Call for Real Estate Industry Reform
September 14 2022
Kollosche’s selling principal, Michael Kollosche, is calling on governing bodies to help raise the standard of qualifications and professionalism in the industry by increasing the time, study and work experience required to gain a real estate licence.
Mr Kollosche said: “I’ve always taken the view that our role is to be more than just a broker. For the most part, we are relied on to be strategic advisors and engaged to provide the best advice and outcome for our clients.
“Unfortunately, so many agents walk into a listing presentation and promise a client an unrealistic price, with no experience or proven strategy around how they are going to deliver it. Ultimately, the owners lose.”
Opportunity for change
In response to the growing industry pressure, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has this week offered agents and other industry bodies the chance to have their say on whether continued professional development (CPD) should be implemented, asking them to choose from four options, ranging from no compliance to heavy compliance.
Mr Kollosche believes there needs to be better-qualified individuals, with more training and guidance entering the industry, who understand process, risk mitigation, price maximising strategies and how to execute sales properly.
“Currently, you can gain a sales licence within about five days and then be out advising property owners or buyers, with little supervision,” he said.
Mr Kollosche, who is Queensland’s highest-selling agent on dollar volume in the official 2022 REB rankings, has called on the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) and the OFT to further champion the government on higher levels of regulation.
“Licence courses should be a minimum of 12 months of study, completed through the REIQ, a TAFE, or university, followed by a further 6-12 months gaining practical experience in a Sales Associate role under an already licensed agent, who have had to maintain accreditation,” he said.
Mr Kollosche said funding should be allocated to bodies such as the OFT and REIQ to engage compliance officers to act as ‘mystery shoppers’ to identify training gaps and breaches in the industry.
“It’s not to penalise agents, it’s to ensure that they are operating inside the law and providing competent advice to consumers because, ultimately, the consumer is the one at risk if they make mistakes,” he said.
United in better service for consumers
In a release, Antonia Mercorella, CEO of the REIQ, which is also a Registered Training Organisation, said the state’s peak body was a strong advocate for CPD in the real estate industry and welcomed a recent decision by the Attorney General to open consultation on the matter.
“Like legal and medical practitioners, real estate practitioners’ client relationships are fiduciary in nature and involve onerous legal obligations,” she said.
“The Queensland public should rightly expect the same levels of professionalism, competency and reliability from real estate agents as they do from lawyers, doctors, certified practising accountants and financial advisors.”
Mr Kollosche said: “When you think about all the barriers to entry into the legal, medical or finance sector and how hard it is to gain an AFSL [Australian Financial Services Licence], it’s important that the real estate industry is doing the same thing to get a better level of competency prior to agents being able to operate without supervision.”
Kollosche offers continuous in-house training and professional development using leading industry trainers who focus on process, compliance, and execution. Teams are also structured such that newer agents learn alongside senior agents in a collaborative environment.
The team also attends annual industry conferences to widen their skill-sets, to enable them to process and execute listings and sales transparently and with integrity.