Property Investing in Australia For $100K with Andrew Crossley

Andrew Crossley is the owner of the Australian Property Advisory Group and a best-selling author with his newest release being ‘The 100K Property Plan. Andrew Crossley has travelled all over Europe and started his property investment journey all the way in the Netherlands. He has come back home to continue his property investing in Australia.

Come with us as we delve into Andrew Crossley’s background and where he grew up and why he decided to travel to Europe for an extended period of time, why he chose to get into the property industry when he had so many different options, strategies which you should utilise and strategies you should avoid and so much more!

If you can act, then act. Stop delaying things thinking there's always tomorrow. -Andrew Crossley

Andrew Crossley is the owner of Australian Property Advisory Group as well as a best-selling author. He explains what his business tries to achieve when it comes to their clients. 

I’m the owner of Australian Property Advisory Group, a buyers advocacy and property advisory business assisting clients around Australia to reduce risk and improved potential with every investment property purchase.         

Andrew Crossley’s Team

Crossley not only advises clients on their properties but he also finds the time to write best-selling books.     

So the most recent one is ‘The 100K Property Plan’ and the book is about how a typical, personal family can do more to achieve an outcome in the future of earning $100,000 a year passive income from building a property portfolio.

Crossley is always hard at work coming up with different ways his business can help their clients achieve their goals.    

Every day I research, source and negotiate for my clients on an investment property. So I find the best locations around Australia for their budget, their risk profile and their goals and then I find the best, most rentable dwellings to suit the demographic in those suburbs and I negotiate for those clients. Additionally, I also provide a tailored plan, if they want one, of how best to build a portfolio for their individual needs.        

He grew up and was schooled in the Melbourne area and did not expect to leave for as long as he did.     

I was born in Kew in Melbourne. I grew up in the outer eastern suburbs and I went to Luther College, which is in the eastern suburbs near Wonga Park, Croydon area. Finished year 12 and that was back in 1990 and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. So I worked for nightclubs in Melbourne, promoting nightclubs and got a job working at Mount Buller. I was a bit lost, not knowing what I wanted to do and I felt that it was a great opportunity. I was going to go overseas for six months but it ended up being a 12 and a half years.      

Crossley grew up and spent a lot of time at a ski resort near Melbourne and that led him on an interesting journey.    

I left Australia when I was 20 on a one-way ticket overseas to become a ski instructor. I was told it’s going to be a simple task to become one. Having lived and worked in Mount Buller ski resort for a season, working on the lifts there doesn’t compare to the best job on the mountain, which is being a ski instructor. When I got over to Austria I realised, well, there’s an exam and there’s a qualification and I have to speak German. So I paid a tutor and I learned German over a month and passed the exam to become a ski instructor back in ’92.      

What encouraged you to become a ski instructor?  

I love skiing and it was a way to get paid for doing what I love.      

Ski Instructor across the world

There are plenty of options to become a ski instructor in Australia, so why did Crossley decide to go all the way to Europe?

Back in those days before the internet and mobile phones, I thought Austria had this glamour in my mind, a bit like Switzerland. I’ve always been attracted to those two countries and I’d never been overseas prior and I thought, well look, Japan hadn’t become the big thing. It was more Europe or the States. So I had just happened to meet someone in Buller and he said, I’ve been teaching there before, so come over with me and teach over there. That’s why I thought, well, Austria has great snow, better than here. It’s less expensive than here. So I thought, look, why not?        

A tragedy in Crossley’s personal life led him into a situation that created a career-changing opportunity for him.     

It was interesting, in Mount Buller, there’s usually someone that dies every year. A friend of mine who I was skiing with in ’92 actually died on the mountain when I was skiing with him. At his wake is when I met a friend of his, and it’s through that situation that I got to know this other person who said, you know, Austria is a great place to go. I thought, well, look, if it’s as easy as it sounds, why not? It was only later that I discovered you have to be really good at skiing, which I thought I was, but nowhere near what I realised I had to be. A lot of time spent on skiing and I did probably three, four whole seasons.        

Rather than study after high school Crossley went straight into the workforce whilst he was trying to figure out what he wanted to do.    

I didn’t do any study at that time. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. Back then, the nightclub scene in Melbourne was quite popular. Perhaps it still is now I don’t know. I’m feeling a bit old for that, but back then I was promoting nightclubs and handing out passes with a coat on. So look, I was making $1,000 a week at the time.

For an 18, 19 year old I thought it was pretty good and you get to go out and drink every night and you have drink cards given to you as well. So I was drinking for free and going out for free and getting paid for it as well.     

There are plenty of stories to tell after spending more than twelve years in foreign countries and we find out about more details of his journey overseas.     

Working in Austria, I then taught a bunch of English people and Irish people, Germans even had a ski. I moved to London and managed to get a job working and then managing a cocktail bar in London, in Camden town. I lived above the bar for eight months. Then I went back to teach skiing again in Australia, same resort for another three or four months. Went back to London after backpacking for a few months and getting a job in advertising and worked as an advertiser or in an advertising company in Islington in London. I was headhunted to join a software company. We were selling investment software for the stock market for the horse racing industry and a bit of football or soccer as Australians call it, is big over there.

So software programs to help you invest in the share market. So then I was again headhunted to move from London to the Netherlands and I started off at the bottom in a private equity firm and cold calling, bringing clients on board, high-net-worth clients. After six years, I became a partner in this equities firm, trading derivatives in wine and champagne. So off-market derivatives raising venture capital. That meant I could travel a lot. I was working in the Netherlands. They moved me to the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean for about 9-10 months where I continued on there, set up an office there. I did my PADI scuba diving open water certificate in Dubai just previously. Then I thought, well, I want to learn more. So I did all the exams to become a scuba diving instructor which I was doing in the evenings and weekends.

Gives you a free dive on a boat, you get to teach people how to dive and I was teaching underwater deep sea diving, wreck diving, using underwater propulsion vehicles. That was all really good to teach all those specialties and I worked in the Cayman Islands for about nine months doing both those jobs. Then the company moved me to Italy and I lived in Tuscany for about 9-10 months. Then after all that time with the Netherlands, with Austria, with Italy and the Cayman Islands, it had been about 12 and a half years and I thought, well, I’ll leverage off my overseas experience and bring it back to Australia. This is back in 2005. So I decided after 12 and a half years and having moved my way up in this firm, that I was able to come back here.      

After being overseas for a significant period of time he came back home and continued his journey of property investing in Australia.    

I purchased my first property in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and if I equated it to every mistake you can make in Australia, I made every one of them. I purchased in a high rise. Luckily it was over 50 square metres of living in the apartment because you’re mad to buy anything smaller. This was only 55 square metres of living, high rise, high density apartment in the city centre, off the plan. So even worse, mistake after mistake compounding it. Then after three years of keeping that property,  in the Netherlands you could do this, I separated the car park in a title for that from the dwelling. I sold the car park for about 25,000-$30,000. Then I sold the apartment for about a 50% profit.

Even though I made every mistake that you could make if you were investing in Australia in property it wasn’t a mistake at the time in that market in the Netherlands. I did quite well, but it taught me a lot. So when I came back to Australia, I thought my international experience would be valued here. But I found that the big four banks prejudiced me, they discriminated against me as they often do because I find that unless you have local experience in Australia, international experience, unless it’s a brand that’s globally recognised, is of little value. So I struggled to get an equally paying position and so I become a loan writer similar to a mortgage broker but you’re working for someone else, writing loans. I started learning about negative gearing and about investment property in Australia and started investing myself because I’d already done well overseas from an income point of view in purchasing property and also helping investors raise venture capital, go into property ventures overseas.

Andrew Crossley interviews Ash Marton Real Estate Agent on buying tips

After starting his property investing journey in Europe, Crossley learnt that he could utilise some of the same ideas within the Australian market. 

It wasn’t that far away from what I’ve been doing. So I started buying properties for myself and working in mortgage broking, loan writing and seeing the wrong way that properties sold in Australia. So I worked for a company that sold their own property and someone would come and sit with the client and model a couple of properties that the developer had on their books. Then that person who modeled those properties will try to flog one of those properties to those clients that I would arrange the finance for. It’s the cart leading the horse, in my opinion, in the right way of doing something. So I decided to learn more about how our process could be improved. So I did a property advisory course. There’s two main firms that stand out in the industry.

PIAA and PIPA. I’ve kept my membership with PIPA because I think that’s, for me, more valuable and most people know it, but they are both upstanding companies who are driving the change in the industry to protect the buyer rather than looking after the seller. I say it’s the wrong process where if someone buys a property from a developer or a marketing company because they are being told something off a stock list and someone is making lots of commission. So becoming a buyer’s advocate meant that there’s full transparency and I’m representing the buyer in the trend.

And so I can then start to explain to people that you shouldn’t just focus on one strategy or another strategy. You should have a balanced portfolio and consider lots of different strategies that suit your circumstances rather than using a strategy that someone is trying to convince you as being the best strategy to use.        

Crossley had experience in different parts of the industry so he shares why he wanted to get into property.     

I don’t like shares from personal experience. I’m not saying they’re bad. I’m saying I don’t like them and I don’t like them because they are more risky, in my opinion. I invested $300,000 in shares and I lost a lot of that money. Luckily there were some good blue chip companies like Amazon that I purchased 15 years ago that have helped, Phillips and Microsoft also helped me mitigate some of those losses. I found that property is what most people that have become wealthy invest in.        

Andrew Crossley on Dollars Sense TV show

It is easy to make mistakes when you are first starting out your property investing in Australia and he helps us learn what to do to try and combat them.    

My personal portfolio, I don’t think there’s a glaringly obvious mistake I’ve made. I started buying properties in 2007 so within a year and a half, two years of being back other than my home, which I purchased a year into my return to Australia. I started buying vessel properties in 2007 and I’d already read up and realised that the wise decision was to do your homework, do your research, not listen to a property spruiker and consider lots of different strategies. But examples of clients I’ve come across that have experienced, you know, horror scenarios are those that were sold a property in Queensland. Queensland tends to be the common culprit of bad mistakes. Such as in Maroomba or Gladstone for example or a mining town, you’d rather slit your throat than move there and if the mining industry dies, everyone leaves and the people who are paying $500,000-$600,000 for a property, earning lots of rental and then the market died and now the property is worth $200,000 and they can’t get a tenant.

But those are horror stories. Of course, another typical horror story is all these people that are drawn into the excitement of off the plan where someone’s probably misled them into believing that it’s the best way to make money. So they sign a purchase contract now for a property that’s three years away from being built. Then they go ahead and get their approval from a lender and they are confident that they can borrow the money. So they pay the 10% deposit but little do some of them know, which is rather a shame, is that their approvals expire and in three years time, even six months later, let alone three years time, that original approval is completely irrelevant and it’s void, it’s worthless. You have to go through the same assessment process again and lenders change their policies all the time. How much you can borrow, living expenses and how they’re extrapolated, all those things change, even postcodes of where you can buy and the loan to value ratios in some locations can change. I’ve seen people lose their 10% deposit because the approval they got three years ago was worthless at the time that they have to settle on that property. That’s why off the plan is the worst strategy for a lot of people, not for everyone because some people have done well. But for a lot of people it’s very dangerous.      

It is important to be able to learn from your mistakes and use that knowledge and turn it into a positive. We discover some of Crossley’s successful investments.     

A lot of my properties are buy and hold strategies, that just suits me. Some clients, it’s worth subdividing or developing because I think subdividing developing is the best strategy for a lot of people. It’s also more risk so it may not be suitable to a lot of people, but it’s certainly a great strategy manufacturing capital growth and cashflow. A strategy that has really complimented my buy and hold strategies are already in place and it was a bit of fun as well, is an Airbnb style property. So I purchased a property in Rye and there is a formula that people should try to follow when buying a property that they want to put on Stayz or Airbnb. And I tried to do that as much as I could for myself.

I bought the property at about $400,000. I didn’t buy it necessarily with the pure focus on capital growth. It’s probably worth about $650,000 three years later, but the yield, had I put a normal tenant in for 12 months, I might be getting $18,000 a year, you’re common 3% let’s say. Through the likes of Airbnb and Stayz, it’s about 35,000-$40,000 a year. The risk there are periods during the year that it’s vacant and that might not suit a lot of clients. Maybe comfort level or risk tolerance but that’s been a fun strategy and it’s been an attractive strategy for me. It’s also a property that allows me to block out some dates and use it myself.        

It can be risky to use properties on sites like Airbnb but there are initiatives that you can take to market them in a way that makes them more appealing.     

You don’t have a rental manager of course, you have to do it yourself or to do it well because you can’t really fire yourself. I’ve fired rental managers before because they’re incompetent. I want a good rental manager to manage my properties, to look after the tenant as well as my interests, not just my interests. So I spend time responding to inquiries. There are little things I’ve done to the property to make it more appealing and to stand out and become a preferred landlord in, whatever the terminology is, websites where you stand out about the crowd getting positive reviews, trying to keep the place really clean, have a good cleaner that’s reliable. So I’ll just email her the dates of when I’ve got a guest and she goes in and cleans it up and replaces any sundry items such as shampoos and toilet paper, so I don’t ever have to go there. You put little things in to make it attractive to families, like a table tennis game, a smart TV so they can watch Netflix, trampoline and a basketball ring. Lots of things to make it attractive.       

We discover the amount of time that it takes in maintaining Airbnb properties and the ebbs and flows that they can have throughout the year.     

During the colder months where fewer people want to go to the beach, not much time at all. Leading up to a peak season, perhaps around summer and through to Easter, then I might get two, three, four, five inquiries every week. It only takes 5-10 minutes to respond to each one and just send them the standard, typical terms, no parties, no loud noise, all that sort of stuff. No Schoolies, leave the place tidy after exiting, check in and check out times. I don’t have to worry about keys. So I installed a keypad and I give them their own code for that guest so I can then track who’s been let in or who is letting themselves in on what code and I can update the codes whenever I want.      

Crossley delves into what kind of properties investors should avoid if they are looking to use them for Airbnb purposes.     

Some people have bought a property, so a lot of investors, not all of them, but too many of them buy where they are familiar with, they’re not prepared to buy in an area that they are not familiar with it or they don’t want to engage a buyer’s agent. So yes, I’ve seen clients that have bought an Airbnb property and no fault of Airbnb at all. It’s the fault of the person buying the property. They have bought it in the suburbs, in the normal suburbia, and who wants to go on holiday to a typical suburb in the middle of suburbia. Not me and certainly not a lot of others. So the more successful properties could be in the city or maybe in the country where it’s a nice location where you can go for a walk, whatever, or maybe near a ski resort or near the water.

Andrew Crossley Shares His $100,000 Property Plan

Andrew Crossley on the ski slopes

We hear about some of Crossley’s strategies when it comes to property investment and why he thinks you shouldn’t just stick to one.  

I started off slowly because like a lot of people I didn’t want to go all guns blazing into the market and borrow $1 million for a property. So I started off buying a couple of smaller townhouses or units, not apartments. The units that I’m talking about are one of four or one of ten on a block where it’s got its own entrance where the owners corporation cost per year is low.

The opposite of that would be buying an apartment where you’re paying lots more owners’ corporation because there’s more upkeep, there are lifts, there are common entrances. I hate that sort of stuff because you’re competing against a lot more people for a tenant. So mine have been lower risk strategies of townhouses, houses and units rather than apartments. Some have been new and some have been established, already built properties. The ones that were new like the townhouses, I only signed the purchase contract when the dwelling was a couple of weeks from certificate of occupancy rather than a year and a half earlier. I wasn’t risking the validity of my approval from the bank.

I’ve had a spread or mixed balanced portfolio you could say in capital growth focused properties and some cash flow focus properties. I think all too often people investing in property get caught up in one strategy over another. So they think they should only buy in blue chip suburbs for $1 million forgetting that the yield might only be 2-2.5% and so if that is vacant at any point in time, that person is now exposed. Let’s say I have an $800,000 debt against a million dollar property. That’s a lot of outlay, a lot of negatively geared situations out there that people have put themselves into.       

Rather than sticking to one way of thinking Crossley is simply looking for the best properties in the best areas.     

Compromising on one to try to achieve another, I don’t want to compromise completely on growth just to get yield, that’s mad. Buying in a one horse town is mad because you’d be chasing yield but you’re going to lose eventually a lot of the value. So you always buy in areas where there’s good population growth, good government spending, good amenities, good transport and somewhere if one industry dies, lots of people will stay. So if I’m going to go regional, it’ll be huge population, 50,000, let’s say or more to get higher yield. If I want growth I would buy, of course, closer to the CBD of Melbourne or Sydney. Of course lately it might be some suburbs in Hobart.        

Is Crossley more of a residential or commercial developer?    

Personally, residential, my other released book is commercial property and residential development made simple to help those sort of clients but mine personally and the clients I generally assist are residential.        

We learn about Crossley’s clientele and what age bracket they usually fall under and how he helps them find the right property.     

The ones that I’ve helped clients with have been usually a block of land that could be carved up into two or three lots.

I haven’t done the 10 unit or dwelling developments. A lot of my clients are more your mum and dad investors that want to have a manageable risk level that won’t negatively impact on their lifestyle and they’re happy to manage that risk and not get carried away too optimistically with it in the future. So usually two dwellings on a single title. Buy in an area where there’s a precedent that council will more likely approve the subdivision of that, of course that gives you options to keep one and sell one or keep both and manufacture capital growth by some of the parts being created are worth more than the original and that way you’re manufacturing more rental income as well as more capital growth rather than just being reliant on the market.   

Property Investing Made Easy Tips

People can do that with their normal investment in residential property of a single dwelling on a single title, rather than having interest only repayments for as long as you can, consider if it’s right for you to convert it to principal interest. Because if you’re reducing the debt, you’re widening the gap between the debt and the value. Therefore, eventually when you have to live off the passive income from what your properties are hopefully giving you, there’s fewer properties you have to sell to pay off the debt on the others because you’ve already spent many years reducing the debt on those properties. So of course that comes with time but you’ve already paid off your home loan because your home loan isn’t giving you any tax deductions whereas an investment property debt is more likely to be giving you deductions.        

We find out about the steps that you can take if you want to achieve your property goals and he uses an example from his best-selling book, ‘The 100K Property Plan’.    

There are six main steps in the process I follow. The first step would be to understand your risk profile, your appetite. Of course looking at your age, looking at your job stability and your health. I look at your assets, your liabilities, your income, your future goal of how much income you think you need and also the amount of income you’ve got spare every week or every month that you can dedicate towards investing in property. Because property generally is not going to be positively geared. So there’s going to be an out of pocket expense. So whether you can afford that, you work backwards from what your end goal might be. Your end goal might be to live off $40,000 a year or 80,000-$100,000 is a nice round number. That’s certainly achievable for more people than what many people might think.  

But if you can start off by assessing your situation first and then you put a plan in place, you just don’t go out there and buy a property and sort of throw caution to the wind. You have to buy property that’s suitable to your income and to your goal and your amount of equity. So if you are limited in how much equity you’ve got in your home or cash you’ve got, then you might want to consider buying a property that’s going to be capital growth focused to grow more quickly in value to then give you more equity to then use that as a deposit for your next purchase. If you are in need of more equity to build a portfolio and you only buy cash flow focused properties, you’re going to be waiting a longer time to see any equity growth in that property that’s going to be of any use.

Likewise if you’ve got an average or lower income, the way the banks borrowing capacity calculators are changing with their scrutinising of living expenses lately, which by the way, does somewhat mitigate the lower assessment rates they’re now preaching as being really good. You’re going to need a cash flow focused property to increase your income coming into your house so you can then afford to borrow more for the next property. So everyone’s different. In my book, there’s a thousand different scenarios I could have used but nobody wants to read a 2000 page book. So I used what I consider a fairly typical scenario of a couple in their low to mid forties with two kids. Of course not everyone falls into that boat and I’m sure some of your listeners may argue that’s not fair and I should’ve modeled it on single adults, but I can’t model everything.  

But I modeled two adults, two kids, both of the couple are working and household income of about $140,000 a year and they’re smarter in their life. They don’t have 20 credit cards, they don’t have 10 kids, so they have some idea of what they are doing and they only needed four properties to hit their goal after 15-20 years of $100,000 a year. So there are some people out there that preach, we should have 10 properties, and that’s just stupid. What matters is what the properties are, not how many you have.       

He explains what his book, ‘The 100K Property Plan’, can teach you and where you can find it if you want to check it out.    

The 100K Property Plan’ book covers the steps you need to take to better improve your chances of getting on track to achieving a better outcome. It’s certainly not saying that you’re going to be in a position to be worse off. I’ve modeled, a real avatar, a couple and two kids, and it was possible for them. It may well be possible for a lot of other people out there. So highlighting that something is possible that people may not have thought was and even if you get to $40,000 a year or $50,000 a year income, which is all that’s needed for a lot of people in the future relative to their current standards perhaps, or what they will need then, it’s certainly possible. It teaches you the steps you need to put into place and to have a plan and if you put a plan in place, you’re more likely to succeed and you’re more likely to have each property that you buy, complement you and also each other property. So you can buy it at a good book stores and it will, I assume, be in libraries or you can look at it on Amazon.com.au, ‘The 100K Property Plan’ by me, Andrew Crossley.        

He identifies why the location of where you buy and what property you buy are so important and we hear a fascinating negotiation story.   

80% of the solution is where you buy. The rest of the solution is what you buy in that location, which street, how far from the train and the type of dwelling. So in a family type demographic of a suburb, it may be a great suburb but you don’t buy a one bedroom apartment block. If the predominant demographic is families because it’ll take longer to rent it out, you might have to drop your rent, you will then earn less money and it won’t grow as much in value because there’s less demand. Look at where and what and have someone negotiate for you because I can tell you a success story if you like, of a client using me to negotiate for them.  

So in the southeastern suburbs of Melbourne, a few years ago, this client came to me and wanted to buy a dwelling and I determined that out of all the suburbs they could buy for their budget, I think that budget at the time was $450,000. I drilled down to the two suburbs we should focus on out of the 519 suburbs within 60km of Melbourne. Then I looked at previous growth, current growth, future growth potential, based on market yield and 20 other data points in correlation with each other. I found a property that suited the demographic that was in high demand, short supply that would rent easily, grow in value and sell easily. So we put in an offer of $429,000 and I figured it was worth about $450,000.

That offer was rejected. Another person offered $433,000. This is important that with an investment property, don’t get carried away with emotion. Don’t just keep offering more because you’re desperate for it. That’s maybe what people do with the house they want to live in but not for an investment. You need to be smarter with your decision making and what you’re prepared to spend and then walk away from. So we walked away with the other offer being accepted at $433,000. But that other offer, their finance wasn’t approved. So the agent came back to me and said, look, the offer fell through. Can you still go ahead at $429,000? I said, no. You rejected our offer. I’m only prepared to offer you $410,000 now and back and forth. We got it for $416,000 and my client admitted that had they not used me, they would have been willing to offer the $429,000.  

And so they saved $15,000 roughly, give or take 1000-$2000, by using me rather than trying to do it themselves.        

Investors or buyers out there need to remember who is working for them and who is not.    

I think that the golden rule out there is, which people tend to forget rather too easily, is a real estate agent that is engaged by the vendor, is not there to help the buyer secure the property at the best price for the buyer. They don’t care about the buyer as much as they do the seller. So they’re not interested in trying to save the buyer money. They’re interested in trying to get the best price for the seller. People need to be aware that there are some good agents out there, sure, but get someone that represents the buyer to help deal with the person who is actually representing the seller.        

Crossley wrote some of his best selling books because he wanted to educate and help people that did not have the experience or knowledge on what to do.     

I wrote the books because having talked to clients and people in general, people don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know the importance of a quantity surveyor or even what one is. They may not have thought about using a property inspector or pest inspector or don’t know when they have to use them or the usual terms that go into the contract to use one. Some people don’t even know what a conveyancer is. So my first book, ‘Property Investing Made Simple’, was about the whole process of buying a property.

The more people I can help in making a better, more informed decision, the better. To help protect people out there in not going to someone who is trying to sell you something. But go to someone who can help you sift through all the properties out there and separate the crap from the better locations and the better properties and the better builders. There are some shocking builders out there, some dodgy ones out there and some really good ones out there. Some buyers just don’t know how to disseminate and sift through the quality of dwelling, the quality of location, the quality of provider, what they can negotiate, what they can’t negotiate. So the first book was more about helping people. The books since, ‘Property Finance Made Simple’, people think if you just go to a bank then you’re fine. But that’s the worst thing you can do when it comes to getting a loan.

If you go to one bank, no matter how big their brand is, they will only offer you one of their products and their borrowing capacity. If they get your name off you they will most likely do a credit check on your personal credit file. If you’re shopping around and walking around into branches of banks, you could start incurring lots of credit inquiries on your credit file. The more you have, the more unwanted you will be by the next lender. It looks like you’re a “debtaholic” or a debt shopper. So it’s much wiser to use a mortgage broker who will shop around and do all the work for you. So that book was more about making a better decision with your finance strategy. It will help you improve your chances of building a portfolio.        

Crossley is not only writing books for adults looking to invest. He is also a best-selling children’s book author.     

I have written four children’s books that have become best sellers and they’re called Billy and Harry Adventures. ‘Billy and Harry Love To Play’ are on Amazon and ‘Billy and Harry Go Camping’ and my two kids are the characters. It’s about a horse and a dog going on lots of adventures. I did that for fun. It’s lovely when I see my 10 year old daughter looking at a picture of the character, which is her, and critiquing how she’s dressed. So that was a bit of fun that I’ve started to do is write those books. Then I’ve started to take it more seriously and getting them into bookstores and Amazon and writing a whole series. 

Getting them into primary schools because the simple words I’ve used in those books are helpful for kindergarten and perhaps grade one. I’m keen to meet lots of primary school teachers who want to reach out and get copies for their schools. From a property side of things I would say if you can afford to have principal and interest instead of interest only, you reduce your debt quicker.

And the more you reduce your debt, the more positive your cash flow is from your properties earlier in life. You don’t necessarily have to wait till you’re 65 to recognise the fruits of your labour. If you could have options in your life, earlier in your life the more positive income or cash flow you’d have.        

There are many different ways to become inspired and for Crossley it was from a well-renowned author.    

I have, over time, talked to a lot of accountants, conveyancers, mortgage brokers, property companies. I guess a mentor for me is Robert Kiyosaki. 

He wrote ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’. A lot of people consider a boat or a car an asset. If it’s not making you money it’s a liability, it’s not an asset. These 40 year olds that are having a midlife crisis buying Harley’s, I would say think twice about if that’s responsible. Because unless it’s making you money, it’s a liability. So Robert Kiyosaki really taught me the importance of not just the Jones factor but things people want to strive to do. Lots of people want to live in Brighton, Balwyn or Toorak because it makes them look good. I was prepared to compromise on where I lived to then have enough borrowing capacity to start buying investment properties. Rather than using it all just to buy in the best suburbs. Compromising a little bit on where you live to then thinking about today.

It’s about balancing living for today and enjoying life, but also living for tomorrow and providing a legacy for my children.        

He wants people to go out and achieve their dreams, don’t wait just get out there and act.     

Start as early as you can in buying property. There’s no point waiting until you’re 50 to buy your first property. Of course, some people don’t have a choice and it’s better to do something than nothing. But if you do have choices and options, then why wait? Why procrastinate? Why keep going to bed thinking there’s always tomorrow? So the best advice I’ve had is if you can act, then act. Stop delaying things thinking there’s always tomorrow. Also, do your research.         

What does he attribute a great amount of his success to and why does he think so?     

Staying fit and healthy because without health you’ve got nothing. There’s a lot of people out there that might have better health or fitness if they lead a healthier lifestyle. I found, certainly for me, if I was a smoker or heavy drinker, then I wouldn’t have the commitment to myself that I think you need. I maintain a healthy lifestyle. exercise, don’t drink too much. Of course I’m always in for a drink but I’ve learnt, as I get older, how bad you feel the next day.        

Being healthy and fit is an important aspect of his life.   

More seriously, cause I don’t want to judge anyone. I’m trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and remaining focused on my goal. Remaining committed to why I’m doing it and I’m doing it for my family.        

It is important to work extremely hard to reach your goals but a moment in his life showed him how important it was to find balance as well.   

From a profound life sense I would say just trying to enjoy life every day. You never know what tomorrow will bring and spend time with those you love because you never know. I lost my mum a couple of years ago and that was unexpected and she was 73. So I would have said to myself back then, spend more time with my mother. Spend more time with quality friends and with family. Watch my kids grow up rather than spending too much time working. Try to have a balance between my kids getting to know me because a lot of fathers are not there. They’re too busy working. Of course you’re fighting for your family, but often, it’s regret they have later in life. They realise if only I spent more time with my kids, I might have a better relationship with them. So I’ve been guilty of working hard and I would’ve probably had more of a balance in life. At least I’m doing that now.       

He has numerous qualifications and has worked long and hard to get to where he is today.   

I don’t think I’ve ever put anything down to luck. I’ve worked hard for myself and also to give as much value to my clients. Look, I did a Master’s in Commercial Law and an MBA and a Master’s in Commerce. I did an advanced Diploma in Financial Planning and a Diploma in Mortgage Broking. I’ve tried to accumulate as much knowledge as possible. I’m fully licensed as a real estate agent in New South Wales and Victoria. So all that knowledge and study has benefited me in my personal property journey. It’s something I use and leverage off to benefit my clients. There’s nothing worse than going to an alleged property specialist and they only have a certificate IV and own one property. It’s like going to a financial planner and the financial planner is giving you advice on buying shares and they don’t own any themselves. People need to go to a property advisor because a financial planner under their financial services license are not authorised to give advice on specific property. So you can’t go to a financial planner for specific property advice. It’s another thing that people may not be aware of.        

If you want to get in contact with Crossley he provides the details of where you can do so.   

So they can email me Andrew@apag.com.au. Short for Australian Property Advisory Group. My contact number is also on my website, Australianpropertyadvisorygroup.com.au and also in my books.

This episode was produced by Andrew Faleafaga with narrations and interviews conducted by Tyrone Shum.

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