Why I’ve resigned from the REIV

If you’ve been in on one of my talks on communication, you’ll know that I’m strong proponent of making sure that every email and every phone call you receive gets an answer, even if it’s just a quick reply of acknowledgement for the time being and setting the expectation on when a more comprehensive answer might be coming.

To that end, I am disappointed in the leadership within the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

One of the reasons we’re losing a lot of good property managers from the industry is that when taking matters which are clear cut to VCAT for a presumably fair hearing, they are getting decisions which challenge common sense; so 3 weeks ago, I wrote to both the CEO and President of the REIV asking why there was silence and a presumed lack of action from the Institute in relation to the disparity in decisions from VCAT where it concerned following the legislation in any balanced way.

I’ve heard nothing.


No acknowledgement, no delegation to a staff member for response, just silence.

As I say in my presentations, silence is also an effective means of communication. It communicates that you just don’t care – in human interactions silence isn’t golden, it’s destructive.

Since I posted the text of my email to the REIV on an industry forum, I’ve had other members of the Institute speak to me about similar frustrations with the management of the organisation, so it seems that mine is not an isolated case and that there are systemic issues with communication within the Institute.

The lack of response aside, I think my disappointment is greater in a lack of commentary from the Institute on matters around the rental crisis, the impact of questionable VCAT decisions or really anything Property Management related.

Rather than being at the forefront of public comment on Property Management, in the last 6 months, only 2 of the 14 REIV releases have spoken anything about Property Management – first on the 6th November last year speaking against rental caps, and one on the 19th January noting that the electrical safety standards are in force from late March – so it’s difficult to see how they are advocating in support of well-being of those working in the sector in a tangible way.

The only way we can be seen as a relevant participant in any conversation on this is to be at the forefront of the public mind as government seems to only listen to the louder voice, which in this discussion is Tenants Victoria, and they’re not doing our sector any favours, you could argue it’s quite the opposite, and there’s been no counter-narrative. Again, there’s that “S” word.

So after a great deal of thought I’ve written to the membership office of the REIV advising that I’ve resigned from an organisation which I’ve been part of since the 1980’s.

This hasn’t been an easy decision, nor one made lightly, as I know that there are some very well intentioned individuals within the administration, and there are certainly people who are members of the interest groups and serving as directors who are passionate about the future direction of the industry  – some very good friends of mine are within these groups and this is in no way a reflection on them as I know first-hand how committed they are to the betterment of those who work within the industry, but where they and others are apparently being held back or sidelined by senior management (as the lack of reply or advocacy sems to indicate) then the Institute will remain an ineffective outsider in terms of influence on public policy, and in terms of any sort of voice to government for the benefit of the membership.