The Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) has warned consumers about the risks of property investment spruikers amidst interest rates hitting record lows.

A confluence of factors was likely to reignite spruiker activity in property markets in the months ahead, with a potential to financially devastate the unwary, according to PIPA Chairman Peter Koulizos.

“Interest rates are rock bottom, lending is loosening up, plus first-time home buyers have been giving a helping hand from the government deposit guarantee. While all of these factors are much-needed good news for the property sector generally, they also create the ideal conditions for unscrupulous operators to potentially entrap novice buyers and investors,” Koulizos said.

However, there are a number of tell-tale signs indicating that someone is about to get stung by a property spruiker, according to Koulizos.

The six signs a buyer or investor is about to be stung by a spruiker, according to PIPA, are:

  1. Not disclosing kickbacks or commissions
  2. Using pressure tactics
  3. Offering discounts for signing contracts immediately
  4. Free seminars that come with hard sells
  5. Not following the same investment strategy
  6. Cut and run approach

PIPA developed codes of ethics and conducts by which all of its members agreed to abide. The association also has professional standards of accreditation and education for the property investment industry, including a Qualified Property Investment Adviser accreditation course.

“Whether they’re looking for a property, investment adviser, mortgage broker, or accountant—essentially any professional involved in the property investment process—investors should look for the PIPA logo,” Koulizos said.