YIP Investors Forum: David Hows from Real Estate Investar

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Sara Terrill, Defence Housing Australia
Sara Terrill:  So I am really pleased to introduce our next presenter, David.  After a successful career in retail management, David became a full time property investor in 2001 and it was around that time, if not during that time that he really noticed a big gap in the market for better property information. 
So in 2006 he founded Real Estate Investor, a hub where subscribers can access tools and resources dedicated to property investment.  Today, you know I hate to use the pun, but today he’s got, hopefully going to give you that Eureka moment to work out where you can find gold in the property market.  So please join me in welcoming David.
How to find GOLD using property data?
David Hows, Real Estate Investor
David Hows:  Hey folks, how are doing?  I must admit when I saw lunch, I thought the ratio desserts to salads is fantastic, it’s not always a con, really have some sugar kings for your afternoon.
So my purpose today really is to share with, I will give you some examples around some core strategies that we find a lot of investors use to really help them to find opportunities.  No matter where they are looking to invest across Australia.  And I guess when I look back, when I started investing in property in 1999, I was a busy retail manager, I was looking after 30 book stores and I had 3 daughters under the age of 5.And when I said to my wife that you know working retail is kind of crazy, the further you go the longer the hours get. And I thought you know, property was going to be a good vehicle to do on the side.  
Because the theory went that you know, you buy property, it always goes up in value, the tenants pay their rent, there is never headaches and it just goes really smoothly.  Right that’s the story I told my wife.  And so she decided there is a lot more challenges to it than that.  
So when I started investing in property in 1999, primarily the newspaper was still the vehicle that you used. You grabbed the newspaper, circled the ads, looked for things that call your attention, did a whole lot of number crunching, you had to call the agent up in many cases to find out where the property was and you do the whole, meet the agent to know where you are going.  
So I found myself on a Saturday morning with a dozen properties lined up.  I would have 3 daughters under the age of 5 in tow, my wife is nowhere to be seen.  She said I had them a week, so good luck with your real estate thing.  And I would get out one of those really old fashioned things that we call like a fold out map.  You know before Google maps, we used to actually read maps off paper and I would plot with these properties the way that I wanted to look at.  And I would start first from home, 3 kids in tow and I would work my way, I thought I could do 12 properties, about one per 20 minutes.  
The digital camera which was pretty amazing back then, I jot a few things on a check list, I get through in and out of a property in 5 minutes and while the agent was still talking up the property at the front door I was at the back door and off to the next one.  And that’s how I got started with investing and we bought 5 properties in the first 5 months and went from there.  
But the further I went, the more frustrated I got.  I really hated the process.  I hated the research, I hated all of the time in the car, hated all of the tire kicking, agents I had to deal with to get to the good stuff and when property went online, suddenly you can access thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of properties.  But then suddenly right now today there is actually about 8,000 suburbs in Australia that actually have  property for sale.  And while technology opened us up to the whole country, instead just a city or state, it just made it more confusing.  
So I guess that’s what drove me to set up Real Estate Investor, we are now 6 ½ years old, we have 21 people based here in Australia in our office, they help us do what we do.  And you know we are kind of, you know if you think about facebook and fans, we are here to say we haven’t got any real estate agents that are probably our fans on facebook.  Because we are kind of the opposite of the sales person or the agent.  We don’t sell property, we don’t sell real estate, we don’t, we are not buyer’s agents.  
We arm investors with good information, good tools that allow them to look right across the country and decide where to invest in particular any property anywhere.  That’s where our focus is, it’s really about empowering the investors.  So as complex as real estate can be and as complicated as some people try and make it, we should try and simplify the process to make it easier to make decisions.  Because most of us, you can get both and the analysis to the point where you just think, you know I don’t where to start or it’s just too complicated.  
And really we are here to help you to save time, minimise risk and maximise profits and that’s what we do through our site and our tools, where our members can do a number of things.  So in terms of, I guess by way of background, one of the things we do, because in 2007.

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