Investors Ask: Can you really renovate full time?

Q. I have renovated one property and have since got ‘the bug’. I am contemplating throwing my day job in to renovate full time. Is this something many people can actually succeed at?

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A. Absolutely – I’ve been doing it for 12 years full time (like so many others). But to be a professional renovator, you’ll need to start treating your renovation projects like a business because you’ll be viewed as a property trader by the ATO. Start by setting up a company and choose a company name that clearly tells suppliers you’re in the construction industry.

To buy and sell property for a profit on a consistent basis, you’ll need to focus on a small number of suburbs to ensure pricing disparity (a range of low and high property values in a given suburb) exists. You’ll also need to spend at least a couple of months getting to know your suburbs and property values intimately to ensure you will make a profit.

Half a renovator’s job is done before they even buy a property and there is much for you to learn about the whole process of renovating for profit. Educate yourself by reading property books, attending free or paid property seminars, participating in online forums etc. If you don’t have the right knowledge, you’ll be ‘winging’ your way through the process and it will likely end in disaster.

I believe that if you are prepared to develop the required knowledge first and are willing to commit your time, energy and efforts to your new business 100 per cent, then anyone can do it and reap significant financial rewards, regardless of whether the market is good or bad!


Cherie Barber, director, Renovating for Profit

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