Interview with Lisa (and lot’s of juicy info about working with a buyers advocate)
This page will answer everything you ever wanted to know about us and working with a buyers advocate. Skim the headings to find the questions & answers that interest you the most, or read the whole page! Its entirely up to you. (I personally am a skimmer, but I know how much my engineers, projects managers and IT client types LOVE lots of detail. So I got you covered AND I threw in a lot of quick dot-points for those like me who just want it straight up! )
How long have you been doing what you do, and how did you get to be a real estate Buyer’s Agent & property educator?
I was 17 years of age and I was working for a small scale property developer. I watched his life and the life of his family change as he transitioned out of the work force and into property developing full time. I loved every single aspect of the work I did with him. From investigating potential deals, attending auctions, ripping out old features of the house to resell before demolition to running around between the draftsman’s office to the council counter lodging forms and plans. I loved it all.
Then there was the lifestyle changes I witnessed
- More time with family
- Working less hours
- More holidays
- Days off once projects were underway
- Long lunches…………..seemingly a life full of freedom.
I was so smitten by the work I was doing and the lifestyle changes I saw were possible, I never wanted to stop……..and I didn’t.
A short while later I moved to Melbourne and took my new found love for property developing and real estate investing with me. I spent every waking hour researching property investment, reading property investing books and attending courses in property investment and began my career as a real estate agent.
At the time agents were not well versed in the art of property investment. So when I was offered a position in the property investment team at a financial planning company I found myself right where I wanted to be.
After moving through the ranks very quickly and rising to be one of the most senior property investment specialists (at age 24), something was not sitting right with me. The more I educated myself and became a property investor, the more I realised that the advice given to clients was not independent or tailored to the client’s needs. I felt dis-enchanted and knowing what I now knew about property investment I could no longer assist clients into properties that I did not consider good investments.
In my heart of hearts I was feeling called to pass forward everything I had learned about property investing and provide independent, un-biased advice to my clients. So from that day forward I dedicated myself to working exclusively for property investors and vowed to deliver my clients with the tailored solutions and independent advice they really needed.
The formal Bio
Lisa is a Licensed Real Estate Agent (Certificate 1V in Property), specialising in Buyer’s Advocacy in Melbourne. She is fully insured, a Corporate Member of the Real estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) & a member of Real Estate Buyers Advocate Association of Australia (REBAA).
Lisa holds additional qualifications as a financial planner (Diploma of Financial Planning) and is a qualified Mortgage Broker, (Certificate 1V in Finance & Mortgage Broking).
Her direct experience as a mortgage broker gives Lisa a competitive edge when considering client’s goals and asset selection, understanding how valuers and banks will view a property for lending purposes and understands the risks that impact property buyers when it comes to obtaining finance. Using her knowledge of bank lending, Lisa is well positioned to assist investors wanting to grow a portfolio of property, select the right properties and target the right combination of factors that will allow investors to grow a portfolio beyond just 1 investment.
With a diploma of Financial Planning in hand, Lisa has the foundation to understand forward planning, accurately determine client risk profile, assist clients in risk management strategies and match the right property to clients goals, financial foundation, abilities and risk profile.
With 13 years experience running a buyers advocacy business in Melbourne, Lisa regularly mentors up-and-coming buyers advocates across Australia and provides regular commentary to both on-line and print media.
Who Are Your Clients?
In my Buyers Agency clients are typically professionally employed people who want the benefits of property investment, but recognise they do not have the time required to buy an outstanding investment property which will perform the way they expect it to or they do not live local to the area they want to invest in.
I also work with busy home buyers and first time home buyers who are busy, feel overwhelmed by the process of buying, feel intimidated by the thought of bidding at auction or just feel better about hiring a professional to take the task off their hands.
Most of the clients I work with are employed as;
- Senior Executives & Managers
- IT Professionals
- Bank Employees
- Risk Analysis, Engineers and Project Managers
- Business owners
My clients are local buyers, interstate buyers, expats and people who live in regional areas wanting to buy property in metro Melbourne.
How Are You Different From Other Buyers Agents?
There are 3 main things that set us apart from other Buyer’s Agents
- We only work with one client brief at any one time.
If you have a brief that is already similar to an existing client search you will have the option of waiting for that client to finish their service or you can elect to hear about any properties the first client has refused. We do have clients pass up exceptional properties from time to time, so you would not be disadvantaged by this. We will never offer a second grade property to any client. Ever.Should the client before you find it difficult to make decisions within time frames we require or decline “A” grade properties you may be moved to the front of the list. There will be transparency around this for both clients involved.
- Our Strategic Property Buying System has been proven to get better results
The Strategic Property Buying system is a proven, structured step by step system that Lisa developed through many years of experience and training from her own property mentors. Following this systematic approach leads to buying property that is a fit for you based on 12 unique aspects about you and your situation, faster and with greater ease than with standard buyer agency methods. Since implementing the Property Buying Systems into the business we have noticed a significant increase in the success rates of our clients. During 2017 our clients success rates sat at 99% which is unheard of in the industry. (We will update this figure at the end of each calendar year)
There’s no smoke and mirrors here, I have a genuine 14 years of experience working exclusively as a buyers advocate which is all my own experience. Why should this matter to you? You have heard the old saying “You get what you pay for” and “You pay peanuts, you get……???” Nothing could be truer when hiring a buyers agent.When you choose an advocate you most likely do so to avoid costly mistakes, gain access to better opportunities and to save you time. It stands to reason that an advocate with greater experience buying property will have completed more purchases than a new-comer with limited experience and can legitimately help you avoid mistakes. It takes many years to become fully experienced as a buyers advocate so an advocate with just a few years’ experience is still learning too. Sure, you will pay a lower up front fee, but be sure you understand the deal you are getting.I will break it down for you…..You get to pay a lower fee and in return newer advocates get to gain the experience they need. Essentially you are paying for them to learn the ropes. And I am not suggesting this is a bad deal, just so long as you are clear that that’s the deal you are taking.
Now, if experience is really valuable to you, and you see the difference between hiring a true professional with significant runs on the board and a proven track record lets continue…….
What Types Of Personalities Do You Work Best With
Over our many years of experience we have identified the traits of people who are a perfect fit for our team and process.
Investors who work perfectly with Parker Buyer’s Advocates;
- Want to invest in property is a safe, steady and strategic fashion
- Want to buy for the long term (buy and hold investors)
- Like low risk deals or deals where risk can be calculated with accuracy
- Have a strong financial foundation (ie equity, savings and an ability to hold the property while it is negatively geared)
- Have a minimum budget of $450,000 to invest
- Are able to work collaboratively and are responsive during the search phase of our work
- Are really serious about getting a result
- Really want to work with an advocate they can respect and trust
We are known to work best with people who want to invest in property safely and strategically. Meaning that the decision making process comes down to;
- Which properties make the most financial sense
- Match clients risk profile and
- Fit within their property investment strategy
Home buyers who work perfectly with Parker Buyer’s Advocates;
- Are really ready to buy their new or first home and would love to have a professional on their side
- Want an expert eye to look over and assess their property to make sure they are buying a real gem
- Have a desire to short-cut the process, saving months of trying to develop a realistic brief on their own
- Are focused and committed to achieving a successful outcome
- Want to ensure they pay the right price for a property and avoid costly mistakes
- Love the idea of accessing off-markets for consideration and avoiding the competition from regular buyers
- Are decisive decision makers
- Value expertise and quality over a cheap solution
We love working with clients who feel comfortable with us and are willing to trust our guidance and expertise.
For Whom Will Your Service Not Work For
There are a few types of people for whom our service does not work well for;
1) Price shoppers – if you are looking for the cheapest buyers advocate, we are not it. We believe in the old adage “You get what you pay for”. When you choose us, you will be getting our very best work along with substantial experience which is worth the investment.
2) Discounts-are-us types – want a discount on the service because it makes you feel great buying a product or service for less than the advertised price. Trust me, asking for a discount won’t work here. I’m a tough negotiator and won’t discount my fees. When it comes to buying your property I’m going to negotiate equally as hard for you and your money to keep as much money in your pocket as possible. In fact, what I’ll save you in negotiating is even more than the fee you’ll pay us.
I stand behind our pricing and when we meet I will demonstrate why we it’s worth paying for a true professional. After I show you our results and how a cheaper advocate lost their clients multiple opportunities and cost others an additional $40K-$80K due to bad buyer advocacy work, you will WANT to pay the right amount to get the right service.
2) Investors looking to flip property – our investing philosophy work best for people who are looking to grow a portfolio of property steadily, one property at a time in a safe and strategic manner. (We do assist investors with more advance strategies like buying for subdivision, renovation and future development, but clients must be looking for a longer term project not a quick flip)
3) ) Investors looking for very high or positive cash flow investment properties. They do not exist in Melbourne, however we know which areas and property types to target to get you the highest yielding, growth asset we can.
What Exactly Is Your Service & What Does It Include
The Buyers Agency service is a full turn key solution laid out in a logical, step by step process.
1) Get Acquainted Call – we meet over the phone to see if we are a fit to work together
2) Engagement – Paper work is signed and deposit for the service paid
3) Strategy or briefing session – a phone or in-person meeting where we deep dive into your home hunting brief or investment goals
4) Location Analysis – We present areas for your consideration, you confirm which suburbs and property types we will be searching for
5) Search Phase – we search and present properties that meet your brief, investigate and inspect and put only the best matches in front of you for your review and consideration
6) Analyse, compare & choose most suitable property – we provide you with the data and information you need to make a fully informed decision
7) Finalise due diligence – when you choose your preferred property we finalise any outstanding due-diligence items before preparing our offer or bid at auction
8) Offer or bid at auction – we work with you to develop a winning negotiation strategy. The trick here is to help you acquire the property without over paying.
9) Post Purchase Activities – we guide you through the action steps you must take between purchase and settlement and arrange depreciation schedules, property management on your behalf
10) Investors – Rent out, review in 6 months and prepare to purchase again
10) Home buyers – send out the House warming invites – you’re about to move into your own home!!
What Results Can I Expect From Working With You
You can expect to:
- Hone in on the EXACT properties that will get you the results you want
- Create a clearly defined property investment strategy that will keep you focussed on the right type of property (or home buyers brief)
- Set appropriate financial limits on properties you are interested in purchasing
- Eliminate non-ideal properties efficiently so you can focus on properties that will work for you
- Have an expert deal with the selling agents so they do not waste your time dragging you through properties that don’t fit your brief
- Avoid chasing under-quoted properties so you can focus on properties which will sell within your budget
- Reach your ideal properties off-market before other buyers have a chance to view them
- Think smarter about property rather than allowing personal preferences or emotions guide you (investors)
- Get your results many months sooner than you would if you DIY
- Become an expert in property investment by “doing” rather than observing or reading
- Create power partnerships with key property professionals who will make your property journey easy
- Create winning negotiation strategies and offers that vendors will want to accept
- Receive specific advice and support during and after your property purchase
- Get financial analysis reports which will help guide your decisions
- Access a system which allows you to strategically compare a number of shortlisted properties to determine which property is the outstanding choice
How Quickly Can I Expect a Positive Result?
A result can happen as quickly as a few weeks or up to few months. It depends on your brief, budget, competition and availability of the types of properties that will work best for you. Typically clients purchase within 2-12 weeks when working with us.
Have You Ever Had Anyone Not Get A Positive Result
Occasionally prospective clients ask “what if you don’t find a property that I am happy with”?
Since introducing our Strategic Buying System our clients have enjoyed a 99% success rate when using our premium service.
What Happens If You Have 2 People With the Exact Same Brief?
We do not take on new clients with a conflicting brief.
If you have a brief that is already similar to an existing client search you will have the option of waiting for that client to finish their service or you can elect to hear about any properties the first client has refused. We do have clients pass up exceptional properties from time to time, so you would not be disadvantaged by this. We will never offer a second grade property to any client. Ever.
How Can I Guarantee My Success when I work with you?
I will guarantee your success. If we decide together to welcome you as a client, I will personally guarantee you a successful result. If we do not reach a successful result, and you have been genuinely willing and committed to buying the right property while working with us, and followed our guidelines on how to work with us, I will refund your engagement fee.
Roughly how much can I expect to pay when using a buyers agent ?
No bait pricing here – here’s the full truth in plain site so you really know what you should be budgeting for an experienced buyers advocate.
As a guide, for a full service you would be looking at an investment of approximately 2% (+ gst) of your property budget with a minimum fee of $12,000 + gst.
We have a range of other services which fall below this price point for those who do not wish to use the full service.
Seen it cheaper elsewhere? Many of our best clients who price shopped found that an “apples to apples” comparison easily showed that our system and experience added far more value than the difference in fee. The savings made in the outcomes we delivered far out-weighed the few thousand dollars difference between advocates. And lets be honest, there are always people who prefer cheap over quality of service and outcomes and there are some budget buyers advocates who cater to price-focussed clients. The feedback we receive from our clients is that they prefer a quality service, experience and track-record and are more focussed on the outcomes and value they receive from our service.
When do I pay the fee?
The total fee is paid in two instalments.
- Engagement – when you engage our services a deposit for the service is payable
- Success fee – once a property has been successfully negotiated and is under contract (remainder of the fee)
What if I am concerned about paying a percentage of the purchase price?
That’s O.K. While it makes little difference to your final fee we do understand your concern and are happy to fix your fee upfront if you prefer.
Will I Recover My Investment In Your Service?
There are a few ways that you will recover your investment in my buyer’s agent service.
1) Time saved
Many of my clients come to me after trying to buy real estate for 12 months. When you work with me, you not only save 12 months of trying to DIY, but because of the resources I have access to and my experience I am able to hone in on the right properties faster and negotiate to win the ideal property for you quickly.
2) Experienced gained
Some of my clients love the idea of hiring me for their first 1-2 purchases before they venture off and DIY. That way they can learn from an expert AND get their desired result saving them from having to invest money into expensive property training and mentors.
3) Savings off ask price
Depending on the property market, your budget and your brief it is possible for you to save a lot of money off the asking price. You can view the case studies to see the varying amounts and circumstances surrounding the discounts clients have enjoyed.
4) Tax Deductions
If you are buying an investment property my fee may be tax deductible. Please speak with your accountant about this and be sure to keep your invoice and receipt with your purchase details so you remember to claim the fee as a tax deduction.
5) Make Money on Purchase
As the old saying goes “you make money when you purchase”, and that can certainly be the case for my clients when they work with me. My experience and expertise gives you the upper hand when it comes to securing a property before it hits the market and without competition which means you pay less for the property than you would if you were a weekend buyer competing against multiple offers. Buying below market value gives you instant equity and places you ahead of the game.
Can You Locate Cash Flow Positive Properties?
Melbourne is not known for having really high rental yields, so typically the answer is No. However, if you have a large cash deposit and interest rates are low, this may result in your property being cash flow positive.
We are very well versed in the Melbourne market and know which suburbs and property types to target for higher yields. If you require a neutrally geared or minimal-outlay property so you can live comfortably and be able to keep growing your portfolio then we can assist you to get the best results available in the Metro Melbourne property market.
Do You Have Access to Off-Market Properties?
Yes. Every. Single Day.
What Price Range Do You Typically Work With?
We work with clients with budgets of $450,000 up to $5,000,000.
Which areas do you cover?
North. South. East. West – we have got you covered. We are active in and have purchased in most suburbs across Melbourne.
But where do you buy most? I hear you ask! (you can’t help it can you…you just REALLY want us all to choose a suburb or section and stick to it :-). Sorry, no can do………
Our clients needs and budgets are so diverse we can’t pigeon hole everyone into one little corner of Melbourne and wash and repeat the exact formula for everyone.
Right now for example 8/10 purchases for investors are in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne. 6 months ago we were doing a 50/50 split in the South East & the Western Suburbs. 12 months ago we were all about the North and outer-east. right now we are in the inner ring suburbs.
Our higher budget clients usually have us focused on inner ring 5- 10km from the CBD. Our lower budgets tend to be villa units in the inner ring, or a house on land in the south, west, North west or north of Melbourne.
Is that possible? Don’t you have to specialise in just one location?
There is a common misconception out there that a buyers advocate should specialise in one area/region. However the reality is that it’s too hard for us to do our job effectively for you if we only know about one region.
You are relying on us to assist you to choose an area to live in or invest in. We can do that effectively and without bias because we are not tied/married to the one location. If you’re an investor looking for growth you need our skill to analyse and know ALL of Melbourne, not just one little piece of the pie.
I know if I was a buyer (especially an investor) I would like to know what ALL my options were before I fully committed to just one area.
Besides, what if you really liked us but we didn’t cover the areas you were most interested in?! *GASP!
But how can you cover all of Melbourne successfully?
With experience that spans over a decade, contacts (who LOVE working with us) a mile long, an understanding of property fundamentals, its a cinch!
With our long-standing expertise in the industry there are not many suburbs (worth knowing) in Melbourne that we do not know like the back of our hand. We make it our business to understand the unique characteristics of each and every suburb, the no-go zones and cut through roads, the premium pockets, the housing style, the quirks you need to be aware of, it really is as easy as finding a good coffee in Melbourne. (and we all know that Melbourne is huge on good coffee).
With an extensive contact lists of agents across Melbourne who know, like (some even Love) and trust us, we are never short on agents who LOVE to help us get our clients results. All it takes is a phone call and an email and we are cooking with gas and after a day on the phones our clients have had 10-15 properties analysed for them.
“Lisa, you are the only advocate I work with” Agent, Deer Park
“Lisa, you are so personable and a pleasure to work with, if you ever need ANYTHING, no matter what, please call me. I would love to help you out with anything I can” – Selling Agent, Kew
“Parker Buyer Advocates are a dream to work with, they are the best thing ever for your clients” – Selling Agent, St Albans
“I only work with you and one other advocate. Some can be so arrogant and rude” – Selling Agent, Frankston
A small caveat – there are a few areas we not cover: Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Gippsland regions.
We do accept holiday house assignments and can assist you on the Mornington Peninsula, Dandenongs Region & Daylesford.
Are You a Member Of Any Industry Associations and Are You Appropriately Insured and Licensed?
Yes. We hold the relevant license to work professionally as a Buyers Advocate in Melbourne, are Corporate Members of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), members of Real Estate Buyers Advocates Association of Australia, and hold professional indemnity insurance.
Are you 100% independent?
Yes, 100% of our work is in the interest of you! No conflicts.
- DO NOT receive any referral commissions from an third party
- DO NOT offer vendor advocacy
- DO NOT sell real estate, and
- DO NOT have affiliations with any builders or developers
We are 100% independent buyers advocates in the truest sense of the word.
Based on everything I’ve read and heard about you, I know you’re the firm I would like to work with. What’s my next step?
Yay! We are thrilled to have the opportunity to help you purchase your dream home or investment property.
To get started with buying your ideal property and to find out more about the service offering please book a time to discuss the options further. Click here to book a time