Advocating for one voice

Thursday, 8 February 2024


Recently, I engaged in a discussion with the former chair of the Residential Property Managers Association (RPMA) regarding the assertion that Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Property Managers typically oversee more than 300 properties.


Drawing from my twenty years of experience in the industry, I have yet to encounter any evidence supporting such a claim. The accusation is that real estate companies focus on sales, and property management is a poor cousin. The emphasis is on Business Development Managers who are instructed to load property managers, expecting them to manage over 300 properties (1). It does not stop there. According to the RPMA in their submission to the select committee, the average employment within the property management industry is about eight months (2). I am still determining where they get such information. 



Comments like this are damaging to the industry. I hope this is not the case; it would be disappointing if a member's group pushed their agenda ahead of the wider industry.



According to the submission to the select committee, small property management providers provide a better quality of service than larger real estate operators. I struggle with this accusation. Being the General Manager of one of the largest privately owned property management businesses in the country, with approximately $180 million of rent being collected per annum from a property portfolio worth around $3 billion, I know we have a water-tight process with a strong emphasis on customer service as well as ensuring that the money collected is secure, held in an audited Trust account. To do this, we must put our Property Managers at the centre of every decision to make sure they have the necessary tools and support to do their job. 



At Property Brokers, we have a team of approximately 100 people, ensuring that our investors' assets are protected whilst ensuring that we act as a responsible landlord with a duty of care to our tenants. Our Property Managers manage, on average, approximately 80 properties each.



Education is strongly emphasised with a True Team promise to our consumers. You do not just hire a Property Manager; you hire a team. This includes the following. 

  • Team Leaders so every Property Manager can troubleshoot issues and have added support. 
  • Accounts Team ensures that the millions of dollars of rent are allocated to the relevant landlords, including payments to contractors and bonds being lodged.
  • Training Team ensures that new entrants get the induction they need, and they can also cover portfolios if a staff member is on leave or sick. They also provide ongoing training and support in delivering the NZ RPM Level 4 qualification. 
  • After-hours team gives our Property Managers much-needed downtime to relax and unwind. 
  • Operations Team monitors all maintenance requests and supports our Property Management team by auditing portfolios to ensure we are compliant. 

I take umbrage at disparaging comments made by the RPMA at the expense of Real Estate companies. To say that big companies do not provide the same level of service as smaller independents is a fallacy.



If we offered a poor level of service without caring for the well-being of our Property Managers, we would not survive, let alone thrive.



Alarmingly, RPMA states that audited Trust accounts are optional as they will add more cost to the consumer. Auditing Trust accounts should be non-negotiable, and any reputable industry body would campaign hard for the protection of consumers' money. 

If individuals or groups consistently express negative remarks in the media, they must substantiate such claims with evidence. RPMA still needs to provide such evidence. Our industry would benefit from unified representation rather than allowing peripheral advocacy groups to disseminate unfounded criticisms to further their objectives.




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