The 2013 Winter Edition of From the Boardroom is now available!

EAC From the Boardroom Winter 2013

This edition features a pictorial on the NSW Heat of the Australasian Real Estate Institutes’ Auctioneering Championships, hosted by Estate Agents Co-operative Ltd.

Other articles include:

Dale Whittaker puts his opinion out there on real estate market conditions.

David Crombie provides an overview on future developments.

Geoff Hunter reports on the pending National Licensing of Property Occupations.

Damien McDonald shares 7 Essential Real Estate Marketing Tips.

The From the Boardroom publication is exclusive to EAC Members.

 

In the Pipeline – What’s Happening at EAC

Welcome to 2013 and to the first edition of From the Boardroom for the year.

With the move to our new offices behind us, we are back into getting on with business and many of the changes that we implemented as part of the move are already delivering results in the way of reduced operating costs. We are constantly looking at ways we can do things better to improve our services without having to increase our subscription fees and prices. One of the biggest changes the Industry may face this year is in regard to National Licencing, as yet there have been no further developments in this regard since we made our submission. EAC continues to consult with government and other industry bodies to try to ensure that interests of Members and the Industry are protected. To view the submissions made by the various industry bodies, franchise groups and real estate practioners visit NOLA .

On the 14th December 2012, the Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Professional Indemnity Insurance) Regulation 2012 was published. This long anticipated legislation requires that all licensees must be insured under a policy of Professional Indemnity Insurance in respect to the licensee or the licensee’s employer. This new regulation commenced on 1 January 2013 but will not take effect until 1 July 2013 in order to provide sufficient time for licensees to obtain suitable coverage. To obtain a quote or to check your current level of coverage contact EAC’s preferred insurance advisor’s, OAMPS Insurance Brokers on (02) 42268700 and don’t forget to mention that you are an EAC Member.

There have been several developments in regard to realestateworld.com.au. All of the listings on realestateworld. com.au are now being uploaded to odusee.com.au and we will soon be doing the same with realestate1.com.au in a content sharing arrangement which will see listings from this site uploaded to realestateworld.com.au as well.

We have also now released a mobile friendly version of the site that consumers will be directed to. Work continues on the development of a new realestateworld.com.au site and we are working towards a release date in the next couple of months. In December we had two bumper editions of the realestateworld.com.au publication with the Illawarra achieving 100 pages and the Far North Coast and Mid North Coast being not too far behind with 92 pages. While the focus these days is on the online world, Members continue to obtain very cost-effective print advertising though the support of what is their publication.

We have also now released our Agent Mobile web sites for Members. With the amount of real estate searches now taking place on mobile devices, a mobile friendly version of your website needs to form part of your online marketing strategy.

On the Red Square front, there have been several enhancements including updates to Red Square Mobile. One of the latest editions to Red Square is NSW Telephone Data, the phone data is checked against the ADMA Do Not Call Register and is updated every 30 days. For those Members on a package the telephone data is available at no additional cost.

One of the biggest developments we have been working on in regard to Red Square is the new Listing Management feature. This feature is now undergoing final testing and will be released to a select number of Agents in February for feedback.

In October I attended and presented at the International Year of Co-operative’s Conference. It was an interesting conference on several fronts. It is surprising just how many large Australian businesses, and I am talking some with billion dollar turnover, operate under a Co-operative structure. Co-operatives are distinguished from other forms of organisation by their democratic structure and the fact that capital is used to service the common needs of the members, rather than to provide individual benefit. As a result of some of the ideas I picked up at the conference this year I will be working with the Board to develop new ways to make Membership more beneficial to Members as the marketplace and industry continue to change.

Over the coming months we will be conducting some surveys and focus groups to get a better understanding of Members’ needs but if you have any feedback in the meantime feel free to call me.

All the best in the coming year.

Professional Indemnity Reform Provides more protection for Consumers and Agents

Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts has announced consultation on proposed
compulsory professional indemnity insurance for licensed property occupations, to ensure
consumers’ compensation claims for loss or injury can be met by industry members such
as real estate agents and strata managing agents.

Mr Roberts said proposed professional indemnity insurance means consumers renting or
living in a strata scheme have the security of knowing that if they are entitled to financial
compensation, the agent has the insurance to cover the claim.

“Given the risks associated with liability confronting the property industry, it makes sense
to require the industry to hold appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover,” Mr
Roberts said.

“The majority of the property industry already holds this kind of insurance however it is
essential that those who do not are brought in line with best practice standards.”

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.

“The NSW Government values the comments of all interested parties on this important issue and NSW Fair Trading will carefully consider all views before finalising a proposal,” said Mr Roberts.

NSW Fair Trading has released a draft Amending Regulation proposing the introduction of mandatory professional indemnity insurance and is seeking feedback by 5 October 2012.

Copies of the Amending Regulation can be found on the Fair Trading website at
www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

Estate Agents Co-operative Ltd has previously provided feedback on this proposal in our meetings with Fair Trading and will be making a submission. If you have any feedback on the draft Amendment regulation please forward them to our Practice Support Team.

Changes to NSW Fair Trading fact sheets

NSW Fair Trading has amended its fact sheets for tenants and below is an overview of the changes.

Breaking a lease early
Property managers would be aware of the controversial issue relating to the interpretation of s.26 and s.100 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 as discussed  in the 14 March communication, Important tenancy issue, sent by EAC Compliance & Practice Support. If you missed it. If you are a Member and did not see it please contact Practice Support on  1300 137 161 and we can arrange to get it sent through to you.

Details of fact sheet changes
The text in the January 2011 fact sheet, Break a lease early, (see last bullet point under the sub-heading, ‘Breaking the agreement) has been changed and the words “a contract for sale had been drawn up” have been removed. The change brings the fact sheet in line with Fair Trading’s present interpretation of the legislation.

Former text:
“the landlord has put the premises on the market for sale, and you were not told before signing the lease that a contract for sale had been drawn up.”
March 2012 FTR78 text:
“the landlord has put the premises on the market for sale, and you were not told before signing the lease that the property would be sold.”

Rent increases
Last year, NSW State Parliament passed the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011, which contained amendments to residential tenancies legislation including s.42 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 for rent increases under fixed term agreements. The change to the fact sheet brings it into line with the amended provision.

The text in the January 2011 version, under the sub-heading, ‘During the fixed term’, paragraphs 1 and 2 read as follows:

(1) “During a fixed term agreement of 2 years or less…”
(2) “During a fixed term agreement of more than 2 years…”

The text in February 2012 FTR85 reads as follows:

(1) “During a fixed term agreement of less than 2 years …”
(2) “During a fixed term agreement of 2 years or more …”

Getting your bond back
Text that appeared in the January 2011 fact sheet has been removed in the updated version, March 2012 FTR79. Although the changes are minor, if you include this fact sheet in your information folders to tenants it is recommended that you use the latest version.