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How to become a Real Estate Agent in South Africa

After the devastating effects of the United States mortgage market in 2008, the EAAB (Estate Agency Affairs Board) changed the requirements for agents entering the real estate industry. In South Africa, an estimated two thirds of estate agents who were registered in 2008 left the industry. This left less than 40 000 individuals to practice real estate through those tough economic times.

In recent years, the number of agents has been on the upswing, and a new generation of the estate agents are entering the market. There are various contributing factors and some of them include the ease of obtaining the required qualification. Those who are currently studying for their real estate qualification may not agree that it’s easy, as it is time consuming, but it is achievable. The qualification encourages newcomers to join the industry as Intern agents and learn while they earn.

The 8 steps below give an overview of how to get from ‘Rookie to Principal’:

Find employment as an Intern estate agent (a Rookie) with one of the many registered estate agencies that will assist you with your journey. You will need to be under the supervision of a Principal estate agent or a full status estate agent who will act as your Mentor agent.

You will be issued with an Intern Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) by the Estate Agencies Affairs Board, our regulating authority. Within a month of receiving your FFC, you are required to start your EAAB Logbook and complete a continuous period of 12 months to equip yourself with relevant workplace experience and learning.

The Logbook will reflect the various estate agency functions, activities and assignments during the first 12 months.

The next step is to complete the Further Education and Training Certificate (FETC): Real Estate (NQF4 Qualification) in the next 12 months. A Training Service Provider will guide you on how to complete your Portfolio of Evidence that will be submitted to assess your competency. Some Training Service Providers will guide you on completing your EAAB log book and FETC Real Estate NQF4 qualification in the same year, to save time.

An Intern estate agent may have previously obtained qualifications that, once assessed by a Training Service Provider, may provide for exemption from having to complete the full qualification, e.g. a B. Comm. An EAAB exemption is still required and the agent will need to complete a Portfolio of Evidence. A Training Service Provider should be used to give guidance on these requirements.

A Full Status agent may wish to become a Principal Agent, and this can be achieved after completing the FETC NQF5 Real Estate and EAAB PDE5 examination. The designation for an agent who has passed the PDE5 is Master Practitioner Real Estate (MPRE). With this qualification, you may apply for a Sales Manager position at one of our offices or start a franchise of your own.

For more information regarding real estate qualifications, please follow this link to the EAAB. The road ahead may be challenging but definitely worth the journey!

Should your qualification not meet the full equivalency exemption, or you worked as an estate agent previously, you may complete the FETC: NQF Level 4: Real Estate qualification by way of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Once your qualifications have been obtained and a Certificate of Competency has been received from the Services SETA, you will need to write and pass the EAAB’s Professional Designation Examination (PDE) 4, should you wish to become a full status agent. The designation for a full status agent who has passed the PDE4 is Professional Practitioner Real Estate (PPRE).

Important terms to know in the Real Estate Industry

- Education Regulations means The Standard of Training of Estate Agents Regulations

- EAAB means the Estate Agency Affairs Board

- NQF Level 4 means the Further Education and Training Certificate required by non-principal estate agents

- NQF Level 5 means the National Certificate: required by principal estate agents

- PDE means the Professional Designation Examination conducted by the EAAB

- PDE 4 means the Professional Designation Examination for non-principal estate agents.

- PDE 5 means the Professional Designation Examination for principal estate agents

- FFC means Fidelity Fund Certificate issued by the EAAB validating legal trade in property