WnPIA has always represented their members strongly on issues, working closely with MP’s and Government agencies, demanding accountability from the NZPIF for it’s membership. Seven years ago Wellington PIA decided to opt-out of Federation membership as it felt Federation was not representing WnPIA satisfactorily.
Fast forward to 2009 and NZPIF has matured to become a valued national resource and lobbyist for the property investor and WnPIA now believe it is appropriate to rejoin Federation. It has been a considered decision, with discussions between the parties spanning 9 months. At the June AGM, WnPIA’s membership took a vote to apply to affiliate, and the overwhelming majority was in favour of doing so.
Application to the NZPIF was simple, and the WnPIA received a prompt decision from NZPIF – welcoming them to be part of Federation. “The hardest part was deciding to make it happen” reports their newly elected President, Jackie Thomas-Teague, “we’ve found the NZPIF very easy to work with, and open in answering our questions. Their regional representatives work very hard to deliver exactly what they say they will”.
While they have been a member before, WnPIA does not consider it as re-affiliation, “We are treating it as a new beginning. What went before is past, and we want to proceed in a positive manner. We are excited about the mutual benefits affiliation will bring to both WnPIA and NZPIF. It’s a new partnership” says Thomas-Teague.
WnPIA’s immediate focus is on increasing its membership. In the current economic climate people tighten their belts and overlook the support and resource belonging to an Association can offer, “This is the time property investors most need an association. Tougher economic times are when tenants are more likely to miss rent payments, and you want to be sure of what to do when that happens. Also, it is the time of opportunity – time to get renovations done, buy more property, and find out which properties are the poor performers in your portfolio and earmark those for disposal once the market picks up again” says Thomas-Teague.
There are thousands of investors in Wellington region who do not belong to an association. Common misconceptions are that people need to have a sizable portfolio before becoming a member. “Not true,” says Thomas-Teague “if you only own one or two properties, or are thinking about taking the plunge, that is the time we can most help. That said, we also have members who make their living exclusively from their investments. They have a lot of information they’re able to share. Big or small, there is advantage to being a member”.
And costs are very reasonable. Average rent in the Wellington Region is around $350 pw. Membership costs far less, and if members save just one week’s rent from what they learn, they have more than made their money back. However, one member recently reported saving $7000 and making another $5000 per annum in rent from an idea presented at one of the meetings. That’s a twelve thousand dollar return on the investment in membership. “It is well worth attending meetings” says Thomas-Teague.
WnPIA holds monthly members meetings, usually the last Monday of the month at The Royal Society Building in Thorndon. Recent topical and interesting speakers have included the Minister of Housing (the Hon. Phil Heatley speaking about the RTA amendments), Right House (speaking on energy efficiency) and the NZ Police (P Labs in your investment property).
WnPIA also produces its own magazine which members love. ‘The Wellington Property Investor’ is known as a very informative read, and members get it free with their membership. “You can never have too much information on property investment. That’s why we offer members both our magazine and the ‘New Zealand Property Investor’. Both are high quality sources of information to keep investors ahead of the game”.
Education and creating opportunities are also strong traditions of WnPIA. Each year, the association runs a bus trip to inform investors of what is out in the market. “This is highly enjoyable research, with the social benefits of speaking with other investors all day making a great way to turbo-charge investors.” Wellington PIA also runs a whole day seminar with local experts speaking about various topics, from tax to managing your own property. “It might sound dry, but our speakers make the subjects come alive. Feedback on these events is always positive, well worth coming. Very cost effective education too – you could pay thousands elsewhere”.
“We’re welcoming of new members, so if you are thinking about it, email or call us for meeting details. There is always room for more people to make more money. You just need to learn the right ways, and we can help you.”comments powered by Disqus