Verve chats to Kathryn Robertson about life and apartment investments.
Kathryn Robertson has lived on the North Shore for over 35 years. Hailing from Dunedin originally, she grew up living from Long Bay to Takapuna, and most bays in-between. She has been selling property for Premium Real Estate on the Devonport peninsula and beyond, since 2011.
What is it like being a real estate agent?
Much harder than people think! It’s quite literally a 24 hours a day, seven days a week job. I have to switch my mobile off when I go to bed so that I miss the calls and text messages that people send during the night (and they seriously do!). There’s a fair amount of stress involved that we take on from vendors and purchasers, and we are held highly accountable for our actions, as we should be.
What have you learnt working as an agent?
I’ve learnt that selling residential property isn’t so much about houses, but more about people and psychology. It’s important to treat people with respect, be factual, knowledgeable and truthful, and help clients and customers as much as possible through what can be a very stressful and personal journey. Clear, open communication is paramount, I never play games with vendors or purchasers, and I always give my honest opinion when asked – which can sometimes be not to sell or buy in some situations!
What’s the current market like?
We are seeing a huge increase in apartment developments across Auckland, and demand remains high for a good product in a sound location, particularly for fringe CBD and the suburbs. The last two years has seen strong interest levels in suburban apartments for owner-occupiers but also to meet demand for rental stock. There are now a number of apartments at varying stages of development, and many are seen as an option for first-home buyers.
What sort of homework should investors be doing before parting with their money?
As well as researching rental history and market trends, look at the actual floor size of the property and its layout, the number of bedrooms and availability of car parking. Consideration needs to be given to appliances and additional amenities. It also pays to look outside of the complex too, and consider everything from schools, universities, public transport to parks and shops.
What kind of challenges might a rookie investor face?
Firstly, you need to decide on your investment objective. Is it capital gain or cashflow that you want to focus on? It’s really important to understand the cashflow requirements, have a good handle on costs and potential for those costs to increase, seek legal advice from a lawyer, and understand the time and energy required to manage, tenant, maintain, and finance it.
You will find Kathryn at the Devonport Premium office, next door to the Devonport PostShop at 4/18 Clarence St. She lives in Hauraki, Takapuna, with her husband and two kids, is a proud supporter of a number of local community and sporting groups, and she loves what she does. Kathryn is always happy to give her time to advise on any property related matters.
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