Real Estate Marketing

Higher standards in real estate – Why doesn’t the government seem to care?

Brisbane real estate agentIf your guinea pig isn’t well and you take it to a vet today, you can be confident that vet’s up to speed on how to treat your lettuce-eating rodent friend. That’s because vets can’t continue to practice in Queensland unless they complete a minimum amount of annual training.

But your real estate estate agent? Once they get their initial ticket there’s no law requiring them to ever set foot in a classroom again. We can handle the sale of your most expensive asset or manage your investment property, with no requirement to update our knowledge or skills. Ever.

It’s ridiculous and needs to change.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland has been lobbying for years for mandated continuing professional development (CPD) for every person who works in property. If you want to maintain your REIQ membership you have to do CPD, but agents who aren’t our members skip the requirement.  And we’ve held meeting after meeting with state politicians, lobbying to raise the standards. To have better education for every agent.

But apparently there must be a powerful lobbying group calling for less educated real estate agents. It’s the only explanation for a lack of action on such a critical issue as CPD – a concept State Treasurer Curtis Pitt called a “no brainer”. After Campbell Newman’s LNP rejected REIQ’s call as ‘more red tape’, this state government came to power with a commitment to introduce mandatory CPD (given publicly to 500 of our members by the ALP’s Anthony Lynham).

But more than 2 years later we’re still waiting.

We’ve met with every cross-bencher and there’s support from all. Even the LNP and their shadow minster Jarrod Bleijie now have an open mind. So why would Attorney General Yvette D’ath be sitting on her hands? There’s no big cost to government to make this happen. No violent opposition to the idea. Our profession is screaming out for it, wanting this higher benchmark.

In my role with the REIQ I meet a lot of real estate agents, right across the state. There’s some terrific people who take their responsibility to their clients really seriously. The vast majority update their skills and keep their knowledge current. But there’s also a number who don’t take the time to stay informed. In a profession where there’s rapid change, they don’t keep up. And consumers can suffer the consequences.

Real estate agents sometime get a bad rap for poor service. We know it’s not a silver bullet, but mandatory CPD would go some way to protecting Queenslanders and improving the standard in our profession. If you agree with the REIQ’s call for mandatory CPD for every real estate agent, please email Attorney General Yvette D’ath at attorney@ministerial.qld.gov.au 

Queenslanders expect their real estate agent to do what they say they’ll do. To be true to their word. Ironic then perhaps that this government has not yet delivered on a commitment it gave more than two years ago.

Rob Honeycombe is the REIQ Chairman but the opinions expressed above are his own.