Many property investors would attest to the challenges of investing with a partner, but this husband-and-wife team have made it work simply by ‘clear communication’ and the shared desire to achieve financial freedom and stability before it’s too late.
From the very beginning, Courtney has always been the “pusher” between them—her passion inspired by growing up with parents who “bought, sold, and built houses” through the years. In contrast, Brendon tends to be more calculated and risk-averse.
While their opposite mindsets often create conflict, they have successfully created a four-property portfolio by regularly finding time for open dialogue about their goals and motivations.
According to Brendon: “It's all about clear communication, really. We have had some tough times ... and we're sort of at the point where [we ask ourselves], ‘What do we do for the next few years?’ ”
Since starting their property investment journey, they have worked hard to strike a balance through compromise—but not without understanding each other’s sides.
Courtney said: “I would say I back off a lot of the time and it's not me being submissive … I just know I can be very full on in that type of environment, especially if it's something I'm really passionate and excited about.”
“I really need to have some self-talk and say, ‘Okay, I can see his point of view. This is probably the safer option,’ ” she added.
Managing their portfolio
Ever since they have bought their principal place of residence in 2011, the couple has been diligently keeping track of the “ins and outs” of their portfolio in order to make decisions based on data, free from any emotional biases. Courtney, for example, has a habit of checking their bank balance—both for personal and business accounts—more than once a day.
“I like to see it grow, I like to see the ins and the outs … I'm very … control freak,” she said.
They also have a filing cabinet where they keep all documents organised and ready to be pulled out in case they need to review any transaction they have made.
According to Brendon: “In terms of spreadsheets, no, we don't really [have one] ... We just use technology, like apps, to see what values are currently coming in at and what our rental statements [are].”
To help them navigate their way through their property investment journey while they keep themselves busy with businesses and full-time jobs, the couple uses the help of experts and professionals like property managers, mortgage brokers, financial planners, and the like. Their advice for budding property professionals who want to begin a journey with a partner: Understand each other’s goals, motivations, capabilities, and limitations in order to work through any conflict that may arise.
Instead of arguing about clashing mindsets or opinions, strive to strike a balance and find a common ground. For Brendon and Courtney, the desire to create wealth and afford a financially-secure future keeps them on the same path towards success.
“Just get in there, have a go, research, educate yourself ... get a good team around you and meet the right people and just keep learning,” Brendon said.
Courtney shared further: “Start. If you don't have enough money to buy in the Sydney market, go somewhere else. If you don't know how to buy somewhere else, familiarise yourself with some really good help and let them buy it for you.”
“[You have to be] serious about property … [You have to] really want it,” she concluded.
Tune in to Brendon and Courtney’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about how they made the transition from being property buyers to being property investors, as well as what they have learned through the properties they bought and how it has impacted each purchase.