Improving the Management of Estate Agentsâ€™ Records in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Keywords:records, records management, recordkeeping, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, private
This article reports on the state of estate agentsâ€™ records in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, with a view to recommending improvements toward their effective and efficient management. Within the qualitative paradigm, the researchers adopted a collective case study strategy. The main population for the study was the estate agencies in the city, and the selection of the respondents was based on a purposive sampling technique. In this regard, the person who occupied the overall management position of each estate agency was considered the most suitable respondent. Interviews were held with these estate agents to gather in-depth information. It became evident from the empirical findings of the study that the recordkeeping practices of the estate agents were performed inadequately, including: inadequate storage facilities for their records; haphazard filing and ad hoc records management practices; an absence of records management procedure manuals for both paper records and electronic records; random disposal practices and non-existent disposal and retention schedules; and a lack of archives and records management training for estate agency staff. In addition, legislation was found to be weak and inadequate regarding its coverage of the management of records of non-public organisations, such as estate agencies. Based on these findings, it was recommended that estate agents develop and implement records management programmes which will ensure that their records management practices are more effective. Further recommendations were made to improve on the storage, classification and filing, disposal and disaster preparedness, and also for all estate agents to collaborate with archivers and records professionals and institutions in order to receive the necessary advice and assistance on different record management issues.
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