Is It Up-Hill or Down-Hill?

Posted by Auckland Property Management Ltd on August 20, 2021 | Property Management

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Property Management General Manager Celia Burbery discusses psychology and sociology ideas in relation to residential property management.

Everyone has their own perception and it’s hard to make predictions especially about the future, but I am interested in looking at the residential rental market through the lens of Malcolm Gladwell, an author, public speaker, and journalist with a big interest in sociology and psychology.

In a recent read, Malcolm Gladwell discusses the difference between hierarchy and network systems. For example, a hierarchy system has one person in command with everything planned very carefully, compared to a network system where there are collective leaders instead of just one (which is more of a modern arrangement in today’s world.)

How does this relate to the residential industry? Well decades ago, the idea that you might rent your home to a stranger for a few days (as with Airbnb) would have sounded nuts. However now in a world that is comfortable with a network system, comfortable with the idea of being flexible, it makes sense. We have seen over the last few years there has been more interest in holiday letting, on Waiheke Island in particular which has now become an ‘overseas’ holiday of choice.

The housing market is one that benefits from a network approach. With less housing available, it needs more people doing many things to continue to make it a viable option for investors, those who have one or two properties, and also renters. It’s about lobbying government for changes, it’s about having a say when the new RMA is proposed, it’s about making it easier to build property, it’s about keeping the rental market productive, it’s about encouraging investors so there are properties to rent, and it’s about keeping properties in a good standard to attract tenants. The market needs a collective approach.

The increase in people working from home is a ‘network’ system that is here to stay. Post 2020 we have all learnt a big lesson about remote work and flexible work. We had a system that had been in place for hundreds of years and now more workplaces allow for flexible working arrangements. This also means property owners may need to think about how attractive their property is for tenants who may work more from home. Is Fibre installed? Is there enough space for people to work from home? These are things people may be thinking about when looking for a property to rent.

So is the industry up-hill, or down-hill? I think that it depends on your perception and your openness to opportunities, working collectively, and thinking differently.

Kind regards

Celia Burbery

General Manager – Property Management
Auckland Property Management

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