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Demistifying The 'Property Coach'

Sue Irons explains exactly what a property mentor can do for you, in her first column as your property coach.

By: Sue Irons

1 May 2016

We're all pretty familiar with the the concept of a personal trainer, a piano teacher or a sports coach. But when I ask many people if they have heard of a ‘property coach’ or a ‘property mentor’ I am often met with a blank face.

Well, it’s either that or they imagine a car salesman-like ‘spruiker’ looking to make a quick dollar off an unsuspecting victim!

This is the first instalment of a new column, where I hope to demystify the concept of mentoring or coaching for property investors. I wish simply to share my thoughts and experience on what is required to successfully design and implement a property acquisition plan and ongoing strategy, to meet the needs and goals of an investor.

The general concept of both ‘coaching’ or ‘mentoring’ (though the two differ slightly in definition) is having someone, who has more experience than you, to provide guidance and support.

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Interestingly, in New Zealand there tends to be a ‘Do It Yourself ’ attitude to investing, in direct contrast to how we think in others areas of our life. For example, many of us engage the services of a personal trainer to help us achieve our fitness and health goals, or a sports coach to improve our golf handicap, or a music teacher to master the guitar. However, when it comes to our financial health and long term financial security we adopt the “she’ll be right” attitude and forge ahead without any sound education or plan at all. Sounds pretty ‘topsy-turvy’, right?

The truth is, property investment is not one-sizefits- all, yet I come across so many investors who have simply copied what their friend or work colleague has done as it “worked for them, so it should work for me”. No consideration seems to be given at all to the totally different circumstances they may be in – it’s a disaster waiting to happen and we often don’t have to wait long to see that play out.

Instead, a property coach would have been able to tailor a property investment plan that met the client’s own personal goals and needs. Recently, I came across a survey on how much people were prepared to pay for financial advice or help with their retirement plans, and I was totally stunned at the amount – less than $50. It’s incredible that those same people will pay that for lunch with a friend or a night out at the movies.

It baffles me that something so important as your financial future is left out of the budget. When it comes to finance, it’s certainly true that ignorance is more expensive than education.

Personal Property Strategy

Your property investment strategy should be based on a set of criteria dictated by your personal circumstances. Until you fully understand this, you will be speculating at best, not investing. Before a suitable strategy can be selected, consideration has to be given to the following:

▶ Current financial situation.

▶ Short, mid and long term goals.

▶ Knowledge base and skill set.

▶ Entity structuring/tax considerations.

▶ Time frame available, in regard to years to retirement and your current capacity outside of your other commitments.

Once these areas are clearly identified, it becomes a process of reviewing the available and suitable investing strategies to create a road map for your investment journey that is workable and achievable. Next month we will discuss the second step on your property investment journey. We will be learning not to follow the crowd and instead asking ourselves:

“What is the highest and best use of our capital, based on our goals and with consideration to the current market conditions?”

Sue is the Head of Education and Director of Postive Real Estate (NZ) Ltd and also one of NZ's leading experts with a diverse knowledge of all aspects of Property Investing. Sue spent the last 15 + years immersed in the Property Market. Sue speaks at and runs many Property events and has mentored many of New Zealand’s leading Investors.


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