BRW Rich-Lister shares secret to property success

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Allister Lewison, national property developer at OpenCorp, has appeared on the BRW Young Rich List for three years, jumping from a ranking of 64 to 33 in 2017. In the last financial year Lewison almost doubled his fortune, with a total of $74 million in assets, up from $42 million the year before.

The entrepreneur’s impressive rise mirrors that of OpenCorp itself, which has evolved since its inception to not only offer investment advice, but also a funds management and property development division with $500m of national projects in the pipeline.

With this evolution, the group has taken the step to rebrand its residential property development branch to Equire, and Lewison has taken charge of this new brand as director.

“Given the continued growth of the development division of the OpenCorp group of companies, it was a natural progression to create the new brand Equire to allow the business to build on the 11 years of success it has already achieved,” Lewison said.

Here, he shares the top three strategies that have driven his property and wealth creation success:

1. Don’t be afraid to diversify
Look outside of your own city for strategic opportunities in growth areas. “Property is cyclical and each market follows its own pattern. While Melbourne continues to shine as one of the strongest residential markets in the country, we have also been actively working on opportunities in both South East Queensland and parts of Perth,” Lewison said. “We are constantly evaluating numerous opportunities in line with our national acquisition strategy, and we are keen to focus more heavily on land in Brisbane and Perth, townhouses in Brisbane and Melbourne, and boutique apartments in Melbourne.”

2. Do extensive research
Research has been crucial to finding various opportunities created by different growth drivers across states, Lewison shared. “Understanding and being across the drivers and property cycles for the various markets is important,” Lewison states. “You need to be forward thinking – it’s not enough to understand today’s market demands, which is why we are always looking at long-term trends. This way we can be confident that our projects will remain successful, even as the property landscape continues to change.”

3. Tailor your investment to the market
It doesn’t matter what type of property you are personally drawn to: as a successful investor, you need to strip all emotion from the equation and focus on what the market wants. “We are always well researched and focus in depth on the areas we are looking at for new acquisitions,” he said. “This way, we ensure that we’re developing the most suitable product for that market, whether it is high-end downsizer apartments in Perth or a first-home-buyer land subdivision in Brisbane. It comes down to understanding the purchaser and ensuring the product we are delivering meets their needs.”

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