More than 40 leading property firms across Europe have already endorsed the RICS Real Estate Agency and Brokerage Standards (REABS); a significant step in RICS mission to increase transparency and client confidence in Europe's real estate markets.
Launched at the end of last year, RICS standards are the first ever to provide an international framework on how brokers and real estate agents should conduct their business.
Real estate transactions in most parts of the world are initiated through brokers and estate agents. Globalization continues, and more and more companies now conduct cross-border real estate transactions. In this context, RICS identified a strong need for a common overarching set of principles which should underpin all activities undertaken by those RICS members who are real estate agents regardless of the country where they operate.
George Kaburopulos MRICS, Managing Partner at Dorian Strategic in Greece, comments: "As markets and clients have become more cautious about the credibility of real estate companies and the quality of services they deliver, REABS are a valuable tool for agents and brokers. The Greek market in particular, where brokerage license is not acquired through any official qualification, needs these standards to raise the bar where it should be."
Ethics, protection and expertise are the values at the heart of this new international code which apply to the selling, buying, letting and renting of real estate in the commercial, residential and rural sectors. In order to ensure that the standards operate effectively, REABS apply both to the individual agent and the company who provides real estate agency services. These two actors must take the responsibility for compliance with REABS core principles, such as give clients objective and transparent advice at all times and avoid conflicts of interests.
Head of Country at DTZ Hungary, Balázs Czifra MRICS says: "It is of particular importance to us to conduct our business in a transparent manner and to avoid conflicts of interests, which sometimes proves to be a challenge, especially in times of economic instability. A clear, precise and easily enforceable global set of rules, REABS further strengthen such endeavors."
In the past months, the standards have been gaining growing international recognition. Already available in English and German, REABS will soon exist in French and Dutch. Their Chinese version was launched back in May 2011 and their translation into Thai is also under way. In Asia still, the Estate Agency Authority of the Hong Kong Government has endorsed REABS and Colliers announced that its Asia Pacific division will adopt the standards.
Peter Kunz FRICS, Managing Partner at Colliers International Frankfurt, Germany, adds: "REABS provides core principles for business behavior which are consistent with our internal ethics and policy. By underscoring our commitment to the integrity and ethics as set out in the standards, we aim to ensure that all staff understands and follows these principles. It also offers a platform for informing our clients about the way we deliver our services. This transparency towards all parties involved is paramount to further develop our growing business wherever we operate."
Source: RICS Europe