Simon Loo has a massive 11-property portfolio, with plans to expand into development in the near future. He’s only 30, so what’s been his recipe for success?
“People often ask me to what the secret of my investment success is. Eleven properties in five years sounds like quite an achievement, as though I’ve cracked onto some magical formula that has just allowed for this carefree accumulation of property.
The truth is, there is no secret recipe for investment success. The real truth is, it’s hard work.
If you want to succeed in property investment, you really need to put in a lot of hours and a lot of hard work. A lot of people that I meet tell me that they want to build a huge portfolio and retire, and all these other crazy ambitions, but at the end of the day they don’t really want to put in the effort.
There’s a lot of research and a lot of networking with agents in specific areas that you need to go through before you can comfortably buy properties, make informed decisions on properties and also locate properties that are under value or are good buys. When I was buying in Sydney that meant spending hours driving from suburb to suburb, looking at properties.
When I turned to Brisbane, I found myself buying from a distance, and the importance of building a network of contacts up there became even more apparent. That meant meeting up with agents when I was there, getting to know them, making sure that they call you first if something does come up, or if a property that needs to sell really quickly they give you an opportunity to do that first.
The other truth about property investment? There are times when things don’t go your way, and it’s easy to get down and lose motivation when that happens. There were times where I had to re-motivate myself. Things happen with properties that can have an impact on your attitude, particularly when things go wrong with tenants and maintenance and things like that, and you’re just like ‘Right, I’m just not going to keep going'.
Hot water tanks – I think I’ve replaced around 20 of them! There was a purchase that I miscalculated in Woodridge, Logan, where the body corporate fees were eating up almost my entire yield. Little things like that stress you out, knock your confidence about, particularly when you’re new to the game, but in the long term those things are so insignificant. You need to keep perspective and stick to your goals.
Because in the long term if a property goes up in value by $100,000 or $200,000 you’re not going to care about the $700 you shelled out for a new hot water tank or the few weeks of vacancy that happened in 2012. But when they happen, those are the things that can drag down your morale.
That’s why you need a goal to stick to. For me, it was the dream of developing my own properties. If I’d have caved in to those feelings of giving up, I’d be nowhere near that goal. But I didn’t, and I’m now at a stage where I have enough cash to start moving into the development space. That’s not thanks to any secret formula, it's thanks to hard work and staying true to my goals.”