In recent years we have allowed the government to describe agents as ‘sales people’. This fundamentally misrepresents what an agent does.
An agent does not merely sell property. They are a property professional who provides a suite of services that add value during the transaction. There’s a not so subtle distinction here, however it seems to have eluded government.
Technology plays a key role in adding this value. It’s not a replacement for a competent agent; it’s a tool that helps the agent to respond to their client’s needs. Today’s property professional must use technology to enhance the quality of the advice they give and the services they provide.
In 2016 the best investment an agent can make is in themselves, and the best investment a property consumer can make is engaging an agent who is using technology to add value to the transaction.
Taking back control
We’re currently on the partial self-regulation warpath; we need to play an active role in regulating our own profession and we’re determined to work with NSW Fair Trading to make this happen. It’s time for the government to acknowledge that this is the solution to many of the issues the profession and industry faces.
Government serves the god of competition and in that service they encourage people to enter the profession without the necessary skills. They believe competition in an under-skilled environment is good. While REINSW supports competition as a healthy contributor to the market, it must be competent competition or it will be a disservice to the consumer.
Through our lobbying we’ve already seen the establishment of the Real Estate Reference Group, with NSW Fair Trading Assistant Commissioner Andrew Gavrielatos appointed to oversee it. We’re now making advances on a number of issues via the reference group.
Interestingly, while we have been on this journey, a number of other State and Territory Real Estate Institutes have recognised the identical need and are running parallel campaigns within their own jurisdictions. We watch with interest the outcome of their lobbying efforts.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the year ahead and welcome your input.