Why You Have to Follow Your Heart—Not the Money

by Ben Handler

July 10, 2020

Follow Your Heart

Luke Bailey:

Yeah, I guess it’s a, it’s a bit of a misconception. Some days, you know, where people think that you have to study a lot at school and have to go to universities. But for me, you know, I wasn’t as successful student at school. You know, I was, I was very much a, you know, a D grade or an F grade in some subjects. So school for me was, was more of a holiday. You know, I went there to catch up with my friends and play sport and things like that. So school really didn’t have any impact on me whatsoever. So I guess, um, you know, I was really forced to do a trade or forced to do something that didn’t require study. Um, and that’s why I guess I become an electrician. Um, I left school just after my 17th birthday and started a fly in, fly out a construction role as an apprentice electrician only a few months after that. So yeah.

Ben Handler:

Welcome back to the buyer’s agent Institute show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyers agents to bring awareness to the career opportunities at the buyer’s agent sector is providing people to bring awareness around the value that buyers agents are providing to people who need help buying property. Our goal with the show is to strip back and dive into the stories 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 Luke Bailey. Loose come all the way from Adelaide. Luke has a very significant property investing history and career, which started back when he was 19 when he bought his first property. Luke was also a fly in fly out electrician and he was actually earning very good money. He had such a big passion for property that he decided to then transfer and become a buyer’s agent.

Ben Handler:

Luke now runs a buyer’s agent company called [inaudible]. That business has been running for around 19 months and Lucas generated deepen the six figures with that business and also diversified, not just buying investment properties but also doing development projects. Today, I’d like to introduce Luke Bailey. Welcome Luke. Thanks very much for having me. Good to be here. Great spear. So Luke, I had a question for you just regarding school. You know, I’ve, I see so many entrepreneurs you’ve done so well, you’ve obviously been very successful as, as, as an electrician, you earned very good money. You’ve now transitioned into a very successful role running your own buyer’s agent business. So when did you get first addicted to property? Your first hit? The first hit he

Luke Bailey:

would have been, um, look, when I was 18 years old, my, my dad was really encouraging me to get into investing and whether that be property, whether it be shares, whether it be something else. He said, look, you’re young, have to set yourself up. So I started really saving know after I bought my first car for a, uh, for my first property at around 18. And I just before my 19th birthday, I signed the contract so that it’s settled just after 19th birthday. Um, so yeah, when I was 18 and got it. Got it. Really young, I guess you can say. Yeah. Yeah. Was it a good purchase? The first one? It wasn’t the best. Oh, I’ll be, I’ll be honest. And I think a lot of people when they, I guess invest in property, they invest close to where they’re living. It’s just, it’s a general, general thing.

Luke Bailey:

I mean, if you’re from Sydney, you, you invest in CD. If you’re from Melbourne, you’d invest in Melbourne. I grew up in a small country town, ran about an hour away from Adelaide on the South coast. So, you know, the capital growth there in general was quite, quite slow. But I, you know, the good thing was I made the, made the jump and started investing in property. So it, it wasn’t the best purchase. I still own that property today and it’s, uh, you know, has went up, you know, decent amount. But you know, the whole doubles doubles in seven to 10 year period wasn’t the case for me initially. But, um, you know, the, the positive out of it was I did take action. Yeah. Yeah. Because they always say, I mean, especially with with my experience, you know, buying that first property, you’re popping the cherry and typically that you didn’t want to manufacture equity if possible then to start accumulating more properties.

Luke Bailey:

Yeah, definitely. And that was a strategy that I use throughout building my portfolio was, um, you know, as I sort of understood that, you know, capital growth is great and that’s why you buy properties, but if you can manufacture equity through, you know, renovations and developments and subdivision and things like that, that’s something that I sort of learned later down the line after I sort of worked out how property kind of works. So, um, yeah. Yeah. So your portfolios over South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, yeah, correct. So, yeah, throughout, um, you know, Adelaide, the South coast where I grew up, I’ve still got some properties down there, uh, throughout Tasmania. So Hobart, Launceston, and then, uh, South Brisbane, so. Okay, nice. And currently for your buyer’s agent business, are you buying in those three States? Yeah, so predominantly on buying, uh, throughout South Australia. That’s, that’s my core.

Luke Bailey:

Um, I was previously buying in Tasmania. So around Hobart, uh, we’ve sort of stopped buying there for, for different reasons. Um, but you know, South Australia is more my product market. I do a little bit of buying in regional Victoria, but I would say 80% of it would be Adelaide or around Adelaide. Yeah. Cool. And so when your electrician, you earning very good money, correct. Yep. And what was the main driver for you actually deciding to really exit out of there? Yeah, look, for me, I never fell in love with being an electrician. I enjoyed the, the having that trade as a security, but I was very much forced into being electrician. And that was purely by not doing well at school. My father was a mining manager in, um, in the oil and gas industry, so he sort of pulled me out and, and dropped me in and then I did that, did the trade.

Luke Bailey:

So I never really felt, fell in love with it. And, um, I guess I stuck at it for so long because of the money, you know, and that it can be a trap, you know, you’re stuck to the money. But, um, with that comes, you know, a lifestyle that you’re away for three weeks, four weeks at a time, living in, you know, mining care. It’s living in facilities where you just don’t want to be there. So it’s a trap you can get trapped to a money to, to the money, uh, which has its, has its advantages, but you have to really, you know, sort of towards my late twenties when I realized that this isn’t for me. Like I just can’t be, you know, chained to, to the money. So you want to say it’s good money, safe, good money, and you know, got to do a lot of things. I’ll enjoy doing, travel the world and you know, you’ve got to buy decent amount of properties and whatnot. So I never went without. But the, um, I guess the parity of doing that is a year away and you do miss out on quite a lot of things, so yeah. Yup.

Ben Handler:

Did you dream of getting into real estate, like becoming a real estate agent at any stage or

Luke Bailey:

not at all? Like I just saw that the, the grind of a real estate agent, you know, making cold calls, doing door knocking, it is never, that’s not my personality. So it never, it never, you know, come across me to, to do that and always wanted to do something in property. But I enjoyed buying property personally. So there was never, you know, never a thought to become a real estate agent and compete with the other, I dunno, it was 70 or 80,000 people in Australia that are doing it. So,

Ben Handler:

yeah, I remember when we first spoke and you obviously super passionate about property and you really wanted to get out of what you’re doing. I could just tell that you didn’t have that typical sales style of let’s say, personnel. And that was me as well. I didn’t come from a sales background and I mean, what’s been your experience now getting into the buyer’s agent space? Not having a sales background? Was that limiting for you or

Luke Bailey:

no, not really. I think it’s, um, I think sales is, is learned. I, I think there’s very few people in the world that actually born salesman. There’s a, there’s a few people that are, but I think, you know, it can be learned. It’s about following a certain process, being good at asking questions, being uh, you know, acting, not like a typical salesman. Um, so for me it wasn’t necessarily a limiting factor. I, I wanted to sort of use my experience of buying properties, um, as an investor, as providing enormous value to clients and when, when they can see that, I don’t think you have to be a salesy type of person to succeed in this career.

Ben Handler:

I agree. And I think not having a sales background coming into the buyer’s agent role can really work to your advantage. And it did. I mean, it did for me. And I think what can be actually tricky for buyers agencies if you come into the role with training in some shape or form in sales, and it might not be the best of training. Trying to, I guess, rewire that and untangle that can be quite challenging. Yeah, totally. I mean, yeah, yeah.

Luke Bailey:

A lot of people can be conditioned to be, you know, certain ways and certain, you know, sales tactics. But really it comes down to being able to solve someone’s problem. You know, they, they have a problem that they, they can’t, you know, find the property that they’re looking for. They haven’t got the time, haven’t gotten knowledge. So ultimately you’re, you’re a, you’re a problem solver. You’re solving someone’s, someone’s issue that they have and you’re just the doctor or the advisor to come along and, and, uh, you know, cure their, their problem. That’s right. So the property that you’ve been buying for 14, cause I mean, that company I’ve been watching you grow, you’ve built a phenomenal business. You’ve built a brand. Uh, you’ve obviously serving a lot of clients. Are you buying for clients who are based in South Australia? Are they based in different parts of Australia?

Luke Bailey:

Yeah, all around Australia. Um, so we would have, I’d say around 50% of our clients would be South Australia or Adelaide base. And then the other 50% would be, you know, from, from Melbourne, from Sydney, from Brisbane, from, you know, regional, Western Australia. So they’re all around Australia. Um, I guess one of the advantages is, you know, there, there aren’t a lot of buyer’s agents in Adelaide. There’s a, there’s a couple of people that have been there for a few years, but, you know, I’m probably one of the newest people there. So, um, yeah, people from all around Australia. Yeah. Do you feel like you ever get complacent because, um, there’s obviously a low level of competition. Do you do, I guess, think of that a lot that there’s not a lot of competition? Yeah, look, it’s a good question. And uh, you are right there. There is no competition.

Luke Bailey:

And I usually find when I get an inquiry from someone that has, you know, looking for a buyer’s agent, you know, I’m competing with maybe one or two other people. So that can be a trap because you can be complacent and you can maybe not push yourself as much as you, you should. Uh, I think it’s a, it’s a trap that we can all fall into. Absolutely. And in terms of the types of property you’re purchasing, are you doing any owner arc? Is it just purely investment? Cause I know you’re doing development projects now, so what’s going on at the moment? Yeah, it’s a good mix between investment properties and development sites. I mean we did try everything when I first started the primary residence, the, you know, the investment, the development. Um, but, but now we’re predominantly focused on investment properties and development sites and also some renovation projects, you know, renovation and flip sort of projects.

Luke Bailey:

I understood that there was a lot of people that were not necessarily wanting to build a portfolio, so they wanted to do short term projects. So more the six months, the 12 month, 18 month time frames. Um, you know, building portfolios is a place where I started and, and I, you know, I encourage everyone to do it at some stage, but I understand that not everyone wants that or does that. So we sort of catered for that. We sort of built a product to cater for people that are wanting those, those short term projects. So you’ve obviously got a lot of service offerings. I’m short. I mean is there auctions in Adelaide? There are, but we’re not really an auction state. You know, we’re not like in new South Wales or Victoria, we would have, you know, 60 auctions on a Saturday. Our posts are 500 in Sydney. So there are auctions we have bought at auction, but you know we’re still a little bit more of a private sale type type of city. And so I’m sure there’s

Ben Handler:

probably opportunity for negotiation only services. The direct investment. Obviously you’re doing add-ons with your services to project manage, I’m assuming like a renovation, right?

Luke Bailey:

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So we’ve got a couple of different types of services. So we have the buyer’s agent service, which is the typical, you know, finding, you know, sourcing, researching, locating and securing that site for investment and development. Then we also added in a project management leg towards, or that is project managing renovations. That’s project managing. I’m mean some developers are time poor as well. They might have multiple projects on the go. So we’re doing, you know, development approvals we’re doing, helping out with subdivisions and things like that. So it’s another service that you can offer and it’s not just as clear cut. I think a lot of people think buyer’s agents just just buy property. It’s that, that that’s true. But there are other services that that you can offer as well.

Ben Handler:

Yeah, there’s a lot of, I guess there’s, there’s a lot of value that we provide to the, to the clients and I guess it’s just about working out our strengths and then we can package that up, provide it to the client and everyone’s going to have different objectives. And I think with your level of skill, I mean a lot of your clients must be pretty impressed when they, I guess first hear about you and speak to you around a, what you’ve done for yourself and B, what you’ve been doing for your clients.

Luke Bailey:

Yeah, I think having that, you know, trade background as well, I sort of naturally sort of would, would fall into, I don’t know if it’s my past, but being on a construction site and things like that is kind of what I’ve done. So I feel as if I should be on, you know, renovation projects and all that sort of stuff. So it felt natural to me to be able to do that. And you know, talking to clients about their renovation and doing estimates is off the top of my head for how much things are going to cost. I guess they are a little bit surprised sometimes. I’m just an advantage. I think I can offer people by having that different mindset based around, um, how to look at things when you, when you purchasing property and

Ben Handler:

yeah. Nice. And talk me through obviously going from a construction site, the fly in fly out to now running your own business. What’s been, has there been a massive transformation?

Luke Bailey:

There has been. Um, so typically the construction life is, you know, you’re away for three to four weeks, you’re working 12 hours per day, you’re in hot conditions, sometimes very sticky conditions. It can be a lot of people can’t cope with it. So doing that, um, you know, you’re told to start work at six smoko nine, lunch 12, you know what I mean? It’s so structured. Um, you know, to then running my business the first few months of running it, I I didn’t really know what to do with myself to be honest cause it was just so different. Uh, and then you’re going from, you know, those sort of conditions to, uh, an office type role, meeting people at cafes and restaurants. It was a bit, a bit of a bit of a whirlwind for me, but definitely true transformation. I feel like a different person now for sure. Cause I wasn’t happy, you know, in, in the past sort of past life, I guess I could say. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Running businesses, obviously challenging. I think for any entrepreneur doing anything new, it’s, it’s tough, right? It’s, it’s volatile. It’s up and down. I mean for you running this is your, I’m assuming your first proper business that you’ve started.

Luke Bailey:

Yeah. First proper business. I did do, do, do some electrical stuff when I was sort of younger with a business. But the first I guess type I’ve, I’ve really sort of blown up. Yeah. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

Um, what’s been really the big challenges? Like is it the schedule? Is it, uh, around, uh, your, I guess day to day activities? Has it been around, I guess even just working in collaborating with clients? Like what, what have you found

Luke Bailey:

to be the most challenging? Yeah, look, I’m going, I think one of the most challenging things is, is client management. I think it can be because, you know, going from, uh, you know, electrician sort of role, construction role, which, you know, you’re using tools to then managing clients. Um, you know, also also marketing and sales. I mean that’s really the engine that drives the business is marketing and sales. So that’s been probably the most challenging thing for me. And then initially it was structure. It was, you know, get getting myself into a structure of, of trying to fit everything into the day. So bit have a combination, I would say client management, but also the marketing sales side of things has been

Ben Handler:

what have you done with a client that, for example, you know, we all, when I was a buyer’s agent, we will have challenging clients. Things change. What have you typically done to, I guess w when there’s been a client that maybe it hasn’t gone the right way, EG, like their brief has changed or they may be, uh, deciding not to buy for various reasons. Have you found it difficult to try and I guess massage and, you know, have an amicable style of relationship if the client journey hasn’t been going to plan?

Luke Bailey:

It’s a great question cause it’s happened a few times for me. Uh, things don’t always go for plan here, you know, in any type of business. So for me it’s about really understanding their requirements first. You know, first stop, you know, I mean when I, when I first started, it was a matter of just taking on clients, you know, just because I’m starting up a new business. You have to bring in revenue, you have to get it, get it running. But it’s about understanding, you know, a lot more. A lot more now is understanding whether I can help them, whether I want to work with them, whether the personality is going to be a fit. So it’s about really qualifying that that person right away. But when in a situation when it doesn’t run to plan [inaudible] it’s about you know, calling a meeting and really it might feel uncomfortable to do that initially is to really try and sort it out. But that’s the best way to move forward is the call out meeting and say, Hey, it’s, it’s not working. We’ve got two ways to go here. We can keep on going the way we’re going and not find something cool. We can alter the brief or change something.

Ben Handler:

You seem like a very active learner. Like, obviously since we’ve known each other, I know that you, you’re reading a lot, you’re engaging in a lot of just education, full-stop. Has that something, is that been an interest of yours?

Luke Bailey:

Yeah, always has been. So probably early twenties, mid twenties. I just, I realized that I didn’t know anything. You know, I had learned nothing school, nothing about finance, money, business sales, marketing. I’ll let them know nothing about property, nothing about anything at school. Uh, and I realized that, you know, you have to educate yourself. There’s a lot of information out there that you need to know if you want to succeed. So I just started consuming a lot of books and started, you know, reading a book a week sometimes. And you know, when I was away I had a lot of time in the flying play industry to read and no one else was reading up there cause it’s not that type of industries. But I realized that education was the key. So I’ve done a lot of, you know, personal development courses, but I think you’ve got to consistently learn, right? Your life’s in it. Life’s a journey of education. And that’s what it is. So, but it’s a huge passion of mine. Yeah.

Ben Handler:

And have you found that it’s been challenging to stay motivated with the new business? Like in terms of mindset, has that been something that you found a bit tricky?

Luke Bailey:

Yeah, it has been starting up a business by yourself. It can be one of the most challenging things to do and to not be surrounded by other people in an office that are all doing the same thing. It can be challenging. You know, you’ve got to keep motivated. And I think for me it’s, it’s doing a morning routine to get my mindset right, to know that you know what I have to do. And also, you know, trying to tackle good book by Jack was a Jack Canfield about eat that frog, you know, tackle the most important things straight away. And that’s what I try and do those calls. I have to make those, you know, that first hour of work is most important I think. What have you learned about yourself since you’ve started your business? You can achieve a lot more than what you’re thinking, your mind. We all have limitations in our mind and that’s just the experiences that we ha have had in the past. But you know, you can achieve hundreds of times more than what you actually think in your mind, but you’ve just got to believe it first. So that’s kind of what I, what I’ve sort of understood about myself as soon as I believe it, I can achieve it. Yeah,

Ben Handler:

you’re in a great position. I mean there’s so many buyer’s agents buying into South Australia who aren’t positioned there. I don’t know what States they’re in, but they’re not in South Australia. You’re base there, so I mean for you to service a client and be on the ground, there’s obviously a massive, I guess additional value add. So obviously it’s a very big opportunity. I mean, I think just just looking into it, obviously the development projects is now picking up for you. And so it seems like your business is gaining a lot of momentum. What are plans or if you have any for for 2020 you’re looking to do anything different or is you just going to business as usual? Yeah.

Luke Bailey:

For me it’s to really, um, you know, keep the buyer’s agent running and flowing nicely but also together into more development projects. And I have a huge passion in being on construction sites and whatnot. So that’s where a lot of my enjoyment is in doing a lot of development projects around Adelaide, short timeframe stuff within that sort of 12 month, 15 month timeframe that that’ll definitely be ramping up in the next sort of year or so. And, and having multiple, we’ve got multiple projects on the go right now. Um, but you know, to keep building on that and keep the buyer’s agency, you know, running, running nicely as well.

Ben Handler:

Awesome. And so where can people find you? Yeah, they can go to my website, [inaudible] dot com today you, they can search 40 buyer’s agency on Facebook page, send us a message or one 308 Oh seven one four four is the direct number. Awesome mate. Well done. I mean, just watching your journey for me, uh, to see you transpire over the 18 months or however long it’s exactly been, has been phenomenal. I mean what you’ve actually achieved and starting a new business runs on the board. Just getting out there, you’ve built such a brand and I mean people know about you and Adelaide and I think it’s unbelievable. So just want to say congratulations and I’m really pumped to see what you’re going to do in 2020 thanks man. That was really a really common words. Thank you. Cheers. Thanks. So that’s the end of the show now. And for those of you, you can check out Luke at www dot [inaudible] dot com dot. AAU and for those of you looking to buy in the South Australia region, Luke is actually on the ground there, so he got a lot of experience there obviously in Tasmania as well and Queensland. So if anyone looking for any development opportunities or for direct investment, Luke is your guy. See you next week.

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