Let's Hear It For The Volunteers
The time these people give up and the not-for-profit status of PIAs means membership fees are considerably lower than they otherwise would be.
30 June 2022
I appreciate that many of us likely roll our eyes at some of the weird and whacky national days and weeks for this cause and that. But at the time of writing this column it is National Volunteer Week, and this got me thinking about all the wonderful volunteers who run Property Investors’ Associations around the country.
There are 17 Property Investors’ Associations (PIA) around New Zealand, mostly organised by enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers who are passionate about property.
Some are there to learn more about rental property and some are there to give back to an industry that has helped them become financially secure. They are a mixed bunch with different personalities, skills and experiences that combine to create a rich and diverse experience for their members.
The aim of PIAs has traditionally been to help members learn about best practices for providing rental accommodation to tenants that will save them time and effort, while at the same time improving members’ professionalism and profitability.
However, PIAs now provide an additional role of mental support to the wonderful people who provide homes for others. Over the last few years we have been called speculators and tax dodgers and portrayed as the main reason for house price rises and keeping young people out of home ownership. We have been accused of running losses so we don’t pay tax, while in the next breath being told we are greedy for the rent we charge.
‘Being a rental property owner can be a very isolating thing for many people’
I have spoken to people who have sold their rental property just because of the negative stigma around being a rental property owner.
So, in addition to good and practical information on how to be a better rental owner and landlord, associations are now a place where you can attend monthly meetings with likeminded people and actually feel good about what you are doing. They are a safe place where you can get away from the noise that we read and hear in the media and mix with others who are supportive and helpful with what we are doing.
Being a rental property owner can be a very isolating thing for many people. While 30 or 40 years ago we were encouraged to provide homes for others and it was seen as a good and positive thing, the mood has changed. Many people no longer feel comfortable telling others they have a rental property. Associations have become a wonderful way to meet others and feel good about what you are doing and free to talk about it.
Time And Effort
All of this wouldn’t happen without our wonderful volunteers. It takes a lot of time and effort to organise associations, manage memberships, handle finances, seek out sponsors and discounters, arrange speakers and venues plus the many other activities they do for us.
The time these people give up and the not-for-profit status of PIAs means that membership fees are considerably lower than they otherwise would be.
So, while Volunteer Week will be over by the time you read this, at your next PIA meeting please tell as many of the organisers as you can that you appreciate the work they do. Alternatively, you could drop them an email so they can share your thanks with all the other volunteers.
You could also help by encouraging anyone you know who owns rental property to join their local PIA. Ironically, you will be adding to your committee’s workload, but don’t worry, they’ll love it!