In a first for Australian real estate, the REIQ has embarked upon an initiative designed to raise the bar for the real estate industry across Queensland ensuring professional standards are upheld, widely recognised and publicly acknowledged.
Professionalism and best practice are values long advocated by the REIQ. Setting industry benchmarks and providing consumers with choice is the focus for the new REIQ Accredited Agency program.
Consumers will now be able to choose the agency they deal with based on the knowledge that REIQ Accredited Agencies have undergone extensive and ongoing training and professional development.
REIQ Managing Director Don McKenzie said that after much planning, the new REIQ Accredited Agency program and public awareness campaign was coming to fruition.
"Extensive research, involving more than 1,000 real estate buyers and sellers, as well as existing REIQ members, was conducted to determine what Queenslanders most value when dealing with real estate agents," he commented.
The AC Neilsen research revealed that when choosing a real estate agent, customer service, market knowledge and professionalism are considered the most important factors for both buyers and sellers.
Based on this research, the REIQ Accredited Agency program, supported by a state-wide public awareness campaign, was developed.
"The new initiative and campaign are designed to acknowledge the professionalism of the Queensland real estate industry and motivate consumers to always use an REIQ Accredited Agency," Mr McKenzie said.
Over the past few weeks, REIQ representatives including Chairman, Peter McGrath, Managing Director, Don McKenzie and General Manager, Dan Molloy hit the road across regional Queensland to host, along with REIQ zone chairs, cocktail evenings to launch the new REIQ Accredited Agency program.
More than 1,000 real estate professionals attended launches across regional Queensland; in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, and Toowoomba REIQ members turned out in force. The Sunshine Coast launch was held this week and the Gold Coast next week.
The Brisbane event, which coincides with the official launch of the REIQ Accredited Agency program, will be held at Suncorp Stadium on May 30th. The evening promises to be a night of nights for the industry and will include a host of dignitaries, industry representatives, members of the media and the Minister for Tourism, Fair Trading and Wine Industry Development, Hon Margaret Keech MP.
The Brisbane event will also feature the launch of a new television commercial to be aired across Queensland in the coming months, which will spearhead the consumer awareness campaign.
"The theme of our television commercial and other advertising initiatives is to highlight and promote the benefits of using an REIQ Accredited Agency by their use of our new logo," Mr McKenzie said.
Mr McKenzie said that at the heart of REIQ Accreditation lay the REIQ Standards of Business Practice and Continued Professional Development (CPD) training.
"CPD training provides the industry with the education and support needed to uphold these standards," he said.
"REIQ Accredited Agencies will attend CPD training annually, gaining valuable insight into new and relevant issues within the industry. Training is also available to non-principal staff working within an REIQ Accredited Agency.
"The aim of CPD training is to provide REIQ Accredited Agencies with meaningful tuition that will improve business practices and help de-mystify some of the legislation requirements of the real industry sector.
"And this is what will distinguish them from non-REIQ Accredited agencies."
"Working in partnership with the REIQ Accredited Agency program and public awareness campaign is the Real Estate Industry Professional Standards and Consumer Complaints Tribunal.
"The introduction of a Tribunal to hear consumer complaints is part of the REIQ's overall strategy to support and protect the interests of REIQ Accredited Agencies and encourage best practice across the Queensland real estate industry. The Tribunal also ensures that REIQ Accredited Agencies across Queensland are operating in accordance with the Standards of Business Practice," he commented.
The new REIQ Accredited Agency logo, synonymous with professionalism and best practice, will serve as a visual safeguard to help consumers make informed and confident choices.