“Property Values – 2 generations on”

Did anyone read the article written by Catherine Ford in Saturdays Good Weekender? I’m sure a few of you did and rightly so, as it’s generally a thoroughly interesting and entertaining magazine. However the article written by Catherine Ford made steam come out of my ears, I have rarely been so enraged by someone’s words, but it provided the energy I needed to write this blog.

The opening sentence to this story goes like this:

“When I was a child, an unusual piece of lore, reported often by my father, came to be absorbed by me as an unshakeable empirical truth. “A real estate agent” the dictum went, “can only be trusted as far as he can be kicked”

The story basically tell’s the tale of how Catherine’s daughter was looking for a rental property and a couple of things occurred:

o Property 1 – nice female estate agent shows her daughter around a property they were very keen to secure, however they were unsuccessful. Catherine states that the house was in fact already leased and that the agent had no intention on telling her daughter this, because all she wanted to do was keep the place open for inspections so the agent could draw prospective tenants towards other less desirable properties.
o Property 2 – apparently the agent was dressed in an expensive suit and owned a “pimp style” BMW “was admiring himself in his tinted drug lord windows, in between glancing, through $600 sunglasses, at his state of the art mobile phone”
o Property 3 – we don’t hear much about this one because her daughter subsequently leased it so one would assume things didn’t go too badly, however apparently there are issues with the electrical wiring at the property and now her daughter is back home while its being rectified.

Let me point out some of the holes in the above if you haven’t already seen them yourself.

How does Catherine know that house 1 was already leased at the time of inspection? Did the agency actually tell her this? Is there anything wrong with the agent trying to lease her other properties – I mean that is their job! How does Catherine know that the properties were less desirable than the one her daughter initially inspected?

With regard to house 2 – this just sounds like a nasty, bitchy thing to point out – who cares if the agent drives a nice car, wears a nice suit and has an expensive phone – Catherine what type of phone does your daughter have? That appears to be the only thing Catherine could complain about, we dont hear anything about the house so I suppose one needs to clutch at straws.

Finally Catherine makes the statement that the 120 year electrical wiring in the house Catherine’s daughter finally rented “gave up the ghost” “But the agent, my daughter assures me, is onto it. She and her friends should only be sleeping on their respective parents lounge-room couches for “at most two, possible three weeks” while she finds them a competent, and hopefully available, sparky.

Catherine – this just doesn’t sound right to me – first of all if the issue with the wiring couldn’t be resolved in a day or so then its highly likely that your daughter and her friends are being offered a rent free period whilst they are unable to occupy the home, if this isn’t the case then you are not stupid, you would know your daughter has rights, in fact it’s on the Internet and listed in the “renting rights and duties” booklet agents are legally required to hand over to new tenants at the start of a lease. Finally – the agent will have a reputable electrician on their books who will be readily available however if you have ever done any work at your own property then you would be well aware that people don’t just click their fingers to make things happen immediately. No matter if a home is rented or owned maintenance will come up.

As an industry we have all worked really hard to be reputable, trustworthy and reliable, and to be honest your article really just seems like someone who had nothing better to write about, perhaps you had writers block? As an industry we do continual professional development, as a member of the REIV all our staff has to obtain CPD points each year and at Infolio we personally train our staff weekly and monthly to ensure we are offering our tenants and landlords the best service. Only last week one of our tenants gave us authority to take over the management of their own investment property – perhaps we aren’t all rogues. What so disappointing about this article is that it’s clearly without depth yet the average person might read it and actually believe some of the stigma you are trying to attach to real estate agents – being a journalist it does seem like the pot calling the kettle black but I won’t go into that today….

Yours sincerely – offended Real Estate Agent.