What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received about property investing?
We live in such an information-rich world, so there are a few things that come to mind! The best piece of advice for me is one that is actually quite simple. I was told to always remember that it is land that appreciates, whereas buildings depreciate, so make sure the value ratio of land to improvement value (that is, the dwelling) is at least 60%.
I have experienced many booms and busts and I know nothing lasts forever, so another quote I remember vividly from the ’80s is: “If it is too good to be true then it probably is!”
If you could start your real estate journey all over again, is there anything you would do differently?
I am a licensed real estate agent but have never really been involved in the sales portion of the property cycle. To some degree, I think I would have been very good at it, and had I pursued it at an earlier stage of my career I could be in a very different position right now.
I’ve always enjoyed taking measured risk and have enjoyed undertaking the odd property development project. And who knows? The future may present some opportunities for me to pursue these lines of business. I’m not really the type to rest on my laurels, which means the future always has potential for new developments.
Who has been your greatest inspiration as a property investor and why?
During my career I have observed people make and lose money in so many ways. I have been lucky to be able to see many of these transactions in detail and to learn from them. It’s this experience that I’ve found the most valuable to me in growing my own portfolio.
However, I have always admired Scott Keck from Charter Keck Cramer. While we have never worked together, I admire the way he has diversified his business model from a valuations firm to an end-to-end property solution. Some of my early mentors were Rod Fitzroy and John Forsyth when I worked for commercial real estate firm Fitzroys in the early ’90s. And I’ll always have admiration for Gerald Rawson and Chris Burgess from Burgess Rawson estate agents, who gave me my first taste of property in the retail property space.
Outside of property, what are your interests?
For me, family is particularly important – as I am sure it is for most people. My kids share my love of sport, so it’s fantastic that I can help them pursue their interests while participating in an interest of my own.
My eldest son, Noah, is an avid swimmer and a state medallist. My youngest, Corey, is a top 20 junior tennis player, and I love being able to have a rally with him and travel to tournaments all around Australia.
Of course, I couldn’t mention my love of sport without a nod to the AFL, and in particular my support for the Western Bulldogs.
Outside of my home life, though, business leadership and mentorship is something that is also important to me, and to help me develop this interest further I am a member of CEO leadership group TEC.
WHAT ARE 3 LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS
I love playing the guitar; it’s a nice breakaway from the property space.
I’m a keen collector of Australian contemporary and Indigenous art.
I have a boxer puppy named Lexi. We walk together every day, and it’s great exercise for the both of us!
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