REAL ESTATE

Harcourts first REAA Continuous Education Verifiable training at the Ellerslie  Events Centre with 300 people in attendance. Harcourts first REAA Continuous Education Verifiable training at the Ellerslie Events Centre with 300 people in attendance. CREDIT: Harcourts

New industry regulation draws big crowd for Continuing Education

Wednesday 4 April 2012, 4:30PM
By Harcourts
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AUCKLAND CITY

The first group of agents attended the first Harcourts Continuing Education session on Monday at
Auckland’s Ellerslie Events Centre.

The Events Centre was a mass with three hundred people as each attended their first 2.5 hours of
Verifiable Continuing Education. The Harcourts group was the first of many real estate agents to
start their 10 hours of verifiable continuing education required under the new Real Estate Agents
Authority (REAA) practice rule.

As of 1 January, 2012 a new regulation was introduced by the REAA for all those holding real
estate licenses to attend and complete 20 hours of continuing education each year as a
requirement of all licensees to renew their real estate license.

Hayden Duncan, CEO of Harcourts Group, says the industry is tightening up on regulation and the
accountabilities of those practicing real estate.

“Real estate agents are placed under intense scrutiny [and can be the target of criticism?] so this
requirement will provide a transparency and accountability of practicing agents.  This type of
regulation and its requirements will in turn ultimately provide buyers and sellers more piece of
mind that agents will do the right thing all the time, when assisting in buying or selling property.”

“The REAA has had an average of 60 concerns raised over the last seven months and no-one in the
industry likes to hear of a complaint.  For us [Harcourts] the vehicle of Continuing Education and
the act of actually attending training sessions, rather than doing it online, reinforces the message
that we are in this business to deliver the best level of service we possibly can.  Through this
medium we must continuously improve and develop the skills we need to do that. This is a people
business,” says Mr Duncan.

The verifiable continuing education topic for 2012 is Professional Conduct and Client Care Rules,
with a focus on misconduct and misrepresentation and as the REAA has approved Harcourts to
become an official provider, the Harcourts Academy will deliver the verifiable modules in person
over the next 6-12 months around the country.

Harcourts Northern/Central Academy trainer Julie Waymouth said, having never trained such a
large group of people in one session, she was delighted with how the morning went.“The attendees learnt through many channels, listening to the content delivered and interacting
with others in the group through talking – face-to-face training is the key.”

“Despite being advised the training was a requirement all licensees must take, the best thing was
hearing attendees say they enjoyed the session and felt that it did enhance their skill and
understanding.  Many of Harcourts’ top agents came up to myself and John Moyle the other
trainer, and congratulated us on a fantastic session, saying it was absolutely brilliant,” said Ms
Waymouth.

Continuing Education has two, 10 hours blocks of education to be completed - 10 hours verifiable
and 10 hours non-verifiable.

Verifiable education relates to complying with the Act, Regulations and Rules and can only be
delivered by an REAA approved provider, while non-verifiable education relates to personal
professional development, such as attending an industry conference or other industry-based
training such as an auction training course or other forms of sales training, like those held by
Harcourts’ Academy.

All those with a real estate license now need to demonstrate that they have completed the
continuing education requirements in order to renew their real estate license from 2013 on. 

The REAA will be auditing approximately 5% of renewing licensees each year so licensees will need
to provide a certificate of completion from their approved provider and a log the details of what
they did to complete the continuing education requirement, thus renew their license.

“With over 1680 sales consultants in New Zealand Harcourts are committed to delivering the best
content and provide the best training facilities possible. We have altered our course timetables,
re-advertised existing courses to include continuing education opportunities and our Academy
trainers are working very hard to deliver the REAA content effectively,” Mr Duncan said. “Our aim
is to provide everyone enough opportunities to complete their 20 hours before they need to.”