Giving back to the profession brings many rewards: Honeycombe

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Rob Honeycombe has served on the REIQ Board of Directors for nine years, four of those as Chairman, so when he says giving back to your profession is rewarding, he really knows what he’s talking about.  

When he looks back over the four years he served as Chairman, it is with a real sense of achievement and personal gratification.

“I really do believe that Board Directors should regularly make way for fresh minds to sit at the table – although not too regularly, of course. It is important to not allow the REIQ Board to turn into an old man’s club as it has done in the past,” he said.

“As the owner of a smaller agency such as Bees Nees, it has been a wonderful opportunity to stretch my mind and be part of something much bigger. It allowed me the opportunity to develop strategic thinking abilities and to see the bigger picture,” he said.

Mr Honeycombe said most real estate practitioners are pretty hands-on in the execution of their daily task and that they don’t get much exposure to governance.

“Knowledge of governance does not come readily to most of us, but being a Board Director changes that,” he said.

“It is important for anybody who is considering to nominate for a Board Director position to realise that it is all about the REIQ. The Board does not represent the members, but makes decisions based on what is best for the REIQ. Of course these decisions ultimately benefit the members, but it is important to understand that perspective,” he said.

It is also critical for nominees to have a deep understanding what the REIQ is about and what it wants to achieve, he said.

“Officially Board Directors are required to set aside two days per month for the execution of their duties, but in reality you can’t fulfill your role well and make the most of it if you are not constantly thinking about the REIQ and the ways it can be improved,” he said.

“Forget about doing this job only for your CV and the prestige,” he warned. “It’s not glamourous and it’s hard work, but it is enormously rewarding to help play a role in the history of the REIQ.”

Mr Honeycombe’s passion for the REIQ and the profession is much more than skin deep and he has been a member since 1991.  “Real estate simply cannot be a true professional career if there is not a professional body such as the REIQ to provide the necessary opportunities for career development,” he said.

During his reign Mr Honeycombe played his part in many significant achievements such as the introduction of the groundbreaking POA legislation in 2014 – including the outlawing of auction underquoting.

“This required a hands-on consultation process of going to zone events across the state and talking to members – and ultimately making a decision that not everybody agreed with, but that was in the best interest of the profession,” he said.

A highlight of his Chairmanship was the decision to sell the REIQ’s building in Coorparoo and to buy and renovate the current premises at Cannon Hill.

“As Chairman I was aware of the big responsibility that came with making a brave decision that involved the REIQ’s assets and making a multi-million dollar investment of members’ money.

“At the time the developers’ market was doing well, while commercial property was at a low so the timing was good,” he said.

Mr Honeycombe said the approach in acquiring the new building was made on many of the same principles as when deciding what family home to buy, including considering where everyone’s going to be in 10 years’ time and how the family structure might change.

Despite his impressive legacy, Mr Honeycombe was quick to point out that these achievements and highlights were not only his, but that of the entire Board.

“A Board is stronger the more diverse it is,” he said. “I am very excited about the recent vote to change the REIQ Constitution to reserve two Member Director positions for women and one for an under-35 Member Director,” he said.

“Half of our members are female and the future of our organisation lies in the hands of the under-35 group. The Board should be representative of the people we serve.”

During his tenure there were also major changes to the REIQ executive team include the first female CEO and the first female Life Member.

Despite the fact that he will soon be leaving the REIQ Boardroom, Mr Honeycombe will still be a regular at REIQ events and he also intends to implement the valuable skills and experience that came with serving on the Board in his business.

“Being the REIQ Chairman has opened so many new doors for future opportunities for me,” he said.

The REIQ Board of Directors is calling for nominations. The opportunity to nominate will close September 27. To put your name forward this election you must be a woman in regional Queensland or an under-35-year old. Click here to nominate.