Picking your property professionals

Before you make your next property purchase, you need to make sure you have the right team around you.

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Blogger: Sarah Wells, senior finance adviser, Rate Detective Finance

Armed with your ‘road map’ and boundless enthusiasm, we are ready to kick start your property investment journey. Or for some of us the ‘regrouping approach’ as our experience to date has not quite met our expectations of our initial love affair with the Australian property market.

The next tip I have for you, is collecting and forming the right group of trusted advisers to form your entourage (def: a group of people attending or surrounding an important person – YOU), who are going to assist you in staying true to your goals, provide meaningful feedback and have the knowledge and experience to make your plan a reality.

Before I run you through a process I use for selecting and being selected, I will share with you an experience of what can happen when your advisers are the judge, jury and executioner ... Or as I call it the One Stop Shop.


Some of you may know that my area of speciality is in the health and medico arena, that is I love to look after the financing of property and businesses for doctors. Call it my inner love of Grey's Anatomy and House MD – seriously I love what I do and the people I do it for. So you ask how I ended up looking after doctors. Well ... I started when I was referred a client to have a look at assisting as I was building a reputation as being a bit of a doer ... or as I now call it: the broker who takes on those that others said no to.

So I was approached by a couple of doctors who had been clients of a practice that offered end to end financial advice, tax management and planning. Like most high income earners they rightly sought professional advice to minimise their tax.

Some are confused that you become wealthy by paying less tax – ba-bow this is wrong! Interest deductions are just a shield that reduces taxable income but still takes cash from your bank account, depreciation on new property is a non-cash item that reduces your taxable income now and defers it to a CGT obligation at a later date.

If you action these two common strategies and use them on a dud purchase (a property that you overpaid for) then you end up with the same net asset position and have transferred a whole chunk of your wealth to a bank, adviser or property spruiker – like these doctors did 10 years later – and wonder what you worked so hard for.

The reason I tell you this is to make sure I emphasise the danger of a closed circle. While you want your entourage to work together and in harmony, what you want to be careful of are ‘one stop shops’ or groups that have common goals, or as I call it a conflict of interest (your autonomy and interdependence).

So how do you form the magic combination of harmony with a subtle pinch of innovation? It’s simple, ask the person to explain in simple terms how they believe they can assist you in achieving your visions:
1.    Ask the person to in their words define your road map – this is an opportunity to make sure everyone is on the same page
2.    Ask them if they believe your road map is achievable – this is a checkpoint for you to ensure your goals are attainable. If not ask them why and what aspects should be reviewed.
3.    Lastly, ask them what value they believe they can add to your journey and why they should work with you?

This quick check will give you an overview of whether this person should be shortlisted; sometimes you get a feel instantly that the person really gets what you want to achieve.

Remember, that trust is earned over a period of time and that the last step is to do a quick background check on the person and their company.

Ensure they have the necessary qualifications, google them and see what is in the public domain (Linkedin and FaceBook) just to make sure you have done all of your homework in this digital day and age.

Lastly, when someone shows you their true self, believe them the first time. What I mean by this is that when you feel that the person you are dealing with is not living up to their expectations then you have the right to look elsewhere.

I encourage readers of this post to let me know your experiences and if these tips have or could benefit you on your journey – along with any topics you would be interested in me blogging about.

Enjoy the ride.

About Sarah Wells

Sarah is the Senior Finance Adviser at Rate Detective Finance, one of the top performing brokerages in Australia, providing consumers with information and support with home loans, personal loans, commercial loans, refinancing and insurance.

Sarah has worked in the Finance Industry for over 11 years and during this time built a strong reputation as an accomplished financial services, banking and debt structuring specialist. Sarah has extensive experience as a Buyer’s Advocate and Finance Broker in Sydney and a recipient of a series of service and business excellence awards.

Successfully assisting thousands of Australians with loan enquiries in excess of more than $1 billion, Sarah works alongside a highly qualified and dedicated team who are equipped to deal with all aspects and complexities associated with the mortgage market.

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