Eric Brown runs a successful business at the same time as managing a diversified 11-property portfolio, and while it may seem like a task too daunting for many, he has found a way to be successful in both fields without spreading himself too thin at any point.
According to the businessman, his so-called "secret" is something many property investors are already doing—build a reliable financial team.
"Basically, it's employing or engaging people that I trust to look help me look after that portfolio. I try not to get my hands too dirty [in] the day-to-day running of it," he told Smart Property Investment.
Eric makes sure to be in contact with his accountants and property managers to always be aware of his current position, whether in business or property investment. This strategy enables him to gauge his next steps and determine the best decisions that will move his journeys further forward.
"[I have] bi-annual meetings with my accountant to help me to make sure the structure's still right and our goals are still there and how are we going to move forward in the next year. The property managers on the ground look after my day-to-day running of things," he said.
"It's knowing what position I'm at. That helps a lot, having a spreadsheet to tell you exactly where you're at, what properties are costing you money, what properties are making you money. You learn from that.
"As the properties get older and I spend a bit of money on them to upgrade them, I increase the rents. It gets easier for them to become positively geared. Most of them are positively geared to start with but the level of cash I gain out of that property grows as the property gets older, as the rents go up and as I do some improvements and then increase my rents.
Even as a builder, Eric still makes it a point to share responsibilities with fellow professionals. Aside from saving time and money, which he can dedicate on other money-making efforts, he is also able to avoid any emotional attachment to a property—a fundamental investment strategy that leads to success.
"It's just how valuable my time is and where I can make my money," Eric explained.
"I make my money through commercial fit-outs and make goods. The one in Queensland that we just undertook a renovation on, I used a local builder because when I got some prices up there, it cost me $11,000 to do kitchen, bathroom, carpet, repaint, across a two-bedroom unit.
"Why would I waste my time or my money sending my own crew up there when I can trust a local builder to do the job for me? It was so much easier. It was just set and forget, and away he went."
Tune in to Eric Brown's episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about his property investment journey and the lessons he's picked up along the way.