Number of new real estate agents jumps 54 per cent

The number of new real estate agents jumped by 54 per cent in the last financial year, the industry’s governing body says.

A record number of real estate licensees and an increase in complaints from consumers were among the key trends highlighted in the Real Estate Authority (REA) Annual Report published on Wednesday.

As of June 30, 2597 new licences had been issued, an increase of 54 per cent compared to the previous year.

REA chief executive Belinda Moffat said the authority, an independent government agency which regulates the conduct of real estate professionals, had worked hard to support the newcomers.

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“As an industry, we need to ensure that new licensees receive appropriate training and supervision to help them meet the high standards required of them as real estate professionals,” she said.

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A record number of real estate licensees and an increase in complaints from consumers were among the key trends during the 2020-21 financial year.

“Throughout the year REA has provided licensees with timely guidelines for conducting real estate business under different Covid-19 alert level changes.”

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Agents were required to renew their licences every year and data showed many left the industry after only a short time.

“Generally, 21 per cent of new licensees were no longer active after one year, while 33 per cent were no longer active after two years,” Moffat said.

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Agents are required to renew their licences every year and data shows many leave the industry after a short time. (File photo)

“We will be watching the latest intake of new salespersons to see if they follow that trend.”

While there had been an increase in new entrants to the industry, most licensees were experienced professionals, with 40 per cent of agents having held a licence for 10 years or more.

The report also showed increased complaints activity, including 1664 complaint enquiries (up 38 per cent) and 320 formal complaints (up 13 per cent).

Moffat said the increase in complaints was unsurprising, given the heightened activity and pressure in the market, and a greater awareness of the authority’s role.

“A large proportion of the sector work hard to meet the standards expected, and so it is important that we provide an effective service to hold to account those who do not,” she said.

“We encourage consumers who have any concerns about a real estate transaction to contact REA. Every enquiry helps our team identify potential causes of harm and helps us.”

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