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New real estate training requirements will elevate standards

Did you know that on October 1, 2021 radical changes to licensing requirements for resident managers will come into force in Queensland?

Take note, because the training required to obtain a restricted lettings agent licence and a sales licence will significantly increase, and these changes will have ramifications for anyone who manages a property within the management rights industry. Resort News investigates the new rules and how might the changes be mitigated…

What are the changes?

There will be changes to the number of training units you will have to complete, to the cost and to your time.

If you want to obtain the real estate salesperson licence you will have to complete 12 updated units instead of seven, and to obtain the residential letting agent licence you will need to complete 15 updated units instead of six.

Why change?

The new training requirements for people wanting to enter Queensland’s real estate industry were approved by The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) following an independent review of the national property services training package. The aim of the changes is to raise Queensland’s real estate training standards to match the scholastic level of other states.

How will this affect you?

According to OFT, anyone wanting “to obtain a real estate licence from October 1, 2021 will be required to complete the new training modules ahead of applying for the following registration and licence classes: auctioneer (property), chattel auctioneer, limited real estate agent – affordable housing, limited real estate agent – business letting, real estate agent, real estate salesperson and resident letting agent”.

The new training requirements will not impact people who hold current registrations and licences, and a transition period means OFT will continue to accept qualifications from the previous training package (the ‘CPP’ training package) until September 30, 2021.  

However, from October 1, 2021, only the new training package will be accepted as the eligibility requirement for a licence or registration.

OFT consulted on the potential impact of the new training requirements with industry bodies and stakeholders including the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), Australian Resident Accommodation Managers Association (ARAMA), and the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association (ALPAA).

Fair Trading executive director Brian Bauer emphasised how important the changes were and said they were made to ensure that qualifications for licence requirements meet the needs of industry and expectations of people using real estate services. Furthermore, the new training requirements also remove units of competency that are obsolete and duplicative.

Trevor Rawnsley, CEO of ARAMA, told us he endorsed the collaborative nature of the reforms in both Queensland and NSW (where changes are also afoot).

Talking about Queensland he said: “We were in consultation for about 18 months, and all agreed that the old licensing requirements did not adequately prepare licensees for a career in real estate. Through collaboration we came up with a set of training outcomes and subject matters that are more suited to a career in selling or renting real estate. In future, real estate licensees will have higher educational standards that will match the standards already in place in other states.”

Trevor also advised that there will be more changes to come for the Queensland industry because discussion has also taken place to introduce compulsory “Continuing Professional Development” (CPD) for real estate licence holders. Trevor suggested that by early 2022 annual training will also be necessary to retain your real estate licence.

He said: “Queensland is the only state to not have compulsory CPD therefore ARAMA supports the proposed changes to CPD because it will dramatically improve standards across the industry.”

Managers should not ignore these changes and Trevor warned: “If you are thinking about getting a real estate licence my advice to you is to do it now before the changes kick in. If you complete your training requirements before September 30 it will be easier and cheaper for you, but not necessarily better.

“More importantly” He added: “If you are a residential letting agent now is a jolly good time to upgrade to a full licence.”

Resort News spoke to Dennis Mackenzie CEO of Property Training Australia, a registered training organisation (RTO) offering courses to meet the needs of the real estate industry in Queensland. From meetings with OFT and ARAMA there was recommendations presented on behalf of the strata accommodation industry. PTA strongly supports these changes to licensing requirements as it will encourage long-term employment and offer professionalism and qualifications to the management rights and real estate industry.

He is prepared for these changes and his simple advice is: “It makes sense to complete or upgrade your licence as soon as you can, before September 30, 2021, ensure you lodge for your license application to allow for license processing time. PTA have been delivering professional training and advice to the real estate industry and committed to the management rights industry in Queensland for almost two decades.”

Queensland has approx.14,647 licensed real estate agents and 19,659 registered salespersons. Overall, the changes are considered beneficial to the industry…

Brian Bauer said: “People using services provided by the real estate industry need to be confident their property and financial interests are protected by licensees operating with the right blend of integrity, expertise and professionalism.”

Antonia Mercorella, CEO of the REIQ said: “It’s pleasing to see the Office of Fair Trading’s new training requirements not only recognise the significance of the work undertaken by real estate professionals but also better reflect modern day real estate agency practice.

“The introduction of higher scholastic standards provide an enhanced understanding of consumer protections, improved professionalism and ultimately, a higher calibre of educated Queensland real estate professions.”

“When you’re charged with selling or managing what’s likely to be our most important asset, people have an expectation for the credentials that qualify you to that role.”

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