Rear view with Zoran Solano

03/09/2015

How did you become passionate about property investing?

From a young age, I have been around property and property investment.

I think it all started with my grandfather. He was a typical Italian guy who worked a blue-collar job and invested in real estate. From humble beginnings, he purchased several properties around Brisbane, some of which were blocks of flats. As a small child (maybe 10 years old) I recall helping mow the lawns and collect the rent.

As time went on, my mother, Liz Wilcox, was working as a buyer’s agent in Brisbane and I was working after school and on weekends as a research assistant. I was establishing a keen eye for what to look for when searching for and inspecting property. I began to see how investing in property can be financially rewarding, but also a satisfying hobby as well.

Who is your favourite superhero and why?

Iron Man. He is a wealthy and successful man with good taste in property and cars. He also uses his fame and fortune to help those who need it.

What are two little-known facts about you?

1. I purchased my first investment property at 19 years old, practising what I preach.
2. I wear R.M.Williams boots every day to work. They are the best investment outside of real estate, in my opinion.

What are some common mistakes you think inexperienced investors make?

One would be purchasing in secondary locations. Investors sometimes think that buying two or three cheaper properties in outer areas or country towns is better than purchasing one or two quality properties in more blue-chip locations. However, what they find is that often those properties suffer from poor capital growth.

Another common mistake is chasing cash flow positive property with things like rental guarantees that often artificially inflate the sale price. There are so many pitfalls that this could be a full article in itself. I think investors just need to work with people they trust and that are truly independent.

If you could go on a vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be?

There are a lot of places I want to get to in life, but in the short term I would really like to get back to Europe. I want to take my wife over there because she has never been and I would love to share that experience with her. Going this year for the Rugby World Cup in London would be perfect timing!

Who inspires you as an investor?

People who really enjoy a balance between investment in property and investment in experiences. It’s great to have ‘10 properties in 10 years’, or to have a portfolio worth millions of dollars, but if you don’t enjoy life and enjoy the freedom investment can give you, then what’s the point?

I often draw inspiration from clients. They are active in their investments but understand work-life balance. They engage my services so they can have a professional growing their portfolio, yet they can be anywhere in the world (either working or on holidays) or just enjoying their weekends.

What are two things you can’t live without?

When you are in real estate the most used item would be your mobile phone, so from a work point of view I couldn’t live without that. But the other would be good food. I really enjoy trying new interesting foods and wines with my partner and friends.

So what’s your favourite food?

I have been really enjoying American food lately, but the classic steak from the Breakfast Creek Hotel is always a reliable option.

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