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Q&A: Scott O’Neill, Rethink Investing

By Emma Ryan 03 March 2021 | 1 minute read

In this special Q&A, Smart Property Investment speaks to the director of Rethink Investing, Scott O’Neill.

Q&A: Scott O’Neill, Rethink Investing

SPI: For those who aren’t aware, tell us about Rethink Investing and how it came to the Australian market?

SO: Rethink Investing was formed off the back of my wife (Mina) and I’s success in investing in both high-yielding residential and commercial real estate. We have been able to build a +$20 million property portfolio in 10 years by chasing high-yielding investments that often have upside.

After leaving the work force six years ago and traveling the world, we wanted to help others follow in our footsteps. So, Mina and I ended up creating the Rethink Investing Buyer’s agency that has since helped over 1,800 clients purchase properties. We are not far off reaching over $1 billion in real estate acquisitions for our clients. We specialise in commercial property but also help people purchase high-yielding residential properties all around Australia.

SPI: What does Rethink offer to investors?

SO: We are a true specialist with commercial investments. We help from everything from lease negotiations to providing 10-page due-diligence reports on the investments they purchase.

Our level or reach is second to none when it comes to commercial property.

Due to the volume of properties we help clients purchase, we have very large networks that result in nearly 100 properties being sent to us off-market every week. Out of those, we pick up the best of them and our clients will acquire them for themselves.

SPI: How does this offering differ from other businesses serving the Australian property market?

SO: As mentioned above, we have more off-market investments compared to anyone else in the country.

We have dedicated due-diligence team that make sure every property makes perfect sense. And to be 100 per cent honest, I think our high-yielding commercial/residential investment strategy is the best one in the market for these current COVID-19 times.

Cash flow is important not just for investment returns, but it helps your lending, which allows you to scale into much larger portfolios. For example, Mina and I currently own 32 properties worth over $20 million, and we will keep building on that number because lending allows us to.

SPI: What have been some of the challenges you’ve seen investors struggle with in recent times and how is Rethink positioned to help with these challenges?

SO: Confidence is the main one. However, most of our investors are relatively sophisticated, so they see times like this as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.  

The other is banks are extremely slow, so we need to allow for more time to get in a ready position to purchase.

SPI: Oppositely, what opportunities are you seeing investors take advantage of at the moment?

SO: More bargaining power, super low rates equal better cash flow, and people have more time to think about investing as they are not off on a European getaway.

SPI: What advice do you have for investors who may be hesitant about current market conditions?

SO: Speak with your bank, find out what lending capabilities you have and position yourself for a purchase even if you want to take your time.

Being ready to purchase will allow you to buy the perfect investment whenever that pops up.

SPI: What do you believe will be the big trends playing out in the property market over the next six to 12 months?

SO: Confidence keeps slowly returning as it has already started.

Remember a few months back when there were news stories saying 40 per cent property crashes? Well, nearly six months down the track, properties’ prices around the country are only down 0-3 per cent depending on the capital city you look at.

In summary, as we always expected, there won’t be a crash. As the more timid investors realise the world hasn’t ended, they, too, will return, and this will cause more demand on low stock levels, which could cause growth in many markets around the country.

SPI: Looking ahead, what are the primary goals you have for Rethink and how do you intend on achieving those goals?

SO: We consider our self as one of the industry leaders in the buyer’s agency space. Our goal is to keep this position but getting our investors the best returns in the industry.

The happier our clients, the more satisfied we are as a company.

Scott and Mina O’Neill are co-authors of Rethink Property Investing (Wiley $29.95) and founders of Rethink Investing, Australia’s number one buyer’s agency for commercial property investors. After retiring at the age of 28, they now live off the passive income generated by their personal $20 million property portfolio and have helped over 1,800 clients purchase around well over $1 billion in Australian real estate. Find out how to do the same at www.rethinkinvesting.com

About the author

Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan is the deputy head of content at Momentum Media.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015, and has since been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia, including across the legal, mortgages, real estate and wealth industries. In addition, Emma has launched several additional sub-brands and events, driven by a passion to deliver quality and timely content to audiences through multiple platforms.

Email Emma on: [email protected]Read more

Q&A: Scott O’Neill, Rethink Investing
Q&A: Scott O’Neill, Rethink Investing
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