Guy Williams started his property investment journey 20 years ago to ensure a financial freedom for himself and his family.
Two decades and 37 properties worth $12 million later, the successful investor shares his trials and triumphs with Smart Property Investment, as well as all the lessons he has learned about the perils of procrastination and the value of a good advice.
What would you say to people who are having doubts about starting their investment journey?
Guy Williams: Firstly, think about what's getting in the way of you taking that step. I think a lot of people are change adverse. They don't like change, but the moment you invest, that's a change. There's pre-investment and there's change. If you don't really like change, at a subconscious level, you'll be looking for reasons why not to invest. All the property's about to bubble, it's about to burst, or interest rates are about to go up. There are lots of reason that you can find for not taking that step.
What, for you, is the "first step" in investing?
Guy Williams: I think a lot of investors don't know what the very, very, very, very, very, very first step is. I think what happens is they think, "Right, I'll go on to realestate.com or I'll go onto domain. I've kind of got an area in mind". They look and they go, "I think I've got a price range", and then they see so many properties and they go, "Oh, it's all just too hard". They think, "Where do I start?"
I think getting clear on what the very, very, very first step is, is important. I suppose my advice would be, the very, very first step would be to find a broker who can tell you if you can borrow money and how much money you can borrow. That would be my first step. Then, assuming you can and you know how much, I would then go to a buyer's agent. There's lot of good ones out there. Do I personally use a buyer's agents? No, because the researching and the buying is something I've learnt over time and something I'm quite happy to do.
If your very first step is the wrong one, then ... You know, journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, yes, but you've got to be going in the right direction.
How do you manage the 37 properties in your portfolio?
Guy Williams: There's plenty of good advisers and good help. Again, I think the very, very, very first step is to find a good broker. I don't think the first step is to sit on the web and look at realestate.com.
Can you share the one of most important lessons you have learned as an investor?
Guy Williams: I think people default to worst-case scenario. There is worst-case scenario, but there's also best-case scenario and there's most likely scenario. Before you get stuck on worst-case scenario, at least consider the other two ... Property is very forgiving. It's very forgiving. I've made some dumb decisions over the years, but it's forgiving. It's forgiving. Trust that over the 10, 15, 20 years ... Trust the asset class. Trust that even if you stuff up, it'll forgive you over the longer term.
Tune in to Guy Williams' episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to find out more about his "buy and hold" strategy, and how choosing to ignore "doom and gloom" headlines has helped him move forward as a property investor.