As a full-time, property investor and creator of Australia’s only property education system, the First Home Buyer Buddy, who helps first time buyers on home loan deposit scheme to the property market. Daniel Baxter has truly seen the ins and outs of the property investment industry learning a number of key lessons along the way.
Join us in this episode of Property Investory where Baxter will share what he’s learnt through his experiences since entering the property investment world. He will be delving into both his best and worst moments in the buying and maintenance of the property as well as what he wished he knew before going into business with his family.
Daniel Baxter created his own business Your Hot Property as well as an assistive online system, First Home Buyer Buddy after realising property investment was more than a hobby for him.
I’m the co-founder of Your Hot Property and also the co-creator of the First Home Buyer Buddy. That's Australia's only property education system designed specifically to help first home buyers buy their first property.
A day in the life of Baxter involves numerous meetings and calls.
Well look I usually wake up about 5 am. I have a quick shower then I take 20 minutes, then usually I head to the gym and get my daily workout in that will go for about 60 minutes usually. I guess after that I head straight into the workday. That starts usually by looking at my calendar, checking up my list to do that generally I’ve completed the night before. Just like a plan of my day so I know exactly what is going to be coming up. After that, I'll generally have a quick meeting with the team just to see where they are at and maybe on certain projects if I can actually assist with anything personally. After that, I'll try and work on what I would classify as big picture goals that are going to actually help to grow the business and I find I guess the morning works best for me to do this because the day I guess sort of tends to get away from you and things pop up and that sort of thing.
So something for me it's very important that I actually be doing something every day that gets us towards our future goals and not just getting I guess all wrapped up in what I would call the day to day or the busy work. After that pretty much yeah I guess I just left meetings, calls regarding different products and services we've got in the marketplace and adding value where I can.
One of Baxter’s most successful products and services is his First Home Buyer Buddy which has assisted several of his clients in building successful property portfolios.
Our first home buyer buddy system goes we don't actually just match the property with people. So what I realized we're doing is especially for home buyers everybody generally will have a dream of the type of property they want especially you know there's a lot of emotion going into that first home. So as far as me trying to sell them a particular property that's not really what I'm used to what I want to do is once they find that property I want to make sure they get it to the best.
Be honest, try and get that for the best price they potentially can, if I can save them thousands of dollars through techniques, strategies, negotiation tips then that's exactly what I want to do. And at the same time want to make sure you know they don't pay too much too easily which is easily done in this market right now. So basically our system is not so much about selling them properties providing them I guess a simple step by step system to help them save you know thousands of dollars, hours of their time and hopefully you know 90 per cent of that stress that most of us home buyers will go through.
Reflecting on his past, Baxter shares with us his humble upbringings.
So I grew up in Sydney so in the St George and Sutherland Shire areas.
A lot of people I interviewed recently have been coming from that as well. The Shire seems to be a popular place.
It's crazy at the moment.
And did you go to school in the Shire as well?
So I actually went to school in the St George area so I went to Penthurst public school and then I went to Blakehurst high schools.
After completing high school, Baxter jumped straight into the workforce.
I was working in a sales role I always just loved that connection with people and anything sales related I always had a tendency to move towards but inevitably then I ended up actually working for them after being a sales rep for a couple of years I started working with emergency services for the police as a senior communications officer which is pretty exciting but also pretty challenging in that role. There were 000 callers which would be pretty intense at times and also working with police radio as a radio dispatcher coordinating all their jobs and providing support and everything like that and a background to keep them safe.
Having worked there for over a decade, Baxter began to let his dreams of running his own business become a reality.
I think it ended up being for about 13 years so I guess I was quite fortunate when I was working for the police. What we did there was actually shift work. So whilst working there is what I did know was that I always wanted to run my business. So I basically started my real estate agency on the side whilst working for the police.
That was during my days off where I just was working lots of hours. You know when it’s your own thing it doesn't feel like work a lot of the time and if you don't run you're on business people think you're crazy. Once I got it to the point where we actually grew big enough that I could leave my role with the police you know that's when I focused solely on the business.
Great. How long did it take to move into your business full time?
Probably close to three years. It wasn't something that I took lightly. It started off probably as an idea or as a bit of a hobby. You know I liked the idea of leaving but I didn't know how serious I was about it until we got it to the point of like you know what. This is what I really want to do. You know take that leap of faith and just do it.
Back when Baxter was younger, he was influenced by his mother who loved to buy property too.
My mother was a huge influence for me. I guess when it comes to property she absolutely loved buying property and renovating them. Basically then she'd finish and finished and sorry she sell them and move on to the next project. It probably moves more time than I can remember as a kid and she just loved doing that. So I guess you know thinking back now I guess you could say she'd probably flipping property without knowing she was actually flipping them or at least before it was called to say that you did that. Yeah. I don't think I ever really had much choice not to go into the property. I remember her dragging me around to different property places. Back then I hated it. Now I think oh you know what it probably played its role.
Jumping into his first property investment opportunity, Baxter reveals he didn’t know as much as he wished he did back then.
My first opportunity to property invest actually came with my sister. That was probably back in 2004, 2005 something like that. We bought it as both of our first homes and it cost us $500000 dollars. I can tell you it needed a hell of a lot of work but we thought it was an absolute bargain back then. Anyway, long story short we started working, things blew out very very fast and before we knew it dropped about 100 k on Renos which really hurt at that time. We probably budgeted about something like 40 to 50 thousand dollars from memory. We had no idea what was going on. But you know we ended up making quite a nice profit from it when we did sell it. But I also learnt some very very valuable lessons about renovating.
Reflecting on his first investment opportunity as one of his least successful projects, Baxter recalls the difficulties of working with family, especially in the case of being a first-time buyer.
The buying part was actually pretty easy. You know back then and you know even the renovating it was tough and we spent lots of money and it was really hard and I learned some valuable lessons and what I really realized was that even the timing of selling and all that sort of stuff it plays a part. But you know working out the finances and all that sort of stuff when it came to buying that property with my family really put a strain on our relationship. What I realised is we had very different ideas about how things should be done what should be spent on certain things and even to the point you know where who's going to be responsible for certain things when it came to the property or the renovations or anything like that. So inevitably look we had a lot of arguments and it was really tough there for a while for probably all of our family involved.
And you know I have to joke to my family that the reno took 10 years off my life but when I was going through it I certainly felt like it was a very very stressful time.
Yeah, I can imagine. So what were some of the things I don't know how I mean it's okay if you don't want to share that? But I'm just curious. What were some of the things that you struggled with between family and how did you turn into success at the end?
I think the hardest thing when you're doing it with family is I know I'm not sure if yours is the same or obviously your listeners but with family, you tend to just say exactly what you want to say. And that's probably a bad thing because you probably say you know more things than you're really sure what you’re entitled to say because it's family and you know that people just get over stuff. So I think it's about that now it's probably not going to take a lot of that on board in some that's certainly my own responsibility or I didn't things as well as I should have. Certainly, you know hindsight is a wonderful thing but so I think it's the way we basically got through it was just getting to the point of sitting down and you know really trying to nut it out what was important what was the end goal. I think once you work out the end goal things become a lot clearer for everybody and you don’t just look at them now.
Learning from this experience, Baxter shares with us a moment in time where everything clicked for him.
I would say lots of things on my journey have certainly helped me along the way. I guess it's the point where I'm at right now. I think everything probably started to click for me when I started to I guess run and own my own business. What I realised was that you know I love that creation that comes with that. Even the wins and the failures that come along with owning businesses as much as they do hurts sometimes and I've certainly had my fair share of many failures along the way which most business owners I would imagine have had but what I did realize was that it actually made me feel a lot I guess that I was actually in control of my destiny as corny as that sounds.
I think the big aha moment came through probably some of those may be marketing lessons I've learnt from various business mentors and owners. I guess who I'd definitely try and make a point of associating myself in businesses you always learn so much. And I think when I realise the big I guess a-ha moment was when I realise that your target market no matter what that is whether it's a business or a market you're going after or even a certain property investment property. None of that matters. I guess for it to be successful people have to want to it or they have to want the way it's going to make them feel if the product or the service doesn't actually do that for them. The chances of that succeeding in any way is pretty slim.
The Role of Mindset in Attracting your Success with Daniel Baxter
In the last episode of Property Investory we had the chance to hear about the best and worst moments of Baxter’s property investment journey. You will soon find out how the role of mindset and strategy led him to success.
I always had that keen interest in property probably more so than my sister but at the same time, she wanted to do something. So it was always yeah pretty easy for us. That was always I think the direction we were going to go so it was never a question of you know if we should do it was just when. Outside of that, I guess I really love the idea of probably creating businesses and I guess the fact that what I do now actually revolves around the property and first home buyers it’s pretty cool I guess I've managed to sort of combine the two. So it's working well.
Although lacking mentors in the investment side of things, he does reveal he had a significant amount of help for his first business.
I've always been interested in the property and you know there's so many amazing people when it comes to it so I wouldn't be able to I guess single anybody out that I think has had a dramatic effect on things but I think I've probably got a little bit from everybody. I try and take something from any of the people I tend to spend a bit of time with but when it comes to the property I probably can't really think of one particular business mentor that's probably had an impact. Outside of that I could probably for business-wise I could probably help you out with one if that would be of any use. So I mean I probably don't have one property wise as far as a mentor that I guess had a real effect on me. Business-wise someone I've worked with Ben Simpkin I'm not sure if you've heard of him you could always look him up but he's probably been I guess one of my biggest influences certainly for things you know maybe business sale marketing related or certainly I guess a lot of my success and mindset to how I approach different things to him that's for sure.
In terms of mentorship, Baxter is all about transparency with his clients. He aims to equip them with his expertise whether that be financially or strategically however, ultimately wants them to have total independence over the final decisions.
I think it's important to really strip the whole process back to them and just lay it out in a platform where they can see everything that they're going to have to go through. So they know I guess they can just see where they could potentially going to have to make decisions on the process.
And then I guess this 10 main steps that we take that first homebuyer through and we know if we can help them at each of those stages then they're going to be well on their way to making great decisions as far as being really happy with with the property that they purchase which is really important because there's lots of people who purchase properties they don't like which is a crazy start but it happens all the time. And outside of that just making sure that they. Yeah, I think just making sure that they are really excited by that. And know this is going to be a home that actually want to live in. It's really important.
Baxter’s approach to helping his clients is based around working within their financial framework.
What we do we guide them through that process of getting into the first home so start dealing with you know with their bank or their broker and are getting that pre-approval then identifying the type of property they want to buy they're helping. For me, it's about helping them find it and then when they find it working out its true market value which as we touched on before in this market it's a funny market. You know people selling want to price they could have got last year you know the agent selling them are still trying to get them that price even though you know maybe the market shifted and it's not worth that. So it's about really trying to help them do that because nobody wants his home wherever they are already paying more than they have ever paid before. So helping to manage that part from there once we can understand you know helping them deal with agents start that negotiation process so that they started on the front foot and get themself in a situation that can’t potentially maybe cost them more money than it needs to. Outside of that, it's about helping them maybe if they need to buy auctions giving them strategies techniques that we know are really successful for buying at auctions and then making sure they do everything that they need to do when it comes to contracts and settlement.
Baxter shares his personal habits that have led him to great success.
Having a mindset to always be learning I think is critical. I've also made it a point to surround myself with people or way smarter than me when it comes to business and you know as far as that saying goes where if you are the smartest person in the room then you’re in the wrong room. So I think that's really important. You're surrounding yourself with people who are just going to make you get better. I know that the more time I spend with those sort of people the better business owner and the better person I've become. And look outside of those I guess business learnings for me personally look definitely meditation every day. I guess I can notice mentally and physically look if I don't do this I can really notice that I guess meditation allows me to unclog the mind look at situations a little bit differently and just give me a calmer thought process you know when just trying to seek out you know that right answer to some of those challenges I might be facing just on the day today. Also that you know daily physical exercise every day. If I don't do that then I know I'm not operating 100 per cent.
Baxter recalls the value of everyday resources and shares with us one book in particular that helped shape his business today.
Everything is at your fingertips. You know you don't have to have a ridiculous amount of money to spend on resources to be able to get access to this stuff you can jump on YouTube or do whatever but I guess as far as amazing business books I think one that always stands out to me when people ask me this question is Extreme Ownership by Joko Willink. Have you heard of that book?
Yes, I have. It's an excellent book and he's been on this show as well too. Absolutely. I love what he's sharing it's a really good mindset. Yeah. The ownership behind it is amazing like what he says about taking ownership but you're going about the book.
I mean that book for me has had so many amazing leadership lessons it's certainly a journey I'm on as far as leadership goes. It's an area where I'm always trying to improve what I can deliver to that goal and also helping out my team and things like that but there's just so many amazing lessons I think no matter what your role or what you type or you're going to get something out of it. I think it's probably one of the best audiobooks that version as well obviously got the book but also the audiobook and the audiobooks amazing because Djoko actually narrates it himself and he’s got one of the best voices in the world when it comes to that book.
Taking a walk down memory lane, Baxter shares what he would have said to himself 10 years ago.
I guess whatever you want to do probably stop waiting for the perfect time to do it and that'll never come. You know just to get started to see where it goes and look something as well. And I'm still learning this lesson is that if you don't ask you don't get. It's just surprising how many doors or opportunities were open if you just laugh.
It's so true and doesn't be afraid to ask because I happen to know.
Exactly right and that's it. I mean a lot of times you just assume it's going to work. What if someone's in nature that you just you no worse off than you were before.
There’s a couple of things that he is excited about in his property journey in the next few years.
Probably two things I'd say been involved in the property journey for us and helping as many first home buyers as possible. Look I guess our goal over the next two years is to help first home buyers make better and smarter property choices and the second one would be maybe getting involved in some kind of property developing it's not an area I guess I've looked into much myself but I really love that strategy and it really does interest me.
If you want to connect with Daniel Baxter to learn more about his business or experience in the property investment world
If anybody wants to connect personally look an easy way to do that is probably via LinkedIn or even Facebook. You can just search Daniel Baxter and connect with me or friend request me always happy to for people to reach out to me otherwise our websites your hot property dot com dot au. I wanted to thank you for the opportunity. So look like a gift to your first home audience. I'm happy to offer any of them a 50 per cent off discount off our first home buyback program which is actually going to drop that down to $498 for them so I guess they're looking to buy their first home and it's important for them to make sure that they do achieve that best result possible. They can easily you know find out more about that through our website and they can use a promo code PROP1 which is PROP capitals 1 and they can secure that discount.