Expert Advice: by Lindy Lear
I spend a lot of my day speaking to people who want to become property investors. Property investors come in all shapes and sizes, from all age groups and from a variety of backgrounds. In my experience there are many potential property investors out there and then there are those who become real property investors. So how do you rate yourself?
How much time do you spend on the internet when searching for property?
Whilst research is recommended before making an investment decision, some people spend so much time on real estate websites trying to be an expert looking for the perfect property that they never actually find anything that meets their criteria. They let opportunities go by and keep waiting and searching, and whilst very knowledgeable, never get started as an investor.
At the other extreme, some investors spend half an hour on real estate websites and believe they know enough to make a decision and can end up buying a lemon.
When buying an investment property, the internet is not the be all and end all. Too much information can be confusing as it is hard to interpret and put the information into perspective. Too little information can be very costly to an investor if you end up with a lemon. Real property investors shortcut the process by seeking informed guidance from experts who do months of research and due diligence on property markets. They do not try and reinvent the wheel.
How many property seminars have you attended in the last year?
If you love attending property seminars and get high on the idea of talking property all day you could be in danger of becoming a seminar junkie. So just go to one good seminar, get inspired and move forward! Property investing is not a spectator sport, you learn by doing and the best teacher is to actually buy a property and start investing, not attending seminars year in year out.
At the very worst you may end up spending far more money than you planned on the latest property course or mentoring programme that makes you feel like you are a property investor. A real property investor would learn what they needed to get started and save their money and use it as a deposit on their first property.
How many books have you read on property in the last year?
If your collection of property books is taking over your bookshelf, ask yourself, how much are they really helping you? I have found that there are many good property gurus out there who are writing great books. However, they all have their own strategies, and you really only need one good book on your preferred strategy – then you need to follow that strategy. If you need help deciding on a strategy, ask an expert.
How emotionally involved are you in selecting a property?
Many potential investors get very emotionally involved when making a purchase decision. They judge the property on whether it meets their idea of what a property should be, as if they will be living in it. If they do not like the street scape, or the design of the house, or the colours of the bricks or the layout of the kitchen, they do not buy, and may miss a big opportunity.
A real investor bases their purchase decision on the numbers. They look at the affordability level, the potential growth, the rental yield, the vacancy rate and what the cash flow of the property will be. It is the numbers that will tell you if this is a good investment or not.
Helping you become a real investor
My role as a property advisor is to help balance these extremes and give investors the benefit of our combined experience, research and knowledge.
What makes a real property investor is that they take action and buy a property so they can reach their goals.
Potential property investors can get lost on the internet, spend too much time and money on reading and seminars and making emotional decisions. They either never start investing or may end up buying a lemon. If your goal is to achieve financial independence through property, you will need to get real!
Lindy Lear is a successful property investor who had a late start into investing, yet has grown her portfolio to eight properties in three years. She is a qualified property advisor and general manager of Rocket Property Group, and she won the Reader’s Choice Award in 2009 & 2012 for Property Investment Advisor of the Year. Lindy is passionate about helping others realise their goals through investing in property, and can be contacted at 02 8012 9669 or visit www.rocketpropertygroup.com.au
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Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.
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