The real estate industry has been placed under an uncomfortable spotlight yet again with the reported posting of a blatantly racist property advert by Dick and Sue Home Finders on the property portals. At present the company is claiming sabotage – stating that the advert which states “ONLY whites please” was posted on their behalf, without their knowledge.
“Regardless of this ‘explanation’ REBOSA (Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa) would like to emphasise that advertisements like this are absolutely deplorable and are by no means reflective of the attitude or inclination of estate agents in general”, says Jan le Roux, Chief Executive of REBOSA.
He goes on to indicate that it is hard to imagine any estate agent advertising a property for sale or to let and excluding from said advert a possible client, on the basis of race, when such an act could cost the agent a commission. The more likely scenario is that the owner or landlord has stipulated this requirement, but the action is still appalling.
“We are of the opinion that agents should not take this kind of instruction from clients and refuse to deal with them if necessary. One should, however take note of where the request most likely originated from and not blame the entire industry for the sins of society”, believes le Roux.
REBOSA has launched the Equality Pledge which can be found on https://www.rebosa.co.za/pledge/. Thousands of agents have already signed the pledge, and principals and owners of estate agencies are advised to use this pledge, ensuring that new entrants actually sign it to prevent this sort of behaviour from the get go. Dick and Sue Home Finders are not members of Rebosa and have not signed the Rebosa Equality Pledge.
“Acts like these reflect badly on the entire industry, damaging the reputations of all estate agents in the eyes of the consumer, the government and the market. It is in the best interests of all estate agents to be vigilant about this sort of behaviour, and engage with their colleagues should they come across anything like this. Agents are also encouraged to report all such incidents to REBOSA and can rest assured that action will be taken”, assures Le Roux.