The last 12 months have seen some significant changes in the real estate industry as we prepared for and in November last, started working with, the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 which replaced the old and in many ways outdated 1976 Act.
The new Act has made sweeping changes to our controlling administration and greater accountability is demanded from those working in the industry. Gone is the previous Real Estate Agents Licensing Board, and membership of the Real Estate Institute of NZ is no longer mandatory but a matter of choice.
The Real Estate Institute, which was previously the watch dog and administrator of good practice, no longer has this role and in the future will be more involved in providing service and support for its members. The REI has at times come under strong criticism for its seemingly lenient penalties and attitude towards errant members. I believe that some of this criticism has been unfair and
judgments have been made by members of the public, at times, without a full knowledge of the facts and without appreciating the
limitations of the 1976 Act. Tommyâ€™s has always supported the REI and will continue to do so, at least in the immediate future under the new regime of voluntary membership. Like all good business decisions though, this will be subject to annual review
as we see where their activities fit in with our own game plan.
We see membership of the REI as offering support to us in the areas of training, gathering and dissemination of statistics, setting high standards of good work ethics and in being the voice of the industry in discussions, negotiations and lobbying to Government and the new Real Estate Agents Authority. Just as dealing with a member of the Master Builders Assn provides the public with confidence in a builderâ€™s knowledge, experience and good work practices, so too should dealing with a member of the REI inspire public confidence.
On the subject of the Real Estate Institute of NZ, as a member company, we would like to publicly record our sincere thanks and respect
for their Wellington area Regional Manager, Mrs. Alison Lawson. Alison Lawsonâ€™s current role terminates shortly but we hope that we may still see her in some industry support role in the future. Alison has held the position of Secretary and latterly Regional Manager for Wellington and Districts for 30 years and has given outstanding service to the membership over that extended period of time.
Alison was particularly helpful to Tommyâ€™s Real Estate Ltd in its formative years and has willingly offered help and guidance in a variety
of situations. There would not be a person in New Zealand who has a better knowledge of the industry, its administration and the key people involved in it. Thank you Alison for everything you have done for us.And so on with the new regime. It is common knowledge that the Real Estate Agents Authority has far greater powers to administer and penalise errant agents and also that there are already a serious number of complaints on their files for determination. Unfortunately, one of those complaints was directed at this
Company and we have been through our first and I hope last, investigation of this complaint by the Complaints Assessment Committee. The process was incredibly thorough and I am pleased to say that the complaint was not proven and has been set aside as we hoped and predicted it would be.What I can say though, is that if this case is indicative of the lengths that the committee will go to to ensure
that their decisions are both fair and correct, then it must be comforting for both parties in any dispute to know that their concerns are not being taken lightly. In our situation, both sides of the dispute had ample opportunity to state their case, which is as it should be. The report on the findings of the Complaints Assessment Committee was comprehensive yet easily understood and above all, was carried out by an independent body, which should go a long way towards satisfying the increasingly litigious clients that we deal with daily.
Although we are in times of change, little has changed really in the way we deal with our clients and our foundation policies of professionalism, fairness and ethical practice will continue to be the path we follow and encourage at Tommyâ€™s.
Pick up your copy from any one of the Tommy's stands around Wellington Region, or read it here.