Privacy Policy

Greg Hocking Privacy Policy Statement

This Privacy Policy Statement sets out the policy of Greg Hocking Franchising Pty Ltd, its related entities  and each Greg Hocking franchisee (together “we”, “us”, “Greg Hocking”) with respect to the way in which we obtain, use and disclose information about you, including through our website at www.greghockingrealestate.com.au.  We adopt and are bound by the Australian Privacy Principles (“APPs”) contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (“the Act”).

We understand and appreciate that you are concerned about privacy, particularly in relation to the use and disclosure of Personal Information. We are committed to providing a high level of privacy in relation to all Personal Information that is collected by us.

This Privacy Policy applies to Greg Hocking, but not to other companies, organisations or websites to which we are linked.

For the sake of clarity, this Privacy Policy Statement covers Personal Information collected, used and disclosed by Greg Hocking (including by Greg Hocking franchisees) in relation to any of the following:

  • franchisees or prospective franchisees;
  • prospective or actual vendors, purchasers, landlords and tenants;
  • prospective or actual suppliers;
  • agents or independent contractors, any person who applies to become such an employee, agent or independent contractor;
  • employees, except where the use or disclosure is directly related to the relationship between us as employer and you as the employee and relates to an “employee record” about you as a present or past employee.

 

Your Consent

You consent to your Personal Information being used in accordance with this Privacy Policy Statement by any one or more of the following:

  • by communicating with us or by continuing to request our services, including but not limited to by attending one of our offices, attending an open for inspection, making enquiries via email or phone; and/or
  • providing us with your contact details and consenting in writing for such details to be conveyed to a mortgage broker or financier;
  • by visiting our website or participating in an online enquiry; and
  • by visiting any website or social media site established by us, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Youtube and Linked In (“Social Media Sites”); and
  • by participating in any activity on a Social Media Site including but not limited to entering competitions, subscribing to our blog, posting, pinning or uploading any material on any Social Media Site, following, liking and/or commenting on us or anything on any Social Media Site (“Social Media Activity”).

 

What is Personal Information?

For the purposes of this Statement, “Personal Information” is information or an opinion about an identified individual or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, whether or not the information or opinion is true and whether or not it is recorded in a material form. The types of Personal Information generally collected by us may differ, depending on whether you are or would like to become a Greg Hocking franchisee, a vendor, purchaser, landlord, tenant, supplier, employee, agent or independent contractor of us, or of a Greg Hocking franchisee.

Personal Information does not include an “employee record”.  An “employee record” is a record of personal information relating to the employment of the employee.  This includes health information and personal information relating to the:

  • engagement, training, disciplining of an employee,
  • resignation or termination of an employee;
  • terms and conditions of employment of an employee;
  • employee’s performance or conduct;
  • hours of employment, salary or wages;
  • personal and emergency contact details;
  • employee’s membership of professional or trade associations or trade union membership;
  • employee’s recreation, long service, sick, personal, maternity, paternity and other leave; and
  • employee’s taxation, banking and superannuation affairs.

Having said that, we treat the personal and health information of each of our employees with absolute confidentiality and strict controls are placed on who has access to such information.  We will not disclose your employee records to any third party other than as permitted by law or this Privacy Policy without your prior consent.

 

What Personal Information do we collect from you?

Generally, the type of Personal Information collected by us includes your name, address, mobile and telephone numbers, facsimile number and e-mail address. If applicable, we may also require details of your company’s ABN and/or ACN, financial information including bank account and credit card details, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, your employer and occupation details and title and mortgage details of any relevant property.  We may be required to take images of the inside of your home via photos or video.

From our franchisees, we also require company details including ABN and/or ACN, financial information including bank account and credit card details, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, weekly takings analysis, sales data and other business related information which may contain Personal Information.

From our employees and/or prospective employees, we may also collect the following information: emergency contact details, qualifications, previous employment details, driver’s licence numbers, medical and health information, passports, leave summaries, wages and salary information, date of birth, superannuation information, tax file numbers, where relevant visa and immigration information, information relating to performance and conduct.

From time to time, photos may be taken for marketing and promotional purposes which may include images of franchised businesses, franchisees, employees or employees of franchisees and/or clients, from which individuals may be able to be identified.

Via Social Media Sites, we may be able to obtain other information about you which may itself constitute Personal Information or which, when combined with other information, is capable of identifying you, including photos, videos and any other information that you include on our Social Media Sites or sites linked to our Social Media Sites (“Other Sites”).  The level of information to which we have access may depend on your privacy settings on such Other Sites.

In some circumstances, you may deal with us anonymously or using a pseudonym.  However, in most circumstances it is impracticable to do so because if you do not provide us with the Personal Information that we require or if you provide it in a way that does not identify you, we are likely to be unable to carry out the services requested by you.

 

How do we collect your Personal Information?

Personal Information may be collected as follows:

  • when you make a general or specific telephone enquiry;
  • when you engage us or discuss engaging us to provide services or advice to you;
  • when you negotiate with us in respect of purchasing or renting a property;
  • when you provide your details to us at an “open for inspection” property or an auction;
  • when we inspect a rental property or property for sale;
  • when you provide to us or we collect your business card;
  • when you visit our website and complete an on-line enquiry or a form for the purpose of requesting and/or accessing certain services on our website;
  • when you send an email to us;
  • from third parties such as credit reporting agencies;
  • from publicly available sources of information; and
  • through analysis of the Social Media Sites conducted by us or by third parties on our behalf;
  • any other collection of or incidental or directly or indirectly related to the services we may be able to provide to you.

Pursuant to the Greg Hocking franchise agreement, we collect certain information about Greg Hocking franchisees’ clients, suppliers, employees and franchised businesses including financial information.  This information may be obtained from each Greg Hocking franchisee directly or obtained from third parties such as the franchisees’ lending institutions, financiers, suppliers, creditors, clients and employees or government departments or authorities.

We can obtain information through our website if you send an e-mail message and complete an on-line enquiry.  When you look at our website, we may make a record of your visit. The following information may be logged for statistical purposes:

  • your Internet protocol (IP) address;
  • the date and time of your visit to the site;
  • the pages you have accessed and documents downloaded; and
  • the type of browser you were using.

Any such statistical analysis does not identify you.

Tracking technologies such as cookies may be used on our website to recognise a user’s browser each time that user visits our site and to track which pages the user visits whilst on our site and also to push advertisements to your internet protocol address.  Cookies are pieces of information that a website transfers to a computer’s hard drive for record keeping purposes.  Most web browsers are set to accept tracking technologies such as cookies.  These tracking technologies do not personally identify the user.  If you do not wish to receive any cookies you may set your browser to refuse them.  However, your use of our website may be affected.

 

How do we use your Personal Information?

Any Personal Information that we collect will be used by us to enable us to provide you with the services that you have requested or otherwise to enable us to carry out our functions as professional real estate agents and for the following purposes:

  • supplying our products and services to you;
  • providing quality assurance for our services;
  • responding to your enquiries and feedback regarding our business, our products and services;
  • monitoring the performance of our business;
  • marketing including email marketing, promotional and educative activities, including advising you about investment opportunities and other matters that we believe may be of interest to you;
  • enforcing the terms and conditions of our engagement with you;
  • ensuring compliance with our statutory obligations;
  • conducting appropriate credit checks; and
  • referral to a mortgage broker or financier, subject to express consent.

In relation to the Personal Information of franchisees, the purposes include those mentioned above and also the following:

  • conducting appropriate credit checks;
  • verifying information required under any franchise agreement, including by accessing and assessing information received from suppliers, referees, insurers, banks, or any other entity;
  • to conduct checks for compliance with the franchise agreement and relevant law;
  • providing franchisee support; and
  • all other things of or incidental to carrying out our role as a franchisor.

 

How do we disclose your Personal Information?

We do not and will not rent, sell or otherwise disclose your Personal Information to any other company or organisation, without your prior consent, where that consent is required by law.

You specifically authorise us to use and disclose your Personal Information in the following ways and for the following purposes:

  • of or incidental to promotion and marketing to you of our services or those of our business partners or affiliates, including but not limited to advising you about investment opportunities and other matters that we believe may be of interest to you;
  • to media organisations, including on the internet, to potential buyers or to existing or potential clients, to property inspection consultants, property valuers, business valuers, to owners corporations, to government and statutory bodies, financial institutions or financial products and services providers;
  • to the vendor of a property where you are a purchaser or a prospective purchaser;
  • to other real estate agents or other third parties if required by a landlord or a landlord’s financier or legal representative, for the purpose of appraising or valuing a property;
  • to third party consultants who may from time to time manage our database or computer system;
  • to potential tenants, to trades people and to other persons to whom we outsource functions of or incidental to acting for a landlord;
  • to the general public when advertising or marketing your rental property (or your home if you are our tenant) including internet advertising or marketing, for the purposes of re-leasing or selling the property;
  • to the landlord, referees, the relevant Bond Authority, other agents and third party operators of tenancy reference databases including where a tenant has failed to comply with any contractual obligations specified in the relevant tenancy agreement and to other sources necessary to identify and evaluate a potential tenant;
  • between the various Greg Hocking entities including between the franchisees and the franchisor where required by the relevant franchise agreement and of or incidental to carrying out our respective functions as the Greg Hocking franchisor or a Greg Hocking franchisee;
  • to lending institutions, financiers, creditors, prospective franchisees and suppliers as permitted by the franchise agreement;
  • of or incidental to a sale of all or part of our business to a third party;
  • as required by law, including where requested by police; and
  • any other disclosure of or incidental to our carrying out our functions as professional real estate agents.

 

Disclosure of your Personal Information via Social Media Sites

By engaging in any Social Media Activity on our Social Media Sites, you agree to and are subject to the terms and conditions of such Social Media Sites.  Any Personal Information pinned or posted or uploaded by you onto Social Media Sites can be disclosed in accordance with the terms and conditions and privacy policies of such Social Media Sites.

Generally, photos and other material pinned or posted to Social Media Sites will be able to be viewed by the general public.  Such photos and other material may be re-pinned and re-posted by others indefinitely and will be visible by anyone visiting the locations to which the photos or other material have been re-pinned.  You may be able to remove the photos or other material that you have pinned or posted from the location at which you pinned or posted it.  However, any material that has been re-pinned will be out of our control and neither you nor we will be able to remove it from any re-pinned location.  We are not responsible for any material that has been re-pinned or re-posted.

We reserve the right to remove any photos, comments or other material that is in any way inappropriate or offensive (in our opinion) from our Social Media Sites.

Cross Border Disclosure

We do not actively disclose your Personal Information overseas.  However, some programs, software, online tools, or Social Media Sites used by us, are based in and/or housed overseas.  For example, Mail Chimp and Survey Monkey are based in the United States of America.  Our use of such products may involve disclosure of your Personal Information to such organisations overseas.  Use and disclosure of your Personal Information by such overseas organisations is in accordance with the terms and conditions and privacy policies of such organisations.

If you consent to disclosure of some of your Personal Information in this manner, we are not required to take steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that such organisations do not breach the APPs in relation to the disclosed information.  Having been informed of the possibility that such disclosure may occur, you consent to that disclosure by undertaking or continuing to undertake the type of activities indicating your consent, as specified above.

 

Security

We are committed to ensuring the security of your Personal Information and we will take all reasonable steps to protect this Information from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure, including:

  • ensuring the physical security of our premises and databases/records;
  • restricting access to personnel who need that information in order for us to be able to provide our products and services; and
  • industry standard technological measures, such as computer passwords, data back-up, anti-virus software and firewalls.

We will take all reasonable steps to ensure the Information is accurate and up-to-date and relevant for the purposes for which it may be used pursuant to this Privacy Policy.

Please note that our website does not provide systems for secure transmission of Personal Information across the internet, except where otherwise indicated.  When emailing or providing Personal Information to us via our website, please be aware that there are risks involved in transmitting such information across the Internet.

Our website contains links to other websites. We have no control over the privacy practices employed at other websites and we accept no responsibility for Personal Information provided via unsecured websites.

We cannot provide any guarantee with respect to the security of your Personal Information and we will not be liable for any breach of security or unintended loss or disclosure of information due to the website being linked to the Internet.

 

What to do if you don’t want to receive future mailouts?

In each direct marketing communication that you receive from us we will attach simple instructions on how you can immediately unsubscribe from our mailing list. In any event, you can opt out from receiving direct marketing material by e-mailing our Privacy Officer and asking to be removed from the mailing list. Alternatively, you can fax or mail a request asking for deletion. Contact details are set out below. There is no fee for such deletion.

 

How to check or change your Personal Information

Our Privacy Officer will ensure that your Personal Information is accurate, complete and up to date and relevant to the purpose for which we are able to use your Personal Information.

We take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify Personal Information that is no longer required.  However, we may be required by law to retain our files and file information which contain your Personal Information for up to seven years.

If you wish to view the Personal Information we hold about you, please send your request by e-mail, mail or fax to our Privacy Officer.  All relevant contact details are at the end of this Privacy Policy Statement. A fee may apply for such access. If we deny your request for access, we will let you know why.

If you wish to amend your Personal Information because it is inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading, please contact our Privacy Officer.  If we refuse to amend information we hold about you, we will let you know why.

After your Personal Information is amended, we will take reasonable steps to inform third parties to whom we have disclosed your Personal Information, so that they can amend their records.

 

Changes to our Privacy Policy

From time to time we may decide to amend or update this Privacy Policy.  When this occurs, we will post the new version of the Privacy Policy on our website.  We encourage you to periodically review this Privacy Policy so that you remain informed as to how we are protecting your Personal Information.

 

Complaints

If you believe that we have not complied with our obligations pursuant to the Act, or have a complaint about the use or disclosure of your Personal Information by us, please contact our Privacy Officer.

Our Privacy Officer is responsible for liaising with you and with the relevant agency staff to ensure that the issues you have raised are fully examined, and that your complaint is handled in accordance with this process.
We will treat the process, and all the details of your complaint, in strict confidence. If we need to discuss any issues arising from your complaint with someone outside of the agency, we will obtain your consent first.

We will always try to give you a fair opportunity to explain your case. You should make your initial complaint as clear as possible.  Please provide as much detail as possible about the nature of your complaint including the outcome you would like in order to resolve the matter.  We may want to meet you in person to discuss your concerns and try to find a satisfactory solution.

 

What action will we take in response to your complaint?

We will endeavour to resolve your complaint as soon as possible.   However, the length of this time will depend on the nature and complexity of the issues you have raised.

If appropriate, we will refer the matter to the Privacy Officer of the relevant franchisee agency in the first instance.  You will receive acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint from us or them within approximately two business days.  You will be given an estimate of how long it may take us to deal with the matter but we will endeavour to finalise the matter within 30 days.

If we decide that your complaint is justified, we will then decide what action we should take in response. We will always try to match our response to the nature of your complaint and your desired outcome, but this may not always be possible.

Some of the things that we decide to do include:

  • Take steps to rectify the problem or issue you have raised
  • Provide you with additional information or advice so you can understand what happened or how we have dealt with it
  • Take steps to change our policies or procedures if your complaint identifies a problem in the way we are doing things

Sometimes it will not be possible to resolve a complaint to everyone’s satisfaction.  If the matter has been referred to the franchisee but has not been resolved to your satisfaction, it will be referred back to us as franchisor and we will contact you to attempt to resolve the matter.  If we are still unable to resolve the matter, you may wish to escalate the matter to the Privacy Commissioner via an online privacy complaint form which can be found at:   http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/making-a-privacy-complaint.

 

CONTACT DETAILS

Greg Hocking Franchising Pty Ltd
332 Montague Street
Albert Park Victoria 3206

Privacy Officer:  Stuart Cade
Telephone No:  (03) 8644 5500
Facsimile No:  (03) 9645 5393
Email:  privacy@greghocking.com.au