From IT to Buyers Agent

After a 15-year career in IT, Puja Dhanetwal started buying property as a way to build wealth and to help support her young family.

Initially, Puja never thought that she would pursue a career in real estate, but after her portfolio continued to grow with properties spread right across the country, it was clear that she was very good at finding high-quality investments and she started to realise that it could be a real option.

After all her success in buying property for herself, Puja started to get approached by her friends and family for help buying properties and that’s when she realised she had the makings of a business. When her kids got a little older she felt it was time to start her own business.

“Turning 40 was the point for me where I was like, I’ve got to do something different,’ Puja says.

“I’ve got to start a business and do something more rewarding and fulfilling and take some risks.”

She says that coming from a family of doctors and professionals, she felt it was important to show her children that it’s possible to successfully run your own business.

With a young family and a busy life, it was a big step to leave her IT career, but as soon as she announced that she was starting her own business, she immediately started signing up clients because of her track record of buying property for herself.

She set up her business, Buyers Match and started helping other investors purchase properties all around the country, in the same way she was able to build her own portfolio.

She now focuses on buying properties that offer strong cash flow and are also located in areas that are in the early stages of growth and have good land value. Puja also helps owner-occupiers buy property in and around Melbourne.

Puja says that while her business got off to a quick start, the workload was very intense as she was still transitioning out of her old job all while trying to source multiple properties for clients.

“That’s when I thought to myself that I have to do this full time and there’s no way I can do this along with my job,” she says.

“So I decided to quit my job and luckily I got five clients in my first month.”

Puja worked with the Buyers Agent Institute (BAI) and says that it was instrumental in getting her business off the ground.

“It’s been very helpful,” she says.

“When I was starting I would go through the content and learn how to deal with objections, build relationships with mortgage brokers and real estate agents and that was really helpful.

“Buying properties is something that I could already do, but learning how to build relationships was something that I needed to learn.”

Puja is currently focused on expanding her client base and building out her business processes.

She says that anyone interested in getting into the industry should look at ways of transitioning into real estate.

“If they’re passionate about they should do the course and take it slowly,” she explains.

“I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to get into the industry.”

She’s also incredibly proud that her children will get to see what’s possible.

“The message I wanted to give to my kids was that you don’t need to be stuck in one kind of a role for your entire life,” she says.

“If you want to pursue your passion as your business, go for it.”

Transforming Lives Through Property

For Adam Fahey, property has been a lot more than just a career – it’s been about helping people get more out of their lives.

With over 20 years of experience in property strategy, property development and construction management and a host of qualifications including a postgraduate degree in property economics, Adam understands how property works and the way to get the most out of it.

His passion for real estate started at a young age and he has also been an investor for over 15 years.

“I bought my first property back in 2006 while I was forging a career in the property industry,” Adam says.

“Initially in the construction sector before going on to work for some of Australia’s biggest companies doing property development when I was at Woolies and Stockland.

“I eventually found a bit of a niche in property development in the aged care sector.”

Adam led a team of property professionals for a large aged care organisation in the not-for-profit sector and was responsible for all aspects of property, including acquiring development sites, selling sites, selling aged care buildings all the way through development and construction.

He’s also gone on to purchase multiple investment properties and build a portfolio across the country.

Adam realised that while his passion was in property, he wanted to be able to help more people and felt that the corporate path wasn’t the right place for that. When COVID hit, he realised that it was the perfect opportunity to start his own business as a buyers agent and impact people more directly.

Initially, he launched his own business, Actuate Property based in Sydney while still working, before going full-time.

Adam now focusing on helping large corporate clients locate development sites and commercial buildings as well as assisting residential investors who are looking to build a property portfolio.

“I’m very values-based and I like making a difference to people’s lives,” he says.

“I love working with individuals and companies where I can add value to their lives and their own objectives.”

Adam says that while his business got off to a good start given his large professional network he’s found that being more active in his outreach has helped get it moving forward faster.

Adam worked with the Buyers Agent Institute (BAI) and said that it has been instrumental in helping him move his business forward.

“Recently, I’ve joined the Everest program and that’s really forced my hand to be accountable for my own actions,” he explains.

“It’s about being accountable to yourself and having the right mindset.

“If you’re manifesting your objectives and your goals, instead of the pathway to get there and hold yourself to account it’ll happen.”

Looking forward, Adam is aiming to continue to grow his business and scale up what he’s doing.

“In five years time, I’d like to have a small team and multiple offices based in Sydney and South East Queensland,” he says.

“While it’s a long way away, if I keep that right mindset and approach for the duration of time, great things are bound to happen.”

Adam says that for people wanting to get into the industry, it’s important to get around people who are on a similar journey.

“Surround yourself with people who have had some wins and those that have had some struggles as well and just take that all in be very measured and methodical in your approach and never give up,” he believes.

“The day you give up is the day that you don’t achieve your personal goals and your own aspirations.

“It’s about being persistent and resilient to any challenge that gets thrown your way.”

From Developers to Helping Investors

Over 10 years ago, Bianca Brown and Joel Keefer, got started in property with the goal of using it as a vehicle for freedom.

After getting educated on property, the couple first got involved in investing and flipping houses before transitioning into smaller development projects like duplexes. They have since gone on to take on larger projects including, subdivisions, as well as higher cash-flowing projects in the rooming accommodation space.

“Our journey definitely started from our investing and getting educated and applying different strategies and basically building our property portfolio that way,” Bianca says.

After finding a lot of success the pair eventually transitioned into helping other people both acquire sites and investment properties and as project managers for developments.

“We were doing our own thing for a while and we felt like could turn it into a business,” she says.

“We thought about it for a couple of months, and we decided to launch the buyer’s agency and also do some development consulting and help anyone who has a site that isn’t really confident with the development and wanted someone to take care of it.”

The pair set up Echo Property on the Sunshine Coast to help investors who want to purchase land for a new build or a development and also those who want help executing a development.

Bianca says that given their experience as developers, managing the projects and dealing with clients has been relatively smooth.

However, setting up the business processes has been one of the challenges.

Bianca and Joel recently joined the Buyers Agent Institute (BAI) even though they were an established business as a way to learn strategies to expand and improve some of the business strategies.

She says working with BAI was also incredibly helpful in learning how to best manage new investors who want to get into the development space and build a portfolio.

According to Bianca, they are also looking at ways to make the business processes more “turnkey” so they can bring in new staff and expand.

Going forward Bianca says they are looking to grow the business in the coming years.

“We want to get the business to the point where we can bring on another buyers agent,” she says.

“That would be great.”

“We’re not trying to build a huge business or anything like that, but more a lifestyle business where we can get to help other people grow their portfolio and build their wealth.”

“And from our perspective, we want to live a really balanced lifestyle and still do our own projects as well.

“So we’re working towards that.”

For other people who are interested in a career in property, Bianca says you need to love real estate.

“If you’re passionate about property and helping other people it’s a fantastic way to do what you love and there’s so many people out there that you can help,” she says.

“They don’t know what to buy, they don’t know where to buy, they don’t have the confidence, and it’s one of the biggest purchases someone will ever make.”

She says it’s incredibly fulfilling to help people and make such a big impact on their lives.

“If you’re interested and you like helping people, and you like research it’s an awesome industry,” she said.

From an MBA to Saving Buyers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

When Nish Reddy first came to Australia he quickly realised that buying and owning property was the way he wanted to build wealth.

After gaining his MBA and rising to a senior level in the banking sector, Nish started investing in property and building a portfolio. And while he was earning good money and on track with his career, he knew his heart was in real estate.

With his passion and skill in property shining through, his friends and family quickly started asking for his help in identifying good opportunities and even negotiating other types of purchases including cars because of his skills in dealing with people. That’s when he knew this was a business opportunity for him.

“I’ve always been a bit of an entrepreneur,” Nish says.

“I started in business when I was in my early 20’s, before my MBA and had some success.

“But my circumstances didn’t allow me to continue the business.

“However, in the back of my mind, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur.”

He says that during COVID and having that extra time to think, really made him ask what he wanted in life and that drove him to become a buyers agent.

Nish set up his business, Get Fair Property in Sydney and now works with both investors and home buyers to help them buy high-quality properties.

He says he loves it when he can save his clients time and money.

“There’s a lot of satisfaction for you personally when you help a busy couple and make the process painless and do something for them, they wouldn’t have done themselves.

“I recently saved $220,000 for a family in Hornsby.

“But it’s the time that is actually the most valuable commodity because you can’t get it back.”

According to Nish, the business got off the ground smoothly, and his biggest challenge was getting the support of his family.

“I was in a high-paying job at a big bank so it was very hard for me to convince my family that I was going to do this full time.”

“They wanted me to do it part-time as a side hustle and still work for someone else.

“But I always wanted to be my own boss and be a business owner.”

Nish worked with the Buyers Agent Institute (BAI) and says the course was instrumental to him getting started the right way.

“There is already a structure in place,” he explains.

“So you just get into that structure and go through the course at your own pace.

“Every week there is new information on marketing, pricing and expert advice ready to tap into.

“Then there is the community that is there ready to help.”

Looking forward, Nish wants to continue to grow his business and expand his team.

He says that for people getting started in the industry you need to be prepared for the ups and downs.

“It’s definitely not always rosy,” he says.

“You’ve got to have a thick skin and you must be prepared to be uncomfortable at points in the journey otherwise it’s pretty hard to succeed.

“But don’t be discouraged.

“Keep working hard, keep networking, keep meeting people and you will definitely get business.”

From Engineer to Buyer’s Agent

Raj Moturu has always had a love for property that stemmed from his father who developed property in India. After Raj moved to Australia as a student nearly two decades ago, he knew that he wanted to get involved in real estate and follow his father’s lead.

Raj and his wife started investing at a young age and after a few years managed to build a substantial property portfolio.

Given his success, his friends started asking him for help and he realised that this might be something that he could turn into a career, despite being a well-paid and successful engineer.

“We used to talk to a lot of our friends because people don’t know what you can achieve with property,” Raj says.

“I started helping people and telling them why they should buy in a certain area or why they shouldn’t.”

Raj said he knew he wanted to do this as a career when he saw a sales agent trying to encourage a friend of theirs to increase the bid on a property that wasn’t worth that much. He says that’s when he knew there were a lot of buyers out there who could use his help and expertise and he could do this as a business.

Raj then set up his business, ENRICH Property Investors in Perth, and started actively helping people buy properties and educating them on how to build a high-quality property portfolio. He focuses on helping both investors and owner-occupiers and is able to help with a range of opportunities including development sites, commercial and standard residential.

Despite a strong start with his business, given his experience and contacts, he said there have still been a number of challenges.

“Like any business, it’s never going to be smooth sailing,” he explains.

He says the most difficult part is often negotiating between all the different parties involved in a real estate transaction and trying to find a way for everyone to come out happy at the end of it.

However, he says the experiences have been invaluable and helped him improve as a person and a buyers agent.

Raj worked with the Buyers Agent Institute (BAI) when he was getting started and said it really helped him get started on the right foot.

He said he went through the materials in just a few days and it really helped him with the business side of running a buyers agency, given that he came from a professional background as an engineer.

Going forward, Raj hopes to continue building his business and expanding.

“I’ve been working hard to develop a brand and build trust with buyers,” he says.

“I’m getting to the point that most of my business is coming from referrals as well which is great.

“By the end of 2025, I’m hoping to be the most trusted and best buyers agency in WA.

“In five years I’m hoping to become a household name.”

For those looking to get into the industry, he says it’s important to understand who you are going to help.

He says, that if you’re operating in a location like Sydney or Melbourne you can be an area expert for a certain suburb or LGA. Whereas in the smaller markets, you need to be able to cast a wider net and help people looking to buy all around the country.

He also believes you need to focus on your client relationships first of all.

“The trust that you build with your clients is also important,” he says.

He says that when you build a good relationship with your clients, then you can actually help them achieve more because they will listen to and trust your advice when you give it to them.

Four Investment Properties In His 20’s

When Emil Kozina settled on his first property as a 19-year-old, he knew that he was doing something that few people his age were able to do.

From a very early age, Emil Kozina knew he was going to have to work hard to set himself up financially in the future but he always knew he would get there if he just kept moving forward..

Emil says it was possible to buy early on because he was able to save money when he was younger.

“I got my first job when I was 12 or 13 years old,” Emil says.

“I just saved a lot of money and when I got to 18 my objective was to buy a house.”

“When I was 19, I was still living at home and was able to buy more first property.”

Emil says that he was inspired to get into property because his Dad was also a passionate investor.

“He’d done well for himself and taught me that if I wanted to stay at home, that was OK, but I needed to put my money to work,” he explains.

He says by the time he was 21 he had purchased another property all while studying at university and working multiple jobs.

“It then just continued to flow on from there,” he says.

“I ended up buying a third one with my brother before stopping for about four or five years.”

Emil has since gone on to build a house of his own and says he is now in a very strong financial position, because of how hard he worked to get things started.

He says that he always wanted a career in real estate but never wanted to go down the path of becoming a sales agent.

When he discovered it was possible to help buyers he knew that it was the role he was meant to do.

“I’ve always said I never wanted to be a real estate agent, but being on the buyer’s side, that was 100 per cent me,” he says.

Emil says with his track record of building a large property portfolio by himself when he eventually launched his buyer’s agency business, EK Property Approach, he was able to reach out to his contacts to get the business going early on.

He now looks to help both investors looking to purchase all around the country as well as owner occupiers around Greater Melbourne.

His approach is to help people buy high-quality properties that will ultimately allow them to build strong cash flow and passive income while also holding assets that grow in value.

Emil worked with the Buyers Agent Institute (BAI) and said it was critical in helping him launch his business.

“The ongoing support and things like the webinars and clinics made a world of difference,” he believes,” he says.

“I often say that Ben is just built differently.

“The way he sees things and how he goes about it and overall approach to property.

“He’s just very clever and it’s been incredibly eye-opening for me.”

Going forward, Emil is looking to continue to grow his business and would like to bring on some more team members in the years ahead.

He says that you need to be passionate if you are looking to become a buyer’s agent.

“If it’s your passion and it’s your interest, just go for it,” he says.

“I think the biggest thing is don’t listen to what other people say.

“I feel there’s a lot of negativity out there, but if you stick to your true colours, and you do what you really want to do, just go for it.

“Don’t let anyone hold you back.”

 

From Vendors Advocate to Buyers Advocate

After coming to Australia from Russia, Marina Shatalova got started in real estate working as a vendors advocate but quickly realised that many buyers often had poor experiences dealing with sales agents. It made her think that buyers aren’t being represented well enough in property transactions and she wanted to see if she could help.

With a background in sales, Marina was excellent at negotiation and doing deals and felt that her skills would be the perfect fit for buyers.

“All those people I had been helping to sell said to me, ‘OK, now I need to buy, what do I do’,” Marina says.

Marina established her business Marble St. and started helping residential buyers in the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria as well as owner occupiers and investors who wanted to find high-quality properties across the country.

Marina says that while she was able to get off the ground quickly, the process was incredibly challenging.

“I’d say it’s been smooth in terms of getting results, but it’s been very emotionally challenging she says.

She says when you’re trying to win clients early on it can be daunting and it’s easy to want to give up. However, she believes that her skills and perseverance were the things that helped her move forward and continue to grow.

According to Marina, in the early days, she was door-knocking in the Dandenong Ranges and that was a difficult way to get into real estate. Then when COVID happened, the property landscape changed dramatically and she was quickly fielding numerous calls each week from buyers looking to purchase properties site unseen.

“I started getting crazy results,” she says.

“My purchase time was five to 20 days and people would be coming to me after 18 months of searching and just having no luck at all.

“And then after seven days that they would purchase and they started talking and plus the amounts of money I could save them, on each property, on each transaction.

“I think the most I saved a buyer was more than $300,000 and the smallest amount I saved was $45,000.”

Marina worked with the Buyers Agent Institute (BAI) and says it was an integral part of getting her business off the ground.

“I’m just endlessly grateful to Ben,” she says.

“He’s always just so supportive especially when you’re getting established.”

She says the entire course gave her the right foundations to get the business started and she worked through the entire course in just five days as she was so eager to learn and get started.

Marina says that going forward she is looking at ways to continue to grow her business and might take on some more team members to support her growing workload.

She also wants to help educate people on the role of buyer advocates, particularly in areas where they are less common.

For those looking to get into the industry, Marina suggests you need to be committed to seeing out the process.

“Persistence and determination I think are really important because sometimes you feel that nothing is happening and it’s all too hard,” she explains.

“But if you don’t quit you will get clients and get results.

“So don’t quit, be determined and persistent.”

 

6 Properties By 23

By the time most young Australians are finishing up their studies, Toby Brown had already settled on his sixth investment property.

The now 24-year-old, purchased his first property when he was just 20 and in just a few short years, was able to grow a property portfolio that many retirees would be proud of.

Toby says that when he was starting out he knew that property was something that could set him up for the future.

He says he purchased his first property as a first home buyer with the help of the various grants and exemptions on offer and used that as an opportunity to learn.

From there he narrowed his focus and continued to expand his portfolio when he saw how it was possible to use the equity that he was very quickly building up.

“After a lot of research and narrowed down what I was looking for,” he explains.

“Back then I didn’t know as much as I do now, but it was a good property and that enabled me to get into my next one and so forth.”

Toby was also able to grow his portfolio when he was on a government salary which made him think that it would also be possible for others to achieve his level of success.

“I wanted to help other people in their journey because I knew how hard it was when you’re getting started,” he explains.

“When I started I was getting my advice from everyone and everywhere and I thought maybe there is a better way and potentially I could help them achieve what I have achieved.”

Toby then set up his business, The Property Source, aiming to help people build a property portfolio in the same way he did.

“I practice what I preach essentially,” he explains.

“I use the same strategy that I used to build my portfolio, basically buying properties under market value with strong cash flow in growth locations.”

Toby currently buys properties right across the country depending on where the best opportunities exist at the time.

He worked the the Buyers Agent Institute and says that it was critical in getting his business off the ground.

“It was really helpful,” he says.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without it.”

He says the course helped him understand all realms of running a BA business including how to set it up, how to better understand the client journey and how to manage your time effectively.

At this stage, Toby wants to continue to grow his business and help as many people achieve success as he possibly can.

For others looking to enter the industry, he says that you need to be passionate about property and helping others.

“It’s very achievable if you know what you’re doing,” he believes.

He says that if you’re coming into the industry with the goal of helping investors it’s also important that you are actively investing yourself and are passionate about real estate.

From Construction to Helping Buyers Achieve Success

Rob Panetta was always taught to put his money into the family home, pay it off and never branch out too far.

But he knew there was more that he could achieve in life if he built a property portfolio that could help set him up for the future.

Since purchasing his first property in 2015, he’s been able to grow a substantial portfolio after spending a lot of time learning about the market and getting educated.

“I come from a construction background and I wanted to find a way to not work with my body every day, but work with my mind,” Rob says.

“With my background, I felt that it would transition into property really well.”

He says with his understanding of the construction side and his experience, he knows what to look out for in properties and that also gives him a competitive advantage over others.

After finding success on his own, he decided he wanted to start helping others with their property journey and he established his business, Lux Buyers Agents, in Melbourne and helps owner-occupiers in Melbourne and investors right across the country.

“Typcailly we go down the route of finding established homes where you have the ability to add value and create equity so you can go again,” Rob explains.

“We like to be able to help our clients build a portfolio, not just buy a single home and forget about them.

“We want to provide ongoing support and help them to continually try and build so that they can eventually live off their portfolio when they’re coming into retirement.”

The business got off the ground quickly but Rob says that there have been challenges along the way.

“People coming into the industry might see other buyers agents doing well, but it really does take a lot of work day in and day out,” he says.

“You need to stay committed to the process and obviously keep that hustle going every single day.

“You’ve also got to make yourself available to clients and make sure you’re keeping them happy.

“And make sure that your standards are very high.”

Rob worked with the Buyers Agent Institute (BAI) and says that the course really helped him get his business off the ground.

“I think Ben’s course is one of the best I’ve ever done,” he explains.

“It absolutely goes into every single little detail that you would need to know to start your business and to keep it going.”

He says the ongoing mentoring also plays a huge role in the development of buyers agents and it’s critical to continue learning while you’re in the role.

Going forward, Rob is hoping to continue to grow his business and help more people.

“I want to build and scale my business, to become one of the leading buyer’s agents, in the industry,” he says.

“That’s obviously going to take a lot of hard work and you’re also going to need to get a lot of skilful people on board.

“You really do need a team to go to that next level.”

For other people looking to get into the industry, Rob suggests focusing on getting educated.

“You can’t just expect to come into the industry and buy a property tomorrow, he says.

“Clients are paying you really good money for your services, so you need to know what you’re talking about.

“Take the time to learn and then when you feel comfortable you can go and work for someone or go out on your own.”

From Business Owner to Buyer’s Advocate

After being involved in commercial property and running his own business for more than 12 years, a passion for high-end property made John O’Brien want to pursue a full-time career in real estate.

During the COVID-era, there was huge interest from people wanting to buy and relocate to Geelong, and John felt like that was the perfect time to move into a full-time role as a buyers advocate in his home time.

He set up his business, Henning Property and set out about helping both commercial and residential buyers purchase property around the Geelong area.

John currently helps residential buyers and investors purchase properties and works with a lot of high-income earners in the medical profession like doctors, surgeons and anaesthetists as well as other white-collar professionals.

While he was able to hit the ground running due to his experience in property and business, he says that like all businesses there are always going to be challenges.

“I’ve found the process really exhilarating,” he says.

“I’ve set myself a mantra of saying ‘yes’ to everything in terms of networking and meeting people and going out on a limb.”

John says one of the big advantages of working in an area like Geelong is that it is much like a large town and it allows you to really become a part of the community as a business owner.

When he was getting established he says he worked with the Buyers Agent Institute (BAI) and says it was an incredibly important part of his journey.

“I think Ben provides business in a box,” he explains.

“It’s been amazing for me to just have a blueprint to follow.

“I’ve got 12 years experience running my own business, but I think Ben provides a lot of those nuances that are specific to buyer’s advocacy.

“It’s been amazing to have that as a reference point and go through, from start to finish.”

He says the entire program and mentoring have been crucial to his self-development.

John is aiming to continue to grow his business and hopes to be the number one buyer’s agent in Geelong in the years ahead.

He’s also looking to expand his team so he’s able to serve the region in the best possible way.

John suggests that anyone looking to get involved in the industry needs to be prepared to get out there and put in the work.

“Ben can give you all the information, but as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink,” he believes.

“It’s up to you.

“Really, if you’re not going to throw yourself into this and be 110 per cent committed, then you’ll only get out of it what you’re prepared to put in.”

“You need to be working on yourself every single day outside of your full-time job and networking and living and breathing it.”

“And remember that knowledge is power and you’ll supersede someone that’s got 10 years experience if you spend a year just learning every single day and being a sponge.”