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REIQ Journal : December January 2009
28 JOURNAL Q & A …there are strong signs of a rapidly escalating level of professionalism within the property industry in Queensland over the last five years. If the bread and butter issues aren’t well addressed members have the right to be dissatisfied, and that is just one of the things that UDIA and REIQ do have a great reputation for addressing. However, the industry body that fails to operate on a strategic basis for the whole of the industry inevitably fails to ensure that a sound operating basis exists for members into the future. There are major challenges ahead for the property industry, and they include affordability, climate change and the current financial crisis. Both REIQ and UDIA have been in the vanguard of public debate on these issues and have shaped the political responses at local, state and federal levels. Inmy view that is to the great credit of both peak bodies. Q What attributes do you believe you bring to the Board? A After three years of involvement with the board I can confidently say that the REIQ has a fantastic Board of Directors, each of whom takes their responsibilities very seriously and brings a great depth of experience. I have not seen the hybrid board of directors (including both member and non-member directors) for an industry body before. This works exceptionally well for REIQ as there are complex issues in the industry that are not generally well appreciated by the community or perhaps even by all of the members. The complexity of these issues requires broad professional and specific industry input. The board benefits from very rigorous and professional input from all of its members – member and non-member alike – and I trust that I make an equal contribution in this regard. I have great respect for all of the directors, including Peter McGrath our chairman and DanMolloy our managing director, and have immensely enjoyed working with such a great group of people. Q What are some of the major changes you’ve witnessed in the property industry in Queensland during your career? A Sellers require greater levels of service and investors are increasingly demanding about the information they require. In-service training and continuous professional development play a critical role in ensuring that the industry meets the demands of our many stakeholders. Without doubt there are strong signs of a rapidly escalating level of professionalism within the property industry in Queensland over the last five years. For the economy to function properly we need to actively manage the industry, not just hope that market forces deliver an efficient system. Land supply, rational levels of taxes and charges, and strong levels of consumer power are among the many factors that are essential to ensure the system works properly. Q What do you believe are the most serious challenges for the real estate industry over the short and long term? A We live in a world of increasing technological sophistication. Not only do we require more information, we also require it faster. In the short term, meeting this need will be essential. In the longer term, climate change and the complexity of a global economy will be a real challenge. The way we have operated in the past will be different from the way we operate in the future but the fundamental provisions will remain the same. Protect the interests of the seller, respect the rights of the buyer and do so better than anyone else and there will always be success for real estate professionals. Q What is the best career advice you’ve been given and who was if from? A Somany people have helped me in the 43 years I have been in the workforce that to single out only one or two would not do justice to them. But there are two key statements that always remain inmy mind and which I reflect on almost daily. Firstly, words I saw on a plaque on the desk of the then Deputy Premier, the Hon. Bill Gunn in 1988 read:“Do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”At that time I realised that no matter what, we have to contribute on a personal basis.We have a duty and an obligation to take a stand on issues that are right, and to do so with every ounce of energy that we can muster. The second statement is about reputation: “It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only seconds to destroy it.”Without a reputation for honesty and integrity, we begin each day on the back foot. From there it is only a millisecond from being on the back-side. REIQ Journal December 2008/January 2009