New alliance to up property manager standards

Friday 6 July 2018

The need to raise the property management industry’s game has prompted the Independent Property Managers Association (IPMA) to forge a new relationship with the Property Institute.

By Miriam Bell

Property managers have come in for a lot of negative attention of late and calls to regulate the industry have been gaining momentum.

Earlier this year a Consumer NZ survey found that tenants were more likely to be happy with the service provided by landlords than that given by property managers.

More recently, Housing Minister Phil Twyford has made comments suggesting regulation is under consideration, while REINZ has been very vocal in its belief that property managers should be regulated.

But now the IPMA has announced it will be joining up with the Property Institute in a bid to raise the standards of the property management industry. 

IPMA president Karen Withers says the problem has been that currently anyone can become a property manager because there are no requirements for qualifications or even experience.

“Just like everyone else, we want to try and improve the standards of service property managers provide to both tenants and landlords.

“Partnering up with the Property Institute will give us greater professional credentials and allow our members to improve their skills with the introduction of formal standards and continuing professional education.”

The alliance will enable IPMA to strengthen their existing ethics and formal complaints processes and also boost their public profile and voice.

Withers says IPMA have been stepping up the game for their members for some time.

But working with the Property Institute means they will have the traction to cast the net wider, draw in more industry operators and raise standards across the wider industry, she says.

In the past, IPMA were associated with the NZ Property Investors Federation but Withers says that, despite the excellent work done by the NZPIF, they realised they were misaligned.

“That’s because they represent private landlords and we represent professional property managers and we wanted to have our own voice. But we have a good relationship with the NZPIF and hope that continues.”

Wither says members voted unanimously at their recent Annual Meeting to proceed with the MOU with the Property Institute and she believes that is an overwhelming endorsement.

“Our members already represent the pinnacle of our sector and are excited at the opportunity to grow professionally and be part of an organisation that enjoys a high profile and a strong reputation.

“They want to do the best they can for their tenants and landlords and they see real opportunities through PINZ to mark themselves out as property managers who are going the extra mile to prove they’re professionals that people can trust”.

For Property Institute chief executive Ashley Church, the new alliance will be a “game-changer” for the sector.

He says it has the potential to dramatically lift expected standards and bring residential property management into line with other property professions, as well as benefitting tenants.

“Residential property management is not a heavily regulated industry, and we’ve all heard the stories about renegade property managers who’ve treated tenants and owners poorly.

“This agreement with the IPMA is a first step towards recognising those property managers who are operating at a higher professional level than the rest of the sector.”

Church says he has talked to the Minister about the initiative and he has agreed to give them all time to implement it over the next couple of years.

“By which time I expect many additional residential property managers to have joined the Institute in order to be part of this new initiative with IPMA”.

The arrangement means that IPMA members will initially become affiliate members of the Property Institute.

But after a transition period they will become full members with their own professional standing under the Property Institute’s umbrella.

Read more:

Regulate property managers – REINZ

Landlords top property managers for tenants 

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