Jason’s Tips and Tricks to Predict the Melbourne Property Market
Jason Snaddon, founder of project management company Love Property, has always had his heart in property, although it took him a few years to discover the real financial gain behind property investing. Hear about the first steps he took to invest in property and discover the best tips for predicting a housing market’s success over a 10 year period!
With 15 years of strategic property investing experience, Snaddon is excited to share what Love Property can do for you in your own journey and uncover what he has done to create his personal, prosperous portfolio.
Snaddon has used his vast experience in property as a platform for aiding others in their own investing journeys over the years.
My name is Jason Snaddon, I’m the principal and founder of Love Property and I’ve essentially been helping investors invest in property strategically since 2002.
An average day for him consists of outsourcing research and then finding the 5% of properties he can put forward to his clients.
It’s a number of different things, so obviously I’m helping investors with property, so you’re interested in that part of it. So I essentially outsource the research, I don’t confess to going out and doing the research myself and so consequently I work with a number of key companies to do that and consequently I’m presented and sent, you know, significant amount of property.
So I’m looking through the different projects that come through but 95% of them, not interested, most of it is stuff that I wouldn’t put forward to my clients. So, I’m looking at that, obviously when I’m looking at the different markets, so I’ll go and have a look at different sites around the country when the time is right and because I’ve been going for such a long time, 15 years, I don’t really have to do the hard yards in relation to getting clients.
All the clients that I work with are referred to me or are existing clients building their portfolio so particularly with existing clients, when I have a project that comes on board and I’m looking at it, I go, “this is going to be perfect for such and such” or “this is perfect to add onto this person’s portfolio”.
So I’ll be contacting my existing clients when the time is right in relation to different opportunities so those clients obviously have first opportunity because they know they’re ready to go and then new clients that are referred to me, obviously the process is a bit longer.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I’ll have a couple of meetings with those clients first, to get a really good understanding of where they’re at, what their affordability is, share with them our research philosophies and methodology and then from there, work out a strategy and deliver particular solutions designed for that particular client.
So I’m working from that perspective. In house, inside the business, it’s been my business since beginning of 2009. I bought property management into the business, so that’s another arm of the business that we do. I don’t do the day-to-day property management side of it but I manage it, I oversee it as principle.
And another part of what I do is, I do abundance coaching so what I’ve learned about, property is a great way to create financial freedom but there’s more to life than just having financial freedom, there’s all the other aspects of abundance. So health and wellbeing, fulfilment, joy, family relationships, relationships, all of that sort of stuff, so I do that as well, as the property side of things.
So what exactly is Love Property and how can it help you?
What we do is essentially look at the market sort of around Australia, to pinpoint where we see the best growth markets in any one time and then source properties from within those growth markets.
I’m all about helping my clients build a portfolio of properties over time so we’re not just interested in selling them a property, we wanna help them be very strategic about building a very strategic portfolio over time to leads them towards financial freedom down the track.
With many other project management firms out there in Australia, what inspired the name of Snaddon’s company?
So ‘Love Property’ originally was part of a large financial planning group called ‘Total Wealth’ and we had a marketing company that was part of that group. So when I was employed to come across to set up the property arm of it, the consumer property arm of it, business; we were brainstorming what the business would be all about and the key was that we loved property, we loved property as an investment, we loved helping our clients invest in property and we loved what we did, what we do so someone.
We had a marketing workshop and someone said well, “we love property, is that available?” And so we immediately Googled Love Property and no one had it at the time which was unbelievable. It was available as a company name and a website so we quickly trademarked it, bought the ‘URL’ and you know, own it.
No property investor wants to describe himself as a ‘big risk taker’, but quick decisions are usually worth the risk.
Because as I’ve become more experienced and much more of a risk taker and I can… I don’t, I wouldn’t say I take a high risk; I make my property investing decisions very quickly. You know, I’ll see an opportunity and I’ll just jump on and I keep, every year I keep saying to myself, “I’m not going to invest in any more property”, but I somehow do…
Each client’s property is tailored to their needs, so there’s no room for Snaddon’s personal preferences.
I follow the philosophies that I work with my clients, you know, the fundamentals need to be there and I certainly remove the emotion from as an investor so, and obviously my owner occupier home was a emotional part to that, because I needed to, we needed to, my partner and I needed to allow that, needed to suit our needs. Whereas the investment properties, not many of them I would personally live in but they all certainly have stacked up as fantastic investments because they’ve been the right sort of properties for the demographic that wanted to live in them, you know, or own them, eventually.
For him the long term plan is always the better option and he encourages his clients to always look at decade market cycles.
I’ve never been a speculative investor, I’ve always invested for the long term, and I always say, as I say to all of my clients, “look at having a 10 year plan, look at planning on holding the property for a minimum of 10 years.” We don’t know what’s gonna happen in 2, 3 years time but looking at past property performance very, very well over a 10 year cycle and in most instances and most capital cities it’s tended to double in value every 10 years. So I always say look at that, come from that perspective, then it looks, it happens to perform extremely well in the early years which is what we’re ideally looking for, then great. You’ve got your equity but if you’ve got… you still plan to hold on for the long term.
From these years of experience and long term plans, Snaddon has amassed an impressive property portfolio.
Just residential property, I’m holding 12 properties, sorry 13 properties at the moment. And most of them have all been brand new property; most of them I’ve acquired originally off plan. So my strategy has been, I love off plan because providing that it’s a researched area, researched developer, because, and I’ve always had an off plan on the go because it’s meant that I’ve been able to invest and particularly what we look for as a pre-release opportunities. When a developer needs to get their pre-sales is because we’re getting it at the very beginning of a development because we’re looking for the best solutions in that particular development and often if we’re timing it right, we’re getting it at pre-released pricing so the time, the properties, the projects underway with this and there’s been some capital growth in it.
I have also invested in some cheaper, positive cash flow property which is just to give my portfolio a bit of a mix to get some high returning property which I’ve just added within my portfolio so and my owner occupier home was a property that, an older apartment that we renovated, a penthouse apartment that we renovated to suit our own needs so it’s sort of, it’s been a mixture and I have bought and sold some older property, like renovated and sold in the past as well, which has been fun.
Despite his preference for the buy and hold strategy, he does employ the buy, renovate, sell strategy as a form of supplying money that can be reinvested into more properties.
For the ones that I’ve renovated and sold have been ones that I’ve lived in, which is, which I’ve used, you know bought and sold to buy the ultimate home that I have now.
By living in these renovated houses, Snaddon luckily avoids any capital gains taxes, although this was never meant to be a strategy to begin with.
I was exempt of capital gains tax on those and I didn’t originally buy them to do that. I bought them to originally, I was renovating to suit my needs and as my needs, as my expectation increased, so did what I wanted to buy. So I bought and sold for my owner occupier home and with my investment property, I’ve sold 2 investment properties, which have been poor performers, over the 15 years that I’ve been doing this as my career and I’ve had 2 properties prior to this as my career.
Over 15 years, he has steadily increased his portfolio by one property a year.
I definitely have, every year I’ve invested and that has been the goal, to invest every year but this year I have said to myself that no… It’s only February.
Although the desire to increase his portfolio remains, at 48 years old Snaddon is now looking forward to an early retirement.
I’m now in the stage where I need to think about my, you know, not having to work, so, if I choose not to, so, turning things, all my investments into income-generating investments. Up until now I’ve really been in acquisition mode and so now I’m moving more into, “well how can I really be set up so that I’m in income-generating mode?”
So that I don’t, so that I can choose the work, so that I don’t have to, so that I can really tap into the financial freedom which I can now if I so wish but it’s about, you know, this stage and what it takes to invest, when you’re sort of 10 years out from when you want to retire, what, how you’re going to turn things into the income generating fee and that you’ve got a strong asset base returning a high yield or a high income return.
His property investment journey began in his home country of New Zealand.
In New Zealand, a small place called Napier in New Zealand. It’s where I grew up and then I moved to Auckland in New Zealand.
My first property purchases were in Auckland in New Zealand.
Then at 29, he moved to Australia to shake up his career path.
I was originally in the insurance, and then I moved to Australia to change careers. I fell into the whole internet game, Alta Vista, the big search engine prior to Google.
From there he discovered that although his new path was pleasant it was not the journey he was meant to be on.
I somehow became the sales director for that which was, in those days it was all about internet, banners and buttons on the internet. And so we were selling the advertising space on Alta Vista. So I was the sales director for Asia-Pacific and I kind of fell into that industry and I didn’t really love it, and I was paid very well and it was a great, cushy job but I wasn’t fulfilled and I always had an interest in real estate and I originally, I thought I wanted to get into traditional real estate and I went and did a real estate course and I got my real estate certificate while I was still employed in Alta Vista.
And I also, through that time I went on a property investment seminar and this is in 2002. And I learned, how negative gearing worked. I learnt how you could actually use the rent and the tax benefits to effectively pay for your investment property, because I was actually at the time looking for a place to buy to live in, in Elizabeth Bay in Sydney. And the market, the cycle at the time, it was 2002, it was the top of the cycle in Sydney at the time, so the prices were at the peak for the market at that time.
And real estate agents in the area were pretty slack and I thought I can do a much better job with this than them, which is what started the process but then I actually went on this property investment seminar and thought actually I’m better to be an investor, I’m better to be investing my money than buying something to live in right now and I think I’d be interested in that as my career in property and that’s how it evolved.
Snaddon quickly fell in love with real estate.
I mean at the time because of my sales abilities and customer services abilities, I felt you don’t have to do, you know, looking at traditional real estate at the time, you don’t have to do too much more service-wise to get a better result because that was not my experience at the time. And anyway as it evolved, it was the investment side that I was attracted to.
Property was always a passion for Snaddon, but it would be many years before he realised a career in property investing.
No I was interested in property… So my step father was a real estate agent and he… So my first property I bought, I bought at 21 and it was a little development that he did, he built, he bought this really old house on a big block and built two town houses at the back. And New Zealand at the time, this was 1990, 1991 was going through a recession and interest rates were really high and he had to sell pretty quickly, and so I just got a job, a promotion with a company car and so I sold my car, which was enough for a deposit plus what he left in his equity for me to get into this property.
I had put in 5,000 dollars of my own money and then I had to pay him back another 5,000 in about a 12 months period, or whatever it was, I can’t remember exactly but I had to come up with 10 grand progressively. And this got me my first property which was 64,000 New Zealand dollars and it was a brand new 3 bedroom house and it was a real struggle, I rented it out, it was a real struggle for me to afford it, but I managed to hold onto it cause the interest rates were I think 10 or 11% at the time and I had to do it up cause it was just a house with nothing. It was just a house no carpet or window coverings or garden or anything. So I progressively did it up, while I had it tenanted.
And then the property market went berserk at the time and by 1994 or 5, I sold it for double the amount so $135,000 dollars, double in a very short period of time. And that’s, then I bought, that enabled me to buy a better property in a better area with an apartment then I renovated that and so that got me onto the next one. So I had very good early on experience with property, at the time I wasn’t ready to make it my career and I didn’t really see it as my career at the time, I just saw it as good way to get ahead financially. But I didn’t really think of it to get ahead for investment purposes, I thought of it as a good thing to just own a property, and always have one property working for you. I didn’t actually think further than having a portfolio of properties at the time.
For a lot of Australian property investors, the GFC was a time of real loss and struggle, and it was no different for Snaddon.
I’ve gone through tough times, in relation to cash flow and property when interest rates have gone up, you know, as I said that first time, interest rates were up 10/11%, and then in, here in Australia, it’s been up as high as 9%. So since I’ve been investing, so they were times of struggle from a cash flow perspective. But fortunately I’d followed my own advice, I’d always had buffers to fall back on to be able to ride through a tougher period without having to sell.
So that’s something I want to flag to your listeners is that, you know, interest rates are at record low, they’re not going to stay like that forever and investors that are making their buying decisions today on the basis of interest rates where they are; there’s a big risk in that. So for my own clients, we always run the numbers, at a minimum of 7%; what do interest rates look like for you at 7%? Because that’s really what they’ve averaged at over the last 15 years here in Australia. So, really running your numbers at that so that you can withstand it and doing tests on what does it look like even higher, what does that look like? And so that’s the first thing I want to flag.
The worst property investment that I’ve made has been the Cairns property market. So we were, the company I worked for, this was before I had my own company was very keen on the Cairns market in 2002, 2003, 2004. Sorry 2002 to 2006, was very, very keen on the Cairns market and it actually performed. So the investors that were investing at that time, including, well I actually didn’t get in, invest in there until 2006 and it performed, it did what it, what they thought it would do.
The problem was that the GFC happened in 2008 and what that triggered was, the realisation was with that was, I think it was very, very reliant on the tourism dollar, very, very reliant on that. And that had a huge decline and it also coincided with you know, cheap airfares to overseas, it was much more cost effective for Australians to travel internationally rather than to travel to places like Cairns, and you know Port Douglas and those sorts of places.
So there was a big decline with tourism as well, so that property and unfortunately clients that we put into the Cairns market at the time had struggled cause that had declined significantly and the property I invested in, which was in 2006, coincided with, so there was a decline in that market and it also was a developer that turned out to be shonky and went into administration not long after that development had completed. So we had a lot of problems with the building, we were faced with, I remember a $15,000 special strata levy, in the development and then the market had gone backwards.
From this experience, he definitely learnt the lesson that markets reliant on seasonal things, such as tourism, are unstable investments.
So that was a big lesson for me and also for my clients unfortunately that invested into that market at the time. And what I looked for, and how I got out of that market and how I encouraged my clients to get out of that market is, the market started recovering back up and as supply dwindled.
So if that market supply dropped off completely, no different development happening yet, it was still having some population growth so what we started seeing is, rental yield increasing, as is the lack of supply in the market. And we started seeing a little bit of a recovery in capital growth in around about 2013, and so I managed to exit and I encouraged my clients to exit out of that market through this window where we exited out and it was out of pocket that I sold it for basically for what I paid for it. So that was the worst performing property that I’ve had and so the biggest lesson is that means that I would never recommend a market that regional and reliant on tourism.
For Snaddon it’s not the big financial successes that mark his a-ha moments, but rather that feeling of knowing his next project is going to prosper.
The best investments that I’ve made have been the ones where it’s been a really intuitive gut feel decision like it’s like I really got to invest in this. This is just, I’m feeling it, I’m feeling it at my core that I’ve got to take action here. And, like there’s no doubt and so I follow that and so when I get that real intuitive call to invest, I follow it.
And I use that same principle when I’m taking on a project, to put forward to my clients, it has to have that real gut feel. This is a really great project for my investors, I would invest in it, I have no doubt that it’s gonna perform. When it comes from that place, it’s always a very successful project. And so if I have any doubt, if there’s any wavering doubt about a project, I won’t take it on.
And that’s why I turn down more projects than I take on board, has to have that real intuitive gut feel. Yep this is a project that I would invest in, this is a project that my clients will invest in. That’s the ‘aha’, I mean there’s been lots of ‘aha’ moments in relation to the actions I’ve taken. I think I wanna cover that off as a general piece of advice. Listen to your intuition, if there’s any doubt, don’t do it.
Always looking towards the long term, for now he is most excited about finding those next consistent properties for his clients.
Look, it’s a time where, I don’t believe any current market’s got a huge upside, you know, we’ve been through incredible times of growth, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne property market. But what excites me is looking for projects that will have that ongoing long term attractiveness for investors.
So the things that I would look at, at the moment if I was investing and for my clients is what’s gonna be a really good long term property that I can hold onto and an environment where there’s strong owner occupier demand and an environment where, and a project that’s differentiated to the average type of project in the year, it’s got some sort of upside, something unique about it.
And what’s gonna be something that’s gonna hold on, that’s gonna perform for the long term? That’s what I’m looking for and or, as an investor I’ll be looking for investing in an area where there’s some really, really strong infrastructure projects, that’s gonna create a whole lot of employment, that’s what’s also gonna differentiate.
Jason Snaddon On Why You Should Be Investing in the Melbourne Property Market Now
For Snaddon, the apprehension of failure was a major obstruction. But he realised that he needed to have faith in his judgements and be willing to execute smart, well considered decisions to put him ahead financially.
Certainly my fear has been getting out of my own way getting out of the fear of fear of failure, fear of the investment not working. The fear of all the things that I could make up that could go wrong. And I’ve seen it time and time again when clients don’t take action because of the fear factor that they are just so fearful of taking and making the investment. Fear of it going wrong. Fear of the unknown, fear of all the particular things that could go wrong. So getting out of your way and say if you look at it, I talk about myself and I remember when I was first in this thing. Each one was scary because I think it’s going to be as good as, it’s going to be a good reason.
And I notice when I make it, I think I talked about this in the last podcast, that I make my decisions very much on the gut feel that real knowing feeling. But sometimes, the mind can come in afterwards and the self-doubt and the fear and all that sort of thing can come in afterwards and go, ‘Are you really sure you should be doing that? Is it the right thing? Can you? How are you going to afford that?’ and all that sort of stuff and letting my emotions sort of overtake what the core of the decision is. And so it’s just keeping on track in relation to what I truly want, which is to get ahead financially, that ‘Yes I do truly believe this is a great investment that is going to fit in really well with me.’ So just keep on going and keep taking action moving towards making it happen.
Snaddon has focused on his personal development in order to continuously improve himself and has gained some great insight from life coaches.
I’ve done a lot of personal growth and development of head coaches and all that sort of thing.
But throughout my career because improving oneself, being the best that one can be, it’s always been a priority for me. Which is why I understand how we can get in our way because I’ve seen what shows that for myself when I get in my own way of what I truly want and as a human that’s what played out, most people were for all people at one point or another.
From working with a life coach, he gained knowledge of what he really wanted to do. Through discovering more about who he really was, he found out that helping others reach their goals was his calling.
When I started in this industry as well, I think I shared in the previous podcast I worked for an organisation with a team. And I come from being a pretty top performer in relation to getting results, getting sales results and past companies.
But I started with this organisation in property. I felt very inferior in the team. It was a very blokey environment and I’m not really a very complex type of guy. But what that meant was I didn’t really fully step up and do what I could create from our results perspective and through personal development. Working with a coach ahead of the realisation that I was making all of that out there, it really wasn’t who I truly was. Who I truly was was someone that really wanted to help people get ahead financially and I had to really step up to that and really be shocked to know too much to my clients.
I came from that perspective when I shifted it, when I turned it around that I was there truly to help my clients get ahead. That’s when I really took off in this career. And in fact I realised that I had my own business which is how I love property evolved.
Snaddon’s strategy to invest in newer properties and focus on apartments and townhouses means that he can manage his portfolio more freely and attain capital growth, minus the issues that an older property might have.
I like new property and I’m not a big house and land type of person, I do very little of that. Because I’m a city person, I live in the inner city of Sydney.
I understand the how and where the demand for higher density living is and I think it’s a much more sustainable way of living as well. Then fundamentally we look at what drives property growth and supply and demand.
We as human beings have got to have a roof over our heads whether we eat or whether we own. So as long as they’ve got this ongoing population growth and employment to support that population growth, we’ve got demand for housing no matter whether it’s an apartment or a house or whatever it is. And I’m a big fan of apartment or townhouse type projects because as an investor they are much easier to manage, from an investment point of view. Yes you have strata, but that takes care of all the ongoing, means it’s not having to think about replacing roofs and repainting houses and looking after gardens and yards and all that sort of thing, because it’s already there.
So I love that perspective of it. Of course you’re maximising your depreciation on a new property, which means that the tax benefits on a new property are far greater than they would be on an older property. If you’re investing at the right part of a cycle and at the right part of development as in the very beginning of a development of a pre-release you’ve got the peak of what you’re investing in and often the developer is coming at it at a lower price, so that by the time the project is complete you’ve actually had some capital growth out of it.
To find out about pre-release properties with the potential for investment, he says it’s important to research a number of different factors and consider what a potential homeowner would look for in a property.
I worked with a number of key research partners that are researching markets around Australia that – as I said in my last post – gets anchors into different projects all the time.
And so what I’m looking for is, where in the cycle is this particular area? What’s already happened from a capital growth perspective in this particular area? What’s the level of supply in the area, what other comparable properties are there around in this area? What’s the price point like? What are they coming to market and what do other comparable project sell for at the moment and what’s the demographic of this year? Who’s going to be your tenant, or who’s going to be the owner of the power of this project?
And it just brings me to a point. Always look for an investment that will be attractive to the future local owner occupied to stay away from things will only be attractive to investors. Because if it’s just a tax to invest no one taking an interest in maintaining the integrity of the project. But also if it’s an investor driven project, it’s only going to be able to be sold to another investor. They’re the owner occupiers by on a notion. And so I actually paid more for it. But also they don’t go away. There’s always an owner occupied demand out there and they know what’s going on from an investor point of view.
So we’re always looking for something that will have that owner occupier attraction.
Preferring to invest in capital city areas such as Sydney and Melbourne, Snaddon also takes the time to look into the stages and cycles of each property market.
I look at all the markets around Australia and we mainly stick with the capital city markets. Obviously they are performing all at different stages of the cycles. So, if we’re in regional areas it will only be as a result of what’s been going on in the nearest capital city market. So we look at where we are in Sydney. We’ve also got Wollongong and Newcastle as part of that market. So it always had a flow-on effect after what’s happened and so we look at those two markets.
And the same with Melbourne, you know Melbourne’s got regional areas like Geelong and Ballart and Bendigo and those sorts of places that we look at. We always start off looking at what’s happening in the centre of Melbourne.
He also stresses the importance of comparing the market in different locations and being able to hold those properties in the long term.
I’m very keen on the Melbourne property market at the moment and a lot of commentators are saying that it is oversupplied and the CBD, Southbank and up and down those areas.
But if you drill down and you look at areas where locals want to live, like Collingwood or Richmond or those sorts of places, this is a great opportunity. This huge price point differentiation between those markets and this is certainly not something that is just presented a development of one bedroom starting at $740, 000, without parking. Now you can buy two bedroom and apartment with parking and a comparable standard in Melbourne for the same sort of money.
Wow that is crazy when you think about those prices.
Yeah. So you know that’s a driving factor for that market. But as I said in my last podcast, I don’t see any market having huge upside in a shortage. It’s looking at what’s going to be a really good property to hold for the long term.
And you know a big difference in price point between Sydney, now Melbourne has just as fast growing population as it has a very broad, strong economy. If you’re investing off plane you have very minimal standards because you’re only playing and eating on the land component.
So there’s a lot of plus sides to that particular market right now in my opinion. So whereas your entry price point is very high. So is therefore oversupplied. However Sydney, Melbourne population go from very strong in either of those markets, so the supply levels will sort themselves out over time.
For Snaddon, finding his ‘why’ and meditating has contributed to his successful accumulation of properties.
I did what I personally do every day, I meditate in the morning because we have to be very present for the day ahead. And it also means that I’m a lot more mindful about other people as well.
And the other thing I do is that I’m very mindful about my focus. So your focus creates your reality. If what you’re focused on is what you’ll get ultimately, if your focus is on what you don’t want the more what you don’t want is going to show up. Whereas if you focus on what you truly want then that’s more likely to show up.
So I do, with various different visions on what I want, what I want to create in my business. And I want to show up in relation to my team. I want to show in relation to my clients. What do I want from it? What are financial goals? Do I have all I want to be, what I want my energy to be? What holidays do I want to have for getting really clear on on your vision? And then you’ve got your starting point in relation to where you want to go and say what I did to property investors.
You can tap into your ‘why’. That will give you the momentum to make your listing decisions because most people don’t want to just invest in a property for the sake of having a property. It’s tapping into their ‘why’, what they’re going to give you. What’s the point of it, what’s it going to do for you? Is it financial freedom, is it to give your family a better life, is it for your children’s education? Is it that you have a comfortable retirement?
And that will give you the reason to take action. So the reason to really get cracking and get lost in investing not in just one property, but building that portfolio of properties over time.
He also shares some of the best books he would recommend to listeners for learning more about property investments and wealth creation.
Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich is a very good one. It is relevant if you’re wanting to create wealth and financial freedom. Infinite Possibilities and Thoughts Become Things by Mike Dooley, he’s also an excellent author. Rich Dad, Poor Dad [by Robert Kiyosaki] is also a fantastic book I read. I read a lot of slightly different philosophy around investing than we have here in Australia. But their philosophies are fantastic.
If you would like to connect with Jason Snaddon the best way to reach him is via
I have [email protected] – also loveproperty.com.au being our website and also around the abundant side of things, jasonsnaddon.com. I post regular blogs, blogs around mindset and manifesting and creating focus and that sort of thing on that website. And you can also find me on Facebook, Jason Snaddon Abundance Coach.