ASIC, the ACCC, the State Government and the Reserve Bank.
Article originally published DECEMBER 11, 2003 –Reviewed and approved.
By Neil Jenman
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria and its CEO, Enzo Raimondo, have developed a bizarre habit of late – abusing and threatening some peak authorities and respected figures.
In the past fortnight, they have hurled insults at the nation’s regulatory bodies – ASIC and the ACCC, the State Government and now, the Reserve Bank of Australia.
On November 28, Enzo Raimondo said the fall of Henry Kaye should be a “wake up call for regulators”. A bold statement considering that some members of the REIV have been up to their necks in ripping off consumers via investment seminars and sales on behalf of dodgy developers.
“It is unfortunate that many ordinary families are adversely affected by the actions of unscrupulous investment advisers,” said the REIV. No mention of the thousands of ordinary families adversely affected by unscrupulous members of the REIV. No, just an insult to the regulators combined with the usual pretence that the REIV are the bastions of integrity when it comes to property advice.
Last weekend, the REIV lashed out at the State Government over a proposal to use money from the Estate Agents Guarantee Fund to finance cheap housing for low income earners. The government is also considering scrapping funding for the REIV to train agents – a move that is long overdue.
Astonishingly, the REIV warned the government that it would “cop a beating”. According to a report in The Age, the REIV threatened to “activate its political network” to defeat the plans. Oh dear, Premier Bracks must be quivering in fear at the thought of agents – with their widespread community respect – lobbying against his government’s proposal.
After all, claimed the REIV, the training of agents is “to protect and benefit consumers”. They must be hoping that the government never see some of the real estate industry training material.
And today, in The Australian Financial Review, Raimondo hurled his biggest insult of all. Referring to comments made by the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Ian Macfarlane, based on property statistics supplied by the REIV, Raimondo reportedly said he did not know if the RBA “deliberately misleads people”. Mr Macfarlane had said that price falls in some areas of the Melbourne apartment market had fallen by 40 per cent. “Misinterpreted the figures,” said Raimondo as he flicked the blame for spooking investors on to the Governor.
Ian Macfarlane, one of the most respected and decent men in the country, deliberately misleading people? And Enzo Raimondo, the man protecting the interests of real estate agents, concerned about the welfare and protection of consumers? Yes, the public are going to swallow that.
Is there no limit to such arrogance? Or is it just stupidity? Mr Macfarlane, as wise as he is, may have his limits, especially when quoting from information supplied by the REIV.
As the saying goes – The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.
PLEASE NOTE: Our focus is upon helping consumers. Abuse from agents on our web site or Facebook page will be deleted, ignored or well publicised – it depends on our mood.
But one thing will never vary: We will never stop doing what we love most – helping polite and honest consumers get the best deal possible in real estate. And, of course, if any agents are serious about taking care of consumers, we’ll help you too. Thank you.