Daily Bulletin

Real Estate

  • Written by Greg Rogers

Did you know that anyone can be a real estate agent representative?

One day on a Monday morning a mild mannered fruit picker decided that she wanted a career in real estate. She found a local agent who needed staff and applied for a job. After a few weeks of learning about the limited amount of property law that appears in the salesperson's test, she passed and is now legally entitled to handle the sale of multi million dollar properties for anyone.

She is not obliged to reveal that she knows bugger all about marketing or property values or negative gearing or local property issues.

The real estate industry recognises that change has to occur. The property market is huge. It provides billions of dollars to State Governments in terms of Stamp Duty, GST and local government fees and charges.  It is around 8% of the nation's economy.

It is not rocket science to work out that people transitioning into the industry need professional training in all aspects of marketing, real estate and ethics as well as close supervision BEFORE they can advertise themselves as real estate agents.

Jeff Grochowski, the founder of Accrue Real Estate said today, " One day a school teacher, the next day a real estate agent"

"Why hand over the marketing of a million dollar property to a trainee?"

"Do your home work by asking a lot of questions before you select the person who will be the front person for the marketing of your asset. Look for someone with five to eight years in the industry. I mean the sales person, not the agency, and ask them if they have handled one hundred property files"

"Ask questions about how many agencies they have worked for, as frequent job hopping shows incompetence or worse"

"Ask them about their areas of expertise. A person who sells factories will not be much help selling a new apartment or a classy home in the inner suburbs."

"Why use agent advocates or the online businesses that impose themselves in the market by offering to select the agent that you should trust. They just tout your business to three or more agents and sell your lead to the highest bidder.  ( aka most desperate for work in some cases ) Do your own homework. Ring three agents yourself, meet them in person, listen to their pitch and use your intuition"

By following Jeff's advice, you will have a greater chance of meeting a licensed agent with a sales person who you can trust, who is well groomed, well grounded in the industry, has high quality connections, is a true property professional, has extensive experience in both the industry and your local area.

The REINSW issued a media release touching on the issue of professional development in the property industry in NSW. That body is concerned in the same way as Jeff Grochowski, that the public is entitled to have confidence in the people who purport to be experts in the property market.

Path to professionalism commences for Real Estate

The journey to increase professional standards in the real estate industry is underway after agents recognised that it was the way forward at the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales’ fourth annual Industry Summit last month.

REINSW President, John Cunningham, revealed that over 100 delegates gathered at the Sydney Opera House on 24 November 2016 to discuss and debate ‘The Path to Professionalism’.

“Over the last 20 years, we’ve allowed our education standards to slip,” he said. “At the same time, we’ve seen the complexities surrounding the real estate transaction increase exponentially, and every day we’re faced with consumers who have higher and higher expectations.

“This means that the real estate industry is a target for a disruptive takeover by a technology-led company. One of the key things that we can do to counter the threat of disruption is to start thinking of ourselves differently – not as an industry, but as a profession and be the solution and not just part of the problem.”

Mr Cunningham said the desire to become a profession and, more importantly, to be viewed by consumers as a profession is palpable.

“The power is in our own hands and the direction we take is our choice. It is time to elevate ourselves and the industry by raising our standards of education and lifting the level and value of the advice and services we provide to our clients,” Mr Cunningham said.

A critical part of being a professional is to be well-educated. REINSW and other industry bodies have played a major role in encouraging the NSW State Government to increase education standards in NSW. This advocacy has resulted in the release of a proposed set of reforms that are going to help transform the real estate industry.

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello in his keynote address to the Summit said the real estate sector is a very vital cog in [the government’s] ongoing success in NSW.

“Government is investing in the real estate sector because we recognise its value to the broader economy,” Minister Dominello said. “We are going to invest in partnering with you through changes to education, training and professional standards.

“We need to ensure our agents across the state are the absolute best in the nation to help ensure our booming economy stays strong.”

He added that it is critical that consumers have certainty that suitable qualified agents are managing this important process.

“The proposed reforms will establish a path for the future for the industry by raising standards of education, improving skills and professionalism whilst maintaining appropriate consumer protections.

“Importantly these were developed in close partnership with REINSW. As a big body representing tens of thousands of agents across the state it was vital that this journey was taken step by step with REINSW.

“We want agents trained in NSW to be the most qualified and highly regarded in the nation and these reforms will ensure that our state produces the highest quality agents anywhere in the nation,” Minister Dominello said.

For further information or to arrange an interview with REINSW President John Cunningham, please contact: Helen Hull – 0419 642 961 or media@reinsw.com.au.

We sought an amplification from Mr. Cunningham on the issue of industry changing enterprises such as Uber, which has fundamentally changed transport arrangements around the World.

By John Cunningham, REINSW President

"In relation to my comments I am making a generalised statement about things that come out of left field in the disruptive digital world and by no means am I referring to REA. In fact, I would say the REA are probably looking over their own shoulders constantly wondering who has them in their targets. We see REA and Domain as part of our property services eco system

The future unknowns that we are all facing and that the way to counter these perceived attacks so to speak, are more about changing the perceptions of our value by demonstrating it through the skills knowledge and deeds of a professional and as a result providing property consumers with an invaluable service"


Helen Hull for REINSW
Jeff Grochowski for Accrue Real Estate Melbourne

The Author

Greg Rogers is the editor of Daily Bulletin. He was employed by First National Real Estate and Ray White. He has designed, built and marketed many properties and regularly writes commentary on leaders in the Australian property market
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