How To Know If You’re Passionate About Property

by Ben Handler

May 29, 2020

Think You're Passionate About Property.

Jay Anderson:

I use buyer’s agents for seven of my own purchases. So got a good understanding about how they work, the things that I liked, that they did and areas I identified as well where I thought there could be improvements from, from the customer’s side. So a lot of when I built my business, I built it from the outside. In thinking about what was my own experience of using buyer’s agents.

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the buyer’s agent institutes show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyers agents to bring awareness to the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people to bring awareness to the value that buyer’s agents providing to people who need help with buying property. Our goal of the show is to dive and strip back the stories and the journeys of remarkable buyers agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest-growing real estate career trends. Right now. Our guest today is Jay Anderson. Jay’s career in property investing started back in 2010 and since 2010 he has built a multimillion-dollar commercial and residential property portfolio. His career and his professional background started in the hotel industry and his family have been investing in hotels for generations. Jay right now is running his new buyer’s agent business, Jay Anderson Property. I’m really excited today to dive into Jay story because he’s been growing like crazy.

I’m excited to introduce Jay. Welcome, Jay.

Jay Anderson:
Thanks, Ben. Thanks for having me.

Ben Handler:

Thanks for being here. I remember when we first spoke on the phone, I think you’re on the way to a fishing trip or something like that. I remember when we initially spoke, I just knew you are going to crush it as a buyer’s agent. You just had property running through your blood. You are working, I think in IT, in the hotel industry and I was like, you are going to be out of there soon.

Jay Anderson:

Yeah, I remember that conversation vividly.

Ben Handler
Yeah, and it’s exciting, especially when I’m talking to people like you who are super skilled at buying property for yourself and you, you love it. You live and breathe it. I can just feel an, and I just have this knowing that you’re just going to crush it when you jp into the buyer’s agent shoes.

Jay Anderson:
Yeah, and, no, looking back, it’s, it’s been a, an amazing journey so far and I’m so glad that I had that opportunity to have that initial conversation with you. And then the follow-up meetings and then, and then going through the Buyer’s Agent Institute it’s, you know, something I wish I’d did years ago.

Ben Handler:
Did you know much about buyer’s agent before we spoke?

Jay Anderson:

I did. I, I use buyer’s agents for seven of my own purchases. So got a good understanding of how they work, the things that I liked, that they did and areas I identified as well where I thought there could be improvements from, from the customer side. So a lot of when I built my business, I built it from the outside in thinking about what was my own experience of using buyer’s agents, what did I really enjoy and where do I think there were areas for improvement. So I kind of built it from that perspective.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. Nice. And I do remember when we first spoke as well, cause you’ve got a few kids and you’ve got your family to look after, you’ve got a lot of mortgages cause you’ve got a big portfolio and making that transition is always a challenge and I think you set out to maybe jp into the buyer’s agent space within 12 months or after 12 months and you seem to get there a lot quicker. Right?

Jay Anderson:

Yeah. So the original plan was to kind of do it part-time, for 12 to 24 months I think I kind of started doing it part-time, May, last year and went full time in October in that space as well. There was a six-week European trip as well. So

Ben Handler:

Yeah. Nice. And I remember as well, I mean obviously you’ve got a lot of experience with investing, both commercial and residential and then you mentioned that you may, you weren’t going to look at the owner-occupier market.

Jay Anderson:

Hey, just maybe give it a go, give it a feel. And I know how you’re quite busy with owner-occupied.

Yeah. And that’s been a fascinating experience. I remember the conversation we had was around, cause I’m coming from an investment point of view and very analytical. I can show you the data and the research explaining why this property makes sense and it’s suited to you for investment when it becomes own occupier that that’ll all that information is out the window and now it’s purely emotional. And I just felt, well I’m not a salesperson, I’m not a set from a sales background and I’m very data and research-focused. So maybe that’s not an avenue for me. And I remember you said, look, don’t shut the door on it. Just, just try it once because it can be quite fulfilling. And I, never forget, the first one I purchased was for a lady and her daughter and the number of messages and phone calls I had falling on from that about how I’ve managed to buy them their dream home that they never thought possible. And you know the feedback when you help someone by their, their family home, their dream home is, is incredible.

Ben Handler:

It’s good, it’s a good feeling. I feel like you, you can, you can develop a deeper rapport and relationship with the client cause there is so much emotion going in. Right?

Jay Anderson:

Yeah. And it’s a, you know, when you can really connect and identify their non-negotiables, their deal-breakers, what’s important to them in a home, you know, the property is such an amazing thing cause it’s, it means something different to every person. You know, especially when you’re talking about a family home. So when you can really identify and map out what are the key things that are important to them and then start presenting properties that are a perfect match to them, you know, you can see the look in their eye that just go and get like this. This is the right decision. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

And I mean obviously you’ve got a very deep, connection with property and investing in the data and the research. Obviously there’s this thing around Australia where everyone loves property. You know, it’s very talked-about in the papers. It’s everywhere. How do you know when you’re passionate about a property? Because you started in 2010 I mean, how did you know?

Jay Anderson,

So, I guess the first property I purchased, which is almost directly behind where we are now one of my good friends was doing quite successfully in property investing in, in developing and, I was kind of watching what he was doing and there was the initial interest, in the beginning, he ended up, wanting to buy this unit, but he’s finance fell through. So he kind of presented it to me. I got lucky on the first one, came out of the first one thinking I was an expert at the time because I just made all this money took me 10 months to realize that. Hey, I’m not an expert and if I want to become an expert, I need to dedicate as much time, energy and resources to learn everything I can about what becomes what makes a successful investor.

And more importantly, what makes a market tick. You know, what are some fundamentals or some key market signals that have an impact on a property market and what a market said Flatwater some go up, what’s happening behind the scenes that are causing this? So, from that point, it basically became a full-blown obsession to work out exactly what was happening and why do we, we went bought the next one and then it just fascinated me even further. So I started going back historically, so I went back to 1970 and then had a look on year on year. What was happening in each market around Australia at the time? What was property prices doing? Were they going up, sitting flat? What was population growth? What was any major infrastructure projects, employment? So unemployment, new job creation, what was happening in each of these markets to see if there’s any correlation between different data sets and property movements. So that basically that was, well before I even thought about doing it as a business, that’s when it became a full-blown obsession and passion that I’m sitting up late at night, you know, running numbers on a property, even though I wouldn’t be able to buy it at that time or maybe couldn’t even afford it at that time. I was still running the numbers on it, just, just out of the enjoyment.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. So, I think you definitely sit in a small minority of people who are going back to 1970s and you’re drilling into all that data. But do you think for the average person out there, just, you know, going on real estate and domain, let’s just say you’re running, you’re, you’re, you’re a banker and you’re spending your days not focused on your work and you’re looking on real estate domain? Does that constitute that you’re super passionate about the property or what do you?

Jay Anderson:

I think it’s a, it’s an early indicator. You know, if you’re spending time, you know, maybe outside of just when you’re thinking about buying a property, if you’re actually on real estate.com looking at different markets, I think that’s certainly an early indication that there’s, there’s some fire in there you know, and I, I’m incredibly lucky that now I get to do for my job, what’s my passion, what I was doing before I was being paid to do it, you know? So, I certainly, if you do have that inkling inside you, I think definitely chase it and explore it and try and get a better understanding into, I guess, what this industry does and how we help people.

Ben Handler:

How does it feel living, living your hobby now?

Jay Anderson:

Incredible. Incredible. The hardest thing at the moment is I need to force myself to switch off.

And it’s not because of anything else is because I just enjoy it so much and there’s so much drive there it’s, it’s an obsession. You know, I get up first thing in the morning and it’s straight on. It’s into it whether it’s actively searching for a property for an existing client or if it’s just looking at new markets, what’s happening, what, what’s, you know, what changes have been happening. And then going back to, other clients where their existing properties are, where the purchase before running numbers on that, looking at my own portfolio, it’s just, yeah, it’s, it’s what I call as my sport. It’s my, it’s my sport. It’s my hobby and running.

Ben Handler:
Obviously it’s your first proper business that you’re being running yourself. Correct?

Jay Anderson:

So we’ve had some motel businesses. But yeah, this is the first one that I’ve been doing on my own.

Ben Handler:
What have been the challenges? It’s difficult running any business ever. Do you come across key challenges?

Jay Anderson:

Certainly, probably just where to dedicate the time. You know, this, there’s so much to do. I’m, I’m a to-do list person, so I write out to do this and now I think at the moment I’ve got a large whiteboard. Both sides are full. So it’s prioritizing, you know, what’s important, what’s going to help grow the business. Looking at, you know, dollar productive, non-dollar productive, do a thing called an urgent-important matrix. Let’s focus on the things that are urgent and important right now. The things that are not important, not urgent. We should look at delegating or outsourcing or scheduling for the future. Cause I think if you don’t have a structured approach like that, it’s very easy as humans were like the path of least presidential stance.

So, a lot of times we can be drawn to the easy quick tasks rather than focusing on what are the, what are they going to be the big gains. And they are often the most difficult tasks that we need to complete.

Ben Handler:

I like that. The urgent, I think that’s important as part of just really attacking those, those high priority tasks first. Yeah. Because we can get dragged and focusing on those lower priority and we just end up kind of climbing backwards.

Jay Anderson:

Yeah. And then I think in the first couple of months that I was full time with the business, I was trying to, you know, be the marketing guy, the accounting guy wearing all these hats. I was doing lots of little tasks and probably wasn’t getting the fast enough traction that I wanted to. And that was when I took a step back and thought, you know, what’s the priorities here?

What is going to give me the biggest wins? And then I started looking at, yeah, outsourcing and delegating some, some of the other tasks.

Ben Handler:

We caught up for lunch a few months ago and we were having a chat just around your business and your model and how you’re growing and you’ve got so many, clients. And what struck out for me was that you’ve got, you’ve got an incredible business model. It’s fully referral based and so you’ve got these trusted partners, these financial planners, accountants, mortgage brokers, these group of people who really trust you with their clients. And I, and I think it’s amazing just in such a short period of time, obviously you’ve got so much skill and knowledge in the space, but you’re, you’re building such a robust business and it’s, it’s super impressive.

Jay Anderson:

Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. So 95% of my business is referral based at the moment.

You know, I’ve got a meeting directly after this with a financial planning firm in the city sitting in their board room with one of their clients who are, wants to start investing some of the cash they have into building a property portfolio. So, it’s incredibly honouring when a financial planning firm invites you into their office, into their board room to talk to one of their clients you know, it’s a pretty, pretty special field.

Ben Handler:

And I must say they obviously view you as their internal buyer’s agent.

Jay Anderson:

Yeah. They, it’s correct.

Ben Handler:

Under your brand, right?

Jay Anderson:

Yep, that’s correct.

Ben Handler:

Before we kick off this interview, you mentioned where you jumped in and said, “Hey, I’ve got a chat to you about something.” And it’s happened to me and I’ve seen it happen a lot in the industry. You had a client who, we’re going to go into the specifics, but you had a client who purchased a property without you.

And obviously, as buyer’s agents, we would hope in our contracts we’ve got a clause that stipulates that we are protected if the client does go behind our back and buy how are you going to deal with it?

Jay Anderson:

To be followed up? I’m not, I’m not sure. So, obviously don’t want to burn any bridges, but obviously, you know, we do have that protection in our agreement to present it, to prevent that from happening so it’s probably going to start off with just a, you know, a general conversation with the client to find out what happened and why and, and you know, what’s the approach moving forward?

Ben Handler:

Yeah, it makes sense. I mean, you want to keep it amicable. Are you buying a lot of market at the time? I know you buy a lot in Queensland, right?

Ben Handlers:

Yeah. So, you know, this month we’ve bought properties in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Out of the ones we’ve purchased, probably about 40 something per cent has been off-market it’s a good number.

A perfect example of that is once we identify an area or streets that we want to target, three weeks ago we did let a box drop to 423 houses on streets that we wanted to target. Got good results from that. So within seven days of dropping those letters, we had 5 phone calls from homeowners on those streets. So you know, when you’re taking the proactive approach of trying to find off-market deals, you know, I’ve got Francis up in Queensland, working for me, so he’s super active on the ground as well. Trying to find these off-market deals. There’s a lot more to it than just calling up an agent saying, Hey, do you have any off-market properties?

You know, it’s about, you know, really being proactive and understanding the area and, and approaching those vendors. The agents must know. You’ve pretty well now. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s a very important relationship to, to build and maintain and it’s good to have an understanding of how that agent works, how they like to be approached you know, it’s about building, connecting with the person as much as the business you know, if you spend a little bit of time, have a look at what properties that agent has listed on the market, if you call them, rather than just asking for, Hey, do you have any listings coming up or any off-market like this? Actually spend time, have a look at what they’ve got on the market at the moment. And you might say, “Hey John, I’m got a client interested in a three bedder in these suburbs. I know you’ve got one, two, three Smith street however that’s a little bit old for them. They’re looking at something a little bit more modern, something like four to seven John parade that you sold three months ago.” That’s the kind of property they want. You know, if you spend a bit of time to kind of understand what they do and you know, it certainly gets you further ahead.

Ben Handler:

How often are you, are you speaking with your clients as you’re working through the buyer’s agent journey? Is it a daily thing? Like how’s your communication?

Jay Anderson:
I was very structured when I first started the business and kind of. Hey, this is the way I want to operate it and the way I want to run it I quickly learned that just because that’s how I want to do it doesn’t mean that’s how the client wants to receive it. So it’s right in the beginning we try and get an understanding of what sort of expectations they have, what are they comfortable with in terms of communication. You know, some people will prefer a phone call, some people prefer a text message or email. Understanding how, what are they, what are their expectations from this? How do we normally work? And then we find a happy balance from there. So, you know, I have some clients time-poor professionals not interested in basically regular updates. They just want to know when we’ve got a potential property that’s a match, send it through to them to let them know what it’s going to take to buy it and what needs to be done. And then I’ve got other ones who are a lot more active within the process and want to understand which markets we’re looking at and why even the vetting process early on with the properties, you know, they’re, they’re really trying to learn through the process as well, which I connect where we are with because when I was using buyers agents from my own purchase, I was super interested in going, well, Hey, why are you doing this way? So you know, I’m very open to sharing that with my clients.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. I would expect a lot of the astute clients would be trying to really pick your brain to learn about, you know, your processes and what you’re doing. And yeah, as you were saying, vetting and just how you’re coming up with all your, your research, I’m sure they must dive into a lot of questions with you

Jay Anderson:

certainly. And sometimes you can learn a lot more from the properties that you reject than the ones that you proceed with as well. So that’s, that’s an interesting dynamic that a lot of clients are interested in. You know, what properties have we looked at and have rejected and what are the reasons why?

Ben Handler:

Yeah, I mean you were mentioning as well before that you were looking at a property for a client and then obviously did some due diligence came back building and pest wasn’t too good, so you have to, you have to walk away at times, right?

Jay Anderson:

That was an interesting one because my client was, I’m not interested in very strongly against getting a building inspection done. So, they had looked at three properties before that which they had paid for a building and pest and decided not to proceed with one missed out at auction, the other two not to proceed with. So, they were thinking the cost of a building and pest inspection report they actually had an associate of theirs go and look at the property as well. I very politely said, look, I understand, I respect, you know, you’re your associate but they’re not a builder. They’re not a pest inspector. Neither are we. We can go and have a look, take photos, do a video for you. We’re just really looking at the bones and the cosmetic side of it but I strongly insist, you know, we get a building inspection report done.

They were still very intrigued because they were wanting to spend $300,000 renovating this property as well. It was about a one-point $1 million purchase we pushed, they ended up doing it and building inspection report came back. They found a little trail of termites in the carport, followed that trail. And yeah, the termites were all through the building. So we managed to crush the contract based on the terms we had negotiated in the contract. And yeah, managed to walk away from that property, with no financial cost apart from the cost of the report.

Ben Handler:

would have been an expensive mistake. Right. And a lot of people do it not who are using buyer’s agents, but just a lot of punters buys out there. Yeah. Just some of them don’t really even look at a contract for sale either. It’s just insane.

Jay Anderson:

And I’m seeing that more and more in Sydney where, you know, now the heat’s starting to come back into the Sydney market. People are missing out on properties at auctions. You know, you might miss out at four or five or six properties. You’ve had a conveyancer review, the contract you’ve had building and pest done. You know, you miss out on five or six properties. This adds up quite quickly. So sometimes they get a bit frustrated with it all and then they find one that they really like and they just want to jump in without doing that sufficient due diligence beforehand. So certainly risky.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. And so you’re focusing commercial and residential together and you’re doing a bit of hotel stuff.

Jay Anderson:

Yeah. So on the commercial side, I’ve got a really strong preference for both accommodation and medical assets. So combination side, cause that’s my family’s background.

You know, we’ve been buying and investing in motels since the late 1950s. Got 2 motels myself. So, you know, there’s a market, I understand very, very well. And then the medical space, you know, they anchor tenants it’s a nondiscretionary spend for Australians to use medical and healthcare services, long-term leases the tenants in place are high-income earners as well so it all looks very good on that, on that medical front as well.

Ben Handler:

Are you finding there’s a lot of demand for commercial clients?

Jay Anderson:

Yeah, certainly that’s probably the interest levels growing more than any other sector and a lot of it, I guess it’s a mix of two different types of people. One is sophisticated investors who might have, you know, had a phone call with a gentleman last week. He had 13 properties, very savvy, sophisticated investor. They’re all residential is now getting to the point where he wants to now start generating a nice cashflow fizzy, thinking about retirement in 10 years time.

So, wants to jump into commercial. But he’s very, he good on him for realizing that it’s a very different space. Commercial and residential. They’re two completely different beasts so he’s looking at signing up to help him secure a commercial property and he’s one of the people that want to learn about what we look at and what, how we do it with commercial space. So it’s the sophisticated investors wanting more cashflow. And the other one is baby boomers transitioning into retirement. A lot of times they’re asset rich. They might be high-income earners in their day job in their career are wanting to transition into retirement but want to maintain the same lifestyle that they’ve got to do that they need to be able to replace their income. So, looking at getting a commercial property.

Ben Handler:

It’s phenomenal that you’re doing both and you obviously you understand both very well. I typically see I mean before starting my buyer’s agent business sales, focusing in a commercial at the charter hall. But typically, you’ve got someone who’s really strong in the residential or the commercial and it’s great that you’ve, you’ve really, really understand. Both of you invested in both yourself. You’ve been in the trenches yourself, the both. And I think it’s very valuable to a client because if they do want to diversify and they are very focused in residential, I mean you can just educate them around the opportunities that may be looking and you know, changing direction. Right?

Jay Anderson:

Yeah, and that’s it. You know, I do have some clients approach that is unsure. Do they want to go the residential way or the commercial way and we can take that holistic approach of saying, well, let’s have a look at where you are, what you, where you want to go, what you want to achieve, what you’ve currently got, and then let’s make a bit of a strategic decision about we can even do a bit of a 10-year plan.

Well maybe let’s introduce some residential now and get the capital growth. Convert that into commercial later on.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. Since starting the business, obviously I’m not sure how your, the flexibility worked when you’re in your previous role before you started your buyer’s agent business, what have you noticed in starting your own business? Obviously we’ve got to work, we work bloody hard as entrepreneurs and running your buyers and your business, but have you, have you been able to spend more time with your family and now you’ve got a few kids?

Jay Anderson:

Yeah. So certainly the hours, a number of hours I work is, is longer. And it’s, I think that’s an old saying that entrepreneurs work 80 to 80 hours a week, so they didn’t have to work 40 hours to somebody else but it’s, you know, it’s at my choice on how many hours I put in, but it certainly has given me more flexibility around my family that I can choose when I work, when I’m not, when I won’t.

An example of that is, you know, Fridays at 11 o’clock, my kids do swimming lessons, so I head down there and go to swimming lessons with them today’s Halloween, so I’m going to head home early, pick the kids up from childcare and go trick or treating with them, you know, so it’s, it certainly gives you that flexibility around, around time.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. And have you, do you, what do you do to stay motivated?

Jay Anderson:

I always focus on growth activities. So, both personal growth I always try and challenge myself to try and learn something new every month. So, I think it helps expand the mind, keeps you focused and keeps you growing as a person and a business. So, an example, one of the things that I want to learn this month is speed reading. So photographic speed reading. It’s just something I came across and I thought, you know what, I’m gonna, I’m gonna dedicate a little bit of time, a couple of times a week and just learn that.

And that helps me just expand my mind outside of what I am doing and helps me move forward and outside of that, when I originally started the business in a lot of people talk about the five-year goal, you know, what’s the five-year goal? One of my business coaches said, forget that five-year goal, five-year goals don’t mean anything. You put it out there and it’s a kind of a, it’s a dream. It’s a wish or we need to focus on is the next 90 days. Let’s map out what you want to achieve in the next 30 days and the next 90 days. And that is your laser focus. And if you do that, you’ll be much further ahead when that five year comes than if you’re just aiming for that, that dream.

Ben Handler:

I love that. Yeah, I work on 90 days as well. I think it’s very important. Where can people find you?

Jay Anderson:

So any of the social media channel channels or just Google. So, Jay Anderson, jayanderson.com.au. On all the social media channels, got a website up there as well or they can give me a call 0410746200.

Ben Handler:

Awesome. I’ve really enjoyed chatting with you. You’ve built an awesome business and just seeing how you’ve transpired since we first spoke, I knew it was there, I knew it was going to happen, but I guess it’s just amazing seeing you’re living your hobby now. It’s just great. Made so well done.

Jay Anderson:

Thank you on one big, big thanks to both you and what you’ve done with the buyer’s agent Institute. Cause that’s a huge component of being able to get me and my business to where it is at the moment. It’s been invaluable. So thank you. Thank you.

Ben Handler:

Hope you enjoy the interview. You can check out Jay and his website at jayanderson.com.au. And for those of you who do have an interest in residential or commercial across Australia, Jay is exceptionally talented and skilled and very knowledgeable, and he’s invested his own money into these asset classes. See you next week.

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