This Is What Flipping Properties Can Do To You

Buyer's Agent Gus Lander on what flipping properties can do to you

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agents Institute Show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyer’s agents, to bring awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people. To bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents provide to people who need help buying property. Our goal with 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:

Our guest today is Gus Lander. He is no stranger to selling or buying property. He’s based in the Inner West in Sydney. His background is in wine. He had a business and has a business in wine, and he also did a very quick stint in recruitment. He is very, very passionate about renovating. He specifically focuses in buying owner occupied properties. He has a new business. It’s a buyer’s agent business. It’s called the Inner West Nest. So he’s focusing specifically in Inner West. He is a Balmain resident. He’s been there 15 years. So today I would like to introduce Gus. Welcome Gus.

Gus Lander:

Thanks, Ben. Appreciate the intro. Thanks for the invitation.

Ben Handler:

Thank you so much. I wanted to dive straight in to the renovations.

Gus Lander:

Yep.

Ben Handler:

Your passion.

Gus Lander:

Absolutely. Love it.

Ben Handler:

Did it all start in Sydney?

Gus Lander:

Yes. Back in 2012, I suppose, was the tipping point. We bought our first home with my wife. We bought a gut reno, old terrace in Balmain and went right through that with everything, paint lights, carpet, landscaping. We had four years there and then we sold it 2016. Did quite well obviously, then we found ourselves on the other side of the fence buying and as you know, it was a very hot market back then. And yeah, there was a lot of competition for houses. And so we struggled for a few months and then we ended up engaging a buyer’s agent, Nicole Graham, who’s a wonderful, wonderful agent. And she secured us the keys for another renovator, bigger block. And we’ve just gone through that now and finished that this week. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Nice. And let’s go back to just, so you said that you did quite well, and I think you’re been quite modest because you did mention earlier that you nearly doubled the money.

Gus Lander:

We did. Yeah. Look, it was a crazy auction, as you remember. It was a very silly time, a very hot market. We didn’t expect it. And it was very nice to come out of that side. So it recently traded last month less actually. So yeah, no, it was quite lucky. Quite fortunate. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, you got out well. So what did you learn in that? I’m just curious now because obviously renovations can go terribly wrong. Blow out, a lot of surprises. Did you learn anything specifically?

Gus Lander:

Look, it was a very safe reno. I mean, we got it I think under market value and it was very much cosmetic reno. New kitchen, all the typical things I mentioned. Live in it for maybe six months, which we did and then work out what you like, work with the space and then just trust your gut really. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

You mentioned when you bought that property it was through one a buyer’s agent, Rachel Cruz.

Gus Lander:

Yeah. Well she was actually a selling agent at the time with Cobden & Hayson. And it’s funny how we’ve sort of stayed in contact and now seeing her out and what she’s done, she’s absolutely crushing it obviously. So she’s done amazing.

Ben Handler:

I’m just curious to dive into this a bit deeper. So you engaged the buyer’s agent, Nicole?

Gus Lander:

Yep, yep.

Ben Handler:

Was it at that point when you were going through that process with Nicole, that you were like, “Hey, maybe this buyer’s agent career could be for me”?

Gus Lander:

It was that moment actually. Looking back, I’ve always loved property and renovations obviously. I never really worked out where I fit and then having gone through that experience, which was an amazing experience, she over-delivered on so many things and it was a big investment at the time. I mean, it was a lot, but we got something fantastic. For me, that was the moment where I thought this is what I want to do. How do I make it happen at this point? So, yeah, it’s been a few years, as you know, from then to now. A few kids along the way and at the build and whatnot. So just launching out more or less last few months. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

You mentioned around like the investment, like at the time, or even at any time, it can feel like obviously it’s a lot of money.

Gus Lander:

Yep.

Ben Handler:

So I understand, what was the main reasons you were looking to engage a buyer’s agent at a time?

Gus Lander:

I mean, we were time poor, which I think is the big one.

Ben Handler:

Yeah.

Gus Lander:

I think for particularly people in my area. Super time poor, dragging a kid around the Inner West every weekend. We wanted to see what things weren’t on the market. Obviously having access to someone like Nicole, who has amazing relationships across the Inner West, that was huge. And not wanting to overpay I guess in a very hot market.

Ben Handler:

Now you’re up and running with your BA business, Inner West Nest. So focusing specifically owner-occupier Inner West. Reno’s as well?

Gus Lander:

Oh, absolutely. Yep. I think for me, I’m not ruling out the investor side, but I’ve just never really been drawn to that side of it. I think there’s obviously plenty of potential maybe to spread out to that, go into that, in the years to come. But for me personally, I’m much more drawn to that human, emotional element in property and the journey, I guess, and whether it’s a first time buyer or a young family, growing family, downsizer, there’s a lot to sort of go through on that emotional side and I really enjoy. I think maybe it’s my customer service sort of roots, I guess. I love to sort of understand that and deliver that.

Ben Handler:

That’s good. And it is a very different service to investment.

Gus Lander:

Totally.

Ben Handler:

Especially when you’re dealing through that whole, it’s a whole other layer of emotion. Someone’s really going to be there for an extended period of time.

Gus Lander:

It is.

Ben Handler:

And you’re right. I mean, there’s still, like you said, customer service roots. So where does that stem from?

Gus Lander:

I was in recruitment for a little while. Fell into that, loved it for about a year.

Ben Handler:

A bit like real estate in the sense.

Gus Lander:

Yeah, it is. It totally is. I had a few jobs before that in lead gen making appointments for software, things like that. That was interesting, like door knocking and stuff, but good, good fun. Learn a lot. And then obviously moved into wine, which I was supporting a team of reps in wholesale. So we were supplying a portfolio of wines to restaurants. So restaurants, cafes, bars, so really supporting and serving that team. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

And so you still got a wine business now?

Gus Lander:

I do. So, yeah, during my tenure in wholesale, I created a brand called Excuse My French, which is a French wine label from the Languedoc in the South of France. We basically saw an opportunity in the market to launch some rose and spec in 2015. So a while ago now, and yeah, had a bit of fun with it. It’s a bit of a piss take on the whole French label, French wine Aussie market, but we’ve got it into a few markets now, which it’s going really well. Yeah. So I still have that. I still manage that as my side hustle and love it. Yeah. I handle the production, all the marketing on the side as well. So yeah.

Ben Handler:

I interview so many people, but what’s very common is just, and you might have an opinion on this, is around how transferable the skill is. From what you’re learning, let’s say, in lead gen or you’re working in IT doing sales, or you’re in recruitment, or you’re running your own business and learning how to, it’s a start up when 2015, it’s all transferable, right?

Gus Lander:

Yep.

Ben Handler:

And so now that you’ve kicked off Inner West Nest, do you feel like you’ve already climbed up the ladder a bit so you can leverage from that to really propel forward?

Gus Lander:

Yeah. I think there’s definitely some transferable skills. When you’re running your own business, obviously you’re wearing lots of hats. In your course, you had a great episode about all the different things you’ve got to do. It’s never ending, right? And we’ve been lucky with the timing, I guess, because it’s very competitive. But yeah. Look, to answer your question, I think there’s lots of skills. You’ve got to be driven, you’ve got to be time management. You’ve really got to understand your market and execute. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. I saw a photo recently at an auction and I saw you in the background of that photo-

Gus Lander:

Oh really?

Ben Handler:

I think it was Inner West Auction. Looking very sharp. You could have passed as one of those really well dressed real estate agents. And then I saw Gus Lander in the back. What’s going on now? You’re turning up to, I’m assuming, you’re like a lot of auctions? You’re upskilling with product knowledge? What’s going on?

Gus Lander:

Yeah. Just trying to go to as many opens as possible, obviously great space to meet not only agents and develop those relationships, obviously lead gen with clients. I think you made a comment in the course about getting leads from opens. And I thought that’s not going to work, but it’s-

Ben Handler:

He’s bullshitting me.

Gus Lander:

It’s so good. Yeah. I reckon it’s the number one spot now for me to make clients. It’s great. I love it.

Ben Handler:

I spoke to another guy who came through the program, his name’s Trent, and he works full-time so he doesn’t have a lot of time. I spoke to him about two weeks ago and he said to me all he gets is Saturdays off and all he does with that time on Saturdays is go to opens. And he’s basically picked up all his buyers from Saturday turning up to opens. So yeah, it’s an interesting way. I mean, you can be so specific with how you want to, like if you want a buyer between four and five in Balmain, you turn up to those listings or those auctions, there’s your buyers.

Gus Lander:

I’ve just been going like 10 minutes early and obviously you’re dressed up and obviously the obvious thing is people think you’re a real estate agent. It’s a perfect ice breaker, right? And immediately they’d sort of, “Oh, you’re on our side.” So I found that a really good way to meet people and just to hear and listen and make a few connections. So look, it’s yeah. I’m really surprised myself actually with that. So it’s been good.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. You’ve got that personality that is not confronting, non salesy. And so I think you’re going to have a lot of fun with building rapport and-

Gus Lander:

Sure.

Ben Handler:

Sparking those-

Gus Lander:

Well done for the tip. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Thanks. And so you’ve been in Balmain 15 years?

Gus Lander:

Yep.

Ben Handler:

So small place. How do you feel your product knowledge there is at the moment?

Gus Lander:

Yeah. Look, I know the streets obviously. I mean, I live there and love the area. I can’t imagine living anywhere else, very proud to live there. And having had an interest in property, I’ve obviously got to know the agents over the time for them and gone to auctions and just explore the area. So that’s definitely paying dividends now in terms of getting leads and making connections and just really having access to properties off market. And yeah. I’ve been fortunate to that. I’d like to obviously explore my core area a bit more now and move into Summerhill and Tempe and all over. So yeah.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. The market’s interesting. I mean, Inner West, I don’t know very well in terms of how it performs, et cetera, but I’ve heard it’s low stock, right?

Gus Lander:

It’s massively low stock and particularly now. It’s totally, like the rest, like the East, Lower North, prices are holding in there, even still going up for the right properties, driven by lack of supply.

Ben Handler:

Our role in this style of market as a buyer’s agent, when it’s super low, like we have to try and just do whatever we can to create the opportunity, right?

Gus Lander:

Yep.

Ben Handler:

To find that stock.

Gus Lander:

Yep.

Ben Handler:

And so are you feeling like there is a lot of off-market popping up? Is it-

Gus Lander:

Not as much as I would have liked to. I mean, it’s super tight, right? I’m trying to be upbeat with my clients and sort of saying it’s coming, and it’s dripping through obviously, but there’s still not much out there. A few off markets are coming up, but yeah, surprisingly it’s just kept, it’s just, yeah, tight.

Ben Handler:

It’s interesting. I think, who knows, but maybe the low stock has been driving prices still high.

Gus Lander:

Yeah. And I think as these prices get around, people will be encouraged to list. I think as September is only a few weeks away. We’re hopeful that we’ll see some more. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

We talked about customer service earlier. It’s obviously something that, I guess, you embody. You’ve obviously worked with clients already. Have you found that experience like that client journey? Because you obviously went through it when you engaged Nicole. Now you’re effectively the Nicole with the client. How is that experience?

Gus Lander:

It’s been great. I just like to connect with people and you go in with a bit of an agenda in your head, but at the end of the day, it’s really just about connecting on that personal level to establish that trust and rapport. And obviously if we’re a fit, that’s obviously really important to a client to hand their trust over and deliver a brief and yeah. I love it. I think it’s such a rewarding part of being a buyer’s agent to be able to have that complete trust. And it’s pretty amazing, really. Yeah. It’s fantastic.

Ben Handler:

You’re right. There’s a high level of trust. It’s different to the sell side in the sense of like when you’re selling a property and you engage the real estate agent, the money comes out, not really, it comes obviously out of your bank, but it’s not really straight out of your back pocket in most cases, if you’re clearing out okay without having to pay down any further debt. But when you’re engaging a buyer’s agent, it’s coming straight out.

Gus Lander:

It is, sure.

Ben Handler:

I’ve always felt like there has to be, and where I’m going with this is that trust because to really pull money out, you really need to really believe in that buyer’s agent. And the client experience, I think is, as you said, it’s such an incredible part of the journey, especially with owner-occupier clients. You develop this bond. It can go quite deep, which I think is really special.

Gus Lander:

100%. I couldn’t agree more. You learn about their lives and everything, their hopes and dreams. Obviously that’s on the seller side too, but there is, I think, a very intimate level of trust. Probably much more on the buying side, for sure.

Ben Handler:

You’ve just had a third kid and so congrats.

Gus Lander:

Thank you.

Ben Handler:

Had a conversation earlier about all that stuff, but I guess running a new business now-

Gus Lander:

Yep.

Ben Handler:

Spending a lot of time with the kids, juggling a few different things. Do you feel like you’re good at managing time?

Gus Lander:

It’s tough. I won’t lie. I’m definitely working the business around the kids. My wife’s a freelancer, so she’s in and out a lot. We have a lot of help, but we make it work. And yeah. It’s a combination of being driven and organized. Yeah. It’s a bit of a tug of war, but with the house, obviously which we’ve just finished, it’s now time, I think, to really let loose and put a bit more time into this journey. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Isn’t that one of the benefits of running a buyer’s agent business, like the flexibility? I mean, I know you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve already got your own wine business, but hypothetically let’s say COVID wasn’t here. So not everyone’s working from home, you’re working nine to five in the city or whatever the job is. You can’t just be at home with the kids, right? And it doesn’t all work around like that.

Gus Lander:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

I personally think you work hard as a buyer’s agent, we’ll say seven days.

Gus Lander:

Sure.

Ben Handler:

Seven days, like you don’t switch the phone off on a Saturday and Sunday. It’s on. And you speak to clients on Sunday nights, Saturday nights. It’s always on.

Gus Lander:

Yep.

Ben Handler:

My experiences though, even though it’s seven days, it’s flexible. Like if you wanted to go for a surf at two o’clock, you just jump out.

Gus Lander:

There’s so much flexibility. That’s part of the appeal obviously. Third kid, we were battling at home and had the flexibility, so I can work around it. It’s very convenient. And being obviously leading in my core area, I can pop out to an open for half an hour and we can manage that. Yeah. I think my decision to focus on just that area at the moment is doable it seems to be working out okay so far. So yeah. But flexibility is huge for us as a family. We needed that and the timing was right. So yeah.

Ben Handler:

Let’s dive into a bit about Inner West Nest.

Gus Lander:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Obviously you’ve thought about it because I like your website, but I’ve thought about Inner West Nest, you’ve committed to that. I’m focusing. Inner West. If the Mosmann buyer comes I’m Inner West Nest. I ain’t Mosmann.

Gus Lander:

Send them away to Rachel. Yeah, exactly. So, no, look, it’s the area that I know. It was a natural progression for me, starting out, obviously not coming from a property background or a real estate background. So that for me was the logical place to start. And I did get a lot of feedback, actually, people saying, “Is this going to limit you? Is this going to be something that will date?” I’m going with my gut on this. And you make a few comments as well in your course about being a specialist and really owning a space. And that’s obviously years down the track to be in that position, like where Rachel is now, for example. I think it’s a logical point for me to start with. And I think that’s a big area, like there’s 30 suburbs to stretch out to. And there’s lots of different architecture. We’ve got Federation homes, we’ve got modern contemporary homes. There’s everything in between.

Ben Handler:

It’s a big area.

Gus Lander:

It is.

Ben Handler:

If you look at, not that you want to play the comparison game, but if you look at most real estate agents, they will typically work in a certain amount of postcodes. Some will just do Balmain as you know. I think as a buyer’s agent, having the geography of the whole, let’s say, Inner West, it’s large.

Gus Lander:

It’s huge. Yeah. And just doing owner-occupies really for now, it’s the area that I gravitate towards again. So it is a niche business. I definitely agree with that. Yeah. It’s-

Ben Handler:

Specific.

Gus Lander:

It is specific. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Which is good.

Gus Lander:

Yeah. I’m just trying to sort of own that space and really build up clients and relationships and yeah.

Ben Handler:

Well, it clearly works. I’ve thought about this a lot, even back at the Cohen Handler days because it is different from a buyer’s agent in the sense of selling agent, let’s say in Balmain, they just call all the vendors in Balmain and then they get their opportunities. As a buyer’s agent, we don’t do that. And so business does come from so many different places. So I always was thinking, well, how does the geography work? But I guess if you can specialize, which you are in the Inner West, you’ve got all the real estate agent relationships, you build that reputation, the business will just gravitate, which it is clearly towards you. That’s awesome. So as we wrap up, what are plans? Any plans for Inner West? I know it’s fresh?

Gus Lander:

Yep.

Ben Handler:

Is there anything on the horizon?

Gus Lander:

I think it’s too early to say. I think it’s only a few months in and done just a couple of deals so far. So I think my goal for the business really is to, know that I can have the time to really put into it, is just to push on and really just focus on the process and doing things right. Not worrying too much about the numbers or the buyers. Look, it’d be nice to scale, but at the same time, it’s like that thing where, do you lose that sort of direct intimate contact with your clients? But look, I’m not going to put a tag on it at all. I just want to just go along for the ride and just go for it.

Ben Handler:

That’s awesome. Yeah. You said the word process and focusing on that, and that’s important. In the sporting world, it’s always process not outcome. And starting off in that, in any business, right, I think you’ve got to take those baby steps in order then to work out whether you actually want to scale because you will lose that intimacy in most cases.

Gus Lander:

Yep.

Ben Handler:

And I think the great thing about the buyer’s agent business, in my perspective, I was having lunch earlier with someone about this before we caught up now, and you don’t need to have a big business. You don’t need to have all these people. It can be a very profitable business. And if you’re happy servicing a certain amount of number of clients, it’s a good business.

Gus Lander:

Absolutely. It’s always going to be something that I’ll have to work in with the broader agenda at home. And that’s the great thing about the business and the industry is you can do that.

Ben Handler:

Awesome. Where can people find you?

Gus Lander:

So I’m at my website, www.innerwestnest.com.au, or my Instagram @InnerWestNest.

Ben Handler:

Thank you so much. Awesome chatting. And can’t wait just to see you just tear up this Inner West, okay? So well done.

Gus Lander:

Thanks Ben.

Ben Handler:

Everyone, if you’re listening, if you’re looking to buy in Mosmann call Gus. He is specifically focusing on the Inner West, hence the name Inner West Nest. He’s got a lot of experience selling and buying specifically as he’s was mentioning in renovating and for owner-occupier specific properties. Lived in Balmain 15 years. He knows the area back to front, so check him out. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

What 20 Years of Financial Planning Can Do To You?

Buyer's Agent Paul Mollica on what 20 years of financial planning can do to you

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 awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing to people. To bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents are providing to people who need help buying property. Our goal with the show is to really strip back and dive into the remarkable stories and journeys of buyer’s agents who are paving the way for the fastest growing career sectors in real estate right now. Our guest today is a special one, his name is Paul Mollica. He’s here from Sydney. He has 20 years experience. He’s been self employed in the financial planning space. He’s written a book on personal finance, he’s very passionate about property investment.

Ben Handler:

We’re going to talk and dive into this whole concept around leverage, which he really enjoys talking about. He’s got a very strong opinion on super, which we’ll also going to dive into and hopefully we’re going to really flesh that one out. And he really has had a passion to get into the buyer’s agent space, primarily to focus on providing quality advice. He is the director and founder and buyer’s agent at Wealthkey Property. Today I’d like to introduce Paul Mullica. Welcome Paul.

Paul Mollica:

Ben hi. Thank you for having me.

Ben Handler:

Pleasure to be here. I don’t know where we start. Do we dive into super or do we dive into leverage with property?

Paul Mollica:

Well, it’s your show Ben, so where do you want to start?

Ben Handler:

Let’s talk about super.

Paul Mollica:

He’s gone for the throat.

Ben Handler:

I just thought we’ll just dive straight in because you obviously, you’ve got a lot of experience in this space. A lot of people think they have experience and don’t. So it’d be good I guess, just get a bit of insight around I guess, just your perspective on super

Paul Mollica:

It’s a very interesting and highly regulated industry. There’s a lot of money in there. There’s a lot of what I would call a false sense of economy around superannuation. I spent 20 years as a financial planner. I have now left that business and I’m a full time buyer’s agent. I was a part time buyer’s agent before and I’m also a passionate property investor myself. So I’ve joined the dots between how people have created wealth with property versus how they’ve created wealth with superannuation and other assets and have landed firmly on this side of the fence.

Ben Handler:

And what side of the fence is that?

Paul Mollica:

The side of the fence that says, “Use leverage wisely and buy property and over time you’ll do fine.”

Ben Handler:

And when you were working as a financial planner, I guess if clients were coming to you saying, “Hey, we want to get into direct property.” Well how would you deal with that?

Paul Mollica:

The thing with property is that it’s not a regulated financial asset. So by default, there’s a strong bias against property from people that can’t make a quid out of it. So there’s this blind spot. And as the walls have calmed down and financial planners and accountants and mortgage brokers and other professionals have built wealth or seen wealth being built through property, their eyes have been opened up a little bit.

Ben Handler:

When you were working in the financial planning space, you were doing buyer’s agent work then?

Paul Mollica:

I was, yeah. Yeah I was one of the very few licensed financial planners that also had my real estate license. So I was very firm on that. About halfway through my 20 year career I started investing in property myself. And I joined the dots and thought all these clients that have a decent amount of wealth, they are Sydney homeowners and they’ve got 6, 7, 8, $900,000 perhaps in super and I was helping pre-retiree and retiree clients and wondering and asking the question, “How did you get there?” And a lot of the time they’d bought a property 10 or 20 years ago. They’d had a property that had grown their own wealth, the family home or they’d inherited property. Next to none of them saved their way to wealth which leads me on to leverage.

Ben Handler:

That makes sense though. I can say that especially where we are today with the world as it is. I mean consumer spending so high and people accumulating so much debt on credit card and there doesn’t seem to be like a new wave of like, let’s save. It doesn’t seem like it’s been there for a while either.

Paul Mollica:

It’s just impossible to save your way to wealth and interest rates are so low at the moment. If I can buy a quality asset in a growth area for someone that’s delivering say a 5% rental yield and they’re paying three and a bit in interest rates, it neutrals itself out. So the question to ask my clients, if fear isn’t holding them back and that they’re buying quality assets is, “If it costs you next to nothing per month to hold a 3, 4, $500,000 asset, how long can you hold it for?” And the answer is as long as you damn well please.

Ben Handler:

What do you see as common mistakes? And you might’ve seen this when you were working in the financial planning space with some of your clients, but where do you see people go wrong with buying resi property. Like investment, not on a rock where they’ve inherited or they bought a family home, but more when they’re investing?

Paul Mollica:

They’re sold schemes, they’re sold scheme. So crappy bill quality, investor slums, marketing companies that are offering 25, $35,000 in commission and buying solely on shiny new products that have a depreciation schedule. You’ve got some experience there.

Ben Handler:

Well I’ve seen it and people fall for it.

Paul Mollica:

They do.

Ben Handler:

It’s like their attention goes depreciation schedule and they forget about the product that they’re buying.

Paul Mollica:

Yeah, yeah. And it’s smoke and mirrors and a lot of it’s just bullshit and it’s rubbish stock. I’ve developed a system in the business called the ABCs. So when you’re looking at the ABCs, you look at the area, then you look at the building itself. What’s income? What’s in demand? What’s livability. Can I add value to it? Is there a decent block of dirt under it? So the area, the building and then cashflow is last and comparables.

Ben Handler:

I like it. [AB double C hey. 00:06:49] You’ve kicked off Wealthkey Property and now you’re kicking big goals and I knew it was going to move quick. So now working with clients, for example, that are coming to you specifically to buy property, how do you compare that experience? Because obviously you had 20 years in the fin planning space. How do you compare now the client experience, the journey, it must be different.

Paul Mollica:

It’s night and day, it is night and day. The amount of rubbish and compliance and complexity that was in that financial planning world that didn’t protect anyone. Because you can give bad advice in a compliant way. And there’s also dodgy real estate agents and dodgy market is out there for property as well. But the question was, how do I compare the experience? I jump out of bed, mate. I love it. I love it. And I love project managing the process. So I only make people two promises. One is that I’ll get you invested because time poured don’t know where to start. We’ve got this whole, what I call the circle of confusion house or unit? Regional, city, what price point et cetera. So the two promises I’ll get you invested and I’ll keep you safe. That’s it.

Ben Handler:

Powerful promise.

Paul Mollica:

I keep it.

Ben Handler:

It’s compelling.

Paul Mollica:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

So clients, I mean you’ve obviously built up 20 years self-employed in the fin planning space. You’ve obviously built up a series book of clients who like and trust you and you’ve done work with, have you felt like a lot of your clients naturally have come from past dealings or is it a new wave of new clients coming to you?

Paul Mollica:

Yeah, I’m promoting my property business in its own right. So I can’t actively pursue for commercial reasons or can’t actively pursue my previous clients but maybe they’ll say this video. But yeah, a lot of new stuff and I’m working the business to business referrals. We’ve got I think some fairly realistic goals and that is to help 50 to 70 families per year to get invested safely in areas that have got good growth drivers where they’re not going to have high vacancy rates. They’re not going to have dodgy assets. So we manage the building and pest the, introduce them to conveyances and lawyers and all that sort of things that can be very confusing particularly when you’re buying into state. But the interesting thing is that a lot of the clients we’re working with now want to buy two and three properties with us immediately. So that’s a really nice feeling when you’ve just gone unconditional on a property and you get a text from the client saying, “Thanks can we go again?”

Ben Handler:

So is that stemming from your first initial discussions with them about a strategy or are they just coming to you saying we’re ready, we want to go again? I guess the question is, has that been pre-framed earlier on around, this is part of the plan and then they’re just comfortable to go again now or they just bring it up to you?

Paul Mollica:

It depends on the client. A lot of the times it is pre-framed. I’ve got a one page worksheet and I’ve been talking to people about their money stuff and their life stuff for 20 odd years. So I get the strategic intent and I get that you’ve been working your ass off paying tax for the last 30 years for a lot of my clients around 50. And you’ve only got X amount in super what the hell’s going on there? And I can overlay that with my own property journey and say, well I’ve got 200 grand in super and $2 million worth of property assets or whatever it is and show them real examples. But the beauty of this business is that no one needs to be sold on property, they get it.

Ben Handler:

But they’re getting extra value with you. Like when you said earlier around your experience with financial planning, talking about managing money and just lifestyle and understanding and getting awareness around super and just how to do things. I mean that’s an extra added bow they’re going to get when they come to you for the buyer’s agent.

Paul Mollica:

Look I’m not licensed as a financial planner anymore but no one can take my knowledge and my connections away from me. So like a really classic example is that if you’ve got, you’re alright for me to just unpack a bit of a case study for you.?

Ben Handler:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Paul Mollica:

So you’ve got a mum and dad that are earning 150 grand a year combined. So they’ve got say 15,000 odd going into superannuation each year. They might have $300,000 in assets there and there’ll be paying between 2 and 3% in fees. So that’s between seven and $10,000 in fees. If they took 150,000 of that money and used it as a deposit and costs against a $450,000 asset a property, then they still had 150 left over. They’re only borrowing 70 or 75% of the cost of the property. So it’s positive cashflow, it’s bidding off rent and they’re controlling $600,000 in assets that they’re not losing sleep at night over instead of $300,000 worth of assets that they’re getting [builted 00:12:20] on fees for. That is really exciting to be able to do that for people, for a long play, for a 7 to 10 to 15 year play.

Ben Handler:

How do they respond when you first break down an example like that? When they’re unaware of that example?

Paul Mollica:

Most people just ask if it’s legal.

Ben Handler:

Makes sense.

Paul Mollica:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

This is all about board poll.

Paul Mollica:

Yeah, yeah.

Ben Handler:

Now that’s exciting. I guess this is the value that people get coming to Wealthkey Property. It’s not just about…

Paul Mollica:

Money is just an idea and it’s pretty basic when you break it down to its core which is why I wrote the book that I published a few years ago. But essentially if you and I are in a race and you’re earning 150 a year, I’m earning 150 a year and you’ve got $300,000 in superannuation going up and down with the market, getting fees taken out of it and I’m controlling property and both assets perform at the same rate, it might be 6% a year. I think actually ASIC money smart website says that direct property will perform over a 10 year average at 6.3% shares 6.5%. So you’re going to beat me by 0.2. But getting back to the race, you’re controlling 300,000 worth of assets, I’m controlling 600,000 worth of assets and we’ve both got 15 or 20 years till retirement. I’m going to beat you because compounding says that if something doubles twice over a period of time, you’ll go from 3 to 6 to 1.2, I’ll go from six to 1.2 to 2.4, I’ve just builted you.

Ben Handler:

Outperform.

Paul Mollica:

And all I’ve done, all I’ve done is use leverage and compound interest.

Ben Handler:

So yeah using property is of the vehicle.

Paul Mollica:

Absolutely, yeah.

Ben Handler:

That’s interesting. I don’t think there’s a lot of people who are, especially in the buyer’s agent space that I know of who are really playing and who really understand this space and applying it. So it’s obviously a big opportunity for you.

Paul Mollica:

Yeah. Well it’s a big opportunity for the mum and dad consumer more to the point.

Ben Handler:

So Paul you’ve obviously started Wealthkey, you’ve kicked off the ground quickly. A lot of quiet acquisition, a lot of purchases and no surprise. I guess with any new business, it comes a lot of learning. Do you mind sharing I guess maybe some things that have popped up that maybe surprised you, bit you in the ass, or maybe didn’t? Just I guess anything you think it’s worth sharing?

Paul Mollica:

I think control growth is really important. So once you deep dive into a suburb and you’ve got the area, you’ve got the building then you’ve got to negotiate. And then all of a sudden you’ve got all these different parts to manage. So having really strong systems and processes and a really good team is key. So I’ve got a great in house team. We do research, outsourced research but then due to the Rona, I’ve had to have acquisitions teams set up into state because that’s where I’m buying a lot of value for my clients. And that has proved to be really awesome because I can build in efficiencies. Not only have I got into state partners that will do video walkthroughs and have really good suburb knowledge but clients now are more accepting of doing a zoom meeting. So not having to go and pay for parking and spending three hours doing a one hour meeting is really good. So yeah, it’s just control growth and having some fun along the way but looking after each client from beginning to end.

Ben Handler:

Yeah I love what you said. You said teamwork, systems, processes. I mean the pillars of any business and you seem to have obviously understood that and nailed that early on, which is important. And that’s how you do grow. You talk about controlled growth, but when you do get that dialed in, you can grow at a speed.

Paul Mollica:

I had a little bit of a head start there Been because I’ve been working on this stuff for years as a part time proposition and now I’ve bitten the bullet and gone full time and I can simply help more people. It’s…

Ben Handler:

It’s so good. What’s the future of… I know you’ve just started, but obviously is it like next 12 months? I know you said you’re looking to, was it 50 to 70 families you’re looking to buy for? Is there anything else on the agenda for Wealthkey Property for this FY?

Paul Mollica:

We’d like to, I’ve got a really good support person at the moment that I’d like to get licensed up so that there’s two buyer’s agents and one support staff but like most areas of my life, I’m making it up as I go along.

Ben Handler:

I love it. Good stuff. And where can people find you?

Paul Mollica:

Wealthkeyroperty.com.edu and Wealthkey Property on Facebook as well.

Ben Handler:

I love it. And book, title of the book?

Paul Mollica:

Your Money Boat. I’ll send you a copy.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, I’ve got to read that one. I’m looking forward to it. It’s got your personality in it, then I’m ready.

Paul Mollica:

A lot of people have said to me, “Reading this book it’s like hearing your voice,” and it’s driving me a bit crazy. So I don’t know if that’s a compliment or not, but I’ll take it.

Ben Handler:

I think it’s a compliment. Thanks Paul, I appreciate it.

Paul Mollica:

Okay. Thanks Ben.

Ben Handler:

For those that are listening, it’s pretty rare that you’ve got someone like Paul with literally 20 years of financial planning experience. Obviously he’s not licensed as a financial planner anymore. However, I guess, going to someone like Paul, you’re not just getting the stock standard I guess buyer’s agent experience. You’re going to get a wealth of knowledge prior. And as Paul said, he’s focusing on investment, he’s buying interstate. So I’d highly recommend check out Paul at Wealthkey Property. It’s on the screen. As you can see, massive big personality, lovely guy. Hope you really enjoyed this episode. See you next week.

Please watch he full episode here:

Why Focus on Process Instead of Outcome?

Buyer's Agent Darren Venter on why focus on process instead of outcome

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agent Institute how. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyer’s agents. Bring awareness around the career opportunities the sector is providing people. To bring awareness of the value that buyer’s agents are providing people who need help buying property.

Ben Handler:

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.

Our guest today is Darren Venter. He’s the director and founder of Strat Prop here in Sydney, an investment-based national focused property business. Darren migrated from South Africa in 2008 to Australia. His first taste of real estate was actually in development. He was buying land for a developer for the purpose of development sites here in Australia. Darren has a background in CAD designing, which was actually the fundamental reason why he moved to Australia.

Darren’s now moved on. He’s got entrepreneurial, I guess, the taste of what it’s like to really get out there and do his own thing, and he’s started his own buyer’s agent business. As I said earlier, it’s called Strat Prop. What Darren is doing is quite unique. He’s developing a very custom bespoke client journey, fully focused on building investment portfolios. Investment portfolios for the future. So I’m really excited to introduce Darren Venter today. Welcome, Darren.

Darren Venter:

Thanks Bennie. Very warm welcome. Thank you very much.

Ben Handler:

For people who don’t know, what is CAD designing?

Darren Venter:

Well, CAD designing is… So there’s obviously a lot of different industries that use CAD designing, but CAD is computer-aided designing. The objective with CAD designing is that it’s a quick method to produce something, but there’s a very logical thought process in the actual workings of CAD design.

You have to reach an objective by starting at a start point. Like anything, I mean, you could put that analogy into baking a cake. You want to get a cake out of the oven you’ve got to start with the recipe. It’s the same thing with CAD. So there’s a very logical thought process when coming into a situation, being able to divide it out into the steps that you need to take to get to the end product.

Ben Handler:

I love it. And like building an investment portfolio, which is probably why it’s fundamental to what you’re doing with your new business at Strat Prop, right?

Darren Venter:

Absolutely. So with Strat Prop what we’re more focused around more than just buying property is actually growing the portfolio for our clients. So understanding that maybe while CAD designing is the process to get a product, building that portfolio or buying those properties is the process to build that portfolio. So when we do purchase our properties for our clients, we actually go in knowing exactly what their profile looks like as an individual.

And we question them out by a series of questions. It actually puts them into, I think it’s three different sets of criteria that they fill out or rather three different buckets that they are put into by means of, I think it’s 27 or 28 questions. And these questions essentially profile them out into nine major sections and it shows their weaknesses and their strengths. And then we basically take those, and we use them inside the process to be able to purchase their property.

So what this looks like, just to elaborate on that, is if we have a client that might be time-poor, but they have high funds, or if they have a lot of time available, but low funds, you could strategically purchase that property knowing that if they do have more funds then they can basically put that cash towards contractors to be able to develop a property. Therefore, that means that that property will have to be that type of a property. Then we have to look in certain areas because those properties are only in certain areas, but it’s also got to then fit into their actual budget.

So being able to balance all of these things is basically how we purchase our properties for our clients, and then build off that every single time in their portfolio. So getting that property to perform in the right way for them, and then essentially withdrawing the equity, moving it on to the next property and building out in that strategic layering that we go through.

Ben Handler:

How important is the first purchase?

Darren Venter:

Extremely important. So a lot of the times that first purchase is also considered the exit property, just because you can only lend so many times from the bank and therefore the bank’s only going to give you so much money. So that property, the initial property purchase that you’re going through, that actually has to be the one that’s going to be able to get you into the good books with the banks again, because essentially you can’t borrow forever. The banks handicap you at a point and that property is then the tool to get you out and re-inject that equity back into your portfolio and use it further on.

Typically, you’re probably looking at around four to five purchases before you get this knockback. Sometimes six purchases, depending on obviously the client’s profile with the bank because everybody has their absolute individual profiles, but it’s about being able to balance that profile financially within the property structure.

So very important to get the first property right because that property is the one that’s going to be able to essentially lead you onto further growth when you do hit speed bumps. Because as we all know, property investment is not all cakes and cookies. There are some speed humps on the way, but it’s about preparing yourself and making sure that you go into the game with that exit strategy in place.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. And which is like what you were sharing with the CAD designing, you’re thinking about the end goal and you’re moving.

So let’s talk a bit about research. Obviously it’s fundamental to what you’re doing, to what all investors do. One of the big issues I think for investors and buyer’s agents is a bit like a membership site is overwhelm. You go in there and you’re like, I’ve got Real Estate Investar, I’ve got HtAG, I’ve got [inaudible 00:06:08], I’ve got RP Data. I’ve got Pricefinder et cetera. This does this, that that.

What’s your approach to A) Consolidate and then B) For it to become a bit more seamless for you to move quicker.

Darren Venter:

Well, the consolidation is the biggest thing. You’ve got to get the information, but you can’t just get the information. You got to get the right information. So data is available to everybody. We’re all got privy to it. Everybody can get it. It’s really easy. That’s not the problem. It’s being able to understand what that data means.

So being able to construct that into an actual legible format and to be able to predict what that’s going to mean. That’s the trick there. So if we take a look at, for example, a low vacancy rate in that area, it might be a good factor to make judgement off, but it might not be that right factor to make judgement off. You’ve got to look at the demographic behind that vacancy rate. You also got to ask yourself why that vacancy rate is there. And also what influences around there are the government putting in place to influence that vacancy rate and what’s going to influence it negatively or positively in the future.

We basically base a lot of the information and a lot of the data that we collect is off government’s portal. And you’re able to take this information because the government makes it really available to a lot of people. And you can take this information, understand what infrastructure expenditure’s going into certain areas, be able to make a prediction of what that is going to look like in terms of the projection of value growth in an area and work off that.

Ben Handler:

So if you’re looking into an area, I’m assuming you’re looking at obviously local economy, looking at vacancy. What are the key things you are looking for when you’re moving into a potential let’s call it a new hot spot or new area?

Darren Venter:

So we want to understand what the actual demographic movements look like. So the vacancy rate is one thing, but what is that vacancy rate over? We keep harping on the vacancy rate, but it is an important point. But it also really does come down to the rate of movement. So what are those people… How quickly are they moving into an area? How quickly are they moving out of an area?

The infrastructure spend is a big thing. And I’ll just put that back into an actual situation. So if we look at, for example, out in the western suburbs of Sydney or in Canberra, they’ve got the international expansions for their airport at the moment. And we all know that Canberra’s going under a very high injection of tech at the moment, introducing the first 5Gs connectivities and a lot of tech hub around Canberra. But what we also need to look at is that those international airport connections are going to be in the likes of Los Angeles and Tokyo to the biggest tech hubs in the world.

So some of this influence can be predictive of what else can we look for in terms of tech development, tech boom. And so then we can go back into the Canberra market and find out what other influences the government’s putting in place to assist that. And therefore, if that’s going to be… They’re obviously going to need cabling under the ground or other infrastructures that are going to be able to support that industry.

Then essentially we can look for the people that are going to be able to work to support those industries. Those people have to live somewhere. We’re in the business of buying property. So we have to buy those properties that are going to be able to work for those locations, for those industries, for those reasons. So it’s about back stepping and understanding the full scope and then honing in on the actual data, which is the supportive point for it.

Ben Handler:

Most of your clients are they typically locking in interest-only loans to support this strategic direction that you’re going in?

Darren Venter:

We work very closely with our finance partners because not everybody is the same and it depends where you are in the portfolio too. Throughout that big questionnaire that we give our clients… It’s not a big questionnaire but throughout the questionnaire that we give our clients, a lot of that stuff is also financial questions, but we also then lead onto the conversation with our mortgage brokers and our financial partners.

So every instance is very specific and particularly tailored to the client’s needs. If there’s a need for a principal and interest, then we might go that way. But typically getting into the investment properties, starting off interest-only, great. If you can get into the 80%, great. If you can’t there’s still lenders mortgage insurance, which we can tap on. It just means that your rate of growth is influenced by the decisions you make on the financial side too.

So there’s two very important things that we need to do here is the property purchase strategy and then the financial placement strategy. And if you can place those together to work really well, then essentially that property is going to be able to perform for you, perform for your portfolio and allow that to grow in a very structured strategic way.

Ben Handler:

Are you focusing on existing stock or is it new or are you doing both?

Darren Venter:

We don’t buy new stock. It’s very rare that we buy new stock. And just a bit of a background. I used to actually do land finding, land investigations for building companies and for mass developments. And I stepped away from that because it’s not necessarily the point where I found value because I really value finding properties where the growth of the property is influenced by what I’ve literally been speaking about.

A lot of developments don’t necessarily have a lot of that interest best of mind or front of mind. And I’m not saying that’s in every single case, but that is one of the reasons why I actually stepped out of that side of the industry is because I really saw the value of what the market growth does. So because of that, I actually took myself away from the new builds because we couldn’t really justify the value growth in the new builds.

Ben Handler:

Which makes sense.

Darren Venter:

Yeah. So we actually purchase existing stock most of the time. In fact, all of the time. So we find these products in regional pockets of Australia, also outer metro areas of Australia. And as long as it makes sense for the clients, then that’s what we go ahead with. But essentially every property that we purchase for our clients is individually picked. We don’t have a place where we like to pick right now, because that might not be right for the portfolio. Every product and every property has its own reason in the portfolio.

Ben Handler:

Which makes sense. And it’s obviously a backdrop to your business model, which is obviously very custom bespoke. And as you were saying around the interest-only or the PNI, it’s based on that specific time for that specific client for what they need at that time. And I think that’s great because there’s no one size fits all approach for investing. I think you need to analyze the situation as it is, which I’m sure clearly you’re doing and then working out what’s the best strategy to meet the objective outcome.

Darren Venter:

Absolutely. Everybody has their own situation. Everybody has their own objective and everybody has to have their own plan to get there. So it’s about creating that plan and doing it through strategic purchasing is to me the only way to do that.

Ben Handler:

What have you found challenging? Obviously, as an entrepreneur starting your own business, it’s never easy. Buyer’s agents are starting to grow now. Obviously property is something you’re passionate about. What have you found most challenging starting out Strat Prop?

Darren Venter:

The most challenging part of starting any business is being able to let people know what you’re able to do for them. There’s a big rapport that you have to have. There’s a big amount of rapport that you have to have with your clients and potential clients. Building that relationship is always the biggest thing for me to be able to get people to understand what it is that I do and why I do it.

So I think for me, that’s probably always been the biggest thing. I wouldn’t say it’s been necessarily a challenge, but it’s been my main focus in business would be to try and get that relationship with people because when you are purchasing properties for them, which is of such… They’re good volumes of cash spend that they’re putting down into your trust to actually be able to purchase a property for them, you really do need to get to know those people because you need to understand what their objectives are.

So in terms of the biggest challenge, it would probably be to get out in front of my potential clientele and let them know what it is that I’m able to do for them. But like with any business that you create, there’s a lot of challenges. There’s the marketing challenges. And that’s pretty much what I’ve just harped on there. So that is marketing 101 is about getting people to be able to trust you and understand what you’re doing. Probably the most important thing or the most challenging thing would probably be getting in front of the right people.

Ben Handler:

Which is also comes down to getting clients. And I think that’s a common problem for all businesses typically starting out is client acquisition.

Darren Venter:

Yeah, absolutely. It is a tricky part, but what I’m finding is that as soon as you take on a couple clients, they refer on to other clients, they refer on to other clients and you build your network that way. And you really do grow a strong clientele base. And that I think is probably more valuable than any sort of online marketing that you can do because you know the product that you’re supplying to this person, and they’re able to share that knowledge with somebody else.

So understanding what you do and sharing that with your client, allows them to share it with their clients. So being really open and exposed about the whole process is one of our… Is basically top of mind for us is that we expose all of our discussions and our conversations and our findings. And we actually train our clients up along the way so that they have a very good understanding and comfort level with what we’re trying to do.

Ben Handler:

The whole transparency. I sent an email out to my database a few days ago, and I was sharing two tips on what I felt buyers wish they knew before they… Because I personally with my experience, I think that buyers are very naive. I’m sure you’ve got your own experience and perspective, but I think they think they know what they’re doing, especially the ones who might have, they might have bought one property or two, or they may have never bought before. They don’t know what they don’t know.

So my two tips. Just one of them and we can elaborate on this. I’m curious to get your perspective. The first tip was around, I guess the whole essence of developing real estate agent relationships. The importance of having a solid real estate agent relationship for two reasons, especially for a buyer’s agent. One is getting access to all available stock. So not relying on real estate and domain. And then the second is to position you to buy the property at the right price because you have that relationship so they’ll say, “Hey Darren. I’ve got two other buyers here. If you just give me 420, deal’s done. We’ll go unconditional.” So that was the first one was about agent relationships.

And the second tip that I mentioned was around negotiation. In the sense of… I was mentioning that the negotiation begins when you walk through a property if you do go through it. Just judging body language. If you’re looking like you love it all and you try not to say much and you think because you’re not talking that you’re winning it. And then when you get on the phone to try and crunch the deal out as a buyer potentially they know you love it. And they’re going to use that as leverage. And they’re going to squeeze you.

What’s your take on those two things? So one is obviously the importance of real estate agent relationships and two just around negotiation.

Darren Venter:

Number one. Real estate agent relationships. It is extremely important. I know there’s, unfortunately, a little bit of a taboo thought process around real estate agents. And I’ll be honest with you. They are all great people. They’re all doing their job, and they’re all doing the best that they can do.

So when you’re going into a negotiation or a discussion with a real estate agent, be open, put your cards on the table, know what you have to hold back if you do have to hold anything back, but understand that they are still people trying to do their job and work with them as much as you can. If you’re open, if you’re upfront and if you are basically putting everything out there that you should be, you can’t put everything out because there’s negotiations taking place, but if you are open and you’re friendly and you’re humble and you are just… If you put out the energy to be able to receive the energy, then that’s when that good relationship comes through.

And having an open conversation with an agent is probably the first step in the right direction. Going into those discussions being closed off to an agent is not going to get you anywhere. You’ve got to befriend them. You’ve got to make them understand that you are doing your job just as much as they are. And understanding that basically allows a good coherence between the two parties.

Ben Handler:

And also, I guess, gives you more access to stock. And what your take on negotiation? Because I think a lot of buyers think they know how to negotiate. They can negotiate on a fridge, or they might be negotiating in something very different to property, but then they jump into property, and they think they’re this expert negotiator. What’s your take on that?

Darren Venter:

The negotiation game it comes down to every single circumstance at hand. There’s a lot that you can play on in the negotiations. When you do go into negotiation, I would just be mindful that there’s a lot of options that… Because you obviously can’t put everything on the table at the same time, they’re probably not putting everything on the table at the same time, too.

As long as you have a good rapport and you can go into that negotiation on a good holistic level where you’re not battling each other, where it’s a good conversation, I think that will get you further in uncovering a little bit more information which you’re able to use in your negotiation. So definitely being able to create that rapport with an agency is very important too, especially with being able to get those off-market listings. It’s creating the trust between the two parties and there’s obviously the trust factor, but then there’s the fact factor.

The trust factor you can only get so far being a negative person without much trust. But if you have a bit of a positive attitude going into it, you’re going to get more of the fact factor than the trust factor from the party that you’re actually negotiating with.

There’s obviously always a lot of tools that you can use in a negotiation strategy. Obviously on forwarding the rental onto the property. Helping the agents keep that property on their rental. So there’s a whole bunch of different factors you can use. It’s always very dependent on the property at hand. But I would say number one is, go into it understanding that they are just as human as you are and that you’re having this human conversation between two parties and don’t make it an argument, make it a discussion.

Ben Handler:

I love it. And let’s talk about all these buyers out there who are waiting until September to buy. And then yesterday we just got news that it’s going to be… So they could be waiting until January.

Darren Venter:

They could be.

Ben Handler:

And they could be waiting until 2063. So what’s your take if buyers come to you and they’re like, Darren, I’m just waiting to September or now they’re going to be waiting until December to buy. Have you got an opinion around that or is there something that you’d like to share to them?

Darren Venter:

Absolutely. Don’t wait because the more you wait, the less interest you can earn or the less gross you’re going to get on that actual money that you have saved up. A lot of our clients come to us, and they do you have this discussion with us where they say, well, we just want to wait, and we want to test out the market because we’ve heard that something’s going to happen. It may happen. It may not happen, but what’s the point of waiting?

Right now with the funds you have available, with the place that you are, with what you’re looking to achieve, we can create that plan. That plan might look different in eight months’ time and that’s that plan. But right now it could be this plan. Each plan will have an outcome, and it’ll basically be able to take us towards your objective one way or another. But if you wait, you’re going to get there later. And that’s the bottom line.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, it’s an interesting one. I always tend to think that the people who are on that fence wanting to wait, I guess the real question is how serious are they? Is it a high priority to buy? And I tend to think not so much because why would they want to then…? If the right property presented itself today at the right price, why wouldn’t you want to buy it?

Darren Venter:

Absolutely. I think that comes down to, again, the question of what is your desire to work with a buyer’s agent too? If you’re able to find that on your own, if you see it on your own and you want to buy it on your own, then buy it on your own. But is that property, the right property for you to be buying and for the right reason?

So it’s understanding what the market factor is behind the property, but it’s also understanding what that property is going to be able to do for you. So if you’re waiting for the property to do something, I can tell you now, today it’s going to be there and in two months it’s going to be there. It’s still going to be there in a year. It’s not going anywhere. It’s the performance of the market and how you can gauge that with your personal profile.

Ben Handler:

What made you personally want to become a buyer’s agent? What was the drive behind it?

Darren Venter:

Well, my whole family comes from property originally. So my mum was a real estate agent. My auntie was a very big real estate agent. My grandfather actually owned one of the biggest real estate agents in Johannesburg.

Ben Handler:

Why didn’t you get the sales gene?

Darren Venter:

No, you see, that’s the thing.

Ben Handler:

You missed it.

Darren Venter:

I think I got my technical knowledge and my technical head from my dad. All the property was on my mom’s side. And I took this love for property, which I could see that they were doing really well with, and I saw what it had done for the family on that side, but I’ve got a more technical approach on things. I’m not necessarily a salesperson, but I do like the interaction with people. I love that.

So being able to take the property, which I love. I love the property factor of it. And being able to put it into a technical aspect such as investment purchasing through strategic plans. Then I think yeah, onto a winner, and I think I got that from my dad’s side because we used to sit down every Sunday and draw out house plans on A3 papers, and we’d be like, yeah, this is the house we’re going to buy, and we’re going to build this one. Good memories.

Ben Handler:

Obviously we’ve hit a new FY. What’s the plan for Strat Prop high level?

Darren Venter:

So I’d say high-level plans is we’ve got some new, really cool tools inside of our business, which we’re using with our clients. And it allows our clients to basically be able to grow their portfolios effectively without having to actually manage it themselves.

Ben Handler:

This is your IP?

Darren Venter:

This is our IP. And we’ve developed this over the last several months. It’s come to fruition just probably about four weeks ago. The new development release of it at least has become fruition about four weeks ago. It’s really interesting stuff. So basically we’re stepping more into the portfolio growth rather than property purchasing side of things.

So for our clients now, for the next coming years, we are wanting to take on clients who are actually looking to be able to grow their portfolios, rather than just buy one or two properties. We actually want to set them up and nurture them and manage that whole system and set up and structure for them.

Ben Handler:

Okay. That’s exciting.

Darren Venter:

It is very exciting.

Ben Handler:

It’s big. And so you’re based in Sydney, mainly?

Darren Venter:

Based in Sydney, Northern Beaches, but we purchase countrywide pretty much.

Ben Handler:

Love it. As we wrap up, where can people find you?

Darren Venter:

So the website’s www.stratprop.com.au. Facebook is Strat Prop AU and Instagram is Strap Prop, I believe. LinkedIn Strap Prop again, Darren Venter. My personal email address is darren@stratprop.com.au or you can give me a call. The number’s on the website.

Ben Handler:

Awesome, man. Really appreciated the chat.

Darren Venter:

Thank you very much.

Ben Handler:

Great to see your journey evolve and just looking forward to see you kick some massive goals over the next FY.

Darren Venter:

Thanks mate, you too.

Ben Handler:

Great to have you.

Darren Venter:

Thank you very much.

Ben Handler:

Appreciate it. Okay.

So hope that was a good little background and backdrop on to Darren’s story at Strap Prop. As you can see, being a buyer’s agent, you don’t need to be that salesperson. Like you see the real estate agent with the shiny teeth and the pointy shoes and the flashy car and all that stuff.

A lot of buyer’s agents are actually quite technical like Darren. Especially for investors, they’re analyzing data. Like we talked about. There’s so much information that it’s overwhelming. You’ve got to learn how to consolidate it all. And as you just heard with Darren, he’s actually built out with his own IP a lot of tools around delivering his client a different, fresh innovative experience to really grow that portfolio and watch it grow and measure it.

So if you want to learn more about Darren, check him out. His details are on the screen now. You can check him out on his website. You can email him. He’s running an investment national business. It’s very bespoke and custom. Awesome chatting. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

Mind, Body, Sold

Buyer's Agent Elaine Davies from New Road Property on Mind, Bold, Sold!

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agent Institute how. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyer’s agents. Bring awareness around the career opportunities the sector is providing people. To bring awareness of the value that buyer’s agents are providing people who need help buying property.

Ben Handler:

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:

Our guest today is Elaine Davies. She’s from the UK. She’s from Wales. She’s got an awesome career background. It’s very diverse. She was a TV and radio presenter. She was a magazine columnist. She is an author. She recently published a book called Mind, Body, Sold. She’s published, I believe, four books. She’s also worked as a selling agent, and that was in Asia.

Ben Handler:

When she did go through a divorce, when she was back in Australia, she then got back into becoming a selling agent again. But then realized that the buyer was heavily misrepresented. There was a massive gap. The buyer needed more attention. So she became a buyer’s agent. She worked for a few firms. We actually worked together at my former company Cohen Handler. She’s awesome.

Ben Handler:

And now she’s recently started her own business, called New Road Property. And Elaine has a very strong purpose. I think it’s very deep. It’s really focused on empowering women. Helping women become more financially secure. Helping women understand how to get the money to work for them. And using the property as an investment vehicle to really achieve it.

Ben Handler:

I’m super excited to introduce Elaine. Welcome.

Elaine Davies:

Ben, thank you. What a beautiful introduction. You’re so gorgeous.

Ben Handler:

Thank you. There’s a lot there. We knew you’ve got a good background. It’s a deep background. So, did I nail it?

Elaine Davies:

You nailed it. There are no re-takes here.

Ben Handler:

Awesome. You’ve got the book there, Mind, Body, Sold.

Elaine Davies:

Yeah, I’ve got the book. So, you’re right. I wrote this because I really… You were a buyer’s agent, I’m a buyer’s agent, but not everybody wants to use a buyer’s agent. And maybe people live in small communities. So I gave away every single tip. Everything from the searching to the negotiating. It’s all in here. So for 30 bucks, people can have our experience.

Elaine Davies:

But I also delved into the mindset. Because a lot of times people don’t buy, not because they don’t know how to look, and not because they haven’t got the money, but there’s something in them. They’re in property mindset, or people around them are going, “Don’t do that. Come out for a cocktail. Don’t save that money.” They haven’t got goals. They haven’t got a vision. So I wrote that as well.

Elaine Davies:

And I’ve also written a little part about why women drew the wealth short straw and the circumstances around that. But, more importantly, what we can do about it.

Ben Handler:

It’s powerful, and I love the heading. I know I spoke to you last year about it. I read it, and it is very good. And you give away a lot. I always admire it when people actually give it all out. They’re not just giving a bit, as like a tickler.

Elaine Davies:

It’s not a lead magnet.

Ben Handler:

That ain’t a lead magnet. No, but I think you’ve got a lot of experience. As I said, you’ve worked as a selling agent overseas. You’ve worked as a selling agent, here in Sydney, for a long time. You’ve worked as a buyer’s agent. You’re running your own company now. You’ve also got life experience. You’ve been a writer. You are a writer. You’ve got a lot to bring to the table, right?

Ben Handler:

And I think, more importantly, what I feel connected with what you’re doing is… even though I’m not a female… is how you are connected with serving women.

Elaine Davies:

Yeah, that’s a good word.

Ben Handler:

Why are you so passionate about it?

Elaine Davies:

Oh, well, two reasons. Yeah, I’m glad you asked me that. There’s a really big picture, in that statistics are showing that the growing stats around homelessness is women, and it’s growing evermore.

Elaine Davies:

So, women coming out of divorces, or all kinds of reasons. But women are actually ending up on the streets. So that’s the big picture. I just want to be a tiny little cog, in helping that level down, and come back a bit. And that, I think, is a lot to do with mindset, and people [inaudible 00:03:57].

Elaine Davies:

Now, on a personal level, as you say I was on the TV, I was on many radio stations, including [inaudible 00:04:05], Qantas. I think I was writing about seven magazines. I was publishing authors. I was the Carrie Bickmore of Sydney. And I was running large. I was flying all over the world. I was working, even back then, on my computer.

Elaine Davies:

Then I got married, and within four years, I was a single mother of a two-year-old. Now if I hadn’t frittered that money away in my 20s and 30s, I would’ve been fine. But I was of the mindset then, and I don’t come from a family where we create money. I come from a family where you work hard. We’re grafters. That working-class thing. It’s week to week. And everything’s got to be hard.

Elaine Davies:

My own story, my life would be… I’ve caught up now, but when my marriage broke up, I was like, “Okay, what do we do now?” And it was quite tough for quite a number of years.

Elaine Davies:

Yeah, I’ve seen that story happen so many times, and it’s so easy just to save a little bit, and get an investment.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. It sounds easy, but a lot of people don’t do it.

Elaine Davies:

We just need to spend less and save more. My grandmother had four dresses in her… I think she had three dresses in her wardrobe. A day dress, a church dress and something else. But think how big the wardrobes were. They were just little wooden wardrobes.

Ben Handler:

I’m surprised about the women and the homelessness. I actually didn’t know that. That’s insightful. How are you finding women, in terms of them being receptive, to wanting to go on this journey? To really have the money working for them, and to really start building wealth themselves.

Elaine Davies:

I think a lot of them feel really relieved because a lot of them have said… women are really good savers. We run households, sometimes with six people. We’re juggling bills. There are mortgages, there are school fees going out. There are school notes going out. So women are actually very good managers of money.

Elaine Davies:

It’s the next step we don’t tend to take. For some reason… And I was talking to a very successful woman about this the other day. She said, “Oh, we’re a great team. I do the searching, and my husband does the buying.” And I said, “Oh, interesting. So you do the pretty bit at the beginning, and you hand over the finances?” She went, “Oh, yeah, I suppose so.”

Ben Handler:

Handballs it.

Elaine Davies:

Handballs it. “You do the negotiations. I don’t want to do that.” We’re really good negotiators, women. We are constantly negotiating all day, every day. We need to own that in a really deep and powerful level. And just step up and go, “Yeah, man, I’m going to create this life.”

Ben Handler:

I personally think that women, in my time that I was working specifically in the buyer’s agent space in my company, I actually think women are more suited for the role. I think the selling side is very alpha male. Dog eat dog. And I do… And I would see that… I know you’ve been a selling agent. I haven’t. But I would see it’d be hard for a lady on that side. Maybe that’s wrong, but that’s how I see it, unfortunately. But on the buy side, I think the women have the power. And I hope to see more women.

Elaine Davies:

Me too. It’d be great to see more women in the industry as a whole. But it’s interesting you were saying… Because I became a buyer’s agent because I didn’t like the way the buyers were being treated. And, while I’m in real estate and so are you, I think we’re pretty honest people. Our core is that we’re working for the particular clients we’re working for.

Elaine Davies:

And I remember, it happened to me a few times, a buyer would call me and say, because I’d built up such a good relationship, “Look, Elaine, I can go another 20, but don’t tell the vendor. Start at five.” Well, they’d already told the vendor. I was the vendor’s representative. So I’d file my nails all day, go for a coffee and come back, and go, “Really exciting news. We’ve got it for the 20. I couldn’t go to five, don’t worry about that. Really exciting, got it for the 20.” And I was a pretty level negotiator.

Elaine Davies:

Yeah, absolutely, people really need a buyer’s advocate, because you’re making money when you buy, not when you sell. You buy rubbish, it’s not going to come up above the medium, which is what we all want.

Elaine Davies:

So I would rather see people put their money into a buyer’s agent, than into a real estate agent.

Ben Handler:

It’s fascinating what you just shared, I’m not surprised, regarding how transparent buyers are with real estate agents. I think they forget that the selling agent works for the vendor.

Elaine Davies:

Selling agents, just by their nature, are friendly, even if they’re not behind closed doors. But a lot are. I’ve got nothing against selling agents. But they’re working for the vendor. And they just don’t know.

Ben Handler:

How was the shift? I know you’ve been a buyer’s agent for a while. This is not new to you. And real estate’s not new to you either. You’ve got a lot of experience. However, how was that shift when you moved? Because you would have moved from a selling agent to a buyer’s agent at a time when it was still not very recognized.

Elaine Davies:

I was kind of one of the first. Not real… There was another batch before me, but it wasn’t like it is today. I loved it straight away. Yeah. And the guy I was working for had… he’s a quite flashy guy around town. He had his Ferrari. Actually, it’s not that fun to get in and out of. They’re better on paper than they are. No, but apart from that, I loved it straight away. Looking at all these amazing properties. But not getting fooled by the smell of fresh coffee, and lights on inside, and all that. A lot of it is common sense, but you only know once you know.

Ben Handler:

It’s true, and you get fooled. A lot of buyers get fooled. They walk into a place, and they don’t judge the light correctly. They’ve gone at the wrong time of the day. They can do stupid things.

Ben Handler:

Let’s talk about New Road Property. So you’re based in the inner-West?

Elaine Davies:

Yes I am based in the inner-West, and inner-city.

Ben Handler:

Okay, inner-city. So you’re focusing on…

Elaine Davies:

Inner-West and East, which is why I chose to have my office in the city. Because I really know both just as well as each other.

Ben Handler:

And they’re good areas to service.

Elaine Davies:

They’re great, and I love them both.

Ben Handler:

Are you specializing primarily in owner-occ, investor, both?

Elaine Davies:

I’d say I’m 50, 50. It’s funny, I was just thinking about two of the last properties I bought. I bought a beautiful terrace house here in Surrey Hills for 2.3 million, and I bought an apartment… I can’t remember the name of the suburb now… for 850. But the apartment was for owner-occupiers, and the 2.3 million was for investors. And they could easily have been the other way around. So a good property is a good property.

Ben Handler:

What happened during COVID? Obviously, for all of us, it was a shock, it was quick, a lot of change. What did you notice, whether it was property or anything?

Elaine Davies:

Well, my garden’s looking good.

Ben Handler:

Your garden…

Elaine Davies:

It’s never looked so good. Obviously, for a while, we couldn’t take people out. But, in a way, I was busier, because we were really finding the off markets even more. And I found that one conversation was leading to another. I actually found real estate agents were more open to saying, “Look, I think there is a house coming up actually.”

Elaine Davies:

Because, suddenly, people just became more of enclosed society. That’s the wrong word. What am I trying to say? Just started working better together, I felt.

Ben Handler:

They were collaborating more.

Elaine Davies:

That’s the word. That’s the word, Ben.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, I felt that as well. I felt that.

Elaine Davies:

I think it was such a shock to the system for everybody. Because I was a person who was in denial. I was one of the last to go, “Okay, this is really serious.” I really found people quite helpful.

Elaine Davies:

So I’d be… As I say, speaking to one real estate, “Actually, there is a house coming up, that’s not me.” I’m like, “Okay.”

Ben Handler:

You’re being nice today.

Elaine Davies:

What’s going on? I like COVID.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, it seems like people became a bit more vulnerable, a bit more open.

Elaine Davies:

Yeah. Let’s hope that stays.

Ben Handler:

That’s what I’m praying for.

Elaine Davies:

Yeah, me too. It would be wonderful if the world stayed… It does feel like we’re all now against this big baddie out there, and the baddie’s the virus. And we’re all looking after each other.

Ben Handler:

Question. It might be a silly question. Are you only servicing women as clients? Or will you take on…

Elaine Davies:

No, I’m not ever turning away. You know, we turn away clients.

Ben Handler:

Of course.

Elaine Davies:

The funny thing is, I don’t tend to work with many single guys. So I work with couples a lot. And we have a good laugh with that. Because I like to separate them. So I have this thing… Giving away a few of my tips now. But I get them to fill in separate briefs, the husband and the wife. No peaking. Because that, straight away, gives me a clue into what’s stopping them buying, what’s one of the things.

Ben Handler:

That’s smart.

Elaine Davies:

Because a lot of people, again, they don’t know what they don’t know. Hopefully, they love each other. So one is saying, “Oh, if you found a great house up there, I would live there.” And vice-versa. But really deep down, they’re not going to. They’re not going to move suburbs. Or they’re not going to live in an apartment. There’s something there that is fundamentally a stop, and they can go looking for a property for two years.

Ben Handler:

So, hypothetically… I’m sure you’ve been through this. You get two client profile forms back, quite different. Do you then, “Is this intervention now guys?”

Elaine Davies:

Yep, it’s intervention nos.

Ben Handler:

And, “Unless we come to a mutual agreement, we’re not moving forward.”

Elaine Davies:

Oh, we always come to a mutual agreement.

Ben Handler:

Who budges first? Male, female?

Elaine Davies:

Okay, let me think of it. [inaudible 00:13:08] So that was the male. No, I’d say half and half. A lot of it is just pointing it out. It’s not a gender thing. It’s more personality dominant, or whatever.

Elaine Davies:

One couple had been together for 30 years, and she was the one that called me. And she was like, “He’s getting on my nerves.” “Now”, I said, “We need to talk.” So they came in, hardly talking to each other, and their story was, “We are in the car on Saturday.” She would say to him, “Stop the car.” And he’d say, “Fine.” And she’d get out and slam the door.

Elaine Davies:

And what I realized was, she had put, “They wanted to buy in the next three months”, and he said, “No rush.” But she was the one that felt under pressure. So I said, “This is really interesting. What it’s telling me is, his communication with you is just showing you stuff. He’s just going, ‘What about this one? What about this one?’ He’s not actually… Not everyone he shows you, he wants to buy. He’s just trying to have a conversation.” And they walked out of my office holding hands.

Ben Handler:

Wow! I’m sure… Is that a rare outcome?

Elaine Davies:

Well, it’s usually… Holding hands, yeah. But, no, there’s usually a joy or a breakthrough. So sometimes they’re just exhausted, and they’re like, “Okay, get it.” And we get it.

Ben Handler:

What’s happening for New Road this year? Obviously, this year’s been a crazy year for everyone?

Elaine Davies:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Is it just business as usual? Obviously, you’ve got your course coming out. Is there anything different coming?

Elaine Davies:

I don’t think this is the year for me to change anything on New Road Property. It is business as usual. But I’m very excited about my course because as I say, it’s… and a lot of it is around understanding the real estate agent, and what they do, and what they say, and how to look at the property negotiations. So, I’m really excited.

Elaine Davies:

And I’m going to jump into a Facebook group and be part of it. To build a community around that. But it’s going to be business as usual because I love it. I love it. What’s to change, you know?

Ben Handler:

You don’t… In real estate, we don’t need to change a lot.

Elaine Davies:

We don’t. I’ve kind of arrived.

Ben Handler:

A lot of the old stuff really works. So social media, there’s some new stuff, nuances, that you can do, but a lot of the old stuff still works. And I think a lot of people are trying, I feel, with where we are now in 2020, to use technology to get somewhere quicker. A lot quicker. And take short-cuts. But what we do in real estate, I believe, it’s the old stuff that works.

Elaine Davies:

You can’t outsource relationships. You can’t say to somebody else, “Make this call. Read this thing.” You’ve got to be in front of people and talking, and luckily I quite like that.

Ben Handler:

You can’t outsource relationships. That’s what is going to be the title for this discussion. That is one thing that cannot get outsourced.

Elaine Davies:

No, anything can pretty much get outsourced, but that relationship… One of the things I really dislike, is when there’s almost I feel like a con when you are signed up by one buyer’s agent, and then you sign, and you go, “Actually, it’s not me you’re working with. It’s this other person.” And there’s been no transparency through that. That really irks me when I hear that. And it happens in a few industries, it’s not just ours.

Ben Handler:

Can I ask you, why do you really feel you can’t outsource relationships? Because a lot of things, we can outsource now. Everything’s basically outsourced.

Elaine Davies:

Because it’s so personal. It’s my relationship. I can possibly introduce somebody into there, back into my relationship, but then I’m… obviously I’m in… not in [inaudible 00:16:27], but then they would recreate their own relationship. And that’s different. That’s an introduction and a warm… But if you… You know people hire people to do what they call cold calling, or warm calling. “Call this person, and see if they want to work with me again?” It’s like, “No, that’s the one thing, that is the relationship.”

Ben Handler:

Relationships for real estate is… some people say it’s more important than property.

Elaine Davies:

Well, that’s ironic. I’m glad you brought that up, because I’m a people person. It’s my clients I’m passionate about. I know all about property. I know a good one. I know how to negotiate. But it’s the clients that I’m passionate about.

Ben Handler:

Are you very [inaudible 00:17:06] with who you take on?

Elaine Davies:

Yes, from experience.

Ben Handler:

Is that because would you say you’ve taken on the wrong client?

Elaine Davies:

Yeah, in the past. They’ve always bought, but I think if you buy… And this is any business, and actually any part of life. If you take on somebody that you just know is not going to be quite right, or are going to be draining on you for some reason, you’re actually sabotaging meeting the next great person that you would’ve met. The next great client that you would’ve met. And as I say, this is relationships as well. Because you’re exhausted, and your time’s all caught up here in this negative area. Whereas you should be out there, attracting the people you want.

Ben Handler:

No, you’re right. You’re spending your time more productively doing other things. Talking about, I guess, utilizing time, do you feel like your meetings, when you’re getting in front of people, they’re specifically in that time coming to you, experiencing similar problems? A lot of your clients that you decide that you want to work with, typically more time-poor, typically sick of real estate agents? Do you find there’s a commonality, or is it all very different?

Elaine Davies:

No, no, no, there’s a commonality. I think there are five basic things, isn’t there? And one of them is confusion in the household. Confusion between the partners. And I think that’s missed a lot. People don’t delve into that. But, absolutely, time-poor.

Elaine Davies:

As I say, I have a lot of time for real estate agents. I’m not here to say they do a bad job, because they do a good job for the vendor. But, yeah, buyers get very fed up of real estate agents. But they don’t understand that underquoting is a way in Sydney. It’s quote it low, watch it grow, quote it high, watch it die. We are all trained for underquoting in Sydney. If somebody quotes it at the right price, people are going to then add another 10%. In a way, they can’t win. So people have to understand under quoting is the norm. 10% is normal. It can be 25%.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, and you’d know that from being on the sell side?

Elaine Davies:

Oh, I know it from being a buyer’s agent, because that’s the one thing I never listen to with a real estate agent, is what they’re actually quoting. That’s white noise. You have to do your research, and find your comparables, and go, “It sits in these properties.”

Ben Handler:

And that’s why people engage us, as buyer’s agents. They will especially engage people like yourself who actually understand this. You can see through it all.

Ben Handler:

The story you shared earlier was interesting, about the buyer who would, when you were a selling agent, reveal everything to you. A lot of these buyers have got no idea what they’re doing.

Elaine Davies:

No, because they don’t come across… We’re in this every single day. And I say this to buyers, “The good real estate agents are having training every Tuesday morning for two or three hours. Dialogue. They’re role-playing.” Whereas a buyer will walk into the real estate agent’s lair, really, once every seven years.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, that’s a good point. Walking into their playground, and I think they’ve got something up on that real estate agent.

Elaine Davies:

Absolutely. And real estate agents know how to build the relationship that I was talking about. They know how to do that. And again, I talk about that in the book. In fact, the auction, I depicted that as Game of Thrones. So I don’t know if you’re a Game of Thrones… But, of course, the buyers are the Norths, the Starks. Lannisters are the real estate agents, and Little Finger is the auctioneer.

Ben Handler:

Oh, I like it.

Elaine Davies:

No alliance to anyone.

Ben Handler:

Buyers get bullied by the auctioneers.

Elaine Davies:

That’s right.

Ben Handler:

Bid against themselves. Real estate agents also put a lot of pressure on buyers. It’s an interesting part. We’ve got a lot to talk about. And we’ve got to, unfortunately, finish up.

Elaine Davies:

Can I just say one more thing about COVID?

Ben Handler:

Yes.

Elaine Davies:

I’ve really enjoyed the way that buyers have been bidding from home because that has given them power. They’re not being whispered at, or having a real estate… the very loud and successful auctioneer do that. They’ve actually been sitting in their own lounge room. And I think, “Long may that last.”

Ben Handler:

Auction Now.

Elaine Davies:

Auction Now.

Ben Handler:

Damien Cooley. Did you use that platform?

Elaine Davies:

No, I was thinking of AuctionWORKS, David Scholes.

Ben Handler:

Oh, I haven’t used that. They’re all effectively doing the same thing. I thought that was an interesting transition and move. I’m curious to know whether it’s going to play out.

Elaine Davies:

Yeah, I do worry that people drink though, because you can’t sign. It’s illegal. I always say to people, “Never settle your nerves with a drink.”

Ben Handler:

I didn’t think of that. There, you could see some silly bidding. I didn’t think of that. If people are drinking, or-

Elaine Davies:

They’re at home. That’s the only thing I worry about.

Ben Handler:

Nervous. Where’s the best place for people to find you?

Elaine Davies:

My website is newroadproperty.com. And then on Instagram, I’m elaine.davies.inc., I-N-C. I’m Elaine Davies on Facebook. And LinkdIn. I’m on LinkdIn. I spend a lot of time on LinkdIn. That’s where I hang.

Ben Handler:

It’s the professional hangout.

Elaine Davies:

Oh, I’m so professional.

Ben Handler:

I’ve noticed on social media, you have a new energy about you. It’s like it’s the new version. Elaine is out here to do something impactful now. I notice that, so I’m sure people who are watching and looking at social media… Because I’ve seen the old Elaine, which is great, but there’s a new energy.

Elaine Davies:

Thank you Ben.

Ben Handler:

So I’m really excited to see where you’re going to go.

Elaine Davies:

Thank you Ben.

Ben Handler:

I always love chatting. Good energy.

Elaine Davies:

Love chatting to you.

Ben Handler:

Personality. No surprise you’re in the people business, real estate. And I think this book is really gold. So I appreciate it. Thank you.

Elaine Davies:

Thank you.

Ben Handler:

For everyone listening, you can check out Elaine’s book, Mind, Body, Sold. I read that last year. She does give away a lot in that book. So if you’re a buyer, read it. If you’re a buyer’s agent, read it. If you’re a real estate agent, whatever you do in real estate, I would read it. There’s a lot of good information. Check out Elaine on her website.

Ben Handler:

I used to work with Elaine. Elaine’s super impressive. She brings a lot to the table. She’s an incredible human being, number one. And she’s doing this new business, I believe, with a lot of purposes. Different energy she’s bringing to the table. And she’s got a lot of experience, working on the sell side, and the buy-side.

Ben Handler:

When I used to recruit buyer’s agents, I always used to look for buyer’s agents who had worked on the sell side, because they understand the mentality of both sides. So if you’re a buyer, check out Elaine as well, because she brings a lot to the table for Sydney, for inner-city, inner-West and the Eastern suburbs. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

Why Choose Impact Over Income?

Buyer's Agent Rasti Vaishav on why choose impact over income

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 awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people. To bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents providing people who need help buying property. Our goal with 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 Australia right now.

Our guest today is Vaibhav Rastogi his nickname is Rasti. He’s a very rare individual, his roots take him back where he was born to India. And he had a very strong passion for property, which led him into architecture. And then due to family circumstances to better support his family, he then moved into IT. And then during his time and tenure in IT, he then moved to Singapore and did his masters in computer science.

Ben Handler:

And then after that, he wanted to challenge himself further and had a desire, a pursuit to get into the investment banking world, to work for one of the big banks. And then during that, he then went and did his MBA and then went and did his CFA, and then landed a job in one of the big banks and was responsible for managing over $2 billion worth of funds. And he was specializing in the research department. And during all this time, within seven years, he built his own investment portfolio up to a value of circa $5 billion, a positively geared portfolio with a very healthy debt to equity ratio.

Ben Handler:

Rasti’s had a very strong passion for property, which has led him now to leave the banking sector after building such a successful portfolio and start his new buyer’s agent business called Get Rare. It’s a very bespoke buyer’s agent business based in Melbourne. And what Rasti is doing with this particular business is he’s bringing his analytical skills, his research skills to the table to really analyze data and information, to make very sophisticated decisions for his clients. I’m super excited to introduce Rasti. Welcome Rasti.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Thank you so much, Ben really appreciate that. Yes, I’ve done it all and I love it. I love it. And to me it’s all about purpose. We talk about property investing as just about properties, to me it’s much more than that. It’s about fulfilling your dreams. I’ve actually taken more of a consultation approach, understanding what people are after, like what are their desires, what are their wants? And then having an understanding of where they want to be and where they are today. And then bridging the gap through the investing in properties is just one way, which are filled. The whole scenario, whole working around coming from as you had mentioned, I’m coming from a very humble background from India, where I’ve realized that it’s all about education, understanding of how people are doing it and then just emulating them.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

It’s a very easy formula, which I’ve actually done quite a few times now moving to IT industry, learning from the best, then moving into the financial sector again, going to do my MBA like went to AGSM, and even to US, one of the best schools over there Booth Business School. And now coming to you, Ben in all honesty, like you are one of the best or rather you are the best actually I should say. And to me it’s more about learning from the best in the breed. And thank you so much for all the support and the coaching.

Ben Handler:

You’ve got a very impressive background by the way. Your resume, I mean. I’m inspired by what… But anytime I see someone who’s put in effort and who’s learned something, whatever it is, I’m always inspired. And I admire that. And when you sent me your bio and I was looking forward to obviously meeting you today. Because I know you’ve come here from Melbourne, but I was reading it and I was thinking, wow, I mean, you’ve done a lot. And what really struck a chord with me was you started in architecture.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

And obviously that was your purpose. You were in the property arena there. Then you got distracted like I did as well, and like some other people do, which is not a bad thing. I don’t mean that in a bad way. And now you’re back in the property space, doing what you love, how does that feel?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

It is just amazing, like I remember one of the speeches by Steve Jobs in one of the university, like on the graduation day and he was talking to the students and he said something which actually resonated very well with me is like whatever we do in our college days, or whatever we do in our career, they are just the stepping stones. It will take a while for us to figure out how those dots actually connect. When I was doing architecture, I was very passionate. I was actually doing some projects as well. I was actually [inaudible 00:04:55] in my university as well as I got scholarship, but it was just I guess the demand of the time then that I had to support my family. Back home or back in India. It’s like, you have to work very hard yards.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

I’m happy to go hard yards. But then it takes a while for an architect to slog through to make a substantial living out of it. For me, it was more about the need of the time to support my family. And for that reason, I had that passion to learn and quickly deliver. And that’s the reason why I actually started in computer science. I actually learned programming on my own and I got a job while I was actually studying my architecture as well, so I had a job offer in my pocket as an IT consultant before I actually finished my architecture degree. It was not really a brainer for me to switch it very quickly from there. People were arguing like how come five years of degree, which is pretty good time for me to establish over there and let it just go. Looking back what I’ve actually learned in architecture is that we started the design.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

We started the concept. We don’t really just come up and start doing the fine details of where the wiring or where the toilet should look like. We actually start with a concept like, okay, this is the building. This is what we are thinking about. This is the form. This is the artistic part of it, and the function, and the engineering aspect of it. Like how it combines together to generate something tangible.

Ben Handler:

Yes.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Now, fast forward a couple of decades now. This is what I’m actually doing. Like irrespective of whether the property is related to the architecture, but I’m thinking about designing the life, designing the right way of approaching it. And then coming up with the conforming components, that how we should do one thing at a time.

Ben Handler:

I noticed the path of the architecture, and then now buyer’s agent. And obviously the pieces have come together, but I want to talk about designing the life because that’s what you just mentioned there.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

When you were in banking and IT, you’re working from obviously great companies. Did you see that as really designing a life compared to now running your own business?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yup.

Ben Handler:

What’s your definition now of designing your own life?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Before I answer that, if I talk about how do I see that happening in my IT job or in my finance job, it’s more about what is the goal that we’re trying to achieve? Like when we talk about the IT project, there are so many components as a project manager, that one has to look after stakeholders, budget, timeline, constraints, the challenges which keep coming and all of a sudden, all you have an eye on is, okay, this is what we really want to achieve. Now you just go work backwards that these are the conforming components, right? Now coming back to the life question, maybe if you allow me, I really want to relate a story.

Ben Handler:

Sure.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Because that has actually got me going, my mother has been a very hard working mother as a lady. She started a business just to support us to get into the right education system. And what I’ve learned from a story that she told early on in my childhood was that there was a baby elephant tied to a tree. The rope that actually tied it was very thin, but it was strong enough for the baby elephant to be tied to the tree, so the baby elephant tried to break it many times one week, two weeks, four weeks, and then he forgot about it. Fast forward a few years that same elephant is now an adult elephant still tied to the same thin tree via thin rope. The idea is that actually it’s not really a story of an elephant. The story of our common nine to five, like the thing that you’re t-shirt talks about.

Ben Handler:

[between the night 00:08:39].

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes. It’s us in general, because when we grew up, we had lots of passions and lots of thinking that we really want to do, what were our desires, but the challenges of the life got us… We always talk about time, money, and energy, it’s a fine balance of the three. In our life stages we have at most two out of three, when we are young, we have time, we have energy but no money, right. In our adulthood, we have lots of money, we have lots of energy, somehow no time. In our later stages of life, we have time and money, but no energy, right. If think through this, we are not really leading the life you want to, but rather just cycling through.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

What I’d really talk about is like, okay, what are your desires? Like if there’s no constraint of time and money, what will you do today? Will it be a job, nine to five job you are doing? I mean, there’s nothing wrong… People are passionate about jobs. I have been very passionate about when I was an architect, I was enjoying it. When I was in IT, I was enjoying that. I enjoyed it, but I’m not really forced to do that, or am actually choosing to do that.

Ben Handler:

It seems like a lot of the people who are in those nine to five, I’m sure some of them would love what they’re doing and add a lot of value, but it seems like they’re the elephant. That sometimes they’re not pursuing their true talents and skills, that they’re put on this planet really to do. And they’re just a slave to the job.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

I would think so, but at the same time, the conversation that I used to have with these people, because they don’t really have a choice, they have to like the job they’re doing.

Ben Handler:

Yes.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

I mean, the way I said either you love what you do, or rather I should say and do what you love.

Ben Handler:

Why did you decide? You were obviously very good at what you did. You’ve had very good roles. You got into your dream job in banking.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

And you obviously did a MBA and a CFA on your way there. You’re obviously very committed, but now you’ve pivoted.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

Why did you pivot?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

It goes back to my story, personal story. When I saw my parents working very hard, they actually struggled to put food on the table for us. Like education was the key. For someone like my family from a middle class family education is the only way. It was down to the concept that how we can change it. And for me the motivation was to make money work harder for you, but then also the need for that kind of a community to do it, is at the ground level, the common man. When I was managing a portfolio of $2 billion, I was enjoying it, it was my dream role. I was loving it, it was my desired role. I did hard yards to get into that role, like MBA and CFA, amidst GFC, it was not easy to make a switch. I was probably one of the only ones among three cohorts to make it a switch in that time.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

But I did it, I was committed. I was enjoying it, but only I realized that I’m actually making rich person richer. It was not congruent to my value system. My value system was to help the common man live their life, step up, and do what they really want. I have to take a step back and I think it was also circumstantial that my property investing was very successful. I probably stuck the winning formula on how to find the properties. And also by the way, there was a lot of research behind it, like systematically, which came from my way of investing in finance portfolios, and also the knowledge of the architecture, like how the property attributes work and not. At the end of the day it’s not about property, it’s about the people. The winning formula that I have, I actually build that portfolio in seven years. I did hard yards, almost on every weekend I was visiting along with my young ones in the back of the car, visiting those properties, doing inspections with me.

Ben Handler:

Did you hire a buyer’s agent during that time?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Actually I did. I did one of them. The experience was probably a bit subpar and I certainly see a big, big need that’s why I can do a better job, let me put it this way.

Ben Handler:

Was that a tipping point? Was that a point of awareness where you thought maybe I should become a buyer’s agent?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Not really because my… Okay. I actually went to Tony Robbins show last year, Unleash your Power Within, UPW they call it. Amazing, amazing value. I would say everyone should go. A $1000, if you’re running short of it, I’m happy to donate from my side. It’s amazing code because I know you will support it further down, other people. It just wakes the power within us, unleashes it. And that made me realize that, okay, this was my awakening then at that point of time. Like, what is my purpose? Like if when I die, on my death bed, what people would be talking about? What would be my obituary looking like? And then I realized that yes, I’m making money for the high net worth individuals. Yes I might get a thing, that okay I was getting paid for that job, but working with moms and dads is an entirely different experience. The sense of fulfillment of finding them their dream home, because it’s just not about investment properties that I look at.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

I’m also looking with the same rigor of systematic approach to buying a home. That’s pretty unique in the way I look at it, because my value proposition is I bring the same rigor of IT systems of managing portfolios. Like I was once part of a $7 billion Australian equity portfolio, which was based on systematic investing. We found the attributes, what are favorable attributes and what are not, and how the share price movement is based on that, actually. I use the same systematic approach, which I call it as a [factor rate model 00:14:39] . Everyone when they are looking for a home has different definition of the ideal home.

Ben Handler:

Yes.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Coming from the consultation background, it’s like, okay, what do you like? What are the aspects that you really want to desire in your property?

Ben Handler:

I feel like the architecture, you’re starting with this concept. And then you’re moving into the detail.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Exactly right.

Ben Handler:

I wanted to… There’s so much to talk about. And you’ve got such an incredible story. Now you really do. And I see your value… Talking about value proposition. I mean, it’s very compelling. It’s compelling for many levels. I mean, obviously from risk analysis, from what you’ve done yourself in seven years, building the portfolio you have. It’s impressive on many levels. And I don’t think you’re going to be short of any clients by the way. We can maybe talk about how the journey has been. I think more importantly from what I’m hearing today and what I’m experiencing with you right now is there’s so much purpose with what you’re doing. You came from humble beginnings, you got out of architecture to move careers in a different sector to better support your family, right? That’s powerful.

Ben Handler:

And then you went on this awesome adventure, achieved everything. And then you’ve decided to, as you said, take a step back. There was an awakening moment at UPW, and you’ve actually gone back now to serve. Like actually serve in a very purposeful way. I think that must feel amazing for you waking up every day now going, I’m actually helping people with this knowledge that I’ve cultivated, I’ve done myself, I’ve developed it in so many different areas, and I’m packaging it up now with my own mix.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

My own ingredients. And I’m going to help you get money working for you.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

That’s powerful.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

It is certainly powerful. And Ben, I can’t thank you enough for me to get into this journey as well, get that network. But yes it’s very, very fulfilling, very fulfilling because when I buy a property as an investment property for the client, like property unseen for them. And they trust in me as an individual and also in our processes and in my success, which they can really see. They have all this… Because I’ve been hardworking, there’s no success without… Like no pain, no gain. Yes, on the top you can see that I have been successful in three different careers. There has been a lot of hard work, a lot of support, a lot of sacrifices made through the way. To me it’s the why, why as in the purpose. If you’re clear on your purpose, it’s not what you have covered so far it’s more about where you want to go.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

And looking at that flag and then how closely you are approaching or how quickly you want to approach. And I’ve been one of those impatient person, but at the same time being strategic, I’ve never rushed into things. I’d rather do the thing the right way and only the right way. What’s more fulfilling for me is to make people realize that they have a story behind themselves. Every individual is individual as in like they have their own personal story. And part of them really want to do a lot more. Just like relating back to the elephant, they really want to go and break the shackles, break the status quo and live the free world.

Ben Handler:

Let’s quickly talk about, Get Rare.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

It’s your new company, you’re the founder, you’re the director, you’re the buyer’s agent. I’m sure you’re in that startup you’re running, you’re the marketer, you’re the finance man, you’re the IT person, you’re doing everything, I’m sure.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

Like we all do when we start our businesses, which is exciting. But then we work out which hat are we going to now give up, give to someone else. But let’s talk about that because I’d be curious to know what is the ideal style of client that you’d love to work with?

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

The way I look at it, as someone who is open to the ideas, like I’ve actually come across many people, but they have their own way of thinking and they get stuck.

Ben Handler:

They get quite fixated.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

They are very fixated. They’re not flexible at all. For my recent client, I saved him 80 grand. If I’m charging 15 grand is probably not really a brainer. Like I’m going to saving them money, saving them time, saving them the stress.

Ben Handler:

That’s a big one.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes. Yeah. I’m actually proud of what I actually found. But what I’m trying to say is that the message has to go across to quite a few people out there. For me, the ideal personality client would be someone who’s ready to hear the ideas, ready with the concept of not just financial leverage, but the knowledge leverage. They don’t have to make the mistake on their own. They don’t really have to get frustrated. They can outsource the whole process. And to me it’s an arm’s length that I would just go and find a property for them. My approach is very consultative. Like I would be as if holding their hands and talking through them like what they want or what they should be looking at. My purpose is to educate them, empower them. I’m not really saying buy your first property through me, and buy the second, and the third, and the fourth with me as well.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Of course, if I give them the lot of value in the first one, along with the knowledge and the confidence, I know they will come back to me. My business model is give them all that I can give in terms of knowledge skills, plus my time and more important than that the attention. Quite a few people like I’ve got few clients already that I’m working with. And they have got a lot in my pipeline. And the basis of which has been that I have been very generous with my time, sharing my knowledge, because my purpose is not to just acquire clients. My purpose is to help them. Because I had been on that side before I know the pain of not really finding the right platform to grow from.

Ben Handler:

I guess, in finishing up today, your name in Sanskrit is prosperity. That’s right. So I think for anyone who’s coming into your inner circle, into your, into your orbit and with what you’ve achieved yourself, just with own portfolio and just with your career and the commitment and the dedication and the focus that you’ve put in, everything that you’ve done, even the tennis right. Prosperity I feel is going to manifest. And where can people find you

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Show? So I’m very much on the social media. So I got a website dot com.edu. I got an Instagram handle. I’m very much on LinkedIn as well. So Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, but yeah, the website for the first way, the main contact point.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. As we finished up, when I saw your website and I saw your emails come through in the blogs. And this dude is, he’s savvy with IT, it looks slick, it looks good, so well done. I’ve really enjoyed our chat. I’m super pumped to see where you go. I think not just for you, but for your clients. I think it’s exciting to see where you go. I know that we will stay connected and I’m going to watch you and hopefully I’ll get you on again soon just to hear version two.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Sure.

Ben Handler:

But I appreciate your time. It’s been awesome. Hope you enjoyed the chat. That was super awesome. I made a mistake at the beginning. Rasti is actually based in Sydney. I’m sure he buys nationally, so you can give him a call, check out his website.

Ben Handler:

You’ll learn more about his investment strategy, his philosophy and what he does. He is Sydney based. His story’s incredible, right? Starting in architecture, moving into IT, then moving into financial services, where he specializes at a bank working in research, managing 2 billions worth of funds. You can understand and appreciate his level of data analysis and looking at information and making very smart decisions, right. And he’s also built as you’ve heard, he’s own very successful portfolio in only seven years. Speak to Rasti, his investment strategies, his dedication to his clients is really first class. Check him out, see you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

Lessons from a Billionaire

Buyer's Agent Daniel Trelease on lessons from a Billionaire

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 awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people. To bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents providing people who need help buying property. Our goal with 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 Australia right now.

Ben Handler:

Our guest today is Daniel Trelease, he is the founder, and CEO of Trelease Associates, the headquarters is based in Sydney, in Double Bay. Daniel prides himself on two key things, number one, customer service, and number two, developing an extraordinary, and exceptional company culture.

Ben Handler:

Daniel’s career is quite remarkable, it’s also very unique where it started. He was headhunted by the former entertainment media billionaire mogul, Robert Stigwood. Robert Stigwood had a country estate in England, and Daniel managed this estate, and looked after, not just property, but art, but also diversified in understanding different business ventures.

Ben Handler:

Daniel was also engaged by high net worth individuals to buy property, and art across New York, and London. Daniel has been in Australia for less than a decade, and brings a very unique energy into his new business. So, I’m very excited to introduce Daniel Trelease today. Welcome Daniel.

Daniel Trelease:

Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.

Ben Handler:

I’ve always been meaning to ask about this whole Robert Stigwood. He’s obviously a billionaire, he was from Australia, he moved to England. I believe he was the first billionaire in the world.

Daniel Trelease:

I don’t know if he was the first, he was certainly one of the first, and I believe he was one of the first, certainly in Australia. But, he was actually born in Adelaide as well, where I was born. And, that’s I believe certainly, after he passed I started thinking about why me, and I think it was, “I’m going to give this young kid from Adelaide a chance.” And, I’ll be forever grateful for that, because that was the start of my journey.

Ben Handler:

But, how did it all come together?

Daniel Trelease:

I was actually working in the executive club lounge at a hotel, the Hyatt Regency at the time, I think it’s the InterContinental now in Adelaide. And, he said to me, “You don’t seem nervous at all.” And, my boss was there holding the silver tray, shaking like this. And, I said, “I don’t know who you are.” And, he just sort of smiled, and said, “That’s great, no worries.”

Daniel Trelease:

And, I went on with my day, and the next time I had to serve him, eventually the president of his companies at the time said to me, “You’d be really good working with us.” And, it just went from there, then they took me to dinner, and discussed the opportunity. I went, and visited the estate, and Robert, and his team in the Isle of Wight at the time in England, and came back made decision, finished my degree, and went to work for them.

Ben Handler:

When I introduced, and said, “Managed the country estate state,” I mean, a lot of people listening to this won’t probably quite grasp what that really means. Do you mind maybe sharing around the size, the number of staff? I mean, you were managing something very large.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah, I was effectively what they would call a majordomo, which was the head of the household. So, I would manage all of the staff from the nurses, the security, the chefs, the gardeners, then all of his executive team as well, and everyone in between. Hiring, firing, training, and being the conduit between Robert, and a staff member effectively.

Ben Handler:

How many staff members roughly?

Daniel Trelease:

Just on the estate at any given time between 30, and 40.

Ben Handler:

Wow, amazing. So, what did you learn? I mean, obviously that’s a very unique experience for someone to go through, and be part of that whole journey. What is it that you learned? What was the key thing?

Daniel Trelease:

I think that’s probably where I developed most of my people skills. I was exposed to people that I don’t ever read about, or seen on television. He’s obviously, he was the godfather to a number of the Royal Family’s children, that sort of thing he often visited.

Daniel Trelease:

He’s also the man who created Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Cream, Evita, merge companies, Brian Epstein, run the Beatles for a while, et cetera. And, I actually flew to Melbourne at one point to hire the new gentlemen to take over Saturday Night Fever in the West End, and being thrown in the deep end like that with people that I couldn’t even possibly fathom.

Daniel Trelease:

There was actually one point when I hung up the phone on John Travolta by accident. I was just transferring it to Robert’s quarters, and it just cut out, and I was like sugar. So, anyway I got in a lot of trouble for that. But, Look he called back, and he was fine. The lesson I did learn though, is that with that level of power, and wealth does not always come humility, and decency. And, I know that he had a reputation for being an extraordinarily hard person.

Daniel Trelease:

I mean, everyone knows it’s common knowledge he was hung off of his balcony by the Kray twins, which were mafia, because he was monopolizing the industry. And, I remember one point he called me, I was not in working hours, and I was asked to come up to the main house. I had a house on the estate, and I was asked to come up, and he asked me to come up, which was a 15 minute journey from my house to his, kind of thing. Out of hours, on my very few hours off, to pick a pen up next to his bed, and give it to him when there was 20 staff in the house. To show me that’s your place, don’t ever forget it, kind of thing.

Daniel Trelease:

And, I’ll never forget that moment ever, but I’ll also never forget the moments where he enjoyed glass of champagne, and telling me extraordinary stories, which have enriched my life forever. And, I tell them over, and over are.

Ben Handler:

Can you share any of them?

Daniel Trelease:

They’re probably, a lot of them are rather inappropriate, as you can imagine being a billionaire in the sixties, and seventies, that sort of thing, the sorts of things that went on, but they were very entertaining.

Ben Handler:

Let’s talk about Trelease Associates, because what I love so much about the buyer’s agent sector is they’re so many up, and coming new businesses with people like you have extraordinary skill, and talent. That you’ve then transferred now into this space. And, what you’re doing with Trelease Associates is very unique. I’ve obviously been in the space a long time, and I don’t see really anyone out there in Australia doing what you’re doing. So, what’s the purpose behind what you’re doing? And, what are you looking to do?

Daniel Trelease:

I suppose, from my experience with people mostly, I wanted to create something which wasn’t mine, which wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about feeding me, it wasn’t about growing just me. It was about who can I bring into this company to grow with me for the entire journey. And, I’m not just talking about staff retention. I created Trelease Associates, because I’m the sole owner right now, but it’s created, so then there’s people like, and he most certainly will be Jeremy Bedwani, who I believe is just as important to the success of this company as myself.

Daniel Trelease:

And, I don’t believe it could be what it is even today, 14 months on without him as an example, and other heads of divisions too. So, Trelease Associates was created, so there’ll be associates. There will be obviously myself as the founder, but in time there will be stakeholders like Jeremy, and others in the future as well. So, they own a piece of this company, a significant piece, and it’s not bought, it’s gifted to them.

Daniel Trelease:

It’s about creating a culture where we’re all building a family, a business that can become nationwide, possibly larger, but that’s not the goal. Where we’re working towards a common goal, and every single day I can honestly tell you, we joke, we laugh, we have an amazing time. And, yes there’s difficult times too, and we expect that, and we learn from that, we pivot like we have during COVID.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, and it’s apparent from the outside looking in around what you’re doing. It’s very different, and it seems, as I said earlier, very unique. Let’s talk about the confidentiality part.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

That’s something that no one’s doing. Most people in the buyer’s agent space, social media, advertising, it’s all about just bought. You’ve taken a very different approach, do you mind sharing why, and what you’re doing?

Daniel Trelease:

I believe that we’re in customer service, and customer service after spending well over a decade in London, New York, I even lived in Greece for six months. I just feel that it’s missing from the fabric of our society here in Australia. You go to a restaurant, that’s not service. It’s appalling in my eyes. I wanted to create something where the confidentiality piece, we didn’t leverage on our client, and what we bought for them to self promote. We were engaged by our client to source, and to secure a property for them, whether it be investment, whether it be primary residence.

Daniel Trelease:

Not then to plaster that over social media, or to leak it to the media, that sort of thing. It’s about discretion, it’s about a different level of service that Australians perhaps are not entirely used to. That would be expected in say London, and confidentiality is not necessary for all of our clients. Not at all. Most in fact, do not require it, but it is absolutely there for the clients who do.

Daniel Trelease:

It doesn’t just revolve around the confidentiality upon exchange. For example, where the client’s identity is held confidentially with a confidentiality deed signed by the sales agent, the sales agency principal, myself as the principal of Trelease Associates, the buyer’s agent that may have been acting for that buyer, our buyer, and the vendor. All signed, so it’s basically just an extra signature before they sign the contract.

Ben Handler:

Every transaction?

Daniel Trelease:

Not every transaction for the clients that require this. Every client can have it if they wish. Some clients don’t wish for it, they just don’t care, it’s not necessary. Absolutely fine. But, it’s more about what about their buying power? Because, their buying power is usually exposed to most sales agents, because I’ve been looking for one, two, three, six, 12 months before engaging buyer’s agent. Therefore, it’s about confidentiality around the client themselves during the process.

Daniel Trelease:

So, some of these clients, we had one recently that had full confidentiality. No one knows what we bought, no one knows how much we bought it for, and no one is allowed to disclose. That client was even searching at the time. So, that client’s buying power was also confidential. Therefore, because the agents understood where their budget may have been, they needed to know this, they were just working with client five at Trelease Associates.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, it’s extraordinary. And, let’s talk about leadership obviously, and actually before we dive into leadership, I would think that when I opened up, I talked about one of your principles is customer service. It seems like it’s clear, it runs through the DNA of your entire company. Has that been inherited from Robert Stigwood?

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

Yeah.

Daniel Trelease:

Unequivocally. I mean, even from my hospitality days, I mean, I remember when my parents didn’t want me to go to acting school, and that sort of thing, which was my passion as a young man. They wanted me to finish my degree, and that sort of thing as I did. But, during that I was working from 16, 15, whatever it was onwards. And, I ended up in silver service in a five star hotel in Adelaide. Therefore, I was poached from Robert, and moved to England.

Daniel Trelease:

And, naturally when you’re serving people from the Royal Family, you’re serving Robert himself, it’s all silver service. And it is the hand behind the back. You’re pretty much leaving the room, walking backwards, that kind of thing. It was very intense. It’s a level of service that almost is nonexistent today, but I revere it.

Ben Handler:

Wow, so you, from being exposed to that, you’ve been able to now transfer just that high quality, because you’re right Australia, it’s poor service.

Daniel Trelease:

Very.

Ben Handler:

And, especially when you go to the States, and come back, you just notice that distinction. So, obviously working at the estate in the UK, you were managing, you were hiring, you were firing, you were strategizing, you were organizing, coordinating, you are a leader. I think we’re all leaders in our own right. Now, you’re running your new company. You’ve got people in various divisions in different States. Has your understanding of leadership changed at all?

Daniel Trelease:

Every day, every single day. Every day I’m learning, even Jeremy, and I learned from each other every day. And, we strategize together every day. But, even after Robert when I worked for TDA Interiors, for example, under Richard Taylor, the founder of TDA Interiors were still operational in South of England, and in central London too. And, watching those different leadership styles from Robert, which is an extraordinary style, I suppose, all the way through to Richard, which was very commercial.

Daniel Trelease:

And, I look at myself as a highly emotional being, hight EQ. Jeremy, high IQ, and very commercial. So, the ying and yang work exceptionally well. We couldn’t be more different in our leadership styles, and that’s probably why we work so well together to create a company that is, I certainly hope I’m right in saying this, not only humble, and not only caring, and compassionate, but we genuinely love, and care for the people inside those walls. And, we will protect them, and nurture them and help them grow, and that’s one of Jeremy’s primary role.

Daniel Trelease:

So, the leadership isn’t just for me, it is across the team. We’ve got Kim Ackerman who’s basically writing the Trelease Associates handbook, for example. On her own accord she came to us. I believe that leadership needs to go across the spectrum of the company, and not just dripped down from the top. I don’t believe in the hierarchy, and the older models. Could be wrong, but at the moment it seems to be doing very well. And, the company as a whole, and the staff are enjoying this leadership style.

Ben Handler:

I agree, the leadership always should really move from the bottom up. And, the fact you’ve got this lady in your office who’s put her hand up to say-

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

…I want to take lead with this, is a clear, I guess, indication, and reflection demonstration of what’s really going on in the company. Because, it seems not just customer service is something that runs throughout your entire company, it’s something that obviously you pride so much.

Ben Handler:

Because, I remember back at the Cohen Handler days, you were always having dinner at 10:00 at night at a restaurant with the 65 year old client. And, it seems like you were just forging these very close friendships. So, outside of a transaction your client relationships now becoming friendships, right?

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah, look, there’s three, four clients that have had babies during, or after being a client of mine, and I’ve been in the hospital before they’ve even gotten home with their baby. And, I’ve got 60, 70, 80 plus year old clients who I still take to dinner, because they’re alone, and I truly enjoy their company. I’m an old soul, a lot will say I’m like an eight year old Jewish man, and that’s the joke in the office.

Daniel Trelease:

I suppose I do definitely connect to older people far more than younger. I love being around the youth, and the energy like Jack Henderson in our office, fantastic. He always prides himself, he was a minor, he didn’t finish school, and look at him now.

Ben Handler:

The Flamingo.

Daniel Trelease:

Yes, the Flamingo, right. And, then we’ve got lawyers, and we’ve got forensic accountants, and all sorts of people as well in the company. So, education as well I don’t believe is a factor. You cannot train passion, you cannot train hustle, you can only train skill. And, that’s the biggest lesson that we’ve learned over the last six to 12 months is that don’t just hire someone that’s been in real estate, and need to unravel bad habits, for example. Hire someone who has the passion, hire someone who has the hustle ingrained in them, that is innate in them. Then, and only then let’s train those people.

Ben Handler:

I love it. What do you love about real estate?

Daniel Trelease:

I have to say it’s not even the real estate. It’s the people, because every day I meet someone new, a different character, whether it be a flamingo or something else brought into our life to enrich our lives. And, we’ve got incredibly diverse team of people, and we’re hiring at the moment. So, there’s more people that are coming on board. Some of them are quite characters as well, but you know what, everyone who sits in front of us in the boardroom is different too.

Daniel Trelease:

Some are going to suit my demeanor, and my character. Some are going to suit Jack’s or Kim’s or Annabelle’s or whoever’s. And, that’s why also we need to figure out who aren’t we servicing, who aren’t we helping, and how can we help them. So, we’re looking at a commercial division that has never been done before. We have tried, it didn’t pan out the way Jeremy, and I had wanted it to, and that’s fine.

Daniel Trelease:

We live, and we learn, we pivot, and we evolve. And, now we’re looking at someone who, whether this person comes to fruition or not, this is someone who is at very high level, and was head of acquisitions for a very well known firm. And, we’re looking at bringing them on, so we can service the commercial clients, and buyers out there.

Daniel Trelease:

We’re looking at the property management division that we’re building very assertively, and right now we’re only six months away from launching Brisbane. Less than 12 months away from launching Mosman. And, it’s about not expanding too quickly, not trying to take over any kind of world domination, as they say, it’s about who can we service, and service well.

Daniel Trelease:

And, you know what? Sometimes we’ll fail, so we’ll pivot, we’ll try again, or we’ll move on, and we want to figure out what we’re great at. And, that’s been my biggest lesson, what I’m great at, and what I’m not so great at. Hence, why Jeremy is my ying to my yang, because I know I am not great at many of the skillsets that he is prolific in.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, you clearly compliment each other.

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely, yeah.

Ben Handler:

And, you’ve got different skillsets, different personalities, and that’s what makes a partnership.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

And, that’s what grows the company, and that’s what balances off everyone.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Some people who are the more touchy-feely EQ, they’re going to come to you. And, the other ones who aren’t, they’re going to gravitate towards Jeremy, and it works.

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

We could be here for hours. We need to do a round two, because we need to hear about some of the stories, if you’re open to sharing. I love your background, I think it’s… I get excited seeing people coming into this space with just, I guess, exposure to life.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Exposure to life, and your exposure is what very few people on this planet have exposure to. And, it’s incredible to see how you’ve brought this into your new business. And, it’s very, you can recognize it very quickly. Just drive past your office in Double Bay, or of anyone watching this now just check out Trelease Associates, right. You can feel it when you look at your brand, it’s something different. And, it’s definitely something that, from what I see, you’ve picked up from what you’ve cultivated previously just in what you’ve learned. For people watching, where can people find Trelease Associates?

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah, look I mean, treleaseassociates.com.au would be the first protocol I think for anyone to have a feel for our company, and who we are, but I’m always an advocate for picking up the phone. Don’t need to email, pick up the phone, and call me. Call me direct, call Jeremy direct, have a conversation. And, if we have a great call get inside, and meet us.

Ben Handler:

Love it. Thank you, appreciate it. We’re going to do a round two. Just finishing up now. Okay, so I hope you enjoyed the discussion, especially around what Daniel learned in his previous career, because that’s very important in terms of how you transfer that into your obviously, new career if you’re looking to do something different.

Ben Handler:

For anyone who’s actually looking to potentially join a company, and become a buyer’s agent, check out Trelease Associates. As Daniel said give him a call, give Jeremy a call, go to their website, see their brand. Actually, look at a lot of the buyers agents that exist, and see if you notice anything different about how they present, what they do, their messaging. I believe you’ll see something quite distinct.

Ben Handler:

So, pick up the phone if you want to chat. And, if you’re someone who’s even looking to buy a property, and you’re looking for that exceptional customer experience, that journey, check out Trelease Associates as well. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

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 awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people. To bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents providing people who need help buying property. Our goal with 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 Australia right now.

Ben Handler:

Our guest today is Daniel Trelease, he is the founder, and CEO of Trelease Associates, the headquarters is based in Sydney, in Double Bay. Daniel prides himself on two key things, number one, customer service, and number two, developing an extraordinary, and exceptional company culture.

Ben Handler:

Daniel’s career is quite remarkable, it’s also very unique where it started. He was headhunted by the former entertainment media billionaire mogul, Robert Stigwood. Robert Stigwood had a country estate in England, and Daniel managed this estate, and looked after, not just property, but art, but also diversified in understanding different business ventures.

Ben Handler:

Daniel was also engaged by high net worth individuals to buy property, and art across New York, and London. Daniel has been in Australia for less than a decade, and brings a very unique energy into his new business. So, I’m very excited to introduce Daniel Trelease today. Welcome Daniel.

Daniel Trelease:

Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.

Ben Handler:

I’ve always been meaning to ask about this whole Robert Stigwood. He’s obviously a billionaire, he was from Australia, he moved to England. I believe he was the first billionaire in the world.

Daniel Trelease:

I don’t know if he was the first, he was certainly one of the first, and I believe he was one of the first, certainly in Australia. But, he was actually born in Adelaide as well, where I was born. And, that’s I believe certainly, after he passed I started thinking about why me, and I think it was, “I’m going to give this young kid from Adelaide a chance.” And, I’ll be forever grateful for that, because that was the start of my journey.

Ben Handler:

But, how did it all come together?

Daniel Trelease:

I was actually working in the executive club lounge at a hotel, the Hyatt Regency at the time, I think it’s the InterContinental now in Adelaide. And, he said to me, “You don’t seem nervous at all.” And, my boss was there holding the silver tray, shaking like this. And, I said, “I don’t know who you are.” And, he just sort of smiled, and said, “That’s great, no worries.”

Daniel Trelease:

And, I went on with my day, and the next time I had to serve him, eventually the president of his companies at the time said to me, “You’d be really good working with us.” And, it just went from there, then they took me to dinner, and discussed the opportunity. I went, and visited the estate, and Robert, and his team in the Isle of Wight at the time in England, and came back made decision, finished my degree, and went to work for them.

Ben Handler:

When I introduced, and said, “Managed the country estate state,” I mean, a lot of people listening to this won’t probably quite grasp what that really means. Do you mind maybe sharing around the size, the number of staff? I mean, you were managing something very large.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah, I was effectively what they would call a majordomo, which was the head of the household. So, I would manage all of the staff from the nurses, the security, the chefs, the gardeners, then all of his executive team as well, and everyone in between. Hiring, firing, training, and being the conduit between Robert, and a staff member effectively.

Ben Handler:

How many staff members roughly?

Daniel Trelease:

Just on the estate at any given time between 30, and 40.

Ben Handler:

Wow, amazing. So, what did you learn? I mean, obviously that’s a very unique experience for someone to go through, and be part of that whole journey. What is it that you learned? What was the key thing?

Daniel Trelease:

I think that’s probably where I developed most of my people skills. I was exposed to people that I don’t ever read about, or seen on television. He’s obviously, he was the godfather to a number of the Royal Family’s children, that sort of thing he often visited.

Daniel Trelease:

He’s also the man who created Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Cream, Evita, merge companies, Brian Epstein, run the Beatles for a while, et cetera. And, I actually flew to Melbourne at one point to hire the new gentlemen to take over Saturday Night Fever in the West End, and being thrown in the deep end like that with people that I couldn’t even possibly fathom.

Daniel Trelease:

There was actually one point when I hung up the phone on John Travolta by accident. I was just transferring it to Robert’s quarters, and it just cut out, and I was like sugar. So, anyway I got in a lot of trouble for that. But, Look he called back, and he was fine. The lesson I did learn though, is that with that level of power, and wealth does not always come humility, and decency. And, I know that he had a reputation for being an extraordinarily hard person.

Daniel Trelease:

I mean, everyone knows it’s common knowledge he was hung off of his balcony by the Kray twins, which were mafia, because he was monopolizing the industry. And, I remember one point he called me, I was not in working hours, and I was asked to come up to the main house. I had a house on the estate, and I was asked to come up, and he asked me to come up, which was a 15 minute journey from my house to his, kind of thing. Out of hours, on my very few hours off, to pick a pen up next to his bed, and give it to him when there was 20 staff in the house. To show me that’s your place, don’t ever forget it, kind of thing.

Daniel Trelease:

And, I’ll never forget that moment ever, but I’ll also never forget the moments where he enjoyed glass of champagne, and telling me extraordinary stories, which have enriched my life forever. And, I tell them over, and over are.

Ben Handler:

Can you share any of them?

Daniel Trelease:

They’re probably, a lot of them are rather inappropriate, as you can imagine being a billionaire in the sixties, and seventies, that sort of thing, the sorts of things that went on, but they were very entertaining.

Ben Handler:

Let’s talk about Trelease Associates, because what I love so much about the buyer’s agent sector is they’re so many up, and coming new businesses with people like you have extraordinary skill, and talent. That you’ve then transferred now into this space. And, what you’re doing with Trelease Associates is very unique. I’ve obviously been in the space a long time, and I don’t see really anyone out there in Australia doing what you’re doing. So, what’s the purpose behind what you’re doing? And, what are you looking to do?

Daniel Trelease:

I suppose, from my experience with people mostly, I wanted to create something which wasn’t mine, which wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about feeding me, it wasn’t about growing just me. It was about who can I bring into this company to grow with me for the entire journey. And, I’m not just talking about staff retention. I created Trelease Associates, because I’m the sole owner right now, but it’s created, so then there’s people like, and he most certainly will be Jeremy Bedwani, who I believe is just as important to the success of this company as myself.

Daniel Trelease:

And, I don’t believe it could be what it is even today, 14 months on without him as an example, and other heads of divisions too. So, Trelease Associates was created, so there’ll be associates. There will be obviously myself as the founder, but in time there will be stakeholders like Jeremy, and others in the future as well. So, they own a piece of this company, a significant piece, and it’s not bought, it’s gifted to them.

Daniel Trelease:

It’s about creating a culture where we’re all building a family, a business that can become nationwide, possibly larger, but that’s not the goal. Where we’re working towards a common goal, and every single day I can honestly tell you, we joke, we laugh, we have an amazing time. And, yes there’s difficult times too, and we expect that, and we learn from that, we pivot like we have during COVID.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, and it’s apparent from the outside looking in around what you’re doing. It’s very different, and it seems, as I said earlier, very unique. Let’s talk about the confidentiality part.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

That’s something that no one’s doing. Most people in the buyer’s agent space, social media, advertising, it’s all about just bought. You’ve taken a very different approach, do you mind sharing why, and what you’re doing?

Daniel Trelease:

I believe that we’re in customer service, and customer service after spending well over a decade in London, New York, I even lived in Greece for six months. I just feel that it’s missing from the fabric of our society here in Australia. You go to a restaurant, that’s not service. It’s appalling in my eyes. I wanted to create something where the confidentiality piece, we didn’t leverage on our client, and what we bought for them to self promote. We were engaged by our client to source, and to secure a property for them, whether it be investment, whether it be primary residence.

Daniel Trelease:

Not then to plaster that over social media, or to leak it to the media, that sort of thing. It’s about discretion, it’s about a different level of service that Australians perhaps are not entirely used to. That would be expected in say London, and confidentiality is not necessary for all of our clients. Not at all. Most in fact, do not require it, but it is absolutely there for the clients who do.

Daniel Trelease:

It doesn’t just revolve around the confidentiality upon exchange. For example, where the client’s identity is held confidentially with a confidentiality deed signed by the sales agent, the sales agency principal, myself as the principal of Trelease Associates, the buyer’s agent that may have been acting for that buyer, our buyer, and the vendor. All signed, so it’s basically just an extra signature before they sign the contract.

Ben Handler:

Every transaction?

Daniel Trelease:

Not every transaction for the clients that require this. Every client can have it if they wish. Some clients don’t wish for it, they just don’t care, it’s not necessary. Absolutely fine. But, it’s more about what about their buying power? Because, their buying power is usually exposed to most sales agents, because I’ve been looking for one, two, three, six, 12 months before engaging buyer’s agent. Therefore, it’s about confidentiality around the client themselves during the process.

Daniel Trelease:

So, some of these clients, we had one recently that had full confidentiality. No one knows what we bought, no one knows how much we bought it for, and no one is allowed to disclose. That client was even searching at the time. So, that client’s buying power was also confidential. Therefore, because the agents understood where their budget may have been, they needed to know this, they were just working with client five at Trelease Associates.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, it’s extraordinary. And, let’s talk about leadership obviously, and actually before we dive into leadership, I would think that when I opened up, I talked about one of your principles is customer service. It seems like it’s clear, it runs through the DNA of your entire company. Has that been inherited from Robert Stigwood?

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

Yeah.

Daniel Trelease:

Unequivocally. I mean, even from my hospitality days, I mean, I remember when my parents didn’t want me to go to acting school, and that sort of thing, which was my passion as a young man. They wanted me to finish my degree, and that sort of thing as I did. But, during that I was working from 16, 15, whatever it was onwards. And, I ended up in silver service in a five star hotel in Adelaide. Therefore, I was poached from Robert, and moved to England.

Daniel Trelease:

And, naturally when you’re serving people from the Royal Family, you’re serving Robert himself, it’s all silver service. And it is the hand behind the back. You’re pretty much leaving the room, walking backwards, that kind of thing. It was very intense. It’s a level of service that almost is nonexistent today, but I revere it.

Ben Handler:

Wow, so you, from being exposed to that, you’ve been able to now transfer just that high quality, because you’re right Australia, it’s poor service.

Daniel Trelease:

Very.

Ben Handler:

And, especially when you go to the States, and come back, you just notice that distinction. So, obviously working at the estate in the UK, you were managing, you were hiring, you were firing, you were strategizing, you were organizing, coordinating, you are a leader. I think we’re all leaders in our own right. Now, you’re running your new company. You’ve got people in various divisions in different States. Has your understanding of leadership changed at all?

Daniel Trelease:

Every day, every single day. Every day I’m learning, even Jeremy, and I learned from each other every day. And, we strategize together every day. But, even after Robert when I worked for TDA Interiors, for example, under Richard Taylor, the founder of TDA Interiors were still operational in South of England, and in central London too. And, watching those different leadership styles from Robert, which is an extraordinary style, I suppose, all the way through to Richard, which was very commercial.

Daniel Trelease:

And, I look at myself as a highly emotional being, hight EQ. Jeremy, high IQ, and very commercial. So, the ying and yang work exceptionally well. We couldn’t be more different in our leadership styles, and that’s probably why we work so well together to create a company that is, I certainly hope I’m right in saying this, not only humble, and not only caring, and compassionate, but we genuinely love, and care for the people inside those walls. And, we will protect them, and nurture them and help them grow, and that’s one of Jeremy’s primary role.

Daniel Trelease:

So, the leadership isn’t just for me, it is across the team. We’ve got Kim Ackerman who’s basically writing the Trelease Associates handbook, for example. On her own accord she came to us. I believe that leadership needs to go across the spectrum of the company, and not just dripped down from the top. I don’t believe in the hierarchy, and the older models. Could be wrong, but at the moment it seems to be doing very well. And, the company as a whole, and the staff are enjoying this leadership style.

Ben Handler:

I agree, the leadership always should really move from the bottom up. And, the fact you’ve got this lady in your office who’s put her hand up to say-

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

…I want to take lead with this, is a clear, I guess, indication, and reflection demonstration of what’s really going on in the company. Because, it seems not just customer service is something that runs throughout your entire company, it’s something that obviously you pride so much.

Ben Handler:

Because, I remember back at the Cohen Handler days, you were always having dinner at 10:00 at night at a restaurant with the 65 year old client. And, it seems like you were just forging these very close friendships. So, outside of a transaction your client relationships now becoming friendships, right?

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah, look, there’s three, four clients that have had babies during, or after being a client of mine, and I’ve been in the hospital before they’ve even gotten home with their baby. And, I’ve got 60, 70, 80 plus year old clients who I still take to dinner, because they’re alone, and I truly enjoy their company. I’m an old soul, a lot will say I’m like an eight year old Jewish man, and that’s the joke in the office.

Daniel Trelease:

I suppose I do definitely connect to older people far more than younger. I love being around the youth, and the energy like Jack Henderson in our office, fantastic. He always prides himself, he was a minor, he didn’t finish school, and look at him now.

Ben Handler:

The Flamingo.

Daniel Trelease:

Yes, the Flamingo, right. And, then we’ve got lawyers, and we’ve got forensic accountants, and all sorts of people as well in the company. So, education as well I don’t believe is a factor. You cannot train passion, you cannot train hustle, you can only train skill. And, that’s the biggest lesson that we’ve learned over the last six to 12 months is that don’t just hire someone that’s been in real estate, and need to unravel bad habits, for example. Hire someone who has the passion, hire someone who has the hustle ingrained in them, that is innate in them. Then, and only then let’s train those people.

Ben Handler:

I love it. What do you love about real estate?

Daniel Trelease:

I have to say it’s not even the real estate. It’s the people, because every day I meet someone new, a different character, whether it be a flamingo or something else brought into our life to enrich our lives. And, we’ve got incredibly diverse team of people, and we’re hiring at the moment. So, there’s more people that are coming on board. Some of them are quite characters as well, but you know what, everyone who sits in front of us in the boardroom is different too.

Daniel Trelease:

Some are going to suit my demeanor, and my character. Some are going to suit Jack’s or Kim’s or Annabelle’s or whoever’s. And, that’s why also we need to figure out who aren’t we servicing, who aren’t we helping, and how can we help them. So, we’re looking at a commercial division that has never been done before. We have tried, it didn’t pan out the way Jeremy, and I had wanted it to, and that’s fine.

Daniel Trelease:

We live, and we learn, we pivot, and we evolve. And, now we’re looking at someone who, whether this person comes to fruition or not, this is someone who is at very high level, and was head of acquisitions for a very well known firm. And, we’re looking at bringing them on, so we can service the commercial clients, and buyers out there.

Daniel Trelease:

We’re looking at the property management division that we’re building very assertively, and right now we’re only six months away from launching Brisbane. Less than 12 months away from launching Mosman. And, it’s about not expanding too quickly, not trying to take over any kind of world domination, as they say, it’s about who can we service, and service well.

Daniel Trelease:

And, you know what? Sometimes we’ll fail, so we’ll pivot, we’ll try again, or we’ll move on, and we want to figure out what we’re great at. And, that’s been my biggest lesson, what I’m great at, and what I’m not so great at. Hence, why Jeremy is my ying to my yang, because I know I am not great at many of the skillsets that he is prolific in.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, you clearly compliment each other.

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely, yeah.

Ben Handler:

And, you’ve got different skillsets, different personalities, and that’s what makes a partnership.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

And, that’s what grows the company, and that’s what balances off everyone.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Some people who are the more touchy-feely EQ, they’re going to come to you. And, the other ones who aren’t, they’re going to gravitate towards Jeremy, and it works.

Daniel Trelease:

Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

We could be here for hours. We need to do a round two, because we need to hear about some of the stories, if you’re open to sharing. I love your background, I think it’s… I get excited seeing people coming into this space with just, I guess, exposure to life.

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Exposure to life, and your exposure is what very few people on this planet have exposure to. And, it’s incredible to see how you’ve brought this into your new business. And, it’s very, you can recognize it very quickly. Just drive past your office in Double Bay, or of anyone watching this now just check out Trelease Associates, right. You can feel it when you look at your brand, it’s something different. And, it’s definitely something that, from what I see, you’ve picked up from what you’ve cultivated previously just in what you’ve learned. For people watching, where can people find Trelease Associates?

Daniel Trelease:

Yeah, look I mean, treleaseassociates.com.au would be the first protocol I think for anyone to have a feel for our company, and who we are, but I’m always an advocate for picking up the phone. Don’t need to email, pick up the phone, and call me. Call me direct, call Jeremy direct, have a conversation. And, if we have a great call get inside, and meet us.

Ben Handler:

Love it. Thank you, appreciate it. We’re going to do a round two. Just finishing up now. Okay, so I hope you enjoyed the discussion, especially around what Daniel learned in his previous career, because that’s very important in terms of how you transfer that into your obviously, new career if you’re looking to do something different.

Ben Handler:

For anyone who’s actually looking to potentially join a company, and become a buyer’s agent, check out Trelease Associates. As Daniel said give him a call, give Jeremy a call, go to their website, see their brand. Actually, look at a lot of the buyers agents that exist, and see if you notice anything different about how they present, what they do, their messaging. I believe you’ll see something quite distinct.

Ben Handler:

So, pick up the phone if you want to chat. And, if you’re someone who’s even looking to buy a property, and you’re looking for that exceptional customer experience, that journey, check out Trelease Associates as well. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

This Is How You Can Use Your Skills Wisely

Buyer's Agent Anthony Spagnolo on how you can use your skills wisely

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agents Institute show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyers agents to bring awareness around the career opportunities at the buyer’s agent sector is providing people to bring awareness around the value that buyers AINS providing to people who need help buying property. Our goal with the show is to strip back and dive into the remarkable stories and journeys of buyers agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing career sectors in real estate in Australia. Right now. Our guest today is Anthony Spagnolo. He runs Agenzia in Western Sydney and he has got a very, very in depth level I believe of diverse experience. He brings to the table, he’s a licensed real estate agent. He’s a qualified accountant. He’s a licensed builder. He is a property developer and he’s also stayed at university, a bachelor of commerce and accounting and he runs his buyer’s agent business to focus on higher yielding properties across Australia.

He primarily, at the moment, he’s focusing in Queensland and he’s also taken a focus, which we’ll talk about in this show, in an area in a disability area called NDS. That’s the acronym which we’ll dive into soon. I’m super excited to dive into this discussion with Anthony today. I’d like to introduce Anthony.

Anthony Spagnolo:

Thanks for having me. Thanks for the intro.

Ben Handler:

Did I get that intro? Okay. I would say there’s a lot of good skills you bring to the table. It’s obviously very diverse. Do a lot of declines. Have a talk about what you bring to the table. Uh, let’s turn the truth.

Anthony Spagnolo:

Uh, to tell you the truth, it’s throughout, it’s in trying to find my actual job title to this point. So I’ve, yeah, Buyer’s agent is just the part of what I do is essentially had an accounting business for 12 years, moved out of that space into property development and my love for real estate. It’s led me down this path into, uh, into becoming a buyer’s agent or property strategist as such.

Ben Handler:

So you didn’t strike me as the accountant.

Anthony Spagnolo:

Well, that’s why I’m of of diversified. Uh, it’s, it was good stepping stone. Um, gave me broad, a broader, uh, range of knowledge I guess, and uh, onto the nexts project, which is now my passion for property. So, um, we’re really trying to push this business to take it to the next level.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. I, I mean, I really do believe you bring a lot to the table. I mean, having an accounting background, focusing in development and understanding building and obviously buying property yourself. I mean, it’s a lot you bring to the table and so it’s going to be exciting to see how you roll this into this new business of yours. You, we talked earlier and I know that you, you, you’ve put a focus into, obviously you focus on high yielding properties, but you’ve taken a, uh, a liking and a focus into what is called NDIS. Yes. Do you mind sharing like what is NDIS and NDIS stands for?

Anthony Spagnolo:

National Disability Insurance Scheme. And the part of the plans that we’re focusing on is called SDA, which is Specialized Disability Accommodation. It’s a fairly new scheme, early sort of been legislated in the last, uh, two years. Uh, most of the properties are only under construction at the moment. That’s new builds because it’s so complex and there’s a lot of compliance to be, uh, SDA approved so that the participants who are the people with disabilities or tech tenants can move into these properties cause they have to obviously be, uh, purposely built and signed off on. So they’re, um, regulated I guess. So. So essentially there’s 30,000 participants or people waiting to get a sufficient housing, uh, Australia wide. So yes, there’s a lot there. That’s the supply. The supply can’t meet the demand currently.

Ben Handler:

My next question is like, why did you take a liking and a focus into this?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Uh, it was through a chance, um, conversation or meeting with a colleague of mine who’s based in Brisbane. Uh, he was representing a company up there and I said, why didn’t you have a look at this is unbelievable returns, uh, often between 10 to 20% a year, net yields per annum. So I said, well, that got me sort of looking at it. Also, I have a cousin that has, uh, had cerebral palsy and can and have, it’s close to my heart. I guess that seeing what families go through behind the scenes as well as knowing some other, um, uh, participants and meeting a lot, uh, throughout our journey of doing research and reverse engineering the whole process. It’s just, uh, it’s taken us down the path that we, we feel, uh, an obligation to work, work out all the moving parts so that we can, um, yeah, help, help, uh, provide the specialized housing to these people.

Ben Handler:

I don’t know a lot about this space, but, well, from what I read in here, it seems complicated. And for someone like you who’s got a special cause, um, it’s, it’s, it’s close to your heart. You obviously know property very well. And so it seems like you’re going to be this perfect solution to come to the table to help make the experience a lot easier for people. Why do you think it’s been so difficult?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Well the, the, it’s not like just, uh, purchasing a standard property for, for an investor, then taking a tour and an agent to manage it and find tenants. Uh, it’s basically you gotta start from the ground up prior to finding the location, which means that you’ve got to deal with care providers. There’s 7,000, uh, accommodation care providers or thereabouts, Australia wide. So you can’t just build it in a certain location and hope that they will come. It’s a matter of going to these care providers or coordinators to work out which clients in which areas are requiring which level of housing. And then then we will sort of go through the, the criteria of what makes a property good. If it’s close to um, uh, transport station. Obviously a lot of the people that live in these houses are wheelchair bound, so it just needs to be, uh, in the right location so they can have a quality, like a good lifestyle, I guess. And, and convenience.

Ben Handler:

Where do you think the gap is? I mean in terms of like, do you think being that group like you are, who can say this is the right care provider, this is where we should buy. Like e.g., we should go to Queensland. This is the right product. Like do you think it’s, do you think there’s a gap or there’s a need to find someone like yourself to help package it all up?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Oh definitely. Cause if it’s a normal person just goes out to put a bought or build SDI house hoping that they’ll get high returns and haven’t done their due diligence in groundwork, the house can be empty log. There’s no point just building it for the sake of building it I guess. Uh, um, like I said by, by going through the process and reverse engineering it, we’ve gone all the way back to what the participants require with houses. So we’ve actually surveyed a lot of participants and just through our work with the care providers, with our builders that are preferred builders, we come up, we have come up with some really good designs that make the house has, is really functional for the needs of the participants. And then we also have those intimate relationships with the care providers on an ongoing basis to know where we should be sourcing. Then knowing that we’ll have investors come to us. And so we sort of reverse the process of working out what the requirements are of the people that are moving into the houses and where they’re located. And then we’ll match them with the investors and our developers and builders to like one stop solution.

Ben Handler:

And it’s a big, it’s a big space to be operating in and there’s massive obviously shortage of supply. High demand. Why would someone, okay, then the net yields, you said between 10 and 20%. It’s very high.

Anthony Spagnolo:

Yeah. In some cases it can vary from it depending on local does the land components, uh, the major variable factor. So the rates that the SDI pay, you only change by location. Very minimally. So it’s more so if you want to go close to a CBD, then the land component is going to be higher. Then you may be affected, however you might get a higher capital growth.

Ben Handler:
But the yields are very attractive?

Anthony Spagnolo:

That’s what they’re very attractive. But for me personally, like as, as I mentioned, it’s more of the feelgood factor of helping people get the right housing and it’s a social scheme. It’s the second biggest social scheme only behind Medicare.

Ben Handler:

It’s interesting because let’s just say I’m an I, I’m an investor. What do you feel like most investors would be looking at this? Obviously there’s, there’s very intent behind it. You’re, you know, it’s not just a standard purchase you’re providing and giving someone a place to be, but obviously the yields are attractive.  What else would be attractive for an investor is a capital growth. Like what…

Anthony Spagnolo:

If we can purchase in the right locations, which we like, we know where like even like you mentioned, we do a lot of work in Southeast Queensland. We know those suburbs like intimately and we know where we should be purchasing and we’ve got projections on growth and whatnot. So we’re able to definitely as well as getting the high, high, um, cashflow or, or yields, we’re able to get capital growth for our clients too. So that’s great. Yeah. Without some level of risks. Like, obviously the rewards high, but um, at present, yeah, the lending criteria is, uh, you need a little bit more deposit to get into one of these properties because, uh, they’re cause they’re fitted out to such a high standard. There’s a short sometimes in vows for the fit out costs. But that’s just a thought. I’ll put that out there.

Ben Handler:

What would you say the average average purchase prices waste from all we’ve been purchasing on behalf of our clients?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Look, we for say a four bedroom or, or could be a three bedroom with a Oh eight quarters, which is, uh, for an overnight carer, um, the standard builds around 500,000 or thereabouts. That’s, so that’s essentially a four bedroom SDA home. But as you go down, you can get three bedroom, two bedrooms, so you can, the price range would be, would probably start at five 50 to 600 K in Queensland to probably up to a million probably. But it’s high. I mean, I’ve seen some of the specs and what it looks like. It’s, it looks very good quality or very high quality or, or bath or bedrooms have large bathrooms. But for wheelchair access, uh, there’s a breakout area for when participants have their families over kitchen shared living. So they’re, they’re really well thought designs and they do provide a great level of comfort and livability for the participants.

Ben Handler:

What’s your view on, I mean at the moment with what’s going on with the, the economy at the moment? This pandemic tenant security is obviously an issue in just not just rezzy commercial everywhere. Have you seen a change in like investors who are looking at NDI indice because obviously there’s going to be no issue with tenant security. Have you seen there’s been more people who want to get in or…

Anthony Spagnolo:

there is a lot I think as, as the people who come more aware of the scheme and what indices like it’s quite new to a lot of people. So there has been just general, uh, increase as we’ve sort of, um, began over 12 months ago. We’ve seen a steady increase of, uh, interest. However, w a S like a selling point that, uh, identified as being during coronavirus that there is government guarantees and the governments is essentially the government’s the one that will be paying you the rent on behalf of the participants. So you have a 10 plus five plus five lease, um, with the SDA. So tenant security and risk of not receiving rent isn’t a problem. So if anything, um, we’ve come up with a solution to overcome any objections due to the current market crosses. It’s very attractive. How has been the experience?

Ben Handler:

I mean you obviously, I know you’ve gone through and done quite a lot of purchases already. You’re very busy. How, I mean obviously I just wanted to get a check in, like how’s the experience been from finding the property for the your client?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Yeah, it’s been, it’s been a challenge local, low. As I mentioned, we’ve sort of gone through Oh 10, 15 different, uh, builders that we’ve interviewed and vetted and, and also service providers who, so you’ve got the care providers are, they’re the ones who look after the whole India’s plan for the participants. However, then you’ve got the service providers who are the ones, they’re essentially like a lock, the agent of the property, but on a high level because there’s a lot more compliance and reporting that needs to be done to the, with them to the SDA to maintain the compliance of the property.

Um, as well. They need those relationships with, um, the care providers on an ongoing basis to make sure that, um, the tenants are happy looked after and if there is, uh, an event that a tenant may be relocating or moving out, that they’ve got someone else lined up to, to fill that spot. And we ha we don’t have a high occupy, uh, if I can see rights, uh, on these properties. So the, in most cases they’re fully occupied majority of the time due to the fact that there’s not sufficient housing around for the participants at this stage.

Ben Handler:

Do you see the business going really heavily all in, into the San Diego, in gen Z into the induce phase? We’re not pigeonholed to induce I guess, but it is a niche that we’ve really, uh, we’d like to call ourselves specialist in and we’ve been, like I said, we’ve done a fair few transactions in this space.

Anthony Spagnolo:

So we are, we are really in, uh, enjoying the challenge and enjoying being like, um, we want to be someone that people will come to to come up with the solution. And we’re, we’re at the point where we’re confident that we’ve got multiple solutions available or, yeah, it’s so needed. I mean, it just seems like a space that if you’re trying to go through it yourself 7,000 provide, like it just seems like it’d be a nightmare. Yeah, it is. That’s why you need the right service provider to have those relationships in specific areas. Obviously you can’t deal with all of them and they’re spread out across Australia. However, it’s, uh, it’s having those solid relationships that we can confidently put our investors into these properties knowing that they’ll be looked off, look, looked after and going forward, that the properties will perform for them. And we think that without designs with future proofing the properties, uh, for the investors, so when more more properties come on the market and uh, and they catch up with the demands that our properties are still going to be the best properties that people want to live in.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. And it’s great that you, you’re reverse engineering the entire process. Is anyone else going about it that way?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Um, look we’ve met a lot of good people in this space and a lot of passionate people because everyone’s got a story. They know someone that’s affected or someone that needs the housing happy to help people. Even if they’re looking for housing and not an investor where we’ve got the right connections to point them in the right direction to be able to come up with whatever solution they may need. If it’s from a holistic approach of getting someone that specialized in actual the hope doing the whole plans, cause they can be quite complex. So we look, we’re happy to just help in any way we can. In this space. You’re primarily buying

Ben Handler:

Queensland. Do you see yourself going in any other state?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Obviously the land in Queensland has been cheaper than what new South Wales or Sydney has been. So that’s why the use can be higher. It’s just sort of where we started. However, we, we’ve got some partnerships now that in the next two, two months we should have some really good options available in Sydney or broader new South Wales, central coast, Hunter Valley. We’ve got, we’ve got things in the pipeline or other partnerships that we can sort of definitely facilitate for that.

Ben Handler:

Nice. And so how have you found on a different note like the buyer’s agent space, obviously you working in the accounting space for a long time, pretty different to the buyer’s agent space. Are you, are you enjoying the style of service model?

Anthony Spagnolo:

Oh yeah, very much so. I enjoyed it. Um, as uh, you mentioned I was doing a CA counting and then I went into property development. Uh, larger scale developments was sort of what my family business was. So that’s how I sort of got my builder’s license along the way. Cause I was project managing our jobs and said, well one of our come a build up. But that’s not the direction I sort of went. And, uh, what I was doing as an accountant and now as a licensed real estate agent is, uh, a little bit of a hype, uh, hybrid between sort of, like I said, it’s property stretched strategists and it’s not yet. It’s not just the South side of things. It’s all been able to have those partnerships in the background with brokers, solicitors, other accountants, um, and AIS, it’s just having multiple relationships and also a marketing team behind me, uh, and just working with clever people that can really, um, give a client a holistic view and a strategy to move forward as opposed to just purchasing a one property. We want to look further further than that and actually help them build a portfolio and wealth. So,

Ben Handler:

yeah, and that’s, that’s what I was saying at the beginning. I think what you bring to the table in terms of skill and knowledge is incredibly unique. And then focusing that into indice like w what’s the right product and what’s the right area to buy in. And so because you’ve got that building experience, you’ve got the development experience, you’ve got the accounting background. Like it’s a lot of value it brings to the client.

Anthony Spagnolo:

Yeah. Well when we build a property like it’s not just set and forget and move on like part of my services locked off for the client that throughout the project I will essentially be project managing from a building level. Even though there’s a, we’ve got our preferred builders and it’s, we know that it’s in trusted hands. A client wants to know throughout a 20 week build cycle. I guess a client still wants updates. They want to know where it’s at and, and we’ll be even on site having a look with the builder and just making sure, keeping track of it. I can show everything’s on track I guess.

Ben Handler:

I think it’s awesome. What you’re doing I think is incredibly unique. There’s, I think it’s, I, it’s obviously a very big space I think to play in and there doesn’t there done from what I’ve seen that doesn’t seem like there’s that holistic, uh, group out there that can provide, has got that hybrid model to really service the client. I’m so mad I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do in this space. It’s exciting. Where can, as we wrap up, where can people find you.

Anthony Spagnolo:

On my website, Agenzia.com.au or Anthony Spagnolo. Uh, that would be, I’m happy to talk to anyone anytime with numbers on there. Give me a call, drop me an email and just happy to help in any way possible.

Ben Handler:

I love it. My well done. I’m pumped to see what you’re going to do in the future in this space. I really am. So thanks for joining. I appreciate it. For sure. Cheers. Okay, so check out Anthony at Agenzia.com.au. If you want to learn more about this NDIS space, it’s a very unique space and Anthony has got all the skills and putting a lot of the time the energy has put in the effort to build relationships so people can really understand this space and not many people in my opinion, really intricately do. So reach out to Anthony if you have any questions, check him out. He’s really passionate about serving this space and so I’m really excited to see where it goes cause there’s such a lack of supply and I think a lack of a consolidated skillset to support this industry. So check them out. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

You Paint Your Picture

Buyer's Agent Kitty Parker on painting your own picture

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 people to bring awareness around the value that buyers agents are providing, people who need help buying property. Our goal with 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.

Our guest today is Kitty Parker from Kitty Mile. She is not your average buyer’s agent. She has a very broad range of skill and talent. She’s been involved in start-up businesses, one of the most recent ones where she grew a multi-national corporate start-up. She also has tertiary qualifications that is quite diverse, ranging from policy ranging from strategic management and psychology. She is a single mother and she brings a certain level of freshness, I believe, to the buyer’s agent space. She’s not just here to serve clients and buy property. She’s here. I feel to bring innovation into this sector. I’m really excited to introduce Kitty and dive into today. Welcome, Kitty.

Kitty Miles:

Thank you so much. I was so nice. I thought you said lovely to meet you. Thank you for having me here today.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, I really appreciate it. And I remember I saw you online last year, end of last year and I thought this lady is going to crush it. She’s bringing new energy into these games.

Kitty Miles:

Thank you. I do my best. Yes.

Ben Handler:

Kitty Miles. So, it’s Kitty Parker. Kitty is for Katherine for short?

Kitty Miles:

No, my first name is Kristine-Elizabeth, hyphenated, which is ridiculous. And I have a middle name as well. So I’ve been called Kitty for ages because Kristine-Elizabeth is way too long.

Ben Handler:

The name of the business. What’s the Miles?

Kitty Miles:

Miles is my youngest son, so he’s 20. And there was a bit of a story behind miles, but um, yeah, naming the company after my son is really that mother and son connection, which I guess flows through with being a single mum, et cetera. And it’s uh, I guess providing a bit of a stance there out there as this is mom and son corporation.

Ben Handler:

You seem like you’ve entered this space with what? I can see a different purpose. And I say that because I appreciate that you’ve got different skills, you’ve got different talents and you’re now, from what I’m seeing, integrating it now into the buyer’s agent arena. What did you find and what did you see when you entered this space even before you started? What did you see?

Kitty Miles:

I guess as a starting point, being a single mom living in Sydney, in the rental market, you really get a feel for how unaffordable housing is. So that was the catalyst for me, maneuvering from my university qualifications and going down that path and thinking I really need to come up with a game plan here to set up the future financial security for my family. That allowed me to diverge into business. It was a real, um, survival instinct. And so I took that plunge into business, realized I had a passion for that. I had a skill at that, let’s just say, nailed that. So that gave me, um, the ability to begin, like to dive into having a investment property portfolio. So it gave me the funds to buy property while I was buying property. However, I engaged buyers, agents myself cause I was very time poor as a business woman.

And while their service was good, there were a few shortcomings. Let’s just say the buyer’s agents that I dealt with, there were some shortcomings. So at the wrapping this all up in the summary version is it all culminated in me selling my last business and going, you know what? I understand property now I know what people want from customer service. Having dealt with buyer’s agents myself and realizing, gee, I wish I’d done this or that. So now I try and give to my clients what I wanted given to myself. I also learned along the way obviously stumbling through buying property for myself and utilizing buyer’s agents. I came to understand the property market more and more. Having a background in data and statistics, I realized that, you know, crunching numbers and the property marker was like, I’m an untapped passion. So that was great and it all just culminated into me realizing this is a really natural progression for me. It really allows me to bring all my skills together and deliver for people in a way that I guess my psychology degree is about serving people. So this is like another version of that.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, and I respect that. I had seen that you’ve just got such a diverse level I think of skill and talent and the way that you integrate it into this particular service. It fits really well. Like the psychology we’re dealing with people. It’s communication. You’ve got a lot of experience with data and obviously business skills, which helps you I guess build the foundations of this new business. So this new business, it’s based head office in Sydney. Your you’re serving clients on a national level, correct?

Kitty Miles:

That’s correct. I’m based in Sydney but I service not just Sydney and the New South Wales state. I’m actually licensed in multiple States, so I purchase for people across multiple States of Australia. So this means it’s more often the case that people that are wanting to purchase investment properties interstate say they may already have a Sydney based investment property and they’re wanting to diversify their portfolio. Having someone they can meet in Sydney and chat to and having someone that understands the interstate markets individually. I find clients that they seem that they see that is very helpful. So yes, I serve as Sydney, New South Wales and interstate.

Ben Handler:

It’s awesome. Your business. Um, we had an earlier conversation. You started in end of 2018 and it’s grown very quickly. I mean, I’m not surprised. Did you, entering into this space, obviously it’s very niche. Did you expect it to move so quick? Like did you have expectations or..

Kitty Miles:

I certainly didn’t have expectations. Snowballing skyrocket as much as it has done. I’m very thankful and feel very blessed that it has done so exceptionally well when I’ve reviewed that and gone, gee, I’ve done so well in such a short period of time. I guess for me, honestly that boils down to, I think it’s the level of personalized customer service and customer care that I deliver. Um, and as I say, I learned that myself based on what I had hoped to receive from buyer’s agents. So I think that’s very much the catalyst as to why my business has done well. It’s what I do and the extent that I go to for my clients. I think it also is in the, in a humble way, my data analysis capabilities and I’m that I’m very passionate about statistics and data. Um, so my ability to interpret property market data is in the nicest way, I guess advanced. So I think the combination of being able to forecast well, uh, accurately appraise properties as well as just deliver a really down to earth caring customer experience. I think I was together have been the kind of secret ingredient in the source, so to speak.

Ben Handler:

Client experience. So you clearly delivering which should be the normal, like a first class style of experience. It seems like you’re connecting with them and you’re, you’re taking it to a new level, which I think, I mean you’ve got an American accent, so you’re Australian, right? You lived in the US I mean with my minimal experience in the US I always feel like they understand service more than Australia. So it seems like in Australia when you offer good services like Oh, but it should be part of the norm. Like what is it with your clients? Is it just your, you’re communicating daily? Like what is it you feel like that you’re doing, which is really I guess enhancing that overall experience.

Kitty Miles:

I think you’re very correct in pointing out that I would say I have a very American customer service style that it’s from the point of initially, um, chatting with a potential client, right through to the little detail, the attention to detail in answering all their questions are pre-empting their questions. Really trying to know when to assist a client at making an efficient decision and when to pull back and actually knowing someone needs a little bit more support or a little bit more time to think about things. And I think I’m very honest. So if I feel someone maybe taking longer to make a decision or, or making a decision based on emotion when it, when it should probably be more financially based, I’ll really politely call them on it and I’ll say, Hey, let’s just open up this conversation. And, and let’s discuss this or this or this.

And sometimes clients, I find they’re just so appreciative that you’re really actively listening and working with them. It’s not a cookie cutter model that you’re really looking at that person as an individual and looking at their brief, looking at their needs and also looking at their psychological reasons behind buying property. There have been so many clients, not so many, but I should say a handful of clients that I’ve halfway through went hang on a minute, time out. Do you really even want to buy a property? And they’ve gone what? And I’m like, why do you want to buy a property? And they’ve gone, well we should. That’s what we do. We’re married, we should. And I’m like, hang on a minute. And we’ve discussed it and they’ve actually walked away and gone. That is so refreshing. Yeah, we don’t want to buy a property. We want to rent. And I think that’s the difference that you really need to know your client and really work with their best interests at heart.

Ben Handler:

I love that. I haven’t heard that one before. And you, you don’t strike me as the salesy type more the consultative as you said, the listening, you got two ears and you, you’re there, you’re operating with integrity. And I think that’s quite rare in Australia for real estate and unfortunately there’s parts of the real estate arena which has a bad reputation. Um, and obviously your clients admire that and it’s, it’s obviously a Testament to the way your business has grown because you’ve grown a multiple six figure business in a very short period of time. I’m curious to know what do you see, just with your, with your lens at the moment, what are the opportunities in the buyer’s agent space that you’re seeing?

Kitty Miles:

There are huge opportunities in the buyer’s agent space. I feel one of my, one of my mission statements, so my business is I really want to change the way in which people buy property. And I think there is great potential in the buyer’s agent space and I think it is a really fantastic arena for people that come from other careers, either corporate careers or just other careers and that they can bring that knowledge and that information. And, and the gifts from, from many years in another career into this space. And I really think that that counts for a lot in this arena because you’re not just dealing with property, you’re dealing with people, you’re dealing with their wants, their needs, their desires, and having someone with a well rounded background, I just feel it fits in with that equation so well gone are the days where you need to have 30 years experience in the real estate industry to understand real estate. I feel that you can bring a really fresh and innovative energy approach and skills to this space. Having come from a different career, not saying experience is nothing, but I just think we can actually look at it differently and enhance on the buyer’s agent space that we have now.

Ben  Handler:

Music to my ears and I, and I think the innovation and the change that this space is gonna have over the next number of years moving forward is going to be from people like yourself who’ve worked in different sectors, have a different brain, have a different approach, different freshness. They’re going to help change this industry. It’s not going to be the people who just know how to buy property. That’s not, that’s not difficult. The difficult part I think is the business aspect and we’re gonna need more people who’ve done different things in different areas of business to come into this space and serve at a different level.

Kitty Miles:

I agree. I absolutely agree.

Ben Handler:

Talk to me around where is the next move for kitty miles? Like are you planning on just staying where you are at the moment? Are you looking to expand? Like what’s on the agenda for you…

 

Kitty Miles:

At the moment, I’m looking to scale my business. It’s done very well in a short space of time. I would love to scale my business to provide further reach for the service, assist more people because as one person I can assist this many people, but what I’m really hoping to achieve is that synergy between scaling and also keeping the boutique nature of my business. I don’t want to become factory line. I don’t want to become cookie cutter and I don’t want to sell out by scaling too quickly, too fast, to too much, and actually lose the touch that I feel. I bring my business that has made my business so successful. But my plan is to scale. Um, I’m also writing a book at the moment, uh, on property because I really, I’m a little bit over the myth that millennials can’t get into the property market. Um, I assist a lot of millennials, not just to get into the property market, but to actually believe they can even get into the property market because media seems to tell them that they’re going to have to give up their Avro smash if they have any hope of getting into property.

And I’m like, no, you can keep your avo smashed and we can get you into property as well. So I decided, you know, I want to open up this space. I want to write a book to help the particular demographics that I feel real estate just, you know, brushes onto the carpet. People like millennials, people like single moms, people like the LGBTQ community. They’re the buyers in the space at the moment. I’m not your typical mom and dad buyers. There’s so many more people buying property and I really want to do something to help these people get into the market, feel confident in the market and know what they’re doing. So ultimately it boils down to I really want to help create in property wealth, creation for all rather, than it just be kind of a minority that do well through greed per se. I want everyone to be able to own property.

Ben Handler:

I love how there’s, there is a focus on the millennials because there is, I think there’s limitation for millennials who are growing up who were looking at the paper, who were thinking, I can’t get into this market because the media is creating a narrative, creating a lot of fear and it’s amazing that you’ve got clients in that space or you’re servicing because they really do need help. A lot of them have never bought property before and there’s so much fear within them that there’s probably a high probability they’re going to make the wrong decision anyway.

Ben Handler:

Thank you. Yes, but spot on. Couldn’t agree more. I think that you know, there are so many millennials now that have the income to get into the property arena, but they just don’t have the confidence. What? I don’t know where to start and when you have the media constantly saying you can’t do it, you’ve missed the boat. It’s not actually building the confidence in them to feel that, Hey, I can do something and if I can have a conversation with someone and they get sparked off and go, really, I can get into property. To me, you know, more people need to know. It’s more millennials need to know this. The number of people that I’ve just started their journey and the number of millennials, I’ve started their journey into the property market and this is helping set them up for life and especially where we are at the moment.

Um in the property market with the whole covert 19 I’ve been really going, come on, the market’s a buyer’s market, let’s roll up our sleeves. I’m really get you into the market. There are so many different methods to get. The property market doesn’t just have to be by your home in Sydney. There are so many untapped methods that a lot of these millennials aren’t aware of. So my book I guess is to help them, you know, feel more confident and also give us some tips of where to look and, and how to, you know, jump in.

Ben Handler:

That’s exciting. When’s that coming out?

Kitty Miles:

November this year. So I’m finishing writing away, but yeah, it should be a pre-Christmas release. So a good one for the Christmas.

Ben Handler:

Okay, nice. Well, I want to talk about females and specifically regarding the buyer’s agent space. I’m a firm believer just with my experience in this sector that I feel like the Buyer’s Agents space is more, I actually think it’s more tailored towards females. The real estate side on the sell-side. Never been a real estate agent, but I feel like that’s a very alpha male. Um, I think it’d be quite tough for women is my ex, just from my perspective. But I genuinely believe that it’s more, I think it’s more tailored to females is my honest opinion. So I love seeing people like you coming into this space, creating waves with passion, with vision, with purpose, with intent. I love it. So what’s been your experience jumping into this niche as a female, as an entrepreneur and then dealing with real estate agents running around? What have you noticed? I’m just curious.

Kitty Miles:

I do feel that generally speaking, the real estate industry is a very alpha male industry. Um, kudos to all the women in this industry that have battled, you know, to, um, find fighting for themselves. So yes, I agree with that. Uh, it has had its tough moments. It’s, um, but I’m on a mission. Um, I’m pretty unstoppable, so they can give me all they want and I’m not going to stop. Um, but I also second to that, I absolutely agree that I think the buyer’s agents space is so about understanding clients needs in more than just what property they want. It’s understanding their fears, understanding their motivations, having empathy for their particular situations and being, having uh, emotional and social intelligence, being able to read the cues from people. And I don’t want to gender stereotype, but I’m going to, I do feel naturally often women and more adept at the emotional aspect.

And I feel that in a buyer’s agent space that that fit is just so good. That’s not to say that men can’t bring something fantastic should the table. I feel the men that do really well in the buyer’s agent space are really in tune with skills such as empathy and have a high level of emotional intelligence. And I feel they bring that and that’s of great virtue as well. But generally speaking, I feel more women definitely should get into this space. It’s a great career for single moms. It’s a great career for moms that may have had a corporate role, but have taken time off to have children or that, and they want to get back to work. But once something that will fit with their lifestyles. There are so many reasons why this space just fits well for, for women that want a balanced life.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. I couldn’t agree more about it. Talking about the empathy and the, the EQ and I so agree with that. Like when we sit in front of clients as buyer’s agents, it’s, you’ve got to connect and really understand the the person and I think if you’re there if you’re just there for the sale and you’re there just to, um, you’re there at a surface level, you’re not going to cut through. And I feel like this is a particular role where you really need to understand human beings and like you said, if you feel like the client is not ready to buy, even after you’ve engaged with them, you have that level of intelligence and EQ and everything just actually call it out. And it’s interesting to see where this space is going to go with the buyer’s agent space. I do hope more women into this space.

Kitty Miles:

I do as well. Absolutely.

Ben Handler:

I want to just revert back a bit in terms of bringing in the business experience into this. I’m a, I mean I’m a, I started in the buyer’s agent space where you one would say, if you looked at my scorecard, you’d be like, man, this dude hasn’t, he may, he may not get, he may not get through this. I didn’t have sales experience. I hadn’t run a business and I hadn’t worked in a traditional real estate company. Okay. And so one might look at me and think, well, how’s this guy gonna succeed? He hadn’t worked out. He hasn’t worked as a buyer’s agent. He’s never worked in sales. You’ve never run a business. And what I’ve learned along my journey is that being a buyer’s agent, not just about buying property, it’s not just about buying property. You need to understand human beings. You need to have systems and processes. You need to learn how to work with clients by how to deliver that incredible experience where they refer to you. Um, how to scale if you want to scale there. There are so many elements to it. And I feel like from what I see and what I hear and just what that there’s not a whole, I think a greater appreciation for that in our sector. I just want to get your view.

Kitty Miles:

Yep. Spot on. Absolutely agree. Ben. I feel like we’re on the same page. I absolutely agree. When you really think about it, someone buying a property, whether it’s their first home, whether it’s an investment property, whether it’s their 10th property, they’re putting into that property purchase a huge amount of funds and when you put, when you actually connect the people with that, with the person, with that process and you think they’ve worked hard to make this money, they’ve sacrificed to do this. When you really think of what the lead up is to someone coming to you, looking to buy a property, there are so many emotions wrapped up and there are so many stories wrapped up behind all that. It’s not just about a property. As I say, it’s the fears, the motivations, the history that the experiences behind that and that you so need to build trust with your client.

And it’s not just the trust that you can buy them a property. It’s not that it’s the trust that you have their best interests at heart. It’s the trust that you can call them out if you, if you feel you need to, that you have that trust where the person will listen to your expertise and that you can go, I don’t think this is a winner. I don’t think we shouldn’t, you know, buy this. And it’s very much, it’s trusting to me it really boils down to trust and it’s relationship building and we can even take the property, you know, out of the equation it boils down to it’s a big-ticket purchase. Probably the most money people will spend in their life and they want to know that they can trust you. And I think that that’s the key to differentiating an average buyer’s agent, an average person in the real estate space and someone that is really good at what they do. It’s less about the experience, less about, you know, time in the industry. You know, you’re the, you’re the marker of that and it’s what you bring to that relationship.

Ben Handler:

We’ll probably have to do another session cause there’s so much to talk about before we wrap up. Where can people, where’s the best place for people to find you?

Kitty Miles:

People can find me either on LinkedIn, Kitty Parker, uh, my website, kittyandmiles.com.au. I also have Instagram, Kitty & Miles, uh, Facebook, Kitty & Miles, any of the above. But in all of these, uh, social media outlets, you’ll really get a feel for what I’m about. Cause it’s not just about the buyer’s agent and property stuff. I really give a lot of tips, advice, and very much me. I share a lot of me there.

Ben Handler:

Good on you. I mean, I’m inspired to see your journey. I always get inspired seeing single mothers get out there and kick ass. I love it. I love the energy you’re bringing to this sector and I’m going to be watching you.

Kitty Miles:

Thank, Ben. Thank you for having me today.

Ben Handler:

Appreciate, appreciate it. Okay. That was an awesome, awesome discussion. I’m, I’m super excited to see the future of our Kitty and Miles is going to do. I really feel like you should and really should be watching Kitty Parker and her business, because I do think she’s a definite standout in this space with what she brings to the table, I feel is very, very unique. So if you’re out there and you’re looking to buy property on a national level, you’re looking for a data nerd. You’re looking for incredible customer experience. Reach out to Kitty. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

What Your Study Doesn’t Equal What You Become

Buyer's Agent Kyrillos Mansour on why what you study doesn't equal what you become

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 awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people to bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents providing people who need help on buying property. Our goal with the show is to strip back and dive into the remarkable journeys and stories of 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 Kyrillos Mansour. He goes by the acronym K, M. He’s based in New South Wales out in Western Sydney. He at a very young age, his father instilled values with him around how to best manage money, how to best utilize and save money to build wealth. He then studied optometry and after studying optometry, he started two businesses, not in that space, in hospitality and also in a very different area, which is a bit like perfume. He then also has had such a strong passion for property. He bought two properties before the age of 23, and he’s a young guy since then. He’s now running his new buyer’s agent business called first brick property buyer’s agency business. He’s buying property all across Australia. He’s a very passionate investor. So today I’d like to introduce and welcome, Mr. KM.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Thanks Ben. Appreciate it. That was a beautiful intro. Thank you so much.

Ben Handler:

Well, good to be here with you. I’ve seen you online. I’m seeing you’re pushing content. You’ve got a podcast, you’re a passionate investor, you’ve got nice spectacles on. I first want to just understand, we’ve got so many people in the Institute with such diverse backgrounds, professional backgrounds. I’ve never had someone else optometry. Yeah. How did you get into that?

Kyrillos Mansour:

So yeah, good question. Pretty much. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was coming towards the end of school. I knew I wanted to get into business. You know, I love the business and why should I study a business degree? It’s going to take me four years to do a, everyone’s going to do a business degree. Or I could study optometry. I don’t know why my mate did optometry and I could do optometry with him. I’ll finish a bit quicker. And when I would a business degree and I fought, you know, optometry, it pays well, you know, it’s a nice income. And I thought you don’t really need a business degree to start business, but you need money most of the time. So forth. I’ll do a territory for a bit, get some money and go into business. So that’s how I pretty much got into optometry make did it and I want to tag along without to Jalong. And three years later became an optometrist and started businesses too long in Victoria. Johnny, Victoria. Yeah. So we started that in Geelong to study. Yeah. Living with my mate, it’s pretty good times. Yeah. So that’s how I got into optometry.

Ben Handler:

Good perspective. I like the fact that, you know, you record, I mean, you’re a young guy, you look pretty young. How old are you?

Kyrillos Mansour:

Just don’t to answer that.

Ben Handler:

Okay. So it’s great that you had perspective at a young age where you know, you don’t need to business in order to be good at business. Yeah, you’re right. Like you need to have obviously ideas you need to execute. You need money and it’s great that you saw the optometry space as a, as a vehicle to get you there quicker. Right?

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yeah, for sure. So yeah, like I said, that is something that I love business. You know, when I was in school, I was watching shark tank and you know, all these business programs and when I started business it just made sense. Like at school I didn’t really study. It just, it just made sense. But I realized you need money to have business to start a business and I thought it’s probably quicker making money as an optometrist and studying a business degree. So just jumped into that and then figure it out later.

Ben Handler:

Like, so many of the guests I have on the show, very entrepreneurial. You’ve obviously, you’ve got that entrepreneurial DNA. You started two other businesses. Yeah. Not including your buyer’s agent presenter you had so you had a perfume business. Yes. So was that online sale?

Kyrillos Mansour:

That was online. So I had that when I was at university. So during uni I had three jobs plus plus the business. Just, just for fun. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed working rather than just sitting at home with my mate doing nothing. So I had a couple of jobs, started the perfume and makeup business. Yeah, it was primarily online. We did one or two events where we had people come look at the products and whatnot. Just before my final exams I just sold it, sold it for a small profit. When you’re a uni student, a small profit, it seems like big money back then by the end. That was like my first real taste of business back back at university. Good, good. And then you start another business. Since then? I did. So when I was working as an optometrist full time I started the restaurant full time so it was a lot of work with a couple mates and then ran that for a couple years, then sold that one off to my mates a couple years later,

Ben Handler:

Two exits at a young age. And I bet you’re glad you’re not in a hospitality now.

Kyrillos Mansour:

It’s a it’s a tough, tough spot to be in for for anyone in hospitality at the moment, obviously. But I think hopefully I think a lot of people like to support local Aussie businesses and hopefully when we get to the other side of, of coronavirus and obvious people flood to their cafes and local restaurants and help out local business owners.

Ben Handler:

Whenever I go to a restaurant or a cafe, I always, I’m always analyzing just business and I don’t know a lot about that sector. I’ve never invested or run a business in that area. But I, it feels like just by looking at it, the return on time and the return on investment doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Kyrillos Mansour:

That’s correct. One of the reasons why we got out was because of that. And I mean I haven’t worked in too many industries, but I’ve worked in a few and it’s one of the harder industries. And to correct, like you say, for the return to a lot of time, it’s a lot of energy. It’s a lot of manpower and there’s not so much automation that you can get out of it. So you are physically there a lot of the time you’re trading your time for for not a lot of money. So which

Ben Handler:

Is which, which is challenging. So which moves you now into, well let’s, before we move into your buyer’s agent business, you bought two properties before 23, which is great.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

What was the, what was the dry for the properties? Was, was there a specific reason why you wanted to buy them or you just thought it was good or,

Kyrillos Mansour:

No sir, well that’s actually a builder, but he had no influence on that actually, to be honest. Then when I was at university again I was just reading a lot of books about property business, you know, Warren buffet books, you know, books about anyone and anyone that was successful. Just trying to figure out how they did it. I came across a few property books that were quite out there. But gave me a perspective of, or you can actually make some money out of property. Started listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos, anything I can get a hand on just to understand how property works. Realized you can become financially free just by buying some houses. This makes no sense, but kept looking into why does anyone else do this? Like it’s just so simple. And I just realized, Hey, I can stop working at a young age if I accumulate properties or whatnot.

Kyrillos Mansour:

As soon as I got my first paycheck after graduating as an optometrist, I went to the bank. He said I want a loan. And they kind of looked at me like, you don’t even have two paychecks. So I waited the second week, went back in, got a loan and looked into property and found what I wanted to buy. And that’s when the research in my spreadsheets or came to life because I just realized I enjoyed it. Yeah. So that was the first one. Second one was a couple years later, put out some equity and did it again.

Ben Handler:

So at least you had equity. So you obviously bought well.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yeah, that’s right.

Kyrillos Mansour:

And wrote and hopefully wrote a good market. But let’s talk specifically more around your BA business. I mean, I’ve seen been watching you online, you’ve obviously got some good skill from your online perfume makeup business and obviously you’re pushing good content. Have you found is different about this buyer’s agent business compared to all the other stuff you’ve done at such a young age? In regards to business?

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yeah, for sure. I think in regards to business it’s, it’s something you in Australia it’s very small. It’s very niche. So there’s a lot of educating about the service rather than when we had the restaurant, I mean everyone knows what a restaurant is or where you had the perfume business. People knew what perfume was in makeup. There wasn’t so much explaining what the service or product was. It was more so just here’s the product, here’s the service, you like it, come buy it. Whereas with this business, with the buyer’s agency, it’s, you know, close friends of mine that have followed me from day one come up to me every second day and say, so what do you do? And, and you know, obviously pushing a lot of content about, you know, and educating what buyer’s agents do and how we can help help everyday Australians and other people to purchase property. I think that’s the biggest difference that I found initially is just educating people on what it is actually a buyer’s agent does. Cause as you would know, it’s not a very big industry at the moment in Australia. Quite small.

Ben Handler:

It’s a really good point you bring up and out of a lot of the people I’ve interviewed. No one really has specifically spoken about the education point because you’re right, it’s especially with you. You’ve run businesses before. People need to eat that is eat. People want to smell good. They spray perfume and not everyone up in the morning going, I’m going to buy something today or in two months I’m going to call a buyer’s agent. So there’s a, I think you’re right there. There’s a massive education piece that we’ve got to do which is needs to form part of our content strategy around education, around why people need a buyer’s agent, which I saw you did something yesterday. Six reasons, eight, eight reasons. Sorry, I saw that on Instagram. It’s great that you’ve identified that as an area that needs attention and more specifically, I wanted to also dive into you, I’ve seen you doing deals, you’re working with clients. How has been that client journey? Because obviously the online business is more product, not service. Your hospitality restaurant would have been very much customer service. This is obviously very high end service touch. How have you found that dynamic?

Kyrillos Mansour:

Pretty smooth to be honest. I think maybe because I just have a passion for it and like I enjoy talking about it and you know, when, when a client’s talking to me and they like, Oh, I’m so sorry. You know, do you have time for that mate? We can talk about property for the rest of the day. Your wife’s going to get you in trouble, not me. So it’s pretty smooth. And just I find when I explain everything to the customer or the client and really go through the process and, and show that I actually want to teach them that they see back in, they, they love top sober and they’re happy to go along cause they realize, you know, we know what we’re talking about and they appreciate that we’re teaching them but they still understand that just because we’re teaching them, it’s not as easy to do it.

Kyrillos Mansour:

So I found it pretty smooth to be honest. And you know, we are getting some clients and occupy clients. I’m very different to the investor clients. But both same fundamentals, you know, what we’re looking for and, and, and the education piece. But I find from all aspects, when you’re speaking to the client, if you’re educating them along the way, they, they just love it and they trust you and they realize, you know, their money’s going into safe hands and it’s going to become, it’s going to be much worth it, much more worthwhile for them in the longterm,

Ben Handler:

I believe. I know there’s a buyer’s agent within our community. I won’t name any names just so it’s not that it’s private, but I just thought I’d not mentioned it. They, they’re looking to read something. Someone in the buyer’s agency community, they’re looking to rent a property. They put me down as a reference. So I received a phone call from the property manager saying things are probably not just saying, just just interviewing this, this person, just getting some background information and make sure they’re okay. And what transpired in that conversation was the lady said to me, we were so impressed by call called mr X that my colleague who was there was really curious about the advocate services that he that he gives. He’s in Melbourne by the way. And so he, she said, my colleague just inherited money and was so curious, took a card from mr X to inquire more about his services. And then when you arrived here before the show, you then realized that the videographer who set this up lives near you and is potentially looking to buy. So where I’m going with this is there’s opportunity everywhere. There are people looking to buy property, create wealth everywhere around us. And so how have you found this whole notion of opportunity?

Kyrillos Mansour:

100% agree. There’s opportunity everywhere. Everyone wants to make money and everyone wants to have a financial future that’s secure and you know, so for some people, it’s freedom and not having to work again. So everyone’s looking to invest and everyone’s looking to, you know, generate wealth as we should be. But not a lot of people know how to get there and how to do it. So I find, you know, at the start it’s quite difficult, you know, getting your name out there and explaining. But like you said, you speak to a couple of people who a sudden you found someone that wants, wants to buy a property and you know, they speak to you. And if an opportunity is there, and even once that person’s done it and they’ve had a fantastic experience like luck my clients have and they told their mates, Evan, you know, slow spread, even though they may still their mate and it becomes like a nice big tree.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Of, of clients coming down and opportunities everywhere. So I find a hundred per cent agree with you. I think the opportunity is everywhere because anyone that you know has a job that has some solid income, is probably able to invest in some sort of capacity, might not be now it could be a bit later, but at least, you know, they’re learning how to where they need to be so they can start investing or, or buy their own property. Housing is very in demand quite often. So opportunities everywhere. And I find food, the Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn pages, like all our pages with all the educational content we’ve given out, people gravitate towards it cause they want to learn more and they want to learn more than they send you a message. Just to ho can you explain how do I get a better rate or how do I do this? And just one simple question. When they come back and they’re like, thank you so much for your help, you know, a bit of free help and they come back and can we do some work with you? So a hundred per cent agree opportunity literally is every everywhere.

Ben Handler:

And especially with the strategy, it seems like the approach you’re taking, which is giving out a lot of information, valuable information, just providing a lot of content. That’s what people want.

Ben Handler:

Yes. took a book, a page out of Gary on Facebook. Gary V is a big influence of mine. Yeah. I think the way he does it is very smart and, and very noble. And I, I like to think that do I want to do my run? My business is just, you know, give out information and try and help people make the right decisions and correct decisions. And I don’t know if you remember when we spoke a long time ago when we first started the journey. I told you I’ve had, I’ve met people that have made big mistakes cause of spruikers and whatnot. So that’s also why, you know, I love the education pieces. You know, if we can help someone not make a five, $600,000 mistake we’re setting them up in the right, in the right path for the future.

Ben Handler:

There’s a lot of spruikers when I got into the education space when I sold out of my company, I noticed that because we always personally talking to people at that time, and a lot of them had been sold into things, courses or even developments. And I heard a lot about people’s stories and it’s, it’s quite scary what goes on. And if even people were thinking that I was spruiking getting people into my program, I think I’m like, am I gonna be able to make money? Am I, I’m like, you know, like, it’s just, it’s a scary place out there. And as long as everyone’s operating with integrity, with good intention and just giving transparent information, that’s, that’s what’s important, right?

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yep.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Correct. So, and that’s what it’s all about. Like just that education and giving out information, like we don’t want people to look at us and think, you know, we’re just trying to sell them something or our best interest is really the client’s interest. And we do really, cause if the client succeeds, then they’re going to come back and then we’re going to make money and they’re going to make money and everyone’s happy and then they’re going to tell their friends and they’re going to bring more clients over to us. So it’s in the interest of ours or anybody’s agent I can assume to lead someone down the wrong path, you know, do something that’s not right. So I think that free information, the free education or the content, I mean, you can learn a lot if you just fill out pages. It’s just, there’s so much out there.

Ben Handler:

I love it. How did you come up with the name First Brick?

Kyrillos Mansour:

I was sitting in a garage of a couple of mates and I was 109 for these business and just names being thrown out everywhere. And it wasn’t mine, to be honest. I’m giving him a shout out. His name is Peter, cause he always wants to shout out. He said, what about First Brick? I said, Hey, this is a nice name. Well, we’ll try to think of something like just like the beginning a name that kind of resembled the beginning of a journey. Then First Brick, if he threw it out, nothing else made sense. It had to be first brick. And so it kind of stuck and everyone just kept yelling for his brakes. That’s the one. So it came up in a garage mate’s garage.

Ben Handler:

I love how things are ideated just very different, different environments. So what have you found you’ve been able to transfer from, you know, the hospitality, the makeup, perfumer, and just life experience? What have you found has been very transferable into this new business?

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yeah. it’s a good question. They are so different. The industries are so, so different. But I think one big common thing between all three is the service and the customer first approach. You know, when you run a restaurant, it’s just me, it’s all about the customer. If they’re not happy with the food or they’re not happy with anything, you take care of the customer. And it’s the same with the perfume and the makeup. The online, even though it’s online, you can’t see your customer because they’re behind the screen in their own home. They’re sending you a message and they’re putting a review. And when you’re in an online space, one bad review and you’re done. So the service and having the customer focus I think translated very easily into to the buyer’s agent world because like with the buyer’s agent, it’s all about the customer.

Ben Handler:

We have to, you know, whatever the customer needs, we build a plan for him, we find out a way that needs to get, what’s the end goal then how do we get there? So I think that skill has transferred over quite smoothly. And then other little things that you pick up, just how to run a business, you know, what to look out for, what to, what do in your day to day running. Definitely transferred into this. And I think a big work ethic from both businesses moved into this, which helps cause there’s a lot of work that obviously goes into them involved in every client. And even just running the day to day operations and business is a lot of work. Even having that work ethic beforehand from the first two businesses definitely translated into it.

Ben Handler:

So you started First Brick when you were 24 yes, yes. That’s actually the same age I was when I started Cohen Handler. It’s impressive that you’ve started other businesses you’ve exited out and you’re getting into this space. I think more so because you’re entrepreneurial, you’re passionate about property and I, there’s a lot of transferable skills. I’m sure that you, which is evident from what you’ve just shared, bringing to the table. And it’s also exciting to see where this space is going to go. The buyer’s agent space, as you know, and as you were saying earlier, as you have, we have to educate people because it’s so niche, but it’s because it’s so niche. It’s also very opportunistic. But it’s, it’s going to grow a lot and it’s just interesting to see where it’s going to go. I mean, you’re obviously quite fresh in this space. What’s been some stuff that you’ve observed around this industry? Could it be anything? I’m just curious to know from your point of view.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Probably the first thing like we’ve kind of touched on is that no one knows what it is or not. A lot of people don’t know what it is. Why is that? I just don’t think it’s very common in Australia at the moment. Like, you know, the numbers probably better than me how many buyer’s agents there are

Ben Handler:

But, but why do you like, I’m just curious to get your point of view that, why do you think it’s, it’s been so there’s been so much weight on the sell-side with obvious representation from the selling agent to the vendor versus buyer’s agent to a buyer.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Well, I think, I personally think so. You know, Aussies, Australians, we love to talk property. And I had the barbecues on the weekend or when we were mates, you know, having to be, or whatever it is. There’s someone’s talking about property. And I think because we love it so much and we live in it, we think we’re all experts at it and we can all do it. And just, you know, Bob up the road board place and made some money off her so, you know, you learn from him and he might be doing it or he just might be riding a boom at the end of a wave or something. And I, I think because our intrinsic values are to talk about property I think it’s slower on the buying side because everyone wants to do it and everyone wants to buy themselves and wants to invest, which is fantastic. No issue with that. But I think when it comes to the selling, we are a bit more hesitant to sell our own place or to sell the products that we always look for an expert to sell it. So I think that might be a big part of why it’s not so common here. I know like in the US it’s very, very common to use a buyer’s agent. It might be different. They maybe they don’t care about, they don’t want to talk about property or their everyday life like we do.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yeah. Not interesting observation. I mean, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s always me like, cause when I started and I felt like no one knew what advisor at all. And so just explaining the value proposition and just giving some insight as to why I thought it was necessary. It just looked like you’re staring at a brick wall. It’s, it’s sometimes, so it was challenging, but it’s, it’s definitely improving. And I, I, I believe it’s, it’s gonna, it’s gonna change a lot over that for the best, for the next, you know, two to three, four years.

Ben Handler:

You were the pioneer I guess in, in your course definitely helps. Bring, bring the buyer’s agents into more light and, you know, get more awareness around it, which I think is a fantastic, fantastic thing. Evan. I’ve in the community between, between the buyer’s agents. It’s not this, I haven’t personally seen like such competition between them small, how can I help you? Didn’t like, you know, some of the new guys that are starting out, I mean I’m new but some of the newer guys are messaging me, Hey can you help me with this? For sure. Like happy to help and what do you need them? And the other day, you know, I see someone needs help with a, with a client, they’ve passed it on someone else. Like no issues, no huge like rivalries or anything like that. I think everyone’s happy to, to help each other cause we can see the potential space growing to like a massive, massive scale, which is, which is something really cool.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. And that’s it. Thank you. It’s a good observation as well. I think, you know, the community is a big part. Just talk about helping and serving and sharing information and the camera. It all comes back for the best and having more of an abundance mindset mentality as opposed to a scarcity which you’ve clearly, you’ve clearly got the abundance. What’s your podcast called, by the way?

Kyrillos Mansour:

So it’s got the First Brick Property Podcast, so it didn’t, we fought skateboard and that was pretty, pretty similar. So first brick property podcast even the pages First Brick Property Buyers’ agency on every social platform you can think of.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. Awesome. Oh KM. It was good to chat. Thank you for having me. It was a, it’s inspiring to hear your story. You’ve started multiple businesses in different sectors industries and you are obviously leading the way now I think in this new space because you’re actually, you’re, you’re following your passion. So by leading, I’m not saying you need to have been here for 10 years, but everyone’s a leader. We’ve even got leaders without titles. On each side of this board is every single person is a leader. And the fact that you’re now pursuing your passion, you’ve bought properties, you’ve run businesses, you’ve sold businesses. I believe you’re leaving the Waymade. So I appreciate you being here. Thank you for having me. Appreciate it. Some. Thank you. So check out KM. He’s the man on social media. Check him out. Check out his podcast. He gives out a lot of information. He gives that a lot of his time and that’s what you want. And so if you’re listening here, check him out. He’s websites on the screen. Check out the podcast across all social platforms. Loves property based in Sydney, buying property across many different States. Hope you enjoy today. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

The Disability Sector Needs More Buyer’s Agents

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 awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people to bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents bring to help people buying property. The goal of the show is to strip back and dive into the remarkable journeys and stories of buyer’s agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing sectors in real estate in Australia. Right now. Our guest today is Chris Skurrie based in Northern New South Wales all the way in Newcastle. Chris has a remarkable story. Chris has over 20 years experience in investing in property personally for himself, not just an investment related style of acquisition but also in primary residence purchases. Chris has also got decades of experience working specifically in the disability sector, focusing on mental health, focusing on disability support and in the accommodation services arena.

Ben Handler:
Chris obviously has such a strong passion for property and buying investment properties that he has looked at that and also assessed his passion in the disability space and looked at integrating the two and he is now formed his buyer’s agent business called C and M Property Partners. I’m really excited to dive into Chris’s journey and I look forward to speaking with him today. Welcome Chris. Thanks for having me. We can do a virtual handshake. So Chris, I, I remember when we spoke 15 months ago and you mentioned to me that you worked in the disability sector. I want to take the opportunity now just to obviously dive into that a bit deeper to actually understand how did you land in that space and why did you go that go there?

Chris Skurrie:
Yeah, I guess I’m Ben. I’ve always had a passion for helping people. And when I first entered in the disability, so there was, because I had a a passion for wanting to be working with people and helping them to succeed in whatever it is that they’re doing. So why, why I first moved into the disability, I was because I grew up in a, in an area that was sort of a low socioeconomic area. And there was lots of people. My first exposure to disability was a couple of people in the school actually as a younger child and I really connected with them quite well. So that really drove me to get a better understanding of how to communicate and how to support people with disabilities. So that encouraged me to want to support people with disabilities in the early stages of my life. And so I became a teacher’s aid in a, in a special school to start off with. And then I moved slowly, progressively through accommodation, supporting mental health and also supporting people in sort of a case management coordination role. And over the last, I would have to say the last 10 to 15 years I’ve been working for non-government and government organizations. Really, I guess helping people to become more independent in their own home.

Ben Handler:
It’s amazing. Yeah. I really respect and admire the work that you do. And obviously I’m not in that space, but I do also hear that there’s a massive shortage of supply of stock for disabled people to move into. There’s all these service providers that want to find stock. So there’s a bit of a budding heads going on there. What’s your view on all this?

Chris Skurrie:
Yeah, since the NDIS has commenced a few years ago or about five, six years ago now, there was a real competitiveness with providers wanting to, I guess get more clients and so they can continue to, to be fun to providers. One of the challenges is for providers to have the expertise around disability and the real estate market. So engaging with agents and understand the, the rental process. So a lot of service providers find it really difficult to, I guess, sell to real estate agents that the benefits of actually having a person with a disability in their own home. You know, there’s longterm tenancy, there’s support for the individual. So as a, as a landlord you really have quite good security with having people with disabilities in your home, having a support agency to support them. And most commonly because it’s so hard for providers to secure accommodation, they tend to prefer to lease. So and they are also prepared to usually pay that little bit extra rent to secure the property. So as a vendor, as a landlord, it’s, it’s really quite a good good investment as well.

Ben Handler:
Especially now with obviously investors are concerned around tenant security Australia wide right now. And I mean indice obviously is National Disability Insurance cheme. For anyone listening who’s obviously not familiar, but I guess if someone is looking to buy an investment property going through NDIS and finding a tenant through obviously the disability space is going to provide that security and the yield is high. What, what type of yields are you looking at?

Chris Skurrie:
Oh, it depends on the title of I guess properties. So there’s the specialist disability accommodation, which that, that can range from, you know, anywhere between 10 to 20% property yields. However, there’s some associated risks around that too, if you, if you’re not with the right service and right provider. So there’s that’s a thing to be mindful of. But I think, you know, on average, if it’s the general property market, you can get around 6% returns. And so I think that’s, that’s, that’s a pretty good return. They net or gross, that’s net. Yeah. So it’s, it’s, you know, it’s good returns. I think other thing is to keep in mind is that there’s so many people in hospitals that are needing to get out of hospital and covert is a prime example of that where there’s a big push to get people out of hospitals because it actually costs the government about state governments around 10,000 or a thousand dollars a day to keep a person in hospital.

Chris Skurrie:
So hospitals are very motivated to get their patients out of hospital. And so that’s where there’s a real big push to, to support people with high physical support needs in, in the public space as well. It’s amazing. And talking about capital growth to these properties, what does that look like? Yeah, so I think, you know as a buyer’s agent, I still focus, my primary focus is focusing on buying for individuals in areas that still have good growth in the area. So my primary focus is about getting the same as I would for any property band, you know, like really focusing on growth around sort of a good yields and also, you know, looking at areas that are closest sort of, you know, transport and and schools and shops and so forth. So in terms of growth, it’s, I’m looking around about the five, 6% markers as a minimum sort of, you know yearly growth.

Ben Handler:
Are you looking at purchasing this type of stock, the disability stock for your clients down the track? I mean, is that, is that an intention?

Chris Skurrie:
That’s my goal. At the moment I’m just buying for general investors and first home buyers. My goal and intention is to work with the sector the disability sector and also investors to primarily focus invest in, in the disability space as well. Yeah. And I’ve, you’ve been investing for 20 odd years. Why did you start getting, obviously you would have been a young guy. Yeah, I was 19 years of age 19. So what drove you to start doing that? At that age? I had some motivation where my, my parents told me not to buy a house. So 19 years of age I was your typical 19 year old was a bit defiant. And chose to take the leap of building my own.

Chris Skurrie:
First home I was working four jobs in the disability sector actually and really passion, passion, diploma and home. So that sort of drove me to, to purchase my own home and later on I decided to to rent that out. And more recently, a couple of years ago we bought that for 150,000 and sold a 540,000. So I bought that for 150, 19 years ago. 20 years ago. Wow. And we were, yeah, we sold that for 540. So it’s been a capital growth. Good, good growth. Yeah. In between Melbourne and Geelong. So it’s always a really good location, so. Okay. Excellent. So are you buying a, have you got a national style of business model at the moment? I’m focusing on new South Wales and obviously I’m from Victoria, so that’s a, that’s a space that I’m very comfortable in investing. So they’re, they’re the two probably main areas that I’m focusing on at the moment.

Ben Handler:
Yeah. So talk to me about CNM Property Partners. That is a investment slash owner occupier style buyer’s agent business. Is that correct?

Chris Skurrie:
Yep. So it’s a, it’s a business where I am supporting first home, first home buyers but also investors to, to purchase their first or second or property to build on their portfolio.

Ben Handler:
Yeah. How has the journey been? So you obviously, I remember we spoke around 15 months ago, you came to start your business. You bet you’d be at your buyer’s agent business. You’ve started that business. Are you loving it? Are you finding anything challenging? Maybe just, I’d love to hear, I mean, I, so your experience around it all.

Chris Skurrie:
Yeah. I’m Ben, I think I’ve spoken to you a couple of times about my recent experience. It really gives me a good adrenaline and buzz when I have the opportunity to work with, with a buyer to similar to working in the disability. So do you really get to know what a person’s needs is and what their goals and aspirations are. And to be able to successfully assist that person through the property buying journey is a great feeling. I’ve so far been able to assist people to gain $50,000 in the equity upfront with their first purchase. Yeah, I had a of a home buyer recently that was going to make an emotional purchase of an extra spending, an extra 50,000 on their property. Just because I loved the property and I was able to save them $50,000 on that purchase as well. So it’s a really good feeling to be able to to educate people on the way and support people through the buying process when they, they don’t really have that sort of understanding of the property sector.

Ben Handler:
Um, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s it is a very fulfilling experience servicing a client. Obviously if you’re getting that $50,000 equity uplift. And I guess I want it to be more into when you obviously get into servicing the disobey the disability sector to find them homes, it seems like that’s going to bring a whole new energy to the experience because as, as as we mentioned earlier, like there, there is clearly an issue with finding stock and finding homes for the disabled people to live in. So when you transition into that, I mean that’s, I foresee that being a whole all another world for you.

Chris Skurrie:
Yeah, absolutely. I think the other opportunity in that space is actually supporting families and individuals to have home ownership, which is probably a first in Australia. Firstly in Australia, it’s never really been done. So I’m really looking at focusing on my energy to supporting people to have a shared equity approach with family. So then the longterm for family members is that they know that their family member has secure housing. They own their own home as well. So that’s, that’s my longterm focus as well. Not just working with services but also working with individuals and their families to, to have home ownership, which is a, a big opportunity. Moving forward. How does the property management work in that space for, it’s the same style of management fees? So usually, usually it’s, depending on if it’s specialist disability accommodation.

Chris Skurrie:
So you might have an organization that is managing that property on behalf of the owner. And for, for general sort of property management with, with the service providers they would normally utilize a general real estate agent to do that. My focus is actually working towards being able to specialize also in managing the property moving forward. So because I have an understanding of that relationship work with providers as well. So, well, I mean just with your background being obviously 20 years also in the disability space, like this is going to be the same. This seems like this natural progression for you to integrate the buyer’s agent model. You’ve obviously got a lot of experience buying property. I think you’ve got around seven, six properties. Correct? Yeah. And I mean, and then integrating that into the disability space because there’s, there’s, it’s, there’s such a demand for someone to come in there or people to come in into this space and put together deals and project, manage the process and make it smooth and efficient and seamless for the client.

Ben Handler:
Yeah. You’re based in U S you’re based in Newcastle, so the model that you’re running now, are you operating in specific States or is it primarily in New South Wales?

Chris Skurrie:
Primarily new South Wales. I am looking to work with a service in Victoria at the moment in Geelong. And they specialize in doing the specialist housing side of things, had been working with them in collaboration across, they’ve actually built 26 odd properties across Australia, so they’re very experienced in that space as well. So yeah, moving forward, Miami seems to work nationally as well moving this model forward as well.

Ben Handler:
Excellent. And your buyer’s agent business, that seems to have, from what I’ve seen that’s growing quickly, did you expect it to to accelerate this fast?
Chris Skurrie:
No. especially in the last few months Ben it’s been I was, I was a little bit slow to start off with, but in the last few months it’s really progressed and using the strategies that the buyer’s Institute has, has provided to me, you know, with connecting with various different networks has really helped me to to, to get more buyers and, and assist them through the buying process.

Chris Skurrie:
So it’s been I can’t highly recommend that the buyer’s agent Institute course, it’s just, it’s given me so many tools along the way. I think the most important thing is if you put in the effort upfront you can really start to see the results.

Ben Handler:
Yeah. And if it only one thing that we all can control, right? Yup. I appreciate the feedback and I think as, as I say to a lot of people, jump on their show, like starting any new business is challenging. The entrepreneurial ride is always up and down. What do you do to, I mean, you, obviously you’re, you’re working, you’re doing this as on the side. How are you managing stress? What you, what are you, what are you doing in downtime? Like you have any hobbies, what, what’s happening in your other side of your life?

Chris Skurrie:
Yeah, I guess, you know, my family is pretty important to me, so I spend a fair bit of time with my family.

Ben Handler:
I do try and try and take time out to do some relaxation. I’m not a very sporty person. But really I guess connecting with people is something that I really enjoy. So spending time with family and and others is really important to me. But yeah, I guess I come back to my passion around property. I just said something that I really love doing, but I think it’s so important to, to have a balance of maintain your lifestyle as well. It’s really important.

Ben Handler:
So how did people react when you, I guess, announced to you or let’s call it you a circle that you, where you started your business, CNM Property Partners. How did people respond today?

Chris Skurrie:
They thought I was a little bit crazy. Been working in a government organization at a senior executive level.

Ben Handler:
We’ve quite good security as you can imagine. So my family and friends have said, you know, you’re crazy for if you’re doing what you’re doing. But now they’re actually starting to see some results and they’re, I think they’re saying to people, be more positive around that. And seeing that, that I can actually achieve. So I think that just goes to show you know, when you’ve got some negative initial negative negativity around you being able to just push through that and commit, commit to your focus in your goal is so important.

Ben Handler:
Do you think a lot of people just random question get deterred by, let’s just say someone has this idea of let’s say starting a business, it could be advisors, your business or whatever it is, and then they, the people around them in their network have negative, would just maybe don’t believe in them or you know, have, have their own, their own say, which isn’t, for example, positive.

Ben Handler:
Do you think that deters a lot of people from actually giving it a go?

Chris Skurrie:
I think it does. Ben. I think, you know, like even for myself to start off with, I was really, can I actually do this? You know do I have to support her? I mean to be able to do this. But what I did is I surround me myself with positive people. Even outside of my normal inner circle network so I can interviews, you know, local business networking group. That has really helped me around the business side of things because I’m not a business person. So that’s a whole new concept for me. So being able to connect, you know, with accountants, financial advisors business people that have had success is really important. I agree. I try and always hang around people who are like minded in terms of mindset like myself.

Ben Handler:
But I do think it’s important outside to have a group of people that you know, you can just connect with and communicate with and they, they bring you up and they all come from maybe different backgrounds. They bring different perspectives to the table. That’s always, I really resonate with that. Why did you, you mean obviously you didn’t potentially believe maybe that you could do this. Why did you do it? Like what was the real motivating factor for you? Actually, obviously you, you work for a government very secure, probably especially now drink over the most secure. I know you started your business pre covert. However, I want to understand like why did you really start the buyer’s agent business? What was driving you?

Chris Skurrie:
Yeah, I think my, my passion for property. I’ve always loved property. I think having the flexibility to work, you know, my hours is really important to me.

Ben Handler:
Having a family. So, and especially at times like now it’s, it’s a perfect opportunity where I can actually spend time with my kids and help them through schooling and so forth. So for me it was more about, you know, doing something that I really loved. I love what I do in terms of working for the, in the disability sector. But really I guess my, my ultimate passion is combining both of those passions that property and the disabilities together. So this is a perfect opportunity for me to really focus on making myself happy and helping others as well. So that’s, that’s why I really drove to me looking at a business model that could really help me to, to combine both of my passions.

Ben Handler:
Yeah. I’m really excited for you. I think at this next journey for you is going to be really exciting.

Ben Handler:
I know I’m going to be watching it because with my limited understanding around what’s going on the disability space, it’s not something that I focus on, but I do know that it’s very under supported. There needs to be a lot more people on the ground, like yourself helping people buy property. There needs to be a lot more focus put on it. And with your like extensive experience in that space for 20 years, combined with what you have done for yourself, building your own portfolio and what you’re doing now to help others under your new buyer’s agent business. It’s just the perfect mix and it seems like ticking the box in terms of a fulfillment box and happiness box, it seems like it’s going to be an incredible journey for you.

Chris Skurrie:
Absolutely. And I think Ben, the other thing is too, there’s, there isn’t really a service type out like this out there like this.

Chris Skurrie:
There’s the disability sector, they have their expertise, expertise in the disability sector and there’s buyer’s agents that have expertise in buying property. So to be able to support people with a disability, to buy their own home to support their family members and also help providers to really achieve independence for people with disabilities is what I’m really excited about.

Ben Handler:
That’s awesome. Where would you like to see the disability space in the next, let’s say, five years in regards to housing? Like where, what would be an ideal style of a vision outcome that you’d love to say? Where it’s up to?

Chris Skurrie:
I think most importantly been finding out what individuals themselves see as being a home to them. You know, there’s always been these group home models where people with disabilities have had to fit with him. Particular homes with people that they don’t really like or don’t know.

Chris Skurrie:
My, I think the opportunity here is to really connect both the disability market and the real estate market to see the benefits of actually renting property or or home ownership for people with disabilities. And so I see in the next five years there’s going to be a real shift in different models of accommodation moving forward and, and different types of innovation that the government will have to move towards to really support more people with disabilities in, in becoming more independent. So that’s, that’s what I like to see.

Ben Handler:
Yeah. Really inspired by the work you’re doing. I’m definitely going to be watching you. It was awesome to have you here. Where can people who are watching this find you?

Chris Skurrie:
Um on my websites, C&M Property Partners or I’m on Facebook_PropertyPartners. I appreciate your time. It was awesome connecting and I’m super excited as I said, to see where the future takes you in this space.

Chris Skurrie:
Thanks Ben.

Ben Handler:
That’s been awesome. Coming in and having the opportunity to speak session was awesome. I’m really inspired by seeing Chris’s journey unfold. I spoke to him 15 months ago and hearing his journey, how he built a portfolio of six. He was working in the disability space. He wanted to turn buying property into a career and he’s now activated that he servicing clients. You heard some of his stories and then he’s got this intention now to move more into the space of servicing the disability space specifically for his buyer’s agent business. And for those of you that are listening, you may want to look at this as a strategy, as a potential investment vehicle moving forward, and you can look into the national disability insurance game if you’re unfamiliar with it NDIS and just read about it and see if it’s something that could interest you. The yields are very attractive. The net yields for tenant security’s. Obviously, there’s a big tick there, especially right now during COVID. So I hope you found today useful. Checkout Chris at C&M property partners. Check out him out. You can go any social channels as well. See you next week.

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