2013 Australasian Real Estate Institutes’ Auctioneering Championships

The New South Wales heat of the 2013 Australasian Real Estate Institutes’ Auctioneering Championships hosted by Estate Agents Co-operative Ltd & Real Estate Institute of Australia is being held at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park on the 25th June 2013.

The New South Wales competition will see two of the State’s top auctioneer’s progress onto the National championship to join contestants from around Australia & New Zealand at the final event which is being held at Crown Perth on the 23rd-25th of September.

This competition will test the auctioneers’ aptitude, attention and ability to think on their feet. To be successful, competitors have to deal with a range of testing questions and unpredictable bids judged by some of the industry’s leading auctioneer professionals.

The NSW Heat Judging Panel includes:

Scott Kennedy-Green – Chief Auctioneer of McGrath Estate Agents
Chris Mourd – Head of Network for LJ Hooker Group
Stephen Pratt – One of Sydney’s leading Auctioneers
Neil Laws – Fellow of the Real Estate Institute of Australia
Brett Roenfeldt OAM – 4 times News Australia SA~BankSA Golden Gavel Winner

For more information on our Judges and to view the Official Guidelines and Entry Form please click here.

NSW Auctioneering Championships Sponsors

QR Codes, what are they and are you using them?

Quick Response or QR codes are a perfect example of using an offline system to quickly and easily access information from your mobile and tablet devices.

New technology is being introduced every day to allow you to be able to do more and more from your mobile and tablet devices. Today the off-line world is more about taking the consumer to on-line world where you can connect and engage with them. QR codes are a perfect example of using an off-line system to achieve this.

If you use QR codes on your marketing material you need to make sure that the page you send the consumer to is the source of the information that they are looking for and that it is mobile friendly . For example if you include a QR code on your print advertising for a listing take the consumer to the details for that actual property. In some cases I have seen agents using a QR code to take the consumer to the home page of their web site and this provides a very poor consumer experience.

Just some of the uses of QR codes include:

  • Signboards
  • Newspaper Advertising
  • Your Blog
  • Videos including testimonials and virtual tours
  • Print Advertising
  • Business Cards
  • Promotional Material

A QR code can be used to direct the consumer to your web site, social media pages, videos, virtual tours, special offers, event page, email address, or a page on your web site with more details and content.

So how do you create these QR codes? There are several sites, two that I have used in the past include qrstuff.com and qrcode.kaywa.com. QR Codes have developed over time and today you can even customise a QR Code and include your logo or other branding.

So how do you read these QR codes? If you want to read a QR code you will need to get a QR code scanner for your mobile device. For the iPhone you can try QR Reader for iPhone, i-nigma QR Code Reader or QR Code Scanner. For Android you can try ScanLife Barcode & QR Reader, Scan or Barcode Scanner.

Want to test out how QR code work then here is one that will take you to this Blog Post.

Scan this QR Code to be taken to this Blog Post.

Red Square Upgrade Released Today!

This morning we released an upgrade to Red Square . This upgrade included several new features and data sets. The upgrade included:

  • Several enhancements and fixes in Red Square
  • An update to the Quick Search for the Telephone Data that we introduced late last year to provide more flexible searching of this information
  • An update to the integration with Google Street View to provide more reliable display of these images.
  • Updated 2011 Census Data on the Standard Reports
  • Updated 2011 Census Data on Neighbourhood Reports
  • Updated 2011 Census Data on CMA Reports
  • Several enhancements and updated Mapping Data in Street Maps.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank our users who provided us with feedback.  It is with your assistance that we can continue to enhance Red Square so that it meets the needs of our industry. Please keep sending your feedback through to redsquare@eac.com.au or call us on 1300 137 161.

Mobile Web Sites now available for Agents

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.

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Estate Agents Co-operative can now offer mobile friendly web sites that are optimised for the latest Apple, Android and Blackberry devices.

With our solution we update your current web site so consumers are automatically redirected to the mobile version of your site when on a supported mobile device.

Some of the features include:

  • User friendly and easily to navigate design
  • Colours are customised to match your corporate image
  • For Sale, For Lease and Sold Searches
  • Search properties Open for Inspection
  • Results can be displayed in List View or Map View
  • Comprehensive Property Details with contact details and a map
  • Salesperson and Property Managers pictures on Property Details
  • Ability to share properties via email or social media
  • Ability to add properties to your Favourites
  • Customised About Page
  • Links to your social media pages

To see one of our sites visit www.southernestates.com.au or www.wpre.com.au.

For more information visit www.eac.com.au or call EAC Web Services on 1300 137 161.

Professional Indemnity Insurance – Mandatory For All Licensees

The Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Professional Indemnity Insurance) Regulation 2012 was published on 14th December 2012.

This long anticipated legislation requires that all licensees must be insured under a policy of Professional Indemnity Insurance in force in respect to the licensee or the licensee’s employer.

All policies must be for a minimum cover of $1M for any one claim and not less than $3M in the aggregate for all claims during the period of insurance and provide cover for specified types of liabilities.

This new regulation commences 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. Licensees who hold an existing policy, issued before 1 January 2013, will have until 1 January 2014, or to the expiry date of that policy to ensure their existing policy complies with the regulation.

For enquiries as to how this applies to your business operations please call Geoff Hunter, EAC Industry Liaison Officer on 1300 137 161 or Bruce McCluskey, OAMPS Insurance Brokers on (02) 42268700.

Estate Agents Co-operative and Odusee partner for a new convenient way to search online for Australian properties

Major global vertical database search engine, Odusee, has announced a relationship
with the Estate Agents Co-operative and its property portal, realestateworld.com.au, to
further enhance the user experience of both sites and provide the portals real estate
customers an even greater exposure for their office brands and property listings.

The collaboration between the Estate Agents Co-operative, one of the largest
independent real estate organisation in Australia responsible for launching the
realestateworld.com.au brand in June 2008, and Odusee will involve a ‘listings display’
arrangement between the two sites.

“We are excited to be working with Odusee Australia in a venture that will see property
listings from realestateworld.com.au uploaded to Odusee on a daily basis”, said David
Crombie, Chief Executive Officer, Estate Agents Co-operative Ltd. “This arrangement
not only enhances the level of service we can provide to real estate consumers, but will
also deliver greater exposure for our portal agents’ listings.”

Nikki Varquez, Business Development Manager at Odusee expanded further, “We are
delighted to now include realestateworld.com.au as the latest inclusion into our Odusee
real estate search engine. Australia is a global leader in using the internet to search for
property and there are around 25 portals and franchise groups serving the market at any
one time. These sites are our partners. Odusee provides the entry point for consumers
with our partner portals listing details as the destination.”

New Swimming Pool Laws Will Affect Sales and Property Management

The Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 was passed by both houses of the NSW Parliament on 23 October 2012.

This Act makes a number of significant changes to the Swimming Pool Act 1992 with consequential amendments to the Conveyancing (Sale of land) Regulation 2010 and the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010.

For the sale of property it will be a requirement to have a valid certificate of compliance in respect of the pool or a relevant occupation certificate annexed to the contract of sale.

When leasing property a copy of the certificate must be provided to the new tenant. The Residential Tenancy Agreement will be amended to reflect this requirement.

A relevant occupation certificate is defined in the legislation as “an occupation certificate issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 that is less than 3 years old and that authorises the use of the swimming pool.”

Both the above requirements will come into force from 23 April 2014.

Other changes include:

  1. Local councils must, by no later than 23 April 2013, develop and adopt a programme for the inspection of swimming pools within its area.
  2. A Register of swimming pools is to be established and administered by the Director General.
  3. By no later than 23 October 2013 local councils must make provision for the initial and subsequent inspection of pools in accordance with their adopted plan.
  4. Swimming pool owners are required to register their pools with their local councils by no later than 23 April 2013.

Property managers should advise their clients who own pools of the requirement to register them by 23 April 2013 and then subsequently ensure that a valid Compliance or Occupation certificate is provided with each new tenancy agreement entered into from 23 April 2014.

Sales staff should also inform prospective vendors of the requirements, having regard to the relevant dates and also check with their solicitor or conveyancer regarding compliance with the provisions.

Click here to access the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012.

National Licensing For Property Occupations

Practitioners would be well aware that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has for some time been developing regulatory reform for a single national licence for real estate agents. Consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and representative industry bodies has taken place at both state and national levels coordinated by the COAG National Licensing Steering Committee.

All this activity culminated in the release of the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS). The content of this long awaited and highly anticipated document was both surprising and disappointing to say the least.

The RIS has, as a fundamental platform, the proposal to deregulate a huge proportion of real estate transactions on the basis that some State and Territories have inconsistent regulatory requirements for various component activities in real estate practice and that some appear to have no strong rationale for inclusion.

Practice areas proposed to be TOTALLY deregulated include:
– All Commercial activity including Industrial and Retail (sales, auctions, leasing and management)
– All Livestock sales, purchase and auction
– All Primary Production land (sales, auction, leasing and management). The recommendation is to abolish the existing Stock and Station Agents licence
– All holiday and short term leasing up to 90 days

Other significant changes proposed include:
– Buyers Agents and On Site Residential Property Manager licenses to be merged with the Real Estate Agent licence
– Abolish the Certificate of Registration requirement for Strata Managers representative
– Abolish mandatory CPD

Licence categories to be retained are:
– Real Estate Agent. This will be for residential transactions only and will include Buyers Agent and On Site Residential Property Manager
– Business Agent
– Strata Managing Agent
– Auctioneer
– Certificate of Registration for employees, not Strata.

So What Does All This Mean?
All transactions in the deregulated categories can be conducted by unqualified, unsupervised and unlicensed persons operating outside a regulatory environment. In essence NO Rules of Conduct, NO Trust Accounts, NO Audits and NO Consumer Protection. A major concern for Agents, Consumers and Regulators is the fact that property transactions worth billions of dollars nationally will be removed from the existing regulatory structure with commensurate massive impacts on agency practice and consumer protection.

The rationale behind this proposal is difficult if not impossible to understand and if implemented will change the face of agency practice, erode consumer confidence and fail to achieve the stated goals of the national licencing initiative.

In our submission we supported the option to maintain the status quo and suggested that the real estate industry be moved to the second tranche of national licencing to allow for further consultation and consideration of the issues raised in the submissions.

It is expected that submissions will be considered in November and a final outcome known by December 2012. Members will be kept informed as developments occur.

Fair Trading releases new videos for real estate agents

NSW Fair Trading has released 3 new short videos on the Fair Trading YouTube channel.

The videos provide important tips on what to consider when buying or selling a home and the requirements of pricing real estate. The new videos are:

The DOS and DON’TS of pricing real estate  – In this video Fair Trading gives tips to real estate agents about pricing residential property.

Do your homework when buying or building a home – Research is the key to buying the right home. In this video Fair Trading provides important tips about things to consider when buying a home. Make sure that your research includes a Red Square Neighbourhood Report from an EAC Member.

Do your homework when selling a home – Making the process easier, This video outlines important information to help make selling your home as stress free as possible. Make sure that your research includes a Red Square Comparative Market Analysis Report from an EAC Member.

NSW Fair Trading welcomes your feedback and would like to hear your ideas on topics for future real estate videos. Email your feedback and ideas to: property@services.nsw.gov.au.

To view the whole range of Fair Trading videos on offer visit the Fair Trading YouTube channel.

EAC & NSW Fair Trading Partner to Provide Real Estate Fact Sheets

This week NSW Fair Trading announced the partnership with EAC to supply 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, which bulk copies can now be purchased through EAC. Click here for details.

NSW Fair Trading will however continue to provide online access to fact sheets for consumers to download and print from the NSW Fair Trading Website. These forms will be also available to order in selected community languages.

EAC also offer a wide range of real estate forms that cover residential, rural, commercial, business and retail requirements for real estate professionals. Click here to view the benefits of EAC printed real estate forms.