Peter's Blog


Is it Time to Review and Re-Write How Our Industry Grants Licenses

Looking for Super Agent?Not sure how your local boards and or state licenising works, so let me start with how our province (British Columbia) works.

Every 2 year Licensing cycle in Victoria and the rest of BC Canada, Realtors are required to complete 18 hours of approved education. Of the required 18 hours typically 6 hours are prescribed by the BC Real Estate Council as a mandatory course.

The 6 mandatory hours are normally about agency law, disclosure topics or issues dealing with how we as Realtors stay out of legal trouble.

The balance 12 hours (two 6 hour classes or  four 3 hour classes). We have about 20 some classes to select from and most are about some form of real estate law and or agency. We know that there are thousands of courses and classes that are very good and applicable to what we do, but because they are not going towards re-licensing credits, many agents keep redoing the same old stuff over and over again.

Aside from these courses, pay all ongoing fees, and our initial educational requirements of passing an open book  20 assignment correspondence course, pass a 3 hour multiple choice exam and attending a one week applied practice course, there are no other requirements for Realtors to remain licensed.

From what I know about most other areas in North America, they are more or less similar as far as I can see. There are few if any other requirements in most other areas, so but how does any of these requirements assure that your Realtor really has the  knowledge and skills essential to assist our clients profesionally and with high quality.

It would appear to me that the number one reason why clients sometimes are unhappy is for them not achieving their objectives in a timely, professional, and affordable manner.

Somewhere in current the trend to focus on the law, we seem to have forgotten that this is a sales and services industry.

How can anyone proof that they know their stuff, if sales success and customer service is not part of the qualifications for a Realtor/ Broker/ Agent to obtain and maintain their license in good standing.

If you have been around as long as I have, you know what I am talking about;is your contract is a sweet deal?

Example, You have a great listing and we get a "buyers agent" writing an offer, and just about everything is wrong in the offer. What do you do, change the offer, take the buyers agent aside and discuss that the offer is not proper, talk to their managing broker, either way you run the risk that either the buyer or the seller gets cold feet and the potential deal goes sideways, just because the agent made a mess of putting the offer together.

So here are my suggestions to improve the overall quality of our industry standards and the ability for the general public and our peers to confirm the quality and ability of the agents they are considering.

Aside to the existing requirements

  • In order to qualify for a new license, agents need to apprentice with a qualified agent or broker for at least 1 year or one licensing cycle, after licensing. Agents that apprentices, will be identified with an A behind their name in all marketing, advertising and promotions.
  • Mandatory or continuing education should include "Sales, Business management and Customer Service courses.
  • A minimum number of listing and or sales completed per licensing cycle (within 10 % of the regional average), if not, one would return to apprentice level for the next licensing cycle.
  • A Peers only rating and review system to be implemented, so that we can write a reviews about the experience with Realtors in previous transactions (both completed and not completed transactions). only accessible by agents using the local board systems on the agent profile page.
  • A consumer based rating and review system allowing our clients to post ratings and reviews that are attached to the records at our local boards and are accessible to our Realtor .ca profiles (hence can be viewed by the general public.
  • If Reviews over a licensing cycle are less than 70% positive, Realtor would return to an Apprentice Level.
  • Allow all existing and new locally, regionally and or (inter)nationally approved courses thru-out North America to be used towards educational credit hours.

Now, I knoWe all win with raising the barw that my suggestions are very controversial, and are not likely to pass at the board, provincial/ state level. why not, you ask, well for one it would affect their respective cash-flow (fewer licensees and potentially lower class attendance). A good number of Realtors and Brokers would not want these changes, partly because they are scared for getting exposed, and for brokers to loose potential cash-flow and or get exposed for not providing proper guidance, training and supervision.

We can dream off course, and I think the general public and the industry in general would benefit in the long run, to have a transperent and true method to assure that we are always offering the consumers and our peers the opportunity to work with those that are the best suited to get the job done for them.

We for one would welcome the challenge to be compared with anyone out there based on peer and consumer reviews and our commitment to continually improve our own practices and those of our industry.










Peter Pfann,

CPCA, ABR, SRES, E-Pro, IMSD, Master ASA, C-CREC, Associate Broker.

Text or Talk To Peter @: (1) 250 - 213 - 9490

Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, BC, Canada, @ Fair  Realty Since 1986.

Regional office: 1540 Fort St Victoria, BC V8S 5J2



I am a new Realtor in Surrey, BC and even I agree with what you have written.   I am not a typical new Realtor in that I have 30 years experience as a real estate paralegal (absolutely no problem writing a great Contract) and I am resentful towards other new Realtors who don't have a clue.   I would welcome an apprenticeship program which would remove some of the stigma of being a "new Realtor".   Even with my experience in law I am still uncertain about the fundamentals of being a good Realtor.   The "how to" conduct myself with sellers and buyers in such a way as to do the profession justice and maintain integrity.   Because of this I have a mentor who is a good friend and has 20+ years as a Realtor.   I am thankful every step of the way for her help and honestly cannot understand how any new Realtor stands a chance without help.  

Posted by Diane Friesen (Century 21 Coastal Realty Ltd.) almost 10 years ago

Hi Diane,

Thank you for your comments, It is interesting that every time I teach a class to new or newer agents, we hear the same comment very often that may new agents would very much appreciate some form of mentor or apprentice program to ensure that they are fully prepared to go out and run their own practice.

The current typical hybrid is where many new agents end up working in a team and often loose the ability to develop their own practice fom their own database........


Happy Selling...

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 10 years ago

Peter (or Linda or both), may I point out that licensed real estate salespeople are not real estate "agents". They are licensed as salespeople employed by an Agent/Agency/Broker/Brokerage. Once licensed salespeople should be mentored, supervised and trained on an ongoing basis by their employer, who they are licensed to represent. Ongoing mentoring and training should not be chosen, conducted or supervised by the provincial/state regulator. That is the responsibility of the employer.

The ongoing problems are due to employer Agents/Agencies/Brokers/Brokerages not fulfilling their obligations. And the disconnect is that the regulators are allowing licensed Agents/Agencies/Brokers/Brokerages to operate that way.

By the way before anyone questions my 35 years of licensed experience I say bring on the mandatory written examination for licensing renewal at all licensing levels. I don't respect the validity of "popularity" surveys or "testimonials". Regulators should not issue or renew licenses without a fair, measurable and valid way to determine if the licensee has the skills required to justify issuing the license.


Posted by Larry Estabrooks, 100% representation means NEVER DUAL AGENCY ! (Independent Real Estate Agent) almost 10 years ago

Hi Larry,

Thank you for you comments, I agree that many of the managing brokers in the industry in and around either are not, do not want to or do not have the time as well as the financial incentive to do what they are in place to do. when you now have large number of agencies with a focus on number of agents rather than the quality of the agents (cashflow driven) supervision and training are an after thought.

Many companies now, have no internal training or mentoring at all, and all of it is either contracted out or not available at all. (Size of the company has little to do with this. So for the regulators to maintain that the "sales and business skills are the responsibility of the Brokerage and companies has not worked for tha past 20 some years.

As with many products and services that we all buy and sell, getting a reasonable understanding if the product or service is delivered at the quality the consumer requested, even us as consumer will often base our decisions on testimonials and reviews.If there was a formalized format outside of the control of individuals but monitored by either boards or the provincial / state regulators I think it will greatly enhance the threshold by which each agent will be measured and as such will raise the bar and quality of the services delivered

I have no problem with tests and exams, but as you know, there are lots of people that will pass every exam, but could not convert any of the "book" knowledge in to delivering quality service or minimum results.

Your suggestion for written exams to qualify for re-licensing would work only for testing the core skills and will ignore or not be able to test and review the abilities most important in getting results

Thanks for your comments Larry,  I appreciate it a lot,


Happy selling

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC almost 10 years ago