Welcome to another edition of From the Boardroom, our first edition coming to you fully online and from our new Head Office at Rosehill.
Things are pretty busy here at EAC, let me say that I am happy to get back to my normal role after the move and for anyone that has ever moved an organisation of 40 plus people after twenty five years you will know what I am talking about.
The move to new premises has been on the agenda for some time now and the main reason for the move was that the offices at Villawood just simply did not meet our needs
anymore. We had over 2,500 sqm at Villawood and as a result of us outsourcing the printing of our publications and selling off all our presses more than half the space we had was unutilised. The premises also did not present the organisation in its true light and we no longer wanted to be located in an industrial area.
The move provided us with the opportunity to change many things and things are very different at the “New EAC” as I describe it. As part of the move we have reviewed the way we were doing things and have implemented many new policies and procedures to streamline our operations, minimise costs and to provide a better level of service.
There is also change in the pipeline for the industry and I suggest some of the biggest changes we have seen for some time. One of these changes is the proposed introduction of National Licencing and EAC has been involved in the consultative process since the beginning. The Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) for Property Occupations has been released for discussion and some of the suggested changes will have serious consequences for all real estate practitioners. We have held meetings with several other industry groups, NSW Fair Trading and NOLA representatives to express our concerns and will be holding seminars on National Licencing in the coming weeks to obtain further feedback from the industry prior to making our submission on the proposed changes.
The Minister for Fair Trading, Anthony Roberts, has announced consultation on proposed compulsory professional indemnity insurance for licensed property occupations. It is proposed from 1 January 2013, all licensees under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 be required to hold a minimum of $1 million professional indemnity insurance with a number of set policy inclusions.
EAC has provided feedback on this proposal in our meetings with NSW Fair Trading in the past twelve months and will be making a formal submission providing our feedback in early October.
If you have any feedback on either the National Licensing or introduction of compulsory professional indemnity insurance please call us or submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those involved in Strata, NSW Fair Trading is also reviewing the Strata and Community Title laws and is seeking industry comment. While we have some members that operate in this area we won’t be putting a submission in this regard at this stage.
NSW Fair Trading has also announced a new partnership with EAC to supply the fact sheets pertaining to Agency Agreements, Bidders Guides as well as New Tenant Checklists.
This partnership sees NSW Fair Trading ceasing to supply their real estate fact sheets in print form, and bulk copies can now be purchased through EAC.
There have also been some big changes to Red Square in the past few months, with more on the way. On June 30 we turned off the Red Square application, who would have thought that it was in the marketplace for some 13 years. In the end the underlying technology just became outdated and with the introduction of Red Square Web we now have a solid platform that we can build on for years to come. In September we released a major upgrade to Red Square Web and Mapping and we are about to release an upgrade to Red Square Mobile. The next month will see the addition of mobile websites for your office as a new product from our Web Services team.
For those that have been waiting for our new Listing Management feature, development of this module is now complete and is undergoing internal testing. The new Listing Management feature has been redeveloped from the ground up and when introduced will require us to make changes to the underlying systems and websites. The team is working through these changes as we speak and we are looking at a 4th quarter release date.
On the realestateworld.com.au front we have recently updated the logo to a cleaner and more modern look and feel and have updated the website and masthead on our publications. We have also recently produced some new TV and radio advertisements featuring Wendell Sailor which will be used in some regional areas. Traffic and the number of listings on the website continue to grow and October will see the release of a new realestateworld.com.au mobile website. Work is also now well underway on the development of a new realestateworld.com.au website which will be released at this stage around the same time as the new Listing Management feature.
As you can hopefully gather from the above we are investing a lot of time and effort into our products and services and ensuring the interests of the industry, practitioners and
members are protected. We can only do this with your support and feedback and as always, we welcome any feedback you might have to help us make our products and services and the industry we are part of better.