How this property investor is preparing for doing 'savvy subdivisions'

Jo Vadillo started her property investment journey in her late 20s and has since grown a six property-strong portfolio while also running two businesses. For her next big step, she is planning to explore property development, starting with doing "savvy subdivisions."


In the next five years, Jo's investment goals revolve around keeping the land she has acquired over the years.

"To be honest, I think the next step for us will be to develop... I just see property developing being where I go down the path now, and that's what I would like to do with the existing properties we hold in Logan," she said.

"I want to dip my toe—I should put half a leg, I think—into the developing pool. I want to go down that path. I want to explore it whether it's just doing savvy subdivisions. This is probably in the Queensland market, not in New South Wales... Possibly the work I'm doing is less renovation, elbow-grease stuff, but it is more about keeping that land."

Aside from continuing her business of creating wealth through property, Jo also wants to serve as an inspiration to her clients who look to her services as a buyer's agent as a guide in their own property investment journeys.


"As a buyer's agent I like to live and breathe what we preach, so if I say to a client, 'Why don't you set up a self-managed super fund?' I've been there, I've done that now. I've renovated numerous properties now, so I'm happy to walk into a property and say, 'This is a money pit don't touch it,” or alternatively, 'All you need here is just paint and carpet and you can add your value,' " she explained.

Smart Property Investment's Phil Tarrant believes that, as in any case of property investment, developing also requires some good preparations to ensure success and good returns.

Knowing that property development could be a little more complicated than plain investing, Jo plans to start small and continue researching as she goes down this new and more creative path.

"I'm not going to go in and do a six townhouse development because I already hold the land that I want to work on. I've got a house that's sitting there. It's neutrally geared. That will be where I start. I'll do that subdivision. I'll build the property, making sure that the cash flow is still there, it's still working for us. I'll just start small, and build on it," she stated. 

"I'm not envisioning that I'm going to be doing skyscrapers at this point because I want to do small stuff. I want to be involved. It is the game and I do love it and I do enjoy it, so I do want to be actively involved, and just before I launch into anything [I] just [want to] ensur[e] that I've done all my due diligence as best as I can."

At the end of the day, her primary goal remains: To provide financial stability and freedom for herself and her whole family.

"[Being in property] is about freedom and it is about giving my children choices in life," Jo added.

Tune in to Jo Vadillo's episode in The Smart Property Investment show to know more about the challenges of building wealth while being self-employed, the significant roadblocks in terms of her serviceability and lending eligibility that she came up against in her journey, and how she educates her children to ensure their financial literacy.


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