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No licence for commercial agents?
Released 12 July 2011

Just when we thought the discussions around the proposed national licensing of real estate agents couldn’t get any sillier, they have.    

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) says it is developing a national licensing system across a range of licenced professions to remove inconsistencies between states and territories and to enhance consumer protection.

Unfortunately, they are proposing that someone can become a residential sales agent after just a two-day course!

Now there are rumours that the requirement for commercial agents to hold a Certificate of Registration will be removed.

If this requirement is removed, someone could wake up on a Monday morning and think ‘I wouldn’t mind being a commercial agent’ – and then go ahead with it. Anybody who fancies themselves as a commercial agent could give it a go.

No qualification means no educational requirements to join the profession and no obligation to maintain your professional skills and knowledge.

This puts consumers at risk of suffering damage at the hands of unskilled agents. As a consequence, the integrity of the entire profession is tainted.

The national licensing system should be a unique opportunity to set high professional standards across Australia and remove red tape for agents, especially in border regions. It would be disastrous to instead implement a national licensing system that sets low standards when it comes into force on 1 July next year.

REINSW continually fights to improve the standards of real estate professionals. It would be a tragedy if the hard work and integrity of the vast majority of agents was damaged by lowering the standards of entry and continuing education.