New Zealand Property Investors' Federation

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Property Brokers advertisement complaint upheld

A radio advertisement for Property Brokers did not meet the standards of financial advertising, the Advertising Standards Authority says.

By Susan Edmunds

In the ad, Tim Mordaunt promoted his company's services for those buying and selling property.

He said: “There’s no doubt that in the long term people should be thinking of their own super scheme. The retirement age will rise at some stage and who knows, in 20 to 30 years, where that will be. Now is the time to buy an investment property.  Prices are affordable, interest rates very low. Your tenant will pay off your mortgage and bingo, when you retire you have income.”

The complainant, S Atkinson said the ad offered financial and investing advice without the credentials to do so.

Atkinson said of Mordaunt's statement: "I believe this provides inaccurate and an overly-skewed view of property investing and plays on people's concern for security in retirement due to current political discussions.

"I was of the impression that to provide investing advice a professional needs to have specific credentials. As this company is advertising real estate and Property management services while they may be in a related industry I would not have thought they should be offering financial, superannuation and investing advice."

Property Brokers replied to the authority with details of relevant qualifications and said:

"I have been involved in real estate transactions since 1976, I have personally sold investment properties to hundreds of buyers, I have managed their portfolios and I know that the advice I gave on the radio really works.

"I write my own radio advertisements and over the years I have been asked to speak to many public meetings and groups about residential and commercial property investment. I was the President of the Manawatu branch of the Real Estate Institute for some 15 years.

"I know I do have both the experience and qualifications to advise people on property investment. It is people who don't take sound advice that get into trouble."

The authority's complaints board said some of the wording in the advertisement could be considered investment advice, which it said was the domain of qualified investment professionals.

It was particularly concerned with the statement that said: “Your tenant will pay off your mortgage and bingo, when you retire you have income,” which the board said strongly implied that a financial return was guaranteed if people bought an investment property. It said that was misleading as no such surety could be given.

The board said the advertisement did not meet the requirements of the code of financial advertising and also ruled that the advertisement did not meet the high standard of social responsibility required of advertisement of this kind.

The complaint was upheld.

Tags: property brokers - tim mordaunt