Two industry experts have called for more stringent accreditation standards as the debate about industry training has flared again.
A national survey by the Certified Practising Real Estate Agent association found that an overwhelming majority of property managers want educational standards to be raised and made uniform across Australia.
Deborah Mitchell from Deborah Mitchell Consulting and Training said the current courses don’t do a good enough job of educating rookie property management staff.
“The basic courses that they do go through the legislative stuff, but not necessarily the how-to component of property management,” she told RPM.
“If you want to go on and do further studies, it’s not necessarily a requirement; it’s optional. If a property manager is going to go into an office, they should already know how to do the job correctly; not go in and learn somebody else’s bad habits.”
Ms Mitchell said the industry needs to work together to generate reform on training.
“What we tend to forget is that we’re not looking after $20 investments; a majority of the investments are now around $400,000-plus, so how can you come in off the street and not know what you’re doing?” she said.
Ray White Maroochydore director Dan Snowden said there can’t be any changes to training and licensing unless there is a standard national legislation.
“Currently, you’ve got different states, different real estate bodies, and different state governments, therefore you’re going to have variations in the legislative requirements of each state,” he said.
“While that exists in the real estate sector, I don’t think there’s a place for a national body.”
Mr Snowden told RPM that it was important not to go too far with any reforms. He said a lot of young people would be prohibited from entering the industry if they were forced to attain university degrees, like valuers.
“I would like to see a six- to 12-month program introduced. Whether it is a university accredited arrangement or a TAFE arrangement, I don’t think we need to reinvent the wheel; I just think that we can use the framework that we already have and adapt it to the industry,” he said.
According to Mr Snowden, the responsibility is ultimately on the licensee and their willingness to seek and pay for training.
“I think most leading business owners and principals would acknowledge if they had a skill deficiency in their business and they would then go and source suitable training as and when required,” he said.