The real estate sector has taken a giant leap forward in its endeavour to professionalise the industry.
The Institute of Estate Agents of SA (IEASA) and the Real Estate Business Owners of SA (REBOSA) made history earlier this month when they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
This important document heralds a new beginning for the real estate sector whereby IEASA and REBOSA will be united in their goal to professionalise and transform the industry in a way that is beneficial to both bodies' stakeholders. The intent of the MOU is furthermore to extend and create a platform for other industry bodies to partake in order to engage in meaningful discussions in relation to key industry issues such as legislation, transformation and industry governance.
Both IEASA and REBOSA have, however, agreed that under no circumstances will the MOU detract from the purpose of these two organisations as set out in their individual Memorandums of Incorporation. The aim of the MOU is to enhance effectiveness in areas where there is common purpose.
IEASA has a long history of serving the real estate sector. Established in 1936, the association was formed when four provincial estate agent associations joined forces and began acting as a national body - its main function was to represent the industry at large.
However, the need for the industry to have two separate voices became apparent under the Labour Relations Act and it was clear that, if the industry was to be fully represented, two separate bodies would need to be formed - one representing the interests of those employed in the industry and a separate body representing business owners (employers) in the sector.
In 2011, a separate business organisation, REBOSA was registered and now represents the interests of business owners in the industry. REBOSA is a member of Business Unity South Africa as well as the Property Charter Council.
At a national IEASA board meeting in 2012, a new Memorandum of Incorporation was approved and later registered, clearing the path for IEASA to establish itself as a real estate labour organisation.
This decision to work together could not have come at a better, more important time. The Department of Human Settlements is currently developing the Property Transaction and Regulatory Bill which will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Act of 1976. At this stage, IEASA and REBOSA collectively represent an overwhelming portion of the real estate industry and as such are ready to represent the industry across all relevant platforms, playing a meaningful role in shaping the future of the property industry in South Africa.