Engage the right professional and get the right advice

For seasoned and beginner investors alike, the property market offers far less certainty today than it did a decade go. Over a few short years the market has evolved to encompass a vast array of property types including off-the-plan developments, student accommodation, serviced apartments, housing estates and town developments to name only a few.

This evolution has undoubtedly increased the complexities around property investing. The market, now flooded with products, has become complex and confusing ultimately making investors vulnerable to poor property selection. Not all property assets perform the same and with so many to choose from, and many with powerful marketing incentives, the landscape has become difficult to navigate. Today purchasing property without sound advice leaves little degree of certainty that the property will experience good growth over time.

Investing in property to grow personal wealth is not a new concept, in fact some schools are now considering making it part of their syllabus due to its perceived importance in society. Investing in property through self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) has risen in popularity in recent times; with SMSFs holding approximately $80 billion of their $495 billion assets in residential and commercial property today. As such ASIC has implemented new rules to protect SMSF holders including preventing real estate agents, not licensed to provide financial advice, from giving advice to investors about their SMSFs -  is a job to be left to finance professionals.  So, although it is integral to always seek independent and reputable advice, it’s important to engage the right professional relative to your needs.

Making sure you seek advice about a product or service from the professional that works with that product or service is of upmost importance. So always obtain financial advice, particularly when it comes to your SMSF, from a reputable finance professional. However if s/he recommends investing in property then seek an independent property professional to help guide your purchase; particularly with today’s complex property market.

Just as financial advisors are critical to growing personal wealth, so are property advisors when it comes to selecting investments that are matched to your goals.  It’s all about seeking professional and independent advice from the right person – make sure they live, breath and are trained in the area you are seeking information on.  After all, you wouldn’t pay a property advisor to help you set up a SMSF or to invest in shares.

Greville Pabst
is CEO of WBP Property Group.

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