How a reluctant investor built an 18-property strong portfolio

While many property investors enjoy every bit of their investment journey from the very beginning, TAFE teacher Mark Frew admits that it has taken constant urging from his boss for him to try and see the benefits of investment. Years later, Mark has built an impressive 18-property portfolio and is looking into a future with more options and financial security.

mark frew

“How I got into it was my boss. He used to come into the office because I used to be there first thing in the morning, and he’d say, ‘What are you doing with your money? You should invest in property.’ I said, ‘Yeah yeah. Sure sure, and I hope you go away.’ He did that for a whole year, and then finally he said, ‘Look, just go to one of the RPG sessions.’ So, I went to the RPG session then he got me two books—Rich Dad Poor Dad by Kiyosaki and McKnight’s book Zero to 350 Properties in 3 1/2 Years. That’s what clicked over. That opened my eyes, and then I realised, ‘Oh, that’s how property investing goes.’” he told Smart Property Investment.

Discipline and hard work brought enough savings for him to be able to purchase his first five properties, including giving up some vices.

According to Mark: “I had about a hundred thousand. Prior to this stage, I had been a smoker. I went and saw my doctor and my doctor said, ‘You need to give up smoking.’ So I stopped smoking and I’d heard someone say, ‘When you stop smoking, put money in the separate account, the amount that you’d paid for cigarettes, and see how it builds up.’ I’d forgotten about that, and so when I went to get my first property, I had about 20 something thousand dollars in that account. That was after six years of not smoking."

Even after acquiring 18 properties, Mark still identifies as an academic more than a property investor. According to him, looking after his properties and being a “hands-on investor” really do feel like a chore on most days.


His motivation in staying on his property investment journey? Simply the benefits he is able to reap for the long-term, including a “nice safety net” for the future.

He said: “Investing is just this thing that I do on the side, even though I’ve got this huge portfolio of 18 properties. It’s kind of like a secondary thing. I am not really an enthusiastic property investor. I do it because I like the benefit I can get out of it, okay, and see what’s going to happen in the future. I see the importance of doing it, and being serious about it. You have to do it like a business, so I do keep abreast with what’s going on in the market, what’s going on with my properties, but I’d probably do as minimum as possible.”

“When I say ‘don't like,’ it’s not that I hate it. It’s just it’s something that I have to do, but it’s not something that I want to do. But I see the value of it,” Mark added.

As much as property investment has taken a space in his life, Mark always sees himself going back to what he loves doing – teaching.

For him, property investment is a good “back up” for whatever happens in the next five to 10 years, whether the odds do come in his favor or not.

According to him: “I know where I’m going, but I know that I can shift if I need t. I think, if you plan too tightly, it can actually frustrate you if you don’t reach your goal. If you have a general idea – I know I’m going in the right direction, I’m still going there, and I know I’m going to get here, but I’ll let life happen in between, so it’s not going to affect me too much.”

Tune in to Mark Frews episode in The Smart Property Investment Show and get to know how you can manage your properties well and keep your portfolio organised while still being able to do the things you’re most passionate about.

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