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, peter@eliteone.com.au. 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.  

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.

Watch the full episode here:

Have you considered turning buying property into a career?

To find out more, come and watch this free web-class:
Watch the Free Webclass Here

To find your nearest Buyer’s Agent, Click here:

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#20 – We All Have A Story To Tell With Brent Backhouse

buyers agent

In this week’s edition, we will discuss the massive success of Mr. Brent Backhouse as a Buyers Agent. He has assisted an impressive 26,000 people across 24 countries in buying properties.

He is a property investment expert and passive income specialist. Along with that, he had a professional sporting career and is a coach for the Sydney Swans academy. Brent is running his own Buyers Agent business.

Over the years, he has built a portfolio across five countries in residential property. He has also been doing PPOR for several years.

Challenges of International Buying

Born and raised in Canberra, he had an opportunity to study civil engineering.  At the same time, he was dealing with property.  Since the property business was more profitable than engineering, he chose it. He has an opportunity to go to England and started a business helping sporting people. Through the success of that business, he had the opportunity to meet Prince Charles and the Queen.

Brent believes that a good Buyers Agent does not look for the best commission, they look for the best deal in favor of the buyer. This way agent’s fee is justified.

Since the beginning of his career, he has bought many properties for himself and his family. Along the way he made mistakes but the important thing was he learned from them. Those lessons have taught him the pattern of things that work and those that don’t.

Analyzing this risk factor, controlling it, and then removing it from his process has helped him become successful in the property arena.

These risks are especially evident when buying a property in other countries. Factors such as document translation, currency risks, transport access risk, consulates prove to be very challenging to determine. That is partially the reason he has resorted to buying properties only in Australia.

That being said he still has clients in Europe that have been with him for the last 20 years which is a great achievement.

Trust is key
Trust is key

Trust is the key

In his vast experience, Brent has realized the importance of gaining the trust of people. This has helped him increase his business many-fold through referrals.

He has realized that there is a huge trust challenge in the property arena. Buyers feel like they are being burnt by the estate agents.

 So whoever builds trust and communicates the truth will be successful.

Customer first
Customer first

Always put the client first

Brent’s aim has always been to facilitate the client. He understands that financial emotion is high while buying. That is why he has to guide buyers on how to transform the property so it is desirable to other people so it sells better.

He also advises people on how to generate passive income. He wants to see moderate capital growth with passive income that supports their lifestyle or starts paying their own home.

That is why he is getting more clients that want to RentVest. This means they can rent where they want to live and save money for investment.

It’s a known fact that income is required purely to build a portfolio. If there is no income, the buying capacity stops.

A word of Advice

Brent’s advice to youngsters in the industry is to make sure the client has a smooth experience and the trick is to manage their expectations up front and as you go.

He has made a habit of visiting every single property the client buys, no matter where it is to guide them through the risks.

He advises young athletes in the academy and those starting business in property to work hard when nobody is watching you and let your success make the noise.

His goal for 2020 is to help as many people as possible buying properties because Helping first time buyers or investors buy their first property is very rewarding.

You can listen to the full podcast below.

Have you considered turning buying property into a career?

To find out more, come and watch this free web-class:
Watch the Free Webclass Here

To find your nearest Buyer’s Agent, Click here:

Find an Agent