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Benchmark For Training Is Crucial

Striking a balance between theory and industry practice takes time, argues David Faulkner.

By: David Faulkner

30 April 2022

By the time this article is published, submissions will have been closed for feedback to the government over proposed regulation of the residential property management industry.

Reading the discussion document, overall I am incredibly supportive of its proposed recommendations. It appears to be suggesting that the Real Estate Authority will extend its jurisdiction to encompass the regulation of property management.

However, one aspect of the discussion document does not go far enough.

The document suggests that someone should be able to engage in work as a property manager after sitting an introductory entry course that would take about 15 hours of study. This is inadequate. I would strongly argue that few in the industry would have a better insight into what is required than myself. Let me explain why.

Before starting my current role I ran my own property management training company for several years. We were contracted to The Skills Organisation, an Industry Training Organisation (ITO), who delivered NZQA-recognised qualifications to the real estate industry during this period. The qualification we were contracted to deliver was New Zealand Residential Property Management Level 4. This is a combination of practical “on the job” and theoretical learning. Now in its third version, it gets the balance right regarding the level of theory versus industry practice.

The course should take between six and 12 months to complete, and when finished the trainee would have achieved 65 credits. Our company helped hundreds of trainees obtain their level 4 qualification and therefore I am in a good position to discuss what is required as an entry level for our industry.

‘To suggest that an individual can do two days of study and then work unsupervised as a manager is nothing short of an insult’

Complex Role

If you want to sell real estate you also must do a level 4 qualification, and the real estate course has only 50 credits needed to achieve this. This can be done in a block course or over an extended period. You cannot sell real estate until you have this qualification.

Comparing the two courses highlights how complex the role of a property manager can be as you need 15 more credits to be qualified as a property manager compared to a real estate agent. However, the property management qualification will take longer than the real estate qualification, and you should be able to work in the industry under supervision while obtaining your qualification.

Regarding property management, you not only need to have a solid understanding of the Residential Tenancies Act but also a need to have a good understanding of other statutory legislation such as the following.

  • Human Rights Act
  • Privacy Act
  • Building Act
  • Consumer Guarantees Act
  • Fair Trading Act
  • Unit Titles Act

and much, much more.

Risk Of Burn-Out

The issue is that the role of a property manager can be intense as no two days are the same. If someone is new to the industry, throwing a level 4 qualification at them from the offset could be too much, and the new entrant could burn out.

Our recommendation to Skills at the time was to introduce an entry level qualification that could be done over the first three to six months, equipping the new entrant with a good basic understanding of the industry.

They would then be ready to undertake the level 4 qualification. This way you have given your new entrant a 12 to 18-month pathway to getting qualified. Once this has been completed, the property manager will have to undertake compulsory professional development where they would have to obtain a minimum of 10 CPD points per calendar year to ensure they are upskilled in the ever-changing world of property management.

To suggest that an individual can do two days of study and then work unsupervised as a property manager is nothing short of an insult to hundreds of people who have worked hard to improve themselves by getting qualified.

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