Drew Evans and Damien Lee started Caifu Property in 2015, after working in the property and investing space for a number of years.
“We identified through our past experience that the investment education industry was moving away from the client’s best interests and becoming more focused on making money for the company,” Evans says.
“Larger companies that are churning out hundreds of deals per month simply don’t have the time to consider what is best for the client at that volume, and have developed more of a one-size-fits-all style of matching a deal to a strategy. We put every deal through a rigorous due diligence process to eliminate the apprehension, stress and guesswork from property investment. But it goes deeper than that – we take the time to build a relationship and develop a strategy based on transparency of goals and financial circumstances. Only then will we present our clients with a deal that will set them up, not set them back.”
While Evans serves as the company’s director, Lee is its head of acquisitions.
“Growing up, my parents always said to me that I should invest in property as it will never lose its value. Unfortunately for me, I had to learn the hard way that this isn’t always the case,” Lee explains.
"We are completely client-focused, and together we have coordinated over $1bn worth of property investments"
“I bought my first property at 21, driven by emotion, and I didn’t take the time to understand the correct finance structure, additional settlement costs, stamp duty, and I borrowed at 98% LVR. I ended up losing over $60k in that property.”
"We put every deal through a rigorous due diligence process to eliminate the apprehension, stress and guesswork from property investment"
Lee says the experience prompted him to educate himself further in the property industry. He started with a job in town planning, before focusing his skills on acquiring quality properties for investors.
“It was through this experience that I discovered the benefits of using my knowledge to help others, and so I have helped clients over the years invest in over $600m worth of investment real estate,” he says.
Evans’ first experience with property was far more positive than it was for his business partner.
“My interest in property started when I was still studying. My parents owned a few investment properties close to the university and I managed to negotiate a sensational deal, especially being a poor uni student at the time,” he says.
“Together, we renovated the houses and added on extra bedrooms. I was then responsible for renting out the houses on a per-room basis, and in return I got through my university days rent-free. The positive cash flow from this was insane! This really ignited my passion for creating passive income.”
To continue his real estate passion, he took a job with a property developer in Newcastle and became more interested and skilled in the strategy side of things, leading to a career as an investment strategist for many years.
“Throughout this time I have also been very fortunate to build my own personal multimillion-dollar property portfolio, which has allowed me to effectively ‘retire’ from working for someone else,” Evans says.
For Lee, the mission to help everyday Australians grow their wealth was so important that he sold off his entire portfolio to fund the birth of Caifu Property. He has since rebuilt his multimillion-dollar portfolio, sharing his purchasing experiences with Caifu’s growing client base and effectively “putting his money where his mouth is”.
“We aim to give our clients the attention and support that they actually need, not to push our own agendas. We are completely client-focused and together we have coordinated over $1bn worth of property transactions,” Lee says.
“We have the ability to invest in real estate that makes a difference as we are not tied down to any particular developer, vendor, agent, geographic location, or any type of property for that matter.
“And it’s not just property advice we offer. A lot of large companies are unable to support clients that aren’t ‘purchase-ready’. If you can’t afford to purchase a property yet, we also offer support and techniques to help our clients save, reduce debt, set budgets and tighten up ‘lazy money’ to release potential they didn’t realise they had.”
“One of our fastest examples of cash-on-cash return in a deal was one that was purchased in December 2015 in Aston Grove. By October 2016, 10 months later, the property had grown in value by around $75k,” Evans and Lee explain.
“However, one of our greatest success stories is our client who worked FIFO in the mines. He was earning a strong income, allowing him to strategically grow his property portfolio, which now supports itself without touching his personal income. He has been able to quit his job in a volatile FIFO position and is employed in his hometown, where he has drastically reduced his tax and has a structure in place to help him become debt-free.”
It’s never too late for other investors to have success in property, say Evans and Lee. “Despite the continually changing market, there are still plenty of opportunities for investors that know where to look… Buying real estate is easy. Investing in quality real estate is the hard part. Thus, the words of Warren Buffett are quite pertinent: Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
TIPS FOR NEW INVESTORS
1. Don’t let emotion drive your decisions.
2. Use hard facts and data to show you what you need to know.
3. There is no one-size-fits-all solution: set your own goals.
4. Plan for the worst, hope for the best, ie have a buffer for unexpected costs.
5. Don’t sit back and wait for that ‘perfect’ deal – it’s like waiting to win the lottery.
6. Research and make informed investments that will perform better in the long term.
7. Build an expert team around you; to be the best you need to learn from the best.
ABOUT THE EXPERTS:
The team at Caifu will show you how to find properties that set you up... Not set you back.
Visit www.caifuproperty.com.au or call 1300 881 422
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