Buyer’s Agent of the Year: Nathan Birch
How long have you been a buyer’s agent, and what do you love most about your job?
I have been a buyer’s agent for about four to five years now. I fell into it because I started making videos about investing and people started to watch them. Then people started asking for my help – and it all went from there.
I enjoy helping other people achieve their property goals. I don’t do this work for money; I do it for the satisfaction of helping other people become successful in property too.
So, on their behalf, I buy below market value and make sure that they get equity from the deal. I buy the same type of properties for my clients that I buy for myself, and that has made me successful as an investor. To do so, I have spent a vast amount of time building up relationships and networks that my clients can tap into to help effectively build up their portfolios.
How do you spot a bad buyer’s agent?
There are a lot of people out there who are effectively spruiking granny flats or other ‘investment’ wares. It is important to watch out for them. You need to do your research on any buyer’s agent you are thinking of using, because you want to make sure that they are not just selling you fluff. You want to see results!
So know what you are looking for. Find out how the buyer’s agent goes about buying properties. It is good if they are an investor themselves, but look at what they have invested in and how their portfolio has done. Ask them what they have paid for properties and why. Establish how their system works.
There are many buyers’ agents who are effectively glorified salespeople, so you want to be careful about the advice that you get and take. A reputable buyer’s agent should have an office. You don’t want a fly-by-nighter. How can you trust someone if you don’t know where they are based?
Also, watch out for glossy brochures that are selling you all sorts of promises and opportunities. Things need to make sense; the numbers need to stack up. So do your due diligence and make sure you know how much any deal will cost you all up. A reputable buyer’s agent will be able to provide you with all the necessary data so that you don’t overstretch yourself and you get a good deal.
What are three areas in Australia you would you say have good potential for capital growth in the medium to long term, and why?
The East Coast is the place to look, for supply and demand reasons. Sydney still has potential, although it has heated up after being cool for some time. Over the next 12 to 24 months, I would say the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Those markets have been held back for a long time, but now they are starting to move. So Southeast Queensland, even Cairns – those areas are all starting to pick up and are looking good for the next few years.
What are three areas in Australia you think are overrated as investment hotspots, and why?
There are two market sectors that I would advise against buying in. One is brand-new, off-the-plan properties, because foreign investors can only buy such properties, which means that such developments sell out quickly at premium prices, but they are not good investment stock. The other is mining towns, because they are too subject to the vagaries of the mining industry and, as such, they are not good investment stock either.
Who is one person who has inspired you to be the best you can be in your profession?
To be honest, I don’t really have a particular influence or mentor in the property field. I have always done my own thing and made my own decisions. This has worked out favourably for me. And now I’m in a position to open up my resources to other people, which is great.
How does it feel to win this award?
Being a busy and successful investor and buyer’s agent is a reward in itself. But I am humbled by winning this award. I feel it shows we are doing well for our clients. And it feels really cool to know that our clients think well of us and the service we provide, and have voted for us because of that.
What readers said
“Nathan is a great role model for young people. Day after day he works to help others achieve their dreams, by sharing his wins and showing others how to do the same. He is real and genuine – your everyday bloke who started from nothing – which makes him really accessible for so many people. The best part is that Nathan’s philosophy is ’win win’.
“Nathan works around the clock for his clients, taking calls day and night, and supports them through every step of the process.”
– Kristen Ellul
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