A new column in The Real Estate Voice, featuring the experience and opinions of leading industry proponents.

Mandy Welling

Role: President
Company: Real Estate Institute of Tasmania 

What attracted you to the real estate industry (and when)?

I joined the real estate industry in Tasmania in October 2003.

A fascination with how other people presented their homes, why they chose to live where they did and what components drove our market were just a few of the reasons I was drawn to real estate.

What do you love most about the industry?

The diversity, without a doubt!  The human element; why people make the choices and decisions they do.

The skillset involved in surviving through a tough market and the excitement of a buoyant market.

What do you consider your proudest moment or greatest achievement (in the industry)? 

I have been a registered trainer with the REIT for about 11 years, and I adore that. But staking claim as the second female President in the Institute’s 70-plus years of operation has to take precedence. 

Biggest challenges in the industry? How has the pandemic affected the way people buy, sell and rent property?

As a state, we have been so terribly lucky with regards to COVID-19.

Our market cruised right by the pandemic and exploded as though it didn’t exist; a mere speed bump in our journey.

The safe haven that has been created in Tasmania is certainly helping us here.

Hobart’s median sale price recently ventured above Brisbane and previously Darwin, Adelaide and Perth.

Ten years ago, if someone had told us we would only be behind Melbourne and Sydney, with regard to the highest median sale prices in the country, I’d have thought that comment was in jest.

Latest real estate/economic trends affecting your state or region?

We have a severe shortage of stock, in both the rental and sale markets, at the moment — and this has been an issue for some time.

This has assisted in creating the upward pressure in our market.  A shortage of available vacant residential land is adding to this severe shortage. 

How would you improve the process and incentives for property ownership, from an owner-occupier and investment perspective?

Land tax has been a concern for investors of late, with extra costs due to property values increasing dramatically.

Stamp duty is another cost associated across both spectrums and could certainly do with reform.

For developers of land and homes, the Planning Scheme has created many headaches and proven to be an arduous process for many.

The First Home Builder Grants have had a magnificent uptake and any extension to those would be a positive for our state. 

What’s the biggest misconception people have when buying or building a home?

Lack of knowledge here seems to be the biggest issue. We find quite often those who have chosen to build are not aware of the time constraints, with regards to council approvals, and assume that once they secure their land, the ‘build’ can start almost immediately.

The struggle becomes evident when home builders are trying to manage rents/mortgages and progress payments to builders.

In relation to buying homes, those who have had transactions in the past can underestimate how much our legislation has changed and the process involved.

It’s most important for the professional agent to educate buyers — and provide as much information as possible.

What tips would you give for future-proofing an investment?

Tenant selection! The additional time taken by professional property managers is a must.

At the moment in Tasmania, there has been a significant shift into the regional areas for investors, but it is important to understand that this is a current trend.

What should prospective buyers look for when choosing a property?

That is a difficult one to answer as everyone is buying for different reasons.

The best advice I could give is research, research and research some more.  If you are considering an area you are not familiar with, do your research.  

In terms of technology and business interaction, what do you think buying a home will be like in 2030?

Technology has been a magnificent tool for the real estate industry: allowing buyers to ‘short list’ their choices via videos, interactive floorplans, etc. This is a time saver for all involved (vendor, buyer and agent).

In the coming years, I expect new levels of technology, with regards to virtual tours, to allow us to safely secure a piece of real estate with as little risk as possible.

It’s hard to believe the internet really only started to have an impact on real estate in the late 1980s! What a long way we have come, so I can only imagine how far we will go.