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Time to move forward or be left behind: REINSW

The REINSW held its first ever Property Industry Think-Tank on professionalism to discuss education and the future of the industry.

The think-tank, held at Parliament House in Sydney, invited 60 thought leaders and high-performing real estate agents to explore what the industry needs to do to become a true profession.

REINSW President John Cunningham spoke to the aspiration to have the industry professionally recognised by the Professional Standards Council of Australia. Education is key, as was discussed by a number of speakers including Ewan Morton of Morton’s; Kylie Walsh, GM of Di Jones and REINSW board member; Brad Caldwell-Eyles of 1st City Real Estate Group; Chris Mourd, Franchise Manager at McGrath; Shannan Whitney of BresicWhitney and Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Finance, Services and Property.

Mr Cunningham said there has been a movement to elevate the industry to a professional level for a number of years, but timing and opportunity were not there. Now there is momentum to raise the low education bar of the property industry.

Members of the industry were asked to make a choice: move ahead or be left behind.

“The response from the industry was overwhelmingly in favour of making a monumental change and to join other industries that have successfully achieved professional standing in Australia including accountants and lawyers.

“After all,” Mr Cunningham added, “we are being asked to provide advice on, and are given the keys to, people’s most valuable asset and that requires at a minimum a professional level of advice and service.

“We aim to set high barriers for entry into the profession. We want a career in real estate to be something that you aspire to and need to work hard to achieve,” Mr Cunningham said.

An important part of the process will see changes to legislation around what is required to join the industry, the certificate of registration, the real estate license and to be the Licensee-In-Charge.

Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Victor Dominello, who spoke at that the Think Tank, welcomed the changes and said that the new requirements will enable real estate agents to be ready to take the next step in their career and apply to becoming a professional.

“Hopefully we will see some historic reforms passing through Parliament,” Minister Dominello said.

According to Mr Cunningham the next stage in the process is extensive consultation with the industry followed by further consultation with the community throughout 2018 as part of the submission to the Professional Standards Authority regulatory agency. The process could be finalised by the end of 2019.

Editors note: There was also a suggestion and an aspiration to move towards a national licensing scheme to allow agents to work across state borders, more on that next week.

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