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.
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.