State government announces new training standards for real estate agents

by L&D08 Nov 2016
The NSW state government has unveiled its plans to implement new training standards and licensing requirements for the real estate industry.
In a reforms paper released over the weekend, the government detailed its proposed changes designed to make the process of becoming a real estate agent substantially tougher. Under the new standards, those wishing to become real estate agents will have to complete seven "units of competency", up from the previous number of four.
Under the present training system, it can take merely $700 and a two-day online course to be able to manage and sell property.
A further major change will be that the aspiring estate agent must complete a mandatory 12 months of practical experience in order to graduate from a certificate to a licence. The latter allows the holder to open his or her own real estate business. 
Other reforms include the ability for the government to temporarily suspend a licence or certificate while an investigation is taking place, without having to wait.
Heading up the proposed reforms is Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Victor Dominello. He reflected that sweeping changes were necessary to increase the public's faith in the industry.
"This is the most significant review in 20 years and the profile of the property sector has changed considerably over that period."
"We need modern laws that reflect these changes and improve consumer confidence."
The new units of competency will focus on increasing knowledge of various laws as well as consumer protection.
Tim McKibbin, chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales, welcomed the proposed changes.

"It's great that real estate agents will need to do more than what a budding barista needs to do to make good coffee," he said.

"Property transactions are quite complex, so we need competent, properly trained people."
Legislation to implement the new reforms is expected to be introduced to parliament during the first half of next year.