Anzac Day for ‘gratitude’ not trading: industry boss

A former soldier who now heads a national real estate group has urged agents not to work on Anzac Day as a sign of respect.

Shane Kempton, who is the incoming chief executive of Professionals Real Estate, told Real Estate Business that “everyone can afford one day of gratitude”.

“It is my personal belief that every Australian and every person living in Australia should stop for this day, every year, and reflect on our history and to say thank you to the men and women who have served, some who sacrificed everything so we can enjoy the freedom we do in this great country,” he said.

Mr Kempton said Professionals offices have embraced Anzac Day to such an extent that tens of thousands of letters have been delivered to people advising them of where their closest service will be held.

It is illegal in some states to do business on Anzac Day. In those states where it is allowed, Professionals has given each office the right to decide whether or not to trade. Mr Kempton said that most won’t, and that those that do will only work in the afternoon.

“In every area where our members have decided not to open their office on Anzac Day, the affected home sellers have been very understanding and endorse those decisions, as many of those like to pay their respects on this significant day too,” he said.

RT Edgar Boroondara director Glen Coutinho said his Melbourne office would be closed on Anzac Day as a sign of respect.

Mr Coutinho said there would be no auctions, although open homes would be held after midday, because the “public are not impressed by agents opening before 12pm”.

Ray White NSW chief executive Stephen Nell told Real Estate Business that the group has encouraged its 275 NSW offices not trade on Anzac Day.

“However, we do understand that circumstances may arise where our customers need us to operate, and therefore if that is the case we have suggested that any business should be conducted after 1pm,” he said.

The Real Estate of Queensland has revealed that some Queensland agents have organised open homes, despite it being illegal to trade on Anzac Day. Chief executive Antonia Mercorella said this was probably an oversight rather than a wilful breach of the law.

The RSL declined to directly comment on whether or not agents should do business on Anzac Day, instead telling Real Estate Business that Australians “should be free to exercise their right to attend commemoration ceremonies and not be compelled to work”.

[Related: Agents spend Anzac Day on Kokoda Track]

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