THE REIQ has highlighted the need for compulsory professional development (CPD) for the real estate profession.

The call was made at the 2016 REIQ Awards for Excellence at Brisbane City Hall on Saturday night.

REIQ chairman Rob Honeycombe addressed almost 600 guests, including State Minister for Housing Michael de Brenni, who reinforced the need for close cooperation on the issue.

“This is an important issue that contributes significantly to consumer protection,” Mr Honeycombe said.

“The purchase and sale of property is often the most significant transaction many Queenslanders will make and having a highly trained professional facilitate that process is crucial.”

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Underlining the value of consistent training and mentoring was this year’s winner of the 2016 Residential Salesperson of the Year Award, Mark McGill of Amber Werchon Property at Mooloolaba.

It was the second time Mr McGill has won the award in his seven-year career after being a finalist the past two years.

He follows fellow Sunshine Coast agents Amber Werchon, Dan Neylan and Damien Said at having won the award two or more times.

To be a finalist four years in a row has given Mr McGill access to meet and collaborate with Australia’s top performing agents in all markets.

“Collaborating with them and driving innovation helps to stay ahead of the market and at the forefront of the industry.

“You also learn a lot from teaching. That holds you a bit more accountable.”

The consistency in which Sunshine Coast agents succeed at the highest levels in the state speaks volumes for their professionalism and commitment.

“Our market has never been traditionally as strong as the Gold Coast and Brisbane,” Mr McGill said.

“We have to rely more on skill and training, we cannot sit back and rely on it.

“We have to be a bit smarter about what we do and be more effective.”

As well as Mr McGill’s success at the awards, Brock Beazley of the Maroochydore agency Century 21 on Duporth won Corporate Support Person of the Year.