There are hundreds of would-be workers in the NSW real estate industry forcibly unemployed due to NSW Fair Trading bureaucratic inefficiencies, says the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW). While the number is growing daily, there is an opportunity to unlock these jobs quickly and easily.
At present, Fair Trading is the gatekeeper of an application process which means fully-trained agents, who are ready, capable and eager to work, must wait
“There are plenty of accredited market operators entirely capable of processing real estate licence applications within 1 to 2 business days.
NSW Fair Trading has a clear opportunity to unlock more new jobs, alleviate pressure on itself, and help get the NSW economy moving again,” Mr McKibbin says.
“There’s no need for the Department to be the gatekeeper of this process when others can manage it with significantly greater efficiency.
“Many people have lost their jobs throughout the pandemic. Industries like tourism and hospitality have been hit hard. Some of these people have taken the initiative to re-skill, recognising that the customer service skills they have can be applied to real estate.
“They’ve completed the required training and are prepared to re-enter the workforce. Perhaps they’ve even secured a job with a real estate business. But they have to wait weeks and even months for their application to be processed.
“It’s ironic that it takes longer for Fair Trading to process an application than it takes for the agent to complete the necessary training course.
“We are not proposing a radical solution. The process could be as simple as registering a car. We have it inspected by a mechanic, they lodge a certificate online, we secure the other necessary documents, and our car is registered.
“It’s important to recognise the hold-up has nothing to do with training. Nor is NSW Fair Trading providing any additional quality assurance or value to consumers over the months it takes to process an application. It’s simply pointless bureaucracy keeping people from getting to work,” Mr McKibbin says.
Mike Israel of National Crime Check, an ACIC-accredited private operator which completes some 43,000 police checks per month, confirms a 1-2 day turnaround in this process is not only possible, it’s the norm.
“We provide connections between the relevant authorities to facilitate the efficient processing of applications, with call centre support and simple online tutorials for applicants, to make the process as simple and fast as possible,” Mr Israel explains.
“As such, most applications are processed in 1 to 2 business days. It’s impossible to justify how this process should take months when there are jobs on the line,” he says.
Mr McKibbin says billions are being invested in JobKeeper and JobSeeker but NSW Fair Trading’s “JobStopper” approach is undoing the good work.
“This is not a by-product of COVID-19. The unacceptably long application processing times plagued the industry before the pandemic became a reality.
“But now, when supporting jobs has never been more important, the need for urgent reform has been emphasised. Thankfully, the solution exists, and it’s easily accessible,” he says.