ARAMA is the industry’s insurance policy

15 Mar 2024
Words Grantlee Kieza Resort News

ARAMA is the industry’s insurance policy

Leading property lawyer Frank Higginson says ARAMA is the “single voice of reason” that the management rights industry needs for protection.

“If ARAMA is not at the table, then the management rights industry has no protection from those who would seek to change it,” said Mr Higginson, Director, Hynes Legal.

“We all see what happens to fragmented industries – they can get run over by any number of things, not the last of which is regulatory change.

“With membership numbers comes bargaining position and influence. But the thing that gets me the most about people who own management rights not being ARAMA members is that they more than likely have their life savings tied up in these businesses and the membership fee for ARAMA is a very small price to pay as a form of insurance to make sure that their investment is protected.”

Mr Higginson said the “protection from undue or untoward legislative change” had been one of the biggest achievements of ARAMA and praised its advocacy during recent threats to cut terms from 25 years to 10 and even three.

“I’ve seen the business of management rights grow bigger and bigger over the last 20 years,” he said.

“Like anything, if you provide good service and provide value for money you’re going to be fine, but if you’re lazy and sloppy and take things for granted and don’t do what you’re required to do in the job there’s going to be consequences.

“I must have had hundreds or even thousands of clients over the years. You know the ones who will do well in the business because they just deliver. They are communicative, they engage, they know what’s going on, they are professional and they just look after people.

“That ultimately pays for itself in the end when they’re looking for a sale, or a top up, or other support from their committee.”

Michael Philpott, from MR Sales, who has spent more than 40 years in real estate and brokered some of the biggest-ever MLR deals, says ARAMA provides a forum to “protect, grow and educate the industry” and provide access to like-minded professionals and organisations that have considerable experience and want to add value to the industry.

“Additionally, as a collective group we have a voice with government that is heard. Without ARAMA that voice is insignificant in the context of politics. ARAMA is very much an insurance policy for our industry.

“It has been the voice that has kept the industry alive and continued to thrive, lifting the level of professionalism along the way.

“ARAMA also protects the industry from discussions over building classifications that have the ability to close a number of management rights. It is essential to the long-term protection and survival of the industry and is very much a cheap insurance policy for every member’s investment in the management rights sector.”

One of Australia’s most experienced and successful MLR specialists, Alex Cook, first came to Australia as a DJ and music promoter, but he has recorded even more hits in property.

Now a director of ResortBrokers, Brisbane-based Mr Cook has sold more than $250 million in MLR with some of the biggest sales in Australia and has been appointed to the ARAMA board.

“I’ve always been a big proponent of ARAMA, and if you are active in the management rights industry, I see it as your duty to be an ARAMA member,” Mr Cook said.

“Management rights is built on legislation, and legislation can be changed. It’s critical to have a professional body protecting and defending the industry against those who would benefit from its demise. A lot of people out there don’t like management rights – they don’t get it or they’re jealous of it and they try to make changes to it, and that can devalue the industry.

“ARAMA does a wonderful job representing the industry and getting our position across. Even experienced managers need to consider ARAMA as an insurance policy for all the money they have invested in the industry.”

Taking ARAMA’s advice is essential David Ekberg teed off into the world of management rights three years ago and the former golf pro has come a fair way since then. He’s now onto his second property – the lovely Sanctuary Beach Resort in family-friendly Currumbin.

David, who helped golf become a big hit in Warsaw, the capital city of Poland, is making one massive drive after another to put in another great round at his second management rights property.

He doesn’t get to play as much golf as he used to, but he and his wife Eva made their first management rights property Beaches on Wave at Mermaid Beach a real winner, and now David has another star at Sanctuary Beach. He says taking advice from ARAMA is essential for anyone in the business.

“People are spending $1 million and sometimes a lot more to get into management rights, which is a huge amount of money,” David said.

“I did an ARAMA course and went to one of their training days. I asked the CEO of ARAMA, Trevor Rawnsley about getting help in the business and he recommended Mike O’Farrell.

Mike is a board member of ARAMA and has a big complex called Riverside in Brisbane.

“Mike gave us advice right from the beginning, even making sure we got the right complex. I looked at a few properties that I thought would be good, but he said ‘no’ to them for various reasons.

“When we bought into Beaches on Wave, he helped us sort out a lot of things early on to help it run smoothly.”

David and Eva had a break of about five or six months in between selling Beaches on Wave and buying at Sanctuary Beach, and in that time, David helped at a few different resorts.

“You see that service is so important. There is a massive difference between the standard of some properties and the way they run them,” he said. “You can tell straight away which managers have gone to the ARAMA training courses and which ones haven’t.

“Believe me, the ARAMA courses are money well spent and make a huge difference.”

While many in the management rights industry might see ARAMA membership as the opportunity to network with peers or receive industry updates, the association also delivers a regular schedule of educational material, seminars, and training events.

The association also does a great deal of work behind the scenes as was evidenced in the clean-up after recent floods in Queensland and NSW.

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