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HomeNewsThe week that was – Does your “adviser” know what they’re talking about?

The week that was – Does your “adviser” know what they’re talking about?

Does your adviser know what they are talking about?

By Nicola McDougall, Editor, The Female Investor

I have a moderately sized portfolio – both individually and with my husband – and have bought blue-chip as well as less than stellar properties over my investing journey. I am probably more representative of the average investor than not.

I have also written millions of words, as well as analysed booms, busts, and good (and bad) housing policies over the past 16 years. I am the proud voluntary chair of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA), the former editor of Australian Property Investor magazine, and the former Executive Director of Corporate Affairs at the REIQ. I’ve also been involved in industry campaigns that have helped protect the rights of property people and investors for years.

I would like to think that I am more experienced than most when it comes to the property investment space. Yet, when it came time to write The Female Investor, I decided to join forces with my dear friend, Kate Hill, because she is a professional buyers’ agent and a Qualified Property Investment Adviser (QPIA) who has been helping clients invest in real estate around the country for years. We both knew our book would be far more educational if we combined the contents of both of our brains, which has proved to be fabulously correct.

The reason I am writing this on a Saturday morning is I had a conversation recently about the plethora of new entrants into the industry over the past few years in particular. Of course, everyone has to start somewhere, but some people still think they can complete a tick-and-flick online course and become a buying “expert”. Often these courses have offered overly optimistic income expectations and many of the “graduates” have never even bought their own property, let alone anyone else’s. Sigh.

During 2021, the rising tide lifted all ships, so many of these new entrants may have an inflated sense of their own talents and are likely to struggle in the more difficult market conditions currently at play.

The very best property investment professionals, on the other hand, have qualifications, significant experience helping clients, as well as portfolios of their own. They also hold real estate licences, industry memberships such as PIPA, REBAA, as well as the real estate institutes where they operate.

It’s a shame that our industry is not more like the sales sector, where principals of agencies have usually had years of experience as selling agents before going out on their own. The predominant reason why it’s not, is because the property investment sector can sometimes resemble the “wild west” because of a lack of meaningful regulation. Alas, after more than a decade of industry representation to federal governments, PIPA has yet to secure legislation that would increase the required educational and professional standards for everyone working in the property investment advice space.

Fundamentally, this lack of regulation was why PIPA was formed by industry practitioners all those years ago and we remain totally committed to our original objective of representing the industry and raising the professional standards of all operators servicing consumers in property investment.

By adhering to a Code of Conduct and obtaining professional standards of accreditation through education, PIPA members demonstrate to the investing public, government, regulators, media, and other stakeholders within the property investment industry their commitment to excellence.

So, to anyone who is seeking property investment advice – either in person, via listening to podcasts, or reading blogs or books – make sure that the person you are entrusting with the biggest financial commitment of your life knows what they’re bloody talking about.

And please make sure they have the experience, licensing, training such as a QPIA, as well as appropriate industry memberships to back up their supposed “expert” status.

You can check online for PIPA membership.
You can check online for REBAA membership.
You can check real estate institute membership via the relevant state-based associations.

Nicola McDougall


The Female Investor

Main image: DepositPhotos

Nicola McDougall The Female Investor