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Path to professionalism commences

14 December 2016

The journey to increase professional standards in the real estate industry is underway after agents recognised that it was the way forward at the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales’ fourth annual Industry Summit last month. 

REINSW President John Cunningham said over 100 delegates gathered at the Sydney Opera House on 24 November 2016 to discuss and debate ‘The Path to Professionalism’.

“Over the last 20 years, we’ve allowed our education standards to slip,” he said. “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.” 

Mr Cunningham said the desire to become a profession and, more importantly, to be viewed by consumers as a profession is palpable. 

“The power is in our own hands and the direction we take is our choice. It is time to elevate ourselves and the industry by raising our standards of education and lifting the level and value of the advice and services we provide to our clients,” Mr Cunningham said. 

A critical part of being a professional is to be well-educated. REINSW and other industry bodies have played a major role in encouraging the NSW State Government to increase education standards in NSW. This advocacy has resulted in the release of a proposed set of reforms that are going to help transform the real estate industry. 

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello in his keynote address to the Summit said the real estate sector is a very vital cog in [the government’s] ongoing success in NSW. 

“Government is investing in the real estate sector because we recognise its value to the broader economy,” Minister Dominello said. “We are going to invest in partnering with you through changes to education, training and professional standards. 

“We need to ensure our agents across the state are the absolute best in the nation to help ensure our booming economy stays strong.” 

He added that it is critical that consumers have certainty that suitable qualified agents are managing this important process. 

“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 REINSW.

“We want agents trained in NSW to be the most qualified and highly regarded in the nation and these reforms will ensure that our state produces the highest quality agents anywhere in the nation,” Minister Dominello said.