With an internationally proven business model and a dedicated team, Cameron Macqueen, director – special projects at PAI Group, is ready to help Australian investors unleash the power of property developing – with minimal stress and maximum profits
How do you help investors to leverage the benefits of property developing?
Until last year, I had been running a company in China, which is how I met Yuan [Fang], the managing director of PAI Group. We have built the business here in Australia off the back of a very successful, very ‘normal’ model in China, which we are now taking out to regular Aussies.
It’s no secret that Australians love property: only one third of dwellings are rented;the rest are owned outright or being paid off. Property is hardwired into our DNA, and many of the shows on TV are testament to that.
Consequently, plenty of Aussies would love to get involved in property development; they love the idea of it but haven’t had the exposure required. They’ve never sat down with an architect, a town planner or an engineer to understand the intricacies, and for the majority of people it’s a lack of time or the fact that they are risk averse that has kept them out of the game.
"Our time-tested model suits risk-averse and time-challenged clients who want to move from simply investing in property into developing"
That’s where we step in. Our role is to find the projects, provide the know-how to run these projects, and bring together the team of professionals to get the job done. With our system we are able to say to our clients: instead of waiting seven to 10 years or longer for your property to double in value, why don’t we push it and achieve the same in two years?
PROCESS FOR SUCCESS
Find a suitable site in a market where there is demand for new housing; where the risk is low and the profit margin is likely to be high.
PAI Group liaises with architects, builders and the local council to ensure the project runs smoothly and take care of any potential headaches.
Using a network of professionals with a wealth of experience working on high-profit projects, PAI Group develops the site on time and to budget.
Upon completion of the development and subsequent sale, the investor receives a solid profit.
What is your process for finding potential investment locations?
We are very well across our target areas. We have great relationships with many agents that we have worked closely with, and we use all the online tools to see what is available. We know what sells for the best prices, so we are on the lookout for the best sites to suggest to our client base.
“Instead of waiting seven to 10 years or longer for your property to double in value, why don’t we push it and achieve the same in two years?”
We are always preparing ourselves to act fast. We might talk to an agent about a potential development site prior to this going to market, which gives us an advantage. With advance warning we can go ahead and do some due diligence, but when properties become available, it’s often only for a short period of time.
During that time, we’re putting together feasibility assessments, collaborating with architects and liaising with council about options and zoning. Our goal is to ascertain what we can do in the most effective way, with the least amount of hiccups, to make the most money out of this site.
Ultimately, we weed out all kinds of potential headaches, like trees, roadways, easement and neighbour constraints, and look for properties located near all the good stuff: close to train stations and other public transport, local schools and child care, shops and other amenities. We’re focused on finding the best possible sites to suit our clients, and so we typically end up purchasing about 1.5–2% of the sites we run some analysis on. With a team of 30 staff, we keep our eye on the market, to the point where we attend auctions across different suburbs just so we have the most accurate live data.
How much money do investors need to get started?
You need access to about half a million dollars in cash or equity. If you don’t have enough money on your own, you could potentially team up with one to two other people. We have a number of clients with access to smaller amounts, who have started working together. We’re not matchmakers in that respect, but if you have some family and friends in a similar boat, why not join forces and take the plunge by pooling your resources so you can make some serious profit?
What kind of investor does your system suit?
Our time-tested model suits risk-averse and time-challenged clients who want to move from simply investing in property into developing. Ideally, our clients come to us with funds ready to use, and we’re able to get the ball rolling almost immediately. The people who are attracted to our system are often already prequalified; they’ve got money or equity and they are ready to take action.
Importantly, our business doesn’t buy anything – it’s always the client who owns the property asset. There’s no pressure either: if you want it, you buy it; if you don’t, it goes to the next person. We find some really amazing business opportunities, so there’s no shortage of people willing to find the money and get involved.
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