Goodwins profile: Katy Walker – Company and Trust Accountant

It’s been 30 years since Katy started her career in real estate. She first joined Goodwins in 2001, overseeing trust accounting for both property management and the sales side of the business. After a gap in proceedings, she rejoined Goodwins in 2020. Katy might be a numbers person, but she loves the human touches that come with a family-owned business.

Goodwins profile: Katy Walker – Company and Trust Accountant

Katy dislikes the spotlight. “I’m not a very interesting person – I tend to just look at the numbers,” she said when this writer called, perhaps hoping to throw me off the scent.

But people whose instinct is to deflect attention from themselves are usually the ones worth talking to – especially when they’ve been in the industry for 30+ years.

Katy might be all about the numbers, but she also loves the cyclical nature of markets and what that looks like in the trust account.

Q: What’s the biggest industry change you’ve seen, Katy?

KW: “Sales – the dollar value of homes keeps rising. Certainly, there have been peaks and declines over the years. But when the market stalls, it does not necessarily translate to a large drop in prices. You wait for the market to stabilise again and it will start to grow, it’s fascinating to watch. Property is a very stable investment – you rarely lose money unless you do something really silly.”

Q: You rejoined Goodwins after a stint away. What brought you back?

KW: “It’s lovely being back – I’ve done a full circle. I think the main difference with Goodwins is the intimacy you feel being part of a small team. They like to know more about their clients and staff. They (Goodwins) genuinely care about the people they deal with. This approach is also good practice from a commercial perspective.  Another factor that has come into play in recent years is AML (anti-money laundering) regulations you’ve got to know your clients – that you’re dealing with honest people, and indirectly by doing AML you are looking after the wider community.

Q: You say that cowboys have been rooted out of the property management sector. How so?

“Reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) have changed the relationship between property managers and tenants. There’s a lot we need to get right as property professionals. Our clients want to know that their properties are managed professionally and compliance is taken care of because there are consequences if things aren’t done properly. I think it’s made the sector more professional because cowboys are soon found out. Goodwins have always been keen on their property management staff holding a real estate licence and being trained on changes to legislation. It’s all about professionalism.”