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Peter Lewis: Even old dogs can learn new tricks

Thursday, February 07, 2019


Long ago, when I first became a landlord, there was no Facebook, no chat groups, and communication between landlords was minimal. Learning to run a residential rental was similar to learning to ride a bicycle – trial and error at the cost of scraped knees and bruised knuckles. I fell down, got fleeced, swindled, and defrauded. But somehow I survived.

However, life is too short to make all the mistakes yourself so later in my landlording career I became involved with the APIA. Here, I learnt that I was not the only bunny in the game. Other like-minded people had also learnt the hard way and had managed to fight through the thickets of legislation, taxation and frustration to relative success. They too carried the scars.

Within this business, some things stay the same. Over the years, human nature does not change, and landlording is quite often about human management. However, although the Residential Tenancies Act does date from 1986, there have been a number of amendments, deletions and additions to the Act over subsequent years. The interpretation of various clauses has also changed over time as both Governments and the Tenancy Tribunal adjudicators have veered in their beliefs interpretations and opinions. Other legislation in the form of taxation, health and safety requirements, and local council demands seem to present an unending series of non-stop challenges to every residential landlord.

As a consequence, no-one can sit back with a self-satisfied smile, relax, and say “I know it all”. The truism is that those who do claim to know it all probably don’t know what they don’t know. It does take constant effort, an open mind and willingness to listen and evaluate in order to keep up with current legislation, regulation and market changes.

Thus I do make a constant effort to attend the seminars and webinars presented by APIA. The presenters on such topics as current property market analysis and the potential impact of financial market challenges are vital in order to keep my rental business solvent and profitable.

When the opportunity to attend the one-day Hit The Ground Running seminar was presented, I knew that this would help me update my knowledge in order to survive and prosper in 2019. Although the seminar was deliberately aimed at beginner investors, by looking at the scheduled speakers and their subjects I could see that these people were worth listening to. I do not necessarily agree with every bit of their analysis of what is going on around us, but the opportunity to listen, consider and interact with these people was well worth one day of my time.

As an additional benefit, to meet with quite a number of enthusiastic young (and some not so young) people keen to start out or advance their property investment business was stimulating. We do need new blood in this industry, and they represent it.

If I go to a talk, a seminar or a presentation and then walk away afterwards thinking “Well I learnt one new thing out of that” then I consider I have spent my time well. No matter how long you have been in the business I do recommend that you take the time and make the effort to get out there, sit down among others, open your mind and absorb something new.

Old dogs can learn new tricks.

This is a guest blog submission from APIA member Peter Lewis. Guest submissions are a way for APIA members to share their views and experiences with each other and do not necessarily reflect the views and position of the APIA.



Peter Lewis 

Peter is the Vice President of the Auckland Property Investors' Association and sits on the board of the New Zealand Property Investors' Federation. 








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The Tenancy Practice Service and TPS Credit Control work closely with the Auckland Property Investors' Association. Our vision of bringing helpful resources, documents and high quality services to Auckland Property Investors and Property Managers is shared by APIA, so its a partnership that works well. 

The Auckland Property Investors' Association is a great organisation for those who want access to advice and information from a range of industry experts and partners. 

Mathieu Holt- Managing Director, The Tenancy Practice Service & TPS Credit Control
Through the Association I found the channels and methods to fund the purchase of property I never dreamed about. Grant Brown

All round it has been one of those things Neil and I felt was really worthwhile belonging to. We have learned so much it has just built our confidence in what we are doing.

Janice Bieleski
I read two articles in the monthly magazine that saved me over $5,000. That is my membership fee for the next 26 years and I am sure I will learn a whole lot more! John Duncan
Fantastic organisation. The networking opportunities are brilliant and provide us with information and opportunities that cannot be obtained anywhere else. We learn something new at every meeting and we've been in this game for nearly 20 years. Pauline and Gyanen Kumar

I find the information obtained from various APIA meetings very useful in guiding my own property investment and rental management.  I also enjoy the networking opportunities with like-minded investors.  I am inspired by other investors’ success and find the more experiences and knowledge that I share with others, the more confident I become.  

Thanks to all APIA event organizers and administrators for your brilliant work. 

Stella Shao

I like talking to people and learning from their experience because it gives me the confidence to invest well. I think it is a knowledge thing. I now know I am doing things the right way.

Stephen Weatherall

My APIA membership has become a total success.

Every time I attend a monthly or regional meeting I come away with so many useful and positive tips that have added value to my property investments and management.

Not only that, the website is a great place for practical advice and useful information. It has now evolved into an important resource for my business.

Talk about value for money! The discounts I have been getting at Bunnings when I present my APIA membership card have more than paid for my annual subscription!

Tim Duffett, Plan A Investments Limited