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Industry newsletter December 2016

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Source: Real Estate Agents Authority – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Industry newsletter December 2016

This is the 50th The Update newsletter the REAA has sent to licensees since the first newsletter in December 2009, a month after the REAA was established. That first issue was emailed to 11,600 licensees and focused on the questions most frequently asked by licensees about the new 2008 Act.

This milestone 50th newsletter will be sent to nearly 17,600 licensees and we cover a broader range of topics reflecting the industry’s development and evolution over the last seven years.

I hope you can find the time to read the news and updates in this issue at this busy time of year.

  • Managing issues so they don’t become complaints – our Early Resolution Team
  • Collecting contact details at open homes – your obligations under the Privacy Act
  • Electronic signatures
  • Forestry exemption
  • Reaching and informing buyers and sellers – REAA’s brand

Firstly, in brief…

  • Our usual premises in Deloitte House remains closed following the 14 November Kaikoura earthquake. Thank you for your patience as we have worked through the process of finding alternative office space in Wellington. We now have a temporary home at 3 The Terrace. However, many of our systems, including our 0800 phone remain compromised. We appreciate you continuing to email rather than call us for now. We will respond to emails as soon as we can.

    This experience has been an interesting one for me and my senior leadership team. It has been a good reminder of the importance of having a Business Continuity Plan. I’m proud of the way the REAA team has managed to keep key activities going, especially when they were working from their homes for the first few weeks. How have we done? We welcome feedback to info@reaa.govt.nz.

  • Earlier this week I sent you a letter from the REAA Board Chair, John Auld, about changes to fees and levies that will come into effect on 1 February 2017. This letter will have been good news for many of you. Please email licensing@reaa.govt.com if you have any questions about the changes.
  • Thank you to everyone who provided feedback about the draft Supervision Standard. Your comments were detailed and constructive. We are still compiling the results and will share the final standard early in 2017. Key themes from the consultation include concerns about remote supervision and the importance of good agency systems and processes.
  • Remember that your 10 hours of verifiable and 10 hours of non-verifiable continuing education must be completed by 31 December 2016 if you intend to renew your licence in 2017. If you are planning to retire in 2017, you still need to complete your 2016 continuing education programme to be eligible to work after 1 January 2017 – regardless of your licence expiry date.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Please email me if you have any questions or comments about this newsletter.

Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2017.

Kevin Lampen-Smith
Chief Executive Officer/Registrar

Managing issues so they don’t become complaints
The REAA receives many hundreds of phone calls each year from people who have experienced a problem during a real estate transaction. Thanks to our Early Resolution Team, only forty percent of these calls are referred to the Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC) process.  
Collecting contact details at open homes
The REAA receives many enquiries from consumers asking what information licensees are allowed to collect from buyers at open homes. It’s important you know about the Privacy Act and what it says about obtaining, using and storing personal information so you can meet your legal obligations and explain those obligations to buyers.  
Electronic signatures
Can contracts and other legal documentation be signed electronically? This is a question REAA is increasingly asked by licensees who receive documents by email.  
Forestry exemption
In May this year the New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF) applied to the Associate Minister of Justice for an exemption from the requirement to be licensed under the Real Estate Agents Act (Act). NZIF wants its registered members to be able to carry out activities that are generally regarded as real estate agency work without having to hold a licence.  
Reaching and informing buyers and sellers
REAA is reviewing its branding and website to help us better reach and inform buyers and sellers. We conducted online brand perception research in October to help us understand how our current branding reflects our purpose. Thank you to those who took part. We also surveyed people who had sold, purchased or tried to purchase real estate in the last five years. What do licensees and consumers know about REAA?  

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