then a quiz.

“Non-verifiable CPD points can be attained through PropAcademy or any other training that relates to property matters. Annually you are required to achieve five non-verifiable CPD points in 3 different categories. This information is freely obtainable on the PropAcademy website,” she explained.

When do I qualify for CPD?

Full status and principal status property practitioners qualify for CPD, which kicks in the year after the EAAB advised them that they were successful in their PDE4 exam. For example, if you write your exam in November 2021 and your PDE4 results are released in January 2022, you will need to comply with CPD in 2023.

“PropAcademy has several online CPD online short courses designed by experts, enabling the property practitioner to achieve the required non verifiable points in record time. Our courses are approximately an hour-long, include training material, online quizzes and a certificate for each point.

“Once both non-verifiable and verifiable points are completed, they must be uploaded to the CPD MyPortal, on or before a determined cut-off date. Should a property practitioner not produce these points as required, the EAAB may impose penalties, including a fine and rescinding of the practitioner’s Fidelity Fund Certificate.  Without a current valid FFC, you may not trade,” McKenna said.

Written by
Danie Keet (Property Professional)

How to Qualify as a Full Status or Principal Real Estate Agent

Qualification Process for Real Estate Agents

It is quite a daunting process understanding real estate education regulations in South Africa, and the set qualifying process.  We are going to do our best to set this out for you in a way that you can easily understand the steps, and why they have been implemented.

Prior to 2008 estate agents were required to write an exam set by the EAAB, and that was it.  The EAAB was formed to regulate the conduct of estate agents.  The EAAB was established in 1976 in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976 (‘the Act”), with the mandate to regulate and control certain activities of estate agents in the public interest.

The EAAB regulates the estate agency profession through ensuring that all persons carrying out the activities of an estate agent as a service to the public are registered with the EAAB. A Fidelity Fund Certificate, which is to be renewed each year is issued as evidence of such registration and confirmation that such person is legally entitled to carry out the activities of an estate agent.

South African Qualifying Association (SAQA) is the body that issues qualifying certificates from school to Doctorates.  ServiceSETA (SSETA) falls under SAQA and controls the NQF4 and NQF5 real estate qualifications.

Here is a high-level overview of each step. Should you want additional or detailed information about any aspect of the process, simply click on the links provided.

The Qualifying Process – Step-by-Step

Step 1: Preparing for the Journey

Before you can study to become a qualified estate agent, you must:

Step 2: First Steps – Intern logbook

  • Start your intern logbook. This must be completed in 12 months. Click here for details of how PropAcademy can help you to meet this deadline. If you miss the deadline, you may find yourself facing disqualification, having to start all over again.
  • You can check your due date for submission of your logbook by logging in to the EAAB portal and clicking on “Qualification Status”.

Step 3: NQF4

To become a full status real estate agent, you must be competent in the outcomes-based NQF Level 4 Real Estate requirements as set out by the SSETA and be found competent in your PDE4 exam.

  • Check whether you qualify for NQF4 exemption. Click here to check your qualification against the EAAB Matrix. If you think you qualify for exemption, apply for this (this can take two months).
  • If you are not exempt, determine whether you need to complete:

If you are doing the NQF4 or the NQF4 RPL course, and cannot provide proof that you have passed Mathematics and a 2nd South African language at a Matric level, then you will need to purchase the relevant bridging courses through PropAcademy. The NQF Level 3 Functional Mathematics Course and/or the NQF Level 3 Literacy Course.

Step 4: Professional Designated Exam Level 4 (PDE4)

To become a Full Status estate agent, you must write and pass the EAAB’s PDE4 exam.

This is a 4-hour open book exam written through the EAAB. Check the next exam date by clicking here. Bookings for this exam open 6 weeks prior.

  • As soon as you receive your NQF4 competency certificate from SSETA, book for your PDE4 exam with the EAAB.
  • Brush up on the knowledge you will require to pass the exam, this course has maintained it’s 100% pass rate.
  • Write and pass this exam.
  • Go out and celebrate – you are now a Full Status Estate Agent!

Step 5: CPD Points

To maintain your status, you will need to earn CPD points. Click here for details about the CPD process and complete your non-verifiable CPD points online by registering here.

Step 6: Achieve Principal Status – NQF5

To become a Principal Property Practitioner, you must be found competent in NQF5 Real estate. You do not have to have written your PDE4 exam to begin your NQF5 studies, however this exam must be completed. To start your NQF5 studies you must have completed your NQF4.

  • Check whether you qualify to be exempt from NQF5. Click here to check your qualification against the EAAB Matrix. If you think you qualify for exemption, apply for this (this can take two months).
  • If you are not exempt, determine whether you need to complete:
  • Another celebration is called for – you are now a Principal Property Practitioner! Just one more step to go to maintain your status…

Step 7: Professional Designated Exam Level 5 (PDE5)

Your journey is coming to an end. Armed with your NQF5, you have just two years to write and pass your PDE5 to maintain your Principal Status. Bookings for this exam open 6 weeks prior.

  • Check the next exam date by clicking here and book your seat through the EAAB.
  • Brush up on all your real estate knowledge to sit for the four-hour PDE5 exam. Our 100% pass rate is still intact.
  • Write and pass your PDE5 exam
  • Your journey is complete

EAAB & ServicesSETA Qualification Process Infographic

To make it a little easier for you to keep track of the qualification process, we’ve put together this handy infographic which you are welcome to download, print and share.

Real Estate Qualifications Flow Chart

Click the image above to download and save it to your computer or print it out so you can refer to it at any time.

The Qualifications Flow Chart | Who is PropAcademy? | How to Register for a Course | Enter the Lucky Draw

Hint: Read our blog – it contains interesting hints and tips. For more detailed information, download our eBook “Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB) & ServicesSETA (SSETA) Qualification Guide”.

We hope this makes the EAAB & ServiceSETA qualification process for real estate agents a little easier to follow, but if you have any questions, please post them in the comments below or contact us and we’ll gladly assist you on your path to becoming a qualified estate agent. And if you found this guide helpful, please like and share it with your friends and colleagues.

How to Prepare for your Online Real Estate Course

If you have been out of school for a while / practicing real estate for years, or if you’re new to online learning, you might not know what to expect in your eLearning real estate course.  Some courses are purely online where others are known as Blended Learning, a mix of online and face to face classes.

How to Prepare for Online Real Estate Courses

There are some tips and tricks that can help you stay organised and focused while taking your online real estate classes. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourites.

Create your own workspace for online real estate classes

If you’re doing your online real estate classes from home, make sure you set aside a dedicated working area. Even if you have a small apartment, you can still create an area to do your work. This will not only help you stay focused but using a genuine home office could possibly qualify you for the home office deduction come tax time.

Having a separate working area could also help you to balance your online real estate classes with your other time commitments.

If you have set up your workspace in the office to study and take part in eLearning classes, then make sure that this area is quiet, away from interruptions.  Ensure that staff know to keep away from your area whilst your online course is taking place.  A set of head phones is always best when interacting online. You must be comfortable so make sure you have nourishment close at hand as well as a pen and pad to make notes.

A good idea is to always check your network connections and keep that Wi-Fi line clear whilst the webinar is in progress.  Go even further and de-activate other sources that share the Wi-Fi connection such as Skype, Facebook and definitely stop downloads. If in the office, ask other staff members that share the Wi-Fi in the office environment to close their downloads for the period of the webinar.  Have a backup plan in case your internet goes down.  You don’t want to run into a scenario where you have a test or assignment due and can’t complete it because of your internet access.

A brilliant plan is to ensure that you have downloaded and saved your Portfolio Guide that relates to the webinar course and minimise it to 50% of your screen, so that you can easily make notes under each question during the webinar.  You may also want to have your Learner Guide on hand so that you can flip to the pages that the facilitator is discussing and mark where to read up on the answers at a later stage.

A timer is a great tool to have as it keeps you focussed on the task at hand.  And remember when the webinar breaks to go into a further task, use that time to stretch your limbs and get the blood flowing again! Regular exercise improves memory and thinking skills. A good idea is having a stress ball on your desk to keep your blood pumping while you listen.

There are online backup tools that must be used when completing your course such as iCloud, Google Documents and Dropbox. If your work is saved on Google Documents or Dropbox it’s a lot easier to run back to the office or a nearby cafe to finish your assignment. Despite all your best efforts, sometimes technology stops working for inexplicable reasons.

Ergonomics in your work space

When setting your work station up, whether it will be a standing or sitting station, you want to be as comfortable as possible, but still in a position that will keep you from dosing off. Long use of a computer, especially with the wrong posture can lead to muscle aches and fatigue. The below tips will help you avoid this:

  • Avoid unnecessary reaching. Your keyboard, mouse, note pad, files and head phones should be within easy reach;
  • Position your laptop screen in the centre of your view, directly in front of you. The top of the screen should be slightly below the top of your head, so that you are looking at it with a slightly downward gaze;
  • Position your laptop screen to eliminate any reflections coming from windows and lighting;
  • Utilise a chair with back support;
  • Keep your feet supported on the floor or on a footrest when you work to reduce pressure on your lower back. If you don’t have a footrest use a box or an old file;
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed with your elbows close to your sides;
  • Your wrists should be in a neutral or straight position when typing;
  • Keep your fingers and knuckles relaxed when working at the keyboard;
  • Avoid holding your mouse tightly. Your hand should be relaxed; and
  • Rest your eyes by refocusing on distant objects intermittently when working.

Enjoy your new eLearning!

Congratulate yourself on taking the steps to learn something new and don’t forget to enjoy this time of your life. You’re embarking on a journey that will take you to new places and that’s something to be excited about.

If you have any questions on how to prepare for your online courses or you have any other tricks that work well for you, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

How to Own Your Own Real Estate Agency in South Africa

So you’re a high-achieving real estate agent. You work hard for your commission and you’re tired of paying over a large amount of your earnings to the estate agency firm you work for every time you make a sale.

How to Own Your Own Real Estate Agency in South Africa

You want to be your own boss, own your own estate agency firm, and retain your commission for yourself. And possibly, one day, you may even have estate agents working for you and paying over some of their commission to you!

That’s a great ambition to have. Real estate is an exciting profession, but even more so when you are in control of your own agency.

But before you rush off to sign a lease on your new premises, there are a few steps you have to take. The first, and most important of these, is to become a Principal Estate Agent.

The Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB) requires that the owner of every estate agency must be a qualified Principal Estate Agency – or Principal Property Practitioner. This means that you must have had some experience in running an estate agency firm and you will have qualified in terms of regulations set by the EAAB and by Services SETA (SSETA).

Let’s start at the beginning and track the route every prospective real estate agent must take en route to owning his or her own estate agency firm.

The first step – for every new entrant to the profession regardless of their background or previous qualifications – is to join an estate agency firm, obtain a fidelity fund certificate (FFC), and complete a 12-month internship. During this 12-month period, the intern estate agent collects information and completes a portfolio of evidence (PoE) which must be lodged with the EAAB.  You can enrol in our online Intern PoE logbook course directly on our website right away.

If you have already been in the industry for a few years, you will also have to produce a PoE for the Board, clearly showing evidence of at least a year in the field before you can become a full status estate agent.

The EAAB requires all intern agents complete their studies to become full status estate agents within two years from the time they are issued with their Fidelity Fund Certificate from the Board.

To become a full status estate agent, you must complete the Further Education Training: National Qualification Forum Level 4 Real Estate (NQF4) qualification, and then write your EAAB Professional Designated Exam level 4 (PDE4). All of these courses are available on our website and can be completed from the comfort of your home or office via an internet enabled mobile or computer device.

At PropAcademy, we strongly recommend that you start your NQF4 once you have been in the business for three months – while you are still completing your intern logbook PoE.

That’s because your NQF4 will take six-and-a-half months to complete. Then, once it’s submitted to SSETA (PropAcademy can assist you with this), it will take approximately one year before you are issued with a competency certificate.

Only once you have this can you can register with the EAAB to write your PDE4 to have your status changed from intern agent to full status agent – and you’ll be entitled to use the letters PPRE (Property Practitioner Real Estate) in your advertising material.

What if you have a degree or qualification which includes you having passed subjects that are directly related to the real estate industry? The EAAB makes provision for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) so it’s possible that you may be exempt from writing the NQF4 qualification.  An exemption matrix is available on the EAAB website.

Recognition of Prior Learning also relates to estate agents who have been estate agents since 2008 with no break in service and wrote the old Estate Agents Exam during that period.

So now you’ve completed your NQF4 (or obtained exemption) and your PDF4 qualification. You’re a full status estate agent. Your next step is to go on and achieve Principal Estate Agent status.

The EAAB requires you to have at least two years’ hands-on management of running a business, or to have been involved in the running of your employer’s estate agency firm. In addition, you will have to obtain an NQF5 qualification and pass your PDE5 exam.

Your NQF5 can be completed in six months but your work will then have to go through the normal SSETA channels before you can be issued with a certificate of competency.

Once that is done and you have your certificate, you will have to register with the EAAB to write your PDE5 and voilà, you will now be a Principal Estate Agents (soon to be known as a Principal Property Practitioner).

And NOW you can register and run your own estate agency business.

There are many regulations that must be adhered to in running your own estate agency. These are set out in the Estate Agents Affairs Act as well as the Code of Conduct and Ethics. PropAcademy can help to guide you through the requirements to ensure that when you are audited by the Board you are not penalised for any irregularities.

If you have any questions or would like further assistance with the process of becoming a real estate agency owner, or you’d like to know more about the real estate courses we offer, please feel free to contact us, and we’ll gladly assist you.

Written by Janet Alexander, CEO, PropAcademy

How to Find a Job at a Top Real Estate Agency

New Real Estate Agent Job

As a fledgling real estate agent having just completed your internship, you will now be looking for a job at a reputable and vibrant estate agency.

You will be looking to join a real estate company which would normally mean becoming part of a franchise of one of the large real estate companies in South Africa. Some of these include Rawson’s, Pam Golding or Seeff, which are all South African franchises. There are however also international franchises operating in South Africa such as Remax and the new kid on the block, Keller Williams Ignite.

The principle or owner of the franchise will be looking for diligent, honest, forward thinking employees to help run their business. Keep this in mind when you are looking for that perfect place to settle down and begin your exciting new career.

Here are some tips for landing your first Job as an Estate Agent:

Have a Good Mindset

Your prospective boss is going to be looking for people that he can rely on to keep the best interests of the business at heart. You will want to project a sense of responsibility and commitment, so that your prospective employer will recognise those qualities.

Understand the Job Description

Make sure you understand the job description. You don’t want to be applying for a position that at the end of the day is not for you. There are many functions of a real estate agent and you should be able to fulfil everything that the job description requires.

Much of your practical internship work and your online estate agent learning should prepare you for most positions in an agency.

What to Expect in Interviews & How to Prepare

You have already submitted your CV outlining all your experience and coursework. Now you will find yourself face to face with your new boss in an interview. Bear in mind that he has read your CV and is now not only listening to your answers to his questions, but also watching your body language closely.

You might also have to go through several interviews with different partners of the business.

John Lees, author of The Interview Expert: How to Get the Job You Want, suggests you develop a real script in preparation for your interview. You can probably predict a number of questions that you’ll be asked such as Why should we hire you? Why do you fit this role? I notice some gaps in your resume … Think about how you’ll answer these questions and practice saying the answers out loud.

John also suggests you prepare for questions you want to avoid by developing short, upbeat answers. If you’re asked something that throws you for a loop, ask for a minute to think about how you’ll answer. Also, make sure you’re actually listening to the interviewer.

Read What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Focus on Before a Job Interview for more great interview tips and advice from John.

Embrace Your New Workplace & Follow Instructions

If you get the job you will now most likely have to go through training period. You might find this frustrating as you are probably raring to get going. Things will probably be a lot different than your internship. Be open-minded and embrace the way your new workplace is run. Try to keep to instructions and make sure that you are clear on all directives.

This will ensure that you will be able to do the best job you possibly can.

Once you have qualified as a full status estate agent, you will have fulfilled the Services SETA requirement, the EAAB examination, your (online) estate agent course work and your internship. All these as well as a new position at a good agency should be the springboard you need to start you off on a successful career as a real estate agent.

If you have any questions about finding a job as an estate agent, or you have any tips and advice that have worked for you in the past, please share them in the comments below.

Finding the Right Internship in an Estate Agency

Now that you have decided that real estate is something that you want to pursue, you will need to become qualified. Not only will you have to achieve certain qualifications to begin your education as a real estate agent, you will also be following online training as well as completing an internship.

Find the Right Internship in an Estate Agency

An internship is a process of learning while you are working. You will find a real estate agency that will take you on as an intern and then work under the mentorship of an agent with at least three years experience and recognized as an official mentor by the EAAB (Estate Agency Affairs Board).

Fidelity Fund Certificate

You will be licensed to operate as an intern with a Fidelity Fund Certificate.
The great thing about the intern programme in the real estate industry of South Africa is that it gives the aspirant immediate hands on experience. You get to jump right in feet first. Interns can get down to work immediately. You can begin to show clients property, create and execute marketing strategies, and as soon as you have the hang of it you can, through your mentor, even advise clients on legal matters, costing and price negotiation. Of course you will also be learning to keep up with all the administration that is expected of a real estate agent.

In total over the entire year the intern will probably log up to 1500 hours in formal training. The bulk of these hours can be clocked while at work, but interns will also be expected to study and do courses in conjunction to the practical side. Most interns will opt for the online training for estate agents. This allows you the flexibility to study at your leisure and fit your courses and classes into your schedule. After this internship period, you will complete your NQF level 4 portfolio of evidence and be found competent by Services SETA. Then you will be required to pass the EAAB’s examinations (the EAAB”S Professional Designation Examination), PDE level 4, and if you are aspiring to become a principal (to own your own business) the NQF level 5 and PDE level 5.

You can, however, also apply to earn credits for previous education and ‘prior learning’. This means that you can gain credit for diplomas or national certificates that hold in other fields sectors that could pertain to real estate. Inquiries about exemption status can be directed to PropAcademy who assist you in completing the required EAAB documentation.

One thing that you will need to be aware of as an intern is that you must always make the client or customer aware that you are in fact an intern. This must be transparent at all times. Failure to do so can result in disaster!

When asking the seasoned and successful agents in the field today how to go about finding the right internship, the answer is pretty much the same across the board. Find a mentor who embodies the ethical standards and code of conduct expected from a well qualified estate agent and then cultivate your own set of standards. You can’t go wrong.

Proven Tips for the Successful Real Estate Agent

Tips for Real Estate AgentsThere are some small but very important tips that any seasoned Estate Agent will pass down to the rookie. These tips may seem negligible, but many are proven time and time again to be the backbone of success in the business of property rental and sales. Here are some pointers to put you on the path to success.

  1. Know Your Area
  2. Put Your Boards Up
  3. Forward all Calls

Know Your Area

This has actually been proven by a formal analysis carried out by one of the leading South African real estate companies. After carrying out a survey they found that agents who stuck to a relatively small geographical area and knew their neighborhood well were the agents who made more sales. It is a common misconception that if you spread your ‘territory’ over a large area you will boost sales. Sales seem to be contingent on an in-depth knowledge of small niche areas. The combination of knowing your sellers, landlords, buyers, and tenants puts you in the position of being an expert in a neighborhood and prospective clients will seek out the expert every single time.

Put Your Boards Up

Even though there has been a huge transition of the property market to the internet, the conventional methods of marketing still seem to be very effective. One would think with the advent of online property marketing services, old fashioned methods such as signage and putting up boards would become a thing of the past. It is true that prospective buyers would rather search for new property from the comfort of their own home than drive around looking for real estate. It is also common that sellers prefer to have prospective buyers make an appointment than to open their house so that strangers can wander in and out. All this said, having a board up on the property that is for sale still generates inquiries and still brings in sales and prospective buyers, enough so that boards are still considered very effective marketing tools and should be utilized.

Forward all Calls

Make absolutely sure that every call that comes into the office about a listing or property that is your mandate gets forwarded directly to you. These calls should not be handled by anybody but the expert, namely you. It is unlikely that anyone else will be able to answer any questions as well as you can. You should also make sure that there is somebody at the office to answer calls at all times.

Bearing some of these tips in mind as you set out on your chosen career path, you should be able to take steps towards being the best real estate agent you can be. Remember that while selling is a big part of the job, quality and good service is what gets you there.

If you have tips of your own that have helped you close more sales, tell us about them in the comments below.