Hayden Groves REIA
Former REIWA President and leading Western Australian agent, Hayden Groves, brings an impressive resume and an agent-focused strategy to the table at his new appointment as REIA President. Image – REIA
  • Hayden Groves, who was previously the President of REIWA, succeeds Adrian Kelly
  • Affordability a priority he says
  • Given the impact of the pandemic, recent flooding, likely interest rate rises and the upcoming federal election, his first year will be far from quiet

In December 2021, Hayden Groves was elected President of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, REIA. He succeeds Adrian Kelly and will be supported by former REINSW President Leanne Pilkington

In an interview with Mr Groves, we looked back to his first few months in the role and forward to the future for Australian Real Estate.

REIA is involved with the floods over east, and the upcoming federal election is likely to define his first year.

During the election period, REIA prepares for changes to legislation and advocates all parties in the industry. Another essential item for Mr Groves is the recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic. As we push for things to go “back to normal,” REIA provides much input.

Affordability top priority

Of course, being the President of an organisation like REIA comes with many responsibilities.

“I have always been interested in advocacy,” Mr Groves explained.

“As real estate has such an impact on all Australians, being an advocate for affordability is important to me, helping all Australians to have a roof above their heads.”

Hayden Groves, REIA President

The above influence that REIA has is very similar to its state counterparts, and Hayden explained the collaborations and differences between the institutes.

“The REIA is very much a policy developer and advocacy body and primarily focuses on these affairs. It is also involved with some entertainment events, but effectively, the main focus is on the policy side of things,” he said.

When looking at the state bodies, he explained that they are more commercially focused and offer information, contracts, forms, and training.

Mr Groves himself was previously the President of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA), which has over 90% of all real estate agents signed up to the body – the highest percentage of any state or territory.

Commercial real estate to increase among family investors

sydney commercial
Commercial property might become more common for Muma nd Dad investors, says Mr Groves. Image – Canva.

Mr Groves believes the commercial sector of real estate is an essential one.

As President of REIA, he would like to increase the offering that supports the smaller commercial agencies and have that filtered down to the state institutes.

He believes that commercial and industrial real estate will increase its popularity amongst family type investors because tax laws and residential tenancy laws make it more demanding to the smaller investors, who could invest their money elsewhere.

If this trend continues, more opportunities for new and existing real estate agencies to market to the industrial and commercial fields will become an exciting option to explore.

Residential will also peak this year due to inflation and rising interest rates, so Mr Groves believes.

“Queensland, NSW, and Tasmania are already slowing down a bit, and the floods in Queensland will have some effect on that,” he mentioned.

“Victoria should do well this year, as they recover from the extensive amounts of Covid-19 related lockdowns that had endured over the last two years.

“Perth is undervalued. However, as Perth opens their border, we will see what impact this will have on prices rising in WA as investors enter the market.”

With the above in mind, I asked Mr Groves what the important things for investors are, and he explained that affordability and policies around property tax favouring investors are probably high on the agenda for investors.

“We have to remember that 80% of the Australian investors are probably mum and dad type of investors, with 70% of that 80% only owning one property, usually residential.

“As previously mentioned, there might be a trend where investors prefer commercial rather than residential, and all this comes back to tax laws and policies.”

“Where the market is not investor-friendly, due to several factors, availability will be lower. As a result, the rental prices will be higher, and nobody wins.”

Thank you

Finally, looking back to the last couple of years, Mr Groves expressed his gratitude to all the real estate professionals across the country.

“Over the last couple of years, real estate professionals have been heroes to our communities in many ways. The commercial professionals that had to assist with rent relief negotiations and the property managers did it without complaints.

The residential property managers have managed challenging situations for their landlords and tenants. Imagine the arrears processes and the number of payment plans they had to manage.”

He added that real estate professionals in all different niches had their challenges, and it was impressive to see how the industry stood up to the challenge and made the best out of a very challenging situation. He noted how real estate agencies give back to the local communities, such as by sponsoring local football and other community clubs.

“I would like to thank them,” he said very proudly.

To watch the full interview, click on the below. 

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