Almost 10 years after forming Propertyology, Simon Pressley still laughs when asked to describe exactly what category his multi-award-winning business falls into. Comprised of a highly skilled team of research analysts, buyers’ agents and property experts, Propertyology’s aim has always been to revolutionise the way investors find great properties.
What puts Pressley’s company in a league of its own is its unrivalled depth of data analysis and a boots-on-the-ground approach to determining a location’s future potential.
“We feel that there is a science to investing. It’s not an exact science; however, our methodology removes emotion and proximity limitations from the decision-making process because we see property as a commodity – shelter – just the same way a share investor would view shares,” Simon explains.
“I love property and economics, and what I wanted to create with Propertyology was a business that used both to help everyday Aussies avoid that aged pension trap. So we’ve done incredibly extensive studies on Australia’s property market history and we’ve looked at the real evidence, without any opinions or old wives’ tales, to identify why each market historically performed certain ways.”
PROOF OF SUCCESS
1. Three years ahead of the pack
In 2014, when Tasmania’s economy was struggling and investors were steering well clear of the Apple Isle, Propertyology was in the thick of buying properties for its clients.“Hobart held Australia’s highest unemployment rate; more people were leaving than moving in – it basically looked ugly from every angle!” Pressley laughs.
2. Anticipates demand
“We took the time to understand the outlook for Tasmania’s main industries, and our analysis showed that they would be much better in years to come and demand for housing would increase,” he says. Pressley and his team were right: Hobart’s market has since well and truly heated up, even outperforming Sydney and Melbourne in the year ending June 2017.
3. Set for future growth
Pressley says Hobart is a tangible example of how Propertyology helps investors find properties in corners that others often overlook. “We’ve seen growth in the past 12 months of up to 15%, and it’s difficult to get a property there now. When we bought in 2014 there was no competition, so we could pick the better-quality properties and negotiate bigger discounts. Now, we’re busy investing in ‘the next Hobart’.”
SECRET WEAPON: A SPECIALIST TEAM
• Simon Pressley says his role is in reviewing economic reports and data, “working out which towns and cities in Australia we should be investing in”, while his team takes care of other crucial elements of a successful purchase.
• “We have incredibly talented buyers’ agents, Bryan and Euan, who will negotiate the best deal for our clients, while Irene and Cathy take care of the details of the transaction, including organising a conveyancer, inspections and the legal side of things so nothing is missed,” he says.
• The expert team – which also includes Simon’s wife, Bridget – is a tight-knit one. “Our team roll up their sleeves and really gets into it together, with the common goal of doing what’s best for our clients.”
• One of the Propertyology staff’s biggest strengths is working with people from great distances, since 95% of their client base live outside their Brisbane office location, and client properties are purchased from every corner of the country.
Propertyology’s research revealed that many regional locations have actually trumped capital cities as Australia’s best long-term performers.
“That’s fact, not opinion, Pressley says. “And that’s one of the reasons why we view all of Australia as our stock exchange, not just the big capital cities; we dissect each of Australia’s 550 local government authorities across our eight states and territories to find one with the best prospects for our clients, who live all over the country.”
“We meet face-to-face with mayors, town planners … and CEOs of major employers so we can get our information first-hand”
While the team at Propertyology does take historical property data into account, Pressley explains that their focus is primarily on the economic indicators for the next three to five years.
“There are basic fundamentals that we look for, such as essential infrastructure, good schools and shopping centres, hospitals and so on,” he says. “But that’s just scratching the surface. We look at leading indicators for jobs and whether there’s incentive for people to migrate there for work, or if extra competition in the labour force is going to increase salaries, both of which will raise demand for housing as confidence increases.
“We also study the outlook for the location’s main industries and its diversity, and see if there’s information that suggests the future is a bit shaky for any of them. There are other factors we consider crucial too, such as higher education facilities
– high school leavers are the future homeowners, so if there’s nowhere for them to study, they’re going to leave.”
Pressley adds that affordability is non-negotiable. “Interest rates have never been lower, but it won’t always be that way. Logic suggests to us that if these rates progressively trickle up, the more expensive cities like Sydney and Melbourne are less likely to have growth than the more affordable cities.”
And when it comes to finally giving a locale the green light, it’s not just about numbers on paper. Pressley and his senior buyer’s agent, Bryan Loughnan, spend a week at budding locations, driving street by street to identify those with the best potential, and assessing the community climate.
“We meet face-to-face with mayors, town planners, economic development managers, chambers of commerce, and CEOs of major employers so we can get our information first-hand,” says Pressley. While there, they also interview property managers and connect with local real estate agents.
Propertyology leverages research to produce tangible insights for investors
Now, after helping investors for near on a decade using their innovative research system, the results speak for themselves. Propertyology has won several back-to-back state and annual awards from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, and recently placed in the top five in the 2017 Telstra Business Awards in the Queensland Micro Business category, an honour the team is immensely proud of.
“There’s a lot of different services and skills that our Propertyology team needs in order to offer what we do, and it was a challenge to create something so different,” Pressley reflects.
“But we’ve come through the other side, and Propertyology is our way of being able to do something truly meaningful and important.”
Propertyology believes investing in high-performing investment property is a science, not an experiment.