A new column in The Real Estate Voice, featuring the experience and opinions of leading industry proponents.
Company or organisation: REINZ
Job title: Acting Chief Executive
What attracted you to the real estate industry (and when)?
I first started in the real estate profession 45 years ago, and I’ve loved it since the day I joined and would never want to leave. It’s a people industry and I just love the energy and excitement that comes from being part of it.
What do you love most about the industry?
It’s a people profession and there is never a dull moment. The only constant is ‘change’ and it’s just exciting to be part of that.
What do you consider your proudest moment or greatest achievement (in the industry)?
Being inducted into the Barfoot & Thompson Hall of Fame, being made a Fellow of REINZ and being a Global Ambassador for the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.
A highlight of my time in the industry is seeing good people survive and thrive.
Biggest challenges in the industry? How has the pandemic affected the way people buy, sell and rent property?
The biggest challenge the profession faces is responding to the implications and changes of regulation, legislation and compliance. And in this day and age, keeping our people safe is a constant concern.
COVID-19 has created a much faster market than we’ve seen in many years, and there is the concern that people are becoming complacent when it comes to undertaking their due diligence. People are also more open to the use of technology (virtual tours or open homes via FaceTime) but we’ve also become more reliant on technology too.
Latest real estate/economic trends affecting your state or region?
The changes to governance and regulations are something that impacts all real estate professionals across New Zealand, whether they be residential salespeople, property managers, auctioneers or business brokers. Keeping up with those changes is imperative if you want to succeed in this industry.
How would you improve the process and incentives for property ownership, from an owner-occupier and investment perspective?
Although this would be impossible, I’d love to see the process of buying a property slowed down and wrap that around some sort of consistent due diligence process to ensure everyone buying a property (be it owner-occupied or as an investor) understood exactly what they were getting into.
What’s the biggest misconception people have when buying or building a home?
That it’s easy and that it can happen quickly. It’s not. It’s complex and complicated, and it takes time.
What tips would you give for future-proofing an investment?
Think about both yields and returns when looking at your investment strategy. But also think about things such as the quality of the property. Gone are the days when you can ‘just’ buy a house and put a tenant into it. There is now a host of regulations that you need to be up to speed with, in terms of the Residential Tenancies Act and the Healthy Homes legislation; that’s why a good property manager is essential.
What should prospective buyers look for when choosing a property?
Location, good school zones, value for money, the quality of the property, weather tightness issues and, ultimately, what the property’s history demonstrates.
In terms of technology and business interaction, what do you think buying a home will be like in 2030?
I think it will be very technology-focused, but there will still be the need for a human being (aka a salesperson) to be part of the transaction and that person will continue to need to act as a trusted adviser. Importance of taking your time to do your due diligence will still be as important as it is today. That’s not going to change with greater advances in technology.