As of March 2020, the goalposts will shift for sales agents and property managers. Real estate reforms soon to be introduced in New South Wales will mean the base education standards agents will be required to satisfy will increase by about 600 per cent.
Don’t panic; prepare. This is about elevating the integrity of our industry and making clear our value proposition to consumers. Here’s a breakdown of the key actions, considerations and opportunities agents should look at to ready themselves for the coming changes.
1. Understand the impact that the reforms will have on you.
Unless you are licensed as at the date when the reforms are implemented, you will not be able to sign an agency agreement. If you are not planning on getting licensed before March, you must ask yourself what process you will need to put in place to ensure a licensed person can sign for you. Don’t leave it until the last minute.
2. Investigate opportunities to complete your licence before March.
Many Registered Training Organisations, including the REINSW, currently operate courses that take into consideration the level of experience you have, which may mean you can achieve Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for certain parts of the course. This might provide you the opportunity to expedite the additional education you will need to satisfy the new requirements and effectively carry on business as usual.
3. If not now, then when?
If you want to continue to work in the industry, you must understand that you will need to obtain your licence within the next four years. If you don’t want to do it now, how and when are you planning to do it? There’s no time like the present and there are many examples of early adopters carving out competitive advantages.
4. Reconnect with your training provider.
Coinciding with when the new reforms are to be implemented is an entirely new training package for agents which covers the topics and content comprised within the new licensing course. It’s time for a progress check on where you’re up to if you’ve previously engaged a training provider to deliver the old course. If you’re halfway through, you need to find out from your training provider how long you have to complete it.
5. Get your paperwork in order.
The good news for many agents is that, if you are currently licensed, you can be “grandfathered” into the new licence, or the licensee-in-charge qualification. Decide which is appropriate for you and keep an eye out for the proper paperwork, once it’s released, to ensure you take advantage of any rollover available to you. The REINSW is your best resource for this.
6. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
If you are a business owner, you should really ensure that among the team, there is more than one licensee in charge. Otherwise, going on holidays is going to be a challenge!
7. Get in the know.
The REINSW Future is Now Roadshows kick off in February next year and will be a one-stop shop to answer all of your questions about the reforms, the new training package and the Residential Tenancies Act. Change is coming and the best operators always stay ahead of the game.
By Laing+Simmons managing director and REINSW president Leanne Pilkington
Leanne Pilkington is General Manager of leading New South Wales residential real estate group Laing+Simmons. She is also the highest-placed woman within the company.
Leanne is the only female General Manager in real estate franchising in New South Wales, and one of only a handful in Australia.
Leanne’s real estate nous has been honed over more than 25 years in the industry. Over the course of her career she has developed an extensive knowledge of the full spectrum of real estate services, including residential sales, property management, retail management and development.
Overseeing the whole Laing+Simmons group as well as focusing on the growth and development of each franchise, Leanne is instrumental in developing new products, services and training systems to meet the varying needs of each member of the group.
Leanne joined the Laing+Simmons group in 1995 as a Franchise and Administration Manager. In 1997 she was promoted to Marketing Manager and became General Manager in 2000.
Leanne completed her Masters Degree in Business Administration at the University of Western Sydney in 2005.