Finding a niche little earner

December 2, 2007

Property expert Andrew King believes he may have created an entirely new financial industry: property management broking.

King, former president of the Auckland Property Investors Association, is yet to fully launch the business, Andrew King Property Management Broking, on to the world.

But he believes that, just as mortgage brokers aim to find the best home loan for clients, there’s a place for professionals to introduce residential property investors to the best property managers.

And as with mortgage brokers, the service is free.

Users of the service will pay no fees, but the property managers to which King refers clients will pay a commission in exactly the same way mortgage brokers pocket commissions from the likes of the banks and non-bank lenders. King is coy on the level of commission, but says it won’t add anything.

Commissions will be level from all property managers so there will be no bias in his recommendations, he says.

King says there’s a place for the service because so many property managers aren’t doing a good job, and that is costing landlords money.

Property managers are subjected to a 60-question grilling which takes about two hours, says King. He then interviews a random sample of 10-15 of the property manager’s clients.

Additional benefits will be that King will monitor the continuing service provided by the managers he recommends , and will act as a mediator should the client have complaints about the way their property is being handled.

He hopes the service, should it catch on, will play a part in raising standards by helping people ditch their old shonky managers. “There are quite a lot of cowboys out there,” King says. “If I can make it easier for people to move to a good property manager, it could have a positive effect on the industry.”

King intends to publicise his business in the new year. An online service he is developing will allow investors anywhere to plug in the details of their rental properties to get an estimate of whether they are getting enough rent.

“I don’t think many investors charge high enough rents.”

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