The Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards (Pareb) is undertaking initiatives to legitimize the practice of unlicensed real estate agents in the country.
Samuel Lao, Pareb national director and vice president for the Visayas, called on unlicensed agents to come to registered broker organizations to be accredited.
To become a licensed real estate agent or salesperson, one must have completed 72 units or at least two years in college.
Lao said Pareb has tapped the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) to come up with a training module for those who do not meet this requirement, which they expect to launch in the early part of 2018.
“They will no longer have a reason not to be licensed. We’re just asking them to participate,” he said at a recent press conference in Cebu City.
Pareb and other real estate organizations have warned the public against dealing with unlicensed real estate practitioners, saying that half of the transactions all over the country are still controlled by this sector.
The group earlier encouraged the public to only deal with legitimate and licensed real estate practitioners since they will find it hard to go after unlicensed ones if transactions eventually turn out bad.
“If you want to buy property, check first if they are licensed. If not, then do not deal,” said Lao.
Professionals who want to go beyond the agent level, meanwhile, can pursue further education to become a broker as a second course.
Real estate broker
A real estate broker is a person who has taken education beyond the agent level as required by state laws and has passed a broker’s license exam. Brokers can work alone or they can hire agents to work for them.
Lao said they are currently in talks with the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) to allow college graduates to take up a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Management (BSREM) degree within one to two years instead of the usual four years.
He said they target to implement this plan by next year as well.
In Cebu City, only the University of San Carlos and University of Cebu offer a BSREM program.
The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), meanwhile, offers a Masters program in real estate management.
“We’re not after unlicensed agents just to prosecute them. We want to educate them,” Lao said.
Pareb covers 68 boards all over the country, translating to at least 5,000 members nationwide.
Pareb-Cebu Real Estate Board (Cereb), according to its website, has over 400 members.