The transformation of the Estate Agency Profession in South Africa
It must, in the first instance, be pointed out that the transformation of the estate agency profession to reflect the demographics of South Africa is still very much a work in progress. While significant achievements continue incrementally to be made in this vital endeavour, the vast majority of estate agency practitioners and enterprises remain overwhelmingly white. Transformation issues, thus, remain of cardinal importance to the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) which has resolved to redouble its efforts to ensure that the principles of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment are observed more in compliance than in breach. The EAAB is actively seeking to implement a human-centered, interdisciplinary process that is designed to create desirable and sustainable changes in behaviour and form of individuals, systems and estate agency organisations with the ultimate objective of creating new roles, systems and policies to guide the estate agency profession in its transformation initiatives.
The EAAB, indeed, was actively involved, and played an instrumental role, in the drafting and finalisation of the Property Sector Transformation Charter and, indeed, hosts the offices of the Property Transformation Charter Council. The EAAB serves on the Board of the Property Transformation Charter Council while the Chief Executive Officer serves on the Executive Committee of the Council.
Other transformation programmes and initiatives currently receiving the attention of the EAAB include:
- Encouraging the formulation of fully integrated and representative estate agency bodies;
- Facilitating the rapid entry of historically disadvantaged persons into the estate agency sector especially through the new educational dispensation for estate agents which was introduced with effect from 15 July 2008;
- Educating consumers, and particularly persons from historically disadvantaged communities, on the benefits of home ownership and the utilisation of immovable property as an ongoing source of wealth and finance;
- Instituting awareness campaigns designed to change the mindsets of established consumers by emphasising the competencies, abilities and capabilities of emerging estate agents;
- Identifying unlicensed estate agency practitioners and encouraging such persons to enter the formal estate agency sector;
- Make it a prerequisite for all registered estate agent to have a minimum of 30% PDI as part of their staff complement in order to obtain a Fidelity Fund Certificate;
- Create enabling working environment accessible to previously disadvantage estate agent at a minimal fee per day for utilising the service;
- Intensify our marketing and communication efforts within various institutions of higher learning across the country to ensure that estate agent becomes a career of choice.
The EAAB is confident, as a result, that the Property Sector Transformation Charter target of a minimum of 35% Black estate agents by 2012 will be met. The record of the EAAB indicates that approximately 8% of the 50 000 estate agents currently registered are black. This compares with the 4% of black estate agents registered at the end of 2007. While progress is apparent this is from a very low base.