Mr Skipper, who founded Dunedin Property Management in 2020, was awarded 2023 Industry Influencer at the national Property Management Conference in Wellington, recognising an individual who had a positive impact on the industry and created change for the better in the past year.
The acknowledgement was a welcome but unexpected accolade, Mr Skipper saying he "didn’t think a little company from Dunedin would have an impact like this".
The award recognised the work Dunedin Property Management was doing together with property owners to provide safe and secure housing for whānau in the city, and for its influence on the national property management sector through the use of te reo Māori.
"There is a negative stereotype that landlords do not care about their tenants. Our owners support our vision to provide safe, secure and warm homes for our community.
"From my experience, if we treat tenants well, they care for the house and they pay their rent. This means that the tenants are happier and the owners are happier. It’s a win-win. In the end, it’s all about people - he tangata, he tangata, he tangata [it is people, it is people, it is people]," Mr Skipper said.
More than 50% of Maori people rented properties, meaning it was a big part of the rental population.
"I thought, ‘why aren’t we doing more?’," he said.
There were three, including Mr Skipper, in the Dunedin Property Management team, soon to be four.
Continued growth was on the cards, along with staying true to Mr Skipper’s values.
He returned from the conference feeling "reinvigorated".
"For me, it’s not just about money, it’s about making an impact, making a difference, doing something good."