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Hosted By Tyrone Shum

Replace Your Income By 26: Real Estate Wealth Creation Strategies

Updated 01/01/2018

Sasha Hopkins of The A-Team Property Group will share his journey to find his ‘safe haven’ and how the desire to create a business with access to professionals that aid in wealth creation spawned the name of his flourishing company.

Also discover how a lightbulb moment of realisation motivated Hopkins to invest in property to achieve his goal of financial freedom, the combined value of his portfolio of 25 properties and the challenges he has overcome to be able to replace his income by the age of 26.

Tune in now and learn more!

"The biggest mindset shift that I've had in many years is being able to distinguish the difference between choosing to do what I do, rather than having to."
-Sasha Hopkins

My full name is Sasha Hopkins and I'm the CEO and director of The A-Team Property Group. So that is the main company where we help educate clients to create a tailored investment strategy and then manage that entire process for them. There are a couple of other sister companies as well that helps with providing these results, being in finance and corporate development. But the main company that helps people is The A-Team.

The inspiration for the name of Hopkins’ business was drawn from his own frustrations in sourcing professional help in the property.

It happened when I was actually on a holiday Bali, literally driving around in the backseat of a minibus and I was trying to get finance for a townhouse development that I was attempting at the time. It had literally been probably about two and a half months of waiting and my broker coming out with all these different excuses. Then pretty much the last straw, I get an email that basically said that he was unable to actually get me financed for this deal - and later I found out that he hadn't actually submitted it. We won’t go into that, but so that that sort of stemmed some frustration because the guy was working in the industry at the time as a property investment adviser. And I sort of thought, ‘Well here I am working in the industry, trying to achieve my own goals and results and I can't even get the results to get the outcomes that I'm wanting or needing and I work in this space.' So imagine what it would be like for the everyday type of Australian who doesn't really have the background or the experience, trying to buy a home and get finance to invest property. It's no wonder there are so many unfortunate horror stories, or that people get turned off and don't ever want to continue.

So I thought, ‘It'd be great if there was this centralised place or this team of people that you can go to to get great results, whether it's wealth, finance, investing, whatever it might be, just to have one main place or team. Then I thought, ‘You really need an A team of professionals to help you,’ and then that name stuck - and here we are today.

So what does he do on any given day?

I generally wake up just before 5:30, get up and go to the gym. I'm a morning person so I love to get a good workout and start the day well, then I'll come home and generally my wife and daughter will be just getting up. I've got a little 15-month-old girl, her name’s Winter.

Congrats.

So I like to get in a little bit of time with them in the morning, have breakfast, feed her her breakfast - the daughter, not the wife that is - and then sometimes my wife will take the dog to the park and I’ll have a little bit of time with Winter. Then I’ll get ready for the day, generally, get to the office between 8:30 and 9:00.

I've got a team here of around ten to twelve people floating in and out. Our goal really each day is to change as many lives as we can, meaning help as many people either start or continue to empower their wealth creation journey, using the property as that vehicle.

Growing up in northern NSW and then completing his secondary education in Queensland, Hopkins’ first job made him realise that he needed some direction in his life.

Before I hit the teen years, I actually grew up about 20 minutes outside of a place called Nimbin. I don’t know if you know where that is, but it's the marijuana capital of Australia. I actually was raised as a little bit of a hippie and now as opposite as you can be, living within the city life. But we then moved up to Noosa to start fresh up there, was there for about five or six years or so and unfortunately the parents split up when I was around 16. That turned me into a little bit of a downward spiral that resulted in me getting expelled from school. So I decided I'd try to go to a new school to finish year 12, but school just wasn't for me anymore, so I started working and the first full-time job I got was in a nursery, potting plants all day long. I did that for about five months and then one day, after my 150th plant potted for the day I sort of took the first moment in my life, looked up and just thought, ‘Where the hell am I actually going in my life? Like this is a joke. I'm not in school, I don't have anything, I don't have any passions at all - is this really all that I am?’ That really sparked my first light bulb moment.

I realised quickly that I needed to change my environment because continuing down that path was not going to get me anywhere and I knew that I had more to offer. So I made the decision at 17 to leave the family up there; so I left home at 17 and decided that I just wanted to finish school, that I needed a new fresh start. So I moved to Melbourne and finished school in 2006. It was to be a trial year, but I'm still here some eleven odd years later. I didn't really know what I wanted to do after school, I didn't see the point in going to uni now if I didn't really enjoy it or if I wasn't passionate about something. So I just started working and one thing you learn very quickly in life, is that when you leave home at an early age - really any age, but certainly as a 17-year-old - you need money pretty quickly.

So that was one lesson that I learned very early on, is that if I want to do anything then I need to learn, I need to get money. That was the reason I started to work, then I thought, ‘Well I like the concept of money. I know that it would help me do things I wanted to and live a good life and look after my family,’ who were certainly the opposite of wealthy. Definitely not from the wealthy side at all; that was always a bit of a challenge. I was like, ‘Ah well, I've got to start working.’ I've been always good at saving, I've been working from quite an early age.

Then he experienced his first foray into investing, before discovering the book that would form part of the inspiration to take action and divert into property.

When I turned 18 I start investing in shares a little bit and they went well. Then the GFC came along and dropped and then bounced back up again after that a little bit. I was working for a couple of years and I started to learn a bit more about money and I was fascinated by it because I knew that if I could understand it then I could probably do more things in life that I wanted. That began the learning curve of reading books like "Rich Dad Poor Dad" and coming across the property market after that, from a not so good experience with the share market.

At a similar time to that, I met a girl called Lana who’s my wife now and we've been together for nearly 10 years. But I met a girl and that was my next motivation or light bulb moment about, ‘Well, if I want to look after this girl - I knew she was the one - I don't have any qualifications behind me,’ and so on, getting street smart and that's what triggered that big learning phase of money of investing and leading me on to property. I bit the bullet after my 21st and bought my first property - had no idea what I was doing, took advice from the first person I ever spoke to who happened to live on the same street as the property, so you can imagine it's fairly biased. That's how I started the property journey.

Other jobs Hopkins attempted before entering into property investing included retail and landscaping.

I quit the nursery, proudly quit the nursery just before I moved to Melbourne at the beginning of 2006, then finished year 12 and then I went out into doing random jobs. Whether it was doing some landscaping, there was a little bit of retail, I may have been the doorman in Supre for a few months - female shop, you know what that is. That was mainly to meet girls, of course. And a whole bunch of random things, then I started to work for Telstra and that's around the same sort of time when I started getting into property, and that was the first proper job with a bit of commission. I was really good at sales and then I worked my way up through Telstra, went into Telstra business for a few years; I was quite successful in that role before I became a property investment adviser or a consultant.

This new advisor role was brought on when Telstra acknowledged his passion for real estate and decided to combine that with his sales skill set.

That was brought across to a company, so my passion for property - I was on my fourth property by 22 or 23 at that point in time and I'd worked with these people who owned the company for quite a few years, and I was very good at that job when I was working for them. They brought me across to their property company and that's where it sparked the next big growth phase of property and working in it, day in day out, with more experienced people than me. It was a great learning and growth phase, to then start mentoring Australians one on one, to help them start or continue building a portfolio. It was definitely a dream job that I landed for a good few years there.

With an ever-expanding portfolio of around 25 properties, Hopkins has also invested in a number of development sites.

I've gone really crazy this year I will say, I've bought four development sites and I just literally got an offer accepted on one yesterday. Four developments sites in this year alone on completion value, going through the DA process and starting construction on some of those. On completion value, I think it's either in this year alone $10 or $11 million worth of property, which is definitely my best year to date. So in terms of the entire portfolio with these recent purchases, when they're complete I'd be looking at probably $13, maybe $14 million.

So ultimately, what is his vision for this portfolio?

Besides property investment and our business being another passion, I do have a great love of educating people and also inspiring people to take action. I guess that was one of the other reasons why I started The A-Team is because I helped a lot of people in the other job and I wanted to keep doing that, which is teaching what I had done to replace my income by age 26.

My goal really is to become the number one property investment company in Australia, based on client results, based on their experience, based on the sophistication of the investment strategies. That's my goal, to be number one in the industry and I'd love to create 1,000 people that can become financially independent through our strategies in the three-step formula that we teach. That's my purpose and it's certainly been a good start so far.

There have been several pressure points in Hopkins’ experience in property, whether it be finance or lack of income, which have been challenging to overcome.

Finance always and forever seems to be an extremely frustrating and over-complicated process where a lot of the time we’re at mercy to the banks. Not including the day to day client investments and finances that we obviously do and manage, I even personally still get very frustrated with banks. Whether that's the lowest point I'm not too sure, that's something that any serious property investor should be able to relate to. I guess the inconsistency and just strange actions of banks a lot of the time, without any rationale.

The lowest point for me is if I haven't been able to actually do something, or acquire property because of finance or the banks, or for example couldn't get finance because as you know being recently self-employed or something like that and I knew that was going to set me back. It could be a year or something like that. For me I've been on a little bit of a race to get to what I called my safe haven - that is a place where I know that I’m moving forward. No matter what happens, myself and my family, my parents, my mum, my sister, my wife's family is just going to be always protected. And no matter what happens, they'll be fine and they'll be safe.

I've just been on a bit of a mission to get to this place and only really recently worked out early on this year that I was already there and that was able to help me reduce some of the stress levels, as per pushing so hard it wasn't actually needed. So it was a bit of a mindset shift with choosing to do something, rather than having or needing to.

A particular investing moment that took a turn for the worse was when he lost a significant sum of money on a deposit for a property.

One stressful part was once when I did a board of mortgage repossession property which was a triplex development, the solicitor didn't pick up that particular council constraint in the contract, and I'd already gone conditional on the property and I had to pull out because of this particular condition that wasn't picked up on. And that actually had my $75,000 deposit at complete risk of being lost.

That was highly stressful and I engaged professionals to help me out and of course, and they pointed blamed in many directions away from themselves. I did manage to get back $60,000 out of the $75,000 but it still cost me about $15,000 for that experience. So it was definitely a stressful part, one of the lowest you could say.

The lesson to be learned? To have the right team behind you to ensure these things are managed well, which is what The A-Team is able to do in helping people with their own property dilemmas.

Now the people that we work with, I've been very strict on those people who are on our A Team, to ensure that certain things are done correctly. I mean I understand people can make mistakes, but when it’s at the cost of your own hard-earned dollars it doesn't matter how good they are, it’s still pretty bloody stressful.

There have been several moments throughout Hopkins’ journey where everything seemed to click, like when he felt motivated to begin investing to provide for his family.

The first one was the time that I looked up and realised that there was more to me than what I was doing, and I really felt empowered to do something. The next one was when I met the girl of my dreams, I knew that she was the one, and I wanted to be able to give her and my family a future and what I wanted to in life without the financial limitations that I had. That was probably the next one, as the drive to start really getting serious just after I turned 20.

The next one after that was when I was working for the old employer and realised there was an incident where I felt really undervalued, and put in a lot of effort to help them grow a very successful business and wasn't valued. Then I went away on my holiday the next week and then that's when the idea of The A-Team came about - it always happens like that, of course - and that was brought on by reading Robert Kiyosaki's "Cash Flow Quadrant". So they've been probably the two most powerful books I've read, is that one and "Rich Dad Poor Dad".

Another important a-ha moment was realising that he had actually reached his original goal; his safe haven.

Then the fourth one was as I said only a few months ago. A lot of my motivation to get to where I am was I suppose based on a little bit of fear. What I mean by that is fear of not getting to this place, or fearing to have to get to this place before I am allowed to relax and smell the roses. Even though I've done very well and I'm fairly modest, to be honest with you, but I haven't really allowed myself to feel a sense of achievement for a lot of the stuff that I've done, and that was because I knew that I wasn’t at this place yet and I knew that I had to keep going to be able to get to this place. When I went away with Lana my wife and my little daughter to Europe in August, I started thinking about all this stuff and then had some unanswered questions which was a bit unsettling. I said when I got back, the day before I was to come back to work on the Monday, I sort of went through this four hours between 11:00 to 4:00 a.m. in the morning of working out that I was actually at this safe haven - like what actually is that? What is the exact lifestyle I want to live in? How much would it cost and then where am I at, based on my current situation? It took four hours to work out that I was already there.

I woke up the next morning feeling really enlightened and a lot lighter. I realised - because work is sometimes bloody stressful I will say, starting businesses - when I went to work that day, I thought, ‘Well, I actually need to feel these ongoing stresses or the panic that I sometimes get. Something could impact my future safe haven, it’s just now I can actually choose to go to work; I don't have to go to work.’ And that's a big difference and that's probably the biggest mindset shift that I've had in many years is being able to distinguish the difference between choosing to do what I do, rather than having to.

I guess that helps me motivate me more to want to inspire other people to take action, to get to that same level, that same place.

STRATEGY

My exact strategy is what we now refer to as the Hopkins Formula that we teach our clients, which is a three-step formula, named after myself of course… that's exactly what I did to replace my income after five years and that is exactly what we teach our clients - the exact same process.

This is Property Investory, where we talk to successful property investors to find out more about their stories, mindset, and strategies.

I’m Tyrone Shum and in this episode, we’re continuing the conversation with the brains behind The A-Team Property Group, Sasha Hopkins. We will uncover the three phases of his self-named formula for success and how you can use this to replace your income and reach financial freedom within five to ten years!

3 Step Formula for Wealth Creation: How to Generate $200,000 in Equity Growth Each Year by Doing Nothing

But first, was there anything holding him back from initially investing in property?

One thing that I'll happily admit is that I don't seem to have really much of a sense of fear at all of taking risks. One thing I'm really good at - even though I don't have any doctorates or Bachelors and all of that stuff, I have nothing really besides a real estate license - but one thing I've been good at is taking a lot of action. So I wouldn't say there was anything holding me back with the first one; probably just not really knowing, but I was just keen to get into the market and get started.

However, Hopkins does recognise the difficulty of getting past a negative mindset in order to move forward, with many people who are in the position to do something but are held back from fear.

It’s still the biggest challenge that we have day to day, doing what we do here. People are scared, they're scared because they don't wanna lose their money, they might have had a bad experience, their parents might have had a really tough experience, growing up they might not have had any money and that's ingrained a particular way of thinking towards money; in their minds they might not want to go through what their parents did. So it always stems from something that's been when they were younger, or the way that they've been educated. And people are serial procrastinators these days and unfortunately it's a bit harsh, but if people don't take a step or take action towards a better place or a better life they want to live, there's no way that they're going to be able to do it. This is really as simple as that.

So I guess it could be emotions, fear, it could be negative influences. There are so many things that can stop people from doing something. I've probably consulted 2,500 plus people now in Australia, I've seen people in fantastic positions far better than I was when I was starting out and coming up through my portfolio, they just don't do anything because of fear. And it's really sad that...sometimes I have to tell people, what is more scary, buying this property, then building it, getting it tenanted out and then realising it's not for you? Or continuing down this path of doing nothing and then ending up like 87% of Australians who retire on less than $30,000 a year as a couple? What's scarier? You have to give them an ultimatum and I mean that's how life is.

In order to overcome their fears, he says before turning to sources of practical information it’s important to want it enough to follow through with it.

To begin with, it has to come from themselves. Information won't register unless the motivation comes from themselves; me telling you to do something, yeah you hear it, yeah you probably know, but unless you feel it or you have a life experience that causes you to receive some learning, it's never going to work. So people need to learn or work out, ‘I need to do this for myself, for my future,’ and they will have to. And it really comes down to starting with the end in mind, reverse engineering, where people want to get to.

One of the things we take people through is working out exactly where people want to be and what actually that looks like on a daily basis, the type of lifestyle they want to live. Understanding what people aren't happy within their life financially, what's stopping them from becoming financially free so far and then it's understanding what habits need to be changed, or new routines that need to be conditioned and then people need a bit of accountability. They need to believe they can do it themselves, they need to want to do it themselves by having a vision of where they want to be and having the motivation behind them, e.g. for family and being able to have choice, freedom and all that sort of stuff, and people just need a bit of love, they need someone to hold their hand and to be able to lead them down a path that's proven, so that they minimise the chance that people make mistakes in having a bad experience. You only need 10 years in property and you’re set for life.

Some books which have helped him through his own property investing journey include classics by Robert Kiyosaki, Steve McKnight and Tim Ferriss.

There are pretty limited property books in my opinion in Australia that is relevant. The first property book realistically, everyone has to read is "Rich Dad Poor Dad", that's just a non-negotiable. That's honestly probably the best book and then the second one being "Cashflow Quadrant", they're probably the best books that's about money, their relationship with money and investing in the concepts of not conforming to the typical nine-to-five and ending up with nothing. So they're non-negotiable, in my opinion. Property books that I've read - the first book that I read at the beginning was Steve McKnight's book, "From 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years" or something like that. I think that one's possibly a little bit outdated now, or the same practices don't work exactly the way that it did; it would help, definitely, but even I didn't follow that same kind of method. What else have I read that's properly related? I read Cam McLellan's book, "My Four Year Old The Property Investor". I mean there hasn't been too many property books, a lot of them have been around mindset and then when I've been starting moving into business seeing that I’ve got property under my belt now, there's been a lot more recent business books or mindset books.

So even though using the property as the vehicle has got me to where I am, business is my other passion now. I am in my learning phase and mastering phase, so I've got a lot to go of course. But some other books, there is "My Four Hour Work Week", that's a really good book. Then we’ve got books by Grant Cardone and Gary Vee, some old classics like "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill, that's a great one, that's a classic. Then there's some other business type ones and sales ones. One that I'm reading right now is called "The One Thing" and that is basically pretty much talking about how everyone these days is addicted to being busy and addicted to multitasking, myself included. But the reality is that being busy isn't actually necessarily an effective way of being because people don't really complete tasks, they focus on being busy rather than focusing on completion of the task - whether that's in your job, whether that's at home, with family or whatever it is, people are playing below the line being busy and not actually doing a whole lot vs. playing above the line, where people just focus on completing the most important thing. What's the one most important thing right now that’s going to progress me closer to my bigger goal? And that's kind of a lot to do with mindset and productivity so they're all relevant.

A strong personal habit which has contributed to Hopkins’ success sets himself up for the entire year and allows him to drastically improve in all areas of his life, where necessary.

I don't know how I made it up or when it happened, I've been doing it for many years now and it's coming up to that time of the year. So every single New Year's Eve, I don't really go out or go to a party or anything like that - not that I don't enjoy doing those things - but for me, it is imperative that I wake up on New Year's morning with a nice, clear, the clearest conscience, the clearest mindset, the clearest outlook. I don't want to have a diluted outlook or a hangover and this might be part of my old habits I’m trying to improve and change, but I want to start the year being totally focused. One sort of routine I go through, which honestly spans over two or three days, on NYE I write up a list and review all my achievements for that particular year and write down everything I'm proud of, everything that I've done that year. And I might reflect back to what my previous goals that I set at the beginning for that particular year, what I've done and what's been exceeded. Last year I went on Facebook to write about it and it was really good because a lot of people also took the time to be proud of what they had achieved that year. But then probably the most important thing in the next two days - generally the first and the second, in amongst relaxing of course - I break down my life into six pillars.

So one is business and occupation, two financial and empowered wealth, three mental and emotional, four health and fitness, five relationships and family and six fun and rewards. So I break it down like that because to me, they're the most important things in my life and what I do is I then set goals out for every single one of those six pillars, of what I want to achieve out of that. I literally write my plan for the next year to come, in 2018. I write everything I want to achieve in business, The A Team, the property development company, the finance business, any new ventures that I want to release in the year to come. Really break down all that I can possibly imagine about planning, then I do the same for my own personal wealth creation. I always review the previous year, look at how much I'd smash those original goals and I do every single pillar through to fun and rewards - how much have I been staying true to myself, rewarding myself and smelling the roses? Do I want to be doing even more of that for the year to come? Can I do more of that now? Relationships, all that sort of stuff. It’s a very intense and mind-consuming process, but without a word of a lie, without any doubt, I have exceeded every single goal that I’ve set myself every year for probably the last five or six years by doing this process.

That's phenomenal.

For me, it's very powerful and I'm certain it would work for other people, but you have to really commit the time to be able to do it and then really think about what it is that you want for the year to come. Because life passes very, very fast and you're if not living up to your potential and if you don't know where you want to get to, then people are just treading water and getting nowhere.

Setting and then committing to your goals may mean reviewing them throughout the year to stay on track, however often he smashes them earlier.

I would review the plan probably in the first couple of months a lot more frequently, then as the year goes on I might touch on them every quarter or so. But to be honest I haven't looked at that plan now in say six months, because I already know in my mind I've already beaten it by mid-year. Now I'm just seeing what will happen and then I want to get a nice surprise as well where I get to the end and say, ‘Where am I? How many far away am I from hitting those goals?’ Yeah there’ll always be a few that might not have got there, but that's how life is or business or whatever - things come up but when I know that I'm working on the right track and kicking goals, it's more about reflecting on how much I've exceeded that then at the end of the year.

The number one rule for me, as I learnt very early on, is that I can't do it myself; I can't do it on my own. I’ve honestly paid - excluding the business side and any coaching and stuff like that - I've probably spent $80,000 on property education and other property services to help me in those first few years. Now my exact strategy is what we refer to as the Hopkins Formula that we teach our clients, which is a three-step formula, named after myself of course. Now the three-step formula is what I did to replace income in the first five years. So what it involves is starting out by a laying foundation for properties in your portfolio. What a foundation property is, every part of our strategies include some sort of element of construction because we like to add value to a piece of land, like constructing on it, and when we're timing the right market we always have growth or instant equity on the completion of those construction projects or those houses - some as much as $150,000 from when the client first signs the contract.

That aside though, what I did is I put four of those foundational properties into Phase One of the portfolio, but you only need three in your portfolio. Let's say the worth is $500,000 for a typical good, long term growth house in a great capital city. That's going to always have constant demand, population growth will increase in value. Now if you have three of those at $500,000 each, so $1.5 million, then if that only grows at 7% per year on an average then you're making yourself over $100,000 of equity growth just in the first year and no doubt that's going to compound each year.

Then we introduce Phase Two, which is dual income or dual occupancy duplex investment; so that's bringing some higher-yielding properties being capital city-based, higher rental yield and the same growth prospects of a house. Or duplexes being also capital cities and high yield, or sometimes going a little bit further out of a city to be able to create a higher instant equity gain on the completion, but still with a high yield. The reason why we bring in those higher-yielding properties is to balance out the cash flow of the portfolio. So if we've got four or five of these very well-positioned properties paying for themselves with the last two increasing our serviceability, then that's kind of set and forget - that's the foundation done. You’re going to be creating anywhere between $100,000 to $200,000 of equity growth each year by doing nothing. Then we might bring in superfund strategies as well, whether it’s a house or investing into development which I’ll cover next.

The next stage is development, which is set up in a particular way to manage individual aspects of the projects.

Phase Three is when stuff starts to get really exciting and that's when we introduce property development, but we do that do it in a way that it's to become a business. So we run very unique joint venture development projects or opportunities, so we can we partner with people to project manage projects that we do everything for, from putting together the joint venture, to sourcing the site for the finance, the feasibilities, managing the DA process, the subdivision construction and sale. Everything is all project managed and the profits that are created from these projects in a 12 to 18 month period, we set it up in a way in which the client invests through a special purpose vehicle or a specialised entity or structure that profit is created to be able to use additional income in the future to be able to boost up serviceability. So once we've done that a couple of times in this third phase of the Hopkins Formula being development, then we're actually in a position where we could potentially replace our income or substitute someone's family's working income by creating an extra $150,000 of income per year now through development.

So really that's exactly what I did to replace my income after five years and that is exactly what we teach our clients, the exact same process. People get it because it makes a lot of sense and unfortunately done are the days where companies just tell you to buy 10 properties in 10 years and you’ll be financially free. Yeah of course, if people could do that it'd work, but we know what banks have been like for the last few years - very strict. So we need to be a lot more creative and we need to be a lot more outside the box and forward-thinking, to ensure that we aren't going to be stopped in terms of our ability to borrow money. We want to ensure that we can continue to borrow money to be able to get to our goal. We're very confident that people should be able to get there if they follow this process in a 10 year period and that's our commitment to our clients.

So has there been clients who have managed to achieve that within a shorter period of time?

The A Team itself has only been rolling out the Hopkins Formula as an official kind of process for maybe 15 months or so. We were still doing other parts of it, it just wasn't as structured as it is. But some people might come in and they've already got their four or five properties in their foundation, and might just need one more high yielding property or something like that to complete it. Some people might roll straight into property development because they're at that level and they only need to complete a couple of projects with us over a three to four year period max, and they've been able to replace or create an extra $200,000 of income. It just depends on where everyone’s at.

There is a reason why it's split within the three phases because it is imperative that people starting out understand all of the 1%ers involved in property investing. Sure, doing the development sounds exciting and sexy, however, if you don't understand the finance process, if you’ve never sat on a property before, you don't understand all the elements of property management, being a landlord, depreciation and maximising your tax returns, there's so much that people need to learn. They are doing themselves a disadvantage if they're trying to jump the gun. And in addition, the other reason why we want to lay the foundation is if we do move into something that’s perceived as a little bit more risky and it went wrong, you don't want to lose everything. You want to still have a backbone, or that foundation, to fall back on. You want to ensure that you're always going to be protected and that's why we designed it the way we do, because people will be protected through completing that three-step process.

In terms of locations where he prefers to implement this strategy, Hopkins has diversified over Melbourne and Brisbane, among other states.

Over the past 18 months, we've been doing very moderate, only maybe once or twice in NSW, I wouldn’t have even mentioned that. But Melbourne and Brisbane have been predominant. So we've had a lot of clients who have done very well, made between $100,000 to $200,000 equity in Melbourne over the past 18 months and a lot of those are now getting into Brisbane. My last four have been in Brisbane because I'm a big believer that the market has to follow suit as what Sydney and Melbourne have done; there's a lot of great drivers and reasons as to why that's going to happen. So I'm really confident in Brisbane and the whole southeast Queensland market has been sort of heating up for a while, but it's now time to hit the boil and do what Sydney and Melbourne have done. So I'm looking forward to that. In the future, I'd probably look at Perth, maybe I might look at it in six months, we'll see. That'd probably be the next horizon of a city that I'd look at.

It’s clear he has come a long way within a 10 year period.

Firstly I would never believe it if someone had said, "You'll rocking up in Melbourne and you're going to have over $10 million property portfolio and you’re going to have three fast-growing businesses" - one that made the Australian Financial Review, for starters. I would never have imagined that I'd be employing 12 staff and had a couple of business partners and all that sort of stuff. There's no chance I would have believed it.

That’s phenomenal! So I guess it would be a surprise for him to actually find out in 10 years time, this is where you're at.

Yeah, I'd laugh.

Now he is excited about fine-tuning his processes in all areas of his life, such as with his family and growing his businesses.

The situation I’m at with my personal investing now is, I know it's going to sound a little bit wonkish, but I seem to find that what I'm doing is merely because I put in the hard work in, I'm now starting to reap the rewards. I find it now nearly effortless to be able to produce an insane profit, so I only do develop now as that’s just the level I’m at. And I don't look at a development unless it’s going to produce me a $500,000 profit in a 12 to 18-month timeframe and I've done four of those in this year alone. It's like, well that's just going to keep happening. I could just stop The A-Team and keep doing that if I wanted to, and now I've been in a really good position but, I suppose it's exciting to see over the next five years where my property portfolio will be. I do also really like business and I'm wanting to learn to grow three current companies to a critical level.

So I guess it’d just be awesome to see how far I can go, I mean that's one of my drivers, I guess that's a little bit of ego - wanting to push yourself and see what you can become. Sometimes it has the opposite effect of wanting to take it easy and spend time with your family. I do get pulled in two directions a lot of the time. But the main thing for me would be to work out how can I satisfy my drive and my ambitions for success, while being the best that can be - the best husband I can be, growing a family and looking after my family. My mum works with me, my sister, my dad he's one of my mentors and one of my best mates from high school who's godfather of my daughter. So looking up those close people and seeing how many lives we can change in the next five years, and we’d like to get to 1,000, for sure.

If you would like to connect with Hopkins to discover more on the Hopkins Formula, or find out more about The A-Team or other businesses that can help you with your journey, you can do so online or by giving them a call.

The best way to connect with us would be either jumping on the website, www.theateampropertygroup.com.au or giving us a call 1300 283 267. In terms of the services that we offer, to make it really clear we are very selective with who we work with. We’re not ‘we have thousands of clients but they've only bought one property’ type of company, we’re more of what we call a boutique company. Of course we would like to grow to a larger size, but maintaining the right people and results is very big for us.

So I guess the people that are 100-110% committed to wanting to change their life through property, the service that we offer is we conduct initial one-on-one consultations where we really break down each person's situation, uncover a lot of the time what their pain points are that they might not really know, where they really want to get to and we help them create and tailor a 10-year plan. We've actually got a piece of software that integrates with the Hopkins Formula, the three-step process, so we can look at every single person's situation where they are as of today, income, assets, liabilities. Input that into our template and that can literally spit out - based on the Hopkins Formula - where they would be in 10 years time. How much wealth they're creating each year, what is their wealth position in 10 years time based on us taking them through our process? So very excited about that.

This episode was produced by Alex Cooper with narrations and interviews conducted by Tyrone Shum.

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