Industry Summit

Becoming a profession – the journey has started

​The theme of the fourth annual REINSW Industry Summit was “The Path to Professionalism”. Over 100 delegates gathered at the iconic Sydney Opera House on 24th November 2016 to discuss and debate this watershed topic. Watch the two minute highlights reel:

The Summit started with a keynote speech on the recently-announced education reforms from Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Victor Dominello. The Minister explained that the reforms aim to raise training standards and increase transparency and accountability for the property industry:

“The proposed reforms will establish a path for the future for the industry by raising standards of education, improving skills and professionalism whilst maintaining appropriate consumer protections.

“Importantly these were developed in close partnership with REINSW. As a big body representing tens of thousands of agents across the state it was vital that this journey was taken step by step with the REINSW.”

The Minister delivered some critical messages: you can watch some of these in the following three-minute videos:

  1. Better CPD
  2. Licence holders need industry experience
  3. Why co-regulation between NSW Fair Trading and the industry is a good thing: Video #1 and Video #2

You can watch a video of his full 35-minute speech and Q&A session here.

Should we become a profession?

John Cunningham, REINSW President, told the assembled delegates that real estate was at a crossroads and that all agents have a decision to make.

“Over the last 20 years, we’ve allowed our education standards to slip. At the same time, we’ve seen the complexities surrounding the real estate transaction increase exponentially, and every day we’re faced with consumers who have higher and higher expectations.

“This means that the real estate industry is a target for a disruptive takeover by a technology-led company.

“One of the key things that we can do to counter the threat of disruption is to start thinking of ourselves differently – not as an industry, but as a profession and be the solution and not just part of the problem.”

John introduced Deen Sanders, CEO of the Professional Standards Council, who explained that an industry can become a profession by operating under a Professional Standards Scheme. To do so means that the industry has proved its self-regulatory capacity and has been recognised by the combined Australian Governments’ Professional Standards Councils. 

The journey to professionalism is long and hard, but one that REINSW believes is critical to the ongoing health of the industry. As John Cunningham said,

“Disruptors exist to fill gaps in a marketplace of dissatisfaction. But when you have a professional, trusted adviser providing a valuable and expert service at a higher level – one who provides the right services and solutions – consumers won’t need to look elsewhere because there will be no gaps.”

The final part of the Industry Summit saw five industry leaders form a panel facilitated by Michael Sheargold to debate the future of the industry. The panellists were:

  • Leanne Pilkington, Laing+Simmons Managing Director,
  • Chris Mourd, LJ Hooker Head of Real Estate,
  • Ewan Morton, Managing Director of Morton,
  • Shannan Whitney, Director of BresicWhitney and
  • Doug Driscoll, CEO of Starr Partners.

They debated and answered question on a variety of issues including professionalism, disruption and fees, transparency, and star agents.

The ten-page 2016 Industry Summit report outlining outcomes and next steps is available to download by clicking here >>>