In brief

January/February 2016 edition
67% of real estate professionals rate their work-life balance as excellent or good Source: SEEK Learning Defining Work-Life Balance Report

Create local content to conquer Facebook

These days, having a Facebook page is the norm for real estate agencies. But a recent report prepared by social media analytics platform Social Status and public relations agency Impact Communications Australia has found that most agencies are posting the wrong content to their page.

Posting current listings is simply not enough. According to the report, agents need to develop a strong understanding of what resonates with their local community so that people will read, share and comment on their posts.

“Create conversations that are of interest to your target Facebook users and empower them to do so as well,” the report said. “Content should always educate, entertain or help your target audiences.”

The report also encourages agencies to include images with their posts. “Images accompanying articles increases the average page views by 94 per cent,” the report said.

The report analysed 53,111 posts on 560 real estate Facebook pages.

When is an architect not an architect?

We’ve all seen ads promoting property as “architect designed”. But did you know that it is an offence to represent someone as an architect when they are not? The use of the term “architect” is protected by law in every state and territory, and in NSW fines of up to $22,000 can apply if the term is misused.

You can easily determine whether someone is entitled to use the term “architect”:
-  Ask the person for their four digit NSW Architects Registration Number. Every architect knows their registration number, so don’t hesitate to ask.
-  Check to see whether the person is listed on the NSW Register of Architects by going to and using the easy search tool.
-  Contact the NSW Architects Registration Board on (02) 9241 4033 and ask.
For more information, go to 

The stamp duty snowball effect

Few things have as detrimental an impact on household finances as stamp duty, according to the Housing Industry Association’s Summer 2015 edition of Stamp Duty Watch. In NSW, during November 2015, the typical stamp duty bill rose to $23,600.

“The cost of stamp duty has a significant negative multiplier effect causing a downward financial spiral for households” HIA Senior Economist Shane Garrett said.

As well as the immediate effect of being over $23,000 out of pocket, Mr Garrett explained that mortgage interest payments also increase as a result. “Damage from the tide of stamp duty doesn’t stop there. Homebuyers have smaller deposits after stamp duty is paid and must bear larger mortgage debt.

“The end result is that the typical stamp duty bill can snowball. This is an unacceptable burden to place on ordinary homebuyers.”

Rental bonds go digital

Lodgement and refund of residential rental bonds have been brought into the digital age with the launch of Rental Bonds Online.

“Each year, NSW Fair Trading processes around 540,000 paper-based applications for the deposit and refund of residential bond monies,” Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said. “We are doing away with this cumbersome process by cutting out the middle man and enabling tenants, agents and private landlords to lodge their bond directly to NSW Fair Trading through an electronic transfer system.”

Rental Bonds Online is expected to reduce red tape for tenants, private landlords and real estate agents by approximately $20 million.

To find out more about Rental Bonds Online, go to

Time’s up for illegal foreign investors

The Federal Government’s new foreign investment regime came into force on 1 December 2015. Foreign investors who illegally acquired an Australian home had until 30 November 2015 to voluntarily come forward and disclose ownership.

Those who did are protected from criminal prosecution and now have an additional 12 months to sell their property.

The new regime provides stronger enforcement and a better resourced system with clearer rules for foreign investors.

“The ATO has taken over full responsibility for enforcing residential real estate purchases by foreign citizens and existing penalties have been increased to $135,000 or three years’ imprisonment, and up to $675,000 for companies,” Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison said.

The reforms will also see third parties, including real estate agents, migration agents, conveyancers and lawyers who knowingly assist a foreign investor to breach the rules, subject to civil and criminal penalties.

For more information about the reforms, go to

Noice, diff’rent and un-ewes-ual: Kath and Kim house up for sale

Want to own your own piece of Australian television history?  Well now you too can live the “effluent” lifestyle as the Melbourne house made famous by foxy morons Kath and Kim goes up for sale.

About 35 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD in the south-eastern suburb of Patterson Lakes, the double-storey four-bedroom home is likely to sell well above the suburb’s median house price of $735,000 if the property’s sales history is anything to go by. In 2011, the home sold for $1.23 million, before selling again in 2014 for $1.3 million.

Disappointingly though for fans, Kath’s “noice” wardrobe isn’t included!