REINSW’s Pathway to Professionalism
Leanne, who is the Managing Director Laing+Simmons, said her main goal during her presidency would be to continue with the Institute’s pathway to professionalism, which former REINSW President John Cunningham started.
“My number one priority is to continue with the path to professionalism because it’s absolutely vital for the industry moving forward. I also want to get the message out to members and non-members about the work REINSW does.
“We’re working for everybody in the industry and not everyone realises how difficult it is to lobby government to get changes to legislation. If it wasn't for the REINSW, some of the legislation we work under would be horrendous.
“I'm also only the second female president in the history of the REINSW in nearly 110 years. We've got lots of women on the REINSW Chapter Committees who do a wonderful job, but we don't have very many taking the next steps to Board membership and become President. I want people to look at me and think if she can do it I can do it too.”
Industry willing to collaborate
Leanne has already been speaking at various events about REINSW’s journey to becoming a profession and how positive the feedback has been.
“Agents are being overwhelmingly supportive, even though they know it's going to be higher educational requirements for themselves and their teams. They know there's going to be more involved but they're passionate about it, which is exciting. In all the years I've been involved in the industry, I've never seen a time where people are more willing to collaborate.”
Becoming a trusted advisor
Tim says for an agent to be a professional they must become a trusted advisor who is able to absorb data and turn it into a consumable product that is unique to their client.
“Being recognised as a trusted advisor is critical to the professionalism pathway. If you don't buy into this for the simple purpose of being better recognised, respected and valued, do it for your survival.
“There is technology on our doorstep that is trying to push us out of the way. I recently had an agent say to me that they market property. If that attitude persists, you won't exist in this profession.”
Domestic violence break fee
REINSW has been working closely with the NSW Government as part of the five-year statutory review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. Find out more on REINSW’s hot topic page here.
The review includes a proposed amendment to allow a victim of domestic violence to end their tenancy immediately by serving a notice of termination on the landlord and any other co-tenants, and providing evidence of domestic violence.
Tim stated that REINSW’s stance is that domestic violence victims need to be protected and able to remove themselves from an environment where they could be suffering. However, leaving a rental property quickly can come at a cost, and who pays?
Tim said: “In my opinion, that should be a community response and not the landlord which is where it's being targeted. I think that's wrong.”
Complaints Register wrongly targeting franchises
The Complaints Register was brought in by NSW Fair Trading to provide businesses with an incentive to provide better customer service. It provides information about businesses which receive 10 or more complaints in a calendar month.
However, REINSW believes this system unfairly targets franchises and groups, and has been lobbying to get this amended.
Leanne said: “Big brands are on the compliance register every single month and they don't deserve to be. I'm very supportive of the register and it's important we know who the people are that aren't doing the right thing.”
However, Leanne went on to point out that to have 10 complaints across an entire brand causing that brand to be put on the register “…absolutely does not make sense and is not delivering to the consumer what it promised.”
REINSW’s 2018 charity is RU OK?
Each year the current President chooses the charity that REINSW will support and fundraise for. Last year REINSW raised over $60,000 for the McGrath Foundation. In 2018 the chosen charity is RU OK?.
Leanne explained: “I have chosen RU OK? because mental health is a huge issue and depression and anxiety are becoming more prevalent in the real estate industry. Real estate agents deal with people at their most stressed and people are not always buying and selling houses for happy reasons. If you're going through a difficult time yourself, it can become very challenging."