Hosted By Tyrone Shum

Learn To Grow A Property Asset In Any Financial Market

Updated 28/05/2018

Passionate property investor Sam Saggers, CEO of Positive Real Estate and managing partner in Australia’s oldest real estate agency, will chat about the influence from friends in high places (whose home was featured on the TV show The Bachelor) and how a blunder early in his journey made him realise the true worth of property.

Discover why understanding tax valuation is essential when determining the costs involved in owning a property and why you need to choose the right property in the right location. Also, follow Saggers’ story on starting out in real estate at the age of 19, through to discovering his true calling as a property investor.

"The Graces were a beautiful family, they had one of the most interesting properties in that suburb at that time - it was literally like a castle! In fact, the property most recently was on The Bachelor, the TV show, as the place where that show was filmed."

-Sam Saggers

With 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, Saggers has two separate roles dividing his time while also an active property investor himself.

My name is Sam Saggers, CEO of Positive Real Estate, which is an investment agency located in Australia and New Zealand. I'm also a Managing Partner of Richardson and Wrench (R&W), which is Australia's oldest real estate agency; I work within the projects division there. Over the last 20 years, I've really specialised in understanding investment real estate and understanding the various different markets around Australia. I've built a property portfolio over those years of over 20 odd properties and you’ll learn a few tips in strategies along the way. 

In any given day he is immersed in property whether it be researching, strategising or inspecting it.

Most days I'm analysing real estate, researching property, visiting the property, visiting different cities. I spend a lot of my time simply sharing information, talking to people about property investment strategies within the marketplace. I do a lot of presentations, so most days I'm either presenting on property or actually visiting the real estate and inspecting it.

And you mentioned that you're part of Richardson & Ranch's in the project division. What does that entail? 

R&W is Australia's oldest real estate agent agency, people from Sydney, for example, would be quite familiar with it. Within the R&W Projects Division, I head up and specialise really properties which are suitable for investment but also owner occupying properties, which are primarily projects in urban areas. So yeah, it's just residential really targeted towards the sort of home buyer market.

Finding passion in his roles within both businesses, Saggers is constantly amazed by the different dimensions of real estate.

Because I obviously lead up positive real estate, which is really a wholesaler within the marketplace, it’s an investor-focused business, it's great because I get to work with people who are passionate about the investment or the buying side of real estate. And then as I work in R&W I get to see another side of real estate, which is properties that people want to make their own home. I also get to see the selling side of real estate - what sells well in the marketplace, what typically fetches more at auction for example because the properties tick a lot of boxes. So I get to live the property dream, representing both businesses. 

Growing up in a wealthier area of Sydney, Saggers’ exposure to affluent families was part of the reason why he became involved with the property.

So I grew up in Sydney, I grew up in a quite an affluent suburb called Hunter's Hill here in Sydney, it's sort of 10 km from the city centre. Hunter’s Hill is a suburb still today full of many millionaires and billionaires. Back when I was growing up there, certainly I was exposed to many wealthy individuals in that suburb. My family did have a sort of working-class but we actually bought in that suburb - or my parents bought in that suburb - in a street, no one really wanted to buy-in. It had a bit of a  bad reputation in that neighbourhood so they picked up something quite cheap and then just raised me obviously in the neighbourhood and I guess I was a bit of a gift because I got to be surrounded by families that were extremely wealthy.

Today some of the BRW Top 200 richest Australians live in Hunter’s Hill and many of those families I was exposed to as a young age, in fact really my early exposure to their wealth which was tied up primarily in real estate; it was one of the reasons why I'm in real estate. And one of the reasons I invest in real estate is because I saw quite early on from many of these wealthy families that dominate that suburb, that really if you want to become quite stable economically in your life, the property is such a good vehicle.

This influence remained strong throughout his formative years.

So I went to a couple of schools and I went to the local primary school and in the local primary school, many of them were kids from the neighbourhood also were there and I became very good friends with many of them, which I'm of course friends with today. And becoming friends with just like any kid in any neighbourhood you know, you got to go over to your friend's house and then all of a sudden, unbeknownst to you, their father is a mogul in real estate - and that that happened to me on several occasions in that suburb. So I was pretty blessed, for myself and for my family to decide to live there. 

Some of the families which influenced Saggers at a young age turned out to be the owners of two of the most successful companies in Australia, with one of the families’ houses actually aired on a popular television programme!

For me probably two families kind of stood out. The first was the Graces and the Graces were I guess the family that started Grace Brothers, which today is called MYER. And the Graces were a beautiful family, they had one of the most interesting properties in that suburb at that time - it was literally like a castle! In fact, the property most recently was on The Bachelor, the TV show, as the place where that show was filmed. But it was such an interesting property to go and visit on a daily basis, that for a start I fell in love with architecture at an early age from visiting that property because it was just such an interesting property.

And then over and above that, I guess my friend Sean, the Tieck family, they’re well-known property owners here in Sydney. Their company is called Gwynvill and they would own several hundred residential, commercial, industrial properties across Australia; they feature in the BRW Top 200 wealthiest Australian families. And without question, spending time with them always told me many lessons on real estate. 

That is so inspiring and so cool too! Since you've touched on the topic about Grace’s house, is that the actual house you've seen that was filmed on The Bachelor? Is that what you're saying?

Yeah. I think it was on the first three or four seasons of The Bachelor and then they decided to move to another house. But yeah, seasons one, two and three I think. 

Gosh, how did you feel when you saw it on TV? That must’ve brought back memories.

Look to be honest, I wasn't watching the programme until one night I randomly sort of walked past it and at the time I was like, ‘Oh, I know that house,’ and then I actually just texted my friend and asked Sean actually, ‘Is that Ted’s house?’ And he's like, ‘Yeah, it's on The Bachelor.’

Small world! ‘By the way, your house is on TV, did you know that?

Yeah, I had no idea. I think they’ve long since sold up and moved on. But yeah, it was just how I remembered it, it was an amazing piece of architecture. It was really exciting to be exposed to it at a young age.

After completing his schooling, Saggers travelled for a year before beginning his tertiary education in real estate.

After school, I actually went travelling for a bit of a gap year and I went and lived overseas, I lived in London, lived in Sweden, lived in Cyprus and just got some worldly experience around travel and people. And from there, came back to Australia and actually at that particular time, to get into real estate was a three-year diploma and you did that primarily at TAFE four days a week. They've chopped and changed it over the years from property economics degrees to diplomas. But in my era, we did a three-year diploma and then you could work in the industry while studying real estate.

So I essentially sort of started out by learning it through education and then jumped into getting a job in real estate and really early on, I was in real estate. So from age 19, I'd jumped into real estate. 

Although starting his career in real estate in property management and sales, he found his niche when he began investing in property.

I started just in property management for a couple of years and worked in North Ryde and just did the ground-up approach. From there, got into some early residential sales and then really my fascination with real estate didn't take off until I started to invest in real estate.

I guess I wasn't a fantastic salesperson or a fantastic property manager, so I never liked that side of real estate, where today many real estate agents don't even own real estate, they pride themselves on being great salespeople. For me, I was a sort of mediocre kind of salesperson and mediocre property manager, but I liked the industry. And really I found my home when I started buying real estate and started to become a buyer's agent. And it took a little bit of time to get to that place, but that's where my passion lies.

So sort of putting things into perspective, roughly what year was this going back when you first started getting into buying property, investing into property?

It would have been like close to 1999-2000 when I bought my first property, in Sydney actually. I sort of chose a property which wasn't the best, it was an area I knew quite well and I started out without property and I guess I've gone onto bigger and better things since then.

In 2000, the first property Saggers invested in was bought emotionally in a familiar area. Upon failing to yield to his satisfaction, he eventually sold it and started afresh.

I just bought a property in the suburb Putney, it was close to where I lived, close to where I worked. At the time I probably paid too much for the property, I was a little bit emotional about it. There were quite a few other people interested in it and as you do when you're young, you're kind of full of energy but not necessarily that street smart when it comes to economics and I jumped the gun and paid a little bit too much for the property. And as we know, the property can be quite a slow-moving growth formula and if you pay too much for a property, you're going to have to wait and take some time for it to grow past what you've paid. Obviously, if you want to recycle equity, it has to grow quite handsomely.

So my first property, I only held it for about 18 months and then I decided to sell it because it was old, second hand, it was full of repairs and maintenance problems, it was really not a great yielding property and I ended up selling it and starting again. But it taught me a great lesson, that you need to understand how much property truly costs to own, week in week out. You need to know your tax valuation to understand what your true costs are and really need to understand what extra costs are involved in holding real estate, usually, if it's old and a bit run down.

So for me, the actual daily cost of running that property plus the fact I overpaid for the property, I couldn't see a winning economic outcome for many years to come. So I decided just to sell it and I could save faster than I could have a property which was going backwards.

Having accumulated 20 properties in his portfolio, it’s not always been a smooth road to success. Saggers has learnt over the years to ensure that owning properties doesn’t impact on his lifestyle.

Look, I think I've been quite fortunate. I mean probably my low was the previous story I just mentioned, where I overpaid for property and bought a property which was really sucking the cash out of me. I think it's prudent today, I mean a lot of people in Sydney for example where property prices are expensive, where incomes aren't necessarily growing right now. A lot of those properties cost $500 a week just from your wage to hold. So you have to be very, very careful that you’re choosing a property which is primarily paid for through the tenant or tax. And once you're spending I think more than $50 or $100 a week out of your own back pocket, it gets very difficult to own real estate and feel good about it. 

So for me really the pain lesson was the cash flow side of real estate. When you have really good rents and really good deductions from property really you shouldn't need to put too much out of your own wage or job or lifestyle. The big lesson for me was the first property I chose actually impacted my lifestyle, which made me quite unhappy and I vowed to never make that kind of mistake again. And fortunately, those other properties I've chosen have all been able to wash their own face, pay for themselves. So even if they haven't grown like exponentially or even if I haven't been able to recycle money out of them quickly, they've never bothered me because the rents and the tax incentives have always looked after the asset.

His a-ha moment, where everything clicked for him, was when he realised the potential of the property where it is directed and made for owner-occupiers as an end result.

I feel like I'm continually learning and understanding the real estate market and without question, I kind of have those moments all the time. But probably most recently, for me understanding the real estate market of today, there's lots of supply of real estate out there. There's a lot of production, Australia's got a big plan to certainly grow its population. We need a new property every three minutes and 55 seconds to keep up with the population production that Australia's overall goal is. Our big cities are being activated with people. 

So for me probably the biggest lesson is there's a lot of homogenous real estate out in the real estate market and many properties are just designed poorly, they're produced en masse. And I'm not talking about just big buildings, some big buildings are produced and are very unique, very architecturally savvy, very beautiful; and some buildings are just not. And the same with houses, some houses really appeal to the owner-occupier market place and then other houses people will never buy them as an owner-occupier and they will sit in a sort of rental pool for life. I guess my big moment or most recent aha moment is you've really got to focus on properties that people aspire to one day call their home because if you buy an investment that one day becomes someone's own home and they look at it because it is unique and beautiful and good, they'll pay you top dollar for that property. And you'll get very good capital growth along the way. 

The moment you forget there is or needs to be an end-user over and above you the investor who is just getting a rental return; real estate can be quite cruel if an owner-occupier doesn't want the property from you. So I think the big moment for me is really investments today in particular, in this sort of saturated marketplace that we're seeing, they need to stand out from the crowd and they need to be in really good locations and be sought after by people who one day want to live in them and call them their home. If you think to stick to those three basics of the good property, good location and a property which is going to meet the market, then you're going to do well out of the real estate. 

In the belief that choosing the right property is vital, Saggers says that property needs to be liquid.

There's a lot of investment-grade real estate out there and they're in subpar locations. I mean you can do whatever you want to real estate, you can rent it out, you can develop it, subdivide it, renovate it, but you can never change your property’s location and you're stuck with it. So I think to buy in the right street, in the right neighbourhood, in the right suburb or town and then focusing in on what is the right dwelling for that area. And that could be a big building, or it could be in a small building, or it could be in an individual detached home - but it's got to be the right dwelling. As soon as you choose the wrong property your capital growth is less, your ability to recycle equity is harder even if the market grows and of course, you are exposed to a tough retail market. 

Real estate needs to be liquid. Even if you've bought the right property, you should be able to sell it within 30 to 60 days. If you bought the wrong property it can take months, even years, to offload the wrong property and that's just because it doesn't match what truly the local market is looking for.

Sam Saggers’ Financial Strategy That Anyone Can Do: How To Buy, Hold and Grow Your Assets by $15,000 A Day

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Rather than have something holding Saggers back when initially purchasing an investment property, he feels he didn’t take the time to ensure it was a good investment.

I was just in a hurry to get going, you know full of energy and sometimes that kind of behaviour can come back to bite you. So for me, I always knew that real estate was a way of becoming more economical. And I'd learned that through growing up in the area I was fortunate enough to live in, people I was surrounded by, my friends, have bought real estate. I just simply chose the wrong property. It was not necessarily desirable as probably the best investment grade piece of real estate and I guess I got into the market and soon realised I should have slowed down, maybe not gone to the auction that day and actually taken a little bit more time to think through how real estate economically works. But it was a good lesson you know - we all pay for education in one way, shape or form and to me really if that didn't happen, then potentially I wouldn't be the person I am today. So I learn a lot.

An avid fan of education, he is always learning from other market experts who are great at what they do.

I've been involved over the years with great educators and great property people and I think the property is a very disruptive industry, there is a lot of change constantly and I'm constantly learning from great people. Today, I would say some of my mentors include Tim Forrester from Aria, he's been awarded Australia's Best Urban Developer from the UDIA, he's fantastic to learn from when it comes to design principles and urban living.

I'm always learning from other industry people who are always great at explaining where the market’s at, whether it be Tim Lawless from Core Logic who’s brilliant at helping understand what market conditions are like, to your sort of Mark McCrindles who is a great demographer, really explains how the change in human behaviour will affect the real estate of tomorrow. On that, I'm always learning and surrounding myself with a team of people who are good at what they do, because I don't profess to be great at everything.

I think it's important that in real estate you have to have a great team - whether it's a good lawyer, a great real estate agent, a great property manager. Everyone has something to offer and I think there's a lot of people if you put a team around you, you get great mentorship from areas you wouldn’t sometimes even think you need training in. For me, that's very much the case.

The best advice he has ever received through his experience with industry professionals such as these is to ensure that you buy well enough, so if you are forced to sell, that will be readily possible.

Probably the best advice is I think to look at very liquid real estate and real estate that's in really great areas, desirable areas. In life you never know when you’ll get thrown a curveball, so to speak and you want to be able to look at real estate today that if you wanted to sell, there's a lot of buyers out there who would take the property off you. So for me, probably one thing that I'm always conscious of today and is follow marketplaces, suburbs and property in which you can buy well, but you can always sell well. And I think it's so important to be in those areas.

Saggers’ has penned several books, his most recent one focusing on up-to-date strategies which the average Australian property investor can consult, gain a more relevant picture of what’s happening in the market today.

I've actually written more books, but this book which I've just sort of put out, The Future of Property Investing in Australia, I think is certainly probably my best book and without question really relates to the property market of today. I think there's a lot of strategies which get talked about which are from a bygone era in real estate in Australia, from 10 years ago. You know, go and find a positive cash flow property in a mining town; obviously that was very 2001. So we need to educate people on really what Australia's goals are, what Australia's business plan is and link it to the production of property.

What that means for the average person just trying to build a great buy and hold property plan and how they can make it I guess if you bob along the way. So to me, I was compelled to write the book mainly out of frustration that most people seemed to talk about property, about strategies which I think are a little bit past their use-by date.

In his book, he explains the key principles which allow you to succeed in property investing on the particular property you choose, the area and the market.

Look I think for a start, for me it’s the key principles to making money out of real estate; and the first one is the right property. So what is the right property? The book sort of goes into detail about an investor who potentially only wants to spend $300,000, $400,000, maybe $500,000. What actual property or dwelling makes a really good investment and the types of inclusions, fixtures, fittings, floor plans, orientations people should be looking for when it comes to choosing the right dwelling.

Then secondly, the right area and it’s so important to choose the right property in the right area. So what is a good area? What areas will grow faster than others? And in my book, I talk about the big five areas which people should look for in our major cities. What areas, what places actually stand out from the crowd and potentially will get better capital growth, because those type of areas is in more demand and very much demand-led areas.

"You need to know your tax valuation to understand what your true costs are and really need to understand what extra costs are involved in holding real estate."
-Sam Saggers

And then thirdly, just talking about I guess the market in general - what makes up a market, what drivers are in the marketplace? Then fourthly, understanding that if you've done the first three steps really well, you should be in or capable of getting extra growth from your property through being able to one day sell it at auction and get a lot of demand, coming along and outbidding each other to own your property. 

He considers his book The Future of Property Investing in Australia a buy and hold based strategy approach, going into detail about how to best go about it in the modern market.

So I wanted to explain to people where they should buy, what they should buy, how they should go and do it and then just link it to other strategies which are in the market. Whether that's taking your property today and putting it for example on Hairband Bay and getting or maximising your rental return through short stay techniques. Or whether that's simply buying a property in a better suburb, which is going to yield better in the long term and showing people debt reduction strategies.

For me, the book is still a buy and hold strategy book. I think most people that will be successful in real estate are in it for the long term, rather than hoping for speculative growth and some sort of get rich quick strategy. The book touches on a few different ideas on how to be successful property investor, whether that’s strata tiling or subdividing property, or whether that's simply buying a good buy and hold property that you need to hold for 10, 15, 20 years. But where are you going to do it and potentially if you choose the right area, perhaps you probably won't take 15 years to double it, but maybe only nine years to double. And if it takes nine years to double it, that may mean you don't have to work six years longer than you need to. So the book goes into a lot of detail.

With an experience of over 20 years in property investing, Saggers has built a substantial, diversified portfolio.

Look, I mean I own shares, I own businesses and I own property and their collective value is certainly around that kind of money. And from a real estate point of view, it would have over $15 million in real estate assets and a lot in businesses and other things.

This portfolio is living proof that an effective buy and hold strategy is paramount to creating wealth as an investor.

So I think the main thing to create a good long term buy and hold strategy is without question; you've got to have a fairly good rental return that allows you to cover the debt you take on. If you know how to buy well, how to make some money in the short term, perhaps get a discount on a property, choose a property that can easily be renovated to create equity, choose a property which you can add some value to. Then what happens is it means you are able to equity release some money from the new value created and that allows you to domino effect and buy another property here in Australia.

It's interesting statistics - out of all the property investors in Australia, there are only about 15,000 property investors today that have more than six properties. So most people don't end up building a property portfolio paying little to no tax, most people end up with maybe one property investment plus their own home, or two. And you can look at the statistics through the ATO side; I think it's really important that if people want to become economically free in their life, they don't really need to do too many more strategies than a simple buy and hold. Because most people can't do it and the people that do it actually become quite independently wealthy. For me building a great buy and hold portfolio has worked out tremendously well: I've watched all of my assets grow each day, just based on inflation my property portfolio literally rises by about $15,000 a day. So you're seeing just the buy and hold strategy at work, it's great.

His fundamental buy and hold strategy aside, Saggers has also attempted some development and subdivisions, however only advocates people do this if they have more experience with investing.

I've done development and strata, a subdivision of big apartment complexes and so forth. And I guess as far as being honest with myself, I would say that I wasn't that successful at that. There's a lot more money to be borrowed, a lot higher interest rates. Some of the developments I did, I borrowed money at 17% interest - and for the average person, that's probably not a place where you want to go if you don't have that much experience. I think today in Australia there are some very shrewd, professional, world-class developers and for the average person to go up against them, they need to know a hell of a lot about real estate today. So I've made some money out of doing some strata subdivisions, buying an old block of flats and converting the titles from one title to multiple through strata subdivision. That's probably been a lower risk part of the development which has been successful for me.

Recently I just did one in Newcastle and it was just a duplex, was nice and easy. I built the duplex and then strata subdivided it and pulled some equity out. So I like those type of strategies, they're a little bit more capital intensive. You need a lot more equity to borrow money off the bank. Typically the banks like lending 70 or 80%, whereas a buy and hold strategy you still can borrow 90%. So you know, I say to people, ‘If you get to the 1% Club - which is essentially those 15,000 people that have five or more properties - talk to me about doing something a little bit more tricky and we'll get in there and do it.’ But I'm not an advocate of people owning two properties and then becoming a developer, I think it's crazy. 

Living through many market cycles, Saggers’ portfolio will keep growing.

The reality is, my portfolio of $15 million still has two to three more property cycles in it before I retire. So one would assume the value of those properties in another 30 years will be worth a lot more than what they are today. So you're taking that $15 million worth of gold, which doesn't really cost me much out of my own wage or income because the rents and the tax payments for it, come 30 years from now when I'm looking to not working... really 15 to 30 years from now, that $15 million with that kind of market exposure could dividend $30 to $45 million in results. And that's just a buy and hold strategy, so there's nothing tricky about it, anyone can do it. 

Other than the minority of Australians who are hardcore property investors, why is it that people don’t naturally follow this strategy if it yields such amazing results?

Well, I think for start, real estate is a little bit confusing. People are certainly fascinated with only buying in their own backyard - and that has its own limitations. I think today people are getting a little bit more used to owning a property in Melbourne when they live in Sydney, or owning a property in Perth when they live in Brisbane, that kind of thing. But without question, I think most people see owning too much property as too risky. And I would argue that if you've got a good rental return and you're smart about what you do, owning five properties is a sensible way to actually retire from your job quicker and certainly get out of the rat race.

But I think there's a lot of people who don't know how to structure, to get to that point that equity works. And really even in my book, I give some good lessons just on what is equity and how can you use it to actually join the 1% of people, or 15,000 people in Australia, the 1% of investors that are actually successful, buy and hold people. So I guess it's an interesting context. There are over a million people with investment properties who have only one investment property and there's only 15,000 with five or more.

It's interesting, I'm a big advocate on getting that small group of people that end up in that place because if you've got a good portfolio it's usually diverse in a few areas. When one market isn't performing, usually one of your properties is growing because you’re diverse; you've got a property in Melbourne that might be growing but your property in Sydney might be stagnant. So having some diversity in your portfolio is so good for continuation and wealth. And it worked for me, so it's certainly something I'd teach other people to just knuckle down and get into it. 

A personal habit which Saggers attributes to his success is constantly learning.

I'm always a believer in learning and I’m probably one of those people that doesn't spend a lot of time when I get home watching television and just tuning out - I like to participate and I like to learn things. For me, I feel like we live in a time - whether it be related to property or not - but the time we live in at the moment is very disruptive and we live in a time where literally no jobs are being outsourced overseas. Technology is improving and replacing people for the most part, even in broad economics. So I’ve just constantly got to learn because you need to be relevant; and I will teach myself things, I will learn from others. You name it, I'm constantly learning about and understanding how things click out there. I think for most people if they're interested in doing an education course is smart on property, but it also could be just upgrading your own skills in whatever business or industry you work in. You could be in advertising and learn more about it, become the best of what you do. Because we live in a society where things are changing quite quickly. There's a lot of disruption.

That's a really good habit to have. Learning is key because we're at such a fortunate time in our history now that we can access pretty much any information that's out there very, very quickly.

Yeah exactly. You know it's all you can just get on Google and you'll find a lot of great things to learn. If it's a property you go to go to a seminar, or go to a mentoring program, go read some books on it. And it makes them start to make some opinions and then do your research, it's important. But without question, I listen to the podcasts, I mean if you're going to drive your car to work, why listen to the radio? That's for half an hour, they could be learning something! Download your podcast and hear it, hear a few perspectives.

Some podcasts and books that he recognises as part of his learning journey include those by Andre Agassi and Tony Robbins.

I mean I'm always having a sticky beak out there. I'm just reading - and probably a bit late to the party - Andre Agassi, his book Open and there are gifts and stories in that book that you can apply to be successful. There's a bucket load of them, like Napoleon Hill’s stuff is good, it depends what you're looking to do. I think if you maybe want to get started somewhere, that would be a good place to start.

I always find that people need to get their psychology right before they're going to become property investors, just get their headspace right. And some have, for example, the Tony Robbins books and things like that, they're pretty good. So download and podcasts and things like that, just make sure you're feeling right about what you're trying to achieve. Because what I find with property is actually quite reliable. Why don’t you just leave the property alone, let it do its thing, come back in 15, 20 years? The odds are your property is going to be worth more than what you paid for it. The odds are that rates are going to be higher than what they were when you first bought it.

However, while the property is reliable and numbers-driven, the investors who hold the property are more emotional. This can be an issue when we, as human beings, don’t condition our mindset.

So property is reliable. What I find is people are not reliable. People are for the most part quite emotional creatures and for me, probably the downside of the property industry is people or customers or buyers in the market. People who own real estate, they go through a whole hurdy-gurdy of problems in their life - they get divorced, people die in their lives, they run into economic challenges. So what happens is if you're going to be a good property investor, you need to actually be quite confident in yourself because as I say, the property is reliable.

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People tend to be quite unreliable, their emotional state constantly changes and if they don't understand who they are as a human, they quite often have a disconnect with owning or taking on the risk of being a property investor. So I'd probably recommend listening to podcasts on self-development. There's plenty of good people out there that specialise in understanding how to create goals and just getting your mindset right, because if you can be quite reliable yourself, you can really go places.

If Saggers were to meet his past self from ten years ago, what advice would he give him?

I’d just say ‘Keep going. You're on the right track. You know, don't listen to the noise, just keep going.’ I mean we live in a time where the real estate industry was never meant to be like the stock market, owning real estate was you bought it, you hunkered down, you hold on to it, you learn to pay down debt and you come back 10-20 years later and you've got a beautiful asset that's worth more. But today, we live in such a time where there are daily media grabs. It's almost like the real estate market has become the stock exchange. There is news on real estate down this month - and that fear plays a lot of people's minds. Once upon a time the real estate market yes, it was spoken about, but that information was delivered perhaps through the newspaper, it wasn’t constant and in a digital world. 

And for me, if I knew myself ten years ago, I'd say keep going and I think if people are just starting out on that journey today, they're probably hearing a lot more noise than I ever had to hear ten years ago. So maybe they should say to themselves, ‘Just keep going, just flow through it,’ because the media loves doom, the doom and gloom. Don't let it get in your way of getting to the goals you want in your life.

One of the most exciting aspects that Saggers is looking forward to within the next five years is utilising his properties for recreational purposes, such as living around Australia and creating the lifestyle he’s always wanted.

The next five years for me in my property journey, I think I'm evolving my portfolio, I'm choosing suburbs where I guess I've gone through my foundational purchasing of real estate, I've made money from properties over the many decades I've owned real estate. And really for me now I'm going into a different phase of an investor where I'm debt reducing, to then own assets outright. And the assets which I will own outright, once I sell down some of my portfolios, will actually be in very fun places. 

For me, it's been very important to build a portfolio where I can own real estate in suburbs which I can use later in life when I'm independently wealthy. I've got assets in places which are fun - which if I go to Melbourne, I'm going to my Collingwood place which I'll use and then I'll go to the tennis, or I'll go to the Australia Day boxing test. And when I'm not using it, I'll be putting it on Airbnb and renting it out short term. So I'm going through a personal transformation over the next five to seven years, of really keeping the assets which I know are in fun and dynamic neighbourhoods.

Because one thing which is exciting for me is some of the assets I've bought are in suburbs which are great for lifestyle later in life and they're not just investment properties in Timbuctoo which I can't get a personal use out of. I've been able to shape five of my properties, which are actually usable properties in the sharing economy, which you can use things like Airbnb today. So it allows me to be a bit of a global citizen, which I'm excited about because I'm the type of person that doesn't like to stay in one spot and allows me to really live in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns and Newcastle where I've positioned these properties quite nicely. 

If you want to connect with Saggers and find out more about his strategy and what he can do for you via his services, you can reach him through the Positive Real Estate website.

Well, of course, you can get my book online and you can get it at any good bookstore, Dymocks like that - just on Amazon, jump online and grab a copy. If you want a complimentary copy, come along to Positive Real Estate property information nights, they're held all over Australia. 

Just jump on our website,, come along to one of our property workshops. I'm at plenty of them, so we might even bump into each other; and just ask for a complimentary copy of the book there, if you like. They're free for people who attend our workshops. If you're unable to attend, just maybe grab a copy online and try and catch up with us soon. But we'd love to have you along to one of our workshops and really that's a starting point to understanding what you're trying to achieve because my story might be a little bit different to other people's story, where their goals are headed - and I think that the best place to start is come along to that workshop and start to plan and map out your goals from there.

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

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