Tax and legal advice

Dodgy property investment advisers run rampart, but there’s hope

By Sasha Karen
Dodgy adviser, property investment adviser,

Recent events in the real estate space have highlighted the need for properly regulated advice. Here’s the current climate, and here's how it can change.

The royal commission into banking has highlighted the need for properly regulated advice, the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) has stated.

During the course of the royal commission, one example highlighted of a dodgy dealing was that of a former planner who allegedly pointed their clients to an “advocacy service” for property. That former planner was the majority owner, but he did not disclose this.

After a company audit, the planner was said to not have acted in the client’s best interest. PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos said this example highlights the need for property advice regulation, as the former planner ignored what regulation he was subjected to.

“While professionals such as buyers’ agents, property accountants and mortgage brokers operate within regulated environments, property investment advice does not,” Mr Koulizos said.

“Not many Australians understand that, which is why so many continue to be the victims of property investment ‘advice’ from unscrupulous fly-by-nighters.

“Over the years, we've heard about Aussies losing hundreds of thousands of dollars because they trusted someone who was only concerned with lining their back pockets.”

Mr Koulizos said he and PIPA have been campaigning for property investment advice regulation for years, but to no avail.

However, the current environment in Australia is not a total lost cause as NSW shows there is hope of holding those giving dodgy advice to a higher standard.

Property commentator Anna Porter of Suburbanite has welcomed recent legislative chances in NSW to quash conflict of interest relating to development sales in NSW as part of the Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Property Industry Reform) Bill 2017.

"Under new laws, if the referrers are being paid by the buyer for a service (for their mortgage broking, financial planning or accounting services), they can not also act on behalf of the seller or receive a fee from the seller,” Ms Porter said.

“That would be a conflict of interest and as the fees filter down from the developer/seller, this would be in breach of the legislation.

“Some well-known mortgage broking firms openly admit to receiving $5,000-$10,000 per referral in their pocket. This is effectively a conflict of interest as the buyer is a client of the brokers, but the fee that comes down from the investment firm is from the seller — the developer.”

She said referrers who receive a significant part of the fee would be likely directing clients to developers because of the incentive and not based on the actual advice.

“The referrers often don’t vet the investment firm’s properly, or just don’t care of the quality of advice being offered, they simply shop around for an investment firm purely based on the fees on offer,” Ms Porter said.

“If these advice providers also hold their own real estate licenses and go through the appropriate education and are held to the same ethical responsibilities, the legislators believe that the referrer can better identify if that property firms approach or offering suits the client they are referring. It's intended to stop brokers, planners and accountants being compelled solely by fees and commissions; often secret commissions in our experience.”

"So, if a referrer does hold a real estate license, and does receive a part of the sale commission, they may find themselves in breach of the ethical requirements under the act."

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

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If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Gavin joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss how he chose the locations where he decided to invest and how, due to the initial lack of education (something that he now values highly), he lost money on his first two investments.

Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Raceview

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together

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