Masterclass: Talking Property Reports With Jake Isman

February 24, 2023

This month we are so excited to be with Jake Isman, the founder of Australia’s newest property report platform, Propti.

Propti is property reporting reimagined. It’s the fastest and easiest way to get strata reports, building and pest reports, valuations, depreciation reports, QS reports, and more.

Why did you start Propti?

We founded Propti to assist property professionals in obtaining high-quality reports from reliable inspectors, surveyors, and valuers.

Previously, I worked as a broker, assisting in private loan deals. I often needed help locating a valuer that suited the client's specific requirements: timing, location, or pricing. To address this issue, I began compiling a database of valuers to assist me in finding the right solution for our clients.

After extensive research, we gradually expanded our report offerings, meticulously selecting specific reports to cater to different needs. We've been growing ever since.

Is a building and pest inspection report necessary before purchasing property?

In my experience, a building and pest inspection report are crucial before purchasing a property. I've heard countless horror stories of people who didn't get an inspection done and discovered severe issues with their new property shortly after moving in.

We now recommend inspections for houses and apartments, especially for new builds. Even in new construction, our inspectors have identified several issues.

Unfortunately, the industry has a bias problem, as agents selling a property may be more likely to downplay any problems or defects. That's why our focus is on the purchaser, providing accurate information so they can make an informed decision.

Knowing the defects or issues can also give you the bargaining power to negotiate the property's price. After all, no one wants to invest their life savings into a property only to find out later that it has significant problems. So, yes, a building and pest inspection report is necessary before purchasing any property.

How about a strata inspection report?

A strata inspection report is crucial when purchasing a property in a strata complex, which applies to townhouses and apartments. The report provides a comprehensive overview of what living in the property is like; it includes any past renovations and future renovation plans, the costs involved, minutes from the strata meetings, maintenance and insurance fees, and more.

When you come across an apartment that seems to be priced significantly lower than the market standard, it's usually a red flag that there is a special levy coming up. This means that major renovations are scheduled for the property, and the seller is selling at a lower price to account for the extra costs.

I must emphasise the importance of proper due diligence when purchasing a property. Investing in a strata inspection report that costs $295 can save you from making an expensive mistake. The report provides valuable insights into potential issues or costs you may have yet to be aware of. So, a strata inspection report is necessary when purchasing property in a strata complex.

When picking an inspector, what should buyers be looking for?

Selecting the right inspector is crucial for getting a reliable and accurate report on a property. One of the most important factors is the inspector's experience level in the industry.

Unfortunately, there is little regulation when it comes to becoming an inspector, meaning there are varying levels of experience and expertise in the field. At Propti, we understand the importance of working with experienced and trusted inspectors. Our rigorous vetting process ensures that all our inspectors are knowledgeable and have a proven track record of delivering high-quality reports.

When choosing an inspector, it's important to consider their attention to detail and ability to communicate their findings effectively. A good inspector should be able to provide you with a comprehensive report that is easy to understand and outline issues or concerns with the property.

Overall, selecting the right inspector requires careful consideration and due diligence. Working with a reputable provider like Propti, you can rest assured your report is in good hands.

What is the most common issue building and pest inspectors pick up on houses?

Most of the issues our inspectors pick up are minor defects such as cracked tiles in a bathroom or paint issues on the walls or ceiling stains. We have had inspectors pick up rising damp, termites, moister in walls and more. You order building and pest inspections because it is essential to know what’s wrong with the property before you buy it.

How about strata inspectors on apartments?

It is difficult to single out a common issue that an inspector picks up as each strata building is unique. Understanding the key areas to look out for in the report is better. These consist of but are not limited to:

  • The meeting minutes from the corporate body meetings
  • Records of building defects & past, present, and "possible" future costs of maintaining the strata building/ the common property
  • Any insurance and non-compliant issues
  • Contributions to the capital works (sinking fund) and administrative fund
  • Any special levies.

These are the common things to look out for when assessing different properties. Getting a better understanding of the market will help you better understand if there are any outliers.

One of the most common questions we get asked as conveyancers is, can you rely on the inspection provided by the sales agent, or do you need to obtain your own independent appraisal? What's your view on this?

We strongly recommend that buyers obtain their own independent inspection report rather than relying on one provided by the vendor or agent. In such situations, there can be a clear conflict of interest, as the agent's primary goal is to represent their client's interests, not the buyer's.

By hiring your own inspector, you can ensure that you receive an unbiased and thorough report on the property's condition. We've seen cases where buyers have been misled by a report provided by the vendor or their agent, only to find out later that there were significant issues with the property.

This is why it's always better to have a second opinion from a professional not associated with the seller. By doing so, you can make a more informed decision and avoid potentially costly surprises down the road.

Another common question is if you are buying into strata, do you need a build and pest inspection and a strata inspection?

Ordering a strata report is critical in assessing any strata property. As for a building and pest inspection, it depends on the individual property and its location. If the unit lacks a garden or outdoor area, then a pest inspection may not be necessary, as most strata managers already have pest control measures.

However, if the unit has a large garden that backs onto bushlands or a golf course, it's advisable to order a pest inspection.

Regarding building inspections, we now recommend that our clients purchase one for their strata properties. We've heard too many stories of apartment blocks suffering from creaks, leaks, and other significant damages. A building inspection can provide peace of mind and help detect issues that may be missed in a strata report.

Our general advice is to order a strata report first. If it reveals any concerns about the building or unit, it's wise to follow up with a building inspection for a more thorough examination.

Apart from the standard build and pest inspection or strata inspection, are there any other reports buyers should be arranging?

When investing in a property, it is highly recommended to consider organising a tax depreciation schedule post-settlement to optimise your returns.

In addition, if issues arise from a building inspection you ordered, there are inspections for specific purposes, such as roof or rising damp inspections.

If you are selling your property and it has a pool, it is crucial to note that selling an uncertified pool will be clearly stated in the contract of sale. As such, certifying the pool before the sale is highly advisable to avoid any potential issues.

What is a depreciation report, and why is it important?

A depreciation report is a schedule that outlines the tax deductions that can be claimed on your investment property. It's important because it helps you maximise your tax savings by identifying and calculating the depreciation of the building and its assets over time. A detailed depreciation report can ensure you're claiming all the deductions you're entitled to and maximise your return on investment.

Working in the property industry gives you an insight into different areas and market trends. What suburbs or spots in NSW do you love right now?

As someone who's always keeping an eye on the property market, I love a few spots in NSW at the moment. One area that's caught my eye is the Northern Beaches - it's such a beautiful part of the world, and some fantastic properties are available there.

There has also been a lot of interest in the up-and-coming suburb of Parramatta. There's so much development happening in the area, and it's becoming a hub for business and entertainment.

I am also keeping an eye on suburbs like Paddington, Manly, Cronulla, Balmain, and Glebe, to name a few. Each location has unique characteristics and growth potential, and it's exciting to see what happens in the future.

Follow along for more from Propti on Instagram at or

A special thanks to Jake for chatting with us. Stay tuned to find out about our next guest on the Masterclass.

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