Scott O’Neill has successfully built a 28-property portfolio worth more than $11 million in a span of seven years, and one of the things that he has credited for his success is his ability to build relationships with property professionals who help him make the best decisions throughout his property investment journey.
The property investor got over half of his properties off the market by simply connecting with good real estate agents—a strategy that has consistently helped him secure good property deals.
“The only way to get a good off-market deal, which can involve you getting it below the value of the… the actual market value of the property, is to have an agent send you the property [first] before it goes online,” he shared.
“Over half my portfolio was bought before it's been listed online, and in some cases, I've got deals that would've been snapped up by 50 other investors if it was on realestate.com or [any other] domain. So getting that agent to send me those properties before anyone else has been [really] important part for me.”
Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant agrees that building a good relationship with good agents is actually “worth its weight in gold”.
Like Scott, he also makes it a point to buy his properties through a buyer’s agent, and this proved to be helpful in terms of navigating the ever-changing property markets.
“You can't discount the importance of having that direct line into an agent. One of the things I [say] to my buyer’s agents a lot… ‘You know, when markets start moving and changing is when real estate agents stop returning your phone calls.’ So, it's a real supply and demand game—if agents are desperate to sell stuff, they'll call buyers agents up first because they know that they can shift stuff quickly,” he said.
Aside from getting real estate agents to help him buy the right property, he has also utilized the services of rental managers to help him ensure that his properties remain in good condition despite having different tenants over periods of time.
One of the first hurdles that Scott has had to jump as a property investor is the issue of “getting the worst tenants”.
According to him: “I had a couple of bad experiences with getting people off Gumtree… They'll buy past the real estate agent, so I had tenants all the time but they would be the worst ones—[those] that couldn't get leased other places… That was probably my worst experience when it all blew up with a couple of bad experiences with tenants.”
“That's why [having a] good rental manager, [I] love them. They take all the time out,” the Sydney-based engineer shared further.
While surrounding yourself with good property professionals will mean having to shell out more money, the benefits that their services provide will ultimately help you achieve your financial goals more efficiently—take it from the guy with 28 properties across Australia.
Tune in to Scott O’Neill’s bonus episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about his journey towards building an impressive 28-property portfolio, which secures him an income of $300,000 each year.