Barrackers, boo-ers, boofheads and brains

Barrackers, boo-ers, boofheads and brains
September 25, 2019 Simon Pressley

During my many years in property investment, I reckon I’ve identified the four different types of property mentalities.

I believe they are the voices, mostly loud and obnoxious, who often shout from the roof-tops that property prices are about to skyrocket or they’re about to implode and we all should run for cover before real estate woe rains down on us like never before.

They are also the people who just don’t want to consider any investment location other than the one that they grew up in or perhaps the inner-city hipster suburb where they have rented since they were at uni, but could never afford to buy in.

So, for your entertainment and, let’s face it, mine, here are the Four B’s of Property Investment!

1) Barrackers

These are the people (or corporations) who talk up the property market of a specific location whether there’s a significant body of evidence to do so or not.

The most common examples are local residents, real estate agents and even some journalists talking up the potential of their hometowns.

While society certainly would be better off with more glass-half-full people in it, and I sincerely admire patriotism, barracking is often an investor’s favourite recipe for disappointment. Wishful thinking is not a fundamental.

One can barrack as loud as they want but it won’t have the slightest impact on real estate performance. It’s not a footy team!

Let’s consider some examples:

From 2014 to 2019, many barrackers were saying that: “Brisbane will boom because Sydney and Melbourne had and because Brisbane is more affordable.”

Well, markets don’t take it in turns – they never have. And every location is more affordable than Sydney and Melbourne.

Over the five years ending June 2019, Brisbane’s median house price increased at the annual average rate of 3.5 per cent while the median apartment price declined.

Neither of the reasons used by the band of barrackers have any relevance to reality.

A more intense version of a barracker is when ego and location status are added to the mix of personal bias. Arguably, the most common example is those who confuse Sydney and Melbourne’s high-profile status as being “better than the rest”.

Of course, one of the main issues with ego overtaking common sense and market fundamentals is that the emotional investment tends to make people overpay for property and they buy in that market at the wrong time of its cycle.

2) Booers

Now, Boo-ers are those people who are openly critical of specific property markets without even bothering to take the time to objectively and comprehensively study true market fundamentals.

Boo-ers criticise property markets for personal reasons such as they wouldn’t live there (beauty is in the eye of the beholder). Astute investors appreciate that personal feelings and real estate investment is like oil and water.

Other very subjective opinions include utterly irrelevant comments like ‘…it’s too hot’ or ‘…it’s too cold’, or a variety of narrow-minded opinions like ‘…regional locations never grow’, or ‘…capital cities are blue-chip’. Little do the boo-ers know that the evidence does not support them!

Consider the situation way back in 2016, when many boo-ers were scrambling to get into the then booming Sydney real estate market (because they were also barrackers as well).

They were willing to pay whatever it took to stake their claim on a piece of soil in Sydney or Melbourne. Alas, they didn’t realise that these two markets were almost at their peak plus the large pipeline of extra real estate supply ready to flood the market.

On the other hand, some savvy property investors had been quietly buying in more affordable locations with fundamentals which were pointing towards an upswing. Back then, that included locations like Hobart, Orange, Dubbo, Ballarat, Geelong and Sunshine Coast.

These days, those same boo-ers have seen a typical house in Sydney and Melbourne decline in value by $120,000 to $200,000.

3) Boofheads

Boofhead is the best term that I could think of (while keeping with the ‘B’ theme, obviously) to group those who are, in general, unsupportive of property.

This segment includes the many anti-investors of the world and the doomsayers who appear to take delight in reporting glass-half-empty stories whether warranted or not (bubbles, busts, crashes, crisis, etc.)

They also often possess a victim mentality. You know the ones: “poor me ­– what’s everyone going to do to help me?”

Boofheads also include the tall-poppy syndromers who, rather than compliment those who worked harder and took a risk, opt to criticise them because they themselves don’t have what others do.

You don’t have to look far online to find a boofhead. While technology has brought about many positive changes, it has also created an undeserved platform for keyboard warriors to spread their vitriol on every single topic, with property one of their faves.

If there is a story online from a respected journalist, using data and a number of authoritative sources, boofheads still think that the media are sensationalising the market.

It was the boofheads who declared Australian real estate would decline by 40 per cent when the GFC hit in 2008. And they said it again in response to the last Sydney and Melbourne property market booms.

They sharpened their pencils even more when Hobart’s property market outperformed the rest of Australia over the last few years. Such an outcome would have completely conflicted the tiny amount of understanding that a boofhead has about how property markets really function.

 

The thing about boofheads is that they don’t want to understand. Boofheads will never listen to reason, or logic, or evidence. That’s because they are fearful that the truth won’t support what they really want to believe. And that’s OK, because it leaves the next cohort to make the most of market conditions in locations on the rise.

4. Brains

Now the Brains aren’t linked to occupations of status (such as accountants, economists, lawyers, doctors, etc.) or even The Thunderbirds (if anyone is old enough to remember that TV show!)

Rather, it’s more of a general description for those property investors who genuinely have an open mind to the breadth and depth of Australian property markets.

They look beyond the bricks and mortar and community features and benefits such as shopping centres and train stations. This cohort understand the importance of seeing property as a financial instrument – in essence, their mindset is more like a share investor.

They don’t automatically believe everything that they read and hear. They understand that there’s a large number of pieces to the property market puzzle and they accept that they don’t know what they don’t know.

The brains acknowledge that there’s no such thing as a crystal ball or a real estate investment guarantee. But they’ll give themselves the best chance possible of making a decision that they’ll be happy with by (first) reviewing the widest range of location options available. Australia is a big country!

The brains have a genuine interest in learning from how the events of the past influenced market performance (good and bad). When making decisions about the future, they’ll be more interested in today’s influencing factors than today’s performance or the consensus view.

The brains are not swayed by the barrackers whose limited viewpoint will always stymie their chances of investment success.

They’re also not be put off by the boo-ers who, perhaps at a family barbecue or workplace lunchroom, repeatedly question why they would ever consider buying property in a location that their limited imagination could contemplate.

They also don’t give boofheads the time of day because they know that those people will never change their minds, regardless of the facts that you put in front of them.

Rather, the property investment brains go about the business of learning about property markets near and far, while often working with experts to fill knowledge gaps and to provide skill to help them execute their strategy.

Then, they quietly move forward with their decision. Over time, they do it all again. Each time becoming wiser because of the last experience and the open mind of the wisest of the four cohorts.

Propertyology is a Brisbane-based buyers agency and (national) property market research firm. We help everyday people to invest in strategically-chosen locations all over Australia. Testament to our multi-award-winning success is Propertyology’s expertise in being the only company in Australia to forecast Hobart’s remarkable resurgence and begin investing there in mid-2014, before the boom. Now, while others fight like seagulls over a chip to get in to that market, our buyer’s agents are actively investing in a few other locations that resemble what Hobart looked like in 2014. Like to know more? Contact us here.

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