Instead of obsessing over the perfect purchase, stick to these fundamentals of property investment.
Ugh! We’ve heard it all before.
Seize the day! Shoot for the moon! Make lemonade! We all understand their message, so why do they grate on us so much?
As Australians we tend to be a cynical bunch. Cutting tall poppy’s down is almost office protocol. Heaven help anyone in the office who took up the Tony Robbins baton and walked around preaching how we should ‘unleash the giant within’ after they came back from their self-help seminar!
Many of us justify this critical voice by claiming that it’s good to have a healthy does of reality. Shit doesn’t always go as planned and listening to positive messages won’t change anything.
Personally though, I tend to think it’s more to do with a fear of failure. If we can find fault in something then we can excuse ourselves for having to do anything that might scare us or make us feel vulnerable. It also makes us feel more comfortable because we get to stay with the pack rather than step up and stand apart.
Self-criticism is often right up there with this sort of thinking. Aiming for 10/10 can deliver some great results, but make a mistake and your internal critic can crush you so bad that you will make sure you never try it again.
I often see this in the investing world. People who want to know everything, get all the research, learn about all the options available before making a decision.
In reality though, they’re desperately searching for flaws to justify a reason not to invest. For a person like this, both heaven and earth would need to align in the cosmic stratosphere for a purchase to take place (and the seller has to be practically giving it away). Initially they appear to be doing thorough research, but meet them years later and the only thing that’s moved forward is the market.
I know this sort of thinking because I used to do it myself. I studied the market for years, analyzing scores of properties looking for one where the numbers stacked up. Sometimes I can be too smart for my own good though and looking back I realized that if I had bought something (anything!) back at the start of my journey I would have made money.
I certainly don’t advocate being flippant with your research. My agency invests a lot of time and effort into being in the right place at the right time so we can make the best gains when the market moves. But now that I’m older and wiser (sort of), I understand that taking action is more important than perfect planning. To quote George S. Patton, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.
Choose the right area and you’re three-quarters of the way there. Look for something that rents well, get a building and strata report done to make sure it’s not about to fall over, and you’re 95% ahead of people who are still sat at the desk wondering if now is the right time.
So the next time you step out to look at property, don’t focus on getting everything right. Understand that you’ll make some errors along the way. Failure is part of the game. If an investment ticks 8 boxes out of 10, grab it, learn from it, and when you go for the next one, build on it. The only failure is not doing anything.
Josh is the director of BuySide, a Sydney based Buyers Agency that specialises in locating and securing investment properties for his clients in both the Sydney and Brisbane markets. Josh has featured on Sky Business News and is the author of the property investment book Why Property Why Now. He has also recently released Suburb Investor, a mobile app to help property investors compare growth rates for suburbs across Australia.