Ewan's Blog

Hard Chat

Tuesday 05 Mar 2019

At a recent meeting of the Board of the Real Estate Institute of NSW I was presented with a wooden spoon and awarded the somewhat dubious title of ‘Biggest Stirrer’. Whilst I would argue that 9 Awards for Excellence over 7 years is a long way from deserving a wooden spoon(!) I will happily own the title of ‘Biggest Stirrer’. In our business it’s crucial that we never shy away from having those tough conversations with clients and colleagues. And right now we have a lot to talk about. 

Our industry is at a crucial point. And I’m not just talking about the state of the market.

I have always spoken about my job as a ‘profession’ and I have always advocated for others with passion, motivation, determination and integrity to join our profession.  I’m proud of what I do, of the service offered by our team and the results we achieve.

But the fact is, in terms of measurable and accountable standards ours is not an officially recognised ‘profession’.  That’s something I’m passionate about changing, together with my colleagues on the Board of REI NSW, and it has been the focus of some very strong discussions.  

Which is exactly as it should be.  The board is filled with diverse opinion and there are at times passionate arguments, but we’re all focused on what is best for the REINSW members. 

To establish our industry as a profession we need to ensure our members are educated, empowered and enforced to deliver the best service and support to their clients.  There are no losers in that equation but as is the case with many real estate deals the devil can be in the detail and securing a result can take some hard talking. 

I have said repeatedly to the team at Morton that the hardest discussions they have with clients will also be the most important.  The uncertainty of the current market is making for some very hard chats with vendors and investors about value and rental returns.  But they are important because without realistic observations and honest, open advice the opportunity to make informed choice is limited.  I think that in turn limits the potential to achieve the best outcome.

So it is with the debate around our industry becoming a profession.  It is an exciting, albeit long overdue, debate that I know will deliver the best outcomes for our industry and our clients. And a little pot-stirring along the way won’t hurt!