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‘Property broker’ is a responsible profession that requires special knowledge and abilities which should be regularly improved to ensure the clients’ interest.

The ‘Real Estate Broker’ profession is included in class III ‘Applied specialists” in the National Occupational Classification (NOC). A property broker (agent) is a profession that the law treats in the same way as that of teachers, plane pilots – aviators, flight engineers, ship officers and others who are required special education and preparation by the Law. NOC describes the group “Applied specialists in finance and sales” (code 341 in NOC) that includes the property agents (code 3413) in the following way: “This single group includes the people who analyze the tendencies on the real estate market; arrange purchase and sale agreements, mortgages, rents, real estate lease agreements usually by representing clients in return to a commission.”
Here come the questions:
Where and how can the property broker (agent) acquire the qualifications needed, in order to be competent in their work and able to ensure the clients’ interest? If teachers are taught for a period of 5 years at a university and aviators – at the ‘Vasil Levski’ National Military University, then how can brokers study, apart from ‘on the go”?
It is true that adverts from different firms offering courses for brokers could be found, but do these courses actually provide the knowledge needed to practice this profession competently successfully?! For sure they can not be compared to academic education that is offered by universities. Then why is the brokers’ profession together with the teachers’ and the pilots’ one together in the same group?
Why as this profession is in the “Applied specialists in finance and sales” class, there are no legal requirements and standards for the practicing of it, so almost every person (from the manager at a high position to the taxi driver) could be a real estate agent and make a living by it. How are the clients interests protected from the incompetent and ignorant brokers, unacquainted with then norms and requirements in the field of the territorial structure and the real estate deals? This is a vital question that concerns the interest of our whole society. In fact, there aren’t any guarantees to ensure the rights of clients who use the brokers’ service when signing real estate agreements or mechanisms to take care that the deals are concrete and accurate.
For the time being, June 2010 the state’s interest in this topic has only resulted in the entry of the ‘Property broker’ profession in the National Occupational Classificator and the determination of the minimum salary for the people occupying with this profession – 440lv. Even the taxation of brokers, however, is nоt precisely thought out, because only the income of people declared themselves as brokers is taxed. Most those who actually work as real estate agents are out of the taxed group.

The classification of the property brokers’ profession in the National Occupational Classificator does not guarantee the clients’ interest. That means that normative requirements for practicing the ‘property broker (agent)’ profession should be introduced which ought to include:
- Obligatory theoretical and practical education for the ‘Property broker’ profession in the following fields: ‘Basic legal knowledge’ (about people, ownership, inheritance rights, real estate property and the authority on it, real estate transactions, contracts, taxation), ‘Urban Planning’, ‘Building Construction’, ‘Cadastre’, ‘Ethics and Business Communication’, ‘Skills for Customers Communication” and other special topics.
- Compulsory Professional liability insurance of the broker, covering potential damage caused to the client due to incompetence, lack of knowledge or other actions.
- Regular examinations of the qualification and a requirement for updating the brokers’ knowledge.
- Legal regulation of the real estate agencies’ actions, similar to the action of the licensed real estate appraisers.

In order to overcome the lack of a legal order and requirements to the ‘Property broker’ profession, we – the team of ‘TONYKO property’ decided with our own forces and own resources to impose a stringent policy when hiring and educating our staff, which we share as a good practice with the professionally working real estate agencies. A fundamental part of the policy for hiring and educating brokers is the requirement for an excellent theoretical preparation. That preparation is a result of a theoretical tuition in the firm itself that is funded by it and is in the following areas: ‘Basic legal knowledge’ ‘Urban Planning’, ‘Building Construction’, ‘Cadastre’, ‘Ethics and Business Communication’, ‘Skills for Customers Communication” and others that are irreplaceable for the practicing of the property broker’s profession.
The knowledge and the abilities acquired by the Agency’s staff are regularly updated - in every 6 months they have to sit an exam. Considering the fact that clients trust professionally working brokers, we reckon that all clients should be given the highest quality brokers’ service when they sign a real estate contract.
That’s why we want standard requirements to our profession ‘Property broker’ to be introduced and the occupation with this activity to actually turn into a profession. The professional broker should be perfectly acquainted with the normative requirements for signing a contract, the tax laws requirements for the declaration and the taxation of real estate contracts, the orders of the Law on Ownership and the Spatial Law regarding the spatial planning and the changes of the functions of terrains and properties in buildings. The professional broker should be able to communicate accurately with the clients and to ensure their rights.
We invite all clients, colleagues and interested people who share our view to join us and to share their personal opinion.