The Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA)

has announced a strategy to raise the professional

standard of property investment advice.

PIPA chairman, Ben Kingsley, said the association is calling on all professional practitioners – including mortgage brokers, financial planners, accountants and estate agents – to ‘join forces and increase the professionalism’ of the property investment industry.

“There are more than 80,000 professionals, employed either directly or indirectly within the property investment industry, giving opinions and advice to consumers. However, our figures indicate that less than 1% of those are actually formally qualified to offer direct property investment advice,” Kingsley said.

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Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL)’s annual report said it has had to deal with complaints from consumers given bad property investment advice.

“We are investigating a number of complaints about Australian Credit Licensees who operate mortgage broking, investment property advice and real estate businesses under separate but related corporate entities,” the report said.

Kingsley added that, as one of the most common investment selections among Australians, the fact that property remains an unregulated asset class is ‘ludicrous’.

“Australians deserve accurate property investment advice and a directory of appropriately qualified professionals they can trust.”

Over the coming months, PIPA will be undertaking a process calling on professionals to up-skill or obtain recognition for their skills, and become a Qualified Property Investment Adviser (QPIA).