2016 Readers’ Choice Awards - Runner-Up: Melissa Opie, Keyhole Property Investments

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Melissa Opie has spent 20 years pursuing her dual passions: property investing, and helping others to achieve their fi nancial goals. As a professional buyer’s advocate specialising in Melbourne’s property market, she explains the crucial benefit that a buyer’s agent brings to the table.

-Behind every successful property investor is a dynamic support team of professionals, including accountants, solicitors and advisors. A reputable buyer’s agent makes up this team. As a buyer’s agent, I take time to understand my client’s goals and educate them to make balanced and informed decisions.

-As a skilled negotiator, I can save clients thousands of dollars and protect them from making ill-informed decisions that will set their goals back many years. Some of my clients engage me to save time; others rely on my expertise so they don’t make mistakes by purchasing underperforming properties.

For investors, the stakes are higher when they are planning to purchase three, four or fi ve investment properties, because they need those decisions to be good ones. Investing in a good buyer’s agent makes financial sense to me because buyers are leveraging their money further.

-When trying to do it alone, you could ultimately pay more by procrastinating, making mistakes, getting emotional or not understanding market conditions. With a buyer’s agent you pay for their expertise and skills in fi nding the right property and purchasing at the right price, saving the buyer from making mistakes. We are like a form of insurance.

-I would recommend a buyer’s agent with at least a minimum of 10 years’ experience … Don’t risk putting what could be one of the largest purchases in your life in the hands of somebody who hasn’t had the years of experience necessary to negotiate on your behalf, just because they have the lowest fees. When purchasing as an investor it is imperative to select a buyer’s agent who understands property management, because purchasing a great property is one thing, but you need to be able to attract high-quality tenants and maximise the return.


SECRET SAUCE OF A BUYER’S AGENT
With stock levels of A-grade properties being low, I have been leveraging off industry relationships developed with selling agents over many years by sourcing properties before they hit the market.

One example is a Victorian house purchased in Brunswick ‘off market’ with no competition, in a very competitive and desirable location. My clients had been looking unsuccessfully for over six months before they engaged me, missing out several times and seeing many properties sell in excess of the reserve price and what they believed the property to be worth.

Had this property gone to auction my clients would have needed to spend at least $60,000 more based on comparable sales alone. We were able to purchase with no competition. Who knows what price it could have fetched under a competitive auction? Luckily, my clients will never know!
 
WHAT READERS SAID

“Melissa has always been the consummate professional whether it be representing our needs on the buyer agent scene or ongoing as our property manager. She is attentive and always focused on us as customers, which is very important.” – Unni Menon

“Melissa has purchased 3 investment properties on our behalf and shows incredible enthusiasm, professionalism as well as having a wealth of knowledge in the real estate industry. She's also a lovely person to deal with!” – Tammy Atkinson