Knowing where to start when it comes to researching and buying a property can be a little daunting. That’s why we’ve compiled all the best free places that you can go to get information on market prices, trends and more to give you that competitive edge.
It’s worth noting that some of this data requires expert analysis and that’s why we always recommend working with a buyer’s agent (also known as a buyer’s advocate) as they’ll be across the latest trends and be able to properly assess all the factors influencing the desirability of a property.
SQM Research provides research and data which is useful to investors when making purchasing decisions. It includes free reports which encompasses everything from auction results to rental yields.
There’s also the option to access premium solutions which include a property explorer, Boom & Bust report and more.
Speak to an Expert
If you’re not well versed in what some of these indicators mean, get in touch or seek out your local buyer’s agent for some expert opinion to give you more context and an interpretation on what these figures mean.
Choosing the Right Suburb
Not sure which area you should start to look for your home or investment property in?
Doing some research into a couple of key suburbs that are on your radar is highly recommended as this a good way to see what growth potential is in store. Plus, you may come across an area that you were previously not aware of.
Use the handy suburb analyser that DSDR Data offers to look at a numerical rating for your prospective suburbs. You’ll also find info on the nature of supply and demand in suburbs and other familiar statistics like auction clearance rates and days on market.
There are also a number of other useful tools available.
Have a burning question about a suburb or want to see what others think about the area they live in? Homely offers extensive user generated feedback that you can interact with.
Whether it’s a suburb review or a question in their forum, you’ll likely get the insider view.
Microburbs offers information on the suburb of your prospective property that the listing most likely does not include. Get access to information on neighbourhood demographics, local schools, cafes, commute times and more.
This can make a real difference, particularly, if you’ll be living in the property. For example, if you rely on public transport, you want to make sure that it’s readily available and that there’s local amenities in close proximity to the property.
Use Tudi to find the right suburbs with both an opportunity for growth and healthy a healthy rental return. It can also help you identify when it might be the best time to buy and sell. They offer both free and paid plans.
Searching for Property
There are a wide range of sites that you can use to start searching for property in Australia.
Start with these major players. A handy tip is to set up tailored alerts for each and you can also download their mobile applications for simplified use.
Realestate.com.auis the biggest property site in Australia. Here you’ll find most property listings with lots of nifty filters to narrow down the type of property you’re after.
Check out their free blogs for interesting news and content and you also get access to lots of free property data which comes from 3rd party suppliers .
Not far behind as the major source for property listings and information in Australia is Domain. Domain offers a sophisticated interface with plenty of listings and news for you to dive into.
Finding the Right Buyer’s Agent
You’re not going to find everything you need online. Whether it’s a property that’s just not listed or you simply just don’t have the time to be regularly trawling a heap of sites, you can rely on a buyer’s agent to take on the heavy lifting for you.
A career in property can not only be incredibly fulfilling but can provide you with the opportunity to generate a great deal of wealth. Whether you’ve been stuck in the daily grind for a number of years, or are fresh out of school, there’s no limitations on what you can achieve as a buyer’s agent (also commonly referred to as a buyer’s advocate) in the real estate market.
There’s no such thing as too old, too young, not qualified enough… as long as you have the right tools and a can-do attitude, you’re likely to go far.
If you’re thinking about embarking on an exciting new career in property, then check out these handy tips to help set you in the right direction.
Ask yourself if property buying is right for you?
A passion for real estate is going to be so valuable in giving you the motivation to succeed in your transition into a career in property. Do you regularly read real estate news? Do you know what the prices of properties look like in your local area? If not, don’t despair. It’s never too late to get started. The industry is so dynamic and always changing, so by keeping your finger on the pulse you’ll be feeding your passion to succeed.
Still unsure which path is right for you? There are so many good reasons for why you should become a buyer’s agent. Still not convinced? Get in touch with the friendly team at the Buyer’s Agent Institute to find out why property buying could be right for you.
Complete a course in property buying
Education is so important in setting the foundation for the skills you need to succeed. Particularly, when it comes to a career in property. By investing in further education, you’ll be investing in your future and giving yourself the best chance of success.
Studying to become a buyer’s agent with the Buyer’s Agent Institute is designed to give you everything you need to launch yourself into the property market as a well equipped buyer’s agent. You’ll learn everything from how to negotiate huge property deals, expertly service clients, set up your business and more. In addition, you’ll receive ongoing support from a community of like minded individuals who are also focusing their efforts on making their mark on the industry.
Already working full time? No problem, you can complete your studies at the Buyer’s Agent Institute on a part time basis. You get to choose the pace at which you study, giving you the freedom to set the speed at which you transition into a career in property.
Gain real life experience
There’s nothing like practical real-life experience to help build your network and set your expectations for what a career in property will be like. On top of study, make a list of local buyers agents and reach out to find if there are opportunities for work experience. Even if it’s just grabbing a coffee with your local agent, there’s so much you can learn, just from asking questions. The Buyer’s Agent Institute has a network of agents from all types of backgrounds, so reach out to our team if you’d like help connecting with an agent to help answer any questions.
You can also start regularly viewing properties and auctions so you can get more familiar with the market and the steps involved when buying property. You’ll be surprised how much extra you can learn.
Just do it
It’s so common to keep putting off important decisions just because they seem too hard. What we often forget is how much is lost by not taking that first step into what can be a life changing direction.
Are you looking to change your life and move in an exciting new direction? Tired of feeling like what you do is not making a difference and that you’re just another cog in the wheel?
Whether you have a passion for property or are motivated to help others, becoming a buyer’s agent (also known as a buyer’s advocate) presents real opportunities for personal growth, fulfillment and success.
Prior experience in the property industry is not required and your age, employment history, level of education are not barriers to success. Making the change into a career in property buying is entirely within your reach.
Here’s how you can transition into a full time or part time career as a buyer’s agent.
Start with learning
The Buyer’s Agent Institute specialises in providing individuals like yourself with the skills and training needed to become a successful buyer’s agent.
Through cutting edge systems, practical content and a powerful support network, students are given the tools needed to design their own path to success.
The team at the Buyer’s Agent Institute will work closely with you to understand your goals and objectives and to help you shape the future that you want.
All content is delivered online so whether you’re located in Australia or internationally, you can complete the course from anywhere. Even by the pool, if it takes your fancy.
You may still be working or busy parenting children, so you can learn at your own pace to ensure that you have the time to focus on everything going on in your life that you need to.
Ben Handler, the founder of the Buyer’s Agent Institute, transitioned himself into a career in property buying and successfully built a multi-million dollar buyer’s agent business employing over 30 staff.
Everything he teaches is borne from his own experience and in-depth knowledge of the industry.
If you want to build a high impact business that thrives, then this is the opportunity for you.
Once you’ve completed training, you’ll need to register for and hold a license to legally operate as a buyer’s agent.
In Australia, each state has its own laws and licensing requirements and you’ll need to hold a license for the state in which you plan to buy property in.
There are generally two types of licenses available and the terminology for each will differ from state to state:
Individual agent registration
This registration is suitable for employees
Full license registration
This is suitable for agent principals and senior employees.
Gain valuable experience
While completing training is going to set the foundation for success for your career as a buyer’s agent, it’s your experience working out in the marketplace which is going to shape and solidify these learnings.
As you start to build a successful buyer’s agent business, securing more and more clients, you’ll face real world challenges where you will need to apply your skills to achieve favourable outcomes. And with the right training, you will.
As you buy more properties, you’ll be building more industry relationships and gaining valuable knowledge only attained by working out in the trenches. If you’re let down by a real estate agent who over-promised and under-delivered, you’ll be sure to think twice before working with them again.
You can’t put a price on experience, but at the same time, you need to start somewhere, so don’t let this hold you back from getting started.
Stay passionate and committed
Just because you complete training and get licensed as a buyer’s agent, doesn’t guarantee you success. You’re going to need to be prepared to put in the work needed to get results.
Having a hunger to learn and a drive to initiate change will be critical in helping you stand out amongst the crowd.
This is your opportunity to live and breathe property and make the dreams of others a reality.
Rest assured, the Buyer’s Agent Institute will work closely with you to understand what motivates you, whether it’s making money or helping others, to leverage this as a driving force for your success.
It’s not unheard of for the average punter to say ‘but aren’t buyer’s agents and real estate agents essentially the same’. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While both professionals work within the property industry, it’s from opposite sides that they operate.
If you’re looking to buy property, it’s imperative that you know who you should closely be working with to ensure you get the best outcome.
Let’s start with an understanding of each role.
What is a buyer’s agent?
Buyer’s agents (sometimes referred to as buyer’s advocates) are licensed professionals that work on behalf of a client looking to buy property. A buyer’s agent can help with every step of the property buying process from searching for properties, evaluating properties and negotiating the final sale.
A buyer’s agent will typically receive a commission from their client, the property buyer, on the purchase price of a property.
If a buyer’s agent is only helping out with select parts of the property buying process, for example, attending an auction on behalf of their client, they may charge a one off fixed fee.
A real estate agent is also a licensed professional. However, unlike a buyer’s agent, they represent a property seller, arranging the transaction between the buyer and seller. This can include everything from listing the property to negotiating the final sale price.
Real estate agents are usually compensated based on a commission and this is calculated on the purchase price of a property. Hence, it’s in their best interest to drive the highest price possible for a property seller.
How they work together
Buyer’s agents and real estate agents actually work very closely together to ensure they get the best results for their clients. It’s in the best interests of both parties to ensure that good relationships are maintained as both can be pivotal in the success of the other. A real estate agent can leverage the relationships of a buyer’s agent to seed out off market opportunities and minimise costly campaigns. A buyer’s agent will often look to local agents to match up the criteria of their clients to stock listed and potentially unlisted in the area.
Ultimately, reputation is everything and the way you do business can make or break success.
Both real estate agents and buyer’s agents can be a powerful source of referrals for new business.
So who should I work with?
If you’re looking to buy a new property, it’s strongly recommended to seek out the assistance of a buyer’s agents as they’ll be instrumental in helping you find what you’re looking for.
If you’re selling a property, a real estate agent is likely to be your best point of call as they’ll have the knowledge and experience needed to get your property out into the market and secure you the best sale price.
Where they overlap
What some people might not yet realise is that buyer’s agents can offer many of the same services that a real estate agent offers when it comes to property management.
A buyer’s agent can help with asset management, property management and the leasing of your property. Buyer’s agents can even work with tenants that are looking to find properties to rent.
Finding a buyer’s agent
Unsure whether a buyer’s agent can help you with your property needs? Use our Buyer’s Agent Directory to connect with an agent and find out.
If you’re considering using a buyer’s agent (also known as a buyer’s advocate) for your next property purchase (and you should be, here’s why), it’s likely that you’re wondering how much it’s going to leave you out of pocket?
Well, how long is a piece of string? Multiple factors can determine how much you’ll end up spending on a buyer’s agent.
Don’t let this deter you from making this life changing decision. Here’s what you need to know when weighing up costs.
It’s most common for buyer’s agents to offer clients the following pricing models.
For a buyer’s agent that is providing you with a full service offering, managing every step of your property buying journey, it’s likely they’ll charge you a percentage fee of the property’s sale price. This will vary from agent to agent, but can be up to 2.5%, plus GST. Remember, this commission may change depending on the type of property they’re buying and the level of service provided.
A fixed fee model is when a buyer’s agent will give you a flat rate cost for a service. This is most commonly applied to select services, as opposed to their full service offering. For example, if you need a buyer’s agent to attend an auction on your behalf, they’ll likely charge you a flat fee for this.
For both commission and fixed fee there is typically a retainer that is charged up front which can vary between $3K and $5K depending on the budget of the client.
The remainder of the fee is then payable on exchange. For example, if the total fee is $15K, $3K is paid up front as a retainer and $12 is payable when you go unconditional and exchange contracts.
Why does it cost so much?
What might seem like a large financial investment at first, is not really not the case. A buyer’s agent acts on your behalf to get you the best outcome. They’ll work tirelessly, taking on many of the jobs that would normally consume a large amount of your time.
Not only can the time that a buyer’s agent saves you offset their cost, but they could secure you a great purchase price, saving you thousands and thousands of dollars.
Everything is negotiable
As a first step, be open in your discussion when selecting a buyer’s agent and have a clear budget in mind. Buyer’s agents can tailor their offering based on your requirements and may be able to accommodate accordingly. In addition, they may be able to offer you a discount as a first time customer. Don’t be afraid to be open in your communication.
The services provided by a buyer’s agent are going to have a significant impact on how much it ends up costing you. If you’re looking for a high level of involvement that goes above and beyond the standard offering, then it’s likely this will be reflected in the commission rate you pay.
If you’re really limited by budget, start by engaging a buyer’s agent to assist with the areas you need most help with. This is a great way to test the waters and soon enough you may find yourself wanting help with all areas of your property buying.
The costs you pay for a buyer’s agents can also be dependent on the complexity of your purchase requirements. Finding and negotiating a residential property can be very different from what’s involved with a development site.
A buyer’s agent should be upfront with you and clearly outline their fees and how they differ based on the requirements being put forward.
Buying property is a game and it’s often hard to know whether you’re getting the best deal or not. It’s a buyer’s agents job to act on your behalf to secure you the best possible outcome.
If there’s a property that you’re interested in that is overvalued, they’ll be upfront and tell you this. If they’re going into an auction batting for you, feel secure knowing that you won’t be spending more than your agreed budget. The money you invest in a buyer’s agent is money that you may get back through an excellent purchase price you may not have otherwise achieved.
When buying an investment property, clients may be able to claim their buyer’s agent fee as part of the cost base, reducing their capital gains tax when it comes to sell. Speak to your tax advisor to find out what tax advantages are open to you.
Become a buyer’s agent today
If you’re buying a lot of property or just have a general interest in the market, you might like to consider becoming a buyer’s agent yourself.
The Buyer’s Agent Institute offers affordable online training that will empower you to achieve more. Watch our free training to learn more.
Finding an agent
Ready to find yourself a buyer’s agent to start looking for your next dream property purchase. Use our agent directory to get started.
Choosing the right buyer’s agents (also know as a buyer’s advocate) to help with purchasing property may seem overwhelming, particularly when faced with so many great specialists out in the marketplace. However, armed with the right information, selecting a buyer’s agent need not be impossible.
Here’s our handy tips on what to consider when choosing a buyer’s agent to represent your best interests.
Start with location
If you already have a location in mind for where you’re looking to buy, make sure that the buyer’s agent that you’re working with is comfortable with coverage of this area. You might like to start by searching for buyer’s agents that are local to this area, as it’s likely they’ll already have established many relationships with key contacts.
Keep in mind, however, that physical distance is not necessarily a barrier for selection as there are many buyer’s agents that successfully work remotely.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that the buyer’s agent you’re working with has in-depth knowledge of the locations you’re looking to buy in and the relationships to go with that.
Start by using the Buyer’s Agent Institute Directory to search by location and looking at the listing pages of agents to see what locations they specialise in. Too easy!
What type of property are you looking to buy?
Not all property is the same. The way that you buy residential property can be very different to the way that you go about finding and negotiating commercial premises. Make sure that the buyer’s agent you choose to work with has experience and knowledge in buying the type of property you’re looking to acquire. That way you’re likely to get the best possible outcome.
When weighing up options for a product or service, reviews and word of mouth can be critical for helping us to decide which direction to move in.
Do research online
When researching a buyer’s agent make sure to look at their online presence to see what past or existing clients have to say about their service. This can be crucial for identifying any potential red flags.
Speak with past clients
Ask to not only speak with clients that were a success, but to also to speak with a client that didn’t go to plan. There should always be a client experience that was not so smooth.
Speak with real estate agents
You can do your research on a buyer’s agent by asking real estate agents in the local area you are looking to buy. You can ask what their experience has been working with the buyer’s agent you may be considering. Getting feedback from real estate agents can give you a deeper level of insight of how a particular buyer’s agent operates.
Listen out for referrals
Even better is if a family member, friend or work colleague is able to make a direct recommendation to you. At the end of the day, you want to feel secure that the buyer’s agent you choose is committed to a high level of service and to delivering client outcomes. They’ll also want to ensure that you pass on the recommendations at the end of your buying journey.
Price can be a major factor when buying property. There’s no doubt that using a buyer’s agent has its benefits. Working to a budget means that it’s important to find a buyer’s agent that meets your financial requirements. It’s up to you to do your research and find an agent with a fee structure that you’re comfortable with. You may even be able to negotiate based on a number of factors including the services provided. Maybe you only need the buyer’s agent to assist with certain parts of the buying process, as opposed to a full service offering.
Be upfront with your buyer’s agent and it’s likely you’ll be able to reach a mutually beneficial outcome suited to your needs.
Trust your gut
Ultimately, you need to feel confident and you need to feel good about the buyer’s agent that you’re working with. Nothing beats picking up the phone or having a coffee face to face with a prospective agent to get a sense for how you communicate and interact with each other.
If you don’t get a good feeling in your interactions, move on. There’s plenty of buyer’s agents out there that would love the opportunity to provide you great service and secure your dream property.
Finding a buyer’s agent
Now that you know some criteria to consider when choosing a buyer’s agent, you can go about finding one. Use our Agent Directory to find the right buyer’s agent for you.
With a background as an accountant, understanding the numbers in a property deal was never a problem for Anthony Spagnolo.
However, it was a number of years after he started running the family accounting firm, that he realised that he wanted to pursue property as his full-time profession.
“My background was accounting, having a family accounting firm for 12 years, which I took over from my father.”
“My father was already an avid property investor and had a side property investment business as well.”
“We were doing all sorts of different property developments, residential units, land sub-divisions, commercial, industrial. A broad range of things that gave me a real insight from the DA approval process all the way through to completion.”
After leaving the accounting business, Anthony decided to take on property full time and also focused on building.
“Along the way I was project managing some jobs, I got my builder’s licence as well and I was also investing in our own projects.”
“I had around five years of experience doing my own developments outside the family group, which was mainly townhouses and duplexes Sydney-wide, which I was project managing.”
After building up the property side of his business, he started to run into issues with the number of projects he could handle and decided he needed to change things up.
“Around a year and a half ago I realised that I was getting limited with my buying capacity and the number of projects I could do at any one time. “
“I needed a new challenge and I missed working with clients from an accounting perspective so that’s where my property advisory business came about.”
With an extensive background in building and development, Anthony began focusing on new stock and identifying opportunities for clients that often come directly from developers. He also recognised that there was a whole in the market after working with a number of buyers agents in his previous business that didn’t add value to their clients.
As he was getting established as a buyers agent, Anthony discovered the BAI which helped him in a range of areas, particularly with sales and lead generation.
“I started things off with Ben last April and got my real estate licence mid last year. It was a bit of a learning experience all around especially with lead generation.”
“Ben focuses on having a process and a system and not coming from a sales background it took some real adjustments. Early on it was a hard slog, but in the last four or five months I’ve actually felt something shift, which is great.”
Even though Anthony had a background in property, there was still plenty to take away from the BAI program.
“I had already a bit of a real estate background to a certain extent in selling some of our own projects off the plan. However, Ben’s course was totally different because you have to sell a client on your value and why they should pay a fee to engage you and also to source that property.”
Going forward Anthony’s goal is to continue helping clients and grow his business.
“I want to see clients as repeat business going forward, helping them grow their portfolio.”
“It’s good to see other people being able to what we’ve done ourselves, as an investor. A lot of people come to you for advice and sometimes you take it for granted the knowledge that you have thorough experience and it’s good to help people that are starting and then educate them and move them on to bigger and better things.”
So you’re planning to make your first big property purchase. Or maybe you’ve already bought property in the past and are looking to add to your portfolio. We all know how difficult buying property can be.
From finding and inspecting properties to attending auctions and negotiating the sale price, it’s easy to invest countless hours of your time and money, while not always achieving the best outcome. That’s where a buyer’s agent can step in.
Buyer’s agents (also referred to as buyer’s advocates) are licensed professionals that can research, assess and negotiate property on your behalf. They offer a large range of services and can help you whether you’re purchasing a residential home, investment property or commercial premise.
So why should you consider using a buyer’s agent when purchasing your next property?
Your best interests are represented
We’re so used to dealing with real estate agents who act upon the best interests of their clients (the property seller) that we often forget about who’s looking out for us. A buyer’s agent will act solely on your behalf to represent your best interests through your property journey. A buyer’s agent receives no monetary incentives from third parties like real estate agents or property sellers when assisting their clients.
A buyer’s agents will work closely with you to understand your goals and help secure you the best possible deal.
Flexibility when you need it
Say you have the time on your hands to search and view properties, yet are not confident when it comes to auctions and negotiation. Engaging a buyer’s agent gives you the flexibility to either leverage them at every step of the buying journey, or only when you need their assistance. Soon enough you’ll see how easy they make every part of the process when it comes to buying property.
Potential savings on your next purchase
Unless you’re following the market on a regular basis, it’s hard to know what equates to a good purchase price on a property. Are you getting value for money when you purchase property? It’s a buyer’s agents job to know the market inside and out and this knowledge and expertise is indispensable when it comes to securing you your dream property. You’ll be a lot less likely to overpay at that next auction when you have a buyer’s agent by your side.
Take back your free time
There’s nothing worse than spending all your free time looking at properties that just don’t cut it. Based on your requirements, a buyer’s agent can take on tasks that you’ve been sinking countless hours of your time into. At the end of the day, time is money and you’ll see how much more efficiently property buying can be.
Save yourself the headache
Buying property can be extremely challenging. From aggressive agents to demoralising auctions, it can be a real rollercoaster of emotions that often results in sleepless nights. Let a buyer’s agent take the stress out of buying property. It’s their job to ensure that every step of the process is as easy and seamless as possible.
Access to off market opportunities
One of the big advantages of using a buyer’s agents is access to properties that you would not otherwise see advertised. Through valuable local relationships, buyer’s agents are able to potentially give you access to properties before they even hit the market. Your next dream property might be one that never actually hits the market.
Find a buyer’s agent
Whether it’s location or the type of property you’re looking to buy, our Agent Directory will help you find the right buyer’s agent to meet your requirements.
It can be incredibly daunting knowing where to start when buying a new home or investment property and that’s where a buyer’s agent can step in and help you achieve success.
Buyer’s agents (also known as buyer’s advocates) are licensed professionals that act on behalf of a buyer to search, evaluate and negotiate property. Unlike a real estate agent, buyer’s agents represent the interests of the buyer and will use their expertise to achieve the best possible outcomes when purchasing residential and commercial real estate. Often resulting in a huge saving of time and money for the property buyer.
Buyer’s agents can be incredibly flexible based on the needs of their clients and can provide everything from a full service offering (which includes management of the entire process) to assistance with specific parts of the property buying process. This might include the buyer’s agent helping with auction bidding or negotiation only,
Where to start with a Buyer’s Agent?
As a first step, a buyer’s agent will work closely with you to understand and develop a list of requirements regarding your future home or investment property. This is an important step as it’s about creating differentiation between your needs and wants as a buyer and helps them to focus on securing the right property for you.
What can a Buyer’s Agent help with?
Once a buyer’s agent is clear on your requirements, they can help with any or all of the following:
Researching on and off market listings that meet your criteria. Yes, it’s true. Many buyer’s agents have strong relationships with local real estate agents that can give them access to properties before they even hit the market.
Inspecting and short-listing properties. Time is money and who wants to spend all their precious hours in a day looking at properties. Let your buyer’s agent do the hard work and come up with a list of dream properties tailored to your needs.
Assessing recent market data and obtaining appraisals. Your buyer’s agent will use their expert market knowledge and industry contacts to help ensure you’re getting a great deal.
Managing necessary due diligence such as engineering reports, building inspections and more. Your buyer’s agent will be familiar with everything you need to ensure your interests are protected
Auction bidding. An experienced buyer’s agent will ensure you go into a property auction with the best possible strategy, priming yourself for success.
Negotiating the purchase price of your property and the terms of sale. It’s often at this stage that things can get a little tricky. With their wealth of knowledge, a buyer’s agent will ensure you’re getting the best possible deal when it comes to your purchase contract.
Assisting with the drafting and exchange of contracts.
Inspections prior to settlement
Asset management, property management and the leasing of your property
Tenant advocacy to help people find properties to rent.
Something missing? Just get in touch with a buyer’s agent today to find out more about what they can help with. A buyer’s agent is all about representing your interests and will strive to go above and beyond to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Why use a Buyer’s Agent?
They represent your best interests. A buyer’s agent does not receive any incentives from a property seller or real estate agent, and is only acting in your best interests.
Save money. A buyer’s agents expertise and market knowledge will help to ensure you get a great deal when making your purchase. Often saving you money in the process.
Save time. Let your buyer’s agent spend their time assessing properties so you can take back your weekends.
Reduce stress. Buying property isn’t easy. It can be frustrating, demoralising and downright depressing. A buyer’s agent can take the drama out of buying property and make it as seamless as possible.
Broaden your options. Buyer’s agents will often have access to ‘off market sales’ giving you even more options to choose from when searching for your dream property.
Finding a Buyer’s Agent?
Use our handy Agent Directory to find the right buyer’s agent for you. You can search for a buyer’s agent located in your local area and for one that specialises in the type of property that you’re looking to buy. Whether you’re looking for your forever home, an investment property or a new commercial opportunity, a buyer’s agent will have you covered.
Becoming a Buyer’s Agent
Tired of the daily grind? Want to design the life you’ve always wanted? Consider becoming a buyer’s agent today. Building a career as a successful buyer’s agent is open to anyone willing to take the right steps.
The Buyer’s Agent Institute offers cutting edge systems, training and support to give graduates the opportunity of a lifetime. What are you waiting for, watch our free training to learn more.
Ben Handler: Welcome to the Buyer’s Agent Institute Show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyer’s agents to bring awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people to bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents bring to help people buying property. The goal of the show is to strip back and dive into the remarkable journeys and stories of buyer’s agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing sectors in real estate in Australia. Right now. Our guest today is Chris Skurrie based in Northern New South Wales all the way in Newcastle. Chris has a remarkable story. Chris has over 20 years experience in investing in property personally for himself, not just an investment related style of acquisition but also in primary residence purchases. Chris has also got decades of experience working specifically in the disability sector, focusing on mental health, focusing on disability support and in the accommodation services arena.
Ben Handler: Chris obviously has such a strong passion for property and buying investment properties that he has looked at that and also assessed his passion in the disability space and looked at integrating the two and he is now formed his buyer’s agent business called C and M Property Partners. I’m really excited to dive into Chris’s journey and I look forward to speaking with him today. Welcome Chris. Thanks for having me. We can do a virtual handshake. So Chris, I, I remember when we spoke 15 months ago and you mentioned to me that you worked in the disability sector. I want to take the opportunity now just to obviously dive into that a bit deeper to actually understand how did you land in that space and why did you go that go there?
Chris Skurrie: Yeah, I guess I’m Ben. I’ve always had a passion for helping people. And when I first entered in the disability, so there was, because I had a a passion for wanting to be working with people and helping them to succeed in whatever it is that they’re doing. So why, why I first moved into the disability, I was because I grew up in a, in an area that was sort of a low socioeconomic area. And there was lots of people. My first exposure to disability was a couple of people in the school actually as a younger child and I really connected with them quite well. So that really drove me to get a better understanding of how to communicate and how to support people with disabilities. So that encouraged me to want to support people with disabilities in the early stages of my life. And so I became a teacher’s aid in a, in a special school to start off with. And then I moved slowly, progressively through accommodation, supporting mental health and also supporting people in sort of a case management coordination role. And over the last, I would have to say the last 10 to 15 years I’ve been working for non-government and government organizations. Really, I guess helping people to become more independent in their own home.
Ben Handler: It’s amazing. Yeah. I really respect and admire the work that you do. And obviously I’m not in that space, but I do also hear that there’s a massive shortage of supply of stock for disabled people to move into. There’s all these service providers that want to find stock. So there’s a bit of a budding heads going on there. What’s your view on all this?
Chris Skurrie: Yeah, since the NDIS has commenced a few years ago or about five, six years ago now, there was a real competitiveness with providers wanting to, I guess get more clients and so they can continue to, to be fun to providers. One of the challenges is for providers to have the expertise around disability and the real estate market. So engaging with agents and understand the, the rental process. So a lot of service providers find it really difficult to, I guess, sell to real estate agents that the benefits of actually having a person with a disability in their own home. You know, there’s longterm tenancy, there’s support for the individual. So as a, as a landlord you really have quite good security with having people with disabilities in your home, having a support agency to support them. And most commonly because it’s so hard for providers to secure accommodation, they tend to prefer to lease. So and they are also prepared to usually pay that little bit extra rent to secure the property. So as a vendor, as a landlord, it’s, it’s really quite a good good investment as well.
Ben Handler: Especially now with obviously investors are concerned around tenant security Australia wide right now. And I mean indice obviously is National Disability Insurance cheme. For anyone listening who’s obviously not familiar, but I guess if someone is looking to buy an investment property going through NDIS and finding a tenant through obviously the disability space is going to provide that security and the yield is high. What, what type of yields are you looking at?
Chris Skurrie: Oh, it depends on the title of I guess properties. So there’s the specialist disability accommodation, which that, that can range from, you know, anywhere between 10 to 20% property yields. However, there’s some associated risks around that too, if you, if you’re not with the right service and right provider. So there’s that’s a thing to be mindful of. But I think, you know, on average, if it’s the general property market, you can get around 6% returns. And so I think that’s, that’s, that’s a pretty good return. They net or gross, that’s net. Yeah. So it’s, it’s, you know, it’s good returns. I think other thing is to keep in mind is that there’s so many people in hospitals that are needing to get out of hospital and covert is a prime example of that where there’s a big push to get people out of hospitals because it actually costs the government about state governments around 10,000 or a thousand dollars a day to keep a person in hospital.
Chris Skurrie: So hospitals are very motivated to get their patients out of hospital. And so that’s where there’s a real big push to, to support people with high physical support needs in, in the public space as well. It’s amazing. And talking about capital growth to these properties, what does that look like? Yeah, so I think, you know as a buyer’s agent, I still focus, my primary focus is focusing on buying for individuals in areas that still have good growth in the area. So my primary focus is about getting the same as I would for any property band, you know, like really focusing on growth around sort of a good yields and also, you know, looking at areas that are closest sort of, you know, transport and and schools and shops and so forth. So in terms of growth, it’s, I’m looking around about the five, 6% markers as a minimum sort of, you know yearly growth.
Ben Handler: Are you looking at purchasing this type of stock, the disability stock for your clients down the track? I mean, is that, is that an intention?
Chris Skurrie: That’s my goal. At the moment I’m just buying for general investors and first home buyers. My goal and intention is to work with the sector the disability sector and also investors to primarily focus invest in, in the disability space as well. Yeah. And I’ve, you’ve been investing for 20 odd years. Why did you start getting, obviously you would have been a young guy. Yeah, I was 19 years of age 19. So what drove you to start doing that? At that age? I had some motivation where my, my parents told me not to buy a house. So 19 years of age I was your typical 19 year old was a bit defiant. And chose to take the leap of building my own.
Chris Skurrie: First home I was working four jobs in the disability sector actually and really passion, passion, diploma and home. So that sort of drove me to, to purchase my own home and later on I decided to to rent that out. And more recently, a couple of years ago we bought that for 150,000 and sold a 540,000. So I bought that for 150, 19 years ago. 20 years ago. Wow. And we were, yeah, we sold that for 540. So it’s been a capital growth. Good, good growth. Yeah. In between Melbourne and Geelong. So it’s always a really good location, so. Okay. Excellent. So are you buying a, have you got a national style of business model at the moment? I’m focusing on new South Wales and obviously I’m from Victoria, so that’s a, that’s a space that I’m very comfortable in investing. So they’re, they’re the two probably main areas that I’m focusing on at the moment.
Ben Handler: Yeah. So talk to me about CNM Property Partners. That is a investment slash owner occupier style buyer’s agent business. Is that correct?
Chris Skurrie: Yep. So it’s a, it’s a business where I am supporting first home, first home buyers but also investors to, to purchase their first or second or property to build on their portfolio.
Ben Handler: Yeah. How has the journey been? So you obviously, I remember we spoke around 15 months ago, you came to start your business. You bet you’d be at your buyer’s agent business. You’ve started that business. Are you loving it? Are you finding anything challenging? Maybe just, I’d love to hear, I mean, I, so your experience around it all.
Chris Skurrie: Yeah. I’m Ben, I think I’ve spoken to you a couple of times about my recent experience. It really gives me a good adrenaline and buzz when I have the opportunity to work with, with a buyer to similar to working in the disability. So do you really get to know what a person’s needs is and what their goals and aspirations are. And to be able to successfully assist that person through the property buying journey is a great feeling. I’ve so far been able to assist people to gain $50,000 in the equity upfront with their first purchase. Yeah, I had a of a home buyer recently that was going to make an emotional purchase of an extra spending, an extra 50,000 on their property. Just because I loved the property and I was able to save them $50,000 on that purchase as well. So it’s a really good feeling to be able to to educate people on the way and support people through the buying process when they, they don’t really have that sort of understanding of the property sector.
Ben Handler: Um, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s it is a very fulfilling experience servicing a client. Obviously if you’re getting that $50,000 equity uplift. And I guess I want it to be more into when you obviously get into servicing the disobey the disability sector to find them homes, it seems like that’s going to bring a whole new energy to the experience because as, as as we mentioned earlier, like there, there is clearly an issue with finding stock and finding homes for the disabled people to live in. So when you transition into that, I mean that’s, I foresee that being a whole all another world for you.
Chris Skurrie: Yeah, absolutely. I think the other opportunity in that space is actually supporting families and individuals to have home ownership, which is probably a first in Australia. Firstly in Australia, it’s never really been done. So I’m really looking at focusing on my energy to supporting people to have a shared equity approach with family. So then the longterm for family members is that they know that their family member has secure housing. They own their own home as well. So that’s, that’s my longterm focus as well. Not just working with services but also working with individuals and their families to, to have home ownership, which is a, a big opportunity. Moving forward. How does the property management work in that space for, it’s the same style of management fees? So usually, usually it’s, depending on if it’s specialist disability accommodation.
Chris Skurrie: So you might have an organization that is managing that property on behalf of the owner. And for, for general sort of property management with, with the service providers they would normally utilize a general real estate agent to do that. My focus is actually working towards being able to specialize also in managing the property moving forward. So because I have an understanding of that relationship work with providers as well. So, well, I mean just with your background being obviously 20 years also in the disability space, like this is going to be the same. This seems like this natural progression for you to integrate the buyer’s agent model. You’ve obviously got a lot of experience buying property. I think you’ve got around seven, six properties. Correct? Yeah. And I mean, and then integrating that into the disability space because there’s, there’s, it’s, there’s such a demand for someone to come in there or people to come in into this space and put together deals and project, manage the process and make it smooth and efficient and seamless for the client.
Ben Handler: Yeah. You’re based in U S you’re based in Newcastle, so the model that you’re running now, are you operating in specific States or is it primarily in New South Wales?
Chris Skurrie: Primarily new South Wales. I am looking to work with a service in Victoria at the moment in Geelong. And they specialize in doing the specialist housing side of things, had been working with them in collaboration across, they’ve actually built 26 odd properties across Australia, so they’re very experienced in that space as well. So yeah, moving forward, Miami seems to work nationally as well moving this model forward as well.
Ben Handler: Excellent. And your buyer’s agent business, that seems to have, from what I’ve seen that’s growing quickly, did you expect it to to accelerate this fast? Chris Skurrie: No. especially in the last few months Ben it’s been I was, I was a little bit slow to start off with, but in the last few months it’s really progressed and using the strategies that the buyer’s Institute has, has provided to me, you know, with connecting with various different networks has really helped me to to, to get more buyers and, and assist them through the buying process.
Chris Skurrie: So it’s been I can’t highly recommend that the buyer’s agent Institute course, it’s just, it’s given me so many tools along the way. I think the most important thing is if you put in the effort upfront you can really start to see the results.
Ben Handler: Yeah. And if it only one thing that we all can control, right? Yup. I appreciate the feedback and I think as, as I say to a lot of people, jump on their show, like starting any new business is challenging. The entrepreneurial ride is always up and down. What do you do to, I mean, you, obviously you’re, you’re working, you’re doing this as on the side. How are you managing stress? What you, what are you, what are you doing in downtime? Like you have any hobbies, what, what’s happening in your other side of your life?
Chris Skurrie: Yeah, I guess, you know, my family is pretty important to me, so I spend a fair bit of time with my family.
Ben Handler: I do try and try and take time out to do some relaxation. I’m not a very sporty person. But really I guess connecting with people is something that I really enjoy. So spending time with family and and others is really important to me. But yeah, I guess I come back to my passion around property. I just said something that I really love doing, but I think it’s so important to, to have a balance of maintain your lifestyle as well. It’s really important.
Ben Handler: So how did people react when you, I guess, announced to you or let’s call it you a circle that you, where you started your business, CNM Property Partners. How did people respond today?
Chris Skurrie: They thought I was a little bit crazy. Been working in a government organization at a senior executive level.
Ben Handler: We’ve quite good security as you can imagine. So my family and friends have said, you know, you’re crazy for if you’re doing what you’re doing. But now they’re actually starting to see some results and they’re, I think they’re saying to people, be more positive around that. And seeing that, that I can actually achieve. So I think that just goes to show you know, when you’ve got some negative initial negative negativity around you being able to just push through that and commit, commit to your focus in your goal is so important.
Ben Handler: Do you think a lot of people just random question get deterred by, let’s just say someone has this idea of let’s say starting a business, it could be advisors, your business or whatever it is, and then they, the people around them in their network have negative, would just maybe don’t believe in them or you know, have, have their own, their own say, which isn’t, for example, positive.
Ben Handler: Do you think that deters a lot of people from actually giving it a go?
Chris Skurrie: I think it does. Ben. I think, you know, like even for myself to start off with, I was really, can I actually do this? You know do I have to support her? I mean to be able to do this. But what I did is I surround me myself with positive people. Even outside of my normal inner circle network so I can interviews, you know, local business networking group. That has really helped me around the business side of things because I’m not a business person. So that’s a whole new concept for me. So being able to connect, you know, with accountants, financial advisors business people that have had success is really important. I agree. I try and always hang around people who are like minded in terms of mindset like myself.
Ben Handler: But I do think it’s important outside to have a group of people that you know, you can just connect with and communicate with and they, they bring you up and they all come from maybe different backgrounds. They bring different perspectives to the table. That’s always, I really resonate with that. Why did you, you mean obviously you didn’t potentially believe maybe that you could do this. Why did you do it? Like what was the real motivating factor for you? Actually, obviously you, you work for a government very secure, probably especially now drink over the most secure. I know you started your business pre covert. However, I want to understand like why did you really start the buyer’s agent business? What was driving you?
Chris Skurrie: Yeah, I think my, my passion for property. I’ve always loved property. I think having the flexibility to work, you know, my hours is really important to me.
Ben Handler: Having a family. So, and especially at times like now it’s, it’s a perfect opportunity where I can actually spend time with my kids and help them through schooling and so forth. So for me it was more about, you know, doing something that I really loved. I love what I do in terms of working for the, in the disability sector. But really I guess my, my ultimate passion is combining both of those passions that property and the disabilities together. So this is a perfect opportunity for me to really focus on making myself happy and helping others as well. So that’s, that’s why I really drove to me looking at a business model that could really help me to, to combine both of my passions.
Ben Handler: Yeah. I’m really excited for you. I think at this next journey for you is going to be really exciting.
Ben Handler: I know I’m going to be watching it because with my limited understanding around what’s going on the disability space, it’s not something that I focus on, but I do know that it’s very under supported. There needs to be a lot more people on the ground, like yourself helping people buy property. There needs to be a lot more focus put on it. And with your like extensive experience in that space for 20 years, combined with what you have done for yourself, building your own portfolio and what you’re doing now to help others under your new buyer’s agent business. It’s just the perfect mix and it seems like ticking the box in terms of a fulfillment box and happiness box, it seems like it’s going to be an incredible journey for you.
Chris Skurrie: Absolutely. And I think Ben, the other thing is too, there’s, there isn’t really a service type out like this out there like this.
Chris Skurrie: There’s the disability sector, they have their expertise, expertise in the disability sector and there’s buyer’s agents that have expertise in buying property. So to be able to support people with a disability, to buy their own home to support their family members and also help providers to really achieve independence for people with disabilities is what I’m really excited about.
Ben Handler: That’s awesome. Where would you like to see the disability space in the next, let’s say, five years in regards to housing? Like where, what would be an ideal style of a vision outcome that you’d love to say? Where it’s up to?
Chris Skurrie: I think most importantly been finding out what individuals themselves see as being a home to them. You know, there’s always been these group home models where people with disabilities have had to fit with him. Particular homes with people that they don’t really like or don’t know.
Chris Skurrie: My, I think the opportunity here is to really connect both the disability market and the real estate market to see the benefits of actually renting property or or home ownership for people with disabilities. And so I see in the next five years there’s going to be a real shift in different models of accommodation moving forward and, and different types of innovation that the government will have to move towards to really support more people with disabilities in, in becoming more independent. So that’s, that’s what I like to see.
Ben Handler: Yeah. Really inspired by the work you’re doing. I’m definitely going to be watching you. It was awesome to have you here. Where can people who are watching this find you?
Chris Skurrie: Um on my websites, C&M Property Partners or I’m on Facebook_PropertyPartners. I appreciate your time. It was awesome connecting and I’m super excited as I said, to see where the future takes you in this space.
Chris Skurrie: Thanks Ben.
Ben Handler: That’s been awesome. Coming in and having the opportunity to speak session was awesome. I’m really inspired by seeing Chris’s journey unfold. I spoke to him 15 months ago and hearing his journey, how he built a portfolio of six. He was working in the disability space. He wanted to turn buying property into a career and he’s now activated that he servicing clients. You heard some of his stories and then he’s got this intention now to move more into the space of servicing the disability space specifically for his buyer’s agent business. And for those of you that are listening, you may want to look at this as a strategy, as a potential investment vehicle moving forward, and you can look into the national disability insurance game if you’re unfamiliar with it NDIS and just read about it and see if it’s something that could interest you. The yields are very attractive. The net yields for tenant security’s. Obviously, there’s a big tick there, especially right now during COVID. So I hope you found today useful. Checkout Chris at C&M property partners. Check out him out. You can go any social channels as well. See you next week.