Buyer’s agent shares how his own investment journey began

After getting his tips as a buyer's agent, Smart Property Investment had a chat to Ben Handler about his personal property portfolio and his method to securing investment success. 

journey man walking spi

Mr Handler is the CEO and founder of the Buyer’s Agent Institute, and has been since August 2017, and before that he was the CEO and co-founder of buyer’s agency Cohen Handler for eight years.

But before all of this, it all started with a property in Bondi.

“My first property that I purchased was in Bondi Beach when I was 22 and that was just a one-bedroom, one bath, one car,” he recounted to Smart Property Investment.

“It needed a bit of work, so I did a cosmetic renovation, very low cost, just some paint on the walls and in parts of the kitchen, and so my rent really increased a lot from there.”


From there, minor cosmetic renovations were a part of Mr Handler’s investing strategy, which allowed him to enhance his cash flow.

“I like to buy in low maintenance, small boutique style of buildings and I do that because I feel like if you buy in one of those massive high rises, you’re competing against a lot of stock,” he shared.

“So, my strategy is low maintenance, good building, good suburb and then yes, ability to add value through cosmetic or even structural renovation, but I like to focus on cosmetic.”

Then when Cohen Handler was formed, he utilised his experience as a buyer’s agent to help further his portfolio.

“What started to happen as I then became a buyer’s agent and jumped into this space, I started becoming privy to so much opportunities, like off-market properties, free market properties,” he said.

“So naturally my portfolio really started to grow a lot, you know it crossed, I bought in Brisbane, I bought in Melbourne, I bought in the inner-west in Sydney, I also bought within the eastern suburbs of Sydney, I’ve also bought in Western Sydney.

“It’s definitely really increased quite significantly as I jumped into this buyer’s agent space.”

One particular property he considered to be a gem in his portfolio is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment located in Summer Hill, a minute away from the train station, and he knew straight away it was an opportunity he could not pass up.

“I just knew based on the building being a boutique block, proximity to the train station and the shops, and I thought it was a renovator’s delight as well,” he shared.

“This is an oversized two-bedroom apartment in a very good suburb in the inner-west, not a lot of apartments trade in this area so obviously it’s going to be in high demand, very close proximity to shop and train stations.

“I definitely think that that’s always been a little gem.”

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