Our February issue of the magazine is one of our most-awaited issues of the year. It is the issue in which we pay tribute to Australia’s extraordinary property investors and recognise their achievements, with our annual Investor of the Year awards.

2015 was as crazy as it gets when it comes to the Sydney and Melbourne property markets. The lowest interest rate on record unleashed a buying frenzy in Australia’s biggest property markets, sending prices to new heights and prompting the financial regulator to step in and rein in the exuberance.

Many investors made incredible equity gains during this period, while others took the opportunity to cash in on their investments.

Of course, some did better than others – and that’s where it gets interesting. Among 2015’s victors, who accomplished the most with their investments?

That’s a question Your Investment Property has sought to answer every year in our annual Investor of the Year competition. This year, Australia’s most prestigious awards for property investors honour the country’s top investor and four other investors who achieved exceptional results.

These are ordinary, everyday Australians who have taken action. They’re the ones who were willing to try new things and experience the discomfort of stretching themselves outside of their limits. They pressed on through their fears, knowing that was the only way to achieve their dreams.

After receiving a wealth of entries, we were proud to announce 2015’s Investor of the Year award winner as Steven Ryan.

Steven impressed our judges with his uncompromising research tactics and his strong moral compass. This refreshing approach to investing has allowed him to build a solid property portfolio that nets him a substantial passive income stream.

Congratulations also to the award’s runners-up: Yola Bakker and Esme Chin.

Yola’s passion for investing and her ability to take decisive action have resulted in her building a high-performing portfolio in just a few years. Esme’s desperate situation fuelled her desire to reinvent herself and rebuild her financial future. Her story is one that truly inspires and warms the heart.

We also honour our Highly Commended investors, Ralph Nicholson and Alfonso and Vanessa Soliano, for their tremendous success as investors. Their relentless pursuit of opportunities and their ability to take action are worth emulating.

Thank you all for submitting your stories. They truly touched and inspired us. Keep them coming, and remember: it could be you next year.

Judging criteria

Judging of the Investor of the Year Awards is not just based on financial performance. It looks at several key factors that contributed to the success of the individual investor. These include:

• Ethics

• Contribution to other people and the community

• Entrepreneurship

• Leverage

• Strategy – including overall strategy and property selection criteria

• Risk management

• Financial performance

• Innovation

The judging panel


Madeline Dermatossian, COO, Defence Housing Australia (DHA)
Madeline’s track record of developing business strategy is assisting DHA in positioning itself as an attractive investment model for the SMSF market, as well as for individual and wholesale investors. DHA provides housing for Defence members and their families, funded by DHA’s property investment and construction program. DHA has a national housing portfolio worth approximately $10bn and a development pipeline of more than $2bn.  

John Kovacs, managing director, NMD Data

John created NMD Data after three decades of success in the real estate industry. NMD Data exclusively lists mortgagee foreclosure, deceased estate, and housing authority    properties in one locality, offering the only comprehensive national database of its kind in Australia.

Justin Davey, head of partnerships, Real Estate Investar

Justin heads up the Real Estate Investar (REI) partnerships team, responsible for delivering products and services to REI's 110,000-plus membership base. REI aims to deliver the best information and help enable its members to create wealth through property investment. Justin is an active property investor himself and has used REI’s tools to successfully build and maintain his own multimillion-dollar property portfolio.

Philippe Brach, founder and CEO, Multifocus Properties & Finance

Philippe is a successful property investor who turned his passion for property into a unique investor-focused business. His 25-year background in corporate finance and accounting, as well as his experience as a property investor, real estate agent and finance broker, gives him the perfect profile to help investors in all aspects of property ownership. In particular he can ensure that investment strategy, financial set-up, ownership structure and sourcing performing properties form a seamless plan that optimises potential for growth and preserves benefits associated with managing a portfolio. 

Tyron Hyde, director,  Washington Brown

Tyron is director of Washington Brown and has over 20 years’ experience in the construction and development industry. Considered one of Australia’s leading experts in property tax depreciation, Tyron regularly presents at industry conferences and events and has published numerous articles on tax depreciation and property investment. Tyron is also the only published author on the topic of property depreciation, with his new book entitled CLAIM IT! A Property Investor’s and Developer’s Guide to Depreciation. 

Helen Collier-Kogtevs

Helen is a successful property investor and mentor with over a decade’s experience in educating investors on how to create real wealth through real estate. At the beginning of her property journey, Helen was struggling with bad debt and facing a dire financial retirement when she decided to change her future by investing in property. She has since amassed a diverse, multimillion-dollar property portfolio, which allowed her to retire from the workforce and focus on her true passion – property – at the age of 38. 

Read about the winners here:-

Investor of the Year 2015 winner:  Steven Ryan.

Investor of the Year 2015 runners-up: Yola Bakker and Esme Chin.

Investor of the Year 2015 Highly Commended: Ralph Nicholson and Alfonso and Vanessa Soliano,