[Author – Tim ODwyer]
A New South Wales client of mine was interested in investing in New Zealand property through a buyers’ advocate. He sought my advice on the appointment form of a company he had come across. I had some immediate doubts, and warned my client off.
Next day Nigel, the company’s director, audaciously phoned me to ask what my concerns were. I in turn asked for Nigel’s qualifications, what real estate licences he held and details of the service he provided.
Here’s the Gospel according to Nigel:
- I’ve been working as an agent most of my life.
- I’ve been working within the property investment field for the last four years including running property investment courses and training,
- I am a sub-agent. Ah sorry, in Victoria I have a branch manager’s licence. When I’m using a licence or when I’m working under a real estate company, I work under another company which is more of a large scale internet-based real estate company.
- I don’t have a licence of any sort for any other State in Australia.
- You don’t require a licence to buy or sell property in New Zealand.
- I’m a researcher. That’s fundamentally what I do. I research the market.
- The reason I do buyer’s advocacy is very simple. I know I can go in and resource with contacts on the ground to buy what I consider to be the best property in a given location for a client.
- I’ve gone into business myself for one fundamental reason. I’m concerned that a lot of people get taken in by marketing companies who don’t have the client’s interest at heart.
- I’m in this business for the long term but I want to work with professional people who think outside the square.
- Fundamentally I got into this to try and help people with what I’m doing which is using my own knowledge base to do that.
- I don’t get kickbacks or referral commissions. The only person I charge a fee to is the client.
- I’ve been to New Zealand on numerous occasions.
- I like New Zealand because it provides positive cash flow with reasonably high growth.
- If we find a suitable New Zealand property, we try and put a hold on the property. I then fly over, look at the property and assess it before we recommend the client go through with the deal.
- There may be benefits you could see in being involved in something like this yourself possibly from a solicitor’s point of view.
But wait, there was more.
When Nigel spotted an item about his company on Neil Jenman’s website, he emailed my client this gobbledegook (where the grammar and spelling have been largely corrected – out of concern for sensitive readers):
“I have been open with you from the beginning. I even told you to seek advice from your solicitor and I then phoned him. In the meantime Tim O ‘Dwyer has gone on Neil Jenman’s site asking about me and guess what negative response? What a surprise! Neil is negative to everyone except himself. If Tim had wanted to ask any questions of me I would have been happy to answer them. Remember he does not like Steve McKnight either. He is after all a Real Estate Agent. This is how he achieves his publicity. The period he refers to I had just started running property investment courses. That is all I did. If you are involved with every aspect of the transaction, how can I be doing the wrong thing by you? To suggest that I bob up at different companies is rubbish. I have mainly run my own business. What I have told you is true. There is a need for someone to watch the spruikers, however I’m not one of them. I have never met Neil Jenman. He could not know what I do.
I realise that you will probably not use my service now that I have been rubbished like this. However I will seek legal advice on where I stand. I think it is a pity that someone can unfairly hang you out to dry without knowing the facts . I do not blame you in any way. You have tried to research what I have said. I work as a buyer’s advocate to stop people from getting ripped off, and now I am accused of being one of those people. I have written to you to counter the negative response from Jenman.”