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The keys to managing a successful 17-property portfolio

By Bianca Dabu

Accountant Michael Johnson, at 22, is already “doing the heavy lifting” for the management of Momentum Media’s Alex Whitlock's and Phil Tarrant's successful 17-property portfolio—a journey that has taught him the value of communication, good education, and the right mentorship.

Aside from the young accountant, Phil and Alex also recognises the value of their reliable financial team, which consists of mortgage brokers, property managers, buyer’s agents, and more.

According to Alex: “I'm something of a passenger in the portfolio these days.”

“There's nothing wrong being a passenger because if you get the right people behind you to help drive a portfolio, you can get the benefits from it,” Phil added.

While managing a large portfolio could be overwhelming at times, establishing a streamlined process has helped the team drive the journey towards success.

Find out how the property investors and their financial team developed an efficient and effective way to build a property portfolio, as well as how they plan to continue growing it in the future:

What’s the most important part of managing a large portfolio?

Alex Whitlock: [We made sure to have] transparency around this. We want to have in detail every single transaction, every single element to the portfolio ... It is a complex process but it's also something that has grown organically because we set the infrastructure up … from the first property. I remember [Phil] working on an Excel spreadsheet, which still exists now … It's become very scalable.

Young as you are, what has been your function as part of the team?

Michael Johnson: A lot of the time, it's obviously management stuff with the property managers … maintenance, that sort of thing. And ... if we're, say, moving into a new acquisition, it'll be dealing with the broker.

It's relatively passive for me, personally, because we do have all the heavy lifting done by all the property managers. It might be coming to [Phil and Alex] and say, "Hey guys, what do you think about this? Should we be doing this? Should we paint the walls here?"

How has transparency helped with the management of the portfolio?

Alex Whitlock: Phil's pretty hands-on with the portfolio. [He’s] got the systems set up … [and] it gives you visibility … on whether interest rates are out of sync [and other factors that might affect the portfolio’s growth].

Do you have one ‘secret’ for being an effective part of the team?

Michael Johnson: One of the key things, I think, for any sort of portfolio is cash flow … There's a lot of hidden costs that people don't realise you have to pay for … One of these things that Phil and I have built into our way of processing things is keeping an eye on cash flow and say … ‘How much does it cost us to hold these properties?’ It might be a cost per week, it might be a cost per month, however you want to look at it … [Make] sure you have every single costs allocated to something so, that way, you know how much it's costing you.

For example, counsel rates or water rates. We'll go [and] reach out to the counsel every year and [say] … ‘How much is it going to cost me this year?’ and we'll make sure we filter that in … We have all this information built in then we look at a dashboard. I can say … ‘Hey guys, it's going to cost us x amount of dollars per month to hold this, so we need to make sure we have this amount of money in our bank account so it doesn't get overdrawn.’

What is the portfolio’s value as of now?

Phil Tarrant: About $7 million with $3 million to $4 million ... in equity, which is not too bad … It'll be asseted about 67 per cent in terms of holding costs—it costs a little bit a year.

Do you get overwhelmed by the size of the portfolio?

Michael Johnson: [It’s] really not too difficult once you have the systems in place, and the systems I walked into that Phil set up [is] pretty seamless.

Tune in to Michael Johnson and Alex Whitlock’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the day-to-day operations of an 17-property portfolio, as well as the impact property managers have had in steering property investment journeys into success.

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  ["title"]=>
  string(72) "Mortgages in a tighter lending economy and why Brisbane is a good option"
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  string(72) "mortgages-in-a-tighter-lending-economy-and-why-brisbane-is-a-good-option"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(255) "

Tune in to the latest episode of Property Showcase, the podcast with the inside track on the products and businesses that will help turbocharge your portfolio, maximise returns and make your overall investment experience seamless and stress-free!

" ["fulltext"]=> string(818) "

To hear more about these services, make sure to tune in to this episode of Property Showcase!

 Make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us now on iTunes!

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Son Pham is the accredited Head of Mortgages at Rethink Financing\/Rethink Investing. He has over 6 years\u2019 experience writing loans, over 12 years in the wealth management industry working for the likes of CBA, AMP and private practice and he is also a licenced financial planner (AFSL 326450). He has multiple investment properties that are cash flow positive which help pay his mortgage on his home and fund his lifestyle.<\/p>\r\n

Son is able to write all types of residential and commercial property loans.<\/p>\r\n

In this episode of Property Showcase, head of mortgages at Rethink investing Son Pham joins host Tim Neary to unpack how an investor should approach getting a mortgage in place with banks tightening down on serviceability.<\/p>\r\n

Hear from\u00a0Son\u00a0about:\u00a0<\/p>\r\n

    \r\n
  • The pitfalls that he has seen people get into<\/li>\r\n
  • Interest only loans and if that is the way to go<\/li>\r\n
  • How the mortgage division supports the overall business of Rethink Investing<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>","clientImage1":"images\/podcasts\/Son-Pham.jpg","clientUrl1":"https:\/\/rethinkinvesting.com.au\/","clientName2":"OpenCorp","clientDesc2":"

    Whether it\u2019s building a successful property portfolio or investing in one of their Development Funds, Open Corp can help you through every stage of your investment journey. The team has 40 property specialists who collectively have been involved in over $4 billion worth of property transactions and the acquisition of more than 8000 homes and investment properties.<\/p>\r\n

    In this episode of Property Showcase, director of investment services for Open Corp Michael Beresford,\u00a0joins\u00a0editor of Real Estate, Tim Neary to share why he disagrees that the cooling market means that the best times are behind us.<\/p>\r\n

    In this episode, hear from\u00a0Michael\u00a0about:\u00a0<\/p>\r\n

      \r\n
    • Why Brisbane is a good investment option right now<\/li>\r\n
    • How he wants to help clients take advantage of the current market<\/li>\r\n
    • Why negative press can be good for investors<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>","clientImage2":"images\/podcasts\/Michael-Beresford-170x170.jpg","clientUrl2":"https:\/\/www.opencorp.com.au\/","clientName3":"","clientDesc3":"","clientImage3":"","clientUrl3":"","clientName4":"","clientDesc4":"","clientImage4":"","clientUrl4":"","author_promotion_line":""}" ["metadata"]=> string(53) "{"robots":"","author":"","rights":"","xreference":""}" ["metakey"]=> string(60) "mortgages, tighter, lending, economy, brisbane, good, option" ["metadesc"]=> string(200) "Tune in to the latest episode of Property Showcase, the podcast with the inside track on the products and businesses that will help turbocharge your portfolio, maximise returns and make your overall" ["access"]=> string(1) "1" ["hits"]=> string(1) "7" ["xreference"]=> string(0) "" ["featured"]=> string(1) "0" ["language"]=> string(1) "*" ["readmore"]=> string(3) "818" ["ordering"]=> string(1) "0" ["category_title"]=> string(17) "Property Showcase" ["category_route"]=> string(25) "podcast/property-showcase" ["category_access"]=> string(1) "1" ["category_alias"]=> string(17) "property-showcase" ["published"]=> string(1) "1" ["parents_published"]=> string(1) "1" ["lft"]=> string(2) "98" ["author"]=> string(12) "Todd Stevens" ["author_email"]=> string(33) "[email protected]" ["parent_title"]=> string(7) "Podcast" ["parent_id"]=> string(2) "48" ["parent_route"]=> string(7) "podcast" ["parent_alias"]=> string(7) "podcast" ["rating"]=> string(1) "0" ["rating_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["alternative_readmore"]=> NULL ["layout"]=> NULL ["params"]=> object(Joomla\Registry\Registry)#1214 (3) { ["data":protected]=> object(stdClass)#1201 (95) { ["article_layout"]=> string(14) "spbase:article" ["show_title"]=> string(1) "1" ["link_titles"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_intro"]=> string(1) "1" ["info_block_position"]=> string(1) "0" ["info_block_show_title"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_category"]=> string(1) "1" ["link_category"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_parent_category"]=> string(1) "0" ["link_parent_category"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_associations"]=> string(1) "0" ["flags"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["link_author"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_create_date"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_modify_date"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_publish_date"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_item_navigation"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_vote"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_readmore"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_readmore_title"]=> string(1) "0" ["readmore_limit"]=> string(3) "100" ["show_tags"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_icons"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_print_icon"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_email_icon"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_hits"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_noauth"]=> string(1) "0" ["urls_position"]=> string(1) "0" ["captcha"]=> string(0) "" ["show_publishing_options"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_article_options"]=> string(1) "1" ["save_history"]=> string(1) "0" ["history_limit"]=> int(10) ["show_urls_images_frontend"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_urls_images_backend"]=> string(1) "1" ["targeta"]=> int(0) ["targetb"]=> int(0) ["targetc"]=> int(0) ["float_intro"]=> string(5) "right" ["float_fulltext"]=> string(5) "right" ["category_layout"]=> string(6) "_:blog" ["show_category_heading_title_text"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_category_title"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_description"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_description_image"]=> string(1) "0" ["maxLevel"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_empty_categories"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_no_articles"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_subcat_desc"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_cat_num_articles"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_cat_tags"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_base_description"]=> string(1) "1" ["maxLevelcat"]=> string(2) "-1" ["show_empty_categories_cat"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_subcat_desc_cat"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_cat_num_articles_cat"]=> string(1) "1" ["num_leading_articles"]=> string(2) "15" ["num_intro_articles"]=> string(1) "0" ["num_columns"]=> string(1) "0" ["num_links"]=> string(1) "0" ["multi_column_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_subcategory_content"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_pagination_limit"]=> string(1) "1" ["filter_field"]=> string(4) "hide" ["show_headings"]=> string(1) "1" ["list_show_date"]=> string(1) "0" ["date_format"]=> string(0) "" ["list_show_hits"]=> string(1) "0" ["list_show_author"]=> string(1) "0" ["list_show_votes"]=> string(1) "0" ["list_show_ratings"]=> string(1) "0" ["orderby_pri"]=> string(4) "none" ["orderby_sec"]=> string(5) "rdate" ["order_date"]=> string(9) "published" ["show_pagination"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_pagination_results"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_featured"]=> string(4) "show" ["show_feed_link"]=> string(1) "1" ["feed_summary"]=> string(1) "0" ["feed_show_readmore"]=> string(1) "0" ["sef_advanced"]=> int(0) ["sef_ids"]=> int(0) ["custom_fields_enable"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_page_heading"]=> NULL ["layout_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["menu_text"]=> int(1) ["menu_show"]=> int(1) ["page_title"]=> string(50) "Our property portfolio - 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Mortgages in a tighter lending economy and why Brisbane is a good option
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Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2483) "

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
Mortgage Trusts, an alternative first step for property investors
Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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A property investment plan years in the making
object(stdClass)#1184 (52) {
  ["id"]=>
  string(5) "18287"
  ["title"]=>
  string(75) "Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(74) "regional-victoria-showing-up-melbourne-in-price-performance-new-data-finds"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(139) "

Median house prices in regional Victoria outperformed that of Melbourne in the June quarter, the latest REIV figures reveal. 

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2323) "

Median house prices in the regions rose 4.0 per cent to $419,500 but in Melbourne they dipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to $840,000.

The result in Melbourne was due to a 0.8 of a percentage point fall in prices achieved at auction; this was despite a lift of 2.3 per cent in private sales.

Inner Melbourne suffered due to auction prices, where median prices fell by 4.9 per cent to $1,459,000 but it was middle Melbourne that was hardest hit, with a 5.4 per cent drop to $974,500.

Outer Melbourne had a good quarter with the median rising by 0.5 of a percentage point to $681,000.

Apartment prices in regional Victoria grew by 3.7 per cent to $304,500 while the metro media was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to $604,000.

REIV President Richard Simpson said that despite fewer sales, many sectors of the market were performing well.

“2017 was a bumper year and while the trendline has flattened, despite the fall in median house prices in the June quarter, median prices are still up this calendar year for both houses and units, in Melbourne and in the regions,” Mr Simpson said. 

In particular there was been strong growth in regional centres which is probably due to the first-home buyers’ concessions said Mr Simpsons.

“The first-home buyers’ concession has been a boon for regional areas. A new entrant to the property market buying a house at the regional median will pay no stamp duty, while a first home buyer of an apartment in Melbourne at the median price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that more prospective buyers are looking towards regional Victoria which is also having an effect in Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s outer perimeter continues to grow. Small increases in the June quarter mean that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Simpson said moving forward that vendors need more realistic expectations as the highs of 2017 are now over.

“Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations,” Mr Simpson said.

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Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds

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