14:00 PM, 13th February 2023, About A year ago
If you are an ethical landlord with concerns about how the private rented sector is viewed and care about your tenants, then the Association of Professional Property Investors (APPI) could be for you.
The organisation’s Michelle Montgomery says there is a need for ethical landlords to work together to change the perception of the sector which has been tarnished by criminal landlords.
Michelle told Property118: “Property investor and landlord Lindsay Hopkins is the founder of the association, and he has also been a property educator for many years.
“We originally started with the concept of creating an association for property educators to ensure that students were being taught by reputable mentors.
“But partway through, as we started to develop it, he decided that he wanted to pivot and create an association for investors first.”
Michelle adds: “We see constantly landlords getting a bad rap.
“There are frequent news stories about the landlord sector, but only about the bad landlords and what they are doing wrong.”
Michelle continued: “So, our hope and our mission is to bring together and create a collective voice for the ethical and reputable landlords will be recognised for the professional standards they maintain as members of the association.
“We also intend to attempt to either encourage the less than great landlords to either improve what they’re doing or push them out of the marketplace, if at all possible.”
In addition to shifting the public’s negative perception of landlords and providing a professional association for ethical landlords, the support and advice on offer to members of the APPI will provide something for everyone.
Michelle explains that lots of landlords at all stages of their property journey have joined because they feel there is a need for such an organisation.
She says: “More experienced landlords have shared with us that property investing can be a lonely journey, so having an association of like-minded and trustworthy individuals to network with is invaluable.”
Those who are new to the world of property investment benefit from offerings such as access to advice from more experienced investors and a listing of reliable preferred traders.
Additionally, those who may not have experience as entrepreneurs or business owners find the provision of core business information, such as documents and videos, very helpful.
Michelle said: “We have a monthly networking meeting which is called ‘Solve my property problem’, and that is where members can bring an issue, a challenge or an opportunity they have to the group.
“You can get inputs from several people, including APPI board members, which often helps to find a solution or resolution that wasn’t otherwise apparent.
“There’s an element of assurance and comfort that may not be present in other networking environments because the meetings are members only, and all members agree to abide by our Code of Conduct.”
Michelle adds: “Essentially, it’s a dual mission of wanting to make sure that landlords are treated properly, the ones who are reputable.
“I’m pleasantly surprised at how many great people I have encountered so far in this last year are interested in really making the market and the sector better for everyone.
“They know that there’s enough business out there, there are enough properties, there are enough tenants, and they really want to improve it for everyone.”
She continued: “We are continuously striving to create synergistic relationships with organisations who share our ethos because, as an independent association, our vision is, rather than create further competition in the industry, to create a collaborative space to the benefit of all.”
The APPI’s work also extends to ensuring that tenants are treated fairly and helping them deal with landlord issues if necessary and, in future, the organisation will begin lobbying local councils and the government on behalf of landlords.
Michelle says: “But I think that we will be positioned to approach that a little bit differently than what may be currently being done.
“Because we are a professional association, we can with assurance state that our members are experienced, ethical landlords and that our input on what is being proposed or mandated is on behalf of a professional body.”
Ahead of this, to assist members in understanding important but cumbersome information, such as the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper, there is a working group within the association who reviewed the information in full, and then provided a summary of it to the members.
The APPI started in November 2021 and has grown to 60 members – with each new member vetted to ensure they are ethical – and the group is keen to expand.
Michelle says: “The catchphrase we have is, ‘The more we are, the louder we are’.
“So, as we get more members, we are able to effect more positive change.”
She adds: “We’re a professional association which is different than ‘just’ a networking group.
“We encourage and facilitate our members getting to know each other in many ways.
“Our members can find a ‘buddy’ in their geographical area, or who invests in their area or strategy, via the interactive map on our website. We also have private Facebook and WhatsApp Groups in which our members can communicate.”
There’s a lot more information about the Association of Professional Property Investors on their website for ethical landlords who want to network with similarly minded professionals – with an online networking event about joining APPI that is scheduled for 21 February at 8pm.
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