A career in Real Estate in South Africa

You might have heard about ‘qualified real estate agent’ or perhaps even considered a career in the property industry, chances are that you started and then discarded your search due to all the jargon used or the various resources you needed to work through in order to get the full picture. We take an in-depth look at the process and what a real estate specialist has to do in order to earn their commission.

Getting qualified as an estate agent today is not as easy as it was in the past. It is imperative for an aspiring estate agent to be provided with the correct training opportunities so that they are well equipped to earn a decent income working in an industry that is extremely competitive.

The process of becoming a Professional Practitioner in Real Estate may seem to be a long, tedious and intimidating one. Engel & Völkers understands that it is crucial for an intern estate agent to be provided with all the necessary tools, guidence and on-going training to assist them every step of the way.

Estate Agent Definitions

Education Regulations means The Standard of Training of Estate Agents Regulations

EAAB means the Estate Agency Affairs Board

NQF Level 4 means the Further Education and Training Certificate required by non-principal estate agents

NQF Level 5 means the National Certificate: required by principal estate agents

PDE means the Professional Designation Examination conducted by the EAAB

PDE 4 means the Professional Designation Examination for non-principal estate agents.

PDE 5 means the Professional Designation Examination for principal estate agents

FFC: means Fidelity Fund Certificate issued by the EAAB validating legal trade in property

Who needs to have a real estate qualification?

  • A real estate qualification is required by anyone who buys or sells property as a profession,
  • Negotiates to buy or sell property;
  • Canvasses or undertakes or offer to canvass for a lessee or lessor for rental of property;
  • Publicly exhibits a for sale or to let of property;
  • Collects or receives any money payable on account of a lease of immovable property or business undertaking; or
  • Renders any other service which the Minister of Human Settlements may specify by means of a notice in the government gazette.

What are the costs involved?

As with any professional qualifications, there are fees applicable. The costs are not payable all at once, but rather at the various stages of the process. The total fees for the 2 year period is approx. R25 000.

Basic Requirements

The intern estate agent needs to complete the 12 month internship of being mentored by a professional and experienced estate agent. This requirement will ensure that the intern is provided with a personal record of all practical tasks completed and experience gained at the workplace.

  • The intern is expected to complete and maintain a logbook in which accomplished activities are recorded and signed-off by the principal/mentor/coach/supervisor assigned to assist and provide the intern estate agent with logistical support during the internship period.
  • There will be no exemptions granted for completing the internship or the logbook.

The intern estate agent must complete their FETC (the Further Education and Training Certificate) in Real Estate at level NQF 4 through with an accredited provider and receive a certificate of competence from Services SETA (the Services Sector Education and Training Authority)

  • This qualification has 150 credits, which equates to 1 500 notional hours (study hours needed to complete the course).
  • It is possible to combine the FETC NQF 4 qualification and the internship so that the intern estate agent can work on these two aspects of the qualification at the same time, as long as they have completed at least 8 months of their internship.
  • If the intern holds any degrees or diplomas in certain areas, it is possible to apply for and be exempt from completing the FETC.

Lastly an intern must also write and pass the Professional Designate Exam (PDE) after they have been found competent by Services SETA in their NQF Level 4 portfolio of evidence.

  • The PDE 4 must be passed within 2 years from the date of the first issue to the intern estate agent of an intern fidelity fund certificate, it grants the intern estate agent a status upgrade to full-status non- principal estate agent.
  • No exceptions will be granted from writing the PDE exam.

If an agent wants to further extend their education in order to become a principal and run their own business they must be found competent in NQF level 5 and PDE level 5.

It will take between 2-3 years for an intern estate agent to complete the whole process and 3-4 years for a principal. An intern agent may sell property in the meantime, but no legal documentation – mandates or contracts – may be signed off without the presence of the principal or full-status agent. Professional, registered designations are as follows – PPRE – Professional Practitioner in Real Estate (PDE 4) and MPRE – Master Practitioner in Real Estate (PDE 5).