Why Should You Revisit Your Goals

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

Jack Henderson:

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

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

Ben Handler:

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

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

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

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

Ben Handler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Jack Henderson:

23…

Ben Handler:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Jack Henderson:

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

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

Jack Henderson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

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

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

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

Ben Handler:
What else are you on?

Jack Henderson:
YouTube

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

Please watch the full episode here:

Is Property an Addiction with Luke Moroney

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

Ben Handler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

Hey Ben. Thanks for having me today.

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

Yep.

Ben Handler:

So you were a management consultant at both?

Lachlan Vidler:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

And when did that commence?

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

Yes.

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

Where can people find Atlas Property Group?

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Lachlan Vidler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Please watch the full episode here:

#12 – Here Is What Happens After 15 Years Of Property Investing With Ben Plohl

There are very few people who have the strength and vision to change their careers. Most stick with their profession for better or for worse. Career evolution is a continuous process, and one must evaluate the ROI in switching.

Trusted Buyers Agent in Australia

This is the story of Mr. Ben Plohl who is a seasoned Buyers Agent in Australia. Ben has been investing in Australia for 15 years at a national level. His background is from the financial sector where he has worked both at an executive level and a CFO level. He is also a chartered accountant, so he loves crunching numbers, a trade that has come in real handy in the Buyers Agent domain. Saying goodbye to the corporate sector, He now runs his Buyers Agent business called BFP property. He is also buying property for his clients at a national level.

Ben’s experience in the financial sector has helped him massively in boosting his business. He has signed 10 clients in the last 2 weeks alone. He didn’t expect the business to grow so quickly. Initially, he didn’t think of becoming a Buyers Agent but looking at the growth and success he made it his full-time profession.

Transitioning into the Buyers Agent Role

Ben’s transition was a big leap of faith. He did the training from Buyers Agent Institute which really helped him set the course for success. Previously, he had used buyers agents to help in building his portfolio, so he understood the process. Ben started part-time in the beginning, consulting for his peers as a Buyers Agent. But for 5 months he has started his own company and is working full-time as a Buyers Agent in Australia.

Starting and running your own business is never easy. But Ben’s background has helped him work the financial and operations side of the business. He really enjoys the flexibility and now spends more time with his family. When clients meet him, most of them have confidence in him because of his background as a chartered accountant. This confidence is a reflection of his honesty. He is only investing for clients in locations he has personally invested in.

Ben is only working with residential properties at the moment. He has done a couple of deals in the owner-occupied space. He doesn’t really prefer to deal with investors but he has helped some in buying their new homes. Some people still do not know about Buyers Agent and Ben has to explain to them the value he adds to the deal. He also mentors newcomers in all things related to the property giving back to the industry whenever he can.

He is mainly working with busy professionals. Since they are short on time, Ben helps them with search and stock availability which are the two main pinpoints. For them, leveraging off a buyer’s agent is like an insurance policy. Since they have access to the data.

Negotiating with a real estate agent has been really interesting for Ben because he wants the best deal for his clients. He is not doing property management. He puts clients in contact with other professionals for that.

The Majority of Ben’s clients come from his personal network. Some referrals come from partners e.g. mortgage brokers. The rest comes from social media marketing. He has now engaged some marketing assistance. Creating systems and processes using technology.

You can listen to the full podcast below and know more about Ben’s awesome transition from the financial sector to becoming a reputed Buyers Agent in Australia.

What It’s Like to Live Out Your Hobby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peter Toma:
No. No.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peter Toma:
Yep.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peter Toma:
They can connect with me on Facebook or LinkedIn. Otherwise I can send me an email, peter@eliteone.com.au. Just get in touch with me or give me a call and yeah, we can have a chat.

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

Peter Toma:
I appreciate it. Thanks very much.

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

Please watch the full episode here:

This Is Why You Shouldn’t Trade Time For Money

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

What was your role in the circus?

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

Oliver Jackson:

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

Ben Handler:

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

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Babak Haeri:

And also what I’ve learned the most or what I’ve integrated from the previous business to the buyer’s agency is people skills and how to communicate with people and connect with people and, and that’s important the most. Definitely.

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 provides people to bring awareness around the value that buys AIDS, provide to people who need help buying property. Our goal is to strip back and dive into the remarkable stories and journeys of buyer’s agents. We’re paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing career sectors in real estate in Australia right now. Our guest today is Babak. Hi Arie. Babak’s from Sydney. He’s on the Northern beaches. He’s an entrepreneur at heart. He’s been running businesses for the last 11 years. He works in landscaping. He’s ran two businesses in landscaping where he’s basically automated around 90% of the business, so he does not work in the business. He works out of the business, which has given him flexibility to start his buyer’s agent business called the investors agency.

Ben Handler:

Babak has bought property himself, not just where he lives but for investment purposes only. His first property he bought was around 10 years ago and he’s bought investment properties on a national level, so Babak’s buyer’s agent business. He’s focusing on principal place of residence, the Northern beaches, and he’s also buying investment properties on a national level and what he’s doing now with his buyer’s agent business, he’s implementing and integrating a lot of the skills that he’s learned running his businesses and now bringing this into his buyer’s agent business so he can also grow that. Also today I’d like to introduce Babak. Welcome Babak. Thanks Ben for having me. Pleasure to be here. Great to have you here. Thank you mate. I’ve always wanted to ask you this. How did you get into landscaping? Easiest thing to fall back on after school.

Babak Haeri:

I actually have no interest in landscaping. It was just a few of my other friends did it and just got into it and it’s very, very easy. And after a few months I realized, well, I worked for someone else for a year, but I realized it’s so simple I might as well start my own business. You bought your first property similar time to, I’m assuming when you started your landscape business, correct. Yet, I’m assuming you liked property more than landscaping? 100% yes. Did you ever think of becoming a real estate agent? No, never. A lot of buyer’s agents that I speak to, including myself, always wanted to get into real estate, didn’t want to become a real estate agent. And then when they realized they could become a buyer’s agent has jumped at that opportunity pretty much spot on. Yeah. I, I always had a healthy obsession with property. Um, but landscaping was the vehicle to allow me to do what I wanted to do for property and I automated the company thinking, no, that’s the dream.

That’s what everyone wants to do. And as soon as it was automated, I started going down a bit of a spiral. It’s not, it’s not, you know, it wasn’t what I wanted to do and I needed a purpose and, and you know, I was quite fortunate that I could start a business in what I love, which was property. It’s amazing that you, when we said the word automated, which was around 90%, you share with me, I’m assuming that’s giving you autonomy to fully step out of the business and the business just ran itself. Is that what you mean by that? That’s right. Yeah. So it takes about an hour a day. Um, I’m still the point of contact for a lot of the clients, but I’ve got systems in place for all the boys to work together and, and um, and quotes and quality control and all that sort of stuff.

But I’m still the point of contact for the clients. The next step is to fully automate that.

Ben Handler:

So and so out of that or would you keep it?

Babak Haeri:

No, I would keep it. Um, I see the landscaping maintenance company as the red role of a real estate agency. So that’s going to be the regular cashflow coming in. It’s going to be the safe, secure, regular income and the buyer’s agency can be the, you know, the shiny, exciting sales part of the business. Yeah. Nice. And if you commenced your buyer’s agent journey for the last, how long? Six months. Yeah, I started in may last year. I finished, yeah, I started the company in may last year and we were talking earlier and few things came to light, which I thought would be good to discuss now as one is you said you were fortunate enough to have an income coming in via your landscaping business to support you while you were learning.

The trade is a buyer’s agent, right?

Ben Handler:

That’s correct. Yeah. And I think for anyone looking to get into this, right, if you can have that supplementary income supporting you, it’s a lot less risk. 100% yeah. If you can, if you can have a regular income coming in or if you have enough savings backing you then, then yeah, it’s a lot less risk and a lot safer and, and you’ll go a lot further in succeeding I think. Because if you have that, that stress on your shoulders that you’re cashflow poor and you don’t have that income, I think your pro, your potential clients will see that as well when you get in front of them. Yeah, exactly. That’s right. We also talking around, you had a client meeting earlier on in, you know, the, for your first few months getting going. Yeah. And they obviously, from what I understood, maybe found a property themselves.

Babak Haeri:

They didn’t require your service then they referred you to a family member to their son. So let’s talk a bit about that because I, I thought that that was, uh, that was phenomenal hearing that. Yeah. So it was a, a more mature couple. They had investment properties all around Australia and they were looking for owner occupied house on the Northern beaches, close to their son, close to one of their sons. And he was honest with me and he said, look, we enjoy the process. We’re here for another two weeks. If we don’t find a property in two weeks, then you’ll be, the business is all yours. And I felt the, I felt the meeting went well, but when they say that, you know, it’s a little bit demoralizing, but I did, I did feel it went well. And then a few months later I got, I got re the son of that same client was that the son of that same prospect reached out me and, and I’ve got the business.

Ben Handler:

So yeah, very good. I mean, to me what that screams out is obviously you built a high level of trust. There was credibility, there was rapport for, for them, just to be honest and let you know, which has happened to me before, where there I’ve found something or I bought something, I don’t require you any more. But then to refer someone in their family, that’s a big win. Yeah, 100% it was, it was really, it was very, very rewarding. Uh, even though I didn’t get that first sale, it was a very, very rewarding knowing that they referred their son onto me. Cause I know I did everything I could of in, in my prospect meeting. Do you think with the skill that you’ve developed over 11 years running two businesses, you’ve obviously got staff, I know you’ve got around eight staff, right? Yep. So you know what it’s like hiring and doing all the fun stuff.

Do you feel like that you’ve been able to integrate a lot of the business lessons that you’ve had from your previous business into this new business?

Babak Haeri:

Definitely, yet 100%. And also what I’ve learned the most or what I’ve integrated from the previous business to the buyer’s agency is people skills and how to communicate with people and connect with people and, and, and that’s lovely at the most, definitely. It’s such, I mean share your experience, but for my experience, like I came from the corporate world and I was a young guy when I got into this and I hadn’t run businesses like you or manage people and all that stuff or the fun stuff. I really feel that this simple skills that you do well at in this role, which you said people skills, communication, listening, you know, I think there’s very simple skills you need to succeed in this role.

Ben Handler:

Did you agree?

Babak Haeri:

100% I am not a sales salesman. I never have been a salesman. And I was concerned about that to be honest. Uh, going into this new business in real estate, I was quite concerned about not having that skillset and I think Sophie has worked in my favor not having that skillset. I don’t have the sales side, but what I do have is just listening and understanding and solving the problems. It’s true. Like I said, as everyone knows, I didn’t come from a sales background either and I totally agree. It worked to my advantage and I think it could work to a lot of people’s advantage getting to this sector because it’s consultative, right?

Ben Handler:

As you said, you’re solving problems, you’re listening, and we’re here to see if it can work or not. So let’s talk about what’s going on with your business.

Because I know for a lot of people, including myself, it’s, it’s never Rosie, there’s always, it’s like a yoyo roller coaster, whatever you want to call it. It’s up and down as an entrepreneur. Obviously you were sharing that the first six months was taking time to build momentum. Right? That’s right to the first six months. It’s a lot of ’em prospects, a lot of, um, referral partner meetings and, and getting your name out there and a lot of stuff on social media and, and just, um, just getting comfortable with the space because it’s, it’s a brand new industry. It’s a different beast ride compared to landscaping. It’s a different beast. So just getting comfortable with, with, with the space and what you’re working with. That was the first six months. Yeah. And did things move as fast as you thought or, I had my expectations, quite my, my expectations were quite realistic.

Babak Haeri:

Um, the first six months than I, I, I knew it was going to be quite difficult and it was. Um, but after that it was, I feel like I was just filling up that pipeline in that funnel and it really just started taking off from there. Yeah. I love, I’m noticing online you’re doing deals, you’re signing up a lot of clients.

Ben Handler:

How many clients you sign up recently?

Babak Haeri:

So we’ve got four in the past four weeks. We’ve got two this week, um, who are trying to get the finance sorted for us, potentially six in four weeks. Wow, that’s good. So it’s now a lot of the work, I mean, I’m just finished reading a book called atomic habits. We’ll talk about that earlier and it very much talks about you 1% a day, 1% of effort every single day. And it starts to compound 100% and really focusing on daily activities and really focusing on systems instead of goals.

And then everything starts to build. And I’m assuming that a lot of the work you put in in that first six months is now gaining momentum. Exactly. That’s shot. Yeah. And, and it’s also, it’s like you said that all the work you put in initially start, you started getting the my momentum. But also when you get a bit of traction, people can and you get a bit of traction and a bit more, um, confidence and you start getting in front of more prospects and the way you’re talking, your language, your body language, all that sort of stuff. People read that, right? So it’s all just a matter of, um, you know, really hustling that first six months and, and having realistic expectations. But as soon as you start getting a bit of traction, uh, people feed off it and they can, they can sense it.

It’s on that point regarding communication. Verbal, verbal communication plays a very small part. Body language tonality play the most important parts when you’re talking with prospects or talking with people. And so what people don’t realize a lot of the time that the words that we’re saying aren’t that relevant and it’s around, you know, when you’re talking about confidence, it’s around, people can feel that. They can see your posture, they can judge you by the tone of your words. That speed speeds obviously got to do with confidence if you talk way too quick. And so there’s a lot to to do when we turn up to meetings regarding communication. These are just skills that we learn throughout life. Right? Exactly.

Ben Handler:

100% I think the landscaping stuff helped me quite a bit, but I, it was a lot of, it was subconscious with the landscaping stuff, with the buyer’s agency stuff, I’ve made it a lot more front of mind and I’m really trying to focus on it and better myself and, you know, reading books and, and um, and, and just taking advice and listening to other people.

Cause like you said, the language is 10% the rest of it’s the body language and persona. Yeah. It’s so true. Are you happier now running your buyer’s agent business?

Babak Haeri:

I’m much happier. So I actually thought the dream was to have it fully automated business before. And as I mentioned, I started getting quite bad anxiety and started going down a spiral. And, and now I’ve, I’ve never been happier. I’d say it’s a cliche, but if you love what you do and it doesn’t feel like work and it sounds cheesy and it’s true and um, I guess I’m really lucky that I found something that I found a passion that I can monetize cause a lot of people can’t do that. It’s true. And I think, you know, mental health, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s increasing everywhere. Especially in, I know in the States and Australia and a lot of us do is people I don’t think are working on purpose.

Ben Handler:

They’re, they’re stuck in jobs they don’t like or running businesses they don’t want to be running and it takes its toll right after. I like that compounds like I was in that space when I’ve worked, when it’s a corporate like it, it compounds and a few years or 10 years or of that it has impact. Right. 100%. Yeah. Talk through the client experience in the sense of are you enjoying a lot more working with the client, communicating with the client, developing a relationship and then buying like compared to what you’ve been doing previously with your work. I know you’re so out of the business now, but I do know that you’re telling me you were speaking to clients in your landscaping business. Are you finding it a lot more fulfilling working with clients in the buyer’s agent capacity?

Babak Haeri:

100% because it’s what I love. It’s a passion.

Real estate is what I love and I feel like I’m adding a lot more value to someone’s life, finding them their forever home or finding them an investment property then renovating their gardens for their family coming over before Christmas. You know what I mean? Like so it’s 100% yet. What do you love about real estate so much? I know you started obviously 10 11 years ago buying your first property, but I mean everyone talks about real estate in Australia and I’m just curious to know like what drew you to it and what do you love about it? No one’s ever asked me that question before. So I got into it first because when I started working full time, my dad were living at home with my sister and my dad said either move out and pay rent or start paying him rent or he’s going to buy us our first investment property and we paid the mortgage.

So that’s how I got into it. And we obviously took the latter option. Um, he bought us an investment property and, and, and yeah, we started paying, you know, my sister and I started paying it off and it could be you just start seeing the results maybe then maybe that was the less I saw the results and, and I saw the, the power it can have in terms of investing if you do a properly. And I think that’s where I just grew a healthy obsession for it. Yeah. It’s interesting because it’s so talked about in this country, it’s all over the papers, the news magazines and people love it here. People throw everything. They’ve got a lot into their primary residence. It’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a, it’s an, it’s an amazing obsession. But I always just get curious around why certain people fall in love with it.

Ben Handler:

Some people are trying, obviously just primarily build wealth through assets. Um, some are looking to obviously have passive income. I mean everyone’s got different strategies focusing on the Northern beaches. So that’s where you’re from. You’re from Narrabeen yeah, I mean I see that as a big market, especially for PPOR. It’s a great market. It’s an expensive market, a lot of opportunity there. Are you planning on dividing time between that and any investment on a national level, you now want to focus more on one or the other or how’s that?

Babak Haeri:

So I originally started the company to only help investors find investment properties and I started getting quite a few inquiries for people looking for an occupied on the Northern beaches. And I know most of the agents in the area. I know the area back to front. Um, I’ve spent the past 25 years on the Northern beaches, so it just seems crazy to not not add value to people in that area.

So now I’m focusing on both building both of it up and sort of see where it goes. My true passion is helping people create passive incomes. That’s what I am passionate about. I’m helping people create portfolios and finding a mixture of growth and yield and balancing it together so they can live off the legal, live off the income and eventually give up work if they want to. However, just because of the contacts and the knowledge I have on the Northern beaches, I, it would be a shame not to help people there as well to leverage that. When you say contacts, I assume you’re spitting out real estate agents. Exactly. You know a lot of agents there. Yeah. Most of the agents on the Northern beaches. Just because you, while your landscape and you love property and you kept inspecting properties and just buying property and buying property.

Lots of work with the landscaping companies for real estate agents. A lot of the agents we grew up wearing that around the same age we grew up together. Um, so just a mixture of all three. Yeah. It’d be crazy not to leverage that. Yeah. And so have you started getting some referrals from real estate agents? I haven’t done, yeah. From a few of the few of the local, there’s agents that we grew up with, so, so yeah, it’s been good. And the national buying, so have you basically earmarked specific States that you are buying it? Exactly. Yeah. So I’ll do some research on a macro level based on what States have the population infrastructure, supply and demand, all that sort of stuff. And then, um, and then we just narrow it down onto a micro level from there. Each area we buys different based on the client’s needs.

Ben Handler:

So you know, someone who’s on $300,000 a year, we’re not going to go find them a $300,000 property property on the Northern beaches, I mean in Brisbane, sorry. You know what I mean? Whereas someone who is on $60,000 a year, they might need several properties to add to their income. So where we’re finding for our clients is really dependent on what their goals and needs and wants are. Yeah. I mean it needs to be specific. It can’t be like that one size fits all approach. So we real estate agents in different States. Do you fly there, meet them, build up relationships with those people? Yes. So that’s quite difficult actually though. It’s, it’s hard because you know, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll have a look into the data and there’ll be an area where we think it’s really going to perform and then we have to start working really aggressively to build those relationships in those areas.

Babak Haeri:

So, and it’s hard because those agents have buyer’s agents and contacts that they’ve used over the past 20 years. So that’s quite difficult. But I guess the, uh, it’s hard. It’s hard in that sense, but at least like, we know that we’re buying an area that’s going to be performing very strongly. So what we don’t, what we can’t get in terms of the contacts as much as the locals we get in terms of the research, we have access to the data, we have access to negotiating with agents in different areas of say Queensland in let’s say a regional area that you may not be buying infrequently based on the Northern beaches. And you knowing the agents and chatting with them and growing up with them and then buying property there for yourself.

Ben Handler:

Do you find the negotiations are different, easier in Brisbane? Really?

Babak Haeri:

Yeah. Easier in those areas that you just mentioned, if I finding the $300,000 property, $400,000 property, it’s easier to negotiate.

It also depends on the time of the market ride. Right now in the Northern beaches, if I’m the agent’s friend, they’re not going to care because the markets, there’s 60 people going through the open homes.

Do you know what I mean? So I have the contacts and they give referrals and give me access to off-market property and stuff. But being able to negotiate, they have their clients’ best interests at heart. Do you know what I mean? They have every right to, um, do everything in their power to, to sell the house at the highest price. That’s what they have to do. Yeah. So we’re at Brisbane at the moment. In some of the areas, there’s nowhere near as much demand, so we can negotiate much more successfully as part of our role. I strongly believe that is our relationships with the agents to have strong relationships or to know how to negotiate with them, especially better than the average buyer.

Ben Handler:

Do you enjoy the negotiation with agents on behalf like that? Is that a part of the process you like?

Babak Haeri:

I do. I enjoy it. And it’s, it’s a lot of it’s about understanding how each agent works, right? And you get to know that over, over, over time. So on the Northern beaches, I know this agent works in this way that this agent works in that way, this agent doesn’t like going to auction. They’ll take off those prior to auction. You know what I mean? So it’s really understanding about how each agent works and working with them to get the best result. Yeah, it’s a very good point around understanding what is the preference of that agent.

Do they love to clear stock prior to auction? If yes, let’s give them an offer, let’s close it. 66 w let’s do a deal. Um, yeah, it’s interesting and that that’s, that’s a lot of the value, I believe why people engage us as buyers agents is so we can strategically make effective decisions on their behalf to get the best property at the best price.

Ben Handler:

Right. 100% yeah, and I mean Queensland, it’s, I mean, I’ve bought property for myself there before. It’s, it’s such a different ball game. Just dealing with the agents there, the way they do business. It’s an indifferent States. It all varies. It’s, it’s quite, I mean it’s, it’s, it’s fascinating. Don’t you think? 100% I was having a laugh, actually. I inquired with an agent on Saturday and he didn’t get back to me until Wednesday night. 10:00 PM he sent me a text message at 10:00 PM and I was just thinking to myself, if an agent did this in Sydney, they would lose. They wouldn’t, they wouldn’t survive. You would not survive. It’s true. Yeah. Their, their work. I mean, I don’t know if their work ethic is different, but it definitely, everywhere. There’s just a different vibe. Even the Eastern suburbs, the Northern beaches to the agents in Sydney.

Babak Haeri:

I feel like there’s a different vibe in a West and Northern, like everything’s just a bit different. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

What are plans for your business? Right?

Babak Haeri:

So you’ve obviously getting a lot of traction now for six months, a lot of building, building systems and you know, building your network, et cetera. Now you’re getting traction. What are the plans for the next six months? So I’m not going to take on admin the moment I was thinking about someone, another sales position, but if I take on another sales position, I’ll just end up be DePaul, end up doing their admin. So I’m looking to take on admin shortly and that’s really going to be in the next six months in terms of putting for taking, putting someone else on. Um, but I, like I said before, I’m a firm believer of not trading your time for money. So the medium to long term goal is to hire staff.

And I mean, I’m doing what I love, but I feel like if I was going to be a sole trader, I would just work with someone else. You know, that’s sort of my belief. Some people might not agree with it, but if I was going to work for myself, you might as well just save, save the hassle of having your own business and work for someone else.

Ben Handler:

That’s how I feel. Yeah. So you, you, you’re, you effectively will hire people. So there’s revenue coming into your business just outside of you. Exactly. That’s interdependent on that amount and that, that, that I agree with that philosophy. That’s why we’re in business. Right?

Babak Haeri:

Yeah, that’s right.

Ben Handler:

Otherwise you’re right. Go, go work for someone else and don’t deal with the, all the headaches. Yeah. Are you planning on it all focusing more on PPOR or are you planning on just having a healthy mix for the investment slash people por probably for now a healthy mix, but that will change.

Um, I assume it will change. I guess I just got to see where, where it gets traction at the moment. My passion, like I said, is uh, helping investors. But that might change. I might start having a real passion for PPOR as well. So at the moment, a healthy mix and we’ll see how it goes. Had there been any surprises starting this business? I mean I know start, I mean I’ve started multiple businesses and but is there anything that like that you, that you weren’t expecting when you started this business? Was it, was there anything that has kind of shocked you in a good way or about like has there been any, I guess aha moments just has there been anything that’s kind of really, cause it’s what, from what I’m been hearing, you’re working previously running your Lance and you still are your landscape business, obviously not that fulfilled.

You’re running a new business now where you’re, you seem connected with the work, it’s your passion, you’re monetizing your knowledge. Has life changed in a good way? Like as has anything 100% like I said, I, I was, I had anxiety and we’re talking earlier, I was waking up with clenching my teeth all night and, and a whole heap of stuff which had underlying issues I think with not having fulfillment. And since, since having, since starting the buyer’s agency, that’s all disappeared. I’ve, I’m up at 5:00 AM every morning. Never had more energy. I used to have two double shock coffees a day. Now I just have one single in the morning. Um, I don’t need alcohol to unwind after a big week at work. You know, it’s just if you’re doing what you love, you don’t need, it’s just, yeah, it’s great. I haven’t, I haven’t looked back in terms of anything.

Babak Haeri:

I wasn’t prepared for course, honestly prepared me for everything. So I was sort of, I, I knew what was, I knew I had the expectations with that. Yeah. It’s, um, I, it’s, it’s, it’s nice and reassuring just hearing around how you were looking after yourself previously and now when you are connected with your work and you’re fulfilled, you don’t need that stuff is like vices. And that’s, I mean, the, the, the goal I think is for all of us on this planet to be doing what we love and a lot of us aren’t. And so when you’re not, I think in tune with what you’re supposed to be doing, it causes a lot of friction. I feel like life can really get wild. 100% can get wild.

Ben Handler:

So before we finish up, have you got any like big grand plans for this business? Is it something, I know you want to hire staff and you’re obviously a, you know, you’re an entrepreneur and you know how to run things, but are you looking to grow like your business for example, or have you even thought about this to have offices in different States?

Are you just focusing on the next six months on systems?

Babak Haeri:

Obviously maybe an admin hire and just keeping it simple like that. I haven’t thought grand plans, but I do, I do want to office, I’ve had that vision of, of having a nice relaxed vibe in the office. So when staff want to come and go, not set nine to five hours, they have the choice to come and go as they please. As long as the tasks are getting are getting done. Um, I have this vision in my head, but obviously obviously we’re moving further and further away from the typical office nine to five, you know, society’s moving away from that. So I’m not sure if that’s going to happen, but I’ve always had that vision of, of having you know, staff and, and having a really cool work life balance, but have that place where people can, where we can all work together if we choose to.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, that’s awesome. And so leading up and put a finishing off now, what, where can people find you?

Babak Haeri:

So on all the socials, uh, the investors agency or Babak at the investors agency as well on Instagram, LinkedIn of course on the website, theinvestorsagency.com.

Ben Handler:

Awesome mate, great chatting. And congratulations like just hearing how it is isn’t always so rosy, but when you do put in the work, while it’s not rosy, it does pay off. And I think that’s a very, very powerful outcome when you do your daily activities and you stay resilient and you stay true to where you need to go. So congrats. It’s great hearing about your success. Thank you very much. Thanks for having me. You’re welcome. So check out Babak, where he just mentioned he’s a real good entrepreneur, knows what he’s doing. He’s bought property for himself, not just to live in, but for investment purposes only.

Especially if you are looking around the Northern beaches, whether it’s you know, to move and relocate or you want to look for investment properties. He’s actually based there and he’s building a presence there and he knows a lot of the agents very well. So it’s very, very good market knowledge, but also on a national level investing. He’s done it himself. He’s buying for clients now. So check out Babak. It was awesome chatting. And more importantly, it’s just great to know when you are working on purpose, how your life can on all levels. And you heard Babak story around where now that he’s working on purpose, that vices that he used to do in order to feel better, he doesn’t need them anymore. So it’s a good message for all of us to know that it’s important to work out what we love to do and make change. If you have to see a next week.

 

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#14 – Why You Have To Follow Your Heart – Not The Money With Luke Bailey

1. No One's Crazy

It’s a false perception that the measure of somebody’s success is only dependent upon how well educated they are. People choose different career paths, some of which do not require formal education. Mr. Luke Bailey, who is a prominent property investor and Buye’r Agent in South Australia is one such person.

Originally from a town near Adelaide. Mr. Luke was never a studious student.  Forced to do a trade that didn’t require study, he decided to become an electrician right after his 17th birthday. He worked in this profession for about 12 years after quitting it and following his passion that was property investment. Now, he has a significant property investing history.

His passion for property allowed him to transform his career to become a Buyer’s Agent in Adelaide. Now he runs his own Buyer’s Agent company called Fourtier. Luke has generated north of 6 figures by buying investment properties and also doing development projects. This is a great achievement from somebody transitioning from another carrier.

His mentor was his father who advised him to save up and invest in property or shares. His first purchase was near his hometown of Adelaide. It wasn’t a good investment but he still owns that property. Its price has gone up over 7-8 years. The good thing was he started investing in property.

The Strategy

The strategy Luke used to build his portfolio was understanding that capital growth is great but manufacturing acuity through development and renovation projects is also important. This is something he learned through experience.

His portfolio ranges over Tasmania, Queensland, Adelaide, south coast, Brisbane, and Hobart. His focus has remained in South Australia.

Change

Transitioning into a new career

His career as an electrician was partially forced due to average performance at school. Back then he was focused on job security and earning a decent amount of money.

Being an electrician paid well but in his opinion, it’s a money trap. You have to live away from your family, 3-4 weeks at a time. In his late 20’s he realized that this is not for him.

He had a passion for the property business but never wanted to become a real estate agent. The idea of cold calls and knocking on doors didn’t really appeal to him. He was much more interested in buying property.

Not coming from a sales background wasn’t a problem for him. He believes that sales are leaned through a process. His unique selling point was using his experience as an investor to bring value to the buyer. A Buyer’s Agent in Adelaide has to be a problem solver. You have to solve the issue of time or stock for your client in order to be successful.

Buyers Agents in Adelaide

Luke now buys property for people all over Australia. 50% of his clientele is from South Australia and the rest are from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, etc.

There are not a lot of buyer’s Agents in Adelaide. The lack of competition is a trap. It makes you complacent and you might not give your 100% effort.

Now, he is focusing on investment properties and development sites. Along with that, he does renovation projects which are usually 6-12 months long. There are not many auctions in Adelaide as compared to other parts of the country. It’s more like private sales.

He also offers project management for renovation projects which includes development approvals and subdivisions. Renovation projects came naturally to him as he is from a construction background.

A man looking at a whiteboard of options

Challenges of New Business

The construction life is difficult, long hours, staying away from home. The transformation for him running his own business has been huge.

Running a business is always challenging. The most challenging thing for him is client management. The transition from working with tools to now managing client has been challenging. Similarly, marketing and sales have been something he has had to learn and master.

Things do not always go to plan. Sometimes you are unable to close the deal. Luke’s priorities were understanding buyers’ needs and seeing if he will be helpful to him. He has done a lot of personal development courses for self-learning. He believes that life is a journey of education.

2020 Goals

Luke has learned that you can achieve more than what you think you might. We all have limitations in our minds which are there through our past experiences. But you can achieve 100 times more if you believe in yourself

He aims to be involved in more development projects around Adelaide. That is what he like the most. He also wants to educate more people in opting for a career as a buyer’s agent in Adelaide.

Listen to the full podcast below

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Why Work Life Balance Is The New Currency

Why work life balance is the new currency with Buyer's Agent George O'Brien

George O’Brien:

I saw what you were doing, what other buyer’s agents were doing through podcasts, and just decided like if I don’t give this a crack, I’m kidding myself. Like I have the, I have the knowledge from what I’ve done myself. I’ve helped friends and family out. I just thought, wow, I’m crazy if I don’t give this a crack.

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 true 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 opportunities of remarkable buyers agents who are now paving the way forward in one of the fastest-growing career sectors in real estate in Australia. Right now. Our guest today is George O’Brien. George has got an awesome story. He left school at 16 he then went and joined the mining industry as an apprentice working as a diesel mechanic. He stayed there for eight years earning really good money. At 19 he bought his first property. He’s 25 now. He’s got four properties and he has left the mining industry after eight years to really pursue his true calling and passion, which is buying property.

He’s now a buyer’s agent who runs his own company called Future Property Co. based in Newcastle. He’s currently specializing in Newcastle in both investment and principal place of residence with an intention to spread his business and move at a more national level for not just investment purposes, but also commercial. Today I’d like to welcome George O’Brien. Hey, go mate. Thanks for having me. Thanks for coming here, mate. Yeah, no worries. How long was the drive from Newcastle? Just over two hours. Just beat the peak hour. So it wasn’t too bad. Very nice mate. So there’s obviously a lot of people making the career moves now and jumping into the buyer’s agent space. From what I understand, I move when we first spoke, you are obviously in the mining sector in the last eight years and you’re earning very good money, right? Yeah, yeah. Quite good money. Why did you decide to make the move?

George O’Brien:

Well basically to start off with, uh, I went to school, sort of went through school. I was quite smart but didn’t really apply myself. I was more there for the football. I played rugby league, uh, and the girls, my mates, that sort of thing. So when it comes to the end of year 10, I wasn’t quite sure what

I wanted to do. I was playing quite high-level football at the time. and I, I genuinely thought I was going to be an NRL player or a rugby league player. and if that didn’t work I would fall back on being a builder. so the building was always in the back of my mind. Uh, I decided to go to year 11 to play football, like the Catholic school football system and had an F a lot of injuries over those couple of years. So, I had two knee reconstructions and shoulder reconstruction, uh, dislocated my hip. I had a terrible run. Uh, and that just ended my football career, like professionally or seminar professionally. at that point. so I decided to leave school and become a builder. So I did a couple of weeks of work experience. The builder loved me, wanted me to get an apprenticeship and I was about to do that.

And then I realized that there were these mining apprenticeships going on up the Hunter Valley. There are quite a few underground and open-cut mines up there, but they’re quite sought after those, uh, apprenticeships. So, I applied for about five or six of them and got all four of five or six of them. I can’t remember. There were about 2000 applicants for each thing. and I don’t know how, but I got through the aptitude tests. on most of them and got an interview. And when I got those interviews is where, where I really sold myself. And I think they like me. I decided to go with an open cut mine. Uh, so this point I was 16 and started my apprenticeship there. So that went for, for four years. Uh, and that was great. That really, gave me a head-start as opposed to people going to university, which I still think is great going to university, but it just wasn’t for me.

 

That sort of thing. So from 16, I was earning really good money. and from 16 to 18ish, I just, I was a young kid, I was partying. I was having fun. I didn’t save a cent. Really. All I had was a banged-up highlight to my name by the time I was mid 18 years old. and my dad sort of said to me, look, mate, I was young once. I know you’re just having fun and you’ve got plenty of time ahead of you, but by just if I could advise you to do something, it’s just buying a property. he wasn’t an investor by any means, but he knew about the property. So I bought my first property a year or two later, a year later I realized what that property had done in the Newcastle market. Quite a good time. realize the power of property investing in just completely, that was the moment that the penny dropped for me.

 

Continuing on, obviously built my portfolio, but, uh, I was working in mining. I had, uh, a couple of properties behind me. I was earning really good money. and I was sort of, I felt like that was all, if I wanted to stay on and be a supervisor in the mines, I would have had to do another 10 years. There. I was travelling sort of three hours round trip a day. I’m doing 13-hour shifts, night shifts, weekends. It was quite good money, 140,000 odd dollars a year. but I was just utterly unfulfilled. I had this entrepreneurial spirit. Once I started reading books and listening to podcasts and seeing people like yourself, I always wanted to be my own boss. I always wanted to strive for the next, uh, thing. And I just found myself at a, at a dead end. the atmosphere up there, the people, there were some really good guys that I worked with.

I learned good and bad things about work ethic up there. but when I realized what I had done through property investing and the life that H had created for myself by building that base, I’d said to my girlfriend, I’m getting into real estate. I didn’t know whether I really am obsessed with the finance side of things. Obviously investing is a game of finance. So I didn’t know whether I wanted to get into that being a sales agent or buyer’s agent, but I said to my girlfriend, right, I, let’s go, let’s, I’m quitting my job.  I have this abundant mindset that everything would be okay. and obviously that was calculated. So, I said, Oh, our portfolio is sitting there. It was basically neutral, let’s go travelling for nine months. So, we went backpacking around South America and Europe and that was amazing.

We did lots of surfing and yoga and drinking and partying like it was, it was so fun. and it was really what we needed. And in that time I saw what you were doing, what other buyer’s agents were doing through podcasts, and just decided like, if I don’t give this a crack, I’m kidding myself. Like I have the, I have the knowledge from what I’ve done myself. I’ve helped friends and family out. I just thought, wow, I’m crazy if I don’t give this a crack. So I got back, uh, at the end of last year, sorry if I’m battling on at the, I got back at the end of last year in October and decided that in this January I would launch my own company. I tossed up the idea. I reached out to a few well-known buyer’s agents, that, that one that I had used, a couple of others about working for someone I really wanted to, I didn’t want to jump in and think I knew everything.

I really wanted to do a trade as such, under a really well-known buyer’s agent that had a good brand, good ethics, all that sort of stuff. But then once again, that entrepreneurial spirit in me, I wanted to have worked my own hours. I wanted to go for a surf and a coffee and do CrossFit every morning. All of that sort of stuff. So, I just, I, I toyed with the idea of working for someone and then just decided, wow, just, let’s, you can do this on your own. I had, I had inquiry coming in. I started marketing on Instagram late last year, and then about, on my birthday on the 7th of December. the, I decided to just launch it. I had enough inquiry coming in. I’d done my formal licensing over a fairly quick period of time. started the business and thought, let’s go.

George O’Brien:

So, from, uh, from the 7th of December. So tomorrow to be two months. I’ve actually signed up seven clients. and it’s just, I, I just haven’t looked back. There’s been hard periods, tough periods where I do second guess myself, but, it has, it has just taken off and I’m just so happy to be able to help other young people buy property, build their portfolio, and just create a lot, live life on their own terms basically. It sounds cheesy, but that’s really what we’re trying to do. Where am I at?

Ben Handler:   

It’s a quite a story, quite a journey and I guess it’s a, it’s amazing that you’re following, I guess that entrepreneurial blood that’s flowing through you, which is to get out there and do your own thing and you’re able to get out of that, uh, get out of that previous work, that career, which was the mining and actually take and have the courage to then take the leap to start your own business. I think that’s always very admirable. I mean, I’ve done that and I obviously I’m trying to inspire other people to do it. What have been the challenges, I mean the last two months, what have been some key challenges that you’ve noticed?

George O’Brien:

Yeah, so I’ve, I’ve found that I knew I had the market knowledge of real estate, what makes markets tick, what like, like cash flow, finance, all that sort of stuff. I knew I knew the fundamentals. but I, I guess I wasn’t quite aware I’d been told. But about the organizational and the accounting in the and the, the marketing actually getting that, those signatures on that dotted line is what it comes down to. Cause you can be the best investor in the world and have 20 properties. But if you can’t have that value proposition and show people how much value you’re adding for the, for the fee that they’re paying, there’s just, it’s just not a no, no brainer. Like you can’t, you won’t do well in business. so I’ve found that to be the hardest thing. Believe it or not, I’m quite an introvert.

 

I get quite nervous. so sometimes it’s hard for me to portray what I’m trying to, to do for clients cause I really do have their best intention at heart. Uh, but, but what I’ve found every, every situation that, I mean I’m getting better and I’m growing. and apart from that, the other challenges our guests are being alone. you, it’s really important to have people like yourself, other guys like Jack Henderson and other property people that I talk to. to bounce ideas off. Cause when you’re alone, sometimes taking calls at 8:00 PM in your office, in your undies, it’s like, it’s a bit, you sort of don’t find yourself. it’s, it’s hard. It’s different. It’s putting on the coal mining shirt and going to work, and being in that work environment or not, like it’s, it’s, it’s more diluted. so there’s been a few challenges but none that I didn’t really expect. And it’s, yeah, I haven’t looked back to be honest.

Ben Handler:

Seven clients in eight weeks. Did you expect it to grow that quick?

George O’Brien:

Well, I had an inkling, Newcastle’s a fairly small place, of, of spread myself fairly well across Newcastle, Maitland in the Hunter Valley throughout my younger years. I had an okay Instagram following personally. my family is quite well known around there and we have a good reputation from, from what I know. and I, I had a lot of people knew what I was doing already personally. but I guess yeah, I didn’t expect it to take off this quickly, but I was prepared for it. and the challenge with that as well is I had just, I wasn’t going to launch until January. but I decided to launch in December. Not my CRM was still getting set up, my accounting software. My, I was still talking to mentors about the best way to do things and then I had these clients come on board and I had to put that on the back burner cause the clients obviously come first. I’m sourcing deals making that they are looked after. so that’s been another big challenge. But yeah, it’s, it’s been crazy. I, it’s funny, I, I really talking about the different types of clients. I really thought coming into this that I would just purely be focusing on investment. I wanted to dot nail really dig deep on the Newcastle market from an investment point of view for investors from Newcastle that want to invest in Newcastle and from Newcastle that want to invest nationally. but I’ve found, I think five of my, first seven signings have been owner rocks and that, that I didn’t think too much about that sort of stuff. But I’ve really, really enjoy the emotional side of things because I get to work hard for people and, and see there, they’re the smile on their face and when we get a really good outcome for them.

George O’Brien:

And I’ve found a lot of them have been hybrid deals. So, first homeowners that do want to obviously for the benefits of living in your first home, live in that house for a year or two. And then they, but they really also wanted that investment. So, they want it under market value with add value potential and a really good growth pocket of Newcastle. So, it’s exciting. There are people that are coming to me, they also want to live there for a year or two, but they, and it’s hard to find that if you don’t know what you’re, what you’re talking about. so that’s been really enjoyable. And actually my first client just the other day, I actually helped him move into his first house. it was, he was moving from up the Valley, incest snuck, uh, into Newcastle into the beaches and he was, he was stoked. We’ve got a really good Breno job for him. They’re a really good add value potential. and he didn’t have a truck. He didn’t really, hadn’t moved before. And I said, look, mate, my, my father’s got a truck, I’ll come out. So, I drove the truck out and spend all Friday helping him move in and just stuff like that made it really gets me going. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

That’s awesome. I mean, that’s great that you know, in your own time, uh, you just help the client and that’s, that’s part of what we do, right? It’s the service, it’s the relationship we build. It’s obviously the love for what we do as well. And as you said earlier, the client, as you said earlier, the clients come first and it’s all about the client experience and the first-class service, right? 100%. So, five of the seven properties, principal place of residence. It’s interesting, there are quite a few buyer’s agents who start off love investment. I only really have bought investment and then they think they’re only gonna focus on investment. And I’ve seen that transition that goes naturally and organically into PPOR. Why do you think that is?

George O’Brien:

I think especially when for someone like myself who is just getting started, from a business point of view and in a small market like Newcastle, I, I am an expert in that market, in the Newcastle and Hunter Valley market. and I just, I think that a lot of people there, eh, to be honest, I don’t think that they know about property investing. There’s not much awareness around like there is podcasts and books and it’s, it’s really, really coming along. But I don’t think a lot of people that I’m dealing with a fully aware of it, aware of it until they sit down with me and I say, look, mate, you’ve already like your changing from this PPOR to this PPO. Ah, why don’t you hold that and buy this? And then, and that’s what I’m talking about, the hybrid sort of, building your PPOR into your investment strategy.

 

I think for myself as an investor, like if, if sophisticated investors want to use a buyer’s agent, they might want someone a little bit more experienced or diversified across the States, which I 100% plan to get to. And I understand that they want to use people like that. but for first-time investors or younger investors, I think, they’re, they’re definitely happy to come on board and use someone like myself that they can relate to. And they’re not just another cog in the, in the, in the clock or whatever the term is. So I don’t know if that answers your question, but yeah, yeah, no, I think there’s obviously this client’s just going to grab it, gravitate to you and if they’d like and trust you and feel like you’re the right person, help them buy that Hamlet family home. And you said it’s also a hybrid earlier.

George O’Brien:

So, I’m aware of that. How that works in the sense of they want to live in it for a period of time with this transition exit strategy of then renting it out. So I think it does serve the purpose. What would you say, well, how would you describe your mindset at the moment? Really, really positive and abundant.  I wasn’t coming from a great place when I had my, my nine to five job. and it took a sort of the travelling and starting this business to really open my mind up a lot. but my mindset is just, I, when I want to do something, I struggled to do anything until I get to that point. So with anything in life that I’ve, that I’ve sort of planned to do, whether it be investing in property or getting, being the best at my job or getting a girlfriend, whatever it is, you know, like I, I have to get there and do that.

So I’m super driven at the moment, to, to be the best in my field, to be, to, to pick the store, sort of niche in Newcastle. and obviously expand on that nationally and con, with commercial property, all that sort of stuff. But I’m really driven to be that, that key person of influence in my industry at the moment and my mindset, the things that I do to help my mindset each day is I like to wake up at five o’clock every morning. I have a cold shower, do some breathing, a bit of meditation. if I’ve got time, uh, I do a little bit of yoga, but I really like to go and do CrossFit. first thing in the morning if I cannot do it in the afternoon, but that hour I wouldn’t be real CrossFitter if I didn’t tell you I was doing CrossFit with.

But that hour of just being in what we call the pain cave is what just sets me for the day. Like I, I just go in there and get absolutely tortured for an hour and I love it. It’s, it’s the, it’s like a form of meditation because I’m not thinking about business. I’m not thinking about family, I’m not thinking about bigger issues in the world. I’m focused on staying alive in that hour and it just really sets my, my, my mindset and my hormones, all that sort of stuff for the day and, and allows me to, yeah, be, be successful. So I’m really into all that sort of stuff. I also believe your diet and exercise and, and building your, your knowledge base. So self-development stuff had played a big part and it’s a, it’s a holistic approach to running a business and investing, I believe. Yeah, it all, it all integrates, right?

Ben Handler:

So, you’ve obviously got the morning routine down Pat and you know, talking about CrossFit and exercising and it all gives releases the endorphins.

 

George O’Brien:
Yeah, there’s the dopamine as well. What about starting a business? Like getting out of mining and just changing your career and running a new business and doing what you love? Like that must be releasing some happy chemicals like Oh, absolutely. at the end of each day, uh, I just look back on where I, what I have done that day and the things that have happened and every day is just a new day. I’m obviously still learning. every day I’m learning new things, but just to be able to work my own hours. So I get up really early to do that sort of stuff and just batch my work. smash it out, go for a surf, smash it out, go for a run and then, and, and to be able to be dealing with clients, and, and bringing them positive outcomes and really changing their lives. That’s what I’m, we’re in the business of doing, is just super, super satisfying. And for me to be there pulling the strings, I’m in control of all that in control of possibly the biggest investment that someone will make. Yeah. The biggest purchase in their life is a super fulfilling it. It’s a, I can be taxing, and, and a little bit emotional because I want really good outcomes for more clients. but at the end of the day, it’s just, I can’t even explain the feeling. It’s super fulfilling. And, and at the end of the day, that’s, that’s what I was after, a higher purpose and to be fulfilled in day to day life. In terms of gratitude. Are you, things are probably moving so quickly for you.

Ben Handler:

Do you, do you recognize yourself and are you grateful for the lifestyle now? So you said you want to have the coffee, do the CrossFit not work for someone?

 

George O’Brien:

Like it’s funny when I was mining, that’s all I wanted. I just wanted to be able to wake up at whatever time I wanted to go to the gym. have a coffee or a surf and just, and flick through my emails and, and lean into the day. but now I find myself, just up straight into the emails that I have to stop and, and take a look in. Uh, I, I’ll get really harsh on myself, saying that I want to make X amount of, of, purchases for people before the end of the financial year. and, and I struggled sometimes to look back on what I have done in such a short period of time cause I’m conscious, I, I’m always looking forward. But I do sit down and usually once a week, uh, with my girlfriend because it takes it, it does take a toll on the relationship as well, the business side of things. But it’s all positive. We’re, we’re working towards a higher goal. But yeah, once a week we sit down and reflect and do some gratitude stuff and it really, really helps cause it all is about perspective as you know, on everything in life, especially business. but for the, for, for my business, and what I’m trying to do with future property co, I, I’ve got a real niche of young people that I’m, I’m aiming for. I believe that when you’re young if you can just build like there are so many people that get stuck in the nine to five and then they drink alcohol all weekend. and they’re stuck in this, right?

But they truly don’t know any different. if I can just show you like younger people through my Instagram stuff through meeting them for coffee, even if they don’t have a deposit, nothing through doing some YouTube videos and this type of stuff, if they can just see what I’m doing and realize that that’s not, they don’t have to do that. all it takes is to save up a little deposit while that you have to grind to start off with. But all it takes is just to save up a little deposit, put your money in the right markets at the right time by the right asset and use it. Use a professional. and if you can, if you can get that first one right, over the next couple of years, you can go again and go again and really build that asset base. And then by the time you’re 25, 30 years old, you can have a really strong asset base behind you and you can do whatever you want.

But I think the secret is really getting started early and a lot of people just don’t know. So I really want to get the awareness out there and show people that it is possible, and, and change their life. Cause I was stuck in that, that, that works. and, and having a beer have a weekend and no real goals. You sort of buying your house by the time you’re 40, you pay it, you’d have it paid off by the time you’re 60. If you’re lucky, then you live off your super. I don’t want that for myself. Uh, and I know I change that and I found a way to change that and I want to show other people, but not, that’s not for everyone. Some people are happy living day today. I have friends that are super duper happy, just working nine to five have their own PPOR. That’s fine, but for people who do want better and feel like they don’t have an outlet, I really, it’s a, it’s my mission to find them and show them how easy it is and how successful you can be if you start early and have the time in the market,

Ben Handler:

It’s a very powerful mission. Yeah. I guess especially you’ve been there, you’ve changed your life and now empowering and I guess creating awareness for the younger generation to actually understand there is that different way because you’re right there, they’re stuck in this rut. They think that it, that’s it, and then they just, it’s, it’s kind of like a mouse just running around and it’s hard to get out of if you don’t know any different. Obviously, there are two parts of it you can hear. Invest in property or start your own business. And I just think if you invest in property early, that leaves, having that asset base can lead to starting your own business. And obviously, from listening to a lot of podcasts and a couple of books and all that sort of stuff, it’s, it’s a, I’m of the mindset that there is a massive market in the next five to 10 years for people to be creating micro-businesses and doing their own like micro niches and creating their own businesses and living theirs. Obviously it’s the age of the entrepreneur and there’s just so much opportunity out there for people, but they just think it’s normal to work in a job. and yeah, it can be really unfulfilling for some people. So hopefully, yeah, I can lead the way a little bit in that respect.

 

We are, you already are. I mean, you’ve jumped out of what you were doing made the leap. And so, you already lead leading by example and I think that’s going to be inspiring for people to want to follow your path. And I’m sure like you, you’ve got a good social following, you’re getting good presence, you got good marketing now. So over time, it’s gonna it’s going to create more impact, right? Yeah. Yeah, for sure. That’s the plan. What are the plans? Last question. What are plans this year for future property code?

 

George O’Brien:

So for this year I really want to, between now and the end of the financial year, obviously get as many clients on board as I can, but really build my, my brand, the future property code brand in Newcastle. and really dig deep there. with, with clients coming on board in the first couple of months I’ve found it hard to get out and build my B2B relationships with brokers and real estate agents and managing agents, all that sort of stuff.

So, I really just want to build my presence and be, be known as the buyer’s agent in Newcastle, not only for first home buyers but for fifth sophisticated investors upsizes down. So as is all that sort of stuff. So, but by the end of the financial year, I really want to want to be there and have everyone know who I am and be that trusted name. and then from there on forward, I really want to start. I’ve, I’ve got plans to travel up to Brizzy and spend a bit of time there, a bit of time in Adelaide, Perth, a couple of different regional markets and just get on the ground there and and do my own sort of DD and find, find out what little pockets are, uh, working, and hopefully expand the business nationally so people can come to me from Newcastle or elsewhere and I can, source really good premium investments for them nationwide.

And also diversify into commercial as well. I haven’t ever bought commercial stuff for myself, but I, I’ve read a lot about it. I’m super interested in it. So, I really just wanna just expand, but, but not, expand so much and scale so much that I, that I lose focus. I really still want to be a boutique brand, uh, and do really quality deals for people. But yeah, but that, that’s the general overview for this year. But really exciting.

 

Ben Handler:

Yeah. Well, I mean you’ve signed seven so quick. I mean, yeah, be scary to think what happens at the end of 12 months. You could have a team of seven. So where can people find you in future property? Car?

 

George O’Brien :
Yeah, so I do most of my stuff on Instagram, which is GeorgeO’Brien_buyersagent and the other places you can find me for the businesses, www.futurepropertyco.com.au

I’m also on LinkedIn. Uh, if guys want to connect with me there and Facebook is Future Property Co. So, I try and spread myself evenly across the platforms. Yeah. Good stuff. Mobile done.

 

Ben Handler:

Yeah, it’s great to have you. And just again, inspiring to see people like you get out of the rat race made and stuff. Yeah. Cheers. I just want to say for, for young people that are getting started, people like yourself and uh, and mentors I think are just a huge thing, to, to be able to talk to people that have been there and done that can really reduce the amount of time it takes to be successful in the number of mistakes that you make. Just by leaning into other people, having those mentors there and it doesn’t take much just to reach out and nine times out of 10, they will help you out. So, yourself, my brother, a few other business mentors that I’ve had, really, really helpful. Helpful. So thank you. Thanks for appreciating it. Yeah. You know, Tony Robbins says success leaves clues and find people who’ve done it and just get there.

 

George O’Brien:

Yeah, 100% good stuff, Mike. Thanks. Yeah, thanks for having me.

Ben Handler:

You’re welcome. So wrapping up today, George O’Brien, you can check him out. You can see on the screen where you can find him to understand more about George. I have to me, I mean he screams authenticity. He’s someone who’s just very humble, very real. And at his age, owning four properties. Most people in Australia don’t even own two. And so he’s actually been there, done that. Uh, he’s super committed to his clients. Just hearing about how he spent a whole day on Friday just helping one of his clients move properties, just using his time. You know, we can’t buy time. So giving out his time to help his clients is a, to me, a true indication of how much he cares in our communities to his work. So check out George. He is going to tear it up. He’s focused in Newcastle now, but he will be expanding soon. So reach out, follow him online. See you next week.

Please watch the full episode here:

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If You’re Good Enough, You’re Old Enough

If You're Good Enough, You're Old Enough

Henry – James Single:

Oh look, I think I’ve been doing it for a while now. And, um, I’ve had the, you know, the, the awesome sort of experience of working with a lot of good operators like yourself and then are doing a little stint on, on the sales side as well. Um, worked with, you know, some great operators there like Rick [inaudible] and Patrick Cosgrave and a little stint at, um, it feels fans of Donnelley as well, which a lot of people would be familiar with. So that’s been of great use to me moving forward as a buyer’s agent, especially for the primary residence business, um, of the business. Um, so yeah, it’s, it’s been good.

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agent Institute Show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing to people who want to get into real estate to bring a rareness around the value that buyers, Aiden’s provide people who need help buying property. The goal of the show is to strip back and dive into the opportunities, the stories, the journeys of remarkable 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 Henry single. Henry and I go way back. He has been working in real estate. Eight years is a young guy. He’s 25 and that’s when I started my business Cohen handler. However, he has a great story. He’s a country boy from Dani du. He started off at my former company Cohen handler where he was a buyer’s agent.

Ben Handler:

He then over time work to other companies and also transitioned into a real estate agent role. So he’s got a lot of experience working on the buyer’s side and the selling side. The most exciting news is Henry has now gone out on his own. He started his own buyer’s agent business for 2020 it’s called pivot advisory. Check him out. He is specializing in PPOR, so principal place of residence investment buying. He runs a borderless investment model, so he’s buying property across different States for investment purposes across Australia. Henry’s got a very strong work ethic. He’s already got a lot of clients already locked in, ready to go for 2020 today. I’d like to introduce Henry Single. Welcome Henry.

Henry – James Single:

Thanks for having me.

 

Ben Handler:

Made it so exciting that we’re sitting here now and I remember when we first worked with each other back in the Cohen Handler, the days and to see you now eight years later running your own business made it’s, it’s awesome.

Henry – James Single:

Well, yeah, it’s all because of you Ben. S

 

Ben Handler:

Oh, come on.

 

Henry – James Single:

No, but I really think and I actually feel that it’s inspiring seeing people like you who you get in the trenches, you learn the ropes earlier on, you’re 25 it’s a similar age. When I started my former business Cohen handler, and it’s just, it’s inspiring seeing entrepreneurs like yourself get out there and make it happen. But I don’t look at age as anything in terms of it. For someone who is 25 years old to have already worked in real estate eight years as a buyer’s agent, as a selling agent. So you’re understanding the, the psyche of how buyers work, how sellers work. You bought property in different States for clients for investment, you’ve done the PPOR like you’ve, you’ve gained a lot of I think, knowledge experience with which I think a lot of buyer’s agents who are potentially even age don’t have.

Yeah. Look, I think the, the, the time that I spent on the sales side was invaluable to me as, as a buyer’s agent and progressing and flourishing and becoming a more, um, mature agent just in the sense that there’s a lot of valuable insights to gain from being on the sales side, even if only for a short time. And it’s something now that I’m implementing into my new business, um, you know, to a prerequisite to getting a job there. Now pivot advisory that you have to have been on the sales side for a minimum of 12 months. Um, so, uh, I think it’s something that sort of sets us apart from a lot of the other buyer’s agents out there. I like that. I’m just curious. So you obviously said, you know, he learned a lot working on the sales side was instrumental, but part of your now hiring policy.

Ben Handler:

So part of your recruitment is people who’ve worked on the sales side. Why is that?

Henry – James Single:

I haven’t listed the selling, I just, I’m just curious to understand why that is. So I think it’s just, it feeds into our negotiation strategy or certainly feeds into my negotiation strategy and this is something that’s not, um, confined to the ACE and suburb did something that’s universal across any sort of real estate transaction in Australia and something that I’ve used time and time again, but it’s more, it’s kind of, it’s like when a real estate agent says a certain thing to you. I think back to when I was a sales agent and I think, okay, when I’d say that to buyers, I’d be trying to evoke this reaction or steer them in this direction. So it’s just really valuable information that you can then use to benefit the client essentially. So I just think we’re really well placed, having experienced as sales agents to um, you know, to now better service our clients as buyer’s agents. Yeah, it makes sense. I mean, it’s invaluable. I think the, the way your conversations would be structured dealing with real estate agents, I mean, yeah,

Ben Handler:

You know, how they talk used to be one and as you’ve got a team of buyer’s agents who are on that side, I mean it’s,

Henry – James Single:

it’s effectively, it’s going to help your clients get better outcomes. Yeah, exactly right. And I think having banners, sales agent, it helps you, um, understand their process a lot more. Um, and I think that the biggest piece of advice for any, um, buyer’s agent going out there now that I could give to them would be just, um, have respect for, for real estate agents because without them, essentially our, our job wouldn’t exist. So I think that’s something that I learned being on the sales side, how you come across as a buyer’s agent. And it’s something that I’ve then subsequently worked on and it’s been really effective for me. Um, I think it’s maybe one of the, our biggest, our strongest points is, is our, our relationships with the agents. Um, so yeah, it’s been, it’s been pivotal for, uh, for our business. You mentioned the word respect for agents or respect and that resonates because you, we need to have respect as a buyer’s agent.

Henry – James Single:

You know, respect means when you go to an open for inspection and you leave, you call them and give feedback. Right. Did you have buyers agents coming through your properties? He didn’t call you back. Yeah, exactly right. And I think um, there’s a temptation sometimes to buyer’s agents to, to paint them themselves as good and, and the real estate agent is as able, which is just not necessarily the case. Everyone’s got a job to do. We’re representing two different sides of the transaction. So it’s just something I really noticed when I was a sales agent, the way some buyer’s agents would come across and it just doesn’t, it didn’t really resonate or gel with me well at the time. So it’s something when I flipped back to the buyer side as something I was really implemented in my business. Yeah. I remember when you were working at back in the Cohen handler days and you, there was a time where you were focusing in the Western Sydney cause we’re buying a lot of investment properties there and I thought it was incredible how you able to go into a new market because you’re not from there.

Um, and really learn about a new market, not just learn market intelligence on properties but also new real estate agent relationships. Starting to build a network there. I guess starting your business now, do you feel like you’re having to learn new areas? I know you’re opening up the doors to buy investment properties in different areas. Do you feel like you’re going through an educational process now about learning about new areas or are you keeping it super tight in areas that you’re familiar with? I think there’s things that you can take away from transactions that are universally applicable, but what you’re talking about in terms of going into a new area, I think, uh, the key thing there is just to be super, super hungry for, for new information.

 

Ben Handler:

And again, just looping back around to the real estate agents, they’re a fantastic source of, um, you know, what are the best streets? What are the best areas, um, why is this property not perform or sold for less than, than, you know, a comparable property on the same street. So I think, again, you’ve just got to, um, you know, really use our relationship with, with real estate agents and it’s, it’s, um, you know, there are some of the friendliest people in the world so they’re not difficult to get along with and they’re not difficult to chat to. So, you know, I think we’re so lucky to, to speak to some of the friendliest, happiest people in the world every day. It’s great. And you know, I obviously you’ve been doing this show for a while now, speaking to a lot of buyer’s agents. And it’s interesting talking to you because your placing, which I think is incredible, such a strong emphasis on real estate agents and the relationships and I, it’s at, that’s what we need.

Henry – James Single:

They, I mean, they don’t need us. They’ve got buyers coming through their door. We happen to be representing some of the buyers but they don’t need us mean. We actually need them a lot of the time. And it’s great how you talk about the word respect and just the importance of, you know, establishing and nurturing realization relationships. Absolutely. I think without, uh, you, you know, you don’t get access to off-market listings as much, um, you don’t get in the in the door before it’s been, um, you know, before it’s been officially signed or you don’t get the tip off about something that’s coming up unless you have those strong relationships with those agents. So it’s just so important. How do you notice, and maybe is there anything you’ve noticed like starting back at the Cohen handler days when, let’s just say there weren’t that many buyer’s agents in Australia, especially in Sydney and new South Wales, and hearing about maybe dealing with potential clients around what they thought of buyer’s agents.

Ben Handler:

How would add value? Have you noticed a shift from let’s say seven years ago, eight years ago or five whenever the time is till now around the demand and the need for buyer’s agents?

 

Henry – James Single:
Undoubtably I think when I, when I first started with you at, at Cohen handler, um, the biggest sort of challenge that we faced was actually educating the client on what a buyer’s agent is and how they operate, how they charge. Whereas now over the last, you know, eight years that I’ve been doing this, um, I’ve noticed a big shift away from that and more now towards, okay, we know what a buyer’s agent is, we know roughly what the benefits are. Um, you know, let’s get going. So it’s a lot easier I think to, to get business now as opposed to to when I originally started. And I think obviously matured a lot as an agent since then as well, which, which feeds into that also.

 

But yeah, there’s been a big, big consumer shift over the last eight years. Do you think because they’re more educated in the, in what we do and the value we provide or do you think it’s just because they may be just want to outsource more now just with the speed of technology around the other parts of their lives? Like, you know, you want to get food, you go buy, you want to get laundry called laundry, laundry up, everything’s the tip of finger. Now, what, what do you think of the key drivers as to why really they’re more receptive to buyer’s agents now? I think everyone’s situation’s unique and, and you know, you can provide value as a buyer’s agent in different ways to different customers. And I think it’s important to remain flexible in that. In that sense, I don’t think, um, you know, we have lots of different ways of charging, some creative ways of charging, um, and some creative levels of service.

 

So I think, I don’t think it’s ever right to put one way of doing business forward to the consumer. Um, you know, it’s nice to, uh, leave it up to them as to how they, um, what to work with you. So I think, um, yeah, it’s, it’s important to remain flexible in that sense. Yeah. Nice. So starting a business is never easy and I’ve started quite a few. And even when you’re running a successful business, it’s always challenging. Like with just life itself, there’s always challenges. What are you going to do anything differently this year, now that you’re running your own business? Like is your morning routine changing? Is is anything that you are going to put effort in, in making a difference in now that you’re effectively out on your own running your own show? Yeah, so an interesting thing that I’ve done is I’ve sort of split my business into two silos.

Ben Handler:

I think it’s really important, especially when you’re dealing with property. It’s the, it’s the largest financial attraction, uh, personal financial transaction that the most people will make in their entire, so I think it’s important to deal with the specialist. So I think the primary residence side of the business and the investor side of the business are two separate clientele and there’s two separate dialogues around it and sort of two separate needs and wants from those consumers. So I’ve split my business into, into two silos. They fall under the same banner, um, but there’s just experts in both fields that are going to service the clients, um, while servicing the clients. So, um, I think that’s really important as it’s something that we’ve, we’ve done differently to how we’ve operated in the past. Yeah. Nice. So the focus for pivot advisory this year, do you think, if you were to look at, if you were to look forward and, and then see all the transactions you’ve done for your clients, let’s say, let’s just pretend we’re December 20 now, 30 Christmas again, would you, would you think that the majority of your transactions are investment or PPOR?

Henry – James Single:

So I’m a very goal orientated person, so I’ve got a really clear idea of exactly what the splits are going to be between primary residence and investors. And I’ve got sort of the first 12 months and beyond mapped out in terms of like financial forecasting and what I need to break even. So I’ve never really felt more prepared for, for anything. But yeah, to give you a little bit of an insight, um, the, the goal of this year is for 40 investor transactions and 30 primary residence transactions. So nice. Um, which is a little bit on top of of what we did last year, but not too much of a stretch that it’s unattainable. It’s great. And that’s one of the, I mean you’ve been in the game eight years so it’s not like you’re fresh, but some are some of my students who are really experienced at buying property who are going out on their own.

Ben Handler:

I mean they’re new to running a business. They’re also new to begin being a buyer’s agent. I mean it’s just amazing to see you like come out of the Gates, you’re clear on your forecasting on your goals and I’m sure you will nail your goal of 70 transactions in the year. I mean, it’s just awesome to see someone at your age get out there, run your own business. And really, I mean it’s, it can be a very profitable business that we run, right? Absolutely. Like if you’re not going hard on paid media, you got your business partner referrals. Like I know you do. You’ve got your mortgage brokers, your financial planners, accountants, real estate agents, et cetera. Going, it can be a really, I think, low overhead, high profit business. Absolutely. I have to totally agree with you. And it’s just something that has proved itself year and year time and time again over the last eight years.

Henry – James Single:

For me it’s um, you know, it’s, it can be a really lucrative business. Yeah. But you’ve got to work hard like with anything, right? Yeah. You’ve got to work hard, but it does provide flexibility. Absolutely. Yeah. It can. I think it can be a lot of things to you. It, it can be something that you grow as, as you’d be well aware into, you know, an eight or nine figure business or it can be something that provides, um, uh, you know, different lifestyle for you, but it’s still a quite a lucrative income. I think it’s just more what, what you wanted to be, um, if that makes sense. Yeah. Agreed. And so you’re obviously country. Boy, did you have any plans of buying re like regional or getting into any, into any of those style of country towns down the track or you saw, I’ve got some, a few properties myself.

Ben Handler:

Um, one of them is in a regional location, not too far away from, from home. So we went in there a couple of years ago now and it’s, it’s been a good investment for us, but yeah. Excellent. That’s awesome. So is it just yourself or if you’ve got other team members already? So I’ve got myself as the owner of the business, um, and then I’ve got three staff working with me at the moment. I’m believable kicking off 20, 20 new business, 25, three staff working with you. And if are they BAS or are they just support roles or, so one Helen’s more of a standalone BA. Uh, and then I’ve got Oscar who’s, who’s growing into, uh, a Bay, uh, he’s just sort of doing a lot of sourcing and, and that sort of, um, nature of the business for me at the moment. And then I’ve got like a, a part time sort of research associate who knew he, I know he, that’s nice.

And so any other plans this year as part of your growth plan to get more staff and you’re just gonna keep it as it is? I think I look at, I’d like to add one or two more staff by the end of the year, but I want to be able to support them in the, in the correct way, uh, and, and sorta help them get business and give them business. So I’m going to do it when the, when the time’s right. Not when, not for the sake of, of adding staff. So, yeah. Nice. And, um, I mean I’m, I’m a bit out of touch with, with ma, I mean market pricing and all that stuff. At the moment I’m not running a buyer’s agent specific business. However, I’ve, I’ve heard around Sydney that in some areas the prices are like back in 2017 are you seeing that or is that a bit of nonsense?

Henry – James Single:

Uh, I think so. It’s hard just to, um, to paint Sydney with such a broad brush. Um, there’s so many different sub markets and you know, they, they, uh, react and, um, they react in different ways to market forces. So I think places like the Eastern suburbs, um, even within that and within this and suburbs at different submarkets as well. Um, but I think certainly some areas of have been hit a lot harder than others. Um, I always sort of use, uh, Alexandria and, and uh, botany is a bit of a, a poster by, of oversupply, which I think was, was hit reasonably hard in the, in the last sort of, in the most recent downturn, um, by places like double Bay in Bellevue Hill where um, supplies tight, they’re not really making many more apartments. I think they’re, they’re always, um, seem reasonably resilient to those external market forces.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. And the places like double Bay, I’m assuming Bellevue Hill or pots point or wherever where stock is tied, I’m assuming that’s where your agent relationships come handy for off markets, pre markets, all that stuff. Right? Yeah, exactly right. We’ve turned our focus, uh, in the last couple of years more towards the beaches. Um, so like Bondai down to Maroubra, I think it’s a good price point. The clientele down there, um, you know, uh, a nice and always really grateful for the, the work that you do. So, um, that’s been transformational for, for our business, the primary residence arm. Anyway, so let’s talk about quickly primary residence. What, what’s, uh, is there an average time frame that your from sign up, the signup of the client to exchange that you have any data on, around what the time is taking you to, to buy? Yeah, so that’s something that we, we track pretty closely just to get an idea of, um, you know exactly how, how profitable is a certain brief is, which I think is something to, it’s something that’s important to monitor as a business.

Henry – James Single:

Um, so where typically sort of four to six weeks, um, which is a little bit shorter I think than, than some of the, the other guys out there. But I think it’s kind of like the old saying, you know, the harder you work, the luckier you get. So the harder you work, the more properties you can produce, the more opportunities you can walk the client through. And then that in turn makes it easy for them to make a decision at the end of the process. If you’ve been able to show them 30 options, it’s really, um, it makes it a lot easier for them to make that all important commitment to, to that property there. Yeah. Unbelievable. And I mean that’s quick in, in, in a very good way. I mean, if I was a potential client of yours, I mean I remember back in the days a lot of the clients we spoke to were looking at minimum three to four months, some a year, some two years who you are, you know, buying in less than two months per which, which is great.

Ben Handler:

And what about investment? Have you got any data on how long it’s taken you to, to nail brace for your investor clients? Usually about three to five weeks.

 

Henry – James Single:
Yeah, it’s the same thing again, it’s a, I think it’s about just showing the client a lot of opportunities, um, and that makes it easy for them to make a decision. But yeah, about three to five weeks is where we’re assuming out at the moment. And, I mean, I ask a different buyer’s agents this question, but I’m just curious to get your feedback on this.

 

Ben Handler:

A lot of the potential clients that you get in front of you want to call them prospects or whatever we labeled them as, why is there, why is there a common thread as to why they’re coming to you that you see? Like is it predominantly time poor? Is it maybe they’ve had a tough time with real estate as they are looking for more access to stock?

Is there like a common theme that you notice or is it pretty spread out? I think, uh, yeah, it’s uh, it’s pretty spread out.

 

Henry – James Single:

Um, it’s all just as unique as, as their own sorta their own story. They might’ve had a, you know, a situation recently where they missed out on auction, uh, at auction or they might’ve been, um, you know, looking for six months while the wife was on maternity leave and she’s gone back to work and they can no longer juggle it all. Um, so there’s any number of reasons. But yeah, I think getting access to stocks important because there is a lot that that trades off market. Um, and you know, if you’re spending two or $3 million, not by any stretch of the imagination is it is a pocket chain. So I think naturally people want to make an informed decision when they’re spending that amount of money. And a huge part of that is, is having access to every single option that’s available to you. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a big one.

And I think, um, it’s interesting just to see the, the direction that some buyer’s agents are going now with this national also investment style of model. I’m seeing a lot of that happening where buyer’s agents are identifying whether it’s just one state or whether it’s a few different States to diversification and they’re really, uh, finding key suburbs in these geographic States. And then they’re looking to really purchase properties for their investor clients. With this kind of like borderless model, what do you like, what are your thoughts on that?

Ben Handler:

I think it’s, it’s, uh, it’s amazing and such a key part of our business. And from a, an onboarding point of view with a prospect or as you say, whatever label, um, you know, people want to give them, I think it’s, it’s, uh, you know, it’s, it’s very easy from a business perspective to onboard those people because the, the ability for them to go and do it themselves is somewhat limited. Uh, it’s very difficult to, to buy in your local market, let alone buy nationally. Uh, but if you want to get access to the best investment markets and the best, uh, investment opportunities, I think you do need to take her a national approach. Otherwise you’re missing out.

 

Henry – James Single:

Yeah. And just, it’s just more options for the client.

 

Ben Handler:
Correct. That’s what it comes down to. So last question, you around in your own now I’m just curious like what advice do you, you know, I’m passionate about seeing people transform Korea. I came from a corporate role. I was an employee, got out of that program, started my own business and started many businesses after that. But a lot of people get caught in the employee grind. Right. I’m like, what is your, what would be your advice to people who are kind of, you know, even guys your age or whatever, who, who was, who was stuck doing work that they don’t like, um, they’re not really connected with around having the courage to maybe look at something else where they can take more control of their life.

Henry – James Single:

I think probably the biggest piece of advice I pass on to those people and to, to put it quite bluntly, is you’re not a tree. Just get up and move. If, if you’re not happy and you’re not satisfied in your work, you spend so much time at work over your entire life. If, if it’s not satisfying for you, then just hop up and move. I love it. Short, sharp to the point. I think that’s a lot of, I’ve posted them on Instagram about that before. I love it. Before we finish up, where can people find you? Uh, so they can contact us. So on a our one 300 number, which is on 304 Oh two four two four a or you can just reach out to me via email, which is just Henry at pivot, pb.com. That AAU awesome having you made. It’s, it’s, it’s great to, to be sitting here with you while you’re running your own business. I love seeing people run their own businesses made and get out there and do their own thing made. So congratulations. Thank you van. Thanks having

Ben Handler:

before we, um, finish up. You know, it’s for me, as I just mentioned, just sitting here with Henry who is now running his own business. I love seeing that. I love seeing people take ownership control of their life so they can actually control what they want to do. They’re not at the flick of the switch destined by someone else. I say this and we’re downsizing now. Off you go. So please check out Henry where he directed you to. Henry’s been doing this for a long time. He’s worked as he said, a selling agent and a buyer’s agent and he’s bought property himself. He specializes in different States, not just within New South Wales for investment purposes. He’s specializing in PPOR within Sydney, I’m assuming, within the inner city. So check out Henry. Inspiring story. See you next time.

Please watch the full episode here:

Have you considered turning buying property into a career?

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

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

Find an Agent

#16 – How To Leverage Your Skill Into A New Career With Matt Sharp

Property Investor in Australia

The desire to grow motivates people to explore new avenues of earning. In that search, people stumble upon careers that are rewarding not only financially but offer a sense of fulfilment as well. This is the story of Mr. Matt Sharp, who works both in the corporate sector and runs his own Buyer’s Agent Business.

Matt has a very interesting background. He used to play in a semi-professional rugby league. After reaching a certain level, he started a corporate job. He has been working in the corporate sector for the last 10 years.

Since Matt wanted to achieve more, he decided to become a Buyer’s Agent and a property investor in Australia. Low and behold, he was amazed by the potential in the Buyer’s Agent service industry and started his journey in establishing himself as a reliable Buyer’s Agent in Australia.

Coaching the Buyer

From his days as a rugby player, Matt learned a lot about commitment, self-discipline, strong work ethic and all of that is transferable into a business. He has now been working as a Buyer’s Agent in Australia for about 8-10 years. His main focus has been in New South Wales and Interstate. It is here that he has been looking for different opportunities and deals.

But it has not always been smooth sailing. He has had to teach people about his role as a Buyer’s Agent and what benefits they can have by employing his services. In his opinion, People don’t understand the process when they are looking to buy a property. Also, the seller agent is working for the interest of the vendor. The buyer is understandably concerned that is until they meet Matt. In central cost, the buyer agent concept is relatively new and the challenge is to get people to understand the service and help them as much as possible.

It has been tough as some people have closed the door saying they do not understand the service. On the flip side, some referral partners have encouraged Matt and made him realize that people need his service. Very recently, Matt signed a new client which is a couple who were looking for an investment opportunity. They had little to no idea about what a broker or what yield is or capital growth is. Matt, through his experience and relationships with the sales agent, was able to find them a great property, in turn, securing their future. 

Transformation Into the Buyer’s Agent Role

His experience coaching rugby players came in handy coaching people who are looking to buy a property. He deals with people with all types of characters and personalities, the same as in rugby. He used the skills acquired in the sports and corporate sector to set his footings in the property arena. 

Starting a new business is never easy and comes with a heap of challenges. Matt has this thing that when he sets his mind to a task, he utilizes all his energy and focus to ensure that it is completed successfully. Some of that dedication comes from the fact that his name and reputation is on the line. The name sharp property is a big hit. And he is proud to have this name because it brings ownership and accountability.

Challenges of a Property Investor in Australia

For Matt, the main challenge has been time management. He had to negotiate between his corporate job and Buyer’s Agent business. The ultimate goal for him is to run his business full-time and put all of his energy and focus towards establishing his business. His colleagues also know about his business and want to use his services. Friends, colleagues, relatives often call him and ask him to check out properties and evaluate their worth. He is now monetizing his passion.

The other obstacle he had to overcome was developing a relationship with the local agent. This is critical for the success of the Buyer’s Agent business. Also, accommodating people moving from other cities is challenging. 60% of people buying property on the central coast are relocating from Sydney. He did a whole lot of inspection to give his clients a better chance and allow them to see everything that is available as opposed to just walking through the open houses

Man holding football
Man holding football

The Defining Moment

At the end of his talk, Matt discusses the time when he realized that he has to start his own business. He loves travelling and going on vacations to unwind and reflect on his life goals. To evaluate what he is doing right now and set new objectives for himself. He was on a flight and it was there he was listening to a podcast and Ben Handler was there talking about the career opportunities in the Buyer’s Agent service industry. That was Matt’s moment of reckoning.

He discussed this idea with his wife who was very supportive and that’s how he started his journey as a Buyer’s Agent. What he loves the most about being a buyer’s agent is helping people with their purchases and shaping their future. He takes a client, sets their objectives, and exceeds their expectation because it’s his name on the line. This attitude is what makes Matt a successful buyer’s agent and property investor in Australia.

Listen to the full podcast below.

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