Decades of investing in property have taught Century 21’s chairman Charles Tarbey that while creating wealth entails hard work, dedication, and even a bit of good luck, the real secret to success lies in setting realistic goals and knowing one’s capabilities and limitations as a property investor.
Many people often start their property investment journey with a grand idea of becoming millionaires and they almost always end up entangled in complicated investment schemes that could often be too overwhelming to handle.
“You hear the great stories about people who have land that’s become development land or developers who buy sites and they build on them. You see these people driving around in fancy cars because they’re developers. The truth is nobody has it easy,” according to the real estate mogul.
As in all investment ventures, there will always be risks involved for anyone seeking great returns, especially considering how unpredictable the property markets are. For Charles, keeping it simple has been his long-time strategy to ensure that he’s making the most out of his time and money.
“Everybody’s got to put in the same amount of time to make something work, you’ve got to really think it through. If you buy an investment property development site and you make a million bucks out of that overnight and you think you’re a legend, let me tell you that it doesn’t take long before you’re brought back down to work again,” he explained.
“The market changes so quickly, you got to be on top of it. Unless you’re prepared to take those massive risks, you really should buy within your means, buy an easy investment property. Don’t go over the top and wait and wait. You got to be in there when the cycle occurs.”
While many successful property investors advise people to avoid procrastinating and get “analysis paralysis” by trying to learn everything they need to know, Charles encourage those who want to pursue creating wealth through property to be realistic about their expectation of the venture.
After all, property investment is a long-term commitment—it’s all about the “time in the market rather than timing the market.”
“I just get a bit concerned with people who are trying to go too quickly with their investments… When I first started buying property at 18 years of age, [and] now I’m 61 years of age, I’m not thinking back then that I want to have a million dollars by the time I’m 30,” Charles shared.
“It doesn't change your life… It’s about the way you live more than what you have.... I think if you get a nice lifestyle—stay with it. The investments will work for you, they will be out there. They’ll do the right thing over a period of time provided you don’t go crazy with it.”
His advice for budding property investors: Focus on the reason you are investing in properties in the first place. For him, the motivation for continuously growing his portfolio is the desire to secure a strong financial foundation for his family, especially his growing children.
“At the end of the day, they’re going to have to carry on what I started and attach it to their own lifestyle. Why would I go and damage that by going crazy when I could just simply buy an investment property, [that] I can sit on it for a while, and I could just wait the cycle out?” he said.
“If you want to, you can make a lot of money [through your properties]. You just buy at the right time and you could do fantastic job… [But] you’ve got to be realistic about it.
“If you’re in a strong capital city in one of the safest regions in the world… if you’re buying within your means, [you’ve got nothing to worry about].”
Tune in to Charles Tarbey’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about what concerns him most about investors in today's market, how investors can make sure they're "there when the boom happens," and why some investors have missed out on massive capital gains.