As we arrive at the Christmas / New Year festive season for 2019 and we start lamenting about “where has the year gone” and it seems like only yesterday that it was Easter. This means that it is time to reflect on the year that has been. Every day we hear the news, read the papers, and on the internet – the bad things that are happening in our world. This time of year is when we should be reflecting on what has happened in our lives during the year, and plan to make our lives, and the lives of those we can influence, a better place. We need to be grateful for the good in our lives, be that small or large.
The College has continued to expand its service offering this year with the launch of our consumer education guides. This series of nine (9) books is aimed at assisting our consumers to work more effectively with their agents. This in turn, should reduce the stress that many agents have been experiencing this year. The consumer guides range from sales, buying, auctions, being a landlord, being a tenant, strata living, using a buyer’s agent and buying off-the-plan properties. We had a public launch at the end of April where the books were well received by the industry. We have continued to have many enquiries this year in relation to sharing the information in these guides to the wider community.
The trainers and assessors have travelled widely throughout Australia and internationally conducting training in real estate, strata management, mortgage broking, leadership and management, general skills training, high performance team management and other general customer service focused skills courses. We also were extremely busy this past year conducting compliance checks for agencies, to assist them identifying areas of non-compliance and providing them with support and strategies to be compliant and increase the general success of their businesses. All of the trainers are looking forward to their holiday break to rest and renew for the new decade.
ACOP turned sixteen (16) on 30 November 2019 and as we have done for the past few years, our students received the gifts, with 16% discount on all courses and products for the month of November. We also had a special raffle draw for all students who booked and paid for courses in November. We were so pleased to announce that Doug Shoemark was the lucky winner of the $1,000 Westfield voucher – we believe that his wife was also very pleased with the winnings.
And it’s a wrap for 2019. It’s our last fortnightly College Chronicle for the year so I thought a summary of the topics we have covered this year would be a great idea – just to show how much ground we have crossed. Remember that all past editions of the Chronicle are available on our website. In 2019, our topics have included:
We have focused heavily this year in training on linking day-to-day operations to the Rules of Conduct for agents. We truly believe that if agents implement the ethos of these legislatively required rules, that our industry will be a better and way more professional playing field. This is certainly the underpinning philosophy for why we do what we do here at ACOP.
And at last, we have a date for the implementation of the Property Services Reforms. On 23 March 2020, the property industry will have major changes ranging from licensing, qualification requirements, trust account practices, rules of conduct, supervision guidelines and continuing professional development. The final documents are about to be released. Keep a watch on the home page of our website for a new summary in the next few days. We are all so excited to finally be in the last stages of preparation for the implementation date.
As with previous years (in fact this is our tenth year), ACOP was one of the few Registered Training Organisations that were granted the ability to offer government funding in the property, finance and management sectors – meaning that we continue to be closely monitored by Training Services NSW to ensure that our high standards of training are continuously met. And of greatest importance to us here at ACOP, we passed our audit with our national regulator ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority) and have been granted a further 7 years of registration. With funding available for fee-free traineeships from 1st January, subsidised training for experienced workers, and half fees to people aged between 45 and 70 – it is an exciting time to be operating in the training arena – so bring on 2020 is all we can say.
At this time of the year, many of us are focusing on the good times ahead with our family and loved ones – planning our gathering and copious amounts of food that we will consume. The ACOP Christmas celebrations were held on the beachfront in Manly at the beginning of December and we had a fantastic night dancing the night away with our colleagues, fabulous drinks and amazing food. As you plan your work and family celebration, remember to be mindful and ensure the safety of yourself and your friends as they travel to and from the celebrations, particularly if they are enjoying a few drinks at the parties.
We have had many celebrations this year at the College, an engagement from our Marketing Co-ordinator Lucas and so the planning of weddings has begun again for our team. At the other end of the continuum, we had one staff member, Chanelle undergo back surgery for a second time this year. She has just returned to work after her surgery and recovery period – and the office is no longer quiet. We are so excited to have her (and her energy) back with us. Through the good and bad of people’s personal lives, the team supports each other which makes me a very proud business owner.
As I always state in my final newsletter of the year, this is a time for reflection – both from a business and personal perspective. We need to remember those in our community who need a little extra support at this time of the year. ACOP continues to actively support the Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter and have now commenced supporting the Camden Women’s Shelter, as our team member Kristine has been elected to the board of management for the planning and impending opening of this new Shelter in Sydney’s south-west. ACOP also strongly supports the Cambodian Children’s Fund and the team enjoy their participation in the planning for major fundraising events and assisting in the work that is done through these organisations. Closer to home, we have the people who have lost their homes and their livelihoods through the current fires and the farmers who are doing it so tough through this long period of drought. Let’s spare them thoughts, and support (financial, physical and emotional) wherever and whenever we can – it will make everyone’s Christmas so much better.
ACOP will close its doors and telephone lines at midday on Friday 20th December and reopen on Monday 6th January at 8.30am. Naturally, you will still be able to login online and enrol and complete CPD training if required. Any of your questions will be addressed as soon as we are back at our desks on the 6th.
On behalf of John and myself and all of the magnificent ACOP team, we send our warm festive regards and wish you a truly happy Christmas and a safe, healthy and prosperous 2020. It is the start of a new decade and it’s time to be grateful for all that is good and plan to make a fresh start with fabulous new ideas for the start of the roaring 20s.
Don’t forget to leave out the beer and cookies for Santa and a carrot or two for the reindeer. Stay safe and happy. We are looking forward to seeing you all in the new year.