Investors must check adviser credentials

Feb 2023Karen Millers

An influx of new entrants into the property investment sector over recent years has flooded the market with inexperienced and untrained “faux” advisers, according to the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA).

Not only that, but some practitioners are falsely advertising they have completed additional specialist advice training or are members of industry associations, such as PIPA, which is illegal.

PIPA Chair Nicola McDougall said there has been increasing instances of people claiming to be Qualified Property Investment Advisers (QPIA®) or PIPA members when they are not.

“No doubt these people are trying to legitimise their businesses or falsely improve their educational achievements by claiming they are members or QPIAs®,” Ms McDougall said.

“However, PIPA soon instructs these people to remove these references immediately because it is an offence under Australian Consumer Law to make false and misleading claims about your services such as misrepresenting yourself as a member of an industry association when you are not.”

Ms McDougall said it was vital – regardless of market conditions – for investors to check the credentials of the property investment adviser they are considering working with to ensure they have the skills, experience, and training to professionally assist them.

“Unfortunately, during market booms, we do always see an influx of new entrants into the property investment advice space – many of whom are simply chasing a quick buck given there is no national regulation in our sector,” she said.

“Some complete a tick-and-flick course and automatically start calling themselves ‘buyers’ advocates’ when they may have never even bought a property before, let alone understand the intricacies of tailored and independent property investment advice.”

PIPA members include professionals across the real estate, mortgage broking, conveyancing, and accounting industries who voluntarily adhere to a Code of Conduct and obtain professional standards of accreditation through education.

“By doing so, PIPA members demonstrate to the investing public, government, regulators, media, and other stakeholders within the property investment industry their commitment to excellence,” Ms McDougall said.

“The PIPA Accreditation Program and QPIA® post-nominal was developed by PIPA and is an industry benchmark of knowledge and skills for individual investors and professionals in industries involved with property investment.”

Ms McDougall said investors should check the official status of credentials of advisers via PIPA or aligned industry associations such as the Real Estate Buyers’ Agent Association (REBAA).

If someone is using the QPIA® post nominal, it’s a sign that they have:

✅ Successfully completed the PIPA Accreditation Program;
✅ Are able to demonstrate at least two years of relative industry experience i.e., real estate & associated services, finance, or mortgage services, etc.;
✅ Maintained full individual or corporate membership of PIPA or are gainfully employed by a member company;
✅ Undertaken the QPIA® Continuing Professional Development Program; and
✅ Registered their QPIA® status with PIPA, renewing annually.

Investors can check whether their adviser is a PIPA member or a QPIA via


For more information, or to organise an interview with Nicola McDougall, please contact:

Bricks & Mortar Media | | 0405 801 979

About PIPA

Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) is a not-for-profit association established by industry practitioners with the objective of representing and raising the professional standards of all operators involved within property investment.

We strive to bring accountability, ethics, and education to the property investment industry.

PIPA exists to improve the professional standards of anyone providing property investment advice to consumers. Our voluntary Code of Conduct means that members adhere to a high set of professional standards to help protect consumers. Qualified Property Investment Advisers (QPIAs®) have the highest form of industry-recognised, specialist training and can be trusted to provide tailored and unbiased advice to consumers.

PIPA also regularly produces research, analysis, and publications to help educate our members, media, and consumers about the property investment sector.

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