REIA releases policy agenda ahead of upcoming Federal Election

With a Federal Election scheduled to occur within the next eight months, the Real Estate Institute of Australia has set out the policies it believes the government needs to address on behalf of the industry.

Yesterday the REIA launched their strategic policy agenda, entitled Getting Real: Policy Priorities for Australia’s Real Estate Agents and Agencies.

The document outlines six core issues that the REIA believes need to be tackled to advance and promote the private property market.

REIA President Adrian Kelly explained the key issues encompassed property supply, customers, taxation, sustainability, cities and regions, and successful real estate agencies.

“In the lead-up to the next Federal Election, it’s time to get real about real estate policy and to help agents do what they do best – help Australians into homes,” Mr Kelly said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the 2019 negative gearing campaign that reached 11 million voters showed the strength of Australian real estate agents when we unite as a business community.

“There are so many issues for busy real estate agents to deal with and Getting Real gives a six-point blueprint to tackle these issues head on.”

Priorities outlined within the document call for government to:

  • Urgently address national property manager shortages through an innovative new national mentorship program
  • Secure bi-partisan commitment on a national plan for housing supply and affordability and forming a national council of housing ministers under National Cabinet
  • Phase out stamp duty nationally
  • Increase holistic first-home buyer support, including advocating for free financial planning for Australians under 30
  • Release a white paper on the role of blockchain technology for Aussie real estate agents
  • Pull more policy levers to encourage more ‘rightsizing’ as Australia’s population ages

Discussing those priorities further, Mr Kelly said in terms of property managers, the REIA estimated there was currently a shortfall of 10,000 property managers across the country.

“In our view it’s around job creation, particularly for those who might have previous experience in hospitality or tourism,” he said.

He also noted blockchain was likely to emerge as a subject of interest for the real estate industry, which had done a “great job” at embracing PropTech as a result of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, he said the removal of stamp duty remained a major priority for the industry, and he hoped it would be addressed by National Cabinet.

“Quite frankly we’re tired of talking about it,” he said.

“Politicians can’t spruik the importance of housing affordability while taking cash from real estate transactions.”

In addition to highlighting stamp duty as a policy issue, the REIA will also conduct advertising campaigns in the lead-up to and beyond the Federal Election.

“We are looking to mobilise the industry and the Millennials who believe the great Australian dream might be beyond reach and are feeling a bit lost,” Mr Kelly said.  

Launched at a hybrid event held in Hobart yesterday, Getting Real was also virtually presented to Federal Minister for Housing, Michael Sukkar.

Mr Kelly explained the document was based on months of research and consultation by state and territory institutes, with the priorities agreed to at the REIA’s inaugural Strategic Policy Forum in Darwin earlier this year.

Getting Real sets the agenda for real estate in Canberra, drives reform and shapes funding opportunities in future Federal Budgets as well as for the looming Federal Election,” Mr Kelly said.

“Our aim? Trusted real estate agents, fair real estate markets and prosperous real estate businesses.”

The Getting Real policies are designed to:

  1. Drive real estate listings over the short and long term
  2. Defend against draconian regulation and compliance
  3. Support confidence and trust in real estate agents and markets
  4. Attack immediate reputational or economic threats
  5. Plan for big picture strategic issues to secure agencies a profitable future

A copy of the Getting Real policy document is available here.

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Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer for Elite Agent Magazine with over 15 years’ journalism experience in metropolitan and regional newsrooms. She has a specialist interest in real estate, tech disruption and a good old-fashioned “yarn”.