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SPRING EDITION 2013

CEO David Crombie Driving Change at EAC

Is it Rural, Lifestyle or Residential? Page 06

Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Stay Ahead of the Game Page 08

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FTB Spring Edition 2013 Contents

02

04

The Chairman’s View Dale Whittaker

16

Fair Trading Tips NSW Fair Trading

05

In the Pipeline David Crombie

18

Staff Profile Sandy Eime

06

Compliance Matters Geoff Hunter

20

Nostalgic look at EAC Sandy Eime

08

Brand Marketing Tips Damien McDonald

22

Workplace Flexibility Fiona Paranihi

10

Membership Services Ross Graham

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Member Profile Sandy Eime

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Technology Review Don Harb

26

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Forms and Administration News Maureen Faapito

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FTB Spring Edition 2013

Welcome New Members

EAC Contact List


Insurance solutions.

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The complexity of running a business today requires support by an insurance adviser who understands your risk exposures and is able to develop tailor made solutions that adequately protect your business. At OAMPS Insurance brokers, we’ve made it our business to get to know the risks associated with running a real estate agency. Working in conjunction with the Estate Agents Co-operative, OAMPS has developed industry specific risk cover and services, including: • Professional indemnity and management liability • Expanded business insurance policy coverage • Workers’ compensation advice and claims/premium expertise • In-house claims processing

For an obligation free appraisal of your insurance requirements, contact your nearest OAMPS branch: Canberra T: 02 6993 6600 E: canberra@oamps.com.au

Newcastle T: 02 4979 3333 E: newcastle@oamps.com.au

Wagga Wagga T: 02 6933 6600 E: wagga@oamps.com.au

Dubbo T: 02 6884 9800 E: dubbo@oamps.com.au

North Sydney T: 02 9424 1700 E: sydney@oamps.com.au

Wollongong T: 02 4226 8700 E: wollongong@oamps.com.au

Forbes T: 02 6851 1200 E: forbes@oamps.com.au

Parramatta T: 02 8838 5700 E: parramatta@oamps.com.au

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The Chairman’s View

So What Do The Coming Months Hold? By Dale Whittaker, EAC Chairman

On the positive side the auction clearance rates continue to be extremely high, indicating upward price movement. The election is all over and spring is well and truly here. So what do the coming months hold? It appears that the new federal government has already had some positive impact on consumer confidence, although I suspect it is still reasonably shaky and it won’t take much to drop it back again. Something like the U.S. debt ceiling crisis and its effect on global financing with the inevitable blanket media coverage of “doom and gloom” would certainly put a hold on things. On the positive side the auction clearance rates continue to be extremely high in NSW, indicating upward price movement driven by continued imbalance in the supply and demand situation, with available stock levels continuing to be below last years’ levels. I believe this imbalance will continue for some time yet with quality new stock being snapped up very quickly, thus the stock levels of available housing will continue to remain low. This is evidenced by a drop in virtually all real estate publications page numbers as properties are often only advertised once before they are sold. Another somewhat worrying trend that continues to develop is the drop in first home buyers. This is a national trend and has a number of factors affecting it. The change in first home buyer grants in NSW as well as other states must certainly be part of the reason and it is an issue which EAC will raise at both a state level and a national level through our affiliation with the REIA.

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FTB Spring Edition 2013

Nationally it is a mere 13.7% of home buyers, far below the long term average of 20.1%, despite 8 interest rate cuts since November 2011. Indications on further rate cuts still seem to be in favour of another cut from the RBA. The minutes of the last monthly meeting showed that if business confidence recedes or fails to translate into a lift in employment and investment in non-mining sections then another cut is likely in the near term. All in all, I think that the next quarter will continue the current upward trend with listings at an absolute premium. Hopefully this competition for listings will not lead to too much fee cutting with the well trained agents out there able to substantiate holding their fees due to their extra skill in obtaining the best possible result for the vendor. Wishing you all a prosperous spring selling season.


In the Pipeline

What’s Happening at EAC By David Crombie, EAC Chief Executive Officer

We have spent over 12 months developing the new realestateworld.com.au website, Addlist and underlying systems and we now have a technology platform that we can build on for many years to come. Welcome to another edition of From the Boardroom, Christmas will be upon us before we know it. On the 23rd October we held our Annual General Meeting and we are pleased to announce that the Cooperative reported a profit of $392,273 last financial year. The actual trading profit was $164,247 and this was largely affected by the tight market conditions which saw a significant number of offices either close or merge, which has an obvious and immediate impact on membership revenue and a shortage of listings which impacted the page numbers and revenue in our publications. You can download the 2013 Annual Report at eac.com.au by clicking here Sometime ago the Board and Management made the decision to deregister the company realestateworld.com.au Pty Ltd that was setup when realestateworld.com.au was first formed. Once the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of EAC and was 100% under EAC’s control there was no need to maintain the separate structure and the associated costs. This process has now been completed and realestateworld.com. au continues to be owned by the members and operates as a division of EAC. The past few months have been very busy as we undertook one of the largest technology projects since Red Square was first released in 1999. On the 21st October we released the new realestateworld.com.au website and our new listing management feature Addlist. We have spent over 12 months developing the new realestateworld.com.au website, Addlist and underlying systems and we now have a technology platform that we can build on for many years to come. With realestateworld.com.au, in addition to considerably improving the consumer experience, in the search and display of property listings, we have added greatly improved reporting on consumer engagement and mechanisms to increase the level of enquiry generated by the site. We have also taken substantial steps to assist agents who are looking for greater profile on the site to professionally market their office and personal brands with our Pro and Elite offerings. As for the new Addlist, the feedback has been extremely positive and this outcome has been achieved as a result of extensive research and consultation with our members throughout the project. If you use the Addlist and have not yet attended one of our webinars make sure you book yourself in so you can learn about all the new features that are now available.

With these two projects out of the way we have now started concentrating on updating of all the agent websites that we host which will see all existing and new sites move to the same platform that drives the realestateworld.com.au website. This update will provide these offices with a consumer focussed web site utilising the latest technology, web design and real estate website functionality. Not too far away also is our new eForms solution. We are just applying the final touches to this solution before it goes through internal testing prior to be being released to agents for real world testing. The 2013 Real Estate Institutes’ Australasian Auctioneering national championships were held at Crown Perth on the 23rd25th of September. Gavin Croft and Edward Riley the winner and runner up from the New South Wales Heats competed and represented us well but 23 Year old New Zealander, Daniel Coulson, took the trophy for the second year in a row. The five finalists who battled it out with Daniel were Justin Nickerson of QLD, Harry Li from VIC, Rob Mason from WA and the other NZ finalist, Andrew North. On the national licencing front the battle continues and we will update you as more information comes to hand. Our position on National Licencing has not changed and while we are not against national licencing as a concept we believe that the currently proposed model is not in the best interest of the industry or consumers. EAC is currently investing a lot of time and effort into our products and services and ensuring the interests of the industry, practitioners and members are protected. We can only do this with your support and feedback and to this end we will be sending out several surveys in the coming months and if you can spare the time we would really appreciate if you could complete them. We welcome any feedback you might have to help us make our products and services more beneficial to you as, ultimately, we are about service and not profit at the expense of the industry. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call or email me.

I would like to thank all the agents that assisted us with the testing of these new products prior to them being released. The feedback that was provided through the process was invaluable and it is with your assistance we will continue to enhance our products and services to ensure that they meet the needs of members and the industry.

FTB Spring Edition 2013

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Compliance Matters By Geoff Hunter, Industry Liaison and Compliance Advisor

Is it Rural, Lifestyle or Residential? Employees of the business who are active in both residential and rural will require certificates of registration in both categories. What Licences and Certificates are required?

Rural properties are defined as:

The EAC Agency Practice Support Line receives numerous calls as to the requirement to hold a Stock and Station Agents Licence if selling lifestyle (country) properties and small rural holdings and how do you differentiate between them? There are several critical factors to keep in mind.

“land that is used or apparently intended to be used for gain or profit for grazing of livestock, dairying, poultry farming, viticulture, orcharding, beekeeping, horticulture, the growing of crops of any kind, vegetable growing or any other purpose declared by the regulations to be a rural purpose.”

The Property Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 and Regulation 2003 provides that, “the definition of real estate agent in the Act includes a person who carries on business as an auctioneer or agent in respect of any parcel of rural land that has an area of up to 20 hectares (50 acres).”

The agent who transacts with rural properties, as defined and over 20 hectares, requires a Stock and Station Agents licence and their employees who are also engaged in that part of the business require a Certificate Registration as a Stock and Station Salesperson.

It follows that an employee who holds a certificate of registration as a real estate salesperson may list, sell, lease and manage property up to 20 hectares. So a licensed real estate agent together with a certificated employee who normally transact with residential property can also act on “lifestyle rural” properties up to the maximum size of 20 hectares.

If the business is transacting residential, lifestyle and rural the licensee in charge of the business will require a real estate agents licence AND a stock and station agents licence. Employees of the business who are active in both residential and rural WILL REQUIRE CERTIFICATES OF REGISTRATION IN BOTH CATEGORIES. Business owners and licensees in charge need to ensure that their staff hold the appropriate certificates.

Your trust account........ Who can sign a cheque or effect an electronic funds transfer? The Property, Stock and Business Agents Regulation 2003, Part 4, Section 33 sets out the requirements as to who can initiate payments from your trust account. Principals and licensees in charge need to ensure that these rules are strictly observed, not to do so is an offence and can incur substantial fines for both corporations and individuals. There can be no doubt that the security and integrity of your trust account must rank as the top priority, way in front of whatever is coming second!

(c) If the licensee is a person in charge of a place of business, to not more than 2 employees at that place of business.

The following is a summary of the main requirements:

(4) The delegation must be in writing and signed by the licensee and the delegate and may be revoked by the delegator by giving written notice of revocation to the delegate.

(1) A licensee that is a corporation or who is a sole proprietor or a partner has authority to sign a cheque or to effect an electronic funds transfer from the trust account.

(5) A delegation in force under this clause authorises the delegate to sign trust cheques or effect trust EFT’s to which the delegation relates:

(2) A licensee in charge of a place of business has authority to sign a trust cheque or effect a trust EFT.

(a) (except in the case of a delegation by a licensee that is a corporation) only if the delegator is unable to sign the cheque or effect the transfer with due expedition because of his or her being sick or injured or absent for good reason.

(3) A licensee who has authority otherwise than as a delegate to sign trust cheques or effect trust EFT’s may delegate that authority: (a) If the licensee is a corporation, to each director of the corporation who is the holder of a licence or certificate under the Act and to not more than 2 employees at each place of business of the of the corporation, or

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(b) If the licensee is a sole proprietor or a partner, to not more than 2 employees at each place of business of the sole proprietor or partnership, or

FTB Spring Edition 2013

Prior to arranging to delegate authority for signing cheques or effecting EFT’s those who are operating under a corporation or a partnership structure should carefully check the company constitution or partnership agreement to ensure there are no prohibitions or restrictions. If you have any doubts consult with your legal advisor or accountant/auditor before putting delegations in place.


Is your office aboard? Click here to find out more


Brand Marketing Tips

Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Stay Ahead of the Game

By Damien McDonald, EAC Sales & Marketing Manager

Five real estate marketing ideas for the modern agency to complement their existing marketing strategy into the coming years. Image plays a huge role in establishing a brand, perhaps no more so than in our industry. When vendors are looking for the agent to get them the highest price possible, they look to the agents who have achieved success in the past. This can and has been demonstrated at every point of reference with the potential client from expensive cars, pages of print advertising, office position and outdoor advertising. Seeing a real estate agent driving a beat-up little Hyundai Excel isn’t going to instil too much confidence. Now in a digital age there are so many more opportunities to attract vendors or sell houses than getting out there and projecting a successful brand and relying heavily on large advertising budgets. Here are five real estate marketing ideas for the modern agency to complement their existing marketing strategy into the coming years.

Mobile Website You’re not using an old brick so don’t assume your potential vendor or buyer is either. Smartphone usage is skyrocketing and all predictions see web traffic via smartphones and tablets surpassing traffic via PCs in the future so it’s imperative that when someone visits your website on a mobile or tablet, they see the best possible version of what you have to offer them. Google even tells us after their own research that 61% of users say they’ll abandon a mobile site if they don’t see what they want right away. Shoot for an option that compliments your desktop content but automatically optimises for a browsers mobile device.

Search Engine Optimisation Having a great looking website that displays properties for sale is a great start but relying on people to Google your business is restricting your opportunities. This strategy still relies on the offline branding for the browser to remember your name and then find your website. Think about the amount of real estate related searches on the key search engines.

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in making a decision. If friends or family have not referred them already they will seek information online and the best way to ensure that your office rates highly is incorporating a strong social media strategy, online banner advertising on real estate websites as well as a healthy database regular newsletter, which will all assist with SEO of your office website.

Blogging A blog for a real estate agency will serve a number of purposes and is one marketing idea that you should really follow through with. Blogging will dramatically increase the traffic to your website, primarily because your blog posts will be targeting secondary search terms, for example ‘Property Hotspots Wollongong’. Share your knowledge of Wollongong Property Hotspots and when browsers are researching where to buy, they come across your content and your website and before you know it they are looking at your property listings. A blog will also provide the extra information for potential vendors to help them make the decision to contact your agency. For if they’re undecided, is there anything on your website that sets you apart from your competitor? Is your copy more convincing than the others? It may or may not, but a blog will provide that unique difference and so much more content for the potential vendor to understand that you know what you’re talking about. Further to this, a blog provides you the content that people share on social media and this can then help advertise your business.

Banner Advertising We all understand the necessity of advertising on real estate websites but apart from listing your vendors properties, how can you promote your own business and services without getting lost among your competitors?

Buyers will be searching key terms such as ‘Properties for sale’ and then the local adaptations such as ‘Properties for sale Lismore’. Where are you when they do this? Are you advertising and appearing in the top three results at the top of the page? Or are you ranking organically in the top three – five results directly below the advertising? If you’re not in either then you’re losing out on a lot of buyers.

Real estate website banner advertising is a great way to build recognition in your local area, just like you have in your print advertising for many years but in the online space. It’s a cost effective solution to also drive browser traffic to your website and promote your vendors listings and increase search engine optimisation. Another lesser utilised strategy is to promote your office social media sites and property newsletters to your local market and thus build consumer trust in your brand. realestateworld.com.au has a number of cost effective banner packages to assist your office get better recognition.

Vendors will also be interested in researching online to find quality agents to sell their house. Peer reviews will be significant

Now sold by Membership click here to notify one of our team to contact you with more information.

FTB Spring Edition 2013


Affiliate Marketing Affiliate marketing has been around for ages but it seems for many industries, particularly in Australia, it is under-utilised. From a real estate agent’s perspective you’re not going to sell advertising space on your website but you can create an affiliate program to serve your advertising. If you haven’t followed me let me explain. Affiliate marketing will help you serve your display advertising around the web and to the people that matter to you. Whilst it’s not AdWords and being able to advertise to someone actively searching for a relevant term, you can still target a demographic and it helps to build your brand.

newsletter for example. You can review applications from publishers so your ads are not serving on sites you do not approve and are serving only on sites that will see your target audience. Commission Monster and Commission Factory are good places to google for more information. It is a really affordable method of driving traffic and leads to your website if you get the incentive right. The Web Services team at EAC can assist in your offices website, mobile solution and even social media requirements. Give them a call on 1300 137 161 or visit our webpage to find out what they can offer your business.

Create a suite of display ads promoting your agency and sign up with an affiliate platform that allows you to create your own affiliate program. Offer websites that serve your ads an incentive, which can be based on impressions, clicks or registrations of your email

FTB Spring Edition 2013

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Membership Services The SOHO business is it right for you?

By Ross Graham, Membership Sales & Operation Manager

The internet can provide a “virtual” office anytime and with a mobile site, anywhere. EAC’s Web Service can provide solutions specific to your requirements. The SOHO business is it right for you? In recent times the industry has witnessed a steady growth of Small Office Home Office (SOHO) real estate businesses. Regardless of location, more agents are electing to work from home and the reasons are many. Today we are seeing more businesses large and small, operating “off-street” from private homes, suites in office blocks or in 2nd floor premises. Indeed, the lack of shop front window displays is now much more common.

• Working from home may also lead to a disconnection from the industry in terms of networking, training and agency practice regulation and, some more points for consideration: • You must be highly disciplined to maintain professionalism and productivity and

So what are the reasons for this change?

Financial, lifestyle and technology feature highly in the decision to relocate. Firstly let’s examine the pros:

It would appear to be many disadvantages with the SOHO business but EAC has the technology solutions to many of the obstacles.

Operating from home is a lot cheaper

• Flexible hours are an important consideration especially for mothers • It offers a low cost entry into your own business (no franchise fees etc.) •

You can enjoy a more relaxed environment

Sounds too good to be true? Well here are some of the cons that need to be addressed before making the move: • Lack of an office profile can result in the vendor discounting the skills and experience you may have • Similarly, without a high profile, exposure to both buyers and sellers can be limited

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• An office or franchise can provide access to a range of resources that may be unaffordable for a single user

FTB Spring Edition 2013

You must develop an extensive database

Social Media has empowered the SOHO business by gaining access to a vast audience; a savvy agent can develop a huge database and gain an impressive profile from social media. The internet can provide a “virtual” office anytime and with a mobile site, anywhere. EAC’s Web Service can provide solutions specific to your requirements. And EAC can help the SOHO with agency practice support, real estate forms and training. So if you are thinking about becoming a SOHO real estate business give us a call on 1300 137 161 and we can make it possible.


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Technology Review

Your new Listing Management Solution By Don Harb, EAC IT Manager

Recently we released a new version of our listing management tool, Addlist.

Listing Management

Now if you are not using our Addlist module to get your listings into the system, you are probably using one of the many

Recently we released a new version of our listing management

uploaders that EAC have partnered with for our XML Import

tool, Addlist. A number of visual enhancements were made

service. With the implementation of the new Addlist a number

to the site to improve user experience and to allow easy

of enhancements were also implemented into this service.

navigation. This new version will be the template for future products from EAC so that crossing over to other services will not require a steep learning curve. Within this release there were a number of “Easter Eggs” that were introduced. The Stocklist is probably the most notable change in that now you can see all properties from all classes and types i.e. For Sale and For Lease Listings, on the one page. You are also

These include: • A number of new property types to better match third party sites and systems; • Faster processing of listings; • Alternate pricing for Rental Listings.

able to change the types of listings that are displayed as well as mix and match. Property Managers can now only show all

This also has resulted in an improved match of a number of

rental listings and Sales people can show only For Sale listings

our XML Export systems to the third party sites and services,

if required; administrators still have the ability to show all types

allowing for greater synchronisation with these services for

at once. You can also show all properties of different statuses

your office.

at once. The Stocklist is now your one stop for all your listing management needs.

you need help with using any of them please contact our

Now adding a listing has become much easier with the

support team for more information on 1300 137 161 and as

implementation of Draft mode. This feature allows a listing to

always keep a lookout for more development news in your

be added without any more information than the property

newsletters from EAC.

address allowing users to at least start the listing and save it to complete at a later date. QR codes seem to be popping up everywhere and with online being the medium of choice for research these days, the use of QR codes is only going to become more important. QR codes link directly to information that you are searching for. With this in mind we have implemented the ability for you to create and access your QR codes for listings in the photo management screen of a listing in Addlist. This link will either take the consumer off to the www.realestateworld.com.au listing page for your property or your own website display page, depending on what link you have placed in the agent URL field. Use QR codes where ever you can as they are a quick and easy way to get consumers from the offline to online.

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If you would like to know more about these features or if

FTB Spring Edition 2013


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Forms and Administration News By Maureen Faapito, Administration and Resources Manager

EAC 2014 Diaries

Real Estate Forms and Stationery Survey

Thank you to all our Members and Customers who pre-ordered their EAC 2014 Diaries. We anticipate delivery of the diaries at the end of October at which time they will be sent out. Stock of our 2014 diaries has now sold out.

At EAC we are constantly striving to become a better organisation, improve our products and services and to do a better job for you.

Printed and Electronic Real Estate Forms

We are conducting a survey with regard to our Real Estate Forms and Stationery, and your feedback would be appreciated.

Click here:

How much are you paying for the real estate forms and agreements that you are using? Whether it is online or printed forms, one thing that you require on a day to day basis is Real Estate Forms and Agreements. At EAC we strive to provide cost effective goods and services to members and the industry and to this end we recently performed a price comparison of our printed and electronic real estate forms to that of one of our competitors in the marketplace, the REINSW. If you are not using EAC Forms check out our price comparisons and see what you can SAVE! If you have any questions about our forms please call us on 1300 137 161 or send us a message to stationery@eac.com.au and we will contact you to discuss the options available.

The survey will only take a couple of minutes to complete. Thank you for your participation!

Festive Season Special Purchase any of our Real Estate Forms or Stationery products via our online store between 1st November and 31st December 2013 in and receive 20% off the total invoice amount for orders over $50.00. Normal delivery charges apply. Buy now and save.

Click on image to view price Comparison Table

! e v a s d n Buy now a 14

FTB Spring Edition 2013


Compare and Save How much are YOU paying for your real estate forms and agreements? EAC has a wide range of both printed and online real estate forms covering: •

Residential Sales Agency Agreements

Commercial and Industrial Sales Agency Agreements

Rural Sales Agency Agreements

Business Sales Agency Agreements

Residential Leasing Agency Agreements

Residential Property Management Agency Agreements

Holiday Letting Agency Agreements

Commercial and Industrial Leasing Agency Agreements

Commercial and Industrial Property Management Agency Agreements

Commercial Lease

Retail Lease

Supplementary Forms and Checklists

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4 4 4 4 4

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NSW Fair Trading

Tenants and Landlords affected by Bush Fire

If you are a tenant or landlord affected by a natural disaster such as bushfire then it is vital to know your rights and responsibilities. This information is being put out by Fair Trading, make sure you are aware of your responsibilities in this situation. INFORMATION FOR TENANTS Natural disasters As a tenant it is vital you know what your renting rights and responsibilities are if you have been affected by a natural disaster, such as a flood, bushfire or storm damage.

What happens with the tenancy? This will depend on the extent of the damage and what you and the landlord want to do about the situation. If the premises are destroyed or become totally or partly uninhabitable, this does not automatically end your tenancy. Either you or the landlord can give a termination notice in writing to end the tenancy. The notice, once served, can take effect immediately or can specify a later date. If the landlord serves you with a notice and you do not want the tenancy to end you should let them know. You cannot be evicted without a Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal order. If the premises are only partly uninhabitable, such as one room not being usable as a result of hail damage to the roof, you may wish to stay on in the premises while the repairs are being carried out. You should only consider doing this if the damage is relatively minor and there is no ongoing safety risk to you or your family. Follow any instructions from emergency personnel and talk to the landlord to see if they agree. If the premises have been more seriously damaged or have become totally uninhabitable another option is to move out temporarily and return once the premises are liveable again. This may be for a few days or weeks or however long it takes. If this is what you want to do you should talk to the landlord or agent as soon as possible. While the landlord or agent can try to help you as an act of goodwill they are not obliged to find or pay for your temporary accommodation. You and the landlord/agent can also decide to formally end the agreement and re-sign a new agreement after the repairs are complete. However, be aware that a higher rent could be included in the new agreement.

What happens about the rent? If the tenancy is ended permanently, no rent is payable from the day you move out. Any rent already paid in advance must be fully refunded. If you move out temporarily or continue living in the partially damaged premises the rent should be waived or reduced. Whether any rent is payable at all and, if so, the level of reduction will depend on the extent of the damage and the amount of use you have of the premises. Any agreement in

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FTB Spring Edition 2013

these situations about the rent, how long you may be away from the premises and what will happen to your possessions while you are away is best put in writing.

Repairs If the tenancy is to continue, the first step is for the landlord or agent, preferably with you being present, to inspect the premises and document the repairs needed. You should discuss with the landlord or agent the timetable for repairs, recognising that there may be unavoidable delays because of the demand for insurance assessments and qualified tradespeople in the area. A landlord is not obliged to compensate you for any damage to your furniture or personal belongings arising from a natural disaster. Serious storm, fire or flood damage are all considered to be urgent repairs. Such repairs should be done as soon as possible. If you believe the landlord or agent is not acting quickly enough on needed repairs you can apply to the Tribunal or arrange for the work yourself and be reimbursed.

Access After a natural disaster most repairs needed are likely to be classed as urgent repairs. The landlord or agent does not have to give you any minimum period of notice before sending tradespeople to do this work. In normal situations you must be given at least 2 days notice if tradespeople need to access the premises to carry out nonurgent repairs. It may be in your best interest to talk to the landlord or agent and agree on a shorter period of notice in order to get the work completed as soon as possible.

Disclosure of previous disasters The landlord or agent must tell you before you sign the tenancy agreement if the premises have been subject to flooding or bushfire in the previous 5 years. This only applies where they know of the event. If this information was not disclosed before you signed the agreement and it happens again you may be entitled to compensation.

Disputes Any tenancy related disputes following a natural disaster can be taken to the Tribunal.


INFORMATION FOR LANDLORDS Natural disasters As a landlord it is vital you know what your rights and responsibilities are if the rental property has been affected by a natural disaster, such as a flood, bushfire or storm damage. Common questions are answered below.

My rental property was destroyed. How can I end the lease? If the property was destroyed or is unfit to live in, the lease has effectively ended. The most practical approach is to issue the tenant with a notice to immediately vacate the property.Alternatively, you can agree with the tenant and sign documentation to end the lease and to reclaim your bond.

Do I have to provide the tenant with alternative accommodation? You are not legally obliged to do so; your responsibilities end with the termination of the tenancy. However, you may choose to provide assistance.

Am I responsible for cleaning debris caused by a disaster? Yes. You are responsible for maintaining the property, including cleaning or clearing any debris caused by a disaster. Before arranging cleaning, contact the local authorities, such as the emergency services, who may already have a cleaning program in place. The tenant is only responsible for any cleaning that arises from their use of the property. When engaging cleaning and repair services, be wary of travelling con men posing as tradespeople – see the warning below.

Am I responsible for arranging for services to be restored? If a utility service has been cut off because of damage to the property, you are responsible for repairing the property so the service can be restored. If there is no damage to the property, the tenant must contact the utility company and arrange for services to be restored.

consider reducing the rent. In these circumstances, the tenant has the right to apply to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal to assess whether a reduction is reasonable.

Can I claim all or part of the bond to cover damage caused to my rental property by a disaster? No. You can only claim bond money at the end of a tenancy for the cost of repairs or cleaning due to the tenant’s use of the property.

Do I need to compensate the tenant for their possessions that were destroyed or damaged in this disaster? Normally, a tenant is responsible for their own contents insurance. Unless the landlord can be shown to be negligent, the tenant will bear the cost of damage to their possessions.

Can I inspect the damage to my rental property? If your property has been destroyed or damaged so that it is unfit to live in, you can inspect it at any time, as long as you have the permission of local authorities. You should contact the police or emergency services before travelling to a disaster area. The usual arrangements for inspections apply if your property is still leased and the tenants are living there. You can inspect the property provided you give the tenant appropriate notice.

Special laws for emergency repairs Businesses can approach consumers and supply urgent goods and services after a natural disaster in some circumstances, without complying with all unsolicited sales requirements – for example, door-to-door sales requirements. These emergency repair contracts can be used when: the supplier doing the work has a relevant state, territory or national licence to do the work - for example, a building or contractor’s licence the contract is only for repairs required because of the disaster, and the property is in a state of emergency declared by the Commonwealth, state or territory government the repairs are only to:

Should I reduce the rent because the property has been damaged?

- Rectify a hazard or potential hazard on the person’s property

If a disaster has caused damage to property facilities such as the garage, swimming pool, sheds or outbuildings, you should

- Prevent substantial damage to the person’s property.

- Protect the health and safety of persons on the property

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Staff Profile Scott Dalton Account Manager By Sandy Eime

Each edition we interview one of our staff members that deal with our customers on a daily basis to give you a better idea of the personality behind the phone. This edition features the charismatic Scott Dalton, our newest recruit and EAC Account Manager. Q:  What were you doing job wise before working with EAC?

Q: What is your favourite food? Least Favourite?

A: I have always worked in real estate. For the last 5 years I was a real estate agent in Parramatta, and then I started Property Auction Services Sydney.

A: I love Italian food and I can’t stand fast food!

Q:  What’s your favourite tourist destination? Q: What are your usual daily tasks as EAC Account Manager? A: I have been with EAC a couple of months now and I’m very excited about my current role as EAC Account Manager. I look forward to meeting with most of you at some stage in the near future and hope to be able to show our potential clients the benefits of becoming an EAC member and to help our current members get the most out of their subscriptions.

Q:  Give an example without naming names of an interesting situation you have had to deal with since appointed to your position.

A: London, I lived there for two years and I like to go back whenever I get the chance and it is very convenient that their summer is when we have our winter. I still have lots of friends and family over there so it is always good to see them.

Q: What’s got your interest on TV right now? A: Every Thursday, Law and Order, never miss an episode. I’m being filmed for the next season of Hot Property on Channel 9 so I think I’ll have a new favourite show. I’ve never been nervous doing an auction, however, with roughly one million people watching I think nerves will set in. Look out for me in the next season!

A: Nothing out of the ordinary has occurred yet. Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Q: What motivates you to come to work every day? A: Motivation is two-fold. Due to the hours, location and type of work, EAC has helped provide a better work-life balance for me. It is great to be working with people who are professional and who also, like me, get immense satisfaction from being able to help our clients.

A: I will always be a part of the real estate industry; I’m extremely passionate about it. So for me, the next 5 years is all about staying healthy and happy.

Q:  What sort of hobbies or activities do you like to participate in after work hours? A: The usual – seeing friends, going out, watching sport and you might even see me at the odd auction on the weekends. I’m a morning person so you can also find me at the gym or at my friend’s café, Circa Espresso.

Q: Any tips for keeping fit? A: Always have a positive attitude towards doing it then it becomes easy. Q: What sort of music do you listen to? A:  My taste in music is quite varied; I usually just listen to whatever happens to be playing on the radio. Scott in auction action Q:  What’s your favourite movie and why? A: Cool Runnings, it is such an inspirational story of overcoming all the odds and it has some really good laughs as well.

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A nostalgic look at EAC through the eyes of Leonard Oades by Sandy Eime

After some 50 odd years of service Leonard Oades is reminiscent of his growth, roles and associations within the real estate industry in his latest book Half a Century in Real Estate.

EAC pays tribute to Leonard Oades for a remarkable career spanning 50 years in the industry and to his wife Merle for the naming of the then EAC publication “The Realtor”.

Well regarded as a pioneer in many respects, Leonard was one of the first to introduce what is now called an exclusive listing agency agreement as he found this a better way to gain the vendor’s confidence as opposed to open listings. He also introduced a better way to induce tenants to respect the properties and leave them clean and undamaged by way of a security deposit, which is basically what we now know as the tenant bond. In his book Leonard Oades also reflects on his long and fruitful association with Estate Agents Co-operative (EAC), firstly as a member, then as a director, a position he held for 10 years from 1961. He was also appointed as Vice-Chairman of EAC during this period and held this position for 5 years. A memorable moment recalled by Leonard occurred during his time as Chairman of EAC Auction Division when he led a party of EAC auctioneers to Melbourne to study “on-site auctions”. According to Leonard the auction scene was held in very large tents with two aisles and seating provided for the numerous attendees into three groups, quite a contrast to the modern day affair where most auctions are held on site. The sales people would then walk along the aisles calling out bids as each vacant lot was submitted. The bids were received very quickly. Seated close to the auctioneers were their secretaries busily typing up the contracts. With almost every lot sold at the end of the auction, Leonard describes the atmosphere as electric. Even though EAC’s role in terms of auctions is not quite the same today, it still is actively involved with the competition side of things. This year EAC in conjunction with Real Estate Institute of Australia hosted the prestigious Australasian Auctioneering Championship NSW heats. As highlighted in his book, between 1968 and 1971 Leonard Oades Pty Ltd was the Top Lister for EAC and from 1972 onwards, having received many top awards, Leonard also embarked on a public speaking career. The accolades continued in the late 70s. In addition to winning the EAC Auction Cup for the highest number of properties submitted for sale by public auction from a single office, Leonard Oades Pty Ltd was also declared the Top Multilist Office for the state out of 940 EAC member offices at the time. All these achievements led Leonard Oades Pty Ltd to be one of the most respected real estate companies in Parramatta.

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Merle receiving a Multilist award with John Cleese Technological advancements and developments by EAC eventually resulted in ‘The Realtor’ being replaced with EAC’s real estate portal known as realestateworld.com.au which is supported by several leading print publications of the same name available across metropolitan and regional centres in NSW. Since its formation in 1960, primarily to exchange information about properties for sale, Estate Agents Co-operative has been leading the way especially in terms of technological innovation. Currently, EAC is a dynamic, technology based industry leader offering competitive, cost effective premium products and services that meet the needs of today’s real estate and property professional allowing them to provide a more professional and higher level of service to consumers. In addition to the property portal realestateworld.com.au, EAC provides a range of services covering, Membership, Practice Support, Training, Listing Management, Property Information, Web Sites and Real Estate Forms to over 2,000 Real Estate offices comprising of both independent offices and franchisees from all the major franchise groups, valuers and government departments throughout Australia.

Source: Oades, Leonard R., Half a Century in Real Estate, 2013, p16, p32, pp. 41-43


Workplace Flexibility by Fiona Paranihi

An individual flexibility arrangement does not need to be approved by Fair Work Australia but be aware the responsibility is on the employer to ensure the arrangement meets all relevant requirements. Workplace flexibility Whilst the traditional Monday to Friday 9-5 workplace scenario is still the norm, more flexible work practices are increasingly being utilised to better serve the employers and the employees. Flexible working hours enable an employee to work an agreed number of hours spread over a set period of time, or to work from home or to job share in order to maintain a better work life balance. Although businesses still operate those usual 9-5 hours, meeting the needs of consumers sees them having to extend those normal hours and days to achieve and maintain a competitive edge in the ever changing business environment. Hence, workplace flexibility can be seen as a critical component of a business’s staff retention strategy. Businesses which are flexible and responsive to the needs of employees have happier employees. Increased productivity, reduced wage costs, enhanced morale and improvements in attendance rates are some of the flow on benefits to a business brought about through workplace flexibility. To accommodate these ever changing workplace situations, be it longer hours or extra days of work as required by the business or due to a change in an employee’s circumstances, our modern award and enterprise agreements have a flexibility clause allowing us to modify certain terms. One option to overcome any flexibility restriction is to enter into an individual flexibility arrangement. If the changes you make are within the flexibility provisions provided in your award or enterprise agreement then both employee and employer may enter into an agreement where terms of your award are modified to meet individual circumstances. For example, an employee commutes to Sydney from the Illawarra and back by train each day but they want to start work early and finish early outside of the spread of the ordinary hours of work as set out in the award. The employee has advised the company that if they can start early and finish early there is a significant saving in travel time and in costs associated with the travel and also in child care arrangements. An individual flexibility arrangement can be entered into for that employee regarding their hours and days of work while the rest of the terms of their applicable modern award or enterprise agreements continue to apply. You will need to check your relevant modern award or enterprise agreement to ensure your flexibility clause allows for you to modify those particular terms and conditions in your agreement that will help make it work for both parties. Your particular award would have terms that you must adhere to with the main thought being an “employee must be better off”.

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An individual flexibility arrangement does not need to be approved by Fair Work Australia but be aware the responsibility is on the employer to ensure the arrangement meets all relevant requirements. Please click here for Fair Work Australia’s “Best Practice Guide” – Use of individual flexibility arrangements


David Crombie, not just a CEO but an individual who is determined to do his bit to help towards finding a cure for multiple sclerosis

Help David Crombie support Australians affected with multiple sclerosis. Click here to donate. Thank you for your support.


Member Profile Tony Pascale

PRD nationwide Nucifora Realty By Sandy Eime

Anthony (Tony) Pascale is a success story spanning 50 years in the real estate industry. His professionalism and great passion for the industry is shared by his loyal and fully qualified staff at PRDnationwide Nucifora. Anthony has been an EAC member since 1974 and is currently a Platinum member which provides his office with EAC Membership Benefits and services such as NSW Red Square Property Data Information, on line real estate forms and unlimited listing exposure to www.realestateworld.com.au Q:  How did you first get started in the real estate industry? A: I was one of the thousands of Europeans who came to Australia in the 1950s in search of a better life. As I credit my working class Italian upbringing for many of the attributes I have instilled into my employees at my 52-year-old real estate agency. Click here to read more. Q: C  an you describe the most memorable moment of your career so far A: In 1978, when I became the sole owner of Nucifora Realty Pty Ltd, this being the beginning of my career in real estate as a Managing Director. Q:  So we can get to know you better, what are your personal interests or hobbies? A: I enjoy gardening particularly mowing the lawn, watching European soccer and as any true Italian enjoying good wine and food. Q: Who would you rate as your biggest inspiration in your life? A: Prime Minister John Howard, as I admire his work ethic, he was an excellent prime minister and a dear friend of mine. Q:  What do you see as the secret to the success of PRD Nationwide Nucifora Realty? A: I pride myself on building a reputation from the ground up, having immigrated to Australia with no English language skills and few contacts. From those humble beginnings I have carved out a career that has seen me win countless industry awards and the respect of all my clients. My sheer determination to make a better life for myself and my family and to succeed in something that I can be proud of has been the constant drive for me to continually accelerate at all that I do. The success of my business has been built on a commitment to working loyally and honestly.   “Every day for the past 52 years I have respected and looked after my customers.”  “If you are loyal and tell the truth – they come back to you.”

Q: Does your business have a website and e-newsletter and an online presence on social web spaces like: Facebook? Twitter? YouTube? etc. A: Our business does have a monthly newsletter which is sent to all landlords with their end of month statements.

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The following are our online media outlets Our website: nucifora.prd.com.au Our Facebook Page: facebook.com/PrdNationwideLiverpoolNucifora

Q: How do you see the Co-operative helping the real estate industry? & What do you see as the main benefit of being an EAC member? - The use and access to Red Square, as it is a vital tool in real estate and particularly my business. -  The access to sale property details and listing sales properties. -  Access to agency agreements, leases and managing authority documents is also helpful.

Q:  Where do you see yourself and PRD Nationwide Nucifora Realty in 5 years? A: I would like to see my business growth increase between 5-10%, as I begin to slow down and watch my son Frank and daughter Amanda continue my success and the success of PRD.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me as I would love to share my story and success with you in further detail. Tony Pascale M: 0418 244 555 W: 9602 9999 E: apascale@prdnationwide.com.au


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Welcome New Members

Oz International Realty Pty Ltd Henson Liang - Kensington

Country Coast Real Estate Alan Morgan-Monk - Wauchope

Domain NSW Real Estate Alex Tehfe - Rockdale

Southcoast Propertyweb Danny O’Neil - Wollongong

Beachside Realty Yamba Stephen Wright

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EAC Contact List

Estate Agents Co-operative Ltd. Phone: 1300 137 161 ABN 52 079 055 637 Fax: 1300 789 675 2A/175 James Ruse Drive Email: innovations@eac.com.au Rosehill NSW 2142 Membership Services Email: membership@eac.com.au realestateworld.com.au Publications Email: publications@eac.com.au Red Square & realestateworld.com.au Email: redsquare@eac.com.au Website Support Web Design & Development Email: webservices@eac.com.au Real Estate Forms & Stationery Email: stationery@eac.com.au Compliance & Practice Support Email: practicesupport@eac.com.au Training Services Email: training@eac.com.au www.eac.com.au www.realestateworld.com.au

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EAC From the Boardroom Spring 2013  

The Estate Agents Co-operatives From the Boardroom is broadcast quarterly and strives to keep our readers informed on topical and relevant r...

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