A prominent real estate CEO and education committee member for REIA’s Pathway to Professionalism is calling on industry leaders to take the theft of intellectual property more seriously.
Douglas Driscoll, award-winning CEO of Starr Partners, believes that industry leaders have an ethical, moral and legal responsibility to uphold the highest level of professionalism within the industry.
Following a recent alleged scandal involving two prominent South Australian real estate agencies over the theft and tampering of client data, Mr Driscoll has urged industry leaders to condemn this behaviour.
“A situation occurred in my own network recently, where an agent, who had moved on to another distinguished agency, was caught soliciting business using information obtained from our database,” Mr Driscoll said.
“After a phone call to their new employer, the matter was quickly settled, and the employee was reprimanded. This swift action and zero-tolerance approach by the other agency needs to be widespread across our industry, in my opinion.”
Mr Driscoll also made the point that not only is it illegal for an agent to steal confidential client information, but the employee’s previous employer can also take out an injunction against the new employer for the use of the stolen data.
“As senior industry figures, the onus is on us to uphold strong principles and put ethics above a quick buck. As an industry, we are striving to be formally recognised as a profession, but this will only happen if the people at the top set the standard.
“Our industry is very competitive, and with the current downturn in the market, I anticipate more of this kind of behaviour. For any principal reading this, don’t forget that if an employee steals intellectual property once, it is likely they will do it again.
“If you really are a good agent, there is no need to take confidential information with you, as you should be making lasting impressions on your clients. They will easily seek you out no matter who you are employed by.”