An Auckland teacher who spoke out about life as a landlord to shatter the "evil property investor" cliche says she's delighted with the "phenomenal" response to her message.
Sian Draper took to Facebook to debunk the belief that landlords are all rich people who charge their tenants too much rent.
Her post discussed how she had scrimped and saved and sacrificed luxuries to buy a rental property three hours outside of Auckland.
"Over the past few years I've got a bit upset, like a lot of other property investors have, over the popular narrative that we don't all deserve what we get, that we're getting rich on the back of our poor hard-working tenants," she told the Herald.
"I wanted to get the message out that it's not luck, we're not rich, we're ordinary people who have ordinary jobs who are prepared to sacrifice to put in really hard work to get a little bit ahead," she said.
"We're not who you think we are."
Draper said she'd received a "phenomenal response" from other landlords since going public. Many said her story mirrored their own experience of saving to buy a rental property.
"Most of us aren't mega rich people with heaps and heaps of properties."
Draper, a self-confessed "cheapskate", said she did not own a cellphone, made her own clothes and "I don't buy the latest gadgets".
She bought her first house in Christchurch before heading off on a frugal OE that included continuing to pay off her student loans.
She sold that property in 2007 and bought a small two-bedroom flat in Auckland but says she missed out on large capital gains.
Last year she bought a "very rundown, almost derelict" rental property three hours out of Auckland.
"For a year everything I had - all my energy, all my money, all my time, went into slowly bit by bit bringing that property up to scratch until I had an asset that would be income-producing."
Draper's advice to people desperate to get a foot on the property ladder was to be practical.
"Figure out what sacrifices you are prepared to make."
The mistake most people made was to believe that they could buy a house and continue to enjoy their current lifestyle.
But previous generations had sacrificed to buy a house without a driveway, or without having any money left to buy furniture.
"It's never been easy. There's always been sacrifices to make."