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How To Renovate Property With No Skills

Not every investor is going to be a master tradesperson. Here’s how you can use Accelerate 360 to do the grunt work for you, explains property coaches Ilse Wolfe and Dani Paim.

By: Ilse Wolfe

31 January 2023

Only a quarter of all investors actually like getting their hands dirty, says Ilse Wolfe.

But the lure of increasing cashflow to combat higher interest rates is too big of an opportunity to pass up.

“The solution is to evaluate your current properties and work out a fast, cost-effective way to Cashflow Hack them in one-to-six weeks.”

“But while everyone wants to live out their being-on-The-Block fantasy, in practice it’s difficult, time consuming and costly,” she says.

“In most instances, it’s cheaper and easier to get someone else to manage the hard yards.”

But if you are looking at conducting a renovation of your property with zero tradie skills, here are a few must-haves to get you thinking.


First up, a licensed builder is going to be the anchor of your team, Wolfe says.

So, finding a good one is the first on the list.

“Our builder is usually the project manager. They have the expertise to lead the site and team,” she says.

The other team members will include an electrician, a plumber, as well as a gib stopper and painter.

It’s also really important to engage with a property manager from very early on in your plans.

“They’ll be the one scoping your tenant, and will better guide you towards the best tenant/rental type match for the market ,” Wolfe says.


With that said, it’s so important to get at least two quotes a piece, per tradie, when scoping out a renovation budget, Wolfe says.

“Finding an appropriate quote per scope is paramount, particularly in the current market. But the disparity between different professionals is huge,” she says.

As an example, a recent electrical quote ranged from just $10,000 all the way up to $24,000, between three different electricians.

“That’s a vast range in pricing,” she says. “An untrained eye wouldn’t understand the differences, or technical jargon, let alone have the confidence to critique them.”

“It’s hard. If you don’t know a rewire should be $10,000, for example, how will you know to challenge the $24,000?” she says.

Not only that, but what’s a reasonable price for a job in one region, will be too expensive in another.

“Right now, it’s cheaper to fly a painter from New Plymouth to Whangarei, than pay for a hard-to-come by local painter,” Wolfe says.

“So, my advice is to get a few to ensure all pricing is market appropriate.”

“You’ll also need to set expectations about timelines and scheduling,” she adds.


The overall success of your renovation plan, is still going to hinge on you making the right decision for the property.

“The big stuff still comes down to you to decide what will give your property the biggest value and rental uplift,” Wolfe says.

Wolfe’s Cashflow Hacking steps are her tailormade, six-step approach to turbo-charge any BRRRR project.

“A builder’s role is not to make the property Cashflow Hacking decisions,” Wolfe says.

“Even if you are using the best team money can buy to execute, you’ve still need to decide and brief them, first. Where are you going to be able to add an extra bedroom? How can you most cost effectively renovate the bathroom?

“What is the state of the flooring – these are all factors you must still be in control of,” she adds.

‘If you don’t know a rewire should be $10,000, for example, how will you know to challenge the $24,000?’


Ballpark – for a three-to-four bed, Cashflow Hack – you’re looking at $65,000 Wolfe says.

“This is for a complete cosmetic finish: new kitchen, replace bathroom, flooring and curtains.”

“You’ve also got to consider how to split the budget, and also in relation to the property’s price. Investors are at easy risk of overspending in this market,” she says.

A real example of rent uplift from the above renovation spend can be from $450 to $690 per week, improving the property’s value from $450,000 to $670,000.

Wolfe says, from personal experience, spending this $65,000 through the professionals often works out cheaper than trying to DIY, where lack of knowledge can be costly.

“When I was doing all those things myself I was spending over $100,000,” she says.

“So that reinforces that not only is it important to get several quotes, but it also might be more worth your while to let the professionals do what they’re qualified for,” she says.


For the 75 per cent of investors who want to Cashflow Hack their properties, without looking at a paintbrush, Wolfe has a solution for you.

Opes Accelerate 360 is a new service that landlords can enlist to identify and project manage renovations that generate higher rent cashflow and equity gains.

BRRRR (Buy, Renovate, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) is the full strategy of our coaching business, whereas 360 is the “RRRR”, which means we work with landlords who may be sitting on a rental uplift they aren’t aware of.

“The main benefit of this service is that we can see the potential in properties that other people miss. Not only can we help you find hidden cashflow in an existing property, but we also project manage the whole renovation process based on your budget”

“360 works on property-by-property basis,” she says.

“This is for the landlords who don’t want to get their hands dirty but still want to reap the best cashflow from their rental in 2023,” Wolfe says.

Contact us now for a review of your existing rental.


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