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AUTUMN EDITION 2013

Forging new relationships with the REIA Page 03

Technology Review Page 11

Follow us for daily industry news & updates


FTB Autumn Edition 2013

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Contents

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03

The Chairman’s View - Dale Whittaker

04

In the Pipeline - David Crombie

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Compliance Matters - Geoff Hunter

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Brand Marketing Tips - Damien McDonald

09

Membership Services - Ross Graham

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Technology Review - Don Harb

12

EAC Classifieds - Damien McDonald

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Forms and Administration News - Maureen Faapito

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Guest Feature - Amanda Lynch

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Guest Feature - Martin Varsavsky

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Red Square Property Information and Listing Management

Training Options

25

Staff Profile - Damien McDonald

26

Member Profile - Damien McDonald

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Welcome New Members

28

EAC Contact List


The Chairman’s View

Forging new relationships with the REIA By Dale Whittaker, EAC Chairman

Being aligned with the national industry association for Australia’s real estate profession can allow us access to meetings with opinion makers such as Ministers and Shadows Ministers. I am pleased to update our members on the EAC Board’s decision to become a member of the Real Estate Institute of Australia Affiliates’ Council. The Board saw this as an important step in getting representation and recognition back for NSW real estate agents at the national level which has been missing for sometime. As you know EAC has been actively working at a state level with The Minister for Fair Trading, Anthony Roberts, and his senior department heads on many issues concerning the industry and this very fruitful productive relationship will continue. The Board also recognised the importance of representation for the state at a national level, particularly at the moment with national licencing high on the agenda.

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Being aligned with the national industry association for Australia’s real estate profession can allow us access to meetings with opinion makers such as Ministers and Shadows Ministers. REIA is a politically non-aligned organisation that provides research and well informed advice to the Federal Government, Opposition and members of the real estate profession, media and the public on a range of issues affecting the property market. We now have a seat at this table to participate in ongoing federal policy discussions on behalf of our members in particular and NSW agents in general.

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Several other benefits are already flowing from the relationship, the most recent being our ability to organise the Auctioneers Championships in conjunction with the REIA for the state. This will allow the winning NSW agents to be represented at the National Championships, something that has not been able to be done for the last couple of years. Details on how to nominate for this competition will be forwarded to you shortly. Members would now also be receiving, via email, the highly informative REIA News helping them to keep abreast of changes and developments at a national and international level. The Board looks forward to building on this relationship to bring more and more benefits to our members and strengthen the industry in NSW, bringing it back to its rightful place as a major player in determining the future of our industry.


In the Pipeline

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

Our current focus is on operational efficiencies in order to keep our fees down and the revamping of our services to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of Members. Welcome to the second edition of From the Boardroom for 2013. Talking to agents across the state there seems to be a shortage of listings now in many areas and while some agents are experiencing financial difficulty others have experienced some of their best trading performance in many years. Things here at EAC are a hub of activity as usual and I am busy working with the managers on implementing some of the changes discussed at the recent Board Planning Day. Our current focus is on operational efficiencies in order to keep our fees down and the revamping of our services to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of Members. In January Peter Bushby (President) and Amanda Lynch (CEO) of the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) attended the EAC Board Meeting to talk to the Board and Management team about the benefits of becoming an affiliate member of the REIA. As a result of the presentation the EAC Board resolved to accept the invitation and in February we announced our appointment to the REIA Affiliates’ Council. In late February I attended the first Affiliates’ Council meeting of which First National and The Professionals are also part of and I have to say that I found the meeting very beneficial. As part of the new relationship Dale Whittaker and I attended the REIA Awards for Excellence at Parliament House in Canberra on the 14th March.

agree with the proposed model which lowers professional standards and the level of consumer protection. We continue to work with the State Government and the REIA to make sure that the views of our members and the industry are put forward for consideration.

With realestateworld.com.au we now have over 60,000 listings on the site and traffic continues to grow. The content sharing arrangement with realestate1. com.au is now in place and we have recently put an upload to Nestoria in place for offices that are on our Pro and Elite Packages which will provide an enhanced level of consumer exposure for their office and listings on realestateworld.com.au. We are now in the final stages of development for the new site which will contain many new features.

While the relationship with the REIA provides us with a voice at a national level we continue to build on our relationship with government at a state level and to this end Dale Whittaker and I attended a function to celebrate Honourable Anthony Roberts’, Minister of Fair Trading and Member for Lane Cove, 10 years in parliament where we had the opportunity to discuss EAC’s views on National Licencing and other industry matters with the Minister. On the National Licencing front NOLA is pushing ahead with its aim to introduce uniform occupational and professional licensing in the property occupations in 2013. EAC is not opposed to National Licensing as a concept but does not

In March we had the EAC Board Meeting in Dubbo followed by a function where we invited the Principals from offices in Dubbo and the surrounding areas to meet the EAC Board. At the meeting we did a short presentation followed by a feedback session where we asked the agents what they thought were some of the challenges that their offices and the industry faced and how EAC could assist. It was a successful function and was well received by the agents. We will be running similar meetings in others areas during the year. In the meantime if you have any feedback please feel free to call me.

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Discussions are currently taking place with the REIA for EAC to assist and jointly run the NSW Finals of the Australasian Real Estate Institutes’ Auctioneering Championships. Further information on this event will be provided once available.

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Compliance Matters By Geoff Hunter, Industry Liaison and Compliance Advisor

SIGN OF THINGS TO COME Practitioners who lease and manage short term and serviced apartments in strata buildings should draw their client’s attention to the following decision of the Victorian Court. Those who operate in this area of real estate will already be aware of the often contentious nature of the activities of some occupants and the effect on permanent residents. The level and nature of complaints can be a constant frustration for residents and property managers alike. There are already moves afoot in other jurisdictions, including New South Wales, along similar lines. Change may not happen quickly but you and the clients you manage for should be very aware of the possible impact of this decision on their future business.

Building code used to shut out short-term lets Footy fans, bucks’ parties and schoolies running rot in residential strata buildings could be a thing of the past if a key ruling in Victoria is used as a legal precedent in Australia. Short –term lets and serviced apartments are the bane of many strata residents’ lives, especially in inner-city or beachside blocks. Holidaymakers want to relax and have fun. Bucks’ and hens’ parties, not to mention schoolies, want to play up. Travelling footy fans are either going to be celebrating a victory or drowning their sorrows after defeat. Why would they give a stuff about their temporary neighbours’ legal right to the peaceful enjoyment of their lots?

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At best, short-term lets are an irritation to long-term residents; at worst, they are strata parasites leeching off the good things about residential buildings, while the landlords run their apartments like hotel rooms.

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Well, that could soon be coming to an end, according to Tom Bacon of Teys strata lawyers. He’s just successfully run a case at the Building Appeals Board, which has ruled that running serviced apartments in the Watergate building in Melbourne’s

Docklands contravenes the Building Code of Australia. The City of Melbourne council has issued orders against Docklands Executive Apartments (DEA) after the owners corporation of the 350-unit Watergate building complained about party noise and damage to common property. DEA claimed short-stay and serviced apartments were a permitted use of a residential building. “The BAB has determined that serviced apartment activities are not permitted in purely residential buildings in Victoria,” Bacon says. “In theory, because this case involves the interpretation of the Building Code of Australia, this is a landmark decision throughout all states, not just Victoria.” You can read Bacon’s letter and the BAB ruling in full on the Flat Chat Forum.

Source AFR, April 5-6, 2013, page 18 Article by Jimmy Thomson


A short summary of two recent CTTT decisions that should register on the radar of every property manager.

Case 1 ELECTRICITY USAGE REFUNDED (Despite contrary agreement). Agent leased part of a property, Unit 22A, which was divided into three separate residential units, all self-contained. The development provided a swimming pool and a lock up garage, for use by all occupants, the power for which was not separately metered but included in the metered supply for Unit 22A. The Residential Tenancy Agreement contained a special condition to give effect to this arrangement, as follows: “Factored into the rent is the tenants obligation to pay for electricity to run the pool pump and garage roller door which the tenant acknowledges is included on this circuit.� The tenants were made aware of these circumstances and signed the tenancy agreement with the clause included. At the Tribunal all parties agreed that the electricity payments made by the tenant during her occupancy totalled $2715.98 and generally agreed that the substantial part of this amount related to her occupancy. The tenants vacated the premises following an end of fixed term termination notice served by the landlord and, after receiving advice, lodged an application with the Tribunal for compensation for the electricity payments made where the premises were not separately metered. Without going into the lengthy legal argument put to the Tribunal the decision was that the landlord was ordered to refund the entire amount of electricity paid by the tenant during the tenancy, $2715.98. The Tribunal member noted that S.38 of the Residential Tenancy Act, 2010 (the Act) required a tenant to pay electricity charges if the premises were separately metered and S.40 provided that a landlord MUST pay for the supply of electricity at residential premises if they are not separately metered and most importantly: S.219 of the Act, provides that:

that it purports to exclude, limit or modify the operation of this Act or the regulations or has the effect of excluding, limiting or modifying the operation of this Act or the regulations.

Moral of the Story Agents and their clients must not enter such agreements, even if all parties agree, and agents should very carefully review their rent roll to ensure that they have no similar arrangements in any property they manage. Property owners and agents may well be exposed to substantial costs should a claim be lodged.

Case 2 REFUND OF ALL RENT PAID The tenant leased a residential flat, part of a larger residence, from 22 October 2011 and occupied the flat for some 22 weeks. Following lengthy disputes with the owners concerning difficulties with the sewerage system and extensive dampness in the premises the tenant lodged an application to the Tribunal. The difficulties complained of had been experienced over many weeks with numerous contractors and lengthy delays in effecting repairs. The local Council also become involved issuing orders for the septic system to be pumped out and repairs to be completed. At the time of the Tribunal hearing for documents, which had been summonsed from the Council concerned were introduced showing that the residential flat had never been approved and shortly before the premises were leased the owner had been served with an order prohibiting the use of the premises for residential purposes. The Tribunal found that the landlord had breached their obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure that, at the time of entering into the Residential Tenancy Agreement, there was no legal impediment to the occupation of the residential premises as a residence for the term of the tenancy. The landlord was ordered to REFUND ALL RENT PAID during the tenancy, $3630.00 (22 weeks @$165 pw).

Moral of the story

CONTRACTING OUT PROHIBITED

Property managers should check that all properties they lease and manage are approved by Council, with particular attention to granny flats, conversions, divided houses and the like. Agencies may well be liable for damages to their client if it is proven that they failed in their advice regarding the necessity for proper approval prior to leasing.

(1) A term of any residential tenancy agreement, contract or other agreement is void to the extent

Questions- call Geoff Hunter 1300 137 161 or email practicesupport@eac.com.au

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PITFALLS FOR PROPERTY MANAGERS

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Brand Marketing Tips Don’t set it and forget it

By Damien McDonald, EAC Sales & Marketing Manager

Many times, LinkedIn becomes the “set it and forget it” network. But for real estate professionals, there can be a huge opportunity to connect with your current sphere as well as deepen professional relationships with people you have met recently. If you haven’t looked at LinkedIn lately, I highly recommend you check it out. There are two new features which can really enhance your LinkedIn experience:

LinkedIn Today This is a new feature where you have the ability to follow influencers and thought leaders in business. This is one of new favourite features because LinkedIn will send you an email periodically with the latest influencer posts, as well as what is trending in your network that may be of interest to you. I find this email of great value since it is tailored to my preferences, it is great content for me to re-share onto LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

SlideShare Now that SlideShare is integrated into LinkedIn, you can now upload SlideShare presentations right into your LinkedIn Profile. You can add them in the Experience area or Summary area. This would be a great opportunity for a real estate professional to add in a short SlideShare about their expertise or market information. If this data is already created in Power Point– you can simply upload it to SlideShare and LinkedIn to share it! This also opens up the audience of who views your presentations and can possibly help to connect you with potential clients.

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How else can you maximise LinkedIn? Here are 3 more tips:

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1. Every new person you meet that COULD be a client – are you connecting with them on LinkedIn? Reach out to potential and current clients via LinkedIn – this is an easy way to connect and expand your sphere professionally. It’s where to start in social when reaching out. It’s easier to send a LinkedIn request than a Facebook Friend request to someone you just met! 2. Post a status update daily 3-5 times a week. Stay

active on LinkedIn – post articles about your market and the industry and stay top of mind for the professionals who come across your profile. If the last time you posted something was last year, it can give the perception that you are “out of business” 3. Give to get. Give one new testimonial a month to people in your sphere – your broker, your title rep, your lender – the people part of your “tribe.” Build them up and give them the credit they deserve.

I don’t have a LinkedIn Account If you are currently not utilising LinkedIn to promote your office and personal brand, EAC can set you up for as little as $110. Click here to view our EAC Social Media offerings.


Insurance solutions.

Tailored for real estate agents.

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

Ref: 0552-Apr13

oamps.com.au Closer to clients Closer to communities®


Membership Services EAC Completes the Puzzle

By Ross Graham, Membership Sales & Operation Manager

The independent agent faces many challenges including how to consolidate all the services he or she needs into one easily managed account. It has always been a bonus to franchisees when all the software and services comes from their franchisor; each month just one account! The addition of EAC’s Contact CRM and Communicate has meant that it (EAC) can now supply your most important productivity tools under the one EAC account. Let’s look at what EAC can supply:

13. An interactive web site with social media API

1.

Free agency practice advice and support

17. Your own office marketing plans

2.

Free initial legal advice

18. Prospecting tools

3.

Industry briefings and publications

19. Sales Trust reconciliations

4. 10% discount on some realestate.com.au subscriptions

14. Your office mobile web site 15. Social Media setup 16. Client matching to listings

20. Advertising tracking and management 21. Commission reporting

5. Access to Special rates and offers with EAC’s recommended suppliers

22. Sales performance reporting

6.

Listing management

23. Cash-flow reporting

7.

Listing uploads to most real estate portals

24. E-newsletters

8.

Statewide sales information

25. One monthly account

9.

Statewide mapping

So if you are tired of the paperwork and want a solution that works, EAC membership can deliver a comprehensive package of products and services to make your life a lot easier.

10. Current Market Information 11. Telephone data washed agent Do Not Call Register

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12. Electronic online management forms

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sales

and

property


Save with EAC Membership Services How will you spend your EAC savings?

For more info on EAC Membership click here or call us on 1300 137 161


Technology Review Developers Corner

By Don Harb, EAC IT Manager

This new Addlist will incorporate a number of new features for EAC clients, give greater information and reporting and also allow for greater integration with third party systems. With an ever changing market comes continuing change in the needs of the market place. This change has always been the driver for EAC’s development path and from this we have seen the release of Red Square Web, Current Market Information, Phone Number Search, Red Square Mobile and the Client Mobile Website systems to name a few in recent times. All these systems have been designed with client feedback and industry changes in mind. In the coming months EAC will release a number of enhancements and new systems to compliment these other systems.

make the minor changes required without having to upload all the details and photos associated with the listing again.

The latest project that is being worked on by EAC’s development team is a new and improved version of the Addlist system. This development has come about due to feedback from our clients and changes in technology. The new Addlist will incorporate a number of new features for EAC clients, providing greater information and reporting and also allow for greater integration with third party systems.

We have redesigned the Commercial & Business listing classes from scratch. We all know that sometimes business and commercial listings can fall under multiple categories i.e. Warehouse/Office, so with this in mind you can now choose up to three categories in either of these listings allowing you to reach more consumers by having the listing appear in up to three different search results.

The new Addlist will have a number of new features with some of the existing features updated to become more streamlined with a new user interface. Some of the new features include:

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• Draft Listings • Copy/Duplicate listings • Predictive address entry • Redesign of Commercial and Business classes • Multiple categories for Business and Commercial listings • Vendor emailing • Listing preview • A new user friendly interface

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Draft listings is a new feature that allows you to add an incomplete listing, upload photos and save as much information as possible without having the listing going live. This allows you to come back to the listing at a later time and complete it without having to put incorrect or incomplete information in the listing. The feedback that we have received is that it would make it easier for clients if they could copy a listing where only a couple of details have changed between the listings e.g. unit number and we listened. The new Addlist will include the ability to copy a listing to a new listing allowing you to

The Predictive Address entry is designed around the national address database and allows you to accurately match the listing address to the address database. This allows for greater accuracy of statistical information as well as mapping integration. With this feature the information you provide to your clients and consumers will be of greater accuracy.

Forget to let your vendor know that their listing is on the web? A new feature of the Addlist will be the ability to enter the vendor’s email into the contact information section and the Addlist will email the client notifying them that their listing is now on the web and give them the link to view the listing online once the listing is complete. This email will contain all your branding. This way you don’t have to worry about it. The Listing Preview feature allows you to see the listing before anyone else does and to make sure it’s displaying exactly the way you want it. The entire redevelopment of Addlist was with our users in mind so the look, feel and flow of the site allows for a smoother and more aligned experience with your business needs. With the redevelopment of the Addlist we will also be releasing a number of updates and features to other systems as well including our agent websites, realestateworld.com. au and email alerts. Feedback from our clients is important to us therefore we will be introducing User Groups as part of the ongoing development process of EAC. These groups will be face-to-face in your area and give you the opportunity to gain an insight into EAC’s future development as well as have a say in our ongoing product developement. Stay tuned for more details on these User Groups and new developments as they come along.


EAC Classifieds

What’s Happening at EAC By Damien McDonald, EAC Sales & Marketing Manager

Contact CRM Now Fully Compatible with Your Office Listing Information Our Contact CRM has now been engineered to populate with all your property listing information uploaded through Red Square Addlist. You can now have the ability to even better match your client base to your office listings whilst enjoying the numerous features this office management application has to offer. Click here for Contact CRM benefits.

Agency Brief - Member Only Newsletter Member Principals, Property Managers and sales staff should keep an eye out for our soon to be released electronic newsletter, Agency Brief. This member only monthly communication compiled with article opinions and comment from EAC’s Industry Liaison officer, Geoff Hunter, will feature topics specific and relevant to both sales and property management professionals alike. Undoubtedly a good read.

Customised Social Media Solutions for Your Office have now EAC Web Services oose option released a pick and ch package to our social media is where options. If Facebook can set up your customers are, we e for you to a customised office sit as little as connect with them for e of custom $165. For the full rang tions, click select social media op here.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of the new season of EAC Red Square ‘how to’ Free webinars. Hosted by Pat Royce, these half hour sessions will feature new material on how to get more listings by using the Red Square property information and listing management office tool. Whether you’re an old hand to the system, or still a novice, it’s well worth taking another look at our new webinars. Click here for registration details. Click here to view a 30 second video on 3 reasons why you should attend.

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New Content for Red Square FREE Webinars

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

Changes To Auction Agency Agreements We have recently reviewed our Auction Agency Agreements and will be updating Clause 5.2 in relation to the Licensee not being able to sign the contract. The current clause states “Licensee not to Sign Contract – the licensee is not authorised to sign a contract for sale on behalf of the principal”. The new clause will state “Licensee not to Sign Contract - The Licensee is not authorised to sign a Contract for Sale on behalf of the Principal, unless the Licensee or appointed Auctioneer has conducted the auction.” This will cover the situation where the agreement clarifies the authority for the auctioneer who conducts the auction to sign the contract for sale in circumstances where this becomes necessary. This change does not affect the compliance of the forms and eforms will be updated immediately and our printed forms at the next print run.

FORMS SPECIAL Until the 30 May 2013, receive a discount when you order the following bundles.

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Residential Sales Bundles

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EAC011 – Residential Exclusive Sales Agency Agreement Plus EAC032 – NSW Fair Trading, Agency Agreements Agency agreements for the sale of residential property

Pad of 50

EAC012 – Residential Exclusive Sales Agency Agreement Plus EAC032 – NSW Fair Trading, Agency Agreements Agency agreements for the sale of residential property

Pad of 50

EAC013 – Residential Exclusive Sales Agency Agreement Plus EAC032 – NSW Fair Trading, Agency Agreements Agency agreements for the sale of residential property

Pad of 50

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Pack of 50

Member

Non Member

Normally $50.55

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Now only $40.95

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Bidders Guides Bundle EAC012 – Residential Exclusive Auction Agency Agreement Plus EAC031 – NSW Fair Trading, Bidders Guide

Pad of 50

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Residential Tenancy Bundle EAC110A – Residential Tenancy Lease Plus EAC072 – NSW Fair Trading Factsheet, New Tenant Checklist

Pad of 50

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Our New Member Trade site Forms and Stationery are now available for pick up from: Western Plains Real Estate 2/45 Wingewarra Street Dubbo NSW 2830 As with our other trade sites all orders are to be placed and paid for with head office or via the online store prior to pick up. Once your order has been processed a confirmation email and electronic receipt will be sent to you advising the order is ready for pick up.

Administration When the relocation to Rosehill occurred, a redirection was put in place for our 02 9724 6999 and 02 9724 6407 numbers. The redirection has now ended and our main number is 1300 137 161 and our Fax Number 1300 789 675.

The Board dates for the next quarter are: 24 April 2013 22 May 2013 26 June 2013

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Upcoming Meetings

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Does your office website cut it these days? Don’t put up with yesterday’s technology. EAC can provide a complete modern office website solution with all the bells and whistles for under $1000.

Now Mobtiible le! Compa

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Guest Feature

Proposed real estate licensing reforms put consumers at risk

By Amanda Lynch - CEO of Real Estate Institute of Australia

Over the past year NSW Fair Trading has been cracking down on unlicensed and unprofessional agents and found some major fraud cases, resulting in fines and imprisonment. Whenever large sums of money change hands, the prospect of fraud increases. Real estate and rural agents handle very large sums of money in the form of deposits on properties for sale. Up to $2 billion is held by agents as deposits in trust at any one time. And yes, some of it goes astray. It is usually ordinary people’s money. Or money from small businesses. Over the past year NSW Fair Trading has been cracking down on unlicensed and unprofessional agents and found some major fraud cases, resulting in fines and imprisonment. Rent, deposits and purchase proceeds were spirited away. The bulk of agents, of course, behave properly. But with the amount of money being handled you would think regulatory authorities would want to keep the reins tight. Not so. The National Occupational Licensing Authority is pushing ahead with its aims to introduce uniform occupational and professional licensing in the property occupations as well as the electrical, plumbing and gas fitting and refrigeration and airconditioning occupations. It is part of an agenda being pushed by the Council of Australian Governments for more deregulation and uniform national standards. NOLA put out regulatory impact statements on the occupations in July and August last year calling for submissions. They flowed in – more than 3500 of them. Of those, more than 800 were from the property occupations.

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The vast majority from the property industry expressed concern verging on alarm. Earlier this month the NSW Greens also expressed concerns. A Greens MLC John Kaye has a notice of motion before the NSW Upper House for a committee inquiry as to whether consumers will be adequately protected.

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Essentially, very few people have any difficulty with a national licensing system for real estate agents, but not at the cost of consumer protection. Many of the submissions, including that of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, are worried that in pursuit of a national system NOLA will adopt the lowest educational and training standard applicable in the states and territories now, and apply that nationally. Worse, it proposes to abolish requirements for

continuing professional development and to abolish the requirement for a person to be qualified in any way to act as an agent in a commercial property transaction. One of the NSW Fair Trading prosecutions was about $265,000 in commercial rent taken by an agent. The trouble is that if you lower standards, cowboys come in and consumers suffer. We saw this very clearly in the financial services industry after deregulation. After debacles in the 1990s, government had to revisit regulation to straighten things out and even then did not get it right and consumers suffered again in the mid2000s. It has become all too obvious that the market alone is not safeguard enough. Deregulation and national standards should not be introduced for their own sake, but only when both economic benefits and social safeguards are present. Over the past couple of decades, a lot of needless regulation and duplication has been removed by getting state and territory governments to agree to national standards. Much of this has been applauded by industry and has generated substantial economic benefits by increasing competition and reducing compliance costs. But experience has shown that this has to be tempered with a need to protect consumers. NOLA has quite rightly engaged in a consultation process over the past six months. The important thing now is for NOLA and COAG to take notice of what the property industry is saying. Too often theoretical economists pay too much attention to the economic gains of deregulation (often calculated in a very simplistic way) and not enough attention to the risks and social costs. They dismiss industry opposition to deregulation as a self-serving desire to restrict entry disguised as concern for consumers. But even the most radical neo-liberal economist would agree that many occupations require certification of skills before


practitioners are let loose on consumers. There is a balance here, and the Real Estate Institute of Australia says the proposals in the NOLA regulatory impact statement have not got the balance right. They pose great financial danger to consumers which is not outweighed by the economic benefits.

REIA agrees with the aim of national occupational standards for the real-estate industry, but not this model. It would be better to wait and get it right, than crash ahead, cause untold consumer grief, only to have to revisit regulation down the track.

The occupation of real estate agent, on one hand, is qualitatively different from those in the electrical, plumbing and refrigeration trades, on the other. In the latter occupations, public protection is secured purely by ensuring technical competency. The real-estate occupations go beyond that. Agents are required to hold large amounts of clients’ money in trust and they deal in property worth substantial amounts. There is not only a high level of technical skill required, but also a high level of trust. Moreover, consumers are often entrusting agents to deal with their most valuable asset. Most consumers buying or selling property do so very infrequently and therefore need to turn to people who they can trust and who have the requisite level of skill. The regulatory impact statement should not be recommending the lowest state and territory standard as the new national standard (with automatic mutual recognition), but rather adopt the Diploma of Property Services and a personal probity test as the minimum requirements. Further, the law and practice of property sales changes from time to time. This means that NOLA’s proposal to abolish Continuing Practice Development requirements would put consumers to further risk. It is far better to educate real estate agents at the start about the right way to do things rather than to track down and deal with agents who have hurt consumers after the event.

The vast majority of commercial property deals in Australia (70%) involve less than $1 million and usually involve small business people. The idea that all commercial property deals are in a business environment among big, fairly equal entities not requiring consumer protection is wrong. The economic rationalists have exaggerated the gains and ignored the costs. One of the gains – mobility of agents between states – is not pressing. Geography determines that the vast bulk of agents work in one jurisdiction.

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NOLA’s other proposal to abolish the requirement for qualified agents in the case of commercial property is utterly misguided and displays a lack of understanding of the nature of the commercial property market.

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Guest Feature

Why Smartphones are Killing PCs

By Martin Varsavsky - CEO at Fon

A smartphone is an “a la carte” experience in which every component is paid for and dearly, including data packages. Laptops have traditionally been expensive. For a couple of decades now we have gotten used to paying over $1,000 for one– the average selling price of a Mac is $1,400. Smartphones however are almost free. While Google is beginning to have some success selling the Nexus 4, most people are reluctant to pay for a smartphone. They expect it subsidized or free. But what is remarkable is how the user behavior changes after the acquisition of the gadget. A phone consumer expects a phone for free, but what happens afterwards they are willing to pay for in excess (e.g. texting, voice minutes, data roaming), even when free alternatives exist. It is a different frame of mind, almost like a deal, an agreement between corporations and consumers: get something for free and pay later, vs get something that is expensive upfront and then stop paying.

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A laptop is a big investment upfront to enter a mostly free world. A smartphone is a tiny investment upfront to enter an expensive, yet very much accepted world. A laptop is an all-you-can-eat experience, including an all-you-can-eat fixed internet connection. In the laptop world piracy is rampant because people expect everything to be free, but much less so in the smartphone world. And this is almost psychological: the same people who pirate on laptops don’t as commonly pirate on smartphones, even though for example there are many bit torrent clients for Android. A smartphone is an “a la carte” experience in which every component is paid for and dearly, including data packages. As a result the smartphone eco-system is well funded and thriving but the PC or laptop ecosystem is dying, making the laptop experience less and less “fun”. Since 2011 more smartphones are sold than PCs. This is mostly because developers and content producers need to get paid, and they are seeing much more money developing or producing for iOS and Android than for Windows and Mac.

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Moreover “smartphone only” experiences are on the rise. Path, Foursquare, Uber, Instagram and Whatsapp are but some examples of these. When smartphones started, people used to say that they fell short of what was available on the Web. Now the opposite is true. People using laptops have to have smartphones handy as well. And this is even more extreme with games. As developers realized that few wanted to pay for games on laptops but many more were willing to pay for games on smartphones/tablets, they switched to develop for iOS and Android. And games became huge on mobile. This perception translates to the investment world. For example Instagram is a free app and yet Facebook paid almost a billion for it. They didn’t pay concretely because of the money they thought they would make out of Instagram itself, but because as young as it is Facebook was until recently a PC company and in Instagram it found a short cut to the mobile world. In general VCs now are much more likely to invest in a mobile platform than in a PC platform even if the mobile platform like Instagram had no way to monetize itself. Mobile growth has the same premium Web growth had a decade ago. And this is regardless of the fact that so far, for example in advertising, it is easier to monetize on the web than on mobile. This is because everyone sees the future as mostly mobile. For many years, when phones were phones and PCs were PCs, there was a tough debate on how content and software producers were going to get paid. And the answer, provided by Steve Jobs, turned out to be get people hooked on a device that was a computer but one in which everyone had to pay, and call it a phone. There was always another possible alternative, which was open source software and user generated content. That still exists, mostly promoted by Google, but even Google had to adopt the content/software world of Apple to make Android thrive.


Now before I end, here is a list of secondary reasons to explain why smartphones and tablets are killing PCs (or why iOS and Android are killing Windows and OSX): • Smartphones expanded into tablets and they started competing in screen size with one of the few advantages left for PCs. • People are finally getting used to glass keyboards (some apps like Swiftkey make them more friendly), and can therefore bid farewell to their keyboards. • Laptops are more for content producers and most people are content consumers. That’s why the work environment is still dominated by PCs and probably will be for a long time.

But overall I stand by my initial thought, that is, the main reason smartphones are killing PCs is because there is more money in smartphones and while information wants to be free it costs money to produce it. At the risk of gaining many enemies with my statement, I would like to change the famous “information wants to be free” to “information wants to be affordable”. I can agree with Aaron Swartz that science that can only be afforded at expensive universities is wrong, but still the key is not to make things free, it’s to make them affordable - to make information affordable, content affordable, and software affordable. Mobile platforms seem to have achieved a better balance at this than laptops ever did. That is why they are thriving. Better format, better business model. That simple!

• Smartphones are much easier to carry around and therefore open to a whole set of apps, like for example sports apps. • Smartphones offer connectivity via WiFi and mobile and most laptops only WiFi; WiFi is common but not as pervasive as mobile and therefore a smartphone/tablet has the best of both worlds. • One of the biggest advantages of laptops is storage, but cloud computing is taking care of that. • The hardware that is needed to provide a great mobile experience uses energy in a smarter way than the hardware that is needed to provide a great laptop experience

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• While there are very affordable laptops now, they are not as inexpensive as great smartphones that are given out for free or almost nothing in contracts; and laptops are in a head-on race between processor speed and RAM and programs that make inexpensive laptops appear as just bad products.

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Red Square Training Training Options and Webinar Dates

The Estate Agents Co-operative offers a range of three Red Square training solutions to suit Principals, Sales, Property Management and Administration staff needs. Whether it is to explore the regular updates and features of the program, get one-on-one personal training in your office or online, ensure that your new office staff is brought up to speed as quickly as possible, or just to make sure you are getting the absolute most out of Red Square. One or more of our customised range of Red Square training solutions are definitely the way to go.

Training Options FREE Online Webinars New to Red Square and just want to make sure you have all the basics covered. Attend one of our Free 30 minute monthly online group training sessions that cover all the basic Red Square features. Explore searching, Property Information Data, Listing Management, Current Market Information, Neighbourhood Reports, NSW Telephone Data and Current Market Analysis reporting tools. All this and, of course, the industry leading Red Square Mapping features are covered in our group webinar sessions. This option is perfect for an introduction for new staff as well as a handy overview for the rest of your office sales, property management and administration teams.

In Office Training Have our Red Square Trainer visit your office to ensure your team is completely up to speed on all of the features of Red Square. A recommended 4 hour interactive session in your office will answer all of your data and listing management questions through personal demonstrations at a speed you are comfortable with.

In Office Training Cost: $125 per hour GST Inclusive. Price on application for regional offices.

Interactive Online Training For those offices that do not require an office visit and are comfortable using our interactive one-on-one ‘go to meeting’ training, a totally online interactive learning experience is waiting for you. Have our Red Square trainers ensure you and your team are familiar with all the essential tools available on Red Square to stay ahead of your competition at a pace that suits you.

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Interactive Online Training Cost: $95 per hour GST Inclusive.

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How to Book Your Red Square In Office or Interactive Webinar Training Simply contact EAC Membership Services on 1300 137 161 or email redsquare@eac.com.au with your preferred option and dates and we will do the rest.

Register for our FREE Red Square Webinars Register for our free webinar training by logging onto eac.com.au and choosing any of the scheduled events and dates below:

How to manage your listings using Red Square Wed, May 15, 2013 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Wed, Jun 19, 2013 10:45 AM - 11:15 AM Wed, Jul 17, 2013 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM How to search NSW Property Information data Wed, May 15, 2013 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM Wed, Jun 19, 2013 9:15 AM - 9:45 AM Wed, Jul 17, 2013 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM How to search the NSW Current Market Information data Wed, May 15, 2013 10:45 AM - 11:15 AM Wed, Jun 19, 2013 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Wed, Jul 17, 2013 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM How to create a CMA Report Wed, May 15, 2013 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Wed, Jun 19, 2013 2:45 PM - 3:15 PM Wed, Jul 17, 2013 9:15 AM - 9:45 AM How to create a Neighbourhood Report Wed, May 15, 2013 9:15 AM - 9:45 AM Wed, Jun 19, 2013 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Wed, Jul 17, 2013 10:45 AM - 11:15 AM

How to search the NSW Telephone Data Wed, May 15, 2013 2:45 PM - 3:15 PM Wed, Jun 19, 2013 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Wed, Jul 17, 2013 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM

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How to use Red Square Mapping Wed, May 15, 2013 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Wed, Jun 19, 2013 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM Wed, Jul 17, 2013 2:45 PM - 3:15 PM

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Staff Profile Nikki Ilovski Receptionist

By Damien McDonald, EAC Sales & Marketing Manager

Each edition I like to interview one of our staff members that deal with our customers on a daily basis to give you all a better idea of the personality behind the phone. This edition features Nikki Ilovski who is one of our newest employees and is our director of first impressions as EAC receptionist.

Q: What were you doing job wise before working with EAC? Nikki: Before EAC I was working for a fitness equipment wholesaler in Sydney as a receptionist.

Q: What is your favourite movie? Nikki: Umm, no one movie stands out but I do like a comedy and a rom-com or two. Q: Ever cried in a movie?

Q: Did you get any bargain Gym equipment for home?

Nikki: Yes, the Notebook for one. Has anybody not cried watching that movie?

Nikki: Not for me but my husband did get a treadmill and a weight belt. I never discourage him from using them…

Q: What sort of hobbies or activities do you enjoy when not at work?

Q: What are your usual daily tasks as EAC Receptionist? Nikki: It’s funny but every day is different. Sure there’s the usual meet and greet, invoicing and admin stuff, but overall I’d have to say that each day presents a new set of challenges. I am the first point of contact for our customers and do the best to adapt to each individual customer requirement. Whether it’s a stationery or real estate forms order on the phone or in person, a supplier visiting one of our managers, or even our Board members’ arrangements for meetings, I am totally aware that how I deal with each individual will create a lasting impression of the Co-operative. I’ve also been told I make a great coffee!

Q: If I gave you $1000 dollars where would you spend it?

Q: Sure, so what’s your favourite food? Nikki: Pasta and pizza hands down! No competition.

Q: Last question, how would your best friend describe you?

Q: Any food you cannot handle?

Nikki: That’s easy, friendly, outgoing as well as a bit shy if I don’t know you well.

Nikki: Mushrooms! Q: That’s all? Nikki: That’s all. Q: Ok, what are you watching on TV right now? Nikki: I love My Kitchen Rules.

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Q: Who do you want to win?

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Nikki: I’d like to travel but my favourite activity is shopping.

Nikki: Dan & Steph. They seem nice and their food looks delicious. Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take one book, what would it be? Nikki: OK, I think I’d swap the book for a couple of magazines such as Dolly, Cleo or one of the many gossip mags.

Nikki: Only $1,000! Well …Portmans, Diva, Myer and Forever New would get most of it. Q: You mentioned travel. Where would your favourite destination be? Nikki: Anywhere in Europe. I would love to experience the different cultures one day. Q: And the shopping? Nikki: Of course!


Member Profile

Garry Clarke

Clarke National REALTY By Damien McDonald, EAC Sales & Marketing Manager

This edition I have the privilege to be able to feature one of the industry’s true gentlemen of real estate. Garry Clarke from Clarke National REALTY has a long history with EAC membership and currently enjoys the services of Red Square, realestateworld.com.au and more recently an elite website and social media package.

Q: How did you first get started in the real estate industry?

Q: How do you see the Co-operative helping the real estate industry?

Garry: Being a Real Estate Agent was all I ever wanted to be. I left Newington in 1968 at the end of year 10 and commenced working in the family business at Revesby and at that time we were a Member of EAC having joined in 1968.

Garry: The co-op must maintain maximum support to all Members by being at the coal face of what is ahead for the future direction of real estate in this quickly changing world.

Q: Can you describe the most memorable moment of your career so far? Garry: There are many, but the three most memorable moments were when our daughter Lucy left school and decided to join us full time in February 2007. The second was when our youngest son James joined full time in January 2008. Our third and most memorable was that on the 6th January 2013 we celebrated 60 years of Real Estate in Revesby. Our first License issued on 6th January 1953 has pride of place in our office foyer. Q: So we can get to know you better, what are your personal interests or hobbies?

Q: What do you see as the main benefit of being an EAC member? Garry: As an EAC Member the continuing development of web based improvements for small businesses such as ours is imperative. Q: Where do you see yourself and Clarke National REALTY in 5 years? Garry: In 5 years I will be 67 and will have been involved for 50 years. My hope is that I will still be able to contribute to the running of the business, even if in a small way, and continue to see our core base of quality clients grow.

Garry: I have always enjoyed Rugby Union (played till I was 32). Follow the Swans in AFL and I am a collector of Phantom comics, Matchbox cars and models as well as Para port. Q: Who would you rate as your biggest inspiration in your life? Garry: My greatest inspiration was my Grandmother, Rose Daphny Lucy Pitt known to all as Deedee. She taught me honesty and integrity. Been gone 34 years but thought of every day.

Garry: Our success is based on placing the needs and wants of our Clients first, and then everything that follows looks after itself through the future ahead.

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Q: What do you see as the secret to the success of Clarke National REALTY?

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Welcome New Members

Riviera Real Estate Chiswick David Ranieri

Real Estate Solutions Parkes Sarah Hitchick

Infinity Australia Group Burwood Frank Xu

Combined Real Estate Auburn Lily Lam

East Coast Property Coffs Harbour Louise Knight

Imacka Property & Livestock Uralla

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Iain Mackintosh

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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

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www.eac.com.au www.realestateworld.com.au

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Estate Agents Co-operative - From the Boardroom Autumn Edition 2013  

realestateworld.com.au consists of a real estate portal supported by several leading print publications of the same name available across me...