Building Momentum

by Ben Handler

March 29, 2021

Buyer's Agent Michael Martin

Michael Martin started his property journey at a young age, but it has been a bumpy road to get to where he is today.

Michael wanted to use property to build wealth and set himself and his family up for the future. However, over his 20-year investing career has had both property wins and losses along the way.

“When I was 21, still living at home with my parents, I bought my first investment property. I was always a big saver so I had enough of a deposit to buy a property. So I just bought a property around the corner.”

“It was 160 grand. It was just a villa in a mixed suburb and that was getting $230 a week rent so it was cashflow positive. It was a good start.”

Instead of refinancing after the property increased in value, Michael made the unfortunate decision, to sell to help fund his PPOR. A mistake that he still regrets to this day. However, it taught him a valuable lesson, which was to never sell if you don’t have to.

From that point onward, he still wanted to keep investing and started to buy townhouses in and around Townsville.

“My wife and I purchased four houses in the outer Townsville area over a couple of years. Everything was ticking along nicely. The Townsville ones were all cashflow positive so it was all pretty good.”

“Then the GFC hit and I lost my job because I was a futures broker. It took me a few months to get another job at a 30% / 40% pay cut as well. Townsville was hit hard by the GFC, a lot of the mines shut down so I lost a lot of tenants.”

“I’d feel sick every time I got a phone call from a Queensland number because I was thinking, what’s happened now?”

“We ended up selling the three in Townsville. We were quite lucky. We sold them for pretty much the same price as we bought them for so we didn’t actually make a loss. However, it’s just a massive opportunity cost because I think they were about 200 grand each. So 200 grand, if you bought over the majority of the country over that ten-year period, it would have gone close to double. So we missed out big time there.”

That experience was a key turning point in his life as Michael realised that he needed to improve his understanding of what makes a quality investment and what really drives property markets.

During the period where he was researching property, he learnt about buyers agents and felt that it was something he would like to do himself, given his journey in property.

“I discovered Ben and BAI and I thought this is something that I could actually do. I already found my passion for property and I thought with all the mistakes I’ve made, I haven’t exactly got success stories with my past investing, although I had all the right intentions, just poor execution.”

“I felt like there are some pretty valuable lessons that I could I pass on to potential clients and now that I’ve heavily researched properly, I’ve got some good lessons to pass on and can help clients not make the mistakes that I’ve made.”

“So I did Ben’s course and then I built up a heap of contacts within the industry. And now I’m ticking along nicely. My business has been going for almost a year so I got my first client in about June / July after getting the licence in March and I’ve been getting one client a month so far.”

Michael now focuses on helping clients find high-quality investment property from around Australia.

The BAI program and the support network were vital for Michael when he was getting his business off the ground and suggests that people new to the industry understand that it takes time to build a successful business.

“Don’t set your expectations too high when you’re starting out. That might come across in the wrong way because you should always have high expectations of what you want to achieve, but it can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.”

“For the first three months or so I was making heaps of phone calls, trying to build relationships with referral partners and putting stuff out on social media and I was getting absolutely nothing back.”

“But then the more you do it, you slowly start getting traction so it’s just being patient and have expectations of getting no business for the first three to six months and then the traction starts after that is what I’ve found. So lower your own expectations in the short-term and then the long-term results will come.”

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