The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) and Real Estate Authority (REA) are supporting The Skills Organisation’s design of a new proposed real estate qualification suite.

This consultation follows a review in light of the current Agent qualification expiring and a desire to ensure that the real estate qualification suite is high quality and fit for purpose.

New Zealand’s real estate market is witnessing an unprecedented upward swing in recent months despite Covid-19 related economic disruptions in 2020 with recently released data revealing that demand has soared with 23.0% more users searching for property nationally when compared to 2019.

The national median house price has also seen a dramatic upswing from $628,000 in December 2019 to $749,000 in December 2020.

The continuous northward upswing of the real estate market, abundant buyers in market and a short supply of houses accentuates the importance of fully trained and skilled real estate professionals in the market to ensure best services for all stakeholders in housing market.

The consultation opens today, and all real estate professionals and members of the public are invited to have their say and provide their feedback on the proposed changes.  The consultation period closes at 9am on Monday 22 February 2021.

Garry Fissenden, CEO of The Skills Organisation says: “This is a great opportunity to take stock and assess how we futureproof New Zealand’s workforce – ensuring the skills of Real Estate professionals meet the needs of industry.  Through the consultation process we connect learners, businesses, industry, and the community with the formal qualifications framework to provide, everyone with the chance to have their say. The outcome will be a suite of qualifications and learning programmes that are well designed to meet New Zealand’s high educational standards.”   

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Having a robust, local, fit for purpose and efficient qualification for the real estate profession is paramount for the long-term success of the real estate industry. It’s no secret that the current qualification programme needs improvement, as it takes too long to complete and doesn’t meet the expectations of a regulated profession. With a number of extremely experienced branch managers and agents due to retire within the next 5-10 years, we need a qualification programme that ensures highly skilled professionals will join the sector.

“If we don’t develop a refreshed qualification that is attractive to industry professionals, there is a risk that New Zealand won’t have an agent qualification available for enrolment.  Clearly, this isn’t a palatable option, hence why the three organisations have combined forces to review the qualifications to ensure the sustainability of the real estate industry,” continues Norwell.

Belinda Moffat, Chief Executive of the REA says: “Under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 all real estate salespersons, branch managers and agents are required to be licensed. As part of that licence the individuals must have the prescribed qualifications as set out in the Real Estate Agents (Licensing) Regulations 2009.

“The qualifications are a key component to be a real estate agent in New Zealand and are intended to equip licensees with the appropriate knowledge and training to ensure they are able to fulfil their real estate licensee obligations to a high standard.  A strong New Zealand qualifications suite is key to supporting high standards of conduct and professionalism across the industry and plays an important role in lifting public confidence in real estate professionals,” continues Moffat.

“Real estate transactions are complex, and it is critical that regulated agents have the skills and training necessary to discharge their obligations to all parties engaged in a real estate transaction without causing harm.  Along with experience, strong knowledge of the New Zealand requirements is critical. The qualification is a key part of the regulatory system, which the REA oversees as the independent government real estate regulator.”

The consultation seeks feedback on the proposed structure of the qualification suite, graduate profiles outcomes and attractiveness of the proposed qualification suite.

Feedback and/or endorsement of the proposal can be made through Skills, before 9 a.m. on 22 February. More information about the consultation and the consultation documents are available on the Skills website.