From Construction to Buyer’s Advocate

Melinda Jennison has a long history as a successful property investor and developer so moving into a career as a buyers agent was always going to be a natural fit for her.

She purchased her first home at 18  and after marrying a builder quickly began to ramp up her portfolio of investment properties and got heavily involved in construction and property development throughout Brisbane.

After running their own construction business, Melinda and her husband decided they wanted to move their careers in a different direction and started to look at ways they could create their own unique buyer’s agent service

“We felt that we wanted to have a change in direction and we were at a point in life where we financially could afford to do what we wanted to do, as opposed to working the grind and doing something that we didn’t love.”

“I actually started to work with another buyer’s agency company initially and I decided that it was something that I was really passionate about. I was helping property investors by identifying high performing investment grade locations and purchasing development sites for high net worth individuals, then managing the process of developing those properties to build equity quickly.”

“After working with another company, I decided that the best way forward was to start under our own brand. At that time I reached out to Ben and found the Buyer’s Agent Institute and that was really the starting point for the business that we created.”

Given her knowledge and experience in the Brisbane market, Melinda is focused in that geographical location only but helps a range of clients.

“We don’t buy outside of the area that we know so intricately, but we help not only buyers that want to buy a home, an investment property, or a development site, but we also help people who want to buy and renovate, buy, knockdown and rebuild, or buy and develop. We find both investors and homebuyers are interested in these types of opportunities.”

“So we’re not only buyer’s agents, but we can also look after the project management process for our Clients by overseeing any improvements through construction, renovation or redevelopment.”

Even though she had plenty of industry knowledge, it’s been hard work getting the business established in the early years.

“Since August 2018 when we officially launched, there’s been a lot of very long hours, a lot of very hard work, a lot of sleepless nights, but more importantly a lot of reward in the ability to help others and understanding that our skill set is quite unique.”

“Those that do engage our services to get such value out of the process. And I think when you can see the results that people can achieve as a result of engaging our professional team, then that’s really rewarding from the perspective of a business owner.”

“We’ve built the business now to a team of five. We’ve employed two other full-time buyer’s agents as well as Scott and myself and we’ve also got an executive assistant who works in the administration side of the business.”

Despite having a business background in construction, given the differences between the two industries, Melinda reached out to the BAI to help her get started the right way.

“We’d run our own business in construction previously, but we’d never run a business in the buyer’s advocacy space. It’s a very different business model.”

“Construction has very high-value contracts and a low volume of clients whereas in a Buyers Agency business you need to rely on consistency of clients and building that client pipeline.”

“When I was working for another buyer’s agent, the client pipeline was already there and I was just servicing the clients that had come through their marketing channels. I enrolled in the Buyer’s Agent Institute to help me understand how to build the business for a buyer’s advocacy service because that part was foreign to me.”

In the next decade, Melinda is looking to continue to establish herself as an expert in Brisbane.

“We want to remain boutique and we want to remain as Brisbane property specialists. Ultimately, we just want to be providing premium service within Brisbane.”

“So, people will come to us if they not only want a standard buyer’s advocacy service, but they also want the added ability to create extra equity through renovation or redevelopment, and we can do that for investors or homebuyers.”

For those looking to go down the path of becoming a buyers agent, Melinda feels that you will be in for a rewarding journey.

“If you’re passionate about property, prepared for a journey of hard work and commitment than I encourage you to give it a go. Once you see the fruits of your efforts, then it’s a very rewarding career. I now wake up every day and I’m excited to get out of bed because I know that I love what I do. I never had that in past careers, so it is something new to me since moving into this industry.”

“I think if you’ve got the passion and the drive, and you’re determined to make it work, then with the right training and the right industry experience behind you, it can be a very rewarding career.”

Top 5 Reasons To Invest In Real estate During The Pandemic

As the norms of living and the very world we live in changes around us, almost all businesses have to adopt. The dynamics of certain industries such as tourism, restaurants, and many others have drastically changed. Property has been no different.

Property buyers in Australia have to adapt to new ways of dealing with people and changing trends. With less and less open houses and a shortage of stock, people are sceptical about dealing. These are all the more reasons why you need an experienced buyer’s agent in Australia by your side.

But it’s not all bad. The pandemic has also opened some opportunities where people can invest. Here are 5 reasons why it’s the right time to invest in the Australian real estate industry.  

The Role of The Buyer’s Agent in Australia

Since the start of the virus lockdown, buyers, especially inexperienced ones, have gone quite. This has reduced the number of competitors and made the playing field more negotiable. This is a good indicator where you can use this opportunity to invest if you know what you are looking for. This is where the role of an experienced Buyers Agent in Australia will come in handy. They will guide you in investing in the right property for which you will not overpay due to reduced competition.

Urgent Sellers

Since the lockdown, a lot of sellers are reluctant to sell. But for some people, the property business was their bread and butter. There are always owners that want or need to sell. This is where uncertainty becomes an opportunity. Take advantage of the smaller number of listings as they may be people that really do need to sell in a tough environment.

Lower Mortgage Rates

Paying off your home loan has never been this cheap. Data suggest that mortgage repayment would be lower than weekly rentals. This implies that people will be able to buy a property with home loans at a seemingly low mortgage rate during the pandemic. This is a good opportunity for investors who don’t want to take too much risk. 

Wait for The Market Boom 

 It has been observed as a general trend that after every recession/ depression the property market experiences a strong period. After the 2008 global financial crisis, property prices slowly started to rise and reached an all-time high.

This often happens when investors take their money out of unstable share markets and invest it in safer and less volatile assets such as the real estate market.

This helps the market to portray itself as expanding and an increase in demand is seen. The rise and fall in prices help people understand the value of the property. A patient investor can reap very handsome gains during a post virus crisis period.

The Banks are Eager for Business

Due to the lockdown and virus restrictions, the banks are not generating the normal level of revenue. Not many people are signing up for home loans at the moment and the banks are feeling it.  Right now, the major banks are luring people with many marketing incentives to attract solid borrowers. Buyers can leverage this situation to their advantage to get a property loan on extremely low rates.

Takeaway

Where the Covid-19 pandemic has affected businesses, there is also a silver lining. Buyers Agents in Australia can really help their clients find a good deal since the rates are low. Also, there will be sellers who want to sell their property during difficult times. This may also play into the advantage of the buyer. The most important factor is the lower prices at which you can buy property right now. This coupled with the fact that property will see its boom after the pandemic will be highly advantageous to the investors.

Why Should You Revisit Your Goals

Buyer's Agent Jack Henderson on why you should revisit your goals

Jack Henderson:

Yeah. Good. I don’t, I don’t really see them as real estate agents, right. Like sure. Some of them are just real estate agents.

You’re talking to him I guess on a weekly basis, just sourcing properties and doing deals and there’s not that personal touch. But I guess because I’m not from real estate, I’m not from the Eastern suburbs, I don’t have your typical Eastern suburbs attitude. And I’m very different to what a normal real estate agent in the East is used to dealing with. So I guess it’s fresh. It’s new. I’m very straight down the line. I’m a lad or a bloke as you know, like I’m not, I’m not stuck up. And I think that that works with a lot of people. So I’ve started to build not just business relationships, but personal relationships. Like these people are friends. So yesterday I was at lunch with two of the agents from one of the largest agencies in the East. And it was, I wasn’t there on business. I was there because these guys are great guys and I’d be friends with them regardless if I was working with them or not. It just happens that I met them through real estate because that’s the industry working.

Ben Handler:

Welcome back to the Buyer’s Agent Institute Show. We’re doing this show or this episode a bit differently today. We’ve got Jack Henderson here, head of investments at Trelease Associates. Jack was on the show two months ago, and when we jumped off, I said, Jack, I said, when you hit over 10 deals, we’re going to bring you back on. And I didn’t think it was going to be around eight weeks later, but it is. Jack surpassed 10 deals, you know, over eight weeks and he’s kicked off with a massive bang. So today’s episode is really to dive into what he’s done over the eight weeks and just really hear about his journey. So welcome back, Jack Henderson. Mate, thank you. And I’ve worn if they can see it on the camera, my favorite Flamingo shorts for the interview. So it’s unbelievable. I mean, you’re really getting traction on a I think from a consumer standpoint, from what I’m seeing, you’ve put yourself out there. You’ve done a lot in eight weeks. And so today I really want to dive into that. I mean, how you feeling now?

Jack Henderson:
Good man. Really good. I’m excited. I am a motivated, driven and obviously the more and more traction you get, the more and more I guess confidence you get and the more driven you get and it just compounds and combat like a snowball.

Ben Handler:
Right? Did you think you’re going to hit over 10 deals in eight weeks?

Jack Henderson:

No. So as we’ve spoken about a lot of my, my goal for the year was half and JCI, which is I think a pretty sizable goal, right? First year in real estate do a half a million dollars in business. It’s a pretty big deal. And I’ve done almost 300 already.

Ben Handler:

So GCI for people that are listening, it’s gross commission income. So your, your goal was 500 K for year one. Yeah. You’re two months just over two months in and you have to 300 300. Yeah. Wow. So I mean 500 even when I was saying to Dan, who is the CEO of our business, like they had my goal set at three 35 for the year. That was their caveats. You nearly hit that. I was looking at Sarah on the other day on our dashboards and it’s just touching. So what were you earning? Just just, I mean if you are comfortable sharing, I’m very comfortable. Yeah. Were you earning in your previous careers or salary, but 150 150 gross. Gross, yes. Plus you get your allowances and up, but you’d say about 150 yeah. So you’ve basically, I mean, you surpassed that on a gross level, but with common splits, et cetera.

Jack Henderson:

You’re, I’m assuming you’re a bit above that. Yeah. And because obviously you run your own company, you don’t have the same tax rates like you do as a salaried employee. So I’ve definitely, I’ve made as much as I would have made in a year in the mines in, in essentially two months in a new career in a nuclear, yeah. It doesn’t feel new, which is a weird thing. But when you love property, you’ve bought property. It’s not like you’re new to this. I know it’s not like you’re new to this industry. You’re new to this role. That’s right. But I’ve been I’ve been in the, I guess industry indirectly

Ben Handler:

Probably like five or six years, you know, through doing podcasts and building a brand as an investor and then obviously transitioning now to a buyer’s agent. So it does not feel new to me. It feels like I’ve been doing it for a long time, which is I guess beneficial in a way because I understand everything. The new parts of me was running a company now, hiring staff, managing my own expectations and, and all the stuff that comes with a business. Yeah.

Jack Henderson:

We were at one of my close circle events, the mastermind recently and I heard you open up and just share with the group that dealing with, now you’re not, you haven’t got a fixed salary coming to the bank account every month. And I know the feeling as well. When you are on commission, you start getting lumpy paychecks. If they do come in, which they are for you and it’s about managing money, how are you finding that? Yeah, good. I mean it’s very easy to go out and you get 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 grand. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Deposited in your account one day. It’s very easy to get excited, right? Like that’s a lot of money for anyone. So managing it is, is just something that’s a learning process. But obviously I’ve been dealing with large sums of money now for years because of the investing side of things. You know, when you’re refinancing loans and cashing out large amounts of money, essentially there’s money sitting there and offset accounts. So, Oh, I’ve, I’ve been working with large sums of money for a while, but not on an income perspective.

Jack Henderson:

No. But yeah, it’s, it’s definitely a learning process. How are you enjoying working with real estate agents? Because before, I’m sure you were buying property through them ad hoc, when you’re buying for yourself now you’re talking to them every day. Yeah. Good. I don’t, I don’t really see them as real estate agents. Right. Like, sure. Some of them are just real estate agents and you’re, you’re talking to I guess on a weekly basis just sourcing properties and doing deals. There’s not that personal touch, but I guess because I’m not from real estate, I’m not from the Eastern suburbs. I don’t have your typical Eastern suburbs attitude and, and I’m very different to what a normal real estate agent in the East is used to dealing with. So I guess it’s fresh. It’s new. I’m very straight down the line. I’m a lad or a bloke as you know, like I’m not, I’m not stuck up. And I think that that works with a lot of people. So I’ve started to build not just re business relationships, but personal relationships. Like these people are friends. So yesterday I was at lunch with two of the agents from one of the largest agencies in the East. And it was, I wasn’t there on business. I was there because guys are great guys and I’d be friends with them regardless if I was working with them or not.

It just happens that I met them through real estate because that’s the industry working. Yeah, it’s interesting. It’s, you know, we was sitting here two months ago having this chat you just kicking off, you’re also talking about your first hire was different to most people. Most people doing assistance or let’s say some administrative style of roles. You went straight for videography. We got Sammy [inaudible] and legend. It’s absolute lapse and same thing. So let’s, let’s talk about obviously hiring people. Most people in business as such, I go, okay, I want to hire a PA. Someone’s got experience, let’s go hire someone with experience. I think a little bit contrarian to that. Like I don’t want someone who’s got experience a PA has core I guess components to their job and that’s what they have to be good at. They don’t need experience in that job.

Ben Handler:

I need to be good with dealing with people, time management, managing stuff like that. So why hire another PA? Why not go hire someone who’s from a different industry, who’s got those values and, and that I guess willing to learn and they can learn that the job, but they’ve already got the, the, the values I need to be able to do that job. So say Sam was from aviation, like working with fighter jets. That was his job, but nothing to do with cameras. But he had a passion for photography. He, he, he is a person that is driven to, to be better. And I thought, well, if you already know how to pick a camera, it’s not that hard. You can learn on the job and you’ve got everything I need. So and made he’s been doing it. I wait because I think now it’s unbelievable and people go, fuck man, how good are your videos?

Ben Handler:

Like they’re unreal and no one believes that he started in January, mid-January, never done it before in his life. Never ever edited a video, never used editing software, never taken a photo other than of surfing and stuff like that. And people can’t believe it. So same thing. I just hired a full time prospector, so he’s from the UK, has zero real estate experience, zero, wouldn’t even know what a contractor is on our property. But he sold solar doors at all before. So that’s, that’s where these past job and knocking on doors and saying, do you want to buy salt? I like the hard slog and he’s very, very good at it. Like old, I think in eight months he sold almost a million dollars, but the solar door to door and that’s hard. Very hard. A lot harder than picking up the phone.

Ben Handler:

You’ve got to go face to face with someone. Right. It’s a hard job. And then not only that, you’ve got to make them trust you to then book an appointment to go sit in your house a couple of days later or whenever it is to then talk to them face to face, sell solar directly to them, make them sign a contract and then you leave all on it. Well that’s what you’re, you’re a salesman. So he had, he’s got, he again, he’s very, very driven. He knows how to sell, knows nothing about real estate but can be taught. So my, my, that’s what I did. I said, mate, come on and you can learn the things that I need to teach you, but you’ve already got the key values and the, the key components of that job already. It’s great man. I mean, how old are you again?

Jack Henderson:

23…

Ben Handler:

Yeah, 23 having perspective the way you do and just your philosophy around hiring is impressive. When you look at, actually it was funny, we were driving home the other day and we’re listening to monitor Tony Robbins podcast and Sarah Blakely or Sara Blakely from Spanx. Yeah, that’s what she did. So she started Spanx, which is super driven, knew what she wanted. I think of her first 20 hires or something, had zero experience in the roles they hired for. And I think she’s the youngest ever billionaire with no help. Self-Made. That’s right. Like that’s saying something, right. She knows that what this role comprises of, if that person has the values and, and the things that that role needs, the actual learnings of that role can be taught. Correct. And there’s a lot of, I think, misconceptions around things around hiring, around starting jobs. I was sharing recently that a lot of people think you can’t do things part time.

Jack Henderson:

And I, and I was sharing perspective that Phil, Phil Knight from Nike, he started Nick when he was an accountant full time, right? The Wazniak for Apple was working at Hewlett Packard full time when he started Apple. The guys at Google were doing PhDs at Stanford working their asses off while they started their company. So I like your idea around hiring because people think that you need to hire somebody with experience specifically like Jeff Bezos in Amazon. He likes to hire people who have failed in startups a lot. He’s, they’ve been dragged through the flames, they’ve been in the trenches, they have come up with a lot of learning. And so everyone’s got their own philosophies. And I think it’s great the way that you’re thinking about this. And look at, I guess the person in the pudding. The thing is, I think if you hire someone that has done the role before, they’ve got their set ways, they know how they want to do things.

Jack Henderson:

You try and tell them that you want the things done differently and that’s when you start butting heads and you know, trying to bring them out of habits is very, very hard. So why not teach them on the way you want it to be done? Right. And if you look at Dan, I say yo, it’s the same thing. Like I think probably 80% of our staff, but Tia and we’re doing massive numbers. I’ve never worked in real estate before. Yeah. And you know my philosophy about it, I mean with this sector, I mean the truth is becoming a egg. It’s not rocket science. You and I both done the role, you’re doing the role now there’s, there’s, there’s, I think core fundamental skills you need. And a lot of it is communication, relationship building effort. And if you’re trainable as well, you can pick up all the tactical stuff.

Jack Henderson:

Right? Exactly. The actual real estate component of it. It’s very, very learnable. You have to have, like you said, people skills, a passion for wanting to grow and push yourself because you’re running your own business and everything else can be taught, right? So if you’ve got those things, you can be any, anything really. Not just a buyer’s agent. You can, you can do anything you want. Did you expect honestly this to fly this fast? Cause when we’re sitting here two months ago, I mean we’re like, yeah, when you crack 10 deals, I mean I didn’t think it was going to be eight weeks later. Did you think it was going to run this fast? No, I didn’t know. I knew I would hit the 500. Did I think it was going to be probably within four or five months? Yeah, maybe not. I knew I was going to hit it though. Like I know when I set things I manifest it. That happens. So

Ben Handler:

It’s just happened quicker. Right. But now I’ve moved the target and I like didn’t, I didn’t think that it was, you know, a hire another staff member and be thinking about the things, I’m thinking about

Jack Henderson:

The guys at TA set your original goal for three 35 then you moved it to 500. I set my own goal for 500. They thought that was too much. Yeah. Ambitious, ambitious.

Ben Handler:

So obviously they want to set targets that you can, I are achievable, still ambitious, but they don’t want you to not hit him and then be disappointed with yourself. Right. So they set it at three 35. I said Fox three 35, I’ll set 500. And yeah, I’ve almost hit the three 35,

Jack Henderson:

Two months. And where have you reset it for yourself? At a million now? A million dollars. So you’re looking to generate a million dollars in commissions this calendar year from January to December. That’s unbelievable. Yeah. And I’ve done it. So if I can continue the pace but I’ve done this quarter, which is the quarter’s almost over. I’ll hit a million dollars. Yeah. Especially now we’re having the full time

Ben Handler:

Prospect. I think there’s going to be a lot more business. I’m just about to start Facebook marketing so that two 50 or whatever it is, almost three, almost 300 which generated by solely me. Yeah,

Jack Henderson:

Generating business, converting, buying. You know what I’m saying? I mean, I’ve been in this space for 10 years and what I’ve seen is there’s a lot of a younger generation of people coming in. Like there’s you, you’ve got Emily Wallace in Melbourne, there’s a lot of other names. I don’t need to go through them all here. We’re coming in and you guys are getting traction. You’re creating a tension, you’re doing things differently. You’re building your teams differently. And I think a lot of the, let’s say the older people, not necessarily age or people have been in the buys acre space for awhile. I think you guys are really like allowing people not to get complacent anymore because you guys are moving quick. The dinosaurs that say, ah, they’re so set in their ways. They think

Ben Handler:

That because of their reputation and I’ve done this and I’ve done that, that everyone’s going to go back to them. That’s not how it works. It’s not like in what in the world, that’s not how it works. If you’re a buyer’s agent or the CEO of the biggest company, there’s always someone younger, hungry and better that your job than you are. You just don’t believe it. Correct. They’ll eventually see it.

Jack Henderson:

No, they’re saying it already. Have you had any reach out to you or just say, there’s a couple of people that have said a couple of cheeky things here and there, but I think that’s funny. Like it’s sad people. How do you, I mean you, you’re, you’re, you’ve got the full time videographer, Sammy, you’re doing a lot of stuff online. There’s, we know there’s a lot of haters. When you have haters, it’s a good sign. It means you’d like, you know, if there’s a marketing saying, if you’re not pissing people off by noon each day, you’re not marketing hard enough. Dan Kennedy and you are obviously getting out there a lot. When people do respond to you in let’s say negative way how do you, like, how do you take the piss out of American? It’s classic. It’s especially when you’re on like Facebook marketing or boosting posts and it’s random. People have time to comment on your shit and say something. I think it is hilarious. That’s good. You’ve got that attitude.

Ben Handler:

If someone has enough time to comment on your staff and you let them not let themselves get affected by what you’re doing.

Jack Henderson:

Sad people. Right. I want to talk about clients because I’ve seen obviously you do celebrating with clients I’ve seen online. We can talk a bit a bit about that, which is great. But I guess your clients, you seem to be getting a lot of success from what I’m seeing on the outside. So I wanted to dive into that a bit with you now. How have you found the client journeys and then the, you know, just I think bonding with your clients as well. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

The thing is my personality is really unique, so I love someone you really like or really hate straight away. That’s how I am. That’s true. Like that’s how in my whole life, you either like me straight away you go, that guy’s a Parkway. Everyone’s the same. Right? So my clients are the same too. So if they work with me, we’ve had the phone call, we’ve had the face to face meeting. So in that face to face meeting, there are other decide then and there, this guy is awesome or this guy’s not the greatest. So I think when they come on there, they know exactly what I’m like already. And it works really, really well. I don’t change for someone who’s worth $10 million or someone’s were spending 700 grand. I’m the same for all of those people on the same personality. I talk the same, I respect them the same.

Ben Handler:

And I think they liked that. So yesterday I met a client. It’s funny, so, such a funny, so I get a phone call, right? I bought for her last week in, in South Korea. I got a phone call, says, hi Jack, I’m in double Bay. Are you around the office? I said, yeah. She goes, I’ve got a present for you. I said, okay, so I’m at the markets, I’ll come and see you after. Boom brings me, she says, where are you? Can you drive to my car? I want to give you something. So I had a bottle of champagne for her, drove to her car, she opens up the boot and she’s got a case of Coronas. And I was like, what? And this lady is probably, you know, mid sixties, very successful. You shouldn’t make her own and whatever, anything that’s got alcohol in it, I’m in, dude, don’t worry about that.

Ben Handler:

But you would never expect that from a very conservative lady. But because we’d been together for sorta two and a half months on that journey, we got to know each other really, really well. She got to know her personality. We can have jokes and that’s how well she got to know me at the end to be able to take the piss out of me and say, I’ve got a case of Corona here for you. And $3 million and a house. Like and then I we were chatting and she’s going overseas. I’m having a chat about that. And I said, I’m like, she was amazed, like amazed at how everything went and negotiation the property we bought for it, the price we did, like everything was amazing. And I said, there has to be one thing, just one thing, like there has to be one thing that I did that you can say, maybe you can rub up on that feedback. I want it to know, because her review was like, next level, I couldn’t have got any better review if she said I’m going to refer you to anyone like that. And I said about there has to be something that I can work on. She said, Jack, it was perfect. There was not one thing that I can say you didn’t do well.

Jack Henderson:

Wow. Crazy. Right. Okay. You said too well done by the way, because I’ve been seeing what you’re posting from the outside. It seems like what they’re writing about you and how you’re celebrating with them, like they’re very happy, which is good. You said two and a half months just then with that client. What’s your average timeframe? You’ve obviously bought you know, more than a handful of properties now from when you sign an agreement with the client to engage to exchange, what’s your average time? 20 to 20.8 days. Amazing. Around where your, where your suburbs. Yeah. I hear a lot of buyer’s agents are, I don’t know if it’s true, but I’m hearing dropping pants, charging 1%, one and a half percent. I hear you got your charging two and a half, two and a half plus GST. It’s unbelievable. Yeah. I was actually, we had lunch yesterday with some real estate agents.

Jack Henderson:

And we were talking about fees and I said, Oh, this is what we charge. And he said, no, you fucking die. You don’t charge two and a half. And I said, mate, I can show you the agreement. That’s where all my life, this is what we charge. Unbelievable. So real estate agents probably charging like an average fee of one and a half, maybe 1.3 really good agents over 1.8, two and a half. Yeah. I love that. You’ve come into the industry, you’re a few months in, you’re charging more than the standard and then your timeframe from signup to exchanges. I think from what I’ve wanted from what I know is well above average and the client success is incredible. I mean, it’s just I want it to get on today because a, to celebrate obviously your success and we’re going to finish up soon.

Ben Handler:
But B, I think it’s just, it’s just so fulfilling for me to see how well you’re doing and just not in succeeding in the role, but the brand you’re creating for yourself and the reputation.

Jack Henderson:

That’s good, man. I obviously I’ve always been in that mind frame and that mindset of surrounding myself with good people. So when I was investing, I surrounded myself with the best investors in the country and that led me to meet more and more people. And then I’m in this role now, so I surround myself with people who are better than me and help me and encourage me to be better. So I think that’s had a massive impact.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, well done. I’m very impressed. It’s, it’s very it’s very inspiring. Watching you from the sidelines.

Jack Henderson:
I’ll come back in July when I’ve hit half a mil. When you feed half a mill, we’ll be back here maybe June. June, yeah. I’ll probably be overseas in June.

Ben Handler:
So, but anyway, guys, you can check out. You’ve seen Jack on the show already. You can check him out on…

Jack Henderson:
Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, tick-tock..

Ben Handler:
What else are you on?

Jack Henderson:
YouTube

Ben Handler:
He is on everything. Just check him out. It’ll be on the screen to check him out. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

Building New Zealand’s Leading Agency

Hadley Nightingale has always had a passion for property and when he started finding more great deals than he could handle himself, realised that a buyers agent might be the right path for him.

Early on in his working life, Hadley started out in the mining industry in Australia, before returning home to New Zealand and wanting to build a property portfolio. His first property didn’t go according to plan, but it made him realise there was no one helping buyers during the process.

“I quickly realised that there’s no one out there in the industry that represents the buyer. You turn up to an open home and the agent tells you that they’ve got the deal of the century for you and it just brought back some really bad memories of what happened the first time that I bought property and got it wrong.”

“The other thing was that we were finding great deals, but I had no clients. I couldn’t do them myself so I thought, ‘I need to monetise this. I can’t just let these opportunities keep slipping through.’ From that point onwards it was a transition phase out of work and starting up full time as a buyers agent.”

Hadley realised the opportunity that presented itself in New Zealand and also that property was his true passion.

“At the end of the day, I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing and I always had a dream, of working for myself rather than someone else. I also saw a business opportunity there with there being next to no-one in the market offering it in New Zealand.”

With his connection to Australia, Hadley began focusing on helping Australian-based clients find properties in New Zealand, before working with locals as well. With New Zealand’s tax laws and strong demand, there is plenty of incentive for investors to purchase property.

“There’s no stamp duty and no capital gains tax. Obviously, if you hold the property for longer than five years you pay zero in tax provided your intention was to hold the property. As of November last year we’re about 40,000 houses short so there are also huge supply issues.”

“We’ve just had a look at our net migration today and we’ve had 79,000 new people come back into the country since the start of this year. So demand just keeps on increasing and we just can’t build houses fast enough.”

Hadley initially starting working with another firm in New Zealand, before going out on his own to try and establish his own business. After discovering BAI, his business quickly started to grow.

“In the first six months I was averaging a new client a month, maybe two in a good month. It wasn’t until February of 2019 that I found out about Ben’s course. I’ve been in business for around 18 months now and since starting with Ben we hit a peak last year where I had 15 clients on the books at any one time. So we got ridiculously busy.”

“Since then I’ve recently started my own agency. We’re just getting the wheels turning again for that, which has had its own unique challenges.”

Looking forward, Hadley is excited to continue growing his business to try and make it the biggest in the country.

“At the moment, it’s a case of the sky’s the limit. There’s one other company in New Zealand where all they do is operate as a buyer’s agency. So it’s a bit of an unmapped path.”

“To aim to be the biggest agency in New Zealand at the moment wouldn’t be overly difficult. If I get two clients a month, I’ll probably achieve that.”

“The idea’s to grow the agency rather than have me finding houses and dealing with the buying side of things. I much prefer the chase so to speak and the prospecting side of things rather than negotiating deals. The ideal would be to have four or five agents working for me and then hand over the hunting for properties and delve more into the sales and marketing side of things.”

For anyone wanting to become a buyers agent, Hadley feels that there is only one way to go about it.

“You’ve just got to put the work in. It’s simple, but it’s not always easy.”

Is Property an Addiction with Luke Moroney

Buyer's Agent Luke Moroney on whether property is an addiction

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agent Institute Show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness buyer’s agents, to bring awareness around that create opportunities that are provided to buyer’s agents around Australia, to bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents provide to people who need help buying property. Our goal of the show is to strip back and dive into the remarkable stories and journeys of buyer’s agents, who are paving the way forward, in one of the fastest growing career sectors in real estate, right now.

Ben Handler:

We’ve got a special guest today. His name is Lachlan Vidler. He’s based in Canberra in the ACT. He was an officer in the Royal Australian Navy. He worked on four ships. He also won awards for innovation and leadership. He then left the military. He went into the corporate world. He worked as a management consultant for Accenture and Deloitte. He’s also studied an undergraduate, a postgraduate, a Master’s, across finance, business, and properties. He’s also over 10 years, built a property portfolio spread over different asset classes. He’s also shifted into luxury developments. Today, I’d like to introduce Lachlan. Welcome Lachlan.

Lachlan Vidler:

Hey Ben. Thanks for having me today.

Ben Handler:

You’re welcome, mate. You’ve got a good backstory.

Lachlan Vidler:

Yeah, look, it’s a bit unique. Isn’t it? I think there’s probably not many people, that’s particularly in the real estate of buyer’s agent sector, that probably have a background similar to mine. So it’s nice. It’s a good way to, I don’t know, meet people and have something to talk about.

Ben Handler:

One thing I forgot in my intro for you was, whilst you were deployed, I believe you were studying some of your degrees. Right?

Lachlan Vidler:

Yeah. So on one of the deployments I had. I was always out in some of the more contested areas of the world, in our region. And I was studying my Master’s Degree in Finance, trying to study at night, be up during the day. It was certainly hard, but it’s a good memory to look back on, I guess.

Ben Handler:

What does being an officer in the Royal Australian Navy mean?

Lachlan Vidler:

There’s lots of different jobs, so you can do things like warfare, where you might be driving ships, logistics, engineering, and a few others. And basically what it means is that, you’re in charge of people. You have your job where, like I said, you could be doing logistics or warfare, whatever it might be. But then, you also have a team leadership and people leadership component to it. And there’s high standards. There’s a lot that’s expected of you, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s a really good career.

Ben Handler:

I’m sure it would have taught you a lot. You obviously won, as I said, awards for leadership and innovation. What do you feel like you came away with? Especially, and then you migrated into the corporate world. What do you feel like it taught you in some key skills?

Lachlan Vidler:

I think it really taught me a lot of leadership, and I just spoke about that. But I think you can’t really put a price on knowing and learning how to lead people, how to lead teams. It teaches you the teamwork side as well because good leaders are good team members. And then also. A lot of planning. And I think all those things, you can apply that to any business, you can apply it to any sector, for buyer’s agents or as an investor. You need the leadership to be able to make decisions about things. You need the teamwork to be able to build a good team around you and then be able to operate within that team. And then the planning, because without plans, you’re just sort of shooting in the dark. You don’t really know where you’re going and what you’re doing. And you won’t know when you’ve reached a goal or a point along the road to a goal. So plans are also pretty important.

Ben Handler:

That’s awesome. And then you transitioned into corporate, working for the big names, Deloitte, Accenture. Was that always the plan when you were in the Navy? Were you thinking about going in that direction? Or…

Lachlan Vidler:

I think over my time in the Navy, you grow, you mature as you learn things. Your outlook on life changes. And I think when I joined, I probably always thought that I was never going to be in 30 years. I was probably never going to be an Admiral, but I knew I wanted to start there. And I wanted to learn some of the things and have some of those experiences. And then, when I was looking to leave… you spoke about how I’ve studied finance at a Master’s level. I always wanted to go down, maybe like a banking or a finance or a consulting pathway. And for me, my opportunity with Deloitte just fell into my lap. I had a recruiter that was helping me look around. I had some people that had worked in that sector. And I got offered an opportunity to interview, and I just went for it. And then I kept going back and back. And eventually they said, “Hey, would you like to come work for us?” And that was that.

Ben Handler:

What was the key difference you learned, especially from that transition, going from the Navy then into corporate? There’s politics in both, but I guess, was there any key fundamental differences you noticed moving between the two?

Lachlan Vidler:

Maybe not a lot. I think like you said, there’s similar dynamics of everything in lots of workplaces. I think I really loved the teamwork aspect of the Navy. And that’s not to say you don’t get that in some of the places I’ve been or something other corporate jobs. But it’s certainly very different to when you’re living on a ship. The ship could be anywhere in the middle of the ocean. You look around and all you can see is the horizon out there. And that’s all you see for days. And you’re with maybe 150, 200 people as low as 20 on some of the ships that I was on. And you can’t really put a price on that sort of teamwork and that bonding, that you get from just being in that environment.

Ben Handler:

And so, you then worked at Accenture. Was that after Deloitte?

Lachlan Vidler:

Yep.

Ben Handler:

So you were a management consultant at both?

Lachlan Vidler:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

And was that something that you saw more progressively, that was going to be your future? Or was that something that you thought, I now need to transition again into something else after those gigs?

Lachlan Vidler:

I guess my move to Accenture, it was just a bit similar, a little bit, to Deloitte, where it was just an opportunity that was put in front of me. And it had some good progression opportunities for me. And it was before I was looking at things like opening my own buyer’s agency business. And it was just a great opportunity, and I’m a big believer that when you get offered something, as in an opportunity, you don’t necessarily have to take people up. But you should always hear them out. You should always see what’s out there. It might be to your benefit. It might be to their benefit. But you don’t really gain anything by being closed minded and not being willing to see opportunities that are out there.

Ben Handler:

So after Accenture, did you then just decide, you’re going to commit to opening your own buyer’s agent business, or were you going to consider looking at other opportunities?

Lachlan Vidler:

No, I still work there. I’m still working in a nine-to-five role with them, and running the business as a part-time thing at the moment, as we continue to grow it and make it bigger. And it’s important to make sure that you’ve planned, one of the things that I learned in the Navy. You’ve planned out the things that you’re going to do well in advance. Because you don’t want to make rash decisions. I wasn’t ready with my own life circumstances to necessarily leave full-time employment, just yet. But I also saw the great opportunity that I had through BAI and opening a buyer’s agency, that I couldn’t turn down either. And I’ve just had to find ways to make both of those things fit well within my life.

Ben Handler:

I love it. We’ll get to Atlas Property Group soon. I just, I guess, want to dive into… So you’ve built a property portfolio with your partner.

Lachlan Vidler:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

And when did that commence?

Lachlan Vidler:

We’ve been going over the last few years, a little while. And by no means are we 50 millionaires or something like that. We have a nice portfolio. We keep looking to grow it. Like you said, we done some stuff in the luxury development space as well. And we just wanted to make sure that we were putting in place good things for our future life.

Ben Handler:

Good on you guys. And so is ,your partner going to join you in Atlas?

Lachlan Vidler:

She will. She will, eventually. I think that we want to make sure it’s nice and established, and we’ve got a good rhythm going. And she’s already helping out behind the scenes. And we’re hoping in the not too distant future, she’ll be able to come on as a full-time face. Be out there, dealing with our clients a lot more, and not just sort of being the workhorse behind the scenes and helping make me look good.

Ben Handler:

Great. So whereabouts are you going to be focusing on with your clients? Because I know you’re up and running. But where are you focusing on at the moment?

Lachlan Vidler:

We’re taking a national outlook, I guess you could say, where, like you said, I’m based in Canberra, but I did a lot of my time growing up in Sydney. So I always do lots of travel between the two. And because we’re quite focused on the investment side of the house, and we still help owner occupies, but predominantly in the investment side, we help people from all over. We get people calling in from Queensland, from South Australia, East South Wales, all over. And if we feel like we can help them, and they would like to work with us, we’ll help out and work with anybody.

Ben Handler:

And development stuff, are you going to be finding sites, doing any of that stuff?

Lachlan Vidler:

Probably not at the start. With a little bit of our own personal background in it, I’m sure we have a natural progression as we keep growing the company. I think we’re just focusing on established property at this stage, matching investors with sound investments. But development is something that [inaudible 00:08:57] and I’m pretty passionate about. And I think that it would be a really nice place to keep moving towards, into the future.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. Do you see a development division opening up within the Atlas Group?

Lachlan Vidler:

I don’t want to give it too much away this early, but it’s always nice to dream. Isn’t it? I think there’s lots of big property developers in Australia. And there’s always space for good people to enter any sector or any industry. And who knows, maybe you’ll see Atlas Developments before too soon.

Ben Handler:

I guess, did you envision yourself being an entrepreneur growing up? Is that something…

Lachlan Vidler:

No, I can’t say I really did. When I look back, I can see, maybe, some little indications of where I was willing to be a little bit outside the norm and do things that you may want to expect from people at the ages that I was, when I looked and tried to do certain things. But I never sat back and went, I can’t wait to be an entrepreneur. Over my time in the Navy, and then now working in the corporate sector, I’ve started to envisaged a dream for myself and my partner, where we’re our own bosses. And we can make our own company, our own legacy. And it’s ours, we’re not building it for someone else. We’re building it for us.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. And you’re so primed for the entrepreneurial journey. I mean the Navy, I’m sure there’s just so much, you’d learn there on that journey. And then obviously, the study that you’ve done. It’s been, obviously, really tight what you’ve learned. And then, you’ve obviously went into the corporate world, which you’re still in now. And you’ve had exposure, obviously, with management consulting. And then, you’ve bought property over the years with your partner. You’re so primed for this buyer’s agent business, to be running it. I think you’ve done the work. And so, it’s going to be just incredible to see how you guys fly over the next few years.

Lachlan Vidler:

Oh thanks, Ben. I think when you say it and you rattle things off like that, it makes it sound maybe a little bit better than what it is. And there’s been lots of hard work, and we’re just excited to be able to keep moving along our pathway. You talked a bit about some of my education, and I love studying. I think that it keeps you sharp, keeps you current on lots of things. We spoke earlier about how I’ve done my finance Master’s. I’m now into a Master’s of Property Investment and Development. And it’s funny because before the BA business was even looking… before the idea had even been created, I wanted to do that just for my own personal reason. I thought this would just be great. It’s an interest. It’ll help us out in our own investing journey.

Lachlan Vidler:

And then now, with the BA business, it’s such a natural fit. And it’s going to be great for our clients, where they’re going to know, not only does he have some runs on the [inaudible 00:11:30] his own investing, and some of his other story of his life. But he can also show us that he’s done some formal education in it. And he’s got a bit of a standard, and he’s out there looking out for our best interests.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. And I guess a lot of that theory, you’re going to put into a lot more practice now, working with a lot of the clients you’re working with now. You’re going to be buying a lot more as opposed to just accumulating properties for your own portfolio. It’s great when you do put that theory into practice. What inspired you to become a buyer’s agent? Did you see publicity in papers around buyer’s agents? Or when did you first, I guess, get a glimpse of it?

Lachlan Vidler:

As soon as you become active in a space, like real estate or whatever it is, your social networks, your internet, everything starts showing you certain things. And buyer’s agents have always been around my newsfeed for Facebook, for example, in different different respects. And buying property, you hear about it. And I don’t know if there was ever a specific point where I was like, I want to be a buyer’s agent. But my partner and I, we always said, if we’re going to start something, what should we do? And we always said, “well, real estate just is so natural. It’s fun. It’s exciting.” We get up excited about it. And then, when I found out about the Buyer’s Agent Institute, I couldn’t believe this opportunity that was in front of me. And when I started looking into it further, and I realized what a great course you’d set up, and some of the successes, some of the students it had, I thought, look, I’d be crazy to not give it a run. Maybe it doesn’t work out, maybe it does, but at least I tried.

Ben Handler:

Let’s talk about ACT. So you’re not obviously from there, you’re a Sydney boy?

Lachlan Vidler:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

So did you move there, obviously, for the consulting work?

Lachlan Vidler:

Yeah, so I spent some time there when I was in the military, and I quite liked it. And then, as I was coming to the end of my time in the military, my partner was working down there. So when I had my job opportunity with Deloitte, it happened to be for the Canberra office. And I thought great opportunity. We can finally come back together because we’ve been living apart for a little while, just from our different postings. And we moved there. But we’re really excited to hopefully come back to Sydney soon. Because we both love it, the Harbour, the sites, the vibe, everything. Sydney’s just such an exciting city.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, I think it’s a bit more vibrant than Canberra.

Lachlan Vidler:

Yeah, absolutely. But I will say some of the best nights out I’ve ever had in Canberra. The bar scene is amazing. The food scene is amazing. And I think Canberra gets a bit of a bad rap around the place.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. Listen, it looks beautiful. You drive around there, it’s very green. It’s looks very clean. It seems like a very peaceful place to be. What’s the vision for Atlas Group? I know you guys recently started. Obviously, it’s a startup, it’s a new business. But what is the vision for you guys?

Lachlan Vidler:

Going back to some of those things I learned in the military and planning. The plan would be, let’s grow a billion dollar company. Who knows? But being realistic, we want to keep growing it. We want to keep helping our clients. We’d love to move back to Sydney, once we’re satisfied that the business is in a great place. We can stop doing some of the travel between the two cities. And we’d just like to keep growing and keep helping people.

Ben Handler:

And Deloitte… Sorry, not Deloitte, Accenture. What is the plan to slowly transition out of there? Or are you going to look to keep both running simultaneously? Or…

Lachlan Vidler:

I think it’ll probably just come down to how the business has going. I think if we were doing, I don’t know, 10 deals a month or 15 deals a month or we had the capacity to be doing that, it might be hard to keep maintaining other full-time employment. But if we’re going at a slower trajectory and we’re growing on a slower pace, we’ll make sure that we’re just in a good, safe place. So that we can not put the business at risk and not put our own selves at risk.

Ben Handler:

We know putting your planning hat on right, part time works really smart. And if you look at some of the best entrepreneurs in the world, that’s what they did. So like Phil Knight from Nike, he was running his accounting job when he launched Nike. The Google guys, they were studying, I think, at Stanford, PhDs when they launched Google. And so, a lot of these entrepreneurs, really, they hedge their bets. And so, they’re actually, one foot in one foot out. And that’s exactly what you’re doing. I think it’s really smart. There’s this whole notion that you’ve just got to go all in all the time, but it’s actually not entirely correct. I think it’s awesome what you’re doing.

Lachlan Vidler:

Oh thanks, Ben. I think putting me in the same sentence as some of those guys, I think is ambitious. But I love that. And who knows what Atlas Property Group will be. But I think you’re right. I think in today’s day and age and seeing what’s going on in the world around us, I think has really shown people that sometimes people get overextended, or they take risks that maybe they shouldn’t have. And there’s nothing wrong with taking things at a slower pace, if there’s some additional security that’s worth it. And I think any business owner, entrepreneur, full-time work, or whatever it is, I think that everyone wants to make sure, you’ve got a stable paycheck. Your family life is good. Your career or business opportunities are sound. And you’ll just try to make the best decisions to keep all of those ticking along nicely.

Ben Handler:

It’s been crazy times, obviously, since March, like the pandemic. The whole world’s gone through a transition. What have you learned just generally, just with life during that time? Obviously, you’ve been working for a big corporate, what’s come up for you during that time?

Lachlan Vidler:

I think one thing that all been so impressed with and quite happy about is, how a lot of these big corporate companies and smaller companies and pretty much just the whole world, has taken to working from home. And trying to get a bit of work-life balance back. I think you can look up statistics, you can look up academic reports about how everyone has just been so go, go, go for so many years. And people have been working longer hours and reductions in productivity from those longer hours. And I think that with COVID going on and some of the other things in the world, it’s made people reevaluate how they can do business. How can we do it better? I think the BA business is a great example of that. You could meet people in a shopfront or an office, but you could just as easily meet people online. And I think that the world situation’s helped to normalize some different business practices that are going to set everyone up for the future, far better than perhaps what we were doing beforehand.

Ben Handler:

Where can people find Atlas Property Group?

Lachlan Vidler:

Well, you can find us at our website, which is atlaspropertygroup.com.au. And we’re across all the social medias. We’ve got our Facebook account. We’ve got Instagram. And we’ve got LinkedIn. We don’t have a TikTok yet. Who knows maybe as the company grows, and we have more people working for us, we could get some good stuff going on that. But they’re the main platforms that you can find us on.

Ben Handler:

Awesome, dude, it’s been super and great just talking with you. You’ve got a really inspiring story. You’re kicking big goals in your business, man, and hopefully, you’ll be out of the consulting work soon. You’ll be full-time in the BA business. Congrats man.

Lachlan Vidler:

Oh, thanks for having me Ben. And thanks, for everything that you’ve been able to teach me as we’ve been going on. It’s been great. And I don’t know if I would have been able to get to the point that I’m at now without everything that I’ve learned from you and BAI.

Ben Handler:

Thanks man. Appreciate it. Well guys, Lachlan’s got a super inspiring story. He’s the planner. So if you’re looking for the plan, he’s your man. He’s got so much experience, so much, I guess, diversity to what he’s learned. And I think that’s one of the most incredible things about business owners, is the different skill and talent they bring to the table, just life and knowledge.

Ben Handler:

And so, if you are looking for investment properties on a national level, Lachlan is based in ACT, but he’s running a borderless investment model. So reach out to Lachlan, reach out on his details, check out his website, see you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

The Hole in the Adelaide Market

Buyer's Agent Luke Bailey

From a very early age, Luke Bailey understood the value of investing in property and by the time he was in his mid-twenties had built a large property portfolio.

Early in his life he wasn’t working in the property industry and was focused predominately buying properties for himself.

“Originally I was actually an electrician working away in the construction industry in the fly-in/fly-out and oil and gas fields around Australia. But in terms of where I started in property, I was an investor since I was 18 years old so I had some investing experience prior to starting off the buyer’s agency. I built quite a large property portfolio mostly in my twenties.”

Being from Adelaide, Luke felt there was an opportunity to use the years of knowledge he had gathered as an investor, to help others do the same.

“There’s a couple of things that lead me to become a buyers agent with the first being the opportunity and a hole in the market that I saw. I’m based in Adelaide and I saw that there was a lot of buyer’s agents in Sydney and Melbourne, but not too many buyer’s agents in Adelaide so I saw an opportunity in the market to bring the buyer’s agency side of things to Adelaide and kick things off there.”

“The second part was more or less to help people not make some of the mistakes that I’d made early on. I felt I had some experience as a property investor that I could probably share some of that knowledge to help people.”

With a keen interest in small scale development and subdivisions as an investor, Luke felt there was an opportunity to help Adelaide investors by applying those same strategies.

“On the buyer’s agency side of my business, we service predominantly investors and developers. Then the second part of the business is actually a buyer’s agency service, but we also actually do project management as part of that and that’s specifically small development projects like subdivisions and land divisions and small construction projects.”

Despite his wealth of knowledge, it took a few months for Luke to build his business up and start gaining momentum.

“In any business, the first six to twelve months is always the hardest no matter what business you’re in. But for me, it was all about just getting a good structure and working out what things really drive a business. “
“For me in the first six to twelve months I was really focusing on marketing and sales and getting my name out there. And now I don’t do as much marketing and sales now, but the first sort of six to twelve months that’s what I had to concentrate on.”

Luke started working with the BAI in a bid to better understand the business side of things, given his well-established skills as an investor.

“Coming from being an electrician and working in the construction industry, I had no prior experience in marketing and sales and actually running a buyer’s agency business.”

“They are two things that are completely different. But BAI has been great – it’s really propelled me a lot faster getting in touch with Ben right at the start.”

Luke is looking to continue to grow his business in the next few years with a big focus of the development and the project management side of things.

“I’ll definitely be looking to do more in the development and land division space. I’ve identified a bit of a hole in the market here in Adelaide where not a lot of people provide a service where they’re buying the properties and then actually taking it to the next stage with the project management of these land divisions and construction projects. That’s where I’ll be taking the business in the next five to ten years.”

If you’ve got a passion for property and want to control your time, then Luke suggests that becoming a buyers agent might be a career to consider.

“There’s a lot of people out there that just are not fulfilled and they’re not happy in their job and being a buyer’s agent does give you a lot of freedom and it allows you to be your own boss so you really control your own time, which is ultimately what we all want to do.”

“We want to control our own time and do things that we want to do and not have to work for a boss. It all comes down to freedom and flexibility for me. And I think that’s what most people really seek and that, in terms of this career path, can provide that for you.”

What It’s Like to Live Out Your Hobby

Buyer's Agent Peter Toma on what it's like to live out your hobby

Peter Toma:
It really started from my parents when they came here. They came here like many immigrants didn’t have much to start off with that just had this thing about property and he started investing in property and I was probably too young to really understand what was going on until later on in life where, you know, you start talking to parents a bit more and understanding what’s happening and it’s always been around in my family and it’s really influenced what I think is a good asset class to invest in. And the passion really started from there. You know, a lot of that knowledge was passed on from them and I’ve continued to learn through reading and podcasts and so on now and I run my own property advisory business and helping other people do, do things that I’ve enjoyed doing and that’s helped me and my family. So hopefully I can do the same for them.

Ben Handler:
Welcome to the Buyer’s Agent Institute Show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyer’s agents to bring a readiness around the career opportunities that this sector is providing people to bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents are providing, people who need help buying property. Our goal is to strip back and dive into the stories and the journeys of remarkable buyer’s agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest-growing career sectors in real estate right now. Our guest today is Peter Toma. He’s based in Sydney. He runs a buyer’s agent business called elite one property that buys property Australia wide, not just investment properties but also primary residence here in Sydney. Peter’s journey started back when he studied civil engineering at university, then went into construction and then became an active property investor himself accumulating a very successful portfolio and now he’s very focused on his buyer’s agent business to really give back and empower other people to follow similar philosophies and investment strategies that he has deployed on himself.

Today I’d like to introduce Peter. Welcome, Peter.

Peter Toma:
Hi Ben. Thanks to me. Good to be here.

Ben Handler:
Thank you very much. I’ve been seeing you a lot on social and you obviously came through the Institute, but I wanted to reach out to you because my background, I mean I came from a construction background as well. Went to university, didn’t study engineering though I didn’t like engineering. That was part of my program that I was studying. And we’ve seen, it seems like we’ve been on a similar style of journey. Then I got into investment as well and I wanted to learn from you. Where do you, where did you buy your first property?

Peter Toma:
I bought it in Sydney back in 2012. Bought the first one, obviously a good time. Not knowing much back then. But the market’s moved and get more equity and to keep purchasing and purchasing and it’s, yeah, it’s done really well for me over the last few years.

Ben Handler:
When you purchased back in 2012, did you know buyer’s agents back then?

Peter Toma:
No. No.

Ben Handler:
I mean I was running my business, but I don’t think many people, many people still don’t know what they are. But I was wondering if you’d come across them?

Peter Toma:
Back then. I hadn’t come across them. Even now when I speak to people, they, they still seem a little bit unsure as to what buyer’s agents are. They still think we sell real estate. It could be further from the truth. I don’t want to sell real estate. I just want to find good deals for people.

Ben Handler:
Just jumping back to that experience, when you’re back on your own, going to buy your first investment property 2012, I mean, did you feel like, did you, did you feel quite vulnerable thinking “I’m buying my first property.” It’s a lot of money. I’m assuming, you know, you weren’t paying cash, so a lot of financial commitments over a period of time

Peter Toma:
Definitely I wasn’t buying cash. And definitely I felt a little bit vulnerable. You know, all those savings you spent all those years collecting in the bank and the minimal interest you own. So it was big, it was a big deal back then. But looking back on it now, fantastic decision, great decision to, to be able to do that. And really help accelerate, you know, your wealth generation and, and growth for yourself, your family, other people you want to help.

Ben Handler:
So yeah, it’s awesome. And I opened up at the beginning just talking about seeing you online and you obviously very busy, a lot of activity. Seems like you’re getting a lot of good deal flow getting a lot of coverage. I’ve been seeing some PR that you’re doing, so you, you, you’re getting out there, which is great. I wanted to also talk about effort because we talked about the effort just before we jumped on this and if it’s an interesting one because the only thing that we can control, have you found just the whole notion of effort in, in relation to starting your journey, running a new buyer’s agent business?

Peter Toma:
I think just in general, business is difficult, right? So if you think about it going, if you think about that, it’s going to be easy going in. You’re probably kidding yourself a little bit. And because of that, your, your, your success is proportional to your effort. And I’ve just noticed myself, the more effort I put in, the more reward you’re seeing coming back into the business. So if it is definitely a big thing and it is really in your control, that’s everything else that you know, outside markets and everything related to economics and property and governments that you can’t control. The only, the only thing you can control is your effort and your ability to add value to people.

Ben Handler:
Yeah, it’s true. And people are so focused right now with obviously what’s going on globally, viruses and, and the rest it’s, I think it’s also, whilst it’s a distraction, what a great time to now jump back in when people are so fearful staying at home, go buy property.

Peter Toma:
Well, right now there’s minimal competition, right? So people don’t want to go and look at property. They can’t buy property. So if you’re looking to buy now is a good time to buy because you’re not going to have the level of competition you had for six weeks ago. Really?

Ben Handler:
Yeah. Have you noticed your negotiation skills have sharpened a lot since you become a buyer’s agent running your own business compared to when you weren’t running an agent business looking for property for yourself?

Peter Toma:
Yeah, I think the biggest thing is their relationship with their real estate agents. At the end of the day, they’re just normal humans like us and they’ve got families and everything to feed and they, they just want to get a job done as well and they want to get the best outcome for their for their vendor. And if you understand that and understand the personality of the real estate agent, then you’ll, you’ll be able to, I guess hone your skills and you dictate your negotiation to suit them to get the best outcome that you want.
So definitely I think it’s sharpened my negotiation skills. I continue to do so. But also it helps when you have that relationship with agents because they know who you are as a person and it becomes less like negotiation and more about a conversation to get something done for both parties.

Ben Handler:
How important is the relationship with the real estate agent? As part of, not just negotiation, but what we do?

Peter Toma:
Super critical. It’s without them, you’re not going to find the deals so well you may, but how many people sell their own home or sell their own investment property? Not many. So they’re the guys that have the stock that you need for your for your, for your clients. And so they are super critical to the whole process.

Ben Handler:
You know, I think a lot of buyers don’t realize just how important or not just buyers, people out there looking to buy property, how important that relationship is.
Because it can be make or break when you’re trying to get a deal done. Right?

Ben Handler:
That’s right. And we’re talking to them every day. So like I said, they’re just normal humans and they want to get a deal done as much as we do. And you just got to find a way to do it. And that’s what we do.

Ben Handler:
You, I think you broke a record around a record when you, when you became a buyer’s agent and started your business. I think you bought a property in the North in around two weeks or three weeks. Am I bit off?

Peter Toma:
No, no, that’s it. Right. yeah, so I finished the course. I think it was two weeks. We, we signed the contract and exchange on the contract. So it was surprising, a good surprise. I wasn’t expecting that. Hopefully they continue to come through here, which I’m sure they will.

Ben Handler:
I mean, because I saw something after that, it was a while ago, but I saw like there was a video testimonial. Was that through them? Yeah. So how did you feel going through that process with representing a client? Buying a property so quickly and you know, just, just going through that experience with the client?

Peter Toma:
Yeah, so for that particular client, it was a principal place of residence. So for them as an emotional buy not necessarily alike an investment property where it’s about the numbers. But the process itself, I felt good because I was buying a home for, for a family that had two kids that were very young and they were going to be, they are going to be in there for the next 20 years or so. They’re renovating at the moment, which is great. But I felt good because I knew I was doing the right thing for them and I’m representing these guys who a new home for their family.

Ben Handler:
There’s a lot of emotion, obviously an owner-occupier purchasing and going through that process for the buyer. I think there’s a lot of emotion that goes into investing as well. People think it’s commercial, but I think there are objectives where we’re looking to achieve financial freedom, et cetera. So there’s emotion attached to that as well. But from my experience as well, going through that journey with the client looking to buy for owner-occupied for own occupy reasons, it’s, it’s, it’s a very different feeling as an outcome as opposed to buying for an investor. There’s just a lot of, I feel like there’s a lot more joy and happiness and, and it’s a, it’s an, it’s a great time to really bond deeper with your clients as well. Right?

Peter Toma:
I think when you, when you bought for a an, an occupier, the feeling of relief that it get when they’ve signed the contract because they’ve been so stressed throughout the whole process, they may have been looking for six months, every weekend, you know, had arguments between each other, disagreed about what they want.
And when you go through the whole process with them, it’s fantastic when you get, when you get that done. So it’s definitely, I think it’s more emotionally draining to buy for owner occupiers. For investors, it is still emotional, like you said. But I think they’ve got a bit more of a longterm view with, with buying property as opposed to, I’m going to live in this house for the next 20 years. So it needs to be perfect.

Ben Handler:
Yeah, there’s definitely different objectives. So right now you’re running a nationwide business in terms of investment.

Peter Toma:
Yep.

Ben Handler:
You buying owner occupiers, you’re buying phone occupies in Sydney. And how have you felt like obviously getting into being a new business owner, as you said earlier, like it’s hard work and there’s a lot of challenges. There’s rewards. How’s the experience been for you?

Peter Toma:
It’s been, it’s been up and down.
It’s been up and down to be honest. But when you’re working for something for yourself and you know that it’s, it’s, it’s bigger than you. Like everything we’re doing now is really for, for us, for my family, future generations. So it is a roller coaster, but when you have a passion for property and people, it doesn’t become like a job. It just, you just feel good about finding and helping people through property. And that’s what we love to do. So,

Ben Handler:
and it’s funny, isn’t it?

Peter Toma:
I think it’s fine. I mean, I’ve gone open homes talking to agents. Some people absolutely hate it, but that’s part of the process.

Ben Handler:
Well, that’s what we do, right? Like a lot of people that they’re engaging us because they don’t want to talk to agents. Some of them they see we’re going to opens time pool, concerned about overpaying, all that stuff and we fill that void for them. So as a buyer’s agent, you have to want to go see properties and do a lot of that work and that grunt work that buyers don’t want to do.

Peter Toma:
Yeah, exactly right. At the end of the day, you’re presenting the buyer, they’re effectively employing you to do, to do a job and you need to be able to do that job to the best of your ability to add value to them. And that value can be, like you said, different for every person it might be they don’t have the time, they might know everything, they just don’t have the time that it’s outsourcing it for you to do or they just don’t know what to do. And so you help guide them through that process. So it’s different for everyone, but you can add value in various ways.

Ben Handler:
What have you noticed since becoming obviously a new business owner, entrepreneur?
I’m getting into this space specifically. It’s such a niche space. The buyer’s agent space. What have you noticed? Just around the industry or anything that you’ve observed that…

Peter Toma:
I’ve noticed. People still don’t understand what buyer’s agents actually do. They get confused between buyer’s, agents, property advisor, real estate agents, mortgage brokers sometimes as well. So that upfront conversation is very important. I’ve noticed specifically in Sydney towards the back in the last year. And, and the start of this year stock is very, very low. And there’s a lot of competition, RBA cutting interest rates as well. So money is getting easier to buy effectively. But over the last two weeks with this, you know, Corona virus going around, I don’t know, it’s going to, it’s a bit funny. It’s a bit funny. It’s uncharted territory. So, yeah.

Ben Handler:
Did you, do you see it as like you obviously an astute investor, business owner in this space, do you see this as an opportunity?
Peter Toma:
Definitely less competition means opportunity. So long-term, obviously. And when you’re investing in property, you got to have a long-term view, I believe unless you don’t developments or windows to flip. But it’s all about the long-term and I think there’s great opportunity. Now, like I said, money is very cheap to buy. So leverage is your friend and property. Unlike some other assets like stocks, you could probably still leverage a lot of money. But yeah, it’s a lot of volatility.

Ben Handler:
If, if the share price is still there, you can maybe get it out. It’s going made. So maybe there’s not a lot of fit to get out. And in terms of the investment side of your business, are you following a similar strategy that you did for yourself? Is it..

Peter Toma:
I am for those people that I find that were in the same position I was.
Yeah. But everybody’s in a different position. So some people have a lot of capital behind them so they can afford to buy different types of properties. Some people don’t. So they, they need a different strategy, positive cash flow. Some people can afford negative gear, never negatively give properties with better, better potential growth. And some people can afford to do developments, which is a fantastic thing. But it’s the thing is just different for everybody. Cause everyone’s in a different part of their journey really in their investing career.

Ben Handler:
Yeah, it’s good. So you’re, from what I’m hearing you, you apply a specific strategy to that personal people around what their needs and wants are as opposed to, I know some buyer’s agents have just once one, one vanilla strategy that they deploy.

Peter Toma:
Yeah, Def definitely don’t have a one, one strategy.
One size doesn’t fit with what we do. So you need to have a specific strategy for each individual client, couple person, whatever it might be.

Ben Handler:
As we all know, most businesses it’s all about, I think, you know, you have to, in my opinion, in the, in this day and age, have a good product or service. If you’re selling a product or you’re providing a service like you do, it needs to be good. Otherwise you just don’t survive. Like, just with social media and just testimonials being so transparent, et cetera, that it’s hard to, to, to last by providing a crap service. Have you been noticing the importance of like sales and marketing in, in your, in your new business?

Peter Toma:
A hundred percent, if nobody knows about you, then how they’re going to buy from you. So social media is massive now. All social media is, is a way for people to get them to talk about you.
So you need to show people what value you’re adding to their life, to their investing careers. Social, so important. If you weren’t on socials, I think it’d be, I wouldn’t say it’s impossible to survive. But it’d be very difficult, I think. I know some like solicitors and so on that they don’t have socials. They’ve obviously, they’ve come through the era where social media wasn’t a thing, but and they’ve stood the test of time, but I think it’d be very difficult now. There’s just so much noise out there and sometimes whoever screams the loudest gets heard.

Ben Handler:
Yeah, it’s true. True. And it’s, it’s very important now to be online. I mean, I, I know some buyer’s agents who aren’t online who do very well. I think you’ve got to do what works for you, in my opinion. I believe by having a presence online you can reach more people.

Peter Toma:
Yeah, definitely. If I sitting here, you and I are talking one-on-one. If I put something on Facebook or Instagram, I could be talking to 10 people and if those 10 people share it or tell someone else, there’s another 10 people, there’s 20. I think it’s just, it’s really, again, leverage. That’s what really you get from social media. So, yeah, super important.

Ben Handler:
What do you do in your downtime? You, you mentioned that you’ve got a kid on the way, you know, you’ve got a busy work life, the up and down roller coasters of the entrepreneur journey, family, et cetera. So what do you do? Downtime to chill?

Peter Toma:
Downtime, scroll through real estate.com.

Ben Handler:
Yeah, you’re going to be a good buyer’s agent.

Peter Toma:
Yeah, yeah. No, absolutely love it. But you know, other things I’m opposed to real estate, like you said, got a first child on the way.
So I’ve been busy recently attending to the wife, making sure she’s okay, appointments with doctors and midwives and so on and getting ready for the baby. But other than that, just, you know, having, having coffees with, with friends watching a bit of TV usually property shows. And that’s about it. Head down to the Murray rebates, which is fantastic. Yeah, that’s about it. Yeah.

Ben Handler:
Nice. And it’s usually signs like when you’re spending time on scrolling real estate domain, et cetera, you’re watching property shows. That’s it’s, it’s usually a sign that you like property and you know, I think for people like you who then transitioned to this as a career as we said earlier, that doesn’t feel like work. It’s fun.

Peter Toma:
I, I don’t think you can do it if you’d just like it. I think you’ve got to love it.
I know it’s cliche, but you kind of have to because there’s so many ups and downs and that passion is probably just going to keep you going.

Ben Handler:
We’re going to finish up now and I just wanted to check with you where people can best find you. I know you’re on a few different platforms, you’ve got a website, but where, where is good for people to see you?

Peter Toma:
They can connect with me on Facebook or LinkedIn. Otherwise I can send me an email, [email protected] Just get in touch with me or give me a call and yeah, we can have a chat.

Ben Handler:
Cool. And I appreciate you being here and I’ve seen you obviously transpire your journey and I think it’s awesome to see what you’ve done. And I know it’s hard with juggling so many different things and I’m just excited to see what you’re going to do 2020. And I know, because I know it’s hard work and as you said, it’s up and down and that’s your entrepreneur journey.
And we, I think we all just have to be diligent and disciplined. And stay consistent with our activities, with what we need to do, and it all works itself out.

Peter Toma:
I appreciate it. Thanks very much.

Ben Handler:
Thanks so much for everyone listening. Peter’s awesome running a really successful business based in Sydney, as I said earlier, and he said he’s buying nationwide investment, but also buying owner-occupier in Sydney as well. So check them out. Details on the screen now. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

Great Tips To Help You Find The Right Buyer’s Agent

Looking to buy a home quickly? Here’s how to find the right buyer’s agent to find you the perfect home fast. And to find the best Buyer’s Agent to meet all your needs

Finding the right property is hard enough, but if you want to buy a home quickly, it can be downright tough. Mainly because there aren’t always a huge amount of homes on the market. 

But there is a way to take away the frustration and overwhelm, and that’s by using a Buyer’s Agent.

Buyer’s Agents help to take the stress and emotion out of buying a home. And they often stop buyers from paying more than the property is worth.

One way they do that is by falling for the tactics and tricks used by selling agents. And because they are on the front line day in, and day out… they know exactly what’s going on in the market.

So as helpful as they are, how do you know if a Buyer’s Agent is a good one? 

Here’s a quick list of questions I ask to make sure a Buyer’s Agent is a good one.

#1: Ask them how much experience they have.

For many people, buying a house is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. So you want to make sure the Buyer’s Agent you use, has the right level of experience.

#2: Ask them if they’re a Buyer’s Agent exclusively. 

There can not be a conflict of interest here. When you’re buying a home, you need your agent to represent you exclusively. And that’s exactly what you get when you work with a Buyer’s Agent.

#3. Ask them about their previous experience and purchases.

You need to know that they can do what they promise you. And that comes when they give you a proof of their results.

Also, if you’re buying a home in Brisbane, you want to know they have experience with that market and have sound local knowledge. 

#4. Do they have an extensive network of contacts?

The best Buyer’s Agents are well known and are well-connected. And that can help you to be offered properties before they even hit the market. 

#5. Do they own any property themselves?

Ideally, a Buyer’s Agent should have bought a property themselves and know what it’s like to go through the process personally.

But having said that… this is not always the best way to determine their competence. I mean, we don’t put that same kind of judgement on doctors. When you think about it, a lot of doctors who are specialists in a medical condition haven’t actually had the condition themselves.

A Buyer’s Agent needs to be passionate about property, though.  

#6. Ask them about their fee structure

You’ll want to know what the Buyer’s Agent is going to charge you. But be warned, the cheapest isn’t always the best. Standard is between 1%-3% of property value/price depending on the service they give you. But some Buyer’s Agents charge a little more… and most of the time they are worth it.

But don’t just price shop. Because small amounts of money “saved” in one area could be costing you massively in other areas. Do your research to make sure you are getting the best service as well as the best deal. 

A Buyer’s Agent can be a huge asset to you when you buy your new home. But only if you get a good one.

That’s why you need to do your research and make sure the Buyer’s Agent you choose is the right one for you.  

Ends.

This Is Why You Shouldn’t Trade Time For Money

Buyer's Agent Oliver Jackson on why you shouldn't trade time for money

Oliver Jackson:

Yeah, I, I now focus 95% on investors and my thing is buy something 60 seventies eighties we value our potential, so something that can be renovated so you can increase your equity and something that can be subdivided. Not everyone subdivides it’s only a small number of people that want to go down that path because you need the cash take some time. Some people think it’s stressful, I help them with that, but some people still don’t want to do it, but I still like to buy properties. It can be renovated at Valley a hundred percent

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agent Institute Show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyers agents to bring awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing to people to bring awareness around the value that buyers agents are providing to people who need help buying property. Our goal is to strip back and dive into the remarkable journeys of buyer’s agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing career sectors in Australia. Right now. Our guest today is Oliver Jackson. Oli comes all the way from Melbourne. He’s currently running his buyer’s agent business called living property. He’s got a very colourful background. He’s worked in three different industries. He’s worked in hospitality, he’s worked in fitness, and he’s worked in construction and he’s own businesses within these sectors or some of these sectors before. So he’s got an understanding of what it’s like to be an employee and a business owner.

Ben Handler:

And while he was doing all of this, he built a portfolio. He built a portfolio worth around $3 million. So he’s got a knack for investing and he’s also renovated properties himself. So he really gets in deep with what he does with these property investing for his clients. Oli’s now buying on a national level across different States and I’m really excited to dive into his story because he, as I said, he’s got a very colourful story. So today I’d like to introduce Oliver Jackson. Welcome mate. Thanks for having me buddy. Good to have you. Here it is. It’s going to be here. I remember when we first spoke, you were, I believe, driving. I was driving, I think you were, you were working construction, so you were driving from near the Mornington Mornington potential area into the city. So it was obviously probably, what is it, a one and a half, two hour commute?

Oliver Jackson:

Yeah, two and a half hours every day. Both ways.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, I mean that that must be, I mean, how did you, I mean I know you, your education, you like it, so you’d have been listening to podcasts and doing like reading, listening to audios and stuff. But that commute, I always think about when I’m driving out of the city and I see people stuck in traffic. I was like doing that every day. Like dude, that was that. Was that a trouble?

Oliver Jackson:

The trouble for it drove me insane. It was, I’m 45 cause I was in construction so it was a six 30 start. So you know, you’re, you’re 45 minutes on the way to work. Not too bad sometimes two and a half hours on the way home. I mean you can, you can listen to a hundred podcasts a week or you know, do two or three audio books a week, which is great. But you know, you don’t want to be sitting in traffic so you can read a book. You know, I’d rather be at home sitting on the couch reading a book. So yeah, it was after about three or four years made it got, yeah, it was pretty torturous to be honest. And you got two twins? Yeah, I’ve got three year old twins, boy and a girl. So you’re very cute on it. I’m sure you’d prefer to be spending time with them, which you do now, right? 100% right. I’d rather you’re sitting in traffic driving home for two and half hours thinking about your kids when you get home. But by the time you get there, after a long day at work and then a whole day, a two and a half hours of driving, you get home and you’re like, ah, drained. I’ve just noticed you’re wearing quit the nine to five tee shirt.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, respect. I’m not wearing mine minds be kind, but I guess they’re both good t-shirts. Digressing, seq then. So one thing I didn’t mention, I said you’d worked in construction. We always see getting paid a really large salary. You’ve run your own business in hospitality and also fitness, but you also have worked in the circus.

Oliver Jackson:

Yeah, I grew up in a circus when I was a kid. Um, it’s like my second family. So we, I grew up in camera, but travel with the circus pretty much up until the age of 18, 19. Um, yeah, pretty different. Awesome childhood. Um, I still go to the circus regularly and yes, it’s still family.

Ben Handler:

What was your role in the circus?

Oliver Jackson:

Uh, I was a clown. There’s like a acrobats, a bit of juggling used to do the flying trapeze and stuff, but not, not in the show. It wasn’t that good. Should we do some juggling now? Maybe not for now. I’m assuming. You’re still quite good.

Ben Handler:

Cool. So it’s interesting. A lot of the discussions I had with people on, on this show, they’ve transitioned from a lot of the, a lot of the careers. There’s been some level of unfulfillment, some haven’t, some have actually enjoyed what they’re doing. But I know your last role was in construction and you obviously commuting a lot. It seemed like you underground. So what were you doing in construction?

Oliver Jackson:

Um, so I worked in high rise construction, so see if MEU union work. I was a fencer, so I used to build fences, um, a lot of carpark onto groundwork. So in a car park, 12 hours a day, and then I was making two 50 to 320 grand a year. So pretty good money, obviously pretty hard to leave. Ah, that’s why every construction work in Melbourne. It does it for 30 years because where else can someone go and make 300 grand a year to work in the construction side? You know? So it is pretty hard to leave that kind of grind when you’re making that kind of money. But um, yeah, I’m glad I’m out of there.

Ben Handler:

Not much sunlight. Yeah. It must be tough conditions being underground like that all day.

Oliver Jackson:

Yeah, my days. It’s a different vibe, that’s for sure. You’re in, you know, Fluor lights, concrete construction work is 12 hours a day, even 12 hours a day in any building or any job’s hard enough, let alone on a half-finished building when it’s freezing cold in Melbourne in winter. It’s pretty taxing.

Ben Handler

This may be a generalizations, so I, I’m assuming this or you can call it out if you think it’s completely off, but I would think, I mean, I studied construction university. I was supposed to get any construction. I didn’t get into it, but you would think that most construction people, they get a lot of them that do get paid. Well, some don’t. But you’d think that a lot of them just spend their money stupidly, like they would come out of their careers. Tradies especially not with a lot of assets that may be incorrect. Do you, I do think there’s truth to that. And B, what prompted you to start investing in property?

Oliver Jackson:

80 to 90% of construction workers piss their money away. You know, everyone’s got the newest mellow, they all drink too much. When you’re working that many hours, your wife and your family, it’s depressing. So a lot of the guys drink a lot like gamble, you know, you’ve got a load of spare time when you’re driving. People gamble heaps. So you know, everyone’s not overly educated like a lot of the laborers and so on. Um, know I wasn’t, I was never went to uni. I never had a degree, like my $300,000 a year and I never had a degree. You know what I mean? It’s, there’s a lot of people like that, so a lot of people would just piss their money away. Like when you’re making that kind of money year after year, you just think it’s endless. I’ve always wanted to get into property when I was younger, but I was too busy partying when I was, you know, my 18 to 25, um, always thought about it. So as soon as I had the money coming in, that’s the first thing I wanted to do. Plus I was really handy on the tools for my job. So it kind of just all made sense.

Ben Handler:

You and so I’m assuming you were renovating the apartment.

Oliver Jackson:

It’s 100% yeah. Every property I’ve ever bought, I’ve renovated myself. Wow. Good thing about construction is every single trade. He’s on site every day. So I just got an electrician, a plumber, everyone from site paid them cash off the work to come and help me. So it was great. It was pretty good for that.

Ben Handler:

I like that. And so maybe not the cash part, let’s just until the text about, so what about, you just bought something recently. I know for a client, a subdivision. Yup. Have you ventured out now completely with your clients that you’re buying investments for where they’re looking for renos? Some of them are doing a strict buy and hold, some are doing subdivision [inaudible]. Are you now working with a whole mixed bag of clients?

Oliver Jackson:

Yeah, on our focus 95% on investors and my thing is buy something 60 seventies eighties evaluate potential, so something that can be so you can increase your equity and something that can be subdivided. Not everyone subdivides it’s only a small number of people that want to go down that path because you need the cash takes some time. Some people think is stressful. I help them with that, but some people still don’t want to do it, but I still like to buy properties. It can be renovated

Ben Handler:

at value a hundred percent yeah, I agree with that. Even if it’s a small like cosmetic Apple paint or just something basic and you spend $10,000 it’s crazy what the difference, what you can do in terms of upside. Yeah, I agree with that. That’s a big one. A lot of people think they need to do at least structural renos. Yeah. Money. You don’t need to know

Oliver Jackson:

30 grand. You can do a house like, you know, it’s paint and your kitchen. Bathroom is, things are cheap these days. Um, it’s not that hard to do. There’s a so many companies out there that can help you do it. It’s, it’s not what it used to be.

Ben Handler:

How are you enjoying the new life? Because it’s not easy starting any business, especially being a buyer’s agent. It’s not just super easy. It’s got its challenges. But I also think with the challenges of a buyer’s agent, when you join the career, there’s so many wins outside of the financial gain. Like the freedom and the flexibility and the autonomy that it outweighs a lot of the other stuff, which can be maybe not earning money as quickly as you want it to. What, what’s been your experience?

Oliver Jackson:

The hardest part was going from 300K to, not that that’s a big adjustment, but you know, I built up my portfolio over the years to a point where I could, I could do it. I could, I could quit my job and I could’ve taken two, three, four years off if I really wanted to. So I kind of had that flexibility, which is good. But the time that I have now to do what I want to do is unbelievable. Man. I get some bike, my kids up, have breakfast, I could have lunch, I can have dinner with them. I can block out days like a week, two, three, four days a week. Like you work as hard as you want to. Um, obviously the harder you work and more money you make, but the flexibility of the, of the running of the business is unbelievable.

Ben Handler:

You get to understand work life balance a hundred percent. It’s just life, not just work. Yeah. You get to understand that whole integrated cause when you like, when you like what you’re doing. I’m assuming underground doing a large commute on the way to work and then spending time underground and driving home. I mean there’s not much of the life and the balance.

Oliver Jackson:

There’s a lot of work. I did six days a week, so for seven years, so Sundays, mildly day. And I mean Sunday you just need a rest. So my only real die outside was Sunday cause Melbourne’s pretty cold and winter it’s pretty dark. So I literally woke up, went to work in the dark at five in the morning, got home at seven o’clock at night in the dark. It’s pretty, pretty intense.

Ben Handler:

Must feel like. Yeah, you’re reborn. Don’t feel like, I honestly don’t feel like I’ve worked a day since I quit my job. You said earlier that, which I can understand it was not walking away from a 300 K income, which is big to zero. What really prompted you? Like what was the key thing that prompted you to make that decision? Cause that, that, that you need a lot of courage and you’ve got a family. You’ve got, you know, two young, beautiful kids…

Oliver Jackson:

Before I quit my job, I was doing both. It’s trying to, it was very hard. When you’re underground, you get no reception, pretty hard to have meetings and you rock up and you try to gear and you try to say your buyer’s agent doesn’t really work. Um, I actually broke my hand. I just had surgery the other day and I had three months off. So I was like getting work cover three months off. As soon as I broke my hand I was like, that’s it. I’m never going back to construction again. It’s like it happened. I was in the hospital and that was it. That’s I’m looking back. What was it?

Ben Handler:

Well like I understand it could’ve just been like an intro, something intuitive or outside of the hand, like, and that, that might’ve been it. I’m assuming just that icing on the cake. But was there something, was there a moment or did something happen where you were just like the day?

Oliver Jackson:

I think it was like June 15th. I actually remember this. I was listening to the podcast of you on, um, SPI. That’s when we spoke. I did the cost. That’s the day I decided that’s it. I’m quitting. But I, I couldn’t just quit cause obviously I have a family, I’ve mortgages. So my plan, my plan was to finish the next year in March, but then the hand happened in, uh, September, October. And that was when it was done. So I had already made the plan. It was just my, I had to plan it properly so I couldn’t just quit one day that I planned it, but then it just happened a bit sooner than it was meant to.

Ben Handler:

It’s awesome. It’s awesome. And that’s, yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s what I’m, that my deeper intention that I do with the program is not just to become a buyer’s agent. That’s uh, an output of the service we provide, but it’s to activate change. And so, uh, it’s, it’s awesome to hear that you were inspired and, and you, you are an action taker. So I’m not surprised. You kind of threw the talent like you did. So now you’re running living property, you’re focusing primarily on investment. You’re buying in a few different States. Every state except the Northern territory. Yeah. We don’t, I don’t know any buyer’s agents in Northern territory. Why? No friends to the Northern territory, but, and I believe it’s the hardest state to get your license and yeah, no, not many agents there. Okay. Um, are you doing any principal place residents purchasing?

Oliver Jackson:

I was, but I’ve gone to the investment of, I was finding, um, being a marriage counsellor too much with the principle place of residence, too much, a lot of emotion, a lot of indecision offended, quite difficult. Not difficult, but it was just when you’ve got someone dealing with, let’s make some money, this is the numbers with an investment property, this is your return. This is what I want. This is what you’re going to get. Simple. It’s, everyone is on the same page, but when you’re talking to someone buying a home for the rest of their life, it’s an amazing feeling. Buying it for someone and being involved in it because you’re in their life for the rest of their life. But to get there with some people is very difficult, especially when husband and wife most of the time aren’t on the same page, but they don’t tell you. Do you know what I mean? You think at first it’s all good and then as time goes on, you realized, hang on, these two years, I’m agreeing on this. And it just, it was very draining. So I uh, yeah, I’ve gone to the investment model and I’m loving it.

Ben Handler:

I see. I mean, I always say there’s a lot of emotional investment. I still believe a different emotion. Sidestepping what’s, you’ve obviously the, you’ve done a lot in terms of transition with your career in life. What’s your definition of success now? Fright. Time freedom.

Oliver Jackson:

I mean, you need money. Money’s great, but it’s time to see my kids grow up, to be mentally fit, physically fit, have time to, I’m training for a marathon at the moment. It takes hours of running, of stretching, of yoga, of fitness. It’s pretty hard to do that when you work 12 hours a day. So that is all in my actual daily calendar. I have my running, my yoga, my meditation is in my calendar, so I cannot book that in for any clients or anything. It’s all in there. I couldn’t have any chance I could do that before.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. I mean we were talking earlier, you came from Melbourne today. You had a coaching session with someone today or for the whole day and you said you got up at what time? Three 30 to go for a run to actually go for a run or run a three 30 ran to the gym, the train did something. I got caught applying here at 6:00 AM unbelievable health is important and we were talking about, this is for me, I mean it’s number one. Number one you have to be able to serve yourself or you can serve others and time. Talking about time, I meantime am the most important thing on this planet. The only thing you can’t buy more of. Yeah. And so it’s just nice that you’re valuing it more and you appreciate it more and you’re more aware of it. I mean I, I, I feel like I am to an extent, but at times I’m not, and I feel like a lot of people who are stuck in jobs that really don’t need to be there. It’s true, sometimes it’s, to me it’s a true definition. They don’t appreciate time enough. I’d say.

Oliver Jackson:

I don’t understand a lot of people that like, I don’t think they’ve hit that aha moment where they like you don’t need to be here. What are you doing? Like it’s just the rat race. Like they’re stuck in that habit. It’s like to break that habit. He’s so hard for so many people, like how many people are unhappy? Like probably 90% of the world are unhappy with what they do. It’s, it’s crazy. So to break that habit was quite confronting to actually do it. But you know, when you walk through the role of mirrors and the other side, it’s amazing.

Ben Handler:

How have you changed now since you’ve stepped into this new role as a business owner? Working in property, building relationships, serving clients, uh, getting your time back, more freedom, seeing your kids, spending more time in the sun, repairing your mitochondria. No, just getting healthier. How have you changed every way possible now?

Oliver Jackson:

I’m much more calm, relaxed, much healthier now feel I feel, I’m like, I’m 25 again. You know, I’m nearly 40. It’s crazy that I feel younger than I’ll get with felt fitter, healthier. I’m pretty much in every way. The most important thing is just to ha get to hang out. My kids, like when you, when you have kids and then you’re at work all the time, you never get the same. It’s like what’s the point in having him? I can’t, I didn’t get what people have kids if they’re gonna be at work all day because when they grow up, you can’t, you’re not going to get that time back again when they’re young.

Ben Handler:

It’s an interesting one. I mean I don’t have kids, I’ve got cats and sometimes I feel guilty seriously, just not spending enough time with them and I get that and, and that, and I would feel guilty if I had kids that I couldn’t spend time with them. It’d be challenging not seeing them grow up and being there with them. And so I’ve been, but you know, some people could argue and say, well we have to work, but I think we’ve all had choices with what we decided to do with our time and how we work and how we make money and we’ve all got choices. Right, exactly.

Oliver Jackson:

Wait. And then you know, throwing away my TV was probably the biggest thing for me to do the shift cause I used to go home, watch TV to siren out and I wouldn’t think I’d just be sitting there just watching some Shaun Netflix or whatever, got rid of my TV and started just reading and educating myself and that just opened up my health, my fitness, like my mind. Everything just changed. As soon as I kind of switched it off from the rest of what the rest of the world is kind of doing like I just stopped caring about what everyone else is doing. It is solely focused on that.

Ben Handler:

Throwing away the TV to create the shift. I haven’t had a TV, I can’t even remember how, when was the last time I had its own a TV, but I completely agree with you. TV is a game-changer. People say no devices before bed and all know this and know that most of us throw the TV out because the TV is brainwashing people. It’s, it’s, there’s a lot of garbage on there. It’s negative. The media is or is designed to program us a certain way, so the more we can get away from that, the better. And I, and I think the TV can create dramatic shifts because it’s a, it’s a distraction that we don’t have and so we may pick up another distraction which may be reading a book, which I think is a better distraction at times if it’s a distraction. But I really do believe what you just said is that TV can create the shift

Oliver Jackson:

100% it’s like so many people say that I’d have no time, I can’t, I can’t do that. I’ve got my time. But then they’ll watch seven episodes of desperate Housewives. It’s like what you found for us to do that I’m sure he could’ve have done it. Somebody else.

Ben Handler:

It seems like you’re moving with a new flow. I mean, I didn’t know you very well before. We’ve obviously formed a friendship since you’ve become a buyer’s agent and you’ve, you’ve, you’re transforming a lot daily, which is great to see and you look a lot happier when you see someone, like whether it’s a friend or not a friend who is not really enjoying what they’re doing with their work. Like do you empathize with them? Do you speak to them about it or you just sit there and just let them walk through it or, no, I try.

Oliver Jackson:

I try my hardest to first, it was a real thought. I was crazy. Like why would you quit a job where you get paid so well? And then it was first-year crazy and then it was, shit, I wish I hadn’t done that. So now you can only, you can only try and help your friends like this. You know, why don’t you try it? But people are scared. People are scared to make the shift or they have excuses. I’m like, well, you can do both. You don’t have to be a buyer’s agent. This can be any business tool, any hobby or side hustle you want to do. But then people give you the, I have no time. So, or they drink too much or they have their escapes. It’s like, Oh you can do is try and help them and it’s their life. So you kind of doesn’t want to spend too much energy on other people cause then it’s taken away from yourself. But 100% if I see friends that are unhappy, I’ll just lead by example. Just okay. Believe in the joint.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. Great mate. Listen, it’s been awesome hearing about your shift and the journey from the circus to the Audubon hospitality, fitness, construction, and then having the courage to get out, especially the basement where you’re earning 300 K to really follow a deeper purpose for yourself. A well done. It’s been inspiring to see you do this and live this and it’s awesome. So I appreciate our discussion. So thank you. Thank you very much. Where can people find you?

Oliver Jackson:

LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, all over. Jackson buyer’s agent. Uh, www.living. property.com.au.

Ben Handler:

Okay. Too easy. Well, thank you. Great to chat. So, there’s a story for you and whether you’ve got a diverse background like Oli or you don’t, it can be very challenging to make a change and shift career and change is not easy. Uncertainty is not easy because we all want to know what exists in the future, but sometimes we don’t. We just need to lead with our intuition and I always think a good gauge it’s Sunday night is, is if you’re happy on Sunday night and looking forward to work, it’s a very good litmus test. It’s a very simple test to realize are you actually happy with what you’re doing. So if you’re sitting there and you’re actually not happy with what you’re doing on Sunday night, whatever it is you may want to do, you may want to start considering changing your career. And as Oli was saying, and as we were discussing around time, you can’t buy time. We can buy a lot of other things, but we can’t buy time. It’s very valuable and we really need to use it wisely. So check out our elite livingproperty.com.au national investment model. See you next week.

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