Agent pushes for ‘name and shame’ policy

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One real estate agent’s campaign to name and shame other agents who fall foul of the industry’s professional standards may soon become a reality.

John Keating’s 15 year- long campaign came to a head late last month, when the majority of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s (REIV) members agreed to his proposed policy change.

The name and shame policy, which would require internal publications to be used to report the names and penalties of agents found to have breached the professional code of conduct, now needs to be approved by the REIV’s board in order to be enacted.

An REIV spokesperson told Real Estate Business that the board would gather later this month to discuss the policy change, but it was unlikely to be implemented due to concerns that it could lead to defamation action by agents.

“While we have to leave the final decision in the hands of the board, I cannot see the motion being carried when they meet this month,” the spokesperson said.

“They will need a bit of time to discuss with the legal team any ramifications a policy change like this would have.”

Mr Keating dismissed the defamation concerns and said naming would be the single best self-enforcing action to raise professional standards.

“Unfortunately, the REIV just do not seem to want to put the motion into practice and trying to get action on it by the REIV has been very exasperating,” Mr Keating told The Australian Financial Review.

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