The Shopping Centre Council of Australia has taken a swipe at real estate agents and the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) in their submission to the National Occupational Licensing Authority (NOLA) in relation to proposed national licensing laws for property professionals.
NOLA has published over 600 responses to the regulatory impact statement (RIS) for national licensing on their website.
While the vast majority are against the RIS in its current form, the Shopping Centre Council of Australia’s submission claimed it was a “myth that a real estate licence ‘protects’ commercial property owners”.
“The requirement for professional managers in the commercial property sector to undertake professional development courses heavily based in residential property management makes no sense,” the submission reads.
“Possession of a real estate agent licence does not give any confidence to a retail property owner that a prospective shopping centre manager or leasing manager has, for example, an extensive knowledge of the requirements of retail tenancy legislation, skills in achieving a tenancy mix that maximises shopping centre patronage and retail sales.”
However, the REIA stood firm on their demands for licensed commercial agents, continuing CPD and higher entry level qualifications.
“The RIS is flawed, the process not inclusive and the resulting model for national licensing would leave the consumer at considerable risk,” said president of the REIA, Peter Bushby.
“The RIS erodes standards, removes the requirement for commercial agents to be licensed and abolishes compulsory professional development for agents. If these proposals are put into practice, it’s the consumer who will suffer,” he said.
However, the Shopping Centre Council argues that the REIA has not counted the cost of implementing their demands.
“If the REIA is successful in all three demands, these will impact substantially throughout the commercial property industry, including the shopping centre industry," it said.
“No evidence has been produced by the REIA that the users of real estate services in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, where compulsory professional development has not been required, have been more vulnerable to risks than those in NSW, WA and Tasmania where compulsory professional development is required.”
A survey released by the REIA, which was conducted by an independent research company UMR, showed overwhelming public support for their position.
However, the Property Council claimed the survey is “not a serious contribution to public debate over the issue of national licensing for real estate agents and should be ignored” due to what they describe as ‘loaded’ questions.