08 Aug 2019

REBAA elects new president

Melbourne buyers advocate Cate Bakos has been elected president of the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA), the peak body representing professional buyer’s agents.

Ms Bakos replaces Rich Harvey, from propertybuyer, who served as REBAA president for the past four years. Ramon Mitchell, from Gault & Co Property Advisory, has been appointed vice president.

A multi-award-winning buyer’s agent with more than 15 years’ experience in the industry, Ms Bakos was named 2018 Your Investment Property’s Buyers Agent of the Year and was a finalist in both 2019 and 2013 for the Telstra Business Woman of the Year. She was the national winner of the Buyer’s Agent of the Year for Sterling Publishing in 2013 and was a finalist in three categories for both the REB Women in Business 2019 awards as well as this year’s REB awards.

According to Ms Bakos, the buyer’s agency industry in Australia is growing rapidly in awareness as time-poor house hunters learn the benefits of having an independent expert in their court to search, evaluate and negotiate property purchases.

“There’s no doubt that reality television shows like The Block and Buying Blind have raised enormous awareness of professional buyer’s agents and advocates,” said Ms Bakos.

“However, I am concerned that there is a lack of differentiation between genuine, experienced or qualified buyer’s advocates and an influx of new entrants to the profession who don’t hold the appropriate qualifications, experience or licenses for the particular state they’re buying in.

“We need rigour in our industry to separate the two and make it more transparent for consumers to understand the difference.

“This year REBAA celebrates its 20-year anniversary as an association and our membership continues to grow steadily.

“Our main focus is to educate and promote good buying practices to consumers and bring together like-minded professionals who share the same commitment to ethics and industry best practice.

“Consumers deserve protection and REBAA holds a significant place on the property landscape to enable this.”