I recently attended a property seminar hosted by a Perth investment firm. I’ve been in this industry for more than ten years, but there is always more to learn, and these folks are great at what they do. I really liked the way they presented their information, especially some of the not-so-glossy points, for example, that if you want to succeed but you spend your time hanging out with people who have no goals and are happy to just bum around through life, you’re making it harder for yourself to move forward. I certainly didn’t expect an evening about property investment to include the advice ‘you become like the people you spend the most time with’ but I found their down-to-earth and holistic approach very refreshing.
Although there wasn’t too much new information for me that evening, one thing really stuck with me – that less than 15,000 people in Australia own 6 or more investment properties. It’s not that I think owning multiple investment properties should be easy, but I didn’t expect it to be the sphere of such a small number of people.
I agree with what was discussed on the night – that most people have plans to improve their financial position through property investment, but rarely get past their first or second property. It becomes too difficult to show you can service the debt level and subsequently can’t get finance, or people get complacent about their plans and think they’ve done enough.
If you think you are in this position right now, I encourage you (as I have since done) to set aside some time to revisit your financial goals and plans for funding your lifestyle in retirement. If you’re on track, let me know and we’ll have a drink to celebrate (any excuse, really!). If not, better that you take action now rather than realising too late that you weren’t going to end up as well off as you’d hoped.
Some small steps to begin with:
- review your personal spending and assess whether your spending and your goals are aligned. Are you giving up what you want most for what you want now?
- Review your property finance situation. Were you able to shop around when you took out your current mortgage, or were you happy to get finance from anyone who would approve it? Maybe there’s a better deal to be found with another lender.
- Maximise the value of your asset. Is your property achieving a competitive market rent? Is it ageing and needs work? Do you have a depreciation schedule to maximise your tax deductions?
- Are you getting the best service and value from your property manager? Do you feel that they’re proactive and working hard for you? Or do you feel that you’re paying good money in fees but receiving poor management of one of your largest assets? (Hint hint … give me a call if it’s the latter!)