Raising industry standards plays a key role in improving society’s opinion of real estate agents, according to a property leader visiting the Border on Tuesday.
About 70 people attended the annual roadshow run by the Real Estate Institute of NSW at Commercial Club Albury.
Newly-elected institute president Leanne Pilkington said the day focused on the training and industry reforms that passed through the NSW Parliament earlier this year.
“Just so everyone’s clear on what they need to do before it actually starts, probably in October this year,” she said.
“Most people understand how poor the training has been and so most people are supportive of it.”
Ms Pilkington said the long-running campaign to lift minimum licensing standards had encouraged her to join the institute board in 2009.
“I was getting people coming to me … they had no real estate experience but they were licensed and they were legally able to actually open a business, it’s just fraught with danger,” she said.
“It’s the most important asset anybody owns, for most people, their home, so it’s incredibly important that we are very well trained and educated on what we have to do.”
Ms Pilkington said requirements had been relaxed to bring more competition into the property market.
“Competition’s fine, but it needs to be competent competition and so at the moment you need more training to become a barista than you do to be a real estate agent as it stands right now,” she said.
“We need to turn that around, we need consumers to be able to differentiate between agents that are professional advisers and the ones that are discounters.”
The Border roadshow, one of 20 being held around NSW, included presentations by NSW Fair Trading and the Real Estate Employers’ Federation.
Figures released by the Real Estate Institute of NSW on Tuesday showed Albury’s residential vacancy rate for April was 1.8 per cent, down 0.4 of a per cent from March and the lowest result in the past 12 months.