Despite lobbying the state government to reverse its position, Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) CEO Enzo Raimondo told Real Estate Business the future of commercial real estate agents is under risk.
“It will be a free-for-all,” he said. “Agents dealing in commercial and industrial transactions below a certain amount will be licensed, while others won’t.
“Meanwhile, consumers will be left confused.
“The proposal will create a messy, two-tiered licensing system in this state.
“It’s the most illogical, ill-thought-out proposal to impact the industry in years.”
The proposal was first announced in January this year as one of 36 red tape reduction reforms seeking to remove the requirement for commercial agents to hold a licence for ‘large commercial transactions’.
According to Mr Raimondo, the plan, if adopted, will leave consumers exposed to unlicensed and untrained operators who will not be covered by codes of conduct or have stringent probity checks.
“Every other state in Australia has licensing in place to protect consumers, yet Victoria has decided to drop licensing without a valid reason," he said.
“Licensed agents are bound by the Estate Agents Act, Sale of Land Act, Instruments Act and Estate Agents (Professional Conduct) Regulations. These acts and regulations deliver security to those buying and selling commercial real estate in Victoria.
“Agents also require qualifications and professional development which further enables them to service and support those buying, selling or leasing commercial real estate.
“Yet the government wants to throw all these consumer protection measures out the door.”
Mr Raimondo said the REIV is committed to making the public aware of the changes, and how it would impact them.
“This is a major issue in an election year and we want the public to be fully aware of the risks associated with the plan that’s proposed,” he said.