Q. The Estate Agent

Definition of an estate agent

An estate agent is defined as someone (a person or a firm) who:

  1. Buys or sells, lets or hires, or publicly exhibits.
  2. immovable property or,
  3. a business undertaking (commercial or industrial).
  4. Negotiates or facilitates any of the above.
  5. Canvasses or offers to canvass a seller or purchaser or a landlord or tenant.
  6. Collects monies payable on account of a lease (e.g. rental).
  7. payable as commission from buyers, sellers, landlords or tenants.

Categories of estate agents

  1. There are 3 categories of estate agents.
  2. Principal Estate Agents, who are the heads of estate agency firms
  3. Non-Principal Estate Agents, who work in a principal’s firm and is deemed as qualified.
  4. Intern Agents, who also work in a principal’s firm and still have to qualify.

Registrations

By law (the Estate Agency Affairs Act 1976, every estate agent (including an intern), must be registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board, and take out an annual Fidelity Fund Certificate, which is a license to practice. If you perform any service as an estate agent without a current FFC, you are breaking the law, and you are not entitled to receive any commission or other payment for that service.

The Estate Agency Affairs Board

The Estate Agents Boards primary role is to ensure industry standards.

Education Requirements

In brief

An intern agent is required by to serve as an intern agent, acting under the supervision of a principal estate agent, for a continuous period of 12 months up to 24 months. During this time, they are required to obtain their NQF4 Real Estate qualification and write the PDE 4 (Professional Designation Examination). Should an intern be exempt from obtaining an NQF4, due to having prior qualifications, they are still obligated to serve a minimum internship of 12 months. Only once the PDE exam has been written and passed, will an intern agent become a non-principal agent.

Any non-principal agent wishing to become a principal-agent and run their own estate agency, must first obtain their NQF 5 Real Estate certificate and complete the PDE 5 exam, before a principal’s fidelity fund certificate can be issued.

The EAAB Code of Conduct

See blog on EAAB Code of Conduct Explained or reference it further in this manual.

The Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA)

The IEASA is an industry organisation whose purpose is to ‘maintain, protect, promote and co-ordinate the interests of estate agents and its members.

Agent responsibilities

In brief, your responsibility as a Real Estate Agent with Golden Homes will encompass the following:

  • Get mandates/listings (stock);  Through canvassing, networking, valuations, building a referral network etc. This is the mainstay of your business!!
  • Conclude the sale:  Taking of offers, presenting offers, negotiating terms etc.
  • Sales service;  Bond applications, fulfilment of contractual obligations (deposits, occupation, electrical compliance certificates etc.), monitoring of the transfer journey etc.

Property Markets

The property markets include:

  • residential sales – i.e. houses, flats, sectional title, clusters, vacant land etc.
  • commercial sales – i.e. shops, businesses etc.
  • industrial sales – i.e. factories, warehouses.
  • rental/letting of any of the above.
  • developments.

For all intents and purposes, as an agent for Golden Homes, your focus will be on residential sales or residential letting.

Top 10 money producing tasks in real estate:

The following tasks are critical to achieving success in real estate. Ensure that they are planned into your weekly schedule as priority tasks and track that they have been achieved.

  • Negotiate offers/sales follow-ups

This is money earned – protect it by ensuring nothing hinders registration.

  • Mandates

Keep on top of your mandates – frequent feedback to your seller, price counselling, face to face appointments etc.

  • Valuation appointments

Make sure you do asap, have your facts on hand – CMA’s, area statistics, copies of mandates, boards etc.

  • Canvassing

This is the primary source of your business.

  • Lead/client follow up

Never delay calling your buyers and sellers or delay on chasing up on leads.

  • Advertising

Web site listings, property week ads etc. Without ads or web listings you will not generate any enquiries. Ensure you spend enough time writing GOOD ads that will attract buyers otherwise they are pointless.

  • Appointments & show houses

Do all appointments timeously.

  • Attend open hours
  • Referral database

Make contact – send email newsletters,

  • Training and coaching sessions.

General training, monitoring work performance etc.

Secondary tasks that should not be neglected (allocate time monthly) include, but are not limited to:

  • Personal branding ideas.

(flyers, letters, email newsletters, social networking etc.)

  • Strategic planning.
  • Watch Real Estate training videos.
  • Read property-related articles and keep current with economic housing trends.
  • Obtain CPD points.
  • Check boards in the marketplace – replace where necessary.
  • Check that you have the tools needed to do your job.

(File with copies of offers & mandates, pre-appointment checklists boards, poles, cable ties, hammer, flyers, area maps,).

Commission

Do you deserve your fee?

YES! You do!

Cutting your commission is one of the fastest ways to decrease your earnings in real estate.

Reasons we cut commission are varied but typically happen because:

  • The ‘veiled’ threat from your sellers that the sale will not happen unless the R-value charged is lessoned – At this point, you must be armed with self-confidence that you can prove your R-value.
  • Competition ‘forces’ you to reduce your fee – again be ready to justify your commission by pointing out the extent of your service
  • Financial desperation – you would rather take a “little” bit of something than a ‘lot’ of nothing

Desperation makes you take overpriced listings and cut commission – be selective. You want 5-star sellers and 5-star purchasers. Some listings are just not worth the trouble!

Remember: the only professional method of achieving your commission is to add perceived value to the transaction.

VALUE = SERVICE – where are the BENEFITS to the Seller.

Value deserves reward – so be good at what you do, then your commission will not be questioned or challenged.

 Human resources

As an agent with Golden Homes you will be required to:

  • Sign an employment contract and adhere to the conditions therein.
  • Sign acceptance of the commission policy.
  • Register with SARS, obtain a tax directive and submit your returns yearly.
  • Sign a copy of our internal code of ethics.
  • Sign a copy of our disciplinary policy.
  • Attend external listing systems induction courses and sign any agreement concerning their code of conduct and rules.
  • Sign a copy of your job description.
  • Provide the company with the following documents: Contact details, copy of ID, copy of latest tax clearance certificate, original FFC certificate, etc.
  • Sign a copy of the SAGH code of conduct.

Confidentiality

During your time at Golden Homes, you will be given full access to all company information, training material, work ethic etc.

Should you wish to terminate your services with Golden Homes, all information must be returned to the company. No commissions due will be paid out till such time that the company is satisfied that all relevant information has been returned to it.

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