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15 minutes   ●   by Jeff Osborne

 

You've heard that property investment is a great wealth creator and you want to be part of the action. Since it's already helped create 90% of the world's wealthiest people, it's on most people's radar.

You want to move forward and the quote:

" A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" is playing in your head.

You're pretty sure where you want to end up (a lot wealthier than you are).

But what does that first step look like?

If you've already asked around in your personal network, some of these things may have already happened to you.

 

  • Someone you know knows someone that purchased a property somewhere so you start doing research on that area but you’re not impressed.
  • You go to seminars which are so called “Free” but you are then followed up and pressured into purchasing a property in a location you have never heard of. They’re now spamming you daily.
  • Well-meaning friends have become self-appointed experts giving inconsistent advice and they are not investors.
  • You receive a “property of the week” email from the spammer.
  • Older members of your family are telling you that it will be a disaster and you’ll lose everything if you proceed with this madness.
  • The newspaper front page is howling that a particular area will have double digit growth over the next 12 months (they don’t tell you it will be followed by a 3 year slump).
  • You read another article which tells you areas you should stay away from.
  • Your accountant tells you one thing, your financial planner tells you another.
  • You receive another “property of the week” email.
  • You read that an investment property must be close to the CBD, schools, train and bus services, shopping centres, employment zones and the seashore but your budget wouldn’t come close to purchasing a property like that.
  • Wait, you don’t even know what your budget is.

Even Google searching doesn't get you closer to deciding what to do. There are so many ebook downloads titled.

  • 7 myths on this, and
  • 5 tips on that or
  • 101 ways to do something or other

What is it with the numbers 5 and 7 anyway? It does my head in.

 

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When you get through it all, will it make you more confident in making decisions? The amount of information is overwhelming, will not be consistent and designed to put you on email marketing lists after you've created a login to download the ebooks.

Is it any wonder that many people put the whole thing on the back burner. Paralysis by analysis. That's why only 7% of people are property investors.

The worst part is when a few years roll by there is the regret that you've missed the boat.

I'd love a $1 for every time I've heard someone say:

"I should have bought there years ago"

Let's stop the rot

It doesn't need to be this hard to get started.

But it does mean finding the right help.

This is too big a deal to do on your own. There are too many ways it can be done and a team of experts such as Broker, Solicitor, Property Manager, Lender will need to be centrally coordinated.

Buying new is a great option but it will also mean choosing a developer and builder carefully and managing their activities.

There are many different types of properties in many different locations. They have different growth cycles and cycles within cycles. Areas are budget dependent. Different lenders have different requirements.

There is too much at stake when you are considering spending a huge sum on an asset that must increase in value over time.

A trusted property investment expert should do most of the work for you.

But you have to pick the right one. One that you can trust. One that has a proven track record.

Imagine then being able to build your property portfolio with:

*  No more research
*  No more stress
*  No more delay
*  Confidence in achieving a great outcome.

But how do you find someone? With the plethora of people and companies operating in this space it seems an endless task.

It's easier than you think.

Google (maps) is your friend

There is a question you need to answer first.

Do you want to work with someone more locally or someone who is interstate?

We form many business relationships 'virtually' these days. But if you are going to be dropping an enormous amount of money on an investment property based on the advice of an expert, then you have to trust that person implicitly.

We trust 90% of what we see and 10% of what we hear

You'll want to meet the expert personally to size them up before making any decision to engage them and there will be several more visits after that to sign all sorts of paperwork.

For your expert to be accessible, you want them to be located in your general region.

I'll assume the properties of interest are "residential" and not commercial or holiday-let types. This is the most common configuration where every day Australian property investors make their fortunes.

Let's narrow down the search method to effectively find the support you need quickly.

Here's the steps:

  • Rather than using general google search showing consultants from around the globe providing services you don't need;

use google maps

  • Ensure that your location is centered on the map and that the scale covers a suitable area that you are Ok to travel to and see your specialist on a regular basis eg. 50km. Scaling buttons are at the bottom right of screen.

For example, if you live in the Sydney region, expand your map area to include not only Sydney but also out to the Blue Mountains.

In the search bar at the top of google maps put in "residential property investment" and press enter. Note that we are looking for companies specialising in residential property rather than commercial or other types.

Visually filter out:

* General estate agents

* Any groups whose name suggests their services are not concerned specifically with investment

With a few simple steps you've found experts on what you are specifically looking for.

You now need to grade them.

Review the Reviews

Companies often spend lots of money on hiring writers to make themselves appear amazing on websites, newsletters, blogs and other forms of advertising.

But the only gauge of how well a company delivers its services is what it's customers say.

From the google maps search above, write down the companies that have more than 3 or 4 reviews.

Take particular note of those with a high star rating.

Reviews should be the main criteria on selecting your short list.

From your short list above, companies having the highest star ratings should be assessed critically. Although google reviews are a great way of checking what people are saying, the exposure is often abused, deceitful and unhelpful. Some pointers to be aware of:

a) Ensure the reviews have some useful information. Comments like "John is a great guy...highly recommend." or "A great bunch of passionate people" is not relevant to the specific quality of services delivered.

b) You want to see reviews from actual clients. Sometimes you will see 3rd parties making complimentary statements but are not the direct recipient of the service. For example, you may see comments like "I refer my clients to xyz and they seem really happy with the service". Often these third parties receive commissions for referring those clients and writing a complimentary review is a way of getting prompt payment.

c) Employees will often write reviews for their own company. No doubt they will see an incentive in doing so but they are biased and not representing the views of independent customers. It may mean a pay rise or a promotion though.

You want to see real, honest reviews from actual customers that are direct recipients of the service and give more than just one line on how they felt about the experience. You don't want to value the one liner reviews like you get on Ebay. Your not purchasing a sub $100 item that you can send back if your not happy.

Your spending more money on an item (property) than most people save in their Super over their working life.

Grade the companies from their review rankings provided the reviews appear authentic from actual customers.

Be Prepared on the call

Before fully signing up a particular consultant to help you with finding the best investment property, there are a few further pointers to consider when you are making contact.

* If you call and leave a message, see how quickly they get back to you. This is an indication of how much they will value you as a client.

* Will they be charging you or will they be just taking the usual agency fee from the vendor (as in a home purchase).

* How willing are they to drive out and visit you. Or will you have to travel to their office. A consultant that values you will travel just about any distance to meet with you.

* Ensure they are licenced. Ask for their licence number and check it online after the call.

* Ask if they will be OK for you to talk directly with any of the customers that have reviewed their service on google.

When purchasing an investment property, you need to be certain of your consultants credentials, accessibility and enthusiasm to help you.

Summary

Property investing is undoubtedly one of the best wealth creation vehicles available to Australians. But you want to think about getting the right help to do it effectively and most of all, safely.

Working with an experienced professional that has a proven track record should ensure that you will have a great result and move closer to your goal of achieving financial freedom.

But if you are going to find the right consultant that will champion you creating a future freedom fund through property investment, you will need to break through the noise from general google searching.

Use google maps instead to find an accessible professional in your broader region.

Search for 'Residential Property Investment' and scrutinise the reviews closely. It is not how good a company sais it is thats important, rather it is what their customers think that is relevant.

Don't sign any agreement until you are convinced that they will deliver exceptional service.

Grow your property portfolio and enjoy your early retirement with abundance.

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