REIV Caught Cheating – Again

Posted on December 8, 2008 by | 22 Comments

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Opinion by Neil Jenman
Consumer Advocate

For many years, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has misled and deceived real estate consumers. Whether it be trying to justify (or deny) dodgy practices such as false price quoting or whether it’s brushing-aside common claims of widespread dishonesty, as far as real estate bodies go, they don’t come much dodgier than Victoria’s Real Estate Institute (REIV).Enzo Raimondo - CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV)



The institute is headed-up by Enzo Raimondo (who once told the Victorian public that he did not know what was meant by dummy bidding). It’s Raimondo’s job to spread the myth that agents who belong to the institute are all honest and committed to a rigid code of ethics. [It’s hard not to laugh when writing such a statement].

The Real Estate Institute’s main role is to protect agents. The institute cares about agents. It does not care about consumers.

The Institute regularly and deliberately feeds false information to the public.

There are few better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) examples of the Institute’s chronic crookedness than the weekly auction results.

The Institute constantly paints a far rosier picture of the auction results than the reality. It purposely fudges the figures to make auctions appear to be the best way to sell a property. Of course, the truth is the opposite. Auctions are the worst way to sell a property, especially in a tough market such as now.

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  • Richard Carter, of Carter Real Estate in Ringwood Victoria is a former president of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria. Recently, Carter personally auctioned the house opposite my own. I was present when the property was “passed in”. After some post-auction negotiations the property was sold.

    The next day the property appeared in The Age newspaper as “Sold” instead of “Sold After”. I rang Richard Carter and asked him why he had reported the propert as having been sold at auction, when he and I both knew that this was false. Carter’s answer was, “It all comes down to how you define “sold at auction”.

    One only has to read the definitions of “introduced”, “sold” and “marketing expenses” in the REIV Exclusive Sale Authority to see how imaginative estate agents can be.

  • http:// says:

    I posted a comment before but it didn’t go through.

    While I think it would be a welcome thing for less auctions and more private sales, I believe that in today’s environment, the agents will now go from bullying the seller to bullying the buyer, with ridiculous deadlines and deposit cheques to ‘acknowledge’ your bid.

    I guess at least with an auction there is a definite and defined schedule for events. With private sales, unscrupolous agents have more cover to act dishonestly.

  • http:// says:

    For those who came in late and want to know more about our auction concerns, just type “auction” into the search box, light the blue paper and stand back.

  • Hi Austin,

    Auctions really are the worst, simply because the estate agent is better placed to pretend to be in control. What most people don’t realise is that the auction is NOT a true auction at all – it’s just a game whereby the supposed “winning bidder” is permitted to have access to the vend


    When the auctioneer shouts “SOLD” he is telling the biggest lie in real estate – the property is not sold at all.

    To tie this in with the theme of corruption in conveyancing and real estate, the reason why “with private sales unscrupulous agents have more cover to act dishonestly” as you put it, is that their “pet” lawyers and conveyancers (tamed by the estate agents’ role in doling out client referrals) allow estate agents to control things.

  • Chris says:

    First of all, thanks, Peter – I had no idea that the statistics are being tempered with. I blindly believed and now I feel like such a fool.

    How can you be sure that the Institute regularly and deliberately feeds false information to the public? I mean apart from the case where you actually witnessed the false report?

  • Hi Chris,

    My example was the only auction I have attended in the past 5 years – that’s 100%. But for full details on how Neil Jenman obtains his data, click on the book icon above, which links to Jenman’s website and contact details.

  • http:// says:

    Peter, the only ones engaged in cheating and manipulation are you and Neil Jenman by deliberately publishing incorrect information.

    The facts are that the REIV collects and reports on over 90% of all auctions held each weekend in Melbourne and within hours of the last auction conducted each saturday.

    This is valuable, timely and sought after market information provided free of charge by the REIV.

    The REIV does not manipulate the clearance rate, it reports the results transparently, recording when the rate goes up and when it goes down.

    The auction clearance rate does NOT include private sales, the REIV provides the newspapers with the number of auctions scheduled, held, sold before, sold after, sold on the day, passed in, passed in a vendors bid and the number with no result.

    This enables people to look at the overall clearance rate and the the detail provided, allowing them to make their own assessments.

    The REIV Auction clearance rate calculation is:

    100 x (Sold + Sold Before + Sold After) / (Sold + Sold Before + Sold After + Passed In + PI Vendor Bid)

    The figures in the Sunday Age (7 Dec) were:
    S Sold at Auction: 293
    SB Sold before Auction: 84
    SA Sold after Auction: 12
    Passed in: 314
    Passed in on vendor’s bid: 212
    Clearance rate: 55%
    Auctions with no result: 68

    100 x (293 + 84 + 12) / (293 + 84 + 12 + 102 + 212) = 100 x 389 / 703 = 55.33

    The clearance rate includes all properties sold as a direct result of an auction marketing campaign which includes those sold before the auction, on the day of the auction and the day following the auction. Sales after that are recorded as private sales.

    I would encourage you to determine the facts before you blindly publish incorrect information either directly or through your group of dodgy contributors.

  • http:// says:

    Hi Enzo,

    Given Jenman’s criteria for ‘sale at auction’ the more accurate calculation should look like this:

    100 x (293) / (293 + 84 + 12 + 314 + 212) = 293 / 703 = 41.68

    Peter, the fact that Enzo Raimondo considers me a ‘dodgy contributor’ suggests that he spends a lot more time sifting through this blog than he would like to let on.

  • Hi Austin,

    I think what really amazes me about Enzo is that he sees his industry providing this blog with a never-ending supply of material, but he only pops his head up to squeal when he’s a specific target.

    You will see that in previous postings he has had a whinge about bias or whatever, but he goes quiet as soon as he’s asked to nominate something specific.

    For example, Enzo has now accused me and Neil Jenman of “cheating and manipulation”, but provides no examples and simply trots out a series of figures he has received second-hand from a bunch of estate agents.

    I have related my experience in attending the auction of a neighbour’s property where former President of the REIV, Richard Carter, personally officiated as auctioneer.  The property did NOT sell at auction.  I saw it passed in.  I also saw the crowd disperse, and I heard the laughter of individuals who enjoyed Carter’s desperate attempts to pretend that the auction was “happening”.  It was not until the next day that I saw in the newspaper that the property was listed as having sold at auction.

    Now, I’m no mathematician, but the way I see it, if  this dodgy reporting of the auction sale of my neighbour’s house were rectified, there would be one less “S” in the stats, and one more “SA”.

    This is just one single example of a dodgy auction report, but one which was perpetrated by someone with impeccable credentials (as far as the REIV is concerned).  Unfortunately for Carter and Enzo, it was witnessed by someone who knew exactly what was going on.

    Now, if someone of Richard Carter’s background can contribute to dodgy figures, what are the chances that some of the other thousands of estate agents out there are doing the same thing?  Enzo’s something of an amateur statistician, so perhaps he can come up with some figures.

  • Hi Enzo,

    Now that you’ve surfaced again for a snipe, I’ll ask you the same question I always ask you – you say that I have “engaged in cheating and manipulation”.  (Here’s the hard part of the question Enzo) please direct me to anything on this blog that supports your assertion that I have “engaged in cheating and manipulation” so that I have the opportunity to address your accusation.


    It is at this point that Enzo usually disappears for a while.  Watch for him to surface again next time his photo appears in a blog posting.

  • http:// says:

    Peter, I have provided you with many examples in the past.

    However, stay on this issue of clearence rates, two well respected Australian property research houses released their clearance rates for 7/12/08, RP Data 53.6% and APM 54%, I suppose you and Jenman will accuse them of inflating the clearence rate as well.

    Your comments are just another example of your biased, incorrect and self interested assertions

  • Enzo, I can now state catergorically that you are a liar! You have NEVER provided me with a single example of of my having engaged in “cheating and manipulation” or being “biased” or anything similar. Search this blog and find something to hang your hat on, or wear the label of “liar” like a name tag.

    Tell me if I’m wrong Enzo, but the raw data on which the respected property research houses base their stats first comes from agents of the calibre of former REIV president Richard Carter, whose less than perfect data has been discussed above.

  • http:// says:

    Peter you will have to ask RP data and APM how they obtain their data.

    As for who is the liar, you and I both know that for many years you and Jenman have held an unhealthy fixation on what the REIV and I do and say for the purpose of manipulating my comments and placing your spin on them.

    On a more serious and disturbing issue, please advise where you have obtained the photographs used by both you and Jenman on your sites, as far as I am aware they have never appeared in the media and they have not been taken by anyone known to me.

  • Hi Enzo,

    Let’s not get into a slanging match here. I had to declare you a liar because you had publicly accused me of “cheating and manipulation” without offering a shred of evidence in support, and after having failed previously to nominate anything on this blog that is incorrect. Please do not force me into such a position again. I am willing to have you point out anything on this blog that may be incorrect or unfair, but I will not allow you to simply hurl insults.

    Now, back to business. I know that the raw data for the stats displayed by The Age newspaper in relation to the Richard Carter auction came from Richard Carter himself, because I rang him up and spoke to him about it.

    Do you really not know where RP Data and APM get their raw data? Are you disputing that the raw data is supplied by your estate agents?

    The photos of you are ones that I have borrowed from Neil Jenman’s site.

  • Here’s another little anecdote, involving another former President of the REIV, concerning a false auction and published on this blog some years ago.  See:

    Hey Geoff, Real Estate Deceptions Are Never Funny

  • http:// says:

    I am a real estate agent and a member of the REIT.

    I am sick and tired of the fear that Neil Jenman and his devoted followers continue to peddle.

    Jenman wants consumers to be frigtened. He deliberately scares consumers so they see him as the “only honest man in real estate”. He sets it up this way on purpose. This is disgraceful.
    Jenman and these lawyers wouldn’t be doing this if there wasn’t something in it for them… trust me!
    Jenman has sold his ideas to hundreds of agents around Australia, these agents pay him in excess of $20,000 each, (yes that’s each) a year just for the privellage of being able to defame every other agent and masquerade as a shining saviour. It’s all about scaring the consumer & making money!!
    These lawyers re no different. They want you to be frightened so you pay them to protect you from the evil and dastardly real estate agent.

    Give me a break.

    Neil, Peter – honestly guys, get a real job. Start being honest with everyone. You’re a joke. Neil, why don’t you try to get air time on a credible T.V. program instead of the tabloid trash Today Tonight you have sold yourself to. What’s that Neil? ohhh, the money’s too good isn’t it. Neil Jenman is a fraud.

    The real estate industry is governed by State & Federal law. I encourage all consumers to contact their respective state body and ask for copies of the act. Do you remember what State Law, Federal Law and Acts are Peter Mericka or were you asleep during that particular lecture at uni?

    Give it up guys. The game is up. Start focussing on something a little more positive.

    Enzo is a good man workikng in a good indusrty.

    Neil Jenman, a special note for you if you’re reading. How many thousand did Today Tonight pay you to run agents down last week? How were their ratings? Do you get a special % if the ratings hit a particular level? How much did you make last week out of frightening people? How much did you make in fees this week from the agents you have conned into following you? Do they really get bang for their buck?

    Most Jenman Approved agencies don’t last that long because their community gets sick and tired of hearing them put down their competitors. Neil Jenman is the only one making big bucks.
    Australia’s greatest deceiver.

  • Hi Alan,

    I think I can dispose of your bleatings with just a couple of simple questions. First, does any of the behaviour described in this blog disgust you? Second, assuming that at least one or two of the myriad crooked behaviours described in this blog disgust you, what have you done about it?

    Alan, if people like you were prepared to condemn, rather than condone, crooked conduct Neil Jenman and I would have very little to write about.

  • http:// says:


    In answer to your first question:

    In every industry there are people who don’t follow the law. This is an unfortunate fact of modern life.

    In turn the law is in place to protect people from any unscrupulous operators.

    It is the duty of any industry members to uphold the morals, respect and ethics relating to their industry.

    It is also the duty of industry members to identify “individuals” and identify behaviour that is not ethical and make their clients aware of it. Note I stressed individuals.

    I strongly condemn those who do the wrong thing in my or any industry. I honestly beleive that these people do not last long in their chosen industry because their client base soon catches on and condemns them themselves.

    These offending individuals should be forwarded to the proper authorites to be dealt with. Not dealt with by people like you and Jenman who do not have the legal standing to actually punish them.

    In answer to your second question:

    I uphold the ethics of real estate to a tee. I hold my opposition to account and I run a very fine business. A business based on trust, respect and repeat custom.

    As an indusrty member I am focused on providing my clients with the greatest care and due dilligence. I keep an eye on my competition and report any wrong doing immediately to the Real Estate Institute or the Auctioneers Council. Thankfully there is very little poor behaviour in my market place.
    The last thing I do is deliberately run down my peers without knowing whether they have done someting wrong or not. I respect them and in turn they respect me.

    I think this is the key. “Individuals” doing the wrong thing should be reprimanded. An entire industry should not be, especially by a group who has no legal recognition to actually punish.

    Perhaps you could answer some of my questions.

    1. Why do you need to run down the entire real estate industry instead of simply highlighting the actual offending agents?
    2. Why do you think you need to “protect” people when the law itself protects them?
    3. Which agents are you protecting peolpe from?
    4. Who are the agents that being unethical? Have you reported them all to the proper authorities?
    4. Do you stand to make any financial gain from the Jenman fear tactics? (say perhaps people paying for extra legal advice. Advice they may not need)
    5. do you condemn poor sportsmanship? If so do you condemn your own Jenmanistic behaviour?
    6. Can you honestly say that you don’t follow this crusade of running agents down in order to make a buck?
    7. What’s in this for you other than a warm fuzzy feeling?
    8. Have you ever written or said anything about real estate agents that isn’t a put down?

    The list could go on and on but I’ll respect your time.

    What I disagree with is the Neil Jenman method of assuming that all are guilty until proven innocent.

    Neil Jenman intentionally sets up fear amonst consumers by dropping all real estate agents into the one box…. that is all real estate agents except himself and those who pay him to use his tactics. Basically he tells consumers that agents will con them and the only safe agents are the Jenman Approved ones.

    Doesn’t this smell of “scam”?

    Make no mistake, when Neil Jenman isn’t rubbishing agents he has many great things to say about real estate. It’s a shame he tarnishes himself.

    The one thing he does that is truly awful is that he trashes the very industry he is involved with and then tells people they can only trust him. This is in itself a very cunning plan based upon consumer fear. It is quite genius but also very low.

    You Peter and Neil are making money out of people by preying upon their fear. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Now, can you answer my questions please?

  • Hi Alan,

    The content of the comment you have submitted today is such that you MUST provide your full name and the name of your real estate agency.

    As I have said so many time before, if an estate agent wishes to make comments of this type they cannot expect to hide behind the cloak of anonymity.

    Making public statements and being held accountable for them is not just a matter of comment – it also involves courage.

  • http:// says:

    I could ask why don’t you have the courage to display my last comment?

    You don’t display my comment yet display your own response without giving the public the opportunity to see what it is you’re replying to. Really courageous Peter.

    This is an open forum and as you are one of the “voices” of this website it is your duty to say who you are. As for me? the nature of this site allows me to make anonymous comments, you should know that as it’s your site you twit!

    I guess when it comes to courage you’re unable to answer some very valid questions asked by someone who is a little more attuned to your game than “Joe Public” is.

    By not publishing my last comment and by not openly answering my very reasonable questions you have indeed demonstrated that you know what a scam this entire blog and your Jenmanistic games are.

    Why can’t you simply publish and then answer my questions?

    Surely someone as ethically responsible and forthright as yourself should by definition openly publish ALL questions/comments and also answer them openly & honestly.

    You have just proven how rediculous this entire game you play is.
    You say I’m hiding, you sir are hiding behind the veil of deception that you propogate to innocent people in the community.

    Shame on you.

  • http:// says:

    Anyone with half a brain knows that the figures that are spewed out every week are to be taken with a grain of Salt!

    Remember the Auction about a month which failed to report around 60 Auctions as “unknown” lol.

  • Hi Alan,

    Again, I must ask that you identify yourself if you want your most recent comments published. You must be prepared to accept responsibility for the type of comment you wish to make, and anonymity is not an option in the circumstances.

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