REAA - The Update
  July 2017
Welcome to our July update.

We have a lot to share with you, including a key Tribunal decision, news about REAA and information we hope will be useful to you in your work.

What's happening at REAA?

We have been reviewing REAA's strategy and the role we have under the Act to promote and protect the interests of consumers. Our research shows that many consumers take risks when selling and buying property because they don't understand real estate processes. Very few consumers know about REAA, particularly as a source of information and guidance, so we need a higher profile to reach, educate and inform consumers. We need to be seen as an independent entity in the crowded market of real estate messages to the public.

Consumer and industry research has found that the word ‘agents' in Real Estate Agents Authority creates some confusion about our role. ‘Agents' creates a consumer perception that REAA isn't an independent organisation.

To make this clearer, we are changing our name. Later this year, we will be known as the Real Estate Authority or REA. Our next newsletter will have more detailed information on this for you.

Some of you may be concerned about the impact of our name change on your own businesses, but this should be minimal. Where agencies refer to REAA 2008 on signage and stationery, the ‘REAA' is in relation to the Real Estate Agents Act 2008, not the Real Estate Agents Authority. There will be no need to change this. We will update our guide publications and supply them in due course.

In addition to a new organisation brand and name, we are developing a new consumer brand. This will be similar to the Sorted brand that the Commission for Financial Capability uses for consumers.

Read more about:
  • A recent Court of Appeal decision about Police vetting
  • Agency responsibilities
  • Examples of positive outcomes from engaging in the early resolution process
  • Current market appraisals and what you need to know
  • Recommending qualified inspectors for building inspections
  • 10 top tips from our investigations team
Firstly, in brief...
  • Passing on information for buyers at open homes: The one-page website for home buyers has been running since February and is proving popular with consumers. The website lists tips and includes a detailed home buyers’ guide.

    Buying

    We’ve printed postcard-size cards for licensees to hand out at open homes. This is a trial to see if this sort of approach works or not. If you’d like to be a part of the trial, send an email to marketing@reaa.govt.nz with ‘Postcard’ in the title. Include your postal address, and we’ll send you some cards to use. We welcome your feedback on how that works for you and the public.
  • … and information for sellers: We have a new one-page website for sellers too. This page lists tips for sellers and includes a new guide about selling property. We’ll run an online campaign to promote the page to sellers. You are welcome to share the link (sellingahome.reaa.govt.nz) with your clients.
  • Your non-verifiable CE training: We’ve reviewed the 2016 non-verifiable continuing education audit, identifying a number of areas of potential confusion about what can and can’t be counted as non-verifiable training.

    Non-verifiable education is active, structured training. Attending a council seminar about by-laws or signage is a good example, as is attending information sessions at an industry conference – but you must state the specific topic details in your log. We’ve included examples of what can and can’t count towards non-verifiable training here.
  • New Supervision Standard: We introduced REAA’s first professional standard in May. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can find it here.
  • Understanding the complaints process: We have a new factsheet that shows what happens when a complaint is referred to the Tribunal. You can find the Complaint Assessment Committee (CAC) information sheet here.
  • ‘Ask Kevin’: The ‘Ask Kevin’ column that appears fortnightly in Fairfax Media publications (Waikato Times, Dominion Post, The Press and on stuff.co.nz) is now on the website. The articles cover common consumer questions about buying and selling property. We’ll have PDF versions available on the website soon if you’d like to pass these on to clients and buyers.

    We’re interested in topic ideas for the ‘Ask Kevin’ column that you would like explained to the public. Send your ideas to media@reaa.govt.nz.
  • When you use REAA information: REAA is committed to educating and informing consumers about their rights and responsibilities when buying and selling property. We appreciate licensees using the information on our website to help consumers. We’re keen for everyone to have all the information they need to navigate their way through property transactions, whether they’re first-home buyers or experienced investors.

    If you would like to use content from our website and publications, we encourage you to do so but ask that you please credit REAA. If you have any queries around this, don’t hesitate to contact us by emailing media@reaa.govt.nz, and we’ll be more than happy to help you.
 
Kevin Lampen-Smith
Kevin Lampen-Smith

Kevin Lampen-Smith
Chief Executive Officer/Registrar
 
 

Court of Appeal decision
A recent decision by the Court of Appeal has brought to a close a series of proceedings that have focused on what information the Registrar of the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) can take into account when licensees apply for the annual renewal of their licence.
 
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Resolving issues early
Recently, we explained the different ways REAA resolves complaints. One of the options is for a facilitator from our early resolution team to work with the complainant and licensee. The following are examples which show how both parties could work through their differences to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.
 
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What you need to know about current market appraisals (CMAs)
It is important to provide accurate appraisals so vendors can make well-informed decisions about selling their property or business. A number of the complaints and enquiries we receive raise concerns about current market appraisals (CMAs).
 
Read More

Encouraging building inspections
It can be frustrating for people to watch their precious deposit being whittled away by the costs of due diligence when looking for property to buy. Even so, it's important to remind prospective buyers that they should learn as much as possible about a property before signing a sale and purchase agreement.
 
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10 top tips
These 10 top tips have been put together by REAA's investigation team. The tips address the key reasons for the complaints and enquiries that the team refers to Complaints Assessment Committees and the Tribunal.
 
Read More

Selling property to an overseas buyer
The Overseas Investment Office has provided an article about the requirements for buyers outside New Zealand who want to purchase land here.
 
Read More

 
Other news
 
  • Homeowner education programme: The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is running a programme to remind homeowners about their rights and responsibilities when building or renovating. Real estate licensees can help champion change across the building and construction industry by encouraging homeowners to make informed decisions about building work if they plan to renovate or remodel a property.

    Have a look at www.building.govt.nz and at MBIE’s Know your rights booklet. Email MBIE (with ‘Consumer protection booklets’ in the subject line) if you would like to order copies.
  • What does debt do for you? REAA works with Sorted, which is offering great resources to support Money Week in August. Read on if you’d like to run an event for staff or clients …

    Sorted

    The annual campaign takes place on 14-20 August and will focus on getting New Zealanders thinking and talking about their finances. Sometimes we may be better off in the long run by borrowing, but it can also drag us down. Sorted provides practical and impartial resources for anyone considering taking on debt or looking to shed their debt faster so they can get ahead financially and improve their wellbeing. Find out more at moneyweek.org.nz or contact the Commission at moneyweek@cffc.org.nz.
 

 
DECISIONS
Unsatisfactory conduct
Other decisions
 
STATISTICS
Compliance
Licensing
 

 
 
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Please do not reply to this newsletter. If you wish to contact us please call us on 0800 for REAA (0800 367 7322) or 04 471 8930 or email us at info@reaa.govt.nz
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