Enzo Raimondo Must Resign

Posted on August 4, 2008 by | 8 Comments

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Opinion by Neil Jenman
Consumer Advocate


Victoria’s real estate industry is embroiled in another scandal. This time, the body at the centre of the scandal is the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (the REIV) and its CEO, Mr Enzo Raimondo.


The REIV is an industry association whose members comprise around 80 per cent of the state’s 6,000 estate agents. The REIV’s purpose is to protect the interests of its member agents. One of its aims is to convince the public that REIV agents are honest and ethical. It’s a tough task.


As CEO, Enzo Raimondo is the REIV’s main spokesperson. In my opinion, the REIV has the wrong person as its chief.Enzo Raimondo - CEO REIV


Since the turn of the century, Raimondo has made a constant series of embarrassing public blunders as he has sought, in many cases, to defend the indefensible.


Back in 2000, when the dummy bidding scandal was at its peak, Raimondo told an ABC Radio interviewer, “I’m not sure what is meant by dummy bids. I haven’t heard anyone explain to me what a dummy bid is.” The interviewer explained it to him, “Someone in the audience pretending to be a real bidder when they are not.” Raimondo immediately hit back with this gem of wisdom, “The auction process has been around for a long, long time.”


When Raimondo tried the same logic on Radio 3AW, the interviewer said, “Enzo, you are treating me as an idiot here.”


And therein lies the problem that has plagued the Victorian institute this century. Enzo Raimondo’s response to many scandals is to make an idiotic statement. In doing so, he not only damages his own credibility, he tarnishes every agent – good or bad – in the entire state.


It seems, finally, however, that Enzo Raimondo may have made one blunder too many.


More about “Enzo Raimondo Must Resign”…


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8 Comments

  • http:// says:

    Statement by the REIV

    Tuesday 5 August 2008

    STATEMENT BY THE REIV IN RESPONSE TO ARTICLE: “REIV BLAMES MISCOMMUNICATION FOR UNDERQUOTE”
    DATE OF PUBLICATION: SATURDAY 26 JULY 2008

    The REIV has decided to issue this statement in response to the article published in The Age on 26 July 2008 which contained inaccurate and biased comments and suggests the Real Estate Institute of Victoria Ltd (REIV) had engaged in conduct that is misleading or deceptive. Mr Pallisco has, in the view of the REIV, written a deliberately biased article for the sole purposes of denigrating the REIV and its Chief Executive Officer.

    Inaccuracies
    Paragraph one is inaccurate. Mr Pallisco refers to, “…a curious underquoting deal…”.
    The implication is the REIV has engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct to mislead the public over the selling price.
    The implication is unsubstantiated and false.

    Paragraph two is inaccurate. It refers to marketing at “…$3million – plus…”.
    To the REIV’s knowledge, the property was not marketed on this basis.

    Paragraphs three and four are inaccurate. They imply it is unusual for a property to be passed-in if bidding reaches a figure above that at which it is marketed.
    It is common practice for a property to be passed-in, if bidding has not reached the vendor’s reserve.

    Paragraph six is inaccurate. It asserts “…the REIV says underquoting has occurred when a property’s sale price is more than 15% more than the quoted price…”.
    What the REIV’s “Auction advertising guidelines” state is “…if a price range is to be included in an advertisement the upper limit must not exceed 15% of the amount of the lower limit of the range…”.
    Mr Pallisco made no enquiry of the REIV about the guidelines before writing the article.

    A copy of the guidelines can be accessed by clicking here.

    Furthermore, if Mr Pallisco had bothered to research and acquaint himself – in the interests of presenting a balanced and fair report – with the pricing guidelines published by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) – and published on the CAV website – he would have ascertained CAV do not specify a percentage limit for price ranging in real estate advertising.
    If he did acquaint himself with those guidelines, it seems he has deliberately chosen to ignore them or omit reference to them.

    Paragraph seven is inaccurate. It asserts the REIV introduced its guidelines in response to a CAV “…crackdown on underquoting that gave real estate agents a 10% margin of error…”.
    The REIV introduced its guidelines in response to what it perceived to be disquiet over the multiplicity of marketing techniques confusing to the public. REIV guidelines were introduced independently of CAV and six months earlier as reported in The Age at the time.
    If Mr Pallisco had bothered to enquire, the REIV would have advised him accordingly.

    Paragraph eight is inaccurate and false. It asserts the REIV disagrees with CAV that price plus advertising is misleading and encourages its members to use it.
    The opposite is the case. Before CAV introduced its pricing guidelines, the REIV had, in its guidelines, advised members, “…A single figure price in an advertisement must not be advertised as a price plus…”.
    Guidelines were also provided for members and, under the heading “Current practices that will no longer be used”, there appears “$70,000 plus” and “$380,000+”.

    Paragraph nine is inaccurate. It suggests there is a “grey area” in relation to a seller being allowed to have a reserve higher than an indicative price.
    There is no grey area. A vendor is not obliged to disclose a reserve to a selling agent during the course of a sale campaign and is not restricted in amount, even if unrealistic.

    Paragraph 10 is grammatically incorrect.

    Paragraph 11 is inaccurate. I said that the REIV Board, as the vendor, was entitled to set whatever reserve they wished, based on the interest received during the market campaign and irrespective of the valuation the REIV had obtained.

    Paragraph 14 is inaccurate and false. It suggests the REIV has breached underquoting guidelines.
    The REIV has not breached any guidelines. As vendor it did not advertise the property or engage in the marketing of it.

    Paragraph 15 is inaccurate. The REIV has never attacked CAV for trying to curb underquoting. In fact, the REIV was included in the working party to assist in the development of the CAV guidelines.

    When Mr Pallisco’s article is considered as a whole, its tenor is to suggest the REIV engaged in activity to mislead intending purchasers of its property and, furthermore, recommended advertising and marketing techniques to its members which are considered unacceptable by CAV. The REIV completely refutes these suggestions.

    ENZO RAIMONDO
    Chief Executive Officer

  • Hi Agent,

    I notice that Enzo has failed to address the follow-up article by Mark Pallisco and Peter Weekes on page 3 of the Sunday Age titled “Split Threatens Real Estate Body”, in which it is reported:

    “A major split has developed within the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, with its biggest member threatening to withdraw over ethical concerns that the industry group allegedly underquoted one of its own properties – potentially breaking the law.

    The threat by Ray White Real Estate – the largest agency in Australia – comes days after a respected board member, David O’Callaghan, resigned, saying he had lost confidence in the REIV’s top executive, Enzo Raimondo, and president, Neil Laws.”

    While Enzo may be able to attack journalists for bias etc. etc., how does he account for a “respected board member” of the REIV taking the view that the REIV’s conduct under Enzo and Neil Laws was such that he could no longer continue as a member?

    Does the REIV regard Mr. David O’Callaghan as something of a drama queen, or is there a fire beheath the smoke?

  • http:// says:

    Not sure if you read the Australian Financial Review,
    it may be a little difficult for you to comprehend.

    The article on page 55 of the AFR yesterday answers your questions.

    Regards

  • Hi Enzo,

    I have now read the Financial Review article you’ve referred to, but it’s just you being quoted as denying everything. Seems to me that you’re engaging in another form of underquoting when you are the source of the Fin Review’s information, and you’re relying on the accuracy of that information. Conflict of interests?

    Perhaps you should get the Dalai Lama to quote you as well.

    I note that you did not (could not) deny that REIV board member David O’Callaghan had quit because he had lost confidence in you and REIV president Neil Laws. The suggestion is that there are other unmentioned reasons for his loss of confidence – what are they?

    And Barry Plant says your auction “probably looks murky”…but the result was good. Mr. Plant has been discussed on this blog site for behaviour that could be described as “murky” (see https://www.reic.com.au/blogs/australian_real_estate_blog/archive/2008/05/07/barry-plant-real-estate-gazumping-clause.aspx) so his observation of the REIV’s behaviour probably carries some weight.

    Perhaps it’s time to slip that gag back on Enzo (see https://www.reic.com.au/blogs/australian_real_estate_blog/archive/2008/04/09/was-enzo-raimondo-gagged.aspx).

  • http:// says:

    Hi Enzo

    I can’t imagine that a man whose public reputation and job are intertwined so tightly would let this sort of post go without resorting to legal recourse unless there was a smidgen of truth

    Just quit dude. You’ve been busted.

    BTW – Black Dragon Loves you long time

    Shadow

  • http:// says:

    Hey Shadow… you always were in water deeper than you knew how to swim. Let the real discussion be handled by the grown-ups.

  • http:// says:

    Enzo,

    What are you doing? You need to spruik those real-estate lies you are so good at. The punters aren’t listening to you anymore. House prices are declining.

  • dan says:

    Forget mere lying to potential buyers about the sale price of a REIV property.

    What about the deliberate cooking of the rental vacancy rates by this circus of clowns. See my blog http://bubblepedia.net.au/tiki-view_blog_post.php?blogId=4&postId=14 to see some truth about the inner Melbourne vaca

    ncy rate which is nearly twenty times what these jokers say it is. Why lie about that? To keep the bubble going for just a little bit longer so they can steal just a few more first home buyers’ entire future earnings.

    It’s over Enzo, and you are the David Lerah of the Australian Bubble. Oh well, at least you will be remembered for something.

    dan

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