Investor reveals the opportunities for migrants in Australia

By Demii Kalavritinos 22 September 2017 | 1 minute read

In this episode, IT Developer and migrant Jazz Sidana joins host Phil Tarrant to share his journey on property investment after moving to Melbourne 12 years ago.

“When I came, I barely had anything, so I think it's possible for everybody,” Jazz shares as he explains how his energy and motivation drove him towards success.

The Melbourne based investor shares his insights on how he realised the opportunities around property investment, how he plans to reach his fundamental goal of “financial freedom”, his number one tip for new migrants in Australia, and the challenges and advantages he faced.

In this episode, find out how to figure out whether an investment is good, how to add the most value to your portfolio, and the differences between non-major lenders and major banks.

All of this and much, much more!

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If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

Suburbs mentioned in this episode:
Bentleigh East
Narre Warren
WindsorWindsor, NSW Windsor, VIC Windsor, QLD

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Things to consider before investing in a regional town 
Median prices or values – which is more important?

About the author

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Smart Property Investment Show, with your host Phil Tarrant.

Phil Tarrant: Well, hi everybody. It's Phil Tarrant here, host of the Smart Property Investment Show. Thanks for joining us today. Another investor in the studio who I hope is going to share some words of wisdom. Around here he's gone about building a property portfolio, which sounds as though it's on its way to get a lot larger. I have Jazz Sidana here with us as the Smart Property Investment Show. Jas, how you going?

Jazz Sidana: Good, buddy. How are you?

Phil Tarrant: Good, mate. How do you want to take this podcast today? What do you want to talk about?

Jazz Sidana: Oh, look, it's a general podcast. I mean, I'm just sharing my journey of what I've done so far, more than anything else. If I can do it, pretty much anyone can do it. I've been in the country for the last 12 years. When I came, I barely had anything, so I think it's possible for everybody.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, lets chat about that. So where's home originally for you?

Jazz Sidana: I'm from India, so North India basically.

Phil Tarrant: North India?

Jazz Sidana: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. And why'd you come to Australia? What's the backstory? How'd you end up here?

Jazz Sidana: The backstory is actually, I was just trying leave India and do my studies in some part of the world. I wasn't sure where to go. And it's just like eenie meenie miney moe. I just happened to pick Australia, but there was no particular reason of coming here. But when I came here, so I did my Master's in IT for two years, applied for residency, luckily got it, and then yeah, the rest is history from there. Just kept working in IT with a big retail company for the last 10 years now.

Phil Tarrant: So you've been with the same company for 10 years?

Jazz Sidana: Yeah. So I just kept moving up within the same company as IT development manager.

Phil Tarrant: So what do you develop?

Jazz Sidana: All IT systems for them internally. So all our development is in-house, and I just look after all the developers, basically.

Phil Tarrant: How do you find working with developers? We've got a lot here, so-

Jazz Sidana: I won't say anything. But it's actually good, it's good. You get to learn a lot, especially in today's world where it's all getting digitalized, pretty much everything is changing. It's really good to work with developers and see where the technology is heading, and stay on top of it. So I do enjoy it. It has its plus and minuses, but-

Phil Tarrant: Oh yeah. So I imagine doing your job you get paid reasonably well?

Jazz Sidana: Yeah, it's pretty good.

Phil Tarrant: So that's allowed you to get into property investment?

Jazz Sidana: Yeah, like everyone else, I started from the pretty basics of working in IT as a junior support person and then moved my ranks up into development and development manager. So property just happened to be ... I don't know how I got into the game of property. I was actually planning to build my one house, and one of the first things I did was, bought a block of land. I think I had it almost for a year or two, and I made decent money out of it. When I say decent money, it was only 20, 30 grand, this was I'm talking seven, eight years ago now. And I decided to sell it, just because of quick profit. I didn't know anything about property investing at all back then. So yeah, it just happened to start from there. Where the love story started.

Phil Tarrant: So your first investment was a block of land that you bought and sold and made profit?

Jazz Sidana: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: So when was that?

Jazz Sidana: This was probably in 2007 or 2008.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, so nearly 10 years ago. And whereabouts was the block of land?

Jazz Sidana: It was towards Southeast of Melbourne in Narre Warren, Barrack area.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So it was always going to be an investment. So you had no plans of building a house and living there?

Jazz Sidana: No, I actually did, that was the initial plan, to put my house on it. But, because I saw the profit, I'm like, why not sell it, and then I'll buy it again.

Phil Tarrant: Did you live in Melbourne at that time?

Jazz Sidana: Yeah. I was renting at the time in Melbourne in the inner suburbs, Windsor area, and yeah. I was planning to build my house and obviously inner city is pretty expensive, and then you're just starting your job where the salary is not that great, hence I started looking outer suburbs. And I think at the time of that block was 175,000, if I remember it correct, and I sold it for 20k profit after, it was a year or two, I don't remember exactly that part of it. So it sort of really started from there. But my initial plan was to put my house on it. And then straight after that, I actually bought a house in the same area on a similar sized block, in Barrack, and that I still hold to date, and it's rented out currently. And that's been what I did. That one was bought in 2008 or 2009 when I sold the block of land. It's more than double in value now, so it's ...

Phil Tarrant: So you bought that as your principle place of residence?

Jazz Sidana: Yes.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. And are you married or ... ?

Jazz Sidana: Yeah, married with two kids. We've got a three year old and a six months.

Phil Tarrant: And were you married when you bought the house, or was it-

Jazz Sidana: No, at the time I was single.

Phil Tarrant: The idea was that you'd get married and raise a family.

Jazz Sidana: That's a good point that you raise. That was the reason of buying the house in the first place. Because I was planning to get married and have kids down the line, and living in the inner city in a small apartment wasn't a practical thing, so I started to move out in the suburbs.

Phil Tarrant: So you bought that, and what happen then? So you moved, did you move to Sydney then, or have-

Jazz Sidana: No, I'm still in Melbourne. I live in Melbourne. I just fly up here every now and then.

Phil Tarrant: Oh, so you're still Melbourne-based?

Jazz Sidana: Yeah, I'm still Melbourne-based.

Phil Tarrant: Brilliant. So you still live in Melbourne. Okay, that's good.

Jazz Sidana: Since the beginning, I've been in Melbourne, but I did move to Queensland for a little while, but that's a separate story.

Phil Tarrant: So you bought principle place of residence, and you lived in it for a little while?

Jazz Sidana: Yeah, three years. And then at the same time after buying that, I bought another property within the same area, just a corner block on a 600 square metre I just hold to date, it's rented out for 300 odd thousand something, and that's more or less because the prices have gone up so mch in the last few years, especially in that part of the town as well. And that's pretty much doubled in value, too, since then. So it's probably close to, not exactly, but 560, 570, that's probably where it sits now. That's done pretty well, too.

Phil Tarrant: And what happened after that? So how many properties are now on your portfolio?

Jazz Sidana: So in total I do hold six properties.

Phil Tarrant: Six properties, okay, so that number two or three years. So what are the properties in your portfolio?

Jazz Sidana: So the third one was, I was actually upgrading my own house, so I bought again in the same area, Barrack area, so this time it was just a bigger house on a 20, 30 km block. And I'd rented my principle place of residence out, which is still today rented out. And then lived in there for another two, three years. At the same time when I bought that, I ended up buying another one in Frankston within the same year. So that was again, I'm a very traditional style investor, which is buying an old house on a block of land kind of thing, a decent sized block which can be down the line something…  So very, very traditional investor in that terms

Phil Tarrant: Some might say traditional, some might say very smart.

Jazz Sidana: Yeah, so all the ones I bought except this particular one that we were talking on, which I moved into to upgrade my own house. I'd leave that one aside. All the other ones that I've got in the portfolio are pretty much, can be subdivided. Either knock down and put multiple units, or can just subdivide and put one in the back in some cases.

Phil Tarrant: So why have you decided to follow that particular strategy? So identifying established properties that you can add value to through potential granny flats, if that's what you're talking about? Or knock down, rebuild a duplex or something like this?

Jazz Sidana: So the way I built the portfolio was, I really did want to put build a ground portfolio up there, which is essentially up to a certain mill, my target was five mill, I'm still not there yet, so getting close to it now.

Phil Tarrant: Five million in value?

Jazz Sidana: Yeah. Five million in value, yeah. Not in equity, that would be great. Yeah, but five million in value, and the way I did was, I need to buy something that, well, it's going to be five million in value, that's fine, but that you can actually increase the value on it by putting granny flats, townhouses down the line. And as these areas, which is outer suburbs, the population grows over there, which is happening now, and they're knocking out blocks and just wanted blocks and putting multiple townhouses. So actually that five million portfolio becomes six or seven mill or whatever it is, depending on how many townhouses you put on it. That's down the line strategy, but that's how the portfolio has been built.

Phil Tarrant: So you're building a portfolio with 10 years in mind when you can start looking to realise-

Jazz Sidana: Spot on.

Phil Tarrant: Greater value out of these assets through doing a development of some sort.

Jazz Sidana: Yeah, exactly. And I'll probably start looking at that in another five years time, once I've accumulated enough, then I'll start looking at that side of it, let's head into development space, essentially.

Phil Tarrant: That's interesting. So in terms of the portfolio you're building right now, you said you're looking for five million in valuation, what sort of debt are you looking to be comfortable with against it?

Jazz Sidana: Well, look, it depends about how quickly I get there, but I'm currently sitting at roughly about 3.2 million worth of portfolio, so if I get there in the next two years, I'm comfortable with 80% Alvia. I don't probably need that much. As long as it can be serviced properly, that's there more important thing for me. I don't want to be too much out of the pocket, right? Another way to hold portfolio has been setup is one, the properties are in the growth area, but at the same time, if I include the tax picture into it, it's actually positively geared, not negatively geared. So I'll probably end up getting 10 or 15 thousand back in pocket after tax.

Phil Tarrant: After tax. Before tax it's negatively geared.

Jazz Sidana: Before tax it's negatively geared, just under seven thousand for the whole portfolio.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So it's not a bad portfolio. And as you mentioned, this portfolio is growing in value, but so you're talking about buying assets that you can add a granny flat to for the view of creating greater capital value. But where does yield seek within it, so by following that path, you hope to improve your cashflow as well?

Jazz Sidana: Yes, the yield is becoming a very important plan in the whole portfolio game, because as the serviceability is getting harder and harder, banks are currently bringing it on seven, 7.25%, so to grow the portfolio really, the rent yield at lease that I'm looking at is seven to eight percent sort of thing, at a minimum, to be able to secure and service the portfolio. And especially being on single-income, because my wife's on maternity leave at the moment, so it banks up playing a big fall, the tier one lenders, you can't even get much lending out of them.

Phil Tarrant: So you're struggling to get financed now, like-

Jazz Sidana: Yeah, I am at the moment. I can get it with tier two and tier three, but not with tier one. I got sick of just dealing with the banks, and I ended up heading into a mortgage space myself, so that's just a side thing that I do.

Phil Tarrant: But you talk about T1, T2, T3 lenders, where do you get this lexicon from to refer to in that way? Why do you choose to frame lenders that way?

Jazz Sidana: Why do I, I'm not very clear with the question.

Phil Tarrant: So the question is, why do you go out to T2 lenders? So I think T2 is negative, but why are you talking like-

Jazz Sidana: Sorry, tier two doesn't mean negative at all. That just basically means over there as that if tier one or the top four, big four banks are not servicing, you need serviceability, because their calculation is based on 7.25 and all, you can actually go down one level, so it's-

Phil Tarrant: So you're talking about non-major banks like Suncorp or ING or Bank West, potentially.

Jazz Sidana: Yeah. In terms of lending for an everyday lender, it doesn't really matter that much. It's just that they don't have a presence like the big four and all the other ones out there, NAB, CBA, you'll find them everywhere, whereas if you look at Suncorp, you don't see them that often, or Liberty, you don't see them that often. Red Z, probably half of the people haven't even heard the name of. So that's just a name for tier two or tier three, because it's just that-

Phil Tarrant: What I'm trying to articulate to our listeners is that you don't always think that you need to finance with a major bank, because there's some other excellent non-major lenders out there like your INGs or Suncorps or Bank West, or these type of things. And even Credit Unions are mutuals, Heritage, for example, all these type of lenders, then you have non-bank lenders. Guys like Liberty or Pepper, organisations which are all lending institutions.

Jazz Sidana: Yeah. And if you look at their interest rates, their interest rates aren't that bad. Like if you look at Heritage Bank, compared it with CBA, their interest rate is probably maybe .2% extra, but if you can get the lending out of them, .2 is not going to kill you at all.

Phil Tarrant: If you're buying …

Jazz Sidana: Especially for an investor where he can claim all the tax reductions and you really want to grow your portfolio, and that's what you'll live on in the future, then paying extra doesn't really matter. I'll go all the way up to 1% if I have to.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. So what's the long-term plan, what follows? You spoke about the number, five million. What do you hope your portfolio is going to do over time?

Jazz Sidana: Over time it's more of ... I'm a workaholic, but I also do like freedom to do whatever I feel like. For me, the part of building the portfolio is to be able to be financially free, but that doesn't mean I want to stop working, I'm always going to keep working. At the same time, maybe create an asset for, being a migrant, people don't even realise how lucky they are to be born over here and all, so being a migrant, you see all those things, the tough part of the life, and then you come here, and then it's tough once again. And then if you do everything right, it makes your life a little bit easier. For me, 2-for-1 is to create a financial freedom, which I sort of already did now, and at the same time leave something for my family as well, so for the kids. That they can grow in the future. Hopefully, not abuse it.

Phil Tarrant: It's a great migrant story. We're fortunate as a nation that we have such a rich diversity or tapestry of people who now make up Australia, and your observations, as a migrant coming here and working hard and going to University and getting a good job and building a portfolio, do you look at, and I'll put it in quotation marks, born and bred Australians and say, "What are you guys doing? There's so much opportunity?"

Jazz Sidana: I wouldn't say that, "What are you guys doing?" I mean, everyone's got their own passion, everyone's lived their own life in their own way, but we shouldn't say that life is tough over here. That's the more important point. Life is actually very easy here. If you want a reality check, go somewhere in the countryside of India, or maybe Pakistan, I don't know, I haven't been to Pakistan, so it's no offence over there, or Afghanistan where there's war, Iraq, those places, and then you compare it with over here, where you're living next to the border, nice weather, there's nothing to complain about, essentially. If you're saying you're struggling financially, then surely there's something you're not doing right over there, that's 100% true.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, fair point. And I appreciate you come to us sharing your story, but do you, within your community of friends or family, do you have actual family living here now? Or is your family also back in India?

Jazz Sidana: My family isn't here. I do have a niece and nephew here, they're studying at the moment, but apart from that, my family is all back home. But my wife, who I'm married to, she's Indian as well, her family has been here for the last 15 years.

Phil Tarrant: Do you share your success stories in property with your family?

Jazz Sidana: Yeah, they don't get the point, though. They struggle hard to get it.

Phil Tarrant: Really? So where do you think the disconnect is?

Jazz Sidana: That's a good question, actually. I haven't really thought of it as a disconnect, but I think one, they are worried about handling a large portfolio, a large debt, and secondly, they want to manage everything themselves. Like my brother-in-law, he had a property, and he manages it himself, and why would you do that when you're only paying 100 bucks a month to a professional, to manage it, essentially a property manager. So they're struggling that when I handle the whole thing, they don't want to spend money on the buyer's agent or anything. Tell you, let things go a little bit, you're going to struggle, they'd want to control everything, I think, over there. Maybe it's hard to bring your bank balance down a little bit as well, when you see money going out of the bank and buying a property, which is a debt now, so that's where people struggle a little bit.

Phil Tarrant: What does your family back in India think about what you're doing?

Jazz Sidana: Look, I really don't speak that much about, my Dad was like, "What are you doing?" On the investment properties, I only pay in trust, and he goes, "What are you, you're going to pack this back." And I don't really worry, I'll take care of it. So he goes like, "No, don't buy another one, just start paying your debt off." I'm like, yeah, cool no worries.

Phil Tarrant: And what's your culture like in India around it? What's the attitude towards debt like-

Jazz Sidana: It depends, I mean, again, what sort of family you have, what sort of background you come from. I come from a business background, like my Dad was big on debt. As such, he didn't know all about taking debt, but he doesn't understand the concept of investing over here, obviously, so he's a little about, "Hang on, how are you going to pay this off?" But apart from that, if you come a business family, they're pretty open to debt as well. It's not like a huge deal over there. But then again, there's the other side of it as well, here it's, if you come from a service class, they'll be completely against it. When I say service class, I mean people who are in job industry, are not great on doing their own businesses. So it depends on what sort of background you come from essentially. Pretty similar to over here Over here, if you look at some of the upper side, you'll see that their fine with that, as long as it's good debt, not spending on a BMW m4.

Phil Tarrant: So when you arrived in Australia and you did your University education, you bought your first block of land and made a few bucks out of it. When did you start realising the opportunities around property investment? Was is something like a light bulb went of, you went, wow, this is-

Jazz Sidana: On the Sky Business channel, I happened to come across that show, the property shows over there, and I started watching them, and I just had a natural love with property, for some reason. I don't know why, but that was the case. Not because I made 25k off my first block of land, but in general, I just travelled around looking at nice areas, nice boutique homes that have been built, that kind of stuff. So that was just a natural interest that I had over there. And then I started watching some of those shows, that's where it became a truly investment journey rather than buying a display home kind of thing. Which is what a lot of people will end up doing when they see a display home. Yeah, it's beautiful, let's go and buy it. But from an investment perspective, it probably won't stack up that well.

Phil Tarrant: So would you say that you're a good investor?

Jazz Sidana: I don't know, man, you tell me that.

Phil Tarrant: I’m not here to judge!

Jazz Sidana: Look, I think I'm reasonably okay at it.

Phil Tarrant: So how do you think you can be a better investor than one you are right now?

Jazz Sidana: See, when I started, I was like every other investor, I was a little bit scared. I was investing in my own backyard, and then I moved out of the buying, the first three or four land I sold, the first three I'd say, into Frankston, where I bought the next one, and then I was like, "No, I've taken the chance over there. Let's move interstates or into Adelaide from there." And then went to Queensland from there. So it's more opening up to all the different kind of investing options within the property space. At the moment, I call myself a traditional investor, which is buying block of land with old house on it that can be subdivided, knocked down, whatever, renovated and all. But maybe being open to other options as well. Units and all in the inner city and all, which I don't even look at.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. So how do you know an investment's a good investment? Or the price that you're paying is the right price to be paying for something?

Jazz Sidana: With the style of investing that I have, in terms of whether I'm paying the right price or not, I'd always get an independent evaluation on it, irrespective of the bank's evaluation. I'll do my own evaluation first just to figure out where it's at by speaking to different agents and everything. But the bank will tell me where it looks at. And then if I'm still not sure, I'll go and get the evaluation independently, which is going to cost me four or five hundred bucks, not a big deal. On top of that, obviously, there's other things that come into play as well, whether it's in the right area, whether there's enough infrastructure and places, communicable to the job centre, hospitals, Universities and all. So if you look at the first three properties, although at that time I wasn't that good of an investor, not that I'm saying I'm great now, but that whole area is growing over there in terms of there's like 50,000 jobs coming up in the next 15 years over there. There's hospitals, Universities, it's probably one of the best vibrant areas over there in the outer suburbs, I mean. As long as all those drivers add up, of infrastructure, schools, Universities, and if you can hold on to a block of land, which is where there's not enough supply, then you can truly do well of. There's not a lot that can go wrong in that case.

                With the units and all, especially when you're looking at outer suburbs, which is where I look at is, if there's enough land, you're going to do that well, and plus there's big families over there, when I say big family it's generally couples with one or two kids, so keeping that in mind, if you were more buying a house over there in those areas, and obviously if you had enough land, do it. Down the line, as long as the population keeps growing, it's going to do okay.

Phil Tarrant: We spoke really briefly about the number of property that you have in portfolio, and we talk about it a lot on this My Property Investment show. So it's not the right way to actually frame your investment, you need to be understanding that, the number of property is largely irrelevant, it's about the formats of these properties, and how they contribute to your goals and aspirations, and what you hope to do through property investment. So, you spoke about a number you're aiming towards. A value of your property portfolio of five million dollars.

Jazz Sidana: In the next two years.

Phil Tarrant: In the next two years. And obviously you're always reassessing, re-evaluating your goals, and that would change over time in line with-

Jazz Sidana: We all get greedy.

Phil Tarrant: We all get greedy. What's the fundamental goal? Do you hope to retire one day on a passive income?

Jazz Sidana: Look, and that's the financial freedom part of it, that if I can retire on a passive income of, on a monthly basis, I don't know, whether it's five thousand or seven thousand a month, but I don't actually have to go and work every day.

Phil Tarrant: So that's your idea of financial freedom? Like you have a number that says, "This is what I want-"

Jazz Sidana: Actually the number I've got in my head is 150k passive a year.

Phil Tarrant: Without having to work?

Jazz Sidana: Without having to work.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, so as many in your pocket after paying for tax and everything, stuff like that.

Jazz Sidana: Clean.

Phil Tarrant: Clean. And that would be enough for you to go about being happy and feeling financially free and able to do what you want to do?

Jazz Sidana: The goals will change again, I'm sure. But for now, that is the case.

Phil Tarrant: At the moment that's the goal. So how old are you?

Jazz Sidana: I'm 34.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, so you're still young, though.

Jazz Sidana: Not that young. Would be cool to call in twenties, but ...

Phil Tarrant: So you think that goal is going to the change in the future as you-

Jazz Sidana: Look, the way I said before, the way I'm building the portfolio is down the line I want to start subdividing or knocking or building more modern houses. The goal's obviously going to change again. That's how it has been built. As I said before, I'm not one of those people who can really sit free for very long. So I'll start building something again. But at least, as long as I've got that much income coming in, it's in place, it's best, if I don't have to worry about our daily bread and butter thing, so then it's good, essentially.

Phil Tarrant: And who do you turn to for advice or inspiration or knowledge?

Jazz Sidana: Smart Property Investment Show.

Phil Tarrant: Of course, obviously. So you actually listen to the show, right?

Jazz Sidana: I do, every now and then I do. I do listen to others as well. I forgot the name of the other one.

Phil Tarrant: Don't know. Only podcast you need is the Smart Property Investment Show. There is some other good podcasts around.

Jazz Sidana: Yeah. But I do listen to that, I do watch Sky Business channel. Now, as I don't get much time, because I've got two kids, especially one being six months old, but I try and listen when I can. When I'm mowing my grass, I'll just put the headphones on and start listening to something essentially. So that's how I take my timeout, to listen to all the stuff.

Phil Tarrant: And do you have a good accountant and all that sort of stuff?

Jazz Sidana: Well, actually, my wife's my chartered accountant. She's on maternity leave. She's not a tax accountant, but she had a decent enough understanding. And I never thought that I was going to build a portfolio, I think, after listening to you guys, I realised it's actually a portfolio, this is what it's called. So she's been doing all the numbers so far, but now it's getting a little bit trickier with other investments in place as well, she doesn't know, so now we're going to outsource it to a proper tax accountant. But so far she's been doing all the work.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So imagine it's in pretty good shape now, at least you'll be able to give it to someone, and they'll be happy with it. Do you use a buyer's agent, or you do everything yourself?

Jazz Sidana: So far, I've been doing everything myself, but now I'm at a point where I want to outsource that. Because I enjoyed that part of it. It was good to know all the different hooks and nooks, corners of how things work. Now that I understand it all, I don't mind giving to someone else, because at least when they talk to me, I'll understand it completely, rather than just giving to someone else, and they go ahead at it, and I'm relying on them. But I do have enough knowledge now that I can judge whether they're right or wrong, and who are the right one in the market.

Phil Tarrant: It’s not a bad way to frame it, because, and the way I see the world is, I need to confidence I actually understand something, so ... But you need to understand where you add the most value as well. So someone can do something better than you, it makes sense to pay for that advice. But as an investor, you're fundamentally responsible for making decisions, so if you choose to use a buyer's agent, that's great. But I imagine, because of your experience, that you can challenge them. And buyer's agents should be challenged on why they're making a particular recommendation. But you've got that knowledge and education to do so. So you need to invest in that before you can anything and do it well.

Jazz Sidana: Definitely. And if you're handing over 10, 20 grand to someone to buy a property, and they're just going to buy in a mining town or something, not that that's what buyer's agents do, but if you understand what the principles are to look for, or the basic stuff to look for, there's hardly anything that can go wrong. And then you can easily trust the person as well. So it's a good relation over there. And you'll find the smart ones in that case, otherwise you'll find some-

Phil Tarrant: And what do you think you can add the most value to, considering that you can use experts to help you out or advice, where do you think you can add the most value to grow in your portfolio?

Jazz Sidana: Now, from a growth perspective, the most valuable I'll be adding is basically based on the portfolio that has been created so far. Plus, what the goal is, what other kind of properties that I'm looking for, and then rather than me going and hunting down different suburbs, different cities, it's almost impossible to fly down to every city. If I want to buy something in Perth tomorrow, because the market at the bottom, it's hard for me to go, plus knowing all the suburbs over there. So as long as I can give them the right direction from a portfolio perspective, this is what I've done so far, this is what my goal is, I think that they can go and find the right property, and I can tell whether it's the right one or not. Then I'm more than happy to spend that money on it, basically. Did I understand the question right?

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, it's cool. No, no, always trying look at how I can add the most value to my own portfolio, and for me, it's really just the energy and motivation, and-

Jazz Sidana: Oh, that's definitely the case.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, and I see you've got that in droves. But it's really, I'm very time restricted, so I appreciate the value of quality I spend. The more engaged I am, the more that happens, right? If I'm not engaged, then nothing really happens, so you've got to take a drop.

Jazz Sidana: And the other thing is, for me it's more of a hobby/ passion anyway, so it's not a work that I'm doing. If I spend four hours on a daily basis or a weekly basis, whatever it is, on it, it's fun for me, rather than I wasted my time while I'm working. It's more fun for me, so that's how I look at it, essentially.

Phil Tarrant: Do your friends at work know that you're a property investor or investing in property?

Jazz Sidana: The word spread. I didn't spread it, but someone did. So the word spread pretty hard on that one. They do know.

Phil Tarrant: And what do they think of it all?

Jazz Sidana: I've got some good friends, they looked at it and they were like, "It's pretty good, man, what you’ve done." I have everyone know whenever I can, because I do understand it a little bit, so ...

Phil Tarrant: And also share experience.

Jazz Sidana: There's nothing wrong. If you do everything right, you'll find the right people surrounding you, and the minute you find them, you'll grow it even bigger. So rather five million, before it becomes, you wouldn't even know, by the time it becomes 15 million, so ..

Phil Tarrant: So if you found it easy to secure bank financing, would you be growing faster?

Jazz Sidana: Definitely. I've got enough liquid sitting on me right now that I can go and invest in a couple more. And the lucky part is, my main lender was with CBA and they stopped it completely, and the big four, with the credit assessment rate, they won't do it, especially on single-income. So I decided to push myself into that space a little bit just to understand what was going on over there. I'm accredited with all the banks, was like looking at what they're doing, essentially. Now I know which one's will lend me over there, so now that I understand that, I've actually figured out the ones that will lend me at what rate, and it's not such a bad rate. It's still under 5%. So yes, I will start doing it again now really soon. And plus, I was hoping to get another one at least in the Melbourne market, but the market at the moment is pretty hard, so I'm learning for it to, I think another six, seven months, before it drives down.

Phil Tarrant: So where would you be looking to invest?

Jazz Sidana: This time I want to go inner city, more towards Bentleigh East, Chadstone, Carnegie, those areas, that's where I'll probably looking at. I don't mind it to be negatively geared, because it's going to be negatively geared. The whole portfolio is supposed to be geared after tax, so I don't mind spending that little bit of money out of pocket, essentially. My portfolio has been the outer suburbs, so far, so I need that action.

Phil Tarrant: I really like your story from investing, but I also like your story as a migrant, and you see, whenever we had our Property Show, it's really interesting, the level of engagement and participation of new Australians into property investment. It's huge, and I think a lot of people see it as a real opportunity to make their market in Australia, so it's a great story, and I think it's absolutely brilliant. But what would be your Number One tip for new migrants into Australia, or new people to Australian who've chosen Australia as a home to get started in property?

Jazz Sidana: Look, first of all, being a migrant, it's not a disadvantage, it's actually an advantage, because you've already seen the hard side, and that's why you're leaving the country. And the majority of the cases it is obviously normal travel that happens as well from UK and all. So that's an advantage not a disadvantage so whoever thinks it’s a disadvantage is stupid to think that way. Plus, back in the days, we're talking 10 years ago, podcasts didn't even exist back then. There was a TV show, but I'm not sure about that. But there's enough knowledge in the market right now, which is easily accessible through Facebook or podcasts or TV shows or property shows, whatever it is. You just need to find the right ones out, and that's something you'll only do it if you actively want it on a daily basis. If you visit shows whenever they happen, if you listen to a podcast, eventually you'll learn what's the right one and what's the wrong one. Because there's a lot of dodgy ones in the market as well, so you just want to be careful of them. But if you're constantly on it, and plus, if you look at Australia, three things Australia has big time is mining, real estate, education, right?

                And mining is slow at the moment, next is real estate, it's already at its peak right now in Melbourne and Sydney, but there's other states you can go to, so there's hardly anything that can go wrong when there's an influx of migrants coming in. It's baby boomers sitting in right now, so as the influx of migrants is coming in, the first thing they're going to look for is a house to live in. So if you've bought in the right place in the outer suburbs, which is where they'll be able to afford, because they want to still commute to work, there's not that much that can go wrong.

Phil Tarrant: Jas, thanks for sharing your story, mate. Really enjoyed it. Keep it up. Let's get you back in when you get another couple of properties built and when you crack this magic five million number that, your initial goal, which I imagine is going to change.

Jazz Sidana: Or bankrupt.

Phil Tarrant: Or bankrupt. Either or, we'll get you here back into, Thanks, I really enjoyed the chat.

Jazz Sidana: And you'll have to lend me the money for-

Phil Tarrant: For the flight? Yeah. That's good. Thanks for joining us, everyone. Hope you've enjoyed Jas' story. I found it really inspirational, and it's shown that property investment, irrespective of your background or your story or how you may have arrived in Australia, or even if you're born and bred here, its successful to every one,  if you do the right thing, and what I will take from Jas' story is that it's all about investing in your education. You have the drive and passion, dedication, but investing in your education, and there's so much out there right now, there's no excuse not to be educated. And you can start by listening to the Smart Property Investment Show, which is Jas is doing, so I think that's all really good.

                Remember to check out If you're not subscribing yet to our daily market, intelligence and news, comes out every morning, so you're the first to know what's happening., you can also follow us on our social stuff, just search for Smart Property Investment, and if you've got any questions at all, Jas?

Jazz Sidana: Yeah, if anyone wants to connect with me, they can connect with me on the Facebook, I'm more than happy to answer any of the questions, it's Jazz Sidana. Jazz Sidana.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. He's happy to tell you more if you need to, and if want to contact us and ask Jas any questions, [email protected] We'll be back again next time, until then, thanks for joining us, bye-bye.

Speaker 1: The information feature in this podcast is general in nature and does not take into consideration your financial situation or individual needs, and should not be relied upon. Before making any investment, insurance, tax, property or financial planning decision, you should consult a licenced professional who can advise whether your decision is appropriate for you. Guests appearing on this podcast may have a commercial relationship with the companies mentioned.


Investor reveals the opportunities for migrants in Australia
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