Brought to you by Rethink Investing
Exclusivity is a big drawcard in almost every walk of life, and property investing is no exception. Although there are plenty of opportunities on the open market for good quality investment, the truth is that many great properties never make it that far. Exclusive deals for exclusive investors often take place behind closed doors.
There’s a laundry list of reasons why, says Scott O’Neill, Founder and Director of Rethink Investing. Sometimes there are privacy concerns, and people don’t want to attract unwanted attention with a giant sign on the lawn. Commercial properties may not want to alert the tenant immediately. But whatever the reason, an off-the-market listing is almost inevitably a cause of excitement for investors.
“People love the idea of exclusive deals,” says O’Neill. “But you’ve got to have the key to unlock them.”
That key, O’Neill says, is a relatively simple one – it’s relationships. Person-to-person interactions and positive sentiment have been crucial in helping him establish his own portfolio over the years, and in turn his business.
“Stay on their mind; that way if something pops up that suits your needs, you’ll already have the advantage over a lot of other prospective buyers”
“It’s a relationship-based industry,” explains O’Neill. “If you get to know the agents on a friendly level, you’re far more likely to get access to these sorts of deals. If you’ve earned their trust across a series of deals, they’re much more likely to look to you in the future as a reliable and stable buyer.”
In practical terms, O’Neill suggests looking to suburbs close by to yourself, where it will be easier to cultivate face-to-face relationships with agents. You’ll realise which ones you get on with and have common connections with pretty quickly, O’Neill notes. You don’t need to be friends with every franchisee in town, you just need to get your finger on the pulse.
“You do need to be checking in regularly, showing them that you’re a serious dealmaker who’s ready to buy,” says O’Neill. “Stay on their mind; that way if something pops up that suits your needs, you’ll already have the advantage over a lot of other prospective buyers.”
O’Neill also emphasises the importance of having a specific wishlist when discussing prospects with agents. Before approaching them, you should be having serious discussions with consultants about the sorts of properties you’re interested in.
“If you’re a generalist, you’re going to be competing with larger-scale business, who will do more regular deals and bigger deals with agents,” explains O’Neill. “As a specialist, you’re probably not going to be sifting through huge quantities, but the quality of purchases can be much higher.”
“You need to put the time and effort in, but when you do the rewards are there and can be great”
O’Neill stresses that given the exclusive nature of such deals, there’s always an inbuilt ticking clock attached to any offer from an agent. Lowball offers can not only offend in the short-term, but potentially undermine the long-term health of the relationship.
“Ultimately, it’s all about building relationships,” says O’Neil. “You need to put the time and effort in, but when you do the rewards are there and can be great.”
Scott O’Neill is the founder and director of Rethink Investing, a BRW Fast 100 property investing company specialising in finding rare positively geared properties all around Australia (commercial and residential).
Scott is an experienced and active investor who was able to retire from his day job at the age of 28. With a current portfolio of 32 properties worth $20m, he is one of the most successful young property investors in Australia. O’Neill has a passion for all aspects of property, especially helping others find great deals.