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REIA launches action plan to tackle housing crisis and boost property management

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has launched a Property Management Action Plan designed to simultaneously tackle the housing crisis and bolster property management as a profession.

REIA President Leanne Pilkington said the plan had been developed from insights gathered at the inaugural Property Management Roundtable and endorsed by Australia’s real estate institutes. 

She said it was a significant step forward in uniting the industry towards common goals.

“The past year has highlighted the indispensable role of property management in not only overseeing $3 trillion in rental assets but in ensuring the vitality and accessibility of housing for Australians nationwide,” Ms Pilkington said.

“Our action plan is not merely a set of objectives but a commitment to transformative change, addressing the sector’s challenges head on and meeting the needs of renters, investors, the labour market and our businesses.” 

Central to the action plan are four themes: people, investment, health and wellbeing, and innovation. 

Ms Pilkington said these pillars would guide policy development, advocacy efforts, and research initiatives aimed at unlocking the potential of the rental sector and enhancing the wellbeing of both industry professionals and tenants. 

The plan highlights deliverables under each section, noting one of its key aims is to promote and bolster the growth of a skilled property management workforce, which it aims to develop through a cohesive nationwide promotional campaign showcasing property management as an attractive profession.

Another deliverable is to explore the possibility of an integrated property management expo and roadshow to major cities, as well as leveraging engagement through schools to preserve and drive workforce growth.

“I actually think the title, ‘property manager’, is the wrong term,” Ms Pilkington said.

“They’re managing people, they are managing an asset and they’re managing more than just a property.

“I think we need to have a better focus on the real positives of property management as a profession.”

Ms Pilkington said the action plan also zeroed in on promoting property investment as an attractive investment class.

She said this included promoting the option of rentvesting, which is where buyers rent in one area but invest in property in more affordable suburbs. 

“The next step will be getting the steering committee together to focus on… the importance of investment and the positives of property investment,” Ms Pilkington said.

“We need to try and encourage more investors back into the property market.”

The plan itself said the goal would be to build an active national strategy to promote the positives of property investment at an individual, business industry and government level, targeting young Australians, the Federal Government, single property investors and rentvestors.

This will be achieved by rolling out a robust pipeline of support resources and national events, including a national property investment prospectus and hosting consumer-facing workshops, along with other measures.

The action plan also seeks to target increasing rental supply by developing a “priority action list” of solutions to unlock more rental opportunities through community and government advocacy.

Short-term priorities include implementing granny flat reforms and providing incentives for existing, or the construction of, granny flats to increase rental housing options.

Promoting the use of incentives, such as land tax waivers, for investors who offer their properties for rental or affordable housing.

The goal is to favour investor incentives as opposed to penalties.

Ms Pilkington said the REIA was committed to fully implementing the plan, which would be continuously reviewed and actioned.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.