||REINSW President Malcolm Gunning, Deputy President John Cunningham and CEO Tim McKibbin have met with Minister for Fair Trading Stuart Ayres to bring him up to speed on some of the issues impacting the profession.
A wide range of issues were discussed at the meeting on Monday, 3 March 2014, including partial self-regulation and education standards for the profession. REINSW also took the opportunity to restate concerns about the sufficiency of resources to meet the upcoming demand for swimming pool compliance certificates.
Last year, REINSW proposed a model for partial self-regulation of the real estate profession to the then Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts. Due to limited resources at NSW Fair Trading, the regulation model that is now in place has a reactive approach to issues in the market.
“We’re continuing partial self-regulation discussions with Minister Ayres. REINSW strongly believes that a partnership with Fair Trading will allow for a far more proactive approach to regulation of the profession and a greater level of oversight and accountability of activities in the profession,” REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said.
The issue of education standards within the profession was also discussed. An opportunity now exists, post NOLS, for standards to be reviewed and for entrants to be given appropriate training so they work within the requirements of a competent real estate agent.
“We provided the Minister with a range of examples of deficient training being delivered into the profession,” Mr McKibbin said.
Also at the meeting, the impending deadline for vendors and landlords to obtain swimming pool compliance certificates was addressed. REINSW is concerned that the providers of certificates will not be able to respond to the increased demand leading up to 29 April 2014.
“We pointed out to Minister Ayres the significant problems that will occur in areas where swimming pools are quite common,” Mr McKibbin said.
REINSW has previously raised concerns with the Minister for Local Government Don Page, but did not gain a lot of assurance from his response. The issue was raised again, in the hope that Minister Ayres would address these concerns with Minister Page.
Finally, the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 was discussed with the Minister. In many aspects, the Act and Regulations are out of date, especially when held up against contemporary agency practice and technology. One key example is the inability for agents to obtain signatures electronically.
“We are prevented from dealing electronically with documents and the like, simply because the Act does not contemplate these practices,” Mr McKibbin said.
The Minister was asked to review the issues as soon as possible in order to build a regulatory environment which more effectively caters for the needs of the profession and consumers.