Investment tip: Where and what to buy, according to a buyer’s agent

After years of investing, Scott O’Neill decided to share his skills with other investors and ultimately add value to their portfolios as a buyer’s agent. Here's what he learnt along the way.


Prior to entering the business, Mr O’Neill worked as an engineer and built a 28-property portfolio worth over $11.5 million.

According to him, from the moment he bought his second asset, he knew that he wanted to make a profession out of buying properties which he enjoyed way more than being an engineer.

“The second property I bought, it was $425,000, renting for over $800 a week. After all costs, it was giving me about $15,000 in the pocket [a year]. I thought, ‘Imagine owning 10 of those.’ You can actually replace your income. I was obsessed from that point [on].”

“I love it. I don't mind looking up properties at 8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. I remember, as an engineer, if I worked past 5:30 p.m. I'd be disgusted,” the property professional added.


As a buyer’s agent, Mr O’Neill helps investors by finding properties with good yield or unit blocks, commercial properties, and duplexes that can generate good income—a strategy that he has personally implemented for years.

Growth markets

Investors who chase high-yield properties can also “get the best of both worlds” and enjoy cash flow and capital growth when they invest in growth markets, according to Mr O’Neill. Moreover, it will also be easier to acquire more properties by using this strategy.

Right now, the buyer’s agent is focused on buying free-standing houses in middle to inner-ring suburbs, like Tasmania and the Sunshine Coast in Southeast Brisbane.

Mr O’Neill said: “I like the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast. [Tasmania], we're doing a lot down there. That's the hottest market in the country.”

“I think it'd have maybe two more good years and then it will go back to being Tazzy,” he highlighted.

In the last 12 months, Tasmania has seen a 13 per cent growth in its property market, which is the best among most Australian markets at the moment, the buyer’s agent said. Aside from investment properties, owner-occupied properties are also in demand in the area because of consistent population growth.

Why not invest in CBDs?

Despite the obvious benefits of investing in central business districts, Mr O’Neill prefers to invest in suburbs that are 10 to 20 kilometres away from them because of the issue of oversupply.

Like him, investors, tenants, and even prospective homebuyers are starting to opt for houses with backyards, even if it means a half an hour drive to the city, instead of renting or purchasing units. This transition has made good markets out of middle to inner-ring suburbs, according to the buyer’s agent.

“Units are causing a bit of havoc. The banks have crunched down on them, [so CBDs are] not a good place to buy a unit at the moment.”

“Houses about half an hour drive out from the city is where the real people live, with the backyards, the pets, the two or three kids. That's a good market to be in because they're going to be either renting long-term off you or trying to trade up and buy and push the market up internally,” he added. 


Tune in to Scott O’Neill’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about current property hotspots across Australia.

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