Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) has announced an ambitious strategy to raise the professional standards of property investment advice.
According to PIPA chair Ben Kingsley, the association is calling on all professional practitioners – including mortgage brokers, financial planners, accountants and estate agents – to join forces and increase the professionalism of the property investment industry.
“There are more than 80,000 professionals, employed either directly or indirectly within the property investment industry, giving opinions and advice to consumers,” he said.
“However, our figures indicate that less than one per cent of those are actually formally qualified to offer direct property investment advice.”
Unlike the areas of financial planning, real estate and mortgage broking, the provision of property investment advice continues to be unregulated. Currently anyone can promote property as an investment option.
Despite the lack of a regulatory framework around property investment advice, any professionals that provide services relating to property investment can become formally qualified and recognised for their expertise through PIPA’s Property Investment Adviser Accreditation Course, Mr Kingsley said.
“PIPA will continue to lobby the Australian government to regulate the property investment industry – and this is top of our agenda in 2013,” he said.
“But in the meantime, we’re calling on members of the industry to work together to protect our reputation and help consumers seek out qualified professionals who have both the educational and ethical standards required to provide quality advice on property.
“Australians deserve accurate property investment advice and a directory of appropriately qualified professionals they can trust.”
In coming months, PIPA will undertake a process calling on professionals – including mortgage brokers, accountants, financial planners and buyers’ agents – to up-skill or obtain recognition for their skills, and become a Qualified Property Investment Adviser (QPIA).
“Those who have the QPIA accreditation can not only claim to be ethical, qualified practitioners; they will have a significant head start when it comes to attracting new enquiries,” Mr Kingsley said.