By Bradley Beer
While property investing is one of Australia’s favourite pastimes, it doesn’t mean it’s always an easy ride. There are ups and down and certainly rewards to reap, but you do have to put in some groundwork and planning to become a successful investor.
While this can seem overwhelming at times – especially for first time investors – the good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. There are professionals whose very job it is to help you along the way. In fact, it is recommended you have a property investment team of sorts – each player with a different role to help you towards investing success.
As the team captain you get to pick the players, but there are the nine experts you should consider including on your team:
- Accountant and/or Financial Advisor
A common goal of property investing is financial reward, but you need to use your money wisely. An accountant will help you manage your money and advise on any tax changes you should know about, as well as help you claim everything you’re entitled to. A financial advisor is slightly different and looks at your financial situation more holistically. They can help you determine your financial goals and set a realistic plan to achieve them. Ideally, your accountant and financial advisor may be one in the same, but both of these services are incredibly useful.
- Real Estate Agent or Buyer’s Agent
When you’re searching for your first or next investment property, it’s good to have a real estate agent or buyer’s agent you can trust. Their commission should be transparent, they should have a thorough knowledge of the local market, have a deep understanding of your requirements and be proactive in helping you find your ideal investment.
- Property Manager
While some investors may be tempted to self-manage their property, there are a lot of risks involved in this approach if you don’t have the knowledge or time to manage this effectively. A good property manager will help you secure quality tenants, be on top of any damage, will save you time, tell you of any requirements and will help take some of the emotion away from the process. As their fees are tax deductible this shouldn’t be looked at as an unnecessary expense.
- Mortgage Broker
In the past year, mortgage brokers have been gaining market share in Australia. The 2017 Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) investor confidence survey revealed that 83 per cent of respondents are hoping to finance their next loan via a mortgage broker, up from 71 per cent last year. If you’re looking to purchase a new investment property, it may be worth speaking with a mortgage broker to help you find the best product to suit your situation and your finances.
There’s a lot of complicated paperwork involved in purchasing a property including the contract of sale, mortgage documents and other paperwork related to the transaction. It’s best to enlist the help of a qualified and reputable conveyancer to do this legal legwork for you. They’ll help decipher any complicated terms and conditions and translate the legal jargon. While you’re not legally obliged to hire a conveyancer, it should help you reach settlement sooner and with a lot less stress.
- Quantity Surveyor
Ensure you get a quantity surveyor that specialises in property depreciation to prepare your tax depreciation schedule. A specialist quantity surveyor is worth having on your team as they will ensure you’re claiming everything you are legally entitled to. A specialist will also keep on top of any tax changes so you don’t get on the wrong side of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The ATO recognises quantity surveyors as one of only a few professions which possess the required construction costing skills to calculate the cost of items for the purposes of depreciation.
- Building Inspector
It’s essential that you get a building and pest inspection carried out before you buy a property. The last thing you want is to buy a property only to later find it’s actually riddled with termites or structurally unsound. A trusted building inspector will help you determine if you have a quality property on your hands and can save you from forking out thousands on surprise repairs and maintenance after the time of purchase.
- A mentor
It’s great to have someone who is an experienced investor who you can turn to for advice and learn from their real life experiences. Investing in property has its ups and downs so it’s nice to have an investor friend on your side to help, even if it’s just to chat about your situation and investing plans.
While you don’t need to be an expert to invest in property, it’s important to arm yourself with some basic knowledge of the market to keep on track of how your investment is performing. It will also give you more confidence when dealing with other professionals to ensure you’re not being taken for a ride. There are many resources out there you could use to improve your investing knowledge from books, blogs, magazines and online resources to information nights and investing courses.
–Bradley Beer (B. Con. Mgt, AAIQS, MRICS, AVAA) is the Chief Executive Officer of BMT Tax Depreciation. Please contact 1300 728 726 or visit www.bmtqs.com.au for an Australia-wide service