Over several market cycles, buyer’s agent Robert Skeen has become part of several wealth-creation journeys of property investors. How do the successful ones set themselves apart?
Through the years, Mr Skeen has assisted budding investors as they work out the right strategy for their wealth-creation journey.
According to the buyer’s agent, despite the complexity of the property investment game, working out the perfect strategy comes down to simply knowing the investor’s capabilities, limitations and personal and financial goals.
“We find out what’s important to them. Do they need cash flow out of the investment? Do they want capital growth? It’s about their goals—from the short term to the long term.”
Moving forward, those who are able to eventually succeed in the property market display two simple characteristics: courage and confidence.
The decline in the Sydney and Melbourne property markets saw a lot of investors choosing to sit on their hands until the capital cities show signs of recovery. However, good investors are doing the exact opposite.
As major property markets continue to fluctuate, affected by several economic factors and buyers’ behaviour, the smart ones simply focus on finding opportunities, even when no one else dares to look for fear of being exposed to too much risks.
Mr Skeen said: “Courage sets them apart. Buying when nobody else is buying. Through this downturn, we’ve had a lot of clients buying real estate when everybody else isn’t doing anything.
“It’s really all about going against the grain and having the courage to step out, make the decision.”
To have the courage to stay in the market despite fluctuations, these investors work to strengthen their confidence by continuously improving their understanding of the market through self-education and engagements with property professionals, where appropriate.
“They have confidence because they have information, they have experts helping them. We’ve been buying for a lot of our clients for 20 years and they’ve seen the growth that they’ve achieved over the years, which makes it quite easy for them to go, ‘I want to buy another one’,” according to him.
Being supported by property professionals also allow investors “early access” to opportunities that have yet to be officially advertised on the market, or what buyer’s agents refer to as pocket listings or off-market listings.
As such, Mr Skeen encouraged them to get to know at least the top two or three agents in the area that they are looking to buy in.
“There’s always two or three that have all the listings. Get to know them. Get them to invest their time into you… When the time comes that they’ve found you a property, they’re more likely to really work with you, work hard to get you the property at a good price because of the amount of time that they spent with you and the rapport you have built.”
While budding investors strive to be courageous and confident, Mr Skeen reminded them to actively avoid being emotional as they move forward in their wealth-creation journeys.
According to him, “emotional investments” often turn out to be more expensive and less successful than they ought to be.
“There’s a house that I looked at recently in Mossman. The owner paid $12 million for it in 2009, which was huge amount of money back then. I valued it this year and my opinion is that the property is worth $10.5 million to $11 million, tops.
“The agent got an offer at $13.5 million. The person is obviously not a local buyer, and this is the kind of mistake I see all the time—they just come in and pay way over the top.”
The buyer’s agent highlighted: “Just avoid getting really emotional and paying too much for a property.”