Agents call on institutes to work as one

A majority of agents believe the state institutes and the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) should represent the industry on matters relating to national licensing, according to a recent poll.

In a Real Estate Business straw poll, 64 per cent of 242 respondents said they wanted to see the state institutes and the REIA working together to lead discussion on national licensing.

This was followed by an industry national body (15.7 per cent) and an independent national body (12 per cent), with the remaining 7.4 per cent of respondents saying they were unsure.

CEO of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) Tim McKibbin said the institutes working together was the only way forward.

“Certainly, the REINSW is willing to work with and does work closely with other sister institutes, but I think the proper way forward is for the government to encourage the institutes - as the professional bodies on this national issue - to come together and to devise a roadmap for government to implement through COAG,” he said.

“Unfortunately, what happened in the previous experience was that the government went on a tangent, which the profession nationally said with one voice was never going to work and was dangerous, and we continue to say that. They failed to listen to that all the way through the consultation process, they ignored the feedback and I think that’s ultimately what brought it down.”

President of the Real Estate Institute of Australia said the poll’s result reflected the strong outcome of the state institutes and the REIA succeeding in having the proposed arrangements removed.

“We still do support national licensing on the basis that it’s got to be done right, and we will be working with the new government to work towards achieving a workable proposal, and we’ll be very happy in the implementation of it,” he said.

Director of Industry Training Consultants George Rousos said the real estate institutes played a large role in the property market but did not represent a majority of professions in the broader landscape.

“People need to understand this is a bigger job than they think and just having the REIs deal with this matter is not really getting to the bottom of it," he said.

“There really should be a national industry body set up by the government, which is made up of a cross-section of people who are involved in the property market in regards to selling real estate."

Speaking to Real Estate Business in December, CEO of Belle Property Peter Hanscomb said the ideal situation would be for one central organisation to negotiate with the government. 

“Unfortunately, there’s such a fragmented communication between the institutes and the industry it makes it very hard to see that there will be some meaningful national process set up because everyone has different views," he said. "I think there’s a general reluctance from all the institutes in the country to talk about this problem.”

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