The Consumer Protection Act (CPA), an awareness of the importance of estate agents’ Fidelity Fund Certificates (FFC), as well as the implementation of the NQF 4 or 5 qualifications for estate agents and principals, have lead to elevated professionalism in the real estate industry.
Consumer demand for better service, more information and better value for money in the real estate sector will continue to escalate as Joe Public grasps the impact of the CPA implemented in April last year. Legislation, regulation, consumer awareness, ever-improving technology and information systems mean ever-increasing levels of professionalism from all estate agents. Those who don’t pay attention to the rules, policies, procedures, codes of conduct, training requirements and skills intensities on a continuous basis, or who don’t become more efficient by embracing new business practices and technologies, will lose out.
At RealNet we are proud of the fact that new franchises are continuously being established under our banner, and more specifically, that new jobs are being created by our franchisees on a regular basis. We have placed a strong focus on business development, skills transfer and corporate governance in the interest of best practices.
Minister Pravin Gordhan’s February 2012 Budget Speech has confirmed government’s continued support for job creation, with a particular focus on the unemployed youth. This is where the real estate industry's long term benefits will lie, as it will then have an emergent pool of better qualified, higher paid individuals who are able to afford their own homes.
We are delighted that our Midrand Estates franchise was responsible for the placement of the first previously disadvantaged intern franchisee in collaboration with the recently launched and FASA accredited Junior Partner Academy programme, which had been designed to equip would-be franchisees with know-how about the franchise industry.
According to SAGoodnews.co.za, 435 houses to accommodate the poor have been built each day since 1994. This confirms that the real estate arena is growing in the previously disadvantaged and poorer areas. This bodes well for job creation which will follow the inevitable mushroom of perhaps informal estate agencies in the beginning, but eventually these estate agencies will also conform to the more formalized and stringent industry standards and it is in respect of this occurrence that the following must be considered:
Consumer demand for better service, more information and better value for money in the real estate sector will continue to escalate as Joe Public grasps the impact of the CPA
According to Section 34A of the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976;
‘no estate agent shall be entitled to any remuneration or other payment in respect of or arising from the performance of any act unless at the time of performance of the act, a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate has been issued:
to such estate agent; and if such estate agent is a company, to every director of such company or, such an estate agent is a close corporation, to every member referred to in paragraph
of the definition of ‘ estate agent’ of such corporation.
Estate agents must therefore be mindful that proof of renewal or registration with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) will not suffice in lieu of presenting an FFC when required to do so. The EAAB, however, encourages all estate agents, irrespective of whether they are agents, principals or intern agents, to continuously confirm their registration status with the EAAB. Joe Public is slowly starting to insist on his rights by requiring visual confirmation that the estate agent assisting him in his transaction is in fact registered with the EAAB.
Many of our country’s biggest problems, such as job creation, housing and healthcare, can actually be addressed through franchised business models, as these are inexpensive, measured mechanisms to create jobs, provide training, facilitate skills transfer, stimulate the economy and to unlock opportunities within local communities. As consumers become increasingly aware of their rights, seen against the backdrop of more stringent regulation and higher barriers to entry into the real estate industry, the focus on job creation and the continued push-and-pull of demand and supply in the property sector, real estate has been and will remain a good investment, whether as a buyer, seller, long term investor, franchisee or agent.