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Open letter to REIWA

June 17th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

The President – Council


Dear President and Councillors,

I am writing to you after discussions with fellow members in relation to the new “agent rating” initiative REIWA has instigated on its website and is promoting on radio.

We are deeply concerned that, not only has REIWA launched a mechanism that hugely favours a select group of its members but which works to the detriment of the majority of members.

Also, like many others, I am disgusted that in promoting this campaign REIWA is presenting real estate practitioners in an extremely negative light in a time when we should be continually focused on lifting public perception. The attached advert can only be described as an embarrassment and a disgrace.

Notwithstanding the obvious unfairness of our industry body promoting some agents to the detriment of others, presenting agents in each suburb according to their sales numbers and active listings can be extremely misleading.

Let’s have a closer look at some examples of why this is wrong:

  1. An actual agent who will remain unnamed but who has been dominant in the northern suburbs for many years specialising in a particular suburb but extremely capable in any suburb. It is a shame that if he were to be checked out by a prospective seller in the directly adjoining four suburbs he would NOT be rated or would be rated very lowly. This could very unfairly cost this excellent agent business through no fault of his own and he is only one of hundreds of members now being disadvantaged by REIWA through the Agent Finder ratings.
  1. Then we have the total imbalance caused by individuals versus teams whereby a “team leader” with several assistants is listed above very capable individual operators who are every bit as and often more qualified and capable and who can sometimes offer a higher degree of focused one on one service.
  1. There are many long standing but hugely capable agents who choose to take on less listings than they were in past years however the REIWA rating system now paints them as less capable than agents they could run rings around in any suburb if they so desired. Is this the way to treat loyal members? Is it right to disadvantage members who have been paying their REIWA dues often for decades?

The bottom line is, like any member, I don’t expect my Institute to be disadvantaging me or any of my fellow members for that matter when I know I could compete on the basis of skills, experience, resources, etc with the best of them. Don’t get me wrong, this is not about me but the point is when REIWA decides to become instrumental in the choices sellers make about its members REIWA has stepped well and truly over the line.

There are many, many problems with the Institute becoming judge and jury as to who should be promoted to the public and I am sure that any meaningful consultation with its whole membership would highlight that all but the select few, would have a degree of concern with this new initiative.

The feeble argument is that because of the proliferation of “agent rating” sites, REIWA decided to get into the act itself however I would compare that to stating that ….. because a lot of banks are being robbed I’ll solve the problem by becoming a bank robber myself which is just as ludicrous.

REIWA Council, you people get a lot of things right and I love your current stance on Negative Gearing but on this occasion you’ve made a very bad call and you need to step back and fix it fast!


Geoff Baldwin