Michael Tiemens

How to Fast-Track Your Property in Melbourne Suburbs

Peak Property Group’s Michael Tiemens chats with us about his property investing journey and his key philosophies about cash flow investing. As a speaker and coach for ILoveRealEstate, he will tell you how you can use the community of experienced professionals to discover more about property investing and how to grow your property portfolio.

He will also speak about how he became a property investor himself at such a young age; how an unsavoury experience with the wrong builder taught him to choose integrity over cheaper labour; and why he believes crowdfunding is the next big thing for property investing.

“Pick people that have integrity, show honesty, show discipline and are there to really help push you forward.”
-Michael Tiemens

So to begin with, what does a day in the life of Michael Tiemens look like?

We basically specialize in boutique property developments in south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne and I specialize also in coaching and speaking to other property investors on how they can get started in the property market as well.

My days are spent working on our own projects and then a lot of the rest of the day spent on helping other students through coaching calls or travelling interstate speaking at different events.

Speaking in seminars for ILoveRealEstate, he says there are many inspiring stories and opportunities available for those looking to kick-start their property investment portfolios.

I speak on a number of different topics, but all property-centric. So I’m affiliated with the ILoveRealEstate community that’s headed up by Dymphna Boholt and very privileged to work with a number of different speakers on a national stage, which is a great opportunity. Really we’re speaking to property investors all around the country on how they can manufacture growth in their property portfolios, how they can add properties to their portfolios and how they can really drive cash flow out of their properties, to support them and to replace their income, essentially.

Educating yourself is one of the most significant aspects of becoming a property investor. Tiemens explains that there are many free workshops, educational programs, coaches and strategists in the ILoveRealEstate community which are great resources for insight into the property investing world.

Dymphna is one of these people that goes around the country and runs a lot of free workshops as well. And you know she’s giving away a lot of information that those those free one day workshops – not just on property investing but asset protection, tax structuring, how you can build cash flow into your portfolios to support your lifestyle and manufacture growth in properties too. So it’s all wrapped up in a lot of education, but also a lot of mindset and personal development skills as well, which is pretty cool.

And then we’ve got a lot of members around the country that join the educational programs, they can really see that there’s a lot of benefit in getting educated in property before they actually go out and take the plunge in and make an investment. There’s also a lot of people that come and join the education because they may have already had a go at and investing themselves and made some mistakes along the way. They might be stuck. They might be in a position where they can’t really move forward. So they’re looking for avenues and different pathways that they can get themselves out of that position.

So a lot of the time students will come on board. We’re working with those students, we’re coaching students, we’re helping them establish and extract, what are their goals? What are they really trying to achieve by investing in property? Then we help them by building a bridge. So we’ll develop a plan for them to be able to establish where they’re at right now, where they’re looking to get to and what they can do from a property perspective to really get there and a lot of the time we’re fixing stuff up in their portfolio. A lot of the time it’s looking at restructuring it, looking at refinancing.

We’ve got a lot of great professionals as part of the community too. We’ve got financial strategists, accountants, solicitors. So there’s so many people that are involved in this community that can help people get to where they need to be.

As a property investor, the coach and keynote speaker describes himself as an active, creative person, preferring to add value to his portfolio through things such as renovations and property development.

I would say I’m probably more on the creative side. I like to see and use property as a way in which I can come from a different angle. I’m not sort of the traditional type of property investor that just goes out and buys property to hold them in the portfolio.

As a strategy, I think that’s probably a little bit flawed and probably a bit too slow for my liking – I’m more on the fast tracking, growth side of things. So we’ll negotiate a creative type of deal, we’ll tend to add value in ways whether it be through renovation or subdivision, property development, building construction. We do a lot of commercial stuff these days as well.

So I always use the philosophy that you’ve got to be able to see what isn’t there and then bring it into existence and if you can do that, effectively you’re going out there and you’re adding your own value to the marketplace, which in turn will normally profit out of you if you’re diligent enough. So I’d say I’m probably more on the creative side, probably prepared to take a little bit more risk and be a little bit more courageous than just the buy and hold strategy. But yeah, it keeps things interesting.

Having had some personal setbacks in his life, Tiemens grew up with the solid foundation and frame of mind which enabled him to grow as a person. In turn, his hardships have paved the way toward some amazing opportunities and to embark on his property investment journey.

Born and bred in Melbourne, I couldn’t consider myself ever leaving and I think I love it too much because of the culture in Melbourne, where if I cast my mind back, my career sort of started off.

I’m 15 years old and I started my first business called Mixed Tanks and I effectively started to put together these fish tanks and go around the local businesses in the area and I’d convince them that it was a good idea to have these fish tanks in their waiting rooms in their foyers, to keep their customers entertained. So me and my dad would build these fish tanks and put them in these businesses and then they’d pay me $25 dollars/week to rent a fish tank and I go and clean it every couple of weeks. And it turned out to be a great little business. At the time I was doing a little bit of football umpiring as well in the AFL the Australian Football League, making pretty good money.

It was all going pretty well and a couple of years later on, I was put in a position where my life changed. It was my parents 20th wedding anniversary and they’d been out that morning hot air ballooning and having a nice champagne breakfast and all of that. Then they’d come home; Dad had gone out that day to run a few errands with the business and that kind of thing. Later that day, I was sitting on the couch at about five o’clock in the afternoon and I was there with my two younger sisters. Mum walked in the back door with this confused look on her face and she’s got the police here, telling me that Dad’s gone. So I got up off the couch. ‘What do you mean, what are you talking about?’ So I ran outside and approached this policeman and said, ‘What is this, some kind of prank? Is this a joke? What’s going on?’ He sat me down and he said, ‘Mate, I’m really sorry to tell you this, but your old man’s about a minute up the road and he passed away.’ In that moment everything really shifted for me, everything changed. I just kind of presented with a choice about who I was going to be from thereon in.

I decided to step up and become a leader in my own life and a leader in my family’s life and those around me as well. I guess that’s where it all started to change and from there I landed a dream job working for the Hawthorne footy club a couple of weeks later. I was a big Hawks fan, so it was at a great time. I was very much looking for mentorship. I was looking for guidance and I was put in an environment where I had access to some of the best possible people, particularly in the state. Guys like the founder of Flight Centre Jeff Harris and CEO of L’Oreal, Mark Tucker. I used to sit next to Jeff Kennett at a finance committee meeting every month, not to mention you know the staff and the players and CEO and that kind of thing too. So I’d constantly be going to these people asking them, ‘How can I get ahead financially? How can I add value to my family, into my life? You know and they’d sort of send you off they ‘d say, ‘You need to learn about the stock market. You need to invest in shares.’ So I’d go off and I’d invest in some shares and make a bit of money and it’s kind of like, ‘It’s still not enough. I still need to do more.’

So I go back to them: ‘What else can I do? Where else can I make some more money.’ And they’re like, ‘You need to learn about property.’ And that’s when my mum and I  actually started to go along to some seminars. We started to learn about the different types of styles, different type strategies you could do. We started to apply these strategies and make a bit of money, doing pretty well.

And in some cases we lost a little bit of money. And I’m still frustrated or confused, because I’m reading books like Rich Dad Poor Dad and they’re talking about how you can build wealth and accumulate mass portfolios and this kind of thing. And I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t work out how they were doing it. It wasn’t until I went along to a particular event, an ILoveRealEstate event with Dymphna. I met Dymphna about four and a half years ago. I stumbled across this whole philosophy of cash flow investing – if you could turn your properties into cash flow properties, then you’re more likely to be able to hold on. And that was where it really shifted for me because I was using all of the same strategies, manufacturing growth, adding growth to properties, that kind of thing. I was also adding in cash flow strategies which meant that we could hold them in our portfolio. And that’s where our wealth really started to grow.

So from there, we started to really increase the level of deals that we were doing at any one time. We started to grow into bigger areas of this property investing. We started to do more commercial type deals with some new property developments. We started to build houses that were highly yielding type houses as well. And the last four years have just been an immense journey for me, particularly personally – personal growth. Now I’m speaking, I’m coaching other people and really helping other people achieve their goals as well.

It is clear that his parents have both had an influence on his career and property investing journey. They were both keen business owners, who also happened to be looking at investing in property before Tiemen’s father’s untimely passing.

My parents were always business owners. So I grew up seeing them create businesses, sell businesses. I was working in those businesses that start earning pocket money from many businesses. So I guess there was always that inspiration and empowerment from an early age to do more.

But they were also taking me to different types of events, like I remember going to a Brad Sugars action business coaching event when I was like 15, 16 years old. I had to learn because they were getting coaching in their own business. So they were always very ambitious as people and I think that that probably rubbed off on me in a big way and has very much created the DNA that I’ve got.

They did everything from packaging up chicken manure and selling it at service stations, to creating a hedging business where they grow one metre long instant hedges – you could literally just dig a trench in your front garden and drop a hedge in and you’ve got that established look. They did a lot of different things. They were also starting to embark on that journey of property investing just before Dad passed away, so I guess it took mum a little while to get back up on her feet before she could look at that again. But I kind of stood in my dad’s place when that all happened. And it’s a pity because he came from a building background. He would have been great to have as part of our business today. I look at what we’re doing, he would have been thriving in this type of environment. But I guess there’s still a lot of him that’s part of what we do and part of what drives us to kind of live on his legacy, very much of what was passed on to me.

Getting started in property investments taught Tiemens a great deal through first-hand experience. Moving from investing in negatively geared properties, to relocating a Melbourne granny flat to Bonny Doon, his knowledge of property investing has expanded over time.

We actually got started by getting a couple of negative geared properties held those for about 12 months before we realized, ‘Hang on a minute, these aren’t actually doing too much for our situation.’ While they were still in good areas that were expected to get good capital growth and they were still costing us like $9, 000-$10, 000 each per year – which was physically coming out in cash. Might look great for tax purposes and negative gearing purposes, but at the end of the day it wasn’t really getting us into the position that we knew we had to be in to change our lives.

So after the 12 months passed on we ended up selling those. And then we moved into a more manufactured growth strategy, where we actually bought a farm because it was pretty much all that we knew. I grew up on a farm, we owned a farm and we could see where we could add value in those areas. On this particular farm we ended up selling about 18 months later and made a bit of money and then went back and started doing more small cosmetic renovations.

Even did a tiny little project where I shifted a granny flat from one of the suburbs in Melbourne, all the way up to a holiday park in Bonny Doon. So I met the owner of this holiday park and I said, ‘Man, I want to get some land. Is there any land you can give me?’ He said, ‘Well most people in here can hire or lease a site. You’ve got 120 square metres, you pay $3, 000/year and it’s yours for the year.’ I said, ‘OK that’s pretty good. How would you feel if I was to bring up this old granny flat and I’ll do a renovation to it. I’ll make it look great. And we’d hold onto it, or look at selling it at the end.’ He said, ‘Well give us a bit of an idea in terms of what you’ve got in mind.’ So I sent him through some photos and he was pretty happy, he said, ‘Look I’m OK with that.’ So I ended up paying about $11, 000, got this granny flat on the back of a truck and took it all the way up to Bonny Doon. It was exciting but it was pretty hard work – I’d been travelling two and a half hours to get there every weekend to do this renovation. Was pretty tough, but it was certainly worthwhile and very rewarding in the end. The whole deal I think costs us about $50, 000. We end up selling for about $80-85, 000 and took a nice little profit. But it was more the learning experiences that I took out of that. It was managing the tradespeople who build it, paid my building consultants, building surveyor, had to get the building permit, all that kind of stuff. So it taught me a lot in the process.

I got to earn a bit of money by doing it which also helped, but from then it really allowed us to start to scale and grow as investors. That’s where we moved on to doing bigger house relocations to regional areas at the time, because that’s all we could afford. Then eventually stepping up to do property developments. Now I don’t know how many property developments that we’ve done – we’ve got seven or eight on the go at any one time in various different stages. We’re doing commercial development where we’re looking over retail shops, rebuilding the shops and building micro apartments above. We do a lot in the way of rooming houses as well as multiple income strategies. So I guess the experience is sort of very vast now, where we’ve done pretty much most of the strategies out there. But it’s been really good and the first few deals to get us going created a pretty strong foundation.

As it is with many cases, investing in property hasn’t always been a bed of roses for Tiemens. His experience with the wrong builder has taught him to be cautious of who he hires and to always choose integrity and honesty over cheaper labor.

Our first property development where we were building some townhouses and the deal had been going pretty well – all the way through council, getting permits, getting all the working, drawings and engineering done and everything like that – where the deal started to really hurt us.

I ended up engaging the wrong builder. I’d managed the tendering process really well and I chose the wrong guy, based on price more than reputation and integrity. And for me at the time it was hard, because I had done a lot of the checks, a lot of the the main things that I could think of. But probably the areas that I skipped over were talking to current clients and investigating behind the scenes about what was going on with these current projects. So I just took for granted that I’d spoken to people that I’d worked with in the past and they were happy. We’d seen some of the previous work and looked quite good. Your workmanship is what was good. But that doesn’t equate for much in terms of the current position that you might be going through. When it comes to building, builders rely on cash flow and oxygen coming into their business so that they can continually fund the next project.

There’s always one stage payment behind and this particular builder had got himself in a bit of a bind with cash flow and he was underquoting projects and probably underquoted this project that we were doing. That was probably the reason in the end that I went with him, because he just came in that little bit cheaper.

I still remember it very clearly. I walked on site one day and he’d spent six months since we’d signed the building contract stuffing around, me having to chase him, me having to issue notices on him in breach notices from the contract. I walked in on site one day and six months down the track he’d hardly done any work up until that point. I was so frustrated. But the night before I got a call from one of his existing clients, who was just giving me the heads up that he was in some severe trouble financially. So you can imagine how I’m feeling, like I’ve got a bank loan so the construction of these town houses, we’re pretty much getting towards the back end. I’ve got purchases that we’re expecting to be moving in before Christmas – we’re at the end of November and we’ve hardly got off the ground. So there’s all this pressure on me to create a good result out of this and I’ve got this guy who’s just dragging the ball and chain, running the deal into the ground. At the time I’m happy to admit it and probably a shame that I was in that position that we were too far stretched. We were over leveraged, our debt level was far too high for where our equity was. So it meant that I was in a vulnerable position and it was all at the mercy of this guy.

So I had to meet him on site that morning and I knew very well that it was going to get ugly from that point on because I was going to do everything in my power to try and get out of the contract. Most people are expecting payments to come through so we can go on holidays and all that kind of thing. And I end up having to really stretch that out over you know sort of two or three months before he would actually let me out of the contract and it didn’t even get to the point where we mutually agreed I had to take him to court. It was only that I had a super, red hot lawyer working on my side that didn’t like this guy because of his bullying strategies and tactics, it was it was a really horrible situation. And I remember in that moment that I would never ever be here again. You know, I would never ever let someone pull the wool over my eyes and that I would be so much more diligent who we worked with and how we picked them.

But I know as a person, a business owner and an investor that was my growth opportunity. There were moments where I was literally weeping, going, ‘How am I going to get out of this without the bank breathing down my neck? They’re struggling to see how I can come out of this alive.’ Fortunately for me I went back to the previous builder who bore down to those last two and he came through and really helped us out. I think from him coming on site, once we terminated the old building contract, from finishing to practical completion it was like two months.

And I just remember thinking you’ve got to have good people in your team. You just have to be so cautious with who you work with, but pick people that you enjoy working with that have got integrity, that show honesty, that show discipline, that are there to really help push you forward, not the other way around.

However, he will always remember the moment when everything fell into place, saying the cash flow strategies he learnt at the beginning of his property investing journey, made a profound impact on how he manages his portfolio.

That story I shared before where I was at that event and I was introduced to these cash flow strategies. When I look back in time, that’s probably been the biggest thing that has made the biggest difference, because that’s allowed us to hold property. So not only can we create that little bit of profit by adding strategy or adding value, but now we get to continually add profit to the bottom line because the market is growing at the same rate. So we’re getting the double edged sword capital growth and manufacturing growth and cash flows.

With many different options available to encourage wealth creation, Tiemens is excited about the crowdfunding financing platform, as a means to support investors, who are struggling to get started in a troubled economy.

The largest single thing that I’m excited about in property investment is crowdfunding for property development. And the reason I say that is because there’s so much energy and discussion and argument around property and housing affordability at the moment. I look at the median house price for Melbourne and it’s like $880, 000-$850, 000. How on earth can young people – and not just young people, but older people as well – get into the market if they’re having to pay these large amounts for property?

If you think about that, you need to put up a 20% deposit for even a $500, 000 property – you get a better part of $100, 000, you don’t have stamp duty, you don’t have to pay your conveyance and have a pest inspection. So you’re in it for $130, 000 of your own money, then you’ve got to pay interest on a $400,000 loan. You know, it’s just unreasonable for people to save that much of a deposit if you’re earning the average Australian wage which is $65-70-75,000 a year. So I’m looking at this and I’m thinking, ‘Well where else can people go to get returns, to help build that deposit quicker?’ Is the bank giving it to them – no, the bank’s not giving them a good interest rate. Can they go and get it from a managed fund – yeah, they can get it from a managed fund but is it likely that the managed fund always performs?

The stock market is a good place to go to invest your savings to really accelerate your deposit in the right area. But it’s certainly volatile. You know, it fluctuates a lot. So I’m looking at this going crowdfunding for property development. I can imagine if you could get into property development where the developer’s already got the development approval in place, already got the building contract and you’ve got a valuation coming in from the end sale price or maybe the end products already been sold off the plan. If you could put in your money, get a half decent return and have it come back to you within the space of six to eight months, I think that’s a great way for someone to accelerate their deposit and for them to be able to go and get into a property themselves.

So this is an area where we’re starting to spend a lot more time and energy. We’re going to be launching a campaign in July which will be for the development that we’ve already got approved. We’ve already mitigated the risk as much as possible. But if we can go out and raise a small amount of money to do the build, then show people that this is an effective way for you to invest a portion or all of your savings, then that’s going to be a great thing I think for the industry and for financing as well. Financing is a very challenging beast at the moment.

So this is very much a culture of the share economy with technology meshing with traditional industries, particularly property. And when you look at things like Uber, Airbnb… This is the reason why I think it’s the best time to be an investor right now. You can be in control as much as you want. You can leverage off technology, you can create cash flow, you can get a good yield. It’s just a terrific time to be in the market.

So I think that’s really, really cool. I think that that’s going to be a key thing that’s coming that we really haven’t scratched the surface of yet. There’s a lot of education that needs to happen on this particular topic, but we want to be there front and centre and really leading the charge with it. And I think that there’s going to be a great opportunity there for a lot of people to come onboard.

One of my mentors said to me once, ‘If you’re so busy being busy in business but you’re not making any money, what are you so busy doing?’ And that really got me thinking about where I am spending my time.

The Secret To Keeping Your Finger on the Pulse with Michael Tiemens

Tiemens believes that investing into property is not something to take lightly and it was a big decision for him when he initially started. In some ways, this held him back.

I think a lot of uncertainty about what to do next can hold people back and it was certainly a big thing that was limiting me in my decisions. Because when you don’t have knowledge, you’re not sure about where to go and property is one of these assets that you can’t take lightly. If you were to go into property or property development, it’s most likely that you’re investing hundreds of thousands of dollars, tens of thousands at least. So you’re making big decisions and then you’re also leveraging debt to do that. Now that’s all well and good if you’re adding value to the property, particularly something that’s already established that you’re not having to knock over, or having to go to the market to sell, or that kind of thing. But there are some strategies that are a little bit riskier than others.

So for me, it was more about, ‘Look, I just need to get skilled up. I just need to learn. I need to get myself in an environment where I’m surrounded by successful people. I’m going in and listening to what these people are doing. I’m learning about their strategies and learning their systems and I just need to take that and implement it for myself.’

When he began to invest in property development, there was a shift in his mindset which took him from placing reliance on his consultants, to actively researching and taking control of the projects.

Probably one of the mistakes that I made is that I put too much reliance on my consultants. People like an architect and designer, thinking that because they’re the professionals in their own field that they would look after that part of the project. But what I was really overlooking and what I was missing is that I needed to pretty much have a handle and a grasp on everything that they were doing. Because if they were going and designing something that wasn’t suited to the area, or if they were designing something that was going to cost too much to build and I wasn’t pulling them up on that, then I wasn’t really going to find out until it actually hurt me later down the track.

So I guess what I learned through that first development was that I can’t just be someone who’s passively investing, if that makes sense. You know, if I’m just sitting here expecting that it’s all going to happen simply because I’m gauging those people. I had to be someone who was immersed in the project, that was really taking control and really leading from the front, showing them exactly what I wanted. Researching the market, pulling it apart, peeling back all the layers, saying, ‘What’s the stuff that’s selling best? Do I need to have a double car garage? What type of driveway does it need to be? It it exposed aggregate driveway, it is colored concrete driveway, plain concrete driveway? What type of landscaping do I need to be doing?’

So now when we design something to build, we’re looking at it from every single facet. We’re always looking at how can we create a great product that someone’s going to love, that’s also going to match where our budget is, rather than just pray and hope for the best once the builders come along and start handing us prices. So that was a big mindset shift for me when it came to property specific stuff – that I had to be someone who had my finger on the pulse and was watching every stage on the way through. Now I’m at a stage where I’m actually teaching other people in our business to do that, so that I’m managing them while they’re managing our projects, so we’ve been able to grow and take it to another level as well.

In conditioning his mindset via his chosen courses and mentors, Tiemens considers himself to be an active learner, preferring to educate himself, apply his knowledge to projects and then witness the fruits of his labour.

I’ve always had a lot of coaches, have always done a lot of courses. I’ve spent so much money on self education courses because I know that I’m not just sitting there learning something, but I’m paying for someone else’s mistakes – I’m paying for someone else’s experiences. I’m basically paying for their experience and their history, condensed down from what might be 15-20 years of experience into a short course, so I can always see a lot of value in going and doing the program.

So whether it be an understanding of how property development works and paying for a property development course, or going to a commercial investing course, it doesn’t really matter. I’ve always seen it as ‘What is the education, how can I get involved in it?’ And I’ll just pay it because I think you can never have enough education. Education is a journey not a destination. In respect to academic education, like university – I gave university a crack. I was doing a Bachelor of Commerce and it was going OK. I wasn’t even paying for it, Hawthorne footy club was paying for it at the time because they could see what it was going to do for me in their business, but it didn’t gel with me.  I was learning the information, but I couldn’t understand how it actually related – I felt like it was more about memory than it was really about anything else; how much could I retain and learn to then do well in the exam.

But when I started to get involved in more self education, I would see a difference it was making in my life because I was going out there and I was applying it and could effectively see the results, then and there. So for me it’s always been about how can I learn from other people, how can I learn from their mistakes and how can I get coached – so that someone else can stretch me, so they can push me outside of my comfort zone, so that I can lean into the discomfort. And that’s ultimately what a coach is there for.

In addition to this proactive business mindset, he has also learned from his mentor’s advice on prioritising his time in order to extract more value from his efforts.

One of my mentors said to me once, ‘If you’re so busy being busy in business but you’re not making any money, what are you so busy doing?’ And that really got me thinking about where I am spending my time. I spend my time on my highest valued activities, which for me is putting deals together and going out there and seeking investors to come on with our projects, having conversations and coaching other students, all of that stuff.

So it’s kind of like the old adage – do you go and clean up your desk, make sure everything is pretty and nice before you pick up the phone and start making proper phone calls and start to work on the highest priority goals on your list? Or are you someone who kind of just jumps straight into it? I know more of the productive types, so I guess I ask myself that question a lot in property, business and anything that I do – ‘Well, if I’m just being busy running around like a headless chook, am I really achieving anything, am I really producing any type of result? No.’

Tiemens’ strategy begins with finding the right location to begin developing. This means researching all the relevant characteristics of the area.

Our strategy begins with picking an area. I think for any investor that is looking to invest for growth, whether it be for manufactured growth or for cash flow, is making sure that you’re in the right location. Some of the things that we do if we’re moving into a new area is that we’ll begin by looking at the fundamentals – the fundamentals being where is their infrastructure planning? Is there any scheduled work to happen? Are they putting in new shopping centres? What’s its proximity to major arterials? How is it positioned to hospitals and schools and universities? What’s the public transport like? How far away is it from public transport – is there train and rail, or just bus?

So we look at the characteristics of an area. To put it into perspective, if we’re looking at five areas that are all based on our price point – so if our price point is $500 000 and we’re looking at the median, which is $50 000 – we’ll then shortly see those properties by doing the characteristic research. Effectively what we’re doing is we’re looking at where we can get the most up, so we’ve got to make sure that the strategy actually works in that particular suburb.

Then we’ll go out and start to pick apart – what are things are selling for, what is the end product selling for, what can we buy it for? We’ll run it through our feasibility, make sure that it stacks up numbers-wise. We’ll meet with our consultants, make sure that our consultants are familiar with the area, they understand all the council regulations, state regulations, what we can and can’t do. From there we will then start to get out and build relationships and go and find sites.

When looking to increase cash flow and also add value to property, Tiemens seeks a creative strategy dependent on the type of property he is working with.

It really depends if you’re looking at residential property or if you’re looking at commercial property, because the two are vastly different. If it’s residential property, we’re looking for how we can transform a property or how can we build a property which is going to serve a purpose for multiple occupancies. Or it’s looking for how we can bring in different revenue streams than just the traditional rent out the house to a family or whatever.

With commercial, we’re always looking for yield. So we’re looking for strong tendencies, strong leases, good yields, opportunities where we can increase the yield through various different strategies as well. And then also adding improvements and developing the property can always increase the yield.

Every element of a deal that we do always has some property development potential, being that we are going through the council planning process. We are building and constructing something new. So there may be elements of where we’re keeping what’s already there and then adding to it.

Talking about personal habits, Tiemens has a cookie cutter system for implementing his strategy. He also combines personal and professional growth through maintaining a healthy routine and listening to a wide range of material.

I like routine, I think routine is important. I generally wake up and have the same thing for breakfast and I always have a coffee in the morning. Routine creates good habits and good habits create success. But it’s always looking at rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. I’d much prefer to have a cookie cutter system than be jumping around all the time to a different place and a different strategy.

With our property investing, we don’t tend to leave our backyard. I don’t really have to drive any more than a 10-15 km radius to get to a project, that sort of stuff is important. I’m all about spending as much time as I possibly can close to home, because like I mentioned before I am travelling, I am speaking. So when I am here I just want to be here, you know, I don’t want to be spending too much time travelling away.

But in terms of habits I would say doing most of the same everyday stuff – like meditation, exercising three to four times a week, I think it’s important to keep the mind healthy. Even listening to podcasts, I listen to podcasts all the time and I’m constantly just filling my mind up with new ideas and new information. Listening to podcasts in different industries, whether it be business or marketing or health, because a lot of what people discuss in other industries can be applied to your industry. So I think that that’s an important part too, in terms of not just looking at what everyone else is doing in your industry, but where you can get that edge. How could you be doing something different?

He shares some of the podcasts that he engages with, such as those relating to marketing and business.

I listen to The Mark Boris show, I like the Mark Boris Show, there’s some interesting people on that one. The Small Business Big Marketing Show with Tim Reid.

Good old Timbo, he’s awesome!

I don’t mind getting into the odd Nathan Latka episode too, they’re pretty good as well. But yeah, I’ve got a few in the library.

Tiemens has taken knowledge from these resources and applied it to his development projects, which has helped him to think outside the box.

It’s about taking a different approach. So particularly in marketing and with property, it’s important to stand out because if you’ve got something that everyone else is offering then where is your point of difference? I guess we probably take a bit more of an active approach, even down to how we contact property owners about what services we can offer and how we can help them create value in their own properties. Rather than waiting for a property to come onto the market, we’ll actually get out there and be very deliberate about who we target and while we’re targeting them, how we can help them?

And even when we’re selling the product, we’re looking for ways that we can be different. So we’ll join business networks, we’ll market through the Chamber of Commerce cities and if it’s commercial we’ll go out there and actually hit the footpath and speak to people in the street, just to generate a different type of approach. If we’ve got a vacant commercial property, I want to know what the community wants, or what they feel like they should be offered there, so that I can actually go out and start to approach those business owners to say, ‘Hey look, we’ve got a space in this strip or in this suburb. We’ve spoken to a lot of people in the community. We’re part of their business network. [00:18:38] This is what they’re saying.’ The demand is what they’re coming back to, it’s really suggesting that that’s what they need. So it’s kind of taking a different approach, as opposed to just listing the property for lease or for sale and expecting that buyers and tenants are going to roll up and want to get into our property. So it just gets you to think a little differently.

If you’d like to connect with Tiemens, you can do so via

Anyone can connect with me on Facebook or LinkedIn. My last name is Tiemens – T I E M E N S. Anyone who wants to come along and learn about our strategies and the ways in which we can help them with property investing can go to iloverealestate.tv.

And anyone who’s looking to engage with me in my business can go to michaeltiemens.com.au and we’ve got a heap of information there that people can take away with them and continue on their journey. Any listeners out there that do listen to the podcast, we’d love to follow your own journeys and see how we might be able to help you in any way.

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

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