The recent boom in property markets across the country has also led to a surge in inexperienced and untrained “faux” advisers, warns Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) Chair, Nicola McDougall.
McDougall said it was vital for investors to check the credentials of the property investment adviser they are considering working with, to ensure they have the skills, experience, and training to professionally assist them.
Ms McDougall said, “Unfortunately, during market booms, we do always see an influx of new entrants into the property investment advice space – many of whom are simply chasing a quick buck given there is no national regulation in our sector.
“Some complete a tick-and-flick course and automatically start calling themselves ‘buyers’ advocates’ when they may have never even bought a property before, let alone understand the intricacies of tailored and independent property investment advice.”
Fake credentials putting investors at risk
Ms McDougall said there have been increasing instances of people claiming to be qualified advisors, and even using fake credentials.
She said, “No doubt these people are trying to legitimise their businesses or falsely improve their educational achievements by claiming they are members or QPIAs [Full PIPA Accreditation Program for property investment professionals].
“However, PIPA soon instructs these people to remove these references immediately because it is an offence under Australian Consumer Law to make false and misleading claims about your services such as misrepresenting yourself as a member of an industry association when you are not.”
Check the legit industry associations
Ms McDougall said investors should check the official status of credentials of advisers via PIPA or aligned industry associations such as the Real Estate Buyers’ Agent Association of Australia (REBAA).
PIPA members include professionals across the real estate, mortgage broking, conveyancing and accounting industries who voluntarily adhere to a Code of Conduct and obtain professional standards of accreditation through education.
“By doing so, PIPA members demonstrate to the investing public, government, regulators, media, and other stakeholders within the property investment industry their commitment to excellence,” Ms McDougall said.