7 Simple Things You Can Do to Take on the New Financial Year
Since February, almost every facet of our professional and personal lives has been affected by COVID-19. For months, the focus has been on managing the impacts of the pandemic and for businesses this may mean general administration has fallen by the wayside.
As Stage 3 of Queensland’s Roadmap to easing restrictions commenced rolling out from 3 July, the impacts are starting to reduce and real estate professionals will have time to turn their minds to things that may have been put on hold during the crisis.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) suggests seven simple things real estate professionals can do as part of this process to put you in the best position for the financial year ahead.
1. Check your appointment forms for both property sales and rentals are in place and up to date. Remember, if you’re not properly appointed you won’t be entitled to commission.
2. Add a reminder to your calendar or diary for when your licence renewal and audit are due. If you fail to lodge these when required, your licence will expire and you won’t be entitled to any commission earned during your unlicensed period. Working without a licence or registration is also a breach of the Property Occupations Act (POA).
3. If you’ve moved house, changed your business address or changed your name, make sure you’ve notified the OFT. It’s an offence under the POA if changes of personal details are not updated on the register.
4. Check the OFTs free, online public register to make sure your staff have renewed their registration certificates and real estate licences. Employing an unlicensed person to do work that requires a licence is also a breach of the POA.
5. Check the people you regularly do business with have current licences or memberships for their line of work. Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) you must provide services, including property management services, with due care and skill so if you hire unlicensed personnel your client will be entitled to seek a remedy from you such as a refund or compensation for loss or damage.
Some of the personnel you may commonly use, and where to find their relevant licensing information include:
- Builders, plumbers, pest control businesses – licence search via QBCC website
- Electricians – license search via Electrical Safety Office website
- Locksmiths – licence search via OFT website
- Auditors – check they’re either a Certified Practicing Accountant or a Chartered Accountant via the ASIC website.
6. Double check the identity of new people or organisations you’re considering doing business with and double check any requests you receive to change bank account payment details for your current clients and business associates – Scamwatch has reported an unprecedented rise in scams during COVID-19.
While business is still returning to normal, the OFT understands these are unsettled times. If you’re experiencing difficulties in renewing your licence or registration due to the impacts of COVID-19, contact the OFT as soon as possible.