Brisbane investors Andrew and Tabetha are brutally honest about how much they knew about property investment this time last year.
The couple, in their early 40s, had bought and sold a few of their homes over the years and say they even pondered whether they should hold on to them each time they were doing so.
Then, last year, they were considering pouring more money into their home via a renovation when they wondered whether there was a smarter investment strategy than that.
“So, we started exploring other residential market investments, but when we started looking we realised that frankly we had no clue,” Andrew says.
“We spoke to a lot of different friends who did have investment properties, and it was interesting, because they tended not to have any clear strategy, results were varied and not particularly great.
“So we were quite hesitant about going on that journey by ourselves.”
While some of Andrew and Tabetha’s friends’ investments hadn’t worked overly well, one had been more successful and owned a number of properties.
That friend also followed a firm called Propertyology on Facebook.
“So we had a look and it seemed to be a really well thought-out approach, which was what we were looking for,” Andrew says.
The couple soon sat down with Propertyology and were very open to learn more about the property investment game.
Tabetha says they were keen to maximise their opportunities after realising that their previous properties could have been turned into the start of a portfolio.
“We didn’t really understand how best to make that an opportunity. For a lot of Australians, we’re raised to believe we have to own your home outright,” she says.
“It was really fascinating for us to look at Propertyology’s approach, which is a holistic one, as well as how they look at the economic drivers of a region where they’re investing and assessing the longer term outlook.”
The couple’s friends had generally only ever invested in their own cities or regions, they say, because they understood those markets.
Tabetha says she used to think that was a reasonable idea, but Propertyology soon taught the couple a smarter way.
“Whenever you talk to other people who are investing, they just buy a unit down the road because they know the area, so it’s not about diversification, the economic drivers or the long-term gain,” she says.
Like so many new investors, the couple admits they hadn’t really considered what their long-term financial goals were, but that soon changed after meeting the team at Propertyology.
Andrew says he was impressed by the firm’s comprehensive assessment of potential investment locations, its development of a broader investment plan for the couple, as well as the streamlined process.
The couple soon settled on their first property bought through Propertyology, which was a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house in a major regional location for $208,000, which had an impressive rental yield of 6.5 per cent.
A few months later, they added a second to their portfolio, when they bought another three-bedroom, one-bathroom house for $305,000 in a different State, which had a healthy rental yield of 5.6 per cent.
The couple is also thankful for the managing agent recommendations from Propertyology.
“It’s great that we’re recommended a known entity in terms of managing the property and all of those other things. That in itself is a really good process for an investor,” Tabetha says.
Like so many Australians, until last year, Andrew and Tabetha hadn’t given much thought to their retirement.
But now with a growing portfolio, the couple believes that their retirement years will not only come sooner, they’ll also be much better financed.
“If we can continue on that track, I think I’ll be retiring earlier than expected,” Andrew says.
“We’re in a pretty comfortable position now, which is great, and we’re thinking about our retirement in a positive sense frankly.”
Tabetha says they’re both from a migrant background so they’re keen to make the most of what they have, while also being smart about it, too.
And now that Andrew and Tabetha are clued up about property investment, what are their next steps?
Well, they’re going to buy more properties – and perhaps sooner rather than later.
“We’ve got an investment plan in place. We’ve bought two properties relatively quickly and the plan is to buy several more at two- to three-year intervals to build equity,” Andrew says.
“To be honest, given the purchase prices of the first two properties were lower than our cap for each of them and the rental returns are pretty good, if that continues, I think we’ll be a little bit ahead of the curve in terms of our next purchase.”