Entrants coming into the real estate industry need lengthier training courses before becoming qualified, according to a veteran agent.
Former owner of Professionals Killarney Vale David Spinks told Real Estate Business current qualification training was enabling inexperienced people to enter the profession.
“They go and do a course for three days and they’re suddenly a licensed real estate agent and they can go and open up their own office," he said.
“Thirty years ago we had to do three years of TAFE, plus another year for auctioneering and another year stock and station, so it was between three and six years before we became qualified."
Mr Spinks’ comments were in response to Real Estate Business’ story last week about agents attempting to poach clients from other competitors.
He said the practice had been rife in his marketplace and was due to the influx of new entrants.
“After three or four days, they’ve got their licences, they’re out there running millions of dollars of trust accounts and they don’t even know what they’re doing," he said.
“There’s hardly a day goes by that I don’t get a phone call from some of these young agents running offices asking me what they should do.”
While he supported continued professional development and ongoing training, he said new agents should be required to complete a compulsory three-year course.
According to real estate recruiter at Design and Build Clare Verrall, the issue was a lack of quality practical training from agencies and entrants not being aware of the difficulties of the job from the start.
“I think sitting in a classroom learning more about legislation isn’t going to really help,” she said. “So much of real estate is 'you've kind of got it or not' on the sales side, but on the property management side, definitely.
“It’s about having a good mentor and I think that’s probably the most important thing. Sitting next to somebody who is good at doing what they do and not having the pressure of listing and selling but assisting them and watching them and learning from them is the best way to learn how to be a great real estate agent."
Julian Conte, director of hockingstuart Werribee and Melton, said courses for licences as well as practical training were both important and needed to be taken seriously.
“You really need the full background of the legal system, plus you need the practical experience to be able to handle such an important part of people’s lives,” he said.
“We’ve got young agents, 20-25 year-olds, but they’ve had a lot of training from our head office programs and they’re more equipped to handle the job than 40 year-olds who haven’t had any training.”
Mr Conte said the in-house training and mentoring from a large network like hockingstuart helped him to start his own office five years ago.
“When I became a director, I didn’t have the experience of running a business and a lot of hockingstuart’s most successful guys put their hands up to mentor me and coach me through that, which really helped us get up with our businesses,” he said.