Opinions are like bellybuttons… everybody has one!
Finding advice on anything is easy. Simply jump into a taxi and you’ll receive a full gamut of views on how stuffed our political situation is. Or strike up a conversation at a bus stop and watch your fellow commuter describe how they would have fixed the pandemic.
It’s even worse with property investment. Sourcing other opinions on the real estate market is easy. And when you do decide to buy, there’s an embarrassment of pundits on hand willing to impart their ‘wisdom’ on how to build riches.
So, when it comes to guidance, it’s important to know who to listen to and who to ignore.
Here’s my list of the worst sources for property investment advice.
If you’re trying to remember the name of a celebrity’s cat or recall the number-one hit single from your birth year, this go-to source is handy.
But when it comes to getting good advice on the important stuff, well… I have my doubts.
A Google search might help you unearth some stats and numbers, but it will also deliver a raft of unsolicited and unfiltered opinions.
In addition, most of the information you discover via a Google search is designed for one thing – to get clicks. I’ve seen nonsensical articles at the top of search pages simply because they used the right keywords and SEO techniques, not because their content was worthy.
A further factor is that if you can find information online it tends to be oversimplified and generic. No decent advisor will simply hand you their secret sauce about investing. They’re saving that good stuff for paying clients.
Online investment communities
Several investment communities have sprung up online that are a source of information. They’re a handy base for you to shoot off ideas and receive feedback.
While I’m glad investors can banter with like-minded souls, there’s one very real and present danger with these groups.
Replies, like all social media, are difficult to monitor.
You can post about a certain strategy or potential hotspot and will receive plenty of thoughts from the gang. Many will contradict each other and most, unfortunately, are not independent, highly qualified experts working in the sector. Several will simply be from people who made gains during the recent property boom and suddenly feel like their opinion is worth sharing.
Even worse is that you can get anonymous advice from someone who is pushing their own agenda. They want you to come on board with their program and will charge a fee for their bad advice.
In short, enjoy the comradery but don’t treat investment advice from these communities as gospel.
It absolutely confounds me when I hear about investor buyers relying on advice from agents and other professionals who clearly work on behalf of the seller.
Selling agents are trying to maximise the outcome for their clients. They will befriend you as a buyer and look to give you some ‘inside running’ on a particular investment.
My tip is to be polite but wary. Understand that they’re trying to make a sale.
The same applies to marketeer advisors who offer ‘free seminars’ about building a property portfolio. These generous individuals (did you see the sarcasm) have only one goal – to sell you into the product they’re promoting because a developer will pay them a handsome commission as a reward. If you come across these people, run away from them very far and very fast.
Family and friends
God love em’! Where would we all be without a supporting family and friendship circle?
But even family and friends will have opinions. And while they may be good-intentioned, they don’t always deliver good advice.
Your inner circle will speak about their own experiences and biases. They will give you plenty of unfiltered opinions, however, their resources, goals and desires are not the same as yours. They are not professionals and will never have the daily experience an independent advisor can draw on to help you achieve what you want.
Property media is big business and, at present, it’s competing with a range of other sources all looking for readership.
This means the property media must find attention-grabbing headlines that will have you clicking through to their stories. Their goal is to be front and centre, so they can justify advertising rates to their clients.
In short, sensationalist and extreme stories are winners for them. Booming hotspots, plummeting losses, record interest rates… they’re all part and parcel of this sector.
There are two things I’d say about info in the media.
Number one, it’s rarely level-headed and measured. You must see through the sensationalism and dig deeper into the stats and sentiments they promote. A knee-jerk reaction to melodramatic media can have you making bad investment decisions. Remember, you are investing in property for the long term, so try and ignore those short-term shocks that get the media’s attention.
The second thing is if an opportunity appears in the papers, it’s past its use-by date. Others will have already taken advantage and you will be on the tail end of the prospect, which is the least profitable place to be.
Filtering the good from the bad when it comes to information is a challenge. Just make sure you venture forward with caution. The best approach will be to rely on info from a qualified, independent advisor who is duty bound to take care of your interests. Their knowledge is founded on experience and up-to-date markets evidence.
Always review any property location research and investment analysis data, with a professional, QPIA (PIPA Member) qualified & accredited ASPIRE Property Advisor Network Advisor. Never rely on glossy sales brochures or property marketing information, ensuring a property is right for your strategy. Property Investing is about BUYING a property that matches your goals and aligns with your investment strategy, never be SOLD an investment, know your numbers!
Visit www.aspirenetwork.com.au or call our office to be connected with an accredited and independent Property Investment Advisor on 1300 710 933.