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REIQ Journal : October 2008
30 JOURNAL Q & A Q: Conversely, what have been some of the most enjoyable moments? A: I really enjoyed interviewing some of our “olds and bolds” – the legends of the Institute. Most of them had 50 years of experience and each of them was able to colour in the record and provide valuable human insight. They told me a great deal about what the Institute and the real estate industry means to them and their families. Sitting opposite the life members allowed me to really get a good feeling of how they regard the Institute. I saw and heard of their fondness for it and their fellow members and it was sometimes overwhelming. Q: You admitted to being a “real estate novice” before you were commissioned to write Deeds, Dreams & Dedication. What have you learned about the industry during the process? A: I now have a greater appreciation of what an agent faces, whether it is in residential or commercial sales, auctioneering, or property management. The people I interviewed gave me an insightful look into what they face on a day to day basis and how the industry has had to adjust over the decades to keep pace with growing technology and greater consumer awareness. What was also an eye opener was the Institute’s desire to create an industry with the highest ethical standards. It was driven voluntarily by the members and not by government, and that is still reflected today. Gary McKay (left) and Roger Wainwright on location in Vietnam, researching a book on veterans , 2005 Q: In the book’s preface you say that the history of the Institute could have ended up “as dry as a packet of Sao biscuits”, but that hasn’t been the case at all. What did you discover about the Institute, or the people who had been involved with the Institute, that made the subject matter easy to digest? A: The one thing that really stood out - and is now reflected in the title of the book - was the dedication of those men and women who served the Institute on the Board, especially in the middle and later decades of the 20th Century. They did it for no return and neither did they expect one. They simply wanted to make their industry as good as it could be and that alone made my job easier because of their commitment to excellence. Before I began the research for the book I had no idea of the breadth of work that the REIQ undertook on a daily basis from education, arbitration and product development; to communicating with members to allow everyone across the State to achieve the level of excellence they seek. This is a member-based organisation and everything is driven toward improving the lot of the members. Hopefully we now have a Tim Tam and not a dry Sao! REIQ Journal October 2008