In REBOSA Reports

Dear Colleagues

This is disdain and it spells double standards!

The Estate Agency Affairs Board issued a statement on 3 September 2019 advising the industry that the contract with PrivySeal was not to be renewed.

This is nothing less than disrespect for the industry.  Privy Seal had already announced the termination of the service over the weekend and it begs the question why the EAAB could not have made this announcement to industry in good time, instead of handling it in this reactive and unprofessional manner?

The reasons cited for the termination was that incorrect procurement procedures were followed.  While one cannot argue this, it would have been preferable to institute the correct procurement procedures before the existing agreement lapsed.  This would have resulted in a smooth transition. It is even conceivable that the same company may have won the contract in such a process!

One must bear in mind that the EAAB forced this initiative on the industry in July 2017.  See below, the formal statement issued by the EAAB at the time.  Rebosa supported the initiative as the aim was that this would give consumers comfort in knowing they were dealing with registered professionals and would limit the scope for illegal agents.  It is therefore regrettable, given the number of agents operating illegally, that the EAAB would not renew PrivySeal’s contract or contract timeously with another suitable provider, to see the continuation of this initiative to the benefit of the consumer.

eaab_media_statement_on_privyseal

eaab_privyseal_communique

To allow the contract to lapse without due notice was simply, inept.  The EAAB at the time, also promised to embark on a consumer campaign, to promote the initiative to make it effective.  This too did not transpire.  No matter which organisation is awarded the new contract, it is bound to fail without the required marketing support.

More importantly, everyone is advised that consumers can check the legal status of estate agents on the EAAB portal.  This system is also flawed.   A search will only yield results if the consumer knows the full name of the agent and I mean – ALL names (including middle names), with the correct spelling, failing which no results will be forthcoming and the agent will appear not to be registered.  The search facility is totally inadequate and the EAAB are well aware of this fact, which they have promised to address for some time now.

It makes no sense to create the impression of consumer protection whilst knowing full well that the entire process is flawed.

I refer to double standards in the headline of this report to you; as the utmost professionalism is required of the estate agents by the EAAB; yet the EAAB fails to meet the same standard.

I feel that the industry has been disrespected, as a consultative body which represents the entire industry, The Multi-Stakeholder Group (“MSG”) was formed five years ago at the insistence of Rebosa.  This is a platform that was created to discuss issues that will have a direct effect on Industry.  When the “MSG” met in June this year, no mention was made of the possible termination of the PrivySeal contract.  The only possible deductions are that the EAAB did not want to consult/advise the MSG (which would refute the object thereof), or that the EAAB was caught by surprise in the turn of events and therefore, needed to start a new procurement process.  Both alternatives are ominous.

Rebosa had requested prior to these events that a meeting of the MSG be called and earlier this week added Privy Seal to the agenda.

We do however wish to advise our members that not being able display the PrivySeal logo, will not affect their business in any material way, it will just lessen the impact the initiative has garnered since its inception.

We will proceed with our best efforts to engage with the EAAB for the betterment of the industry.

To read the full story and chain of events please click on the following link:-

https://propertyprofessional.co.za/2019/09/05/this-is-disdain-and-it-spells-double-standards/ 

Calling Cape Town Members

Following our last report of 18 July, 2019 we published an opinion by our attorney in respect of whether estate agents are contractors or employees and whether the newly tabled National Minimum Wage Act (“NMWA”) would apply, and if so what effect it would have on estate agency firms.

Following the overwhelming response and queries related to this question, we will be hosting an event in Cape Town to provide some clarity.

Anastasia Haji-Pavlou, our esteemed guest speaker and director of STBB will be unpacking this crucial issue at a session in Cape Town.  The details are as follows:-

Date: Tuesday 8 October 2019
Time: 11h00 to 12h30 (Registration will open at 10h30
Venue: The River Club – Liesbeek Avenue, Observatory Rd, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925

2 Non-verifiable CPD points will be issued to each attendee and tea/coffee will be served.

Rebosa members can purchase tickets at the discounted rate of R100-00 which is tax deductible. Non-members pay R250.00

Booking is absolutely essential as seats are limited.

To see event details and to purchase your tickets please access the link below:-

https://www.quicket.co.za/events/83703-agents-does-minimum-wage-apply/

Please see invite attached.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Events in other centres will follow soon.

Kind regards
Jan

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