Educating Buyers

Buyer's Agent John Comino

Coming from a career as an accountant, John Comino knew that property investing was his ticket out of the rat race.

During the time he worked as an accountant, John and his wife were able to build a significant property portfolio and in the process learn what it takes to become a successful investor.

“The process of buying for myself turned out to be an opportunity to develop a passion for something, but also to make a lot of mistakes and to find out what worked.”

“That turned into a real understanding of property cycles and property selection and the financing behind property. From there, people started coming to me to either bid on their behalf or just give an opinion on properties that they wanted to buy.”

After finding personal success in property, John then wanted to use it as an opportunity to build his own business.

“I became a buyer’s agent towards the end of 2017, beginning of 2018 and there were two drivers at the time. One was to own my own business. A part of that concept of planning my escape, but one was just financial independence and running my own business.”

“The second reason was to explore the skill that I had in sort of choosing properties and putting deals together.”

As a buyers agent, John focuses on finding off-market properties while educating everyone he helps.

“I’m always conscious that there are three reasons that people come to BAs. One is to save time, two is to educate and to help make better purchasing decisions and then the third one is to purchase off-market properties.”

“With that in mind, my strategy as a buyer’s agent is to be more of an educator than a head kicker because I don’t have a background in sales so that can be a double-edged sword, but I do focus on the soft skills of sort of educating the clients.”

“The second thing is that I do try to target off-market properties because I never want to get into the conversation around ‘I could have done it myself’, which is always a risk, as a buyer’s agent.”

Having started his career after the property cycle peaked in Sydney, John had to navigate a tricky time while launching his own business.

“I started at the end of ‘17, beginning of ’18, which was a really tough time in the property market. I think it dropped, 15% in 2018.”

“I got very lucky in that one of my very first clients was actually an ASX listed media company who wanted a very substantial property at the time. So even though the market was sort of languishing, I was able to put together a fairly large deal and that was really helpful.”

“That was very good for my brand and that was good for my experience and obviously good for cashflow. But it’s a difficult sort of deal to repeat so they don’t come along very often, but that was one of my first deals.”

John used a number of approaches to help get his business off the ground in the early days.

“It’s been tough to get established, but I focused on three things. One was thought leadership and articles and podcasts. I was writing articles fairly prolifically. I do it a bit less now, but lots of articles and lots of podcasts.”

“The second thing I did to get established was networking and meeting people and trying to meet new people every week. That’s an excellent way to do it. And the third thing is that I do and did invest in a lot of social media at the time because you don’t want to be the best buyer’s agent that no one’s heard of.”

For John, one of the hardest parts of working with buyers was trying to educate them on cycles and when to buy.

“Buyers buy in sellers’ markets, not in buyers’ markets, which is sort of strange – they should be buying in these dips, but human psychology is that they don’t.

“When property was on sale, buyers weren’t interested in property and now that it’s hot again, the buyers come back in. I used to try to fight that and my articles were all about being a contrarian. I don’t worry so much about that now. I just accept that that’s how people are wired and so I don’t fight the tide on that one.”

In a bid to build momentum in his business John worked with the BAI and it was instrumental in learning how to grow his client base.

“I started as a buyer’s agent before I did the Buyer’s Agent Institute so the institute was really helpful for me because it covers everything from scripts and dialogues to mindset and time management.”

“Because I got in very fresh, I didn’t really know where to start. So for me, the most important part of the Buyer’s Agent Institute were scripts and dialogues and also scripts about how to convert prospects into clients.”

“The other big thing that the Buyer’s Agent Institute helped me with was understanding the value that I provide to the referral partners.”

“If you go to, a mortgage broker or a real estate agent, you don’t want to just ask them for a favour – “Hey, come and help. Send me some referrals.” What you want to do is create a transaction of mutual value for them rather than simply asking a favour.”

Going forward, John wants to continue to grow his business, through more effective practices that depend less on him.

“In the next five to ten years I want to focus on systematising the process more and scaling up so that it’s not so dependent on me.”

“That’s one of the things about the buyer’s agent business, it is very personalised and it’s very much about my brand as John. I want to sort of get away from that towards a more scalable model.”

For anyone considering a career as a buyers agent, John notes that it is a people business.

“The main thing is that being a buyer’s agent’s about people, not about property.”

“A lot of people get into the buying business because they love property, but if you simply love property, it might not be the right thing for you because as a buyer’s agent you deal in the peoples’ wealth, their frailties, their insecurities, their fear of debt and their fear to take action.”

“It’s not about the properties, it’s about the people.”

Helping Buyers

Buyer's Agent Darren Piper

Darren Piper has been running his buyers agency, Universal Buyers Agents for 4.5 half years and in that time has seen both his business and the industry grow significantly.

With a passion for property and a significant investment portfolio under his belt, Darren saw the opportunity to help on the buy-side and made to move to start his own business.

“I’d owned a couple of investment properties prior to getting into real estate as a profession myself. I was working in the mines previously before getting into real estate and then decided to make the jump.”

“I was a selling agent for myself for two years in and around Brisbane and then started Universal about four and a half years ago.”

When Darren was operating as a selling agent, buyers agents were few and far between, but he saw an opportunity.

“When I was on the selling side, I’d bump into or come across other buyer’s agents from time to time, but it was a very rare thing. And knowing it’s large in the US and it’s very much a niche part of the real estate sector, my belief on it was it was only going to grow.”

“So it was more of a strategic decision more than anything, coupled with wanting to have my own business.”

With his business, Darren focuses on helping all types of property buyers.

“Back when I started the business, a lot of other buyer’s agencies were focusing on one type of buyer or one buyer profile if you will, whether it was owner-occupiers or just investment.”

“My opinion back then, I still haven’t changed to this day, that if you’re a buyer and you need assistance for whatever reason, whether it’s being time poor, frustration with the agents or lack of choice or whatever it may be, I want to help you. So I really went into it from the get-go with very open arms if you will.”

When Darren initially set up his business, the biggest issues for him was educating buyers.

“The biggest challenge that we faced back then and it’s certainly changed now is that it’s an awareness and education.”

“A lot of people don’t know that buyer’s agents exist and then they sort of look at it and go, “Well, 99% of the buyer pool in the country buy themselves, why would I pay you a fee to do it?” But that’s changing given that there is more education and more awareness now.”

Darren decided to work with BAI to help improve the processes in his business.

“Working with Ben has been an absolute game-changer for me in a couple of ways. I was already established and was already trading for probably three years prior to engaging in Ben’s course and furthering that relationship in a mentor and sort of business coach capacity.”

“I knew of Ben for quite some time, obviously with his involvement with Cohen Handler. And then over time I’ve just built a stronger and stronger relationship with him and it’s made a huge impact on my business from an accountability point of view – dialogue, structure, recruiting.”

“He’s just across every segment of the buyer’s agent space. I mean, he’s been there and done it so I’d never not use him as a business coach.”

Going forward Darren wants to continue to grow his business while focusing on quality.

“My view has always been quality over quantity and I think that’s something that somewhat lacks in real estate in general.”

“There’s a lot of agents or agencies out there that get bums on seats from a recruitment point of view simply for the public perception that they’re bigger than they are. That’s certainly not our approach.”

“We’re about quality agents and quality team members rather than just building a team for the sake of it. So recruitment’s a big focus for me at the moment – adding more people to the team, which is certainly well underway.”

“But really just to be the absolute best that we can possibly be and dominate the Brisbane Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast market.”

For those looking at a career as a BA, Darren suggests getting the right people around you and know what you’re looking to achieve.

“Have clear direction, have the right mentors and people around you and if you’re not willing to go it on your own because it’s not for everyone, get the right mentorship or work for a company that can provide the right career path for you.”

“Because it is a really exciting career in itself and there’s a lot of flexibility with work hours and you can certainly enjoy the fruits of your labour. And I think from a job satisfaction point of view, you certainly get more out of acting for the buyer than you do the seller.”

From Selling to Buying

Buyer's Agents Sue & Simon Scott

After purchasing her first property as a 19-year-old, Sue Scott has gone on to build a large property portfolio that spans the globe.

Sue has been involved in the industry in various capacities for many years and now works with her son Simon, at Scott Properties Group based out of Queensland.

“I bought my first property when I was 19 in England and then invested in other properties until I came back to Australia in 2006.”

“I started the process over again by buying properties that were not always in the high-end areas that looked to be good opportunities moving forward, so it wasn’t for any instant capital gain, but they had good rental potential.”

“Simon bought his first property in the UK when he was 22 and he had a similar path. We’ve been buying and selling, in Australia for the last 14 years.”

Sue has worked as both a selling agent and buyers agent but liked helping people as opposed to the marketing side of sales.

“I was a selling agent in Noosa for many years and when Simon got his licence, he sat on it for quite a while not sure what we were going to do because I actually did not want to go back into the selling arena. I’d had enough of putting boards up.”

“Simon’s background is slightly different. Simon is an award-winning architect in the UK and an award-winning building designer here in Australia.”

“After we thought it over we said, “How about a buyer’s agency?” Because up here in Queensland generally there’s very little education as to what a buyer’s agent was.”

With Simon also having a background in architecture, Scott Properties Group is able to help both investors and owner-occupiers, and especially those looking to build or renovate.

“As a buyer’s agent, we nurture our clients as if they’re our friends in the end, especially owner-occupiers because it’s a very, very different strategy to an investment property.”

“We’re kind of like a more of a one-stop-shop that’s for people who want to buy. So that’s quite an important part of our business as well. It’s not just a buyer’s agency and negotiating it’s also having someone who can actually advise them on all manner of different things and also building.”

“A lot of our clients who are investing come to us because they know that we’ve got a critical eye on the actual building itself, especially if it needs renovating.”

Sue and Simon decided to work with the BAI to improve their all-round skills and build a network of other buyers agents across the country.

“We upskilled with Ben, which was great to be part of that and we’ve made some really good connections within that group as well.”

“It wasn’t so much how to run the business because we’re already entrepreneurs and business people, it was more tapping into his knowledge and to better understand the difference between being a selling agent and a buying agent. Because why reinvent the wheel?”

“No-one knows it all. So to have a mentor who has been through it from day one through to current times is worth everything quite frankly, we thought to be honest because it stops us from doing things that we probably didn’t need to do.”

Sue hopes to keep growing the business over the next five years but wants to retain the personal, boutique business model to better serve her clients.

“We will always be a boutique business. We don’t want to have hundreds of clients. It’s not how we want to be. We want to keep boutique, we want to be about the people that regardless of what they want to purchase, we’re going to be there and we’re going to control it ourselves.”

Giving People Honest Advice

Buyer's Agent Ben Plohl

After 15 years as a property investor, Ben Plohl has built up an extensive understanding of what a great investment looks like.

Ben started buying property at 18 years old and built up his portfolio across the course of his working life. After working as both a chartered account and CFO, Ben made the transition into a full-time property, in a bid to follow his passion and help others.

“As soon as I turned 18 I went out and bought my first property and from there I really developed a passion for property.”

“Over a long period of time I was able to build up a pretty large property portfolio and towards the end of the corporate career I didn’t need to have that corporate lifestyle anymore, I had a young family, I decided to make the transition into a buyer’s agent.”

Having worked with buyer’s agents throughout his own investment journey, Ben understood the benefits and felt he would be a good fit both personally and also given his background in business.

Ben’s business, BFP Property Buyers, focuses on the Sydney area for owner-occupiers given his in-depth knowledge of the area but also helps investors identify properties in all locations.

“We do both owner-occupier and investments. For owner-occupier perspective, we target Sydney, predominantly around the Hills district, Lower North and Upper North Shore, the Eastern Suburbs and the Inner West of Sydney.”

“From an investment perspective, we don’t have a bias to any particular location. Our location analysis and selection are based on a scientific data approach where we look at the economics behind certain markets and understand what’s going on at a sort of micro-level to then give our clients the advice around where to invest in in order to meet their specific goals. At the moment we invest in just over four different states across the country.”

BFP Property Buyers started at the beginning of 2019 and has grown quickly. Initially, Ben reached out to the BAI to help him get the business started on the right foot.

“Having run businesses in the past and big teams, I think going into your own small solo-operator business is always daunting in a new industry.”

“With Ben’s help and his course, it was a way to give me comfort in having a crack at it and ever since I started it’s been great. He’s a good guy.”

Going forward Ben is looking to continue to grow his business while focusing on helping people.

“Setting up a business is always great – the financial benefits are always great. But for me personally, it’s just helping people – giving them honest advice about helping them make better decisions when acquiring their largest asset that they most likely will buy in their lifetime. So that’s really important.”

“It’s important for me to be giving them independent representation in making smart decisions and not overpaying for property.”

For those looking at a career as a buyers agent, Ben suggest people give it a crack.

“I think it’s important that you have a good, thorough understanding of property. I think that’s really important. Having good interpersonal skills, being able to understand or extract information from your client to really give them valuable advice around what they might need and what they might not need.

“But ultimately it’s just if you’ve got the confidence then have a crack. I think the industry’s still in its infancy and there are opportunities for everyone.”

Maintaining High Standards

Buyer's Agent Matt sharp

Matt Sharp has had a passion for property for as long as he can remember.

When he turned 18, he set about saving for his first property and in the process started to learn everything he could about what drives property prices.

It took him six years to buy that first property, but since that point has gone on to build a substantial property portfolio and in the process has helped many people get started on their own property journey.

“Property is my passion and is something that I just love. I just enjoy all aspects, whether it be the data research, inspecting the property, or seeing how I could potentially develop or add value and then sharing that with other people.”

After finding a level of success personally, Matt wanted to expand what he was doing and felt that going down the path of becoming a buyer’s agent and helping and educating others was the right fit for him.

“The biggest thing for me early on what that, for every one positive story around property investing I heard, there were ten horror stories.”

“Not many people were having good experiences investing in property and unfortunately a couple of years ago there weren’t too many people out there giving good property investment advice.”

Matt is located on the Central Coast, an area that is doing exceptionally well at the moment and somewhere that he personally feels is a great place to be investing. His personal investment philosophy is a highly risk-averse one.

“In terms of the properties that we buy, I don’t buy anything brand new. Everything is existing, in areas that offer very low risk, low stock, low vacancy rates.”

“I’m a very, very low-risk investor personally and probably even more of a low-risk investor professionally when I’m advising people because obviously, I want to make sure that I’m eliminating every single pitfall possible.”.

While Matt had great success as an investor, getting his business up and running took time and plenty of perseverance.

“I’ve been operating for about 18 months now and to start with because I was on the Central Coast, the service wasn’t well known, so initially I just spent a lot of time just spreading the message that there was a buyer’s agent here on the central coast and sharing the message of what it was that I offered.”

“But getting clients just started from my inner circle or my established network of friends and other professionals or referral partners that I already had existing relationships with and those who sort of trusted me enough to refer some people to me and then obviously had some really good outcomes for people.”

“Then it just sorts of snowballed and snowballed from there. Now I get my clients from multiple referrals mainly because I’ve been fortunate enough to have some good outcomes and then people obviously trust you and then it just builds from there.”

Matt went through the BAI program and he feels it really helped him get where he wanted to go.

“Initially I didn’t really know how to get from A to Z. That’s what the BAI course does – it gives you a framework on how to run a successful buyer’s agency.”

“That help for me was tremendous and it just gave me the blueprint to be able to build my business and then how to run my business as well. So it taught me a lot.”

“I was never in real estate sales or anything like that, never wanted to be, never will be. I didn’t have a real estate background as such but leveraging my own personal experience and knowledge as well as the information that Ben shares in the BAI course combined, that can be quite powerful.”

“If you have your right morals and ethics and if you know your stuff, it can be very powerful.”

Going forward, Matt is looking to continue to grow his business while maintaining high standards.

“As clichéd as it sounds, I really want the buyer’s agent profession to have high standards and for people to look at us and our profession with a viewpoint that we add tremendous value and service because we all know what a real estate agent is and how people perceive them.”

“I really want to make sure that people look at my business in a completely different light.”

Matt suggests if you think a buyers agent sounds like the career for you, give it a go.

“There’s been a lot of late nights, there’s been a lot of early mornings, there’s been a lot of ups and downs, but for me personally it was probably the best thing that I did.”

“If you have a fire in the belly or if you have an itch that you feel as though you should be doing this, I would say give it a go because that’s what I did.”

From Funds Manager to Property Expert

Over the span of his working life, Vaibhav Rastogi, also referred to as ‘Rasti’, has learnt how to manage money and investments in both property and financial markets.

With a degree in Architecture and an MBA in Finance, behind him, Vaibhav after working in IT embarked on a career in Funds Management, where he managed over $2 billion of client funds. However, he realised that his passion was best served in helping individuals achieve wealth, rather than those that already have money.

As a successful property investor himself, he felt that helping people achieve success in property by becoming a buyers agent was the right fit for him.

“Eventually, I realised that my value system is more congruent to helping people on the ground level as compared to multiplying money for those who already have it.”

“Property investing is one of the most common, most trusted way of building wealth as we have seen throughout humankind, but at the same time, not everyone makes property investment a success. Property investing is simple but successful property investing is not that simple.”

“That’s where I started using my architecture skills of evaluating a property and its design, investing as a vehicle and understanding it’s not just about capital growth and cash flow, but also about the risk that people tend to overlook in all the excitement.”

Vaibhav had built a personal property portfolio of 15 properties, and his goal is to help others achieve the same or better level of success.

“When I looked back, I realised that I started my property investing journey when I didn’t have much in my pocket, and now, I’m sitting on decent equity – this is exactly what I want to do for my prospective clients.”

“I had been unofficially helping my friends and family, but the whole reason that I wanted to start a business around it is so that I could reach out and help other people beyond my social circle.”

Given his success as an investor, Vaibhav already had a network of people around him that were interested in using his services as a buyer’s agent, which made the transition easier for him.

“Lots of people around me were actually waiting for me to start a business so they could approach me, so the pipeline was already there.”

“The business is going great so far. I run workshops on a monthly basis, where I outline my portfolio approach, referred to as Get Rare Model, and how I built my own portfolio without taking too much risk.”

“Calling myself a professional buyer’s agent has also given me a lot of leverage when I talk to the selling agents as well because they know that I’m actually representing not just only one client, but maybe a handful of clients in one go. Apparently helping me establish the relationship rather one considered as a transaction.”

Despite having a solid background as a successful property investor, Vaibhav decided to reach out to the BAI to gain a better understanding of running the business side of a buyer’s agency as well as to see how others built their businesses.

“Ben and his team at BAI do an amazing job as for me, coming from the corporate world where it was all about teamwork and working together, when I started on my own I realised that I’m all by myself.”

“BAI with their guidance, coaching and mentorship, has given us a network of other fellow buyer’s agents and it’s easy to visualise what a business can potentially look like in, twelve months or even five years.”

Vaibhav’s main focus is working with property investors and given his background and personal success, that was always going to be a good fit. One of the core components of Vaibhav’s methodology is centred around managing risk across an entire property portfolio. In much the same way a share investor looks to diversify, Vaibhav believes having a portfolio approach to both risk and growth is vital. Having worked in research advisory for Financial Planners, he appreciates how essential it is to get the solution client-centric and holistic.

For those people looking to start a career as a buyer’s agent, he feels that passion for property is vital.

“It is such a big responsibility and one has to take it very seriously because clients are giving you the responsibility of buying their property, which is one of the biggest investments they are ever going to make.”

“Buyers Agents also have to have a passion for the people because it’s just not about the properties, but also about the people.“

Data-Driven Property Investment

Buyer's agent Kyrillos Mansour

Before becoming a full-time buyers agent, Kyrillos Mansour clearly had a passion for property.

While learning what fundamentals drove property price growth, he built up his own database of every suburb in Australia, with 100 data points per suburb. At the time, Kyrillos was working as an optometrist, but he quickly realised his passion lay elsewhere in property.

“I always had an interest in property and in business. While I was working as an optometrist, I was doing my own property investing and I was building up my own database of information and research regarding different suburbs in different states in Australia because at the time I didn’t really have enough money to invest in Sydney.”

“I thought, if I want to invest outside of Sydney, I need to learn about the other suburbs in different states.”

Kyrillos built a huge database and quickly built up an understanding of how to identify suburbs and areas that were set to grow in value rapidly.

“I started compiling my own data and that became a huge Excel spreadsheet of every single home in every state in Australia – about 60 to 100 data points per suburb and I just kept getting more interested, more fascinated.”

“I started seeing how property can make people money and how you can generate wealth and pretty much just fell in love with it from that point on.”

After successfully building his own property portfolio, he was quickly approached by friends and family to help them achieve success in the same fashion as him.

“After I had bought my first few investments myself, a few friends and family members asked me, “how did you know about that suburb? How did you know where to go and the strategies to use?” So I started sharing my spreadsheet and data, with them.”

“In the end, I was pretty much doing a buyer’s agent’s job for them and really enjoying it.”

After making the decision to move into helping others achieve success as a buyers agent, Kyrillos slowly started to build up his business.

“The business itself is only just over 12 months old, but I’ve been buying property for people for around three years.”

“The first 12 months is always difficult no matter what business it is. I think a buyer’s agent is even harder because it doesn’t really exist in Australia, it’s such a small industry.”

After a slow start, he focused on giving value and educating others on property and then the business started to grow.

“For the first four months there were no customers, then we got the first customer and it was quite a big achievement.”’

“It took a while to go from number one to customer two. It took a little bit of time from two to three. Once we got to about five done, it just started to roll like the compound interest rule – the same thing with people.”

“This month I think we’ve been working on seven clients in a month.”

“The first 12 months has been a huge learning curve in terms of how to get customers and I see other buyer’s agents who probably achieve customers quicker, but I think the way I approached it about free education, giving out, giving out, it’s bringing in quality leads as well and building a brand.”

With his background in data, Kyrillos helps all types of home buyers and investors, locate properties all across the country.

When Kyrillos was getting the business off the ground, he was able to reach out to the BAI, to help at times when it was difficult finding the right way to move forward with the business.

“My idea of the Buyer’s Agent Institute course when I first started was someone’s going to teach me how to buy property. Very quickly I realised that wasn’t it. It was more so how to run a buyer’s agency business.”

“When I was first starting and I was a bit struggling to get any sort of leads, I used to message Ben. I said, “Hey, Ben. I’m struggling a bit. What do you reckon?” He said, “Yeah, come in for a chat”.

“When we spoke about things he said, “How about you explore this option? How about you explore that? He wanted to see me succeed.”

Going forward, Kyrillos’ goal is to both educate and help people achieve success through his company First Brick Property.

For people looking to get into a career as a buyers agent, Kyrillos suggests you need to be passionate and be looking to do it for the right reason.

“You’ve got be passionate about it, you’ve got to really understand it.”

“Equip yourself with the fundamentals of property by listening to every podcast you can find, read every book you can find, learn about all the different strategies you can find because everyone in Australia’s a property expert so if you’re going to charge for it, you really need to know what you’re talking about.

Accounting, Building and Helping Clients

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.”

Helping Families Become Financially Free

Sateesh Palliyil has had a long history in property, having done his first subdivision nearly 20 years ago. Since then he has built up an impressive track record as an investor and developer having done a range of projects while working in the IT industry.

His first property deal in Australia was a land subdivision that he funded through a joint venture with his family and that started him on his path to financial freedom. However, he had been buying properties in India for many years.

“Before coming to Australia, I was in India and I used to work in Qatar. I used to go to India once a year for four weeks for annual leave and that’s when I began to purchase most of my properties. I was actively using buyers agents in all my transactions because in India there will be one or two buyers agents involved in every purchase.”

“Because they have experience in not just one area but have connections to other states or some other areas too”

After working for many years and investing part-time, Sateesh discovered that he was able to find better opportunities using his own skills.

“I was in IT for many years when I was doing all these projects. Then I found that if I was working as a full-time investor, I could see lots of deals out there by myself rather than depending on someone else.”

“I could also help lots of my friends and they’ve now done sub-divisions inspired by me. And they always call me and ask for advice and I always help them and they’ve all been successful.”

“So I thought, “Okay, I will make this a career and help people to become financially free just like me. I became financially free thanks to property when I was almost 29 years old and now I am 45 years old.”

As a buyers agent, Sateesh sees many investors making the same types of mistakes, so his goal is to open their eyes to different opportunities.

“Normally people go and buy a four-bedroom, two-bathroom, two-car garage house. That’s what the typical Indian buys as his first home. So when they look for an investment, they’ll do the same thing.”

“They don’t know there are many other options like sub-divisions, renovations, rooming house or duplexes.”

Despite starting his career as a buyers agent during COVID, Sateesh had a number of clients because of this reputation, which helped him get started.

“Luckily when I started my buyer’s agency, a few people already knew me so I got two clients straight away so that was a very good thing luckily.”

Sateesh was drawn to the idea of a career as a buyers agent as it was common in India.

“In India, in every transaction, there’s a buyer’s agent and then the selling agent, which makes things easy. So there’s always someone to represent you if you are buying a property.”

“There are no emotions or anything like that and that’s a very good model which I always expect here.

Sateesh found that BAI was incredibly helpful to him when he was starting out in the industry in what was a very tricky time.

“Ben’s got lots of incredible ideas that he shares in his webinars. I feel that every webinar has some kind of million-dollar idea in it.”

“He himself is a very successful buyer’s agent and he’s got lots of practical knowledge to share. That’s what I like about him. He’s not teaching you from books – he’s done it himself.”

Sateesh’s aim going forward is to help other people do what he’s done and put them in a position to be financially free.

“With the pandemic and recession threats around, it’s good to have insurance against unemployment. Having financial freedom means you don’t need to rely on unemployment payments that only just cover the bare necessities; you can continue to live a lifestyle that’s comfortable.”

“Just because you’ve achieved financial freedom doesn’t mean you stop working. You may want to increase your wealth, improve the comfort of your lifestyle or save for your children. But, should you or your partner lose their job, you are safe knowing your lifestyle is protected and you won’t need to make adjustments.”

“In the next five years, I want to help 100 families become financially free.”

Helping Clients Achieve Their Goals

While Kylie Timms and Belinda Walters have had plenty of experience in property, they didn’t follow the traditional path to becoming buyer’s agents.

The pair currently operate Location One – a successful buyers agency in Brisbane – however, they come from diversified industries. This is something they feel not only sets them apart but adds huge value to their property acquisition process.

“We have a slightly different background to most, however, collectively we have had property experience through developments and renovating properties. Kylie has had a wealth of experience in customer service and Belinda has enjoyed a distinguished career in the business sector.”

“Customer care and our high-level service offering is something that is incredibly important to us – making sure that we provide our clients with outstanding customer service. We provide our clients with the best options for them, and really focus on their property goals and helping them buy a great property at a great price.”

Both Kylie and Belinda were highly experienced in property before embarking on a career as a buyer’s agent, which helped the transition.

“Over a period of 12 years, Belinda renovated and sold 8 properties, and became a go-to person within her family and friends who were seeking support and advice when buying property.”

“Kylie also had a wealth of experience in renovating and together we saw that there was a gap in the market. The real estate salesperson is on the seller’s side, but we identified a gap where someone was representing and supporting the buyer.”

Location One focuses on finding properties in the Brisbane area and work with all types of home buyers and investors.

“We cover all aspects of the Brisbane property market. Our strength is uncovering a lot of off-market property, buying in really good areas that have good potential for strong capital growth. When looking for our investors it is important to find properties that are in good demand areas, that are close to public transport, have a good network of infrastructure, positioned in good school catchments, and return a strong rental yield.”

After an extensive period of research, Belinda and Kylie launched their businesses and managed to get things moving through referrals.

“We were very confident in our own abilities because of our previous personal experience.
Initially, a lot of our clients came through referrals and recommendations from people we knew, however, these days, many of our clients are repeat clients or come from our strong industry referrals.”

Despite being in business for more than five years, Kylie and Belinda wanted to continue to improve the way they operated their business and reached out to BAI to look at improving what they were offering.

“You’ve always got to look at yourself and how can you do things better. It’s about looking at new ideas, being open to new ways of doing things, and keeping ahead of the market and industry trends.”

“Ben grew Cohen Handler into one of the most successful buyer’s agencies in Australia and he’s a wealth of knowledge along with being a good guy.”

Going forward Kylie and Belinda want to focus on being the best they can and continue to help clients.

“We’ve never wanted to be the biggest. We’ve only ever wanted to provide the best quality of service and product. So for us, it’s all about being a leader, being an innovator, being somebody that is highly regarded, not only in the industry but also with our clients.

“It’s about doing a better job, delivering outstanding customer service and improved satisfaction for our clients. We don’t want to grow bigger as a company, we just want to get better and be highly regarded in the industry.”

Kylie and Belinda feel a career as a buyer’s agent is perfect those who genuinely want to help people and love property.

“It’s a fabulous industry if you go in with the right intention of helping people to buy good properties and do it smartly. There’s plenty of opportunity for people who want to do it and want to do it well.”