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  • Louise Roke

Are You Getting What You Paid For by Louise Roke

Updated: Oct 7, 2019

Episode 1 in a 3 Episode Series - Time and time again we take what we have seen or heard before and carry that experience or belief into the future. If someone says they are a professional then we assume that this is a stamp of approval and this person should be trusted to do their best and be very professional, knowledgeable, experienced and above all conduct themselves with a duty of care to do the right thing by their clients.

However we can't assume anything these days. Many use marketing ploys boasting or inflating how great they are but in reality anyone can do nice brochures, letter drops, video adverts and the like. So how do you really know what the work ethic and capability of the person is?

I've had my fair share of engaging professionals and being disappointed in some. Sure they had a piece of paper, experience etc but they didn't provide what they said they would. It's disappointing and frustrating and can be costly.

We all at some stage will have the need to hire a professional no matter how big or small a service is and we may assume them all to be the same but let's face it they aren't. The professional whether it be an accountant, solicitor, trades person, real estate agent, property manager, builder or strata company /body corp; all things aren't equal.

I think after a long stint living and working in Australia I got accustomed to a high standard of accountability and some may say over regulation. However, it was systems in place to protect the consumer as much as possible. Procedures in place to manage the risks of human relying on human and accountability to ween out industry rogues.

No one wants the stress of going to tribunals or court and often it seems to be the only solution and can drag on for months if not years. The solution is to ensure you choose the right person and company for the job at hand in the first place; then you get a better result and no stress and we all like that; and again it is better financially. So if something seems cheap often it is for a reason. Quite often desperate traders will offer low prices because they are desperate and have no repeat customers and rely on one off disgruntled clients that come in the door from their clever marketing.

Research as much as you can about the person and the company you are hiring. Don't be afraid to ask and keep asking for verified evidence and testimonials; the internet can also expose bad reviews so look them up on there too; ask your community facebook or neighbourly then at least you will be somewhat informed.

The worst experience that happens typically for people are when consumers are over promised and under delivered.

I was quite surprised to hear that strata management in NZ is not regulated. I talked to Steve Plummer who has been in the industry since 2003. He is an advocate for change as he is at the front line when it comes to disgruntled landlords, owners and tenants who often don't get answers to their problems in a timely manner. He touches on lots of things I didn't know , how some developers may sell their strata properties with a smaller strata fee to look more attractive to the buyer but may be seriously lacking in long term maintenance plans or little money stored for the annual essentials. If you are thinking of buying an apartment or other strata property; don't miss this chat and words of wisdom from Steve of how to buy wisely and not to assume anything.