In addition to the policies detailed, Haze Real Estate expects all staff to adhere to the regulations, rules, legislation and best practice guides that applies to the industry and is issued by the government and regulating bodies. These include, but is not limited to, The Fair Trading Act, The Anti-money laundering and financing of Terrorism Act and The Real Estate Agents Act. Any breach of an act, regulations and rules is regarded as a serious issue and will be handled with the involvement of the appropriate authority.
Once you have reviewed all the policies on this page, please complete the Staff Policy Acknowledgement Form at the bottom of this page and submit it.
We "play" by the rules
We pride ourselves on the fact that we do everything to the best of our abilities and according to the legislation, rules and regulations regulating our industry. This includes compliance to the Code of Conduct for real estate professionals and the guidelines for best practice as published and updated by the REA.
We also abide by our internal processes and policies which has been put in place to ensure we meet our legal obligations as a company, to our clients and customers. Our internal processes and policies also keep us safe and ensures that if there is an issue, we are able to prove that we did the right thing.
We are a diverse group of individuals, each with our own strengths and weaknesses and it's inevitable that we won't always agree. It is however expected that all staff respect each other and handle everyone in a professional manner, especially if we don't agree.
We also do not speak badly of our colleagues or salespeople from other companies, especially during a competitive appraisal situation.
Treat everyone like you would like to be treated, follow the rules and do the right thing - that is how we roll.
Health and Safety Policy
•Haze Real Estate is committed to providing a safe workplace for all its Workers, customers, and visitors.
•Management shall ensure that relevant resources are made available to protect, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of Workers, customers and visitors who work in or around the business of Haze Real Estate.
•Haze Real Estate will engage with its Workers on matters likely to affect their health and safety with the aim of continuously reducing the risk of harm.
•Workers are encouraged to actively participate in health and safety matters to assist in the promotion of a safe workplace.
•Haze Real Estate requires that all accidents and incidents be reported to them to enable management to learn from events to better implement a safer workplace.
•Workers of Haze Real Estate are required to follow all rules and procedures that have been notified to them and to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure their safety and the safety of other persons whilst undertaking their duties or functions.
•Above all, Haze Real Estate, considers that the health and safety of Workers, customers and visitors as being equal to other value propositions within Haze Real Estate, and will not accept anything less than full compliance in these matters.
Marketing and Brand Standards Policy
All marketing produced, must adhere to our brand standards and have the following information on:
"Licensed REAA 2008"
Marketing material of any kind that does not conform to our brand standards, will be asked to be removed from public view/access immediately. If you are not a 100% sure that what you are planning to use conforms, request a review and approval prior to publishing / ordering the products.
Our updated brand standards and a list off approved suppliers can be accessed here.
Payment Schedule Policy
All payments to staff are done weekly on a Monday evening.
If the Monday is a public holiday or similar, the payment will occur the first working day after the Monday.
If you have any questions regarding the payment of commission and / or salaries, please contact the Finance Manager who will be able to assist.
Retention of Information Policy
Under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 and Companies Act 1993, real estate companies and licensees have clear responsibilities to maintain and protect certain information.
Haze Real Estate has invested in a robust Cloud-based IT platform to ensure continuity and security of its business information. It is essential that this platform is used to protect the mutual interests of the Company and its Licensees.
It is mandatory that the following information be saved and retained on the Company's system on the Cloud for every property being marketed, sold and managed:
Submissions (full appraisal presentation document set);
any Agency Addendum;
Property Management agreements;
All flyers, printed marketing material and e-book;
All vendor reports;
All landlord reports;
All tenant communication records;
All inspection records of managed properties;
All notices received and issued;
A copy of all marketing ads run;
any and all drafted sale and purchase agreements, regardless of the offers were accepted or declined, including completed sale and purchase agreements,
all associated documents such as purchaser's multi-offer acknowledgement forms, and
all auction documents.
All documents must be saved as PDFs.
All Haze licensees must ensure this information is saved in the relevant system (VaultRE for sales and Property Tree for property management). If you are unsure where to save a particular document, please confirm with your manager or office support person.
All documentation relating to the sale or property management of a property must be retained in our corporate records repositories for a minimum of 7 years to comply to the various pieces of legislation governing our work activities and transactions.
An audit process will be conducted on a regular basis and any non-compliance will be seen as a serious issue.
Code of Conduct Policy
1.Act professionally and ethically at all times. Remember that you are often dealing with people’s most valuable asset (Vendor or Purchaser). Respect this, don’t become arrogant or complacent.
Remember, today’s Purchasers become tomorrow’s Vendors, and todays Vendors, tomorrows Purchasers.
2.Fair reward for fair effort
3.Vendors come first (provided no compromise of Haze Real Estate values).
4.The Lister must be rewarded.
5.Superior customer service “delighting our customers” requires regular, consistent and informative communication
6.Confidentiality – Haze business is “Our Business”
Any ‘in-house’ methods and practices are strictly confidential and must not be discussed with any member of the public.
Any confidential information regarding the circumstances of a purchaser or vendor, or the details of a sale, purchase or listing that you are aware of, must not be discussed among ourselves or with any member of the public, unless authorised by the client and your manager.
Auction reserve figures must remain confidential at all times before and after auction and where the property is passed in and a price is later placed on the property.
7.Never be heard to run-down other companies or their salesperson.
8.Never undermine or criticise other vendors, their properties or their price expectations. Quote the facts (e.g. sale statistics).
9.Always be on time for appointments
10.Always leave enough time between Open Homes. You must arrive at the property at least 15 minutes before opening.
11. The standard of dress must be professional at all times you are present in the office or working outside it. This applies to all of us. See Personal Presentation Policy for more details.
12.It is inexcusable to have a mobile phone switched on during a meeting or when you are inspecting a property. This includes sales meetings and auctions, (unless a phone bidder by pre-arrangement).
13.If you overhear a private conversation DO NOT ACT ON IT. Discuss it with the person, if appropriate.
14.There is no prospecting allowed outside your designated farming area. If you are not sure of the boundaries make sure you ask.
Information Technology Policy
All users have an obligation to understand and to comply with the IT Policy to ensure the integrity and security of the Haze' IT network and information are preserved.
Failure to adhere to all or part of this policy will be regarded as a breach of those obligation/s and will constitute a serious breach of that User's employment contract and / or contract for services, as the case may be. This in turn may incur disciplinary measures including dismissal, recovery of Haze Real Estate losses, and / or termination of the user's contract. Where relevant and if necessary, Haze reserves the right to advise appropriate legal officials and/or relevant regulators of violations of the IT Policy that may amount to a breach of New Zealand law.
This policy will be amended from time to time in response to changing circumstances and in response to operational and legislative requirements. Haze Real Estate will do it's best to ensure all users are aware of the changes when they occur, but the most recent version of this policy is available here and it's the user's responsibility to ensure that they keep up to date with the latest requirements of the policy.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure all users understand their responsibilities and associated necessary action in relation to the access to and usage of the Haze Information Technology platform and the information it contains.
Definition of Terms:
User - refers to any individual who is given access to the Haze information platform and who connects any device, including mobile phones to this platform.
Virus - this refers to a programme or piece of code that is loaded onto any technology device, including computers, phones and tablets without the knowledge of the user and runs against the user's wishes. All viruses will disrupt the operation of the infected device. Some viruses are destructive, permanently damaging data files or programmes on the device and possibly on the network.
Device - this refers to any and all technology, including laptops, tablets, phone, or any other piece of technology that is connected via the wi-fi network or physically connected to any other piece of technology that might be connected to the network.
Haze Real Estate encourages the use of technology and is actively moving towards becoming an all digital (paperless) organisation. All users are expected to complete training and become proficient in the relevant systems they will use to perform their duties.
Improper use of the the Haze Information Technology platform is prohibited and can not only harm the integrity and security of our data, but also our brand and business.
All information on any of the information technology systems and data repositories on the Haze platform, including email, is the property of Haze Real Estate.
Haze provides the systems for business usage. Every user has the responsibility to maintain and enhance Haze's public image and to use Haze's provided systems in a responsible and productive manner that reflects well on Haze Real Estate.
The following is considered harmful digital communication principles and users must not author or engage in any electronic communication, either internally or externally, including email, social media and text messaging of any kind, that breach or might breach the communication principles in the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 or any amending or substituting legislation.
The Act stipulates the following communication principles:
A digital communication should not disclose sensitive personal facts about an individual;
A digital communication should not be threatening, intimidating, or menacing;
A digital communication should not be grossly offensive to a reasonable person in the position of the affected individual;
A digital communication should not be indecent or obscene;
A digital communication should not be used to harass an individual;
A digital communication should not make a false allegation;
A digital communication should not contain a matter that is published in breach of confidence;
A digital communication should not incite or encourage anyone to send a message to an individual for the purposes of causing harm to the individual;
A digital communication should not incite or encourage an individual to commit suicide;
A digital communication should not denigrate an individual by reason of his/her colour, race, ethnic or national origins, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
When users start at Haze and have previous email files, these are the intellectual property of the previous employer. Only contacts can be imported into the company email system, old email content cannot be imported.
Users are prohibited from accessing another users email without that person's express consent. Haze retains the right to access and monitor users' email and any other information stored on the Haze information platform at any time for any reason without notice to the user. Users should not expect that email is confidential or private. Haze may be required to disclose in litigation any email stored on ti's network that is relevant to the litigation.
Users must not use email or internet facilities to access, download or transmit any unlawful, obscene, objectionable or offensive material (including, but not limited to pornographic material, offensive language, defamatory material or material that is in breach of any intellectual property rights).
Users must not forward or send any information related to the performance of their duties and services to any personal email account of personal cloud storage (including, but not limited to, ICloud, Evernote, Onedrive or Dropbox) for any reason.
Any remote access must be in accordance with this policy.
If emails are used for marketing or promotion of goods or services, they must comply with the Unsolicited email Messages Act 2007.
All data on the Haze Information Platform remains the property of Haze and the downloading of it, in part or whole, is strictly forbidden. Any dissemination of data to competitors or other un-approved recipients will be considered theft, with appropriate legal action taken.
All users have the responsibility to ensure their passwords to all systems are kept secure at all times. The sharing of individual passwords are strictly forbidden. All users will be held responsible for all content and emails created on secure systems using individual passwords, regardless if it was the assigned user or someone else who obtained their password with or without their consent.
All users are responsible to ensure the devices they use to connect to the Haze network and systems are virus-free. This includes all laptops, desktops, phones, tablets and any other technology devices.
All users are expected to use a device with the following minimum specifications to ensure they are able to perform their duties:
Laptop or desktop
The device must be able to run Windows 7.0 or above
The device must be installed and regularly updated with industry acceptable anti-virus software
Should the device not meet the minimum specifications it is the responsibility of the user to upgrade, including being responsible for the cost in association with such an upgrade.
Meetings and Staff Functions Policy
Meetings are scheduled to facilitate communication of critical information to the team and to share market information amongst the team members. It is expected that invited staff members attend, or submit an apology well in advance if they are unable to attend. A number of regular meetings are scheduled, but ad hoc meetings and events will also be arranged, when and if required.
The following are regular meetings:
•No meetings scheduled
The following are examples of ad hoc meetings and functions:
•Verifiable training session
•Non-verifiable training session
•Product training session
•Client and customer events
•Staff social events
Personal Presentation Policy
You represent Haze Real Estate and you are instrumental in creating the public perception of the brand. Thus, it is important that you always dress professionally and act professionally. Personal presentation is more than just what you look like. It refers to the impression you create during your interaction with colleagues and the public.
A few pointers with regards to personal presentation:
•Be on time
•Clean and neat is key
•Revealing clothing,is not appropriate
•Torn clothing or clothing in need of repair must be avoided
•Make sure you dress appropriate for the task at hand, for example have your gumboots in the car if you are doing a farm appraisal.
•You do not have to look like an undertaker, dress comfortable, but professional so you can project an approachable image while earning the trust and respect of your prospective client.
•Your vehicle is an extension of you and must be kept clean and neat. We drive lots of gravel roads and it’s impossible to have a car always shining, but you can keep it clean inside and wash it on a regular basis so last year’s mud is not still stuck to it.
•Any documentation you present to clients or customers must be prepared and presented according to our brand standards and presented in a neat and clean format without mistakes. The documentation you give to the public is part of the impression you make on them.
Your attitude and behaviour are direct reflections of who you are and what clients can expect of you in terms of service.
Make sure the impression you make with your appearance and behaviour is in line with our brand values.
Fair Trading Act Compliance Policy
Windy Realty Limited trading as Haze Real Estate – Compliance with Fair Trading Act
Real Estate Agents – Compliance with Fair Trading Act:
The Fair-Trading Act is part of the current trend of Parliament and the Courts to impose higher standards on the commercial community including real estate agents. In addition, with a tighter economy, people are looking to real estate agents as a source of compensation when a sale proceeds unsatisfactorily.
•Your first duty is to the Vendor. You must at all times act in the best interests of your Principal.
•If, as does sometimes happen, you are acting for the Purchaser and the Purchaser is your Principal, the reverse will apply. (The Principal being the party you will look to for your commission).
•However, you owe a duty of care and fiduciary duty to the other party.
•The Fair-Trading Act emphasises the fundamental duty you owe to all – avoid any conduct or representations of any kind that are, may be, or could be considered misleading or deceptive.
Assuming it is a normal transaction and your Principal is the vendor.
Duties to Vendor –
•Remember you act firstly for the Vendor.
•When listing the property go through the listing details carefully with the Vendor. Orally confirm that all details are correct.
•Ask the Vendor if there is any other information about the property and/or tenant (if applicable) that you should know.
•Obtain the Vendor’s signature confirming that the information on any listing authority is correct.
•Ensure the Vendor knows the commission payable (or the rate of commission) and whether this is inclusive or exclusive of GST.
•Satisfy yourself that prospective purchasers have the capacity to raise finance for the property. If you have any doubts about financial capacity of prospective purchasers, explain these to the Vendor.
•You have a duty to collect the deposit by the agreed date. If there is any problem, or delay whatsoever, let the Vendor or Vendor’s Solicitor know immediately in writing.
•At all times keep the Vendor fully informed of all developments.
Duties to the Purchaser –
•You owe duties to the Purchaser to avoid making any representations or engage in conduct which is or may be misleading or deceptive. In addition, you must also act to a standard expected from a reasonable real estate agent. If you hold yourself out as a specialist e.g. for commercial and rural properties, businesses etc, you will be expected to perform to higher standards.
•You may be liable for any representations you make at any stage prior to agreement being entered into.
•You may be responsible for the passing on of incorrect information that you honestly believe to be true.
•Silence can be misleading and deceptive if in circumstances the silence conveys that a certain state of affairs exists.
•Half truths will be misleading and deceptive. Avoid making representations unless you are absolutely certain that they are correct. If in doubt check with the vendor first and where possible ask the vendor to write the information down.
•Get written confirmation of information such as titles, body corporate levies, leases and rental agreements from the Vendor or their Solicitor.
•Recommend purchasers double check zoning and permitted uses with the local authority.
•Pass on information in the form (words and documents) it was given to you rather than your own interpretation.
•Avoid giving advice on areas outside your expertise. Advice on tax implications, GST, etc, is particularly dangerous as the law in these areas is complex and changes frequently.
•Refer prospective purchasers to experts such as their lawyer.
•Be very careful if you are asked to make any calculations of outgoings, expenses, etc. encourage the purchaser to make their own calculations based on information prepared by the vendor. Keep an accurate, detailed record in VaultRE, recording dates and times of attendees for various properties and clients.
•Keep accurate and detailed file notes of all discussions and representation that you make in the notes section of VaultRE. These notes should be recorded as soon as possible after the representation.
•Think laterally – you may be responsible for failing to act if this failure creates a misleading situation or impression.
Selling your own property or purchasing a property we have listed
SELLING YOUR OWN PROPERTY
The Company would like to support staff in the sale of their own property. To do this the Company will not claim any commission on the sale of your property. All required documentation is still required as if it is an "outside vendor". This is critical because the sale will form part of our records as a company and may come under scrutiny during an audit.
If you are contemplating using another company to sell or market your property due to location or any other factors, it is strongly recommended you discuss this with management before proceeding.
PROPERTY PURCHASE BY STAFF
Purchases by staff (or a related person as prescribed under section 137 of the Act) of property listed with Haze Real Estate, or where the company is a party to the commission or fee the following applies:
Without exemption you must comply with sections 134 and 135 of the Real Estate Agents Act 2008. Failure to do so can invalidate your purchase, and/or any commission payable by the vendor. The vendor must be advised in writing (using Form 2 as stipulated in the Act) at the earliest opportunity of any Haze Real Estate salesperson’s personal interest in their property. This is an obligation of fiduciary responsibilities to the vendor, which cannot be contracted out of. ( If in doubt check with your manager before entering negotiations.)
There have been a number of high-profile court decisions that affect real estate practice. Most notably a Court of Appeal decision with regards to licensees purchasing listings from their own company. The company decided to follow the REAA’s recommendations with a policy change if and when this situation arises.
Company policy is that you cannot receive a share of the commission if you are the purchasing party on a transaction. You can therefore not “introduce yourself” or your partner as the buyer. It is best practice to work with the listing agent, whose job it is to work in the best interests of the vendor.
If you are the actual listing agent and have interest in purchasing the property, do not negotiate directly with the vendors. Your manager needs to be completely involved in the negotiations to ensure the best interest of the vendor is protected. This helps to resolve the issue of ‘conflict of interest’ that the courts have highlighted.
Disclosure of Financial Benefits Policy
•Without exception you must comply with section 134 to 136 of the Real Estate agents Act 2008 if a staff member or related party are benefiting financially in any respect in the sale of company listed property.
•A financial benefit also includes the proceeds (or part thereof) of the selling price of a property where the listing agent (or a person related to the listing agent under section 137) is a vendor.
•All disclosures must be in writing to all affected parties.
The following guidelines are to assist with avoiding or resolving common areas of dispute. Salespersons should be encouraged to resolve their differences in a fair manner with one another themselves and the manager advised.
Where this is unlikely, the manager should adjudicate as quickly as possible.
Vendors and purchasers should not be involved.
These are guidelines only and there may be circumstances where a manager may make a judgment call, especially where there is an ‘effective salesperson’ element. Remember, however, that consistency is a cornerstone of effective management and these guidelines will assist that.
Any dispute involving a vendor, purchaser, or another agency, or a complaint is likely, then it must be notified to the company compliance manager by the salesperson immediately.
Cancellation of an Agency Agreement Policy
This is a complex area of law and it is important you seek your managers advise if anything arises that you are unsure about. If you are still confused, please contact our principal agent / general manager directly to ensure you are managing this correctly with your buyers and vendors.
Cancellation of Agency rules and protocols changed in 2015 when the REAA released new clauses for real estate agency agreements and ‘strongly encouraged’ all real estate agency agreements to adopt the new rules. This is not law as yet, but we expect the new clauses will become law in the future. Everyone who adopted the new clauses is named on the REAA website and recommended by REAA. The reason for the new clauses was to stop and/or discourage the double commission scenario for vendors when they change agency and have prior introductions through another agency and are at risk of two commissions if an old buyer then comes forward to buy the property.
As such, the new clauses basically stop- prior introduction being acknowledge in future sole agencies. The existing sole agent is the “effective agent” and the previous agency does not have prior introduction rights (as long as they have adopted the new agency clauses).
If a buyer contacts you to purchase a property that you showed them whilst under a Haze Real Estate agency, and that property is now under sole agency with another brand, then the only option you have is to contact the existing sole agent and ask to introduce your buyer and do a conjunctional. If they say “no” then you need to refer them to the buyer and let the “effective agent” do the deal. You cannot do the deal and get paid if you do not have a current agency with the Vendor.
So, it depends on the agency agreement of the previous agent. Bayley’s, Barfoots, Harcourts and most big brands automatically adopted the new clauses as best practice. If you take on a new sole agency that has had previous agencies with other brands, it is best practice to ask to view the prior agency agreements so you can advise the vendor what their rights are. Please always discuss with your manager if you are unsure on the process.
Also, if you are cancelling other general agencies, you need to ensure you send the Cancellation of Agency form to all general agencies, giving them 7 days’ notice to cancel their general agency. These forms can be found on the Staff Portal.
If there was a sole agency that has expired and no general agency, then no Cancellation of Agency is needed because there is no agency in effect.
Under the new clauses, sole agencies do not automatically revert to general agencies anymore. You either get the sole agency extended, or you get a new Agency Agreement signed (which reverts Sole to a General when it expires).
You must not continue to act for a Vendor who is not currently under agency of some description with Haze Real Estate, whether that is introducing buyers, advertising the property or presenting an offer.
The “effective agent” has rights to do a deal for the vendor. The clauses do not allow a vendor to sell privately to a buyer we introduced during our agency without being required to pay commission. This is for a 6-month period following agency expiry for Residential listings and for a 12-month period following expiry of agency on Rural listings. As such you still need to provide the vendor with a list of buyers you introduced to the property during our agency if and when our agency expires, so the vendor is aware of who we introduced and there can be no confusion.
Staff Generic Policy Acknowledgement
All staff, new and old are expected to stay up to date with our company policies and therefore, from time to time will be asked to submit this acknowledgement form to indicate that they have read, understood and agree to comply to the updated versions of all policies contained on this page.