Taking up study challenge
Changes to the real estate industry introduced through the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 have made it harder to gain a licence, but one Palmerston North sales consultant has taken up the challenge of gaining the new qualifications, Sue Emeny reports.
Wendy Clapperton has been licensed to sell real estate for 15 years, so is well experienced in her field. But it wasn’t enough for Wendy to have her new licence granted automatically when the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 came into force, she chose to gain it the hard way.
‘‘When the new act came in, in November 2009, existing sales people didn’t have to requalify, licences were granted automatically, but I thought I would quite like to study for it.
‘‘With 15 years’ experience, I didn’t want people who were new to the industry having more qualifications than me.’’
There are three qualifications – the national certificate in real estate (salesperson) level 4, national certificate in real estate (branch manager) level 5 and the national diploma in real estate (agent) level 5.
Four training providers, Real ITO, Open Polytechnic, Unitec and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, offer real estate courses and each offers a range of programmes.
Wendy opted to study through Real ITO and enrolled in 2010, completing her national certificate in real estate (Salesperson) in around six months. It involved completing 11 units and study costs were about $1100.
Wendy is around halfway through studying for her branch manager’s certificate. This involves completing 21 compulsory units and a minimum of three electives. Studying for this qualification carries a price tag of almost $2000.
Once Wendy has gained that qualification, she will go on to gain an agent’s diploma for which 170 credits are required and it costs $3000. certainly not want to pay to do it.
‘‘I think it would be beneficial for everyone to do it.
‘‘As far as the qualifications are concerned, the new act has made it more difficult to move into the real estate profession. The study involved in getting a licence is more comprehensive than it was. Working in real estate is no longer just a fill-in job. It requires a huge commitment.’’
Wendy switched careers from accountancy to real estate simply because she wanted a change and the challenge of being self-employed. It wasn’t an easy move.
‘‘You have to work very hard when you are starting out.’’
She moved from Pahiatua to Palmerston North 16 years ago. After attending a careers’ evening, Wendy decided on a career in real estate. She has been with Bayleys for the past seven years.
‘‘I’m very achievement orientated. I can work as hard as I like, I can work unsupervised and as far as income is considered, the sky’s the limit.’’ But it’s not all about making money. ‘‘Being in real estate is really rewarding, particularly when you are helping people into their first home.
‘‘I like to be the best I can be. I’m not half hearted with anything I do.’’
Good living: Working in the real estate industry has its rewards, but it’s a profession that has become more difficult to enter following changes to the Real Estate Agents Act.
Wendy has to undertake her studies in her own time, as working at Bayleys takes all her time.
‘‘I studied for the salesperson’s certificate over about six months, fitting it around work. If I didn’t have to work on a Saturday, then Saturday afternoon was my study time. I’d park myself at home and hope the phone wouldn’t ring.’’
Wendy says she enjoyed undertaking the course. It was a subject she was familiar with, as she does know all the ins and outs. However, she says she is finding the next stage more challenging.
‘‘It was good getting back into the studying habit.’’
Wendy is no stranger to study. She had completed a business studies degree in the 1980s and qualified as an accountant.
When the new act came into being a number of courses and seminars were held to explain the changes, but Wendy didn’t feel these went far enough.
‘‘You didn’t get a true appreciation of the changes. After studying I am now so much more aware of what our responsibilities are.’’
She suggests others in her field take up the challenge, but acknowledges ‘‘most salespeople would consider studying the last thing they would want to do in their spare time and they would