March 8, 2023
International Women’s Day SpotlightBack to all posts
We are shining a light on one of our clients who has achieved exceptional success. Trisha is an outstanding woman who excels in multiple roles as a mother, wife, business owner and investor.
We have had the privilege to interview her recently about her remarkable accomplishment of building a portfolio comprising 14 properties over two years with an estimated market value of $10 million and achieving an impressive average rental return exceeding 10% per annum. Most importantly, she has managed to pay off her owner-occupied property during this period. Her achievements exemplify great inspiration for all women seeking financial empowerment through real estate investment strategies.
Warren Buffett once said, “it is wise for investors to be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful”. Despite the widespread concerns regarding rising interest rates and housing prices, Trisha exhibited a unique perspective by investing in properties and establishing her business amid periods of economic uncertainty, particularly at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Trisha’s exceptional investment acumen is evident through her unwavering determination to acquire knowledge while relying on expert services to achieve her goals for both her and her family.
1. What inspired you to start a business or start investing in property?
The inspiration definitely came from an interest in property. When I was a stay-at-home mum, I got a bit bored and eight years later wanted to do something. Watching my husband and what he does played a big role in where we are today. Seeing the levels of stress he was going through and thought I could help.
2. How did you go about buying your first investment property and did it go to plan?
My first investment property was actually the unit I purchased when I was 22 with my ex-boyfriend. He had a substance addiction and was emotionally abusive. When I broke up with him I swore black and blue I would not sell the unit and I would do whatever it took for me to keep it. This is when I started working 7 days a week and had to pay him out his portion as well as half the first home owner’s grant which stung but when I sold the unit I made a $250K profit.
When I met my husband, we had two kids at the unit and realised it was too small to grow a family so we built a new home and held onto the unit because at the time I was actually thinking with my heart and really not thinking about it as a high yielding and high growth opportunity. I loved that unit, it is a reminder of how tough it was for me to keep it all those years ago.
3. How did you go about getting loans for the properties? Was it an easy process?
In the early days, when I was 22, it was very tough. I was not earning much money and I worked 7 days a week. I could not afford the unit. The bank said I needed to sell or put renters in there and move back to my parents’ house and that is exactly what I did for 12 months. It was not a free ride at my parents’ house either, I still had to pay board there and also cook a few nights a week while making up the difference between rent and mortgage repayments (I love that my parents had me pay board the moment I got a job, it really shaped me and helped me realise the value and importance of budgeting) I then moved back to the property which I couldn't afford and had to get some house mates in so that I could make ends meet.
For a few years I had very little money and my fun on a Saturday night was a box of Cheezels, cheap wine and the Underbelly series on repeat while everyone else my age was partying and going on overseas holidays. I made a lot of sacrifices. I always made sure that all of my bills and mortgage repayments were made on time, and I made do with what I had. As the years moved on, I continued to have interest in property. I am very good at starting conversations and asking a lot of questions and that is how I educated myself. We ended up selling the unit to pay off our owner occupier and it is the biggest regret I have to this day. I wish I kept it but it was all apart of the learning phase and it did open up more opportunities because we paid our home off and then suddenly I started to understand equity and we had a lot of it which we then used to buy some cheap regional properties that were returning 8%.
At this stage, we had engaged a broker that I found off Face Book who had no idea how to work with my dream of purchasing numerous properties. I then engaged another broker who was very good, but I think I out grew his services and I was putting too much pressure on him. I needed someone who would challenge me and understand what I was trying to do, and this was when I found Kheng.
Until I found Kheng, my husband and I were so stressed and not sleeping well as we were struggling to find someone to get the finance we required. We has everything on the line and “mortgaged up to the eyeballs” as my husband put it At one stage we were waiting 7 months for a loan which then delayed construction and we lost our beautiful clients who were going to move in (which would mean a loss of income). It felt like a domino effect and nothing was working in our favour. As well as that, we had finance expiring on another construction loan and that was hugely delayed. Money was coming out faster than ever and I had to come up with a plan…so I asked questions and finally found Kheng!
Now that Kheng has set us up, we are now doing 100 times better and are keeping our eye on the prize.
4. What were you doing before you started on this venture?
When I left school, I got a job in the mailroom at a law firm in the city. I was sexually harassed and bullied and lasted there year. It still makes me sick to my stomach. A few jobs later, I landed the dream job of personal assistant at a freight forwarding company and then I was a stay-at-home mum for 10 years. By the 8th year of stay at home “mumming” I was starting to get a bit itchy and was wanting to get out there and do something and this was when I really got talking to people about property, I was like a sponge taking it all in and if I was confused, I would ask the same question over and over again until it finally made sense.
I never went to university.
5. How did you go about setting your goals? Or did you just know it was a good investment?
I actually set my goals with my husband in mind. He has been working a very high stress job for many years and my goal was to try and help and take the pressure off him. I felt very sorry for him I knew the regional properties I had invested in were good but one night on the couch my mind was ticking and I thought there must be more I could do with these properties and that is when I found disability accommodation. There are so many people in our society who are living in aged care and hospital and although it is a risk, I really wanted to help.
6. What advice would you give someone who is starting out?
If I could give anyone out there reading this article some advice – it would be to network, ask questions and only engage in professionals and experienced people who fully understand the model you are going for. Please understand that sometimes you need to pay for advice but just make sure you are not being taken advantage of. Pay for advice, take advice but you do the hard yards because no one else will work as hard as you to make your dreams a reality. Also understand that even though your nearest and dearest are happy for you, not everyone is and please be very selective in who you wish to share your ideas and success stories with.
7. What is something you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I knew more about equity and how to use it…then I wouldn’t have sold my very first unit.
8. You’ve picked a niche for your properties; how did you go about learning all the acronyms. NDIS, SDA,MTA, SIL etc. and navigating around all the policies?
Lots and lots of reading, picking as many brains as possible and engaging a mentor to help me. We have now become the best of friends and bounce off each other. She has so much more experience than me and I have so much respect for her.
9. Your properties are not just investment properties, you genuinely are helping a community. What is your favourite property and why? (don’t say the name of the property)
I love all of the properties because I can see the major positive impact they have on my tenants and how their lives have changed for the better.
10. What are the next steps for you?
I would like to bed everything down and take a small breather, try and make life as simple as possible then look at purchasing more property once the ones under construction are fully operational.
Listen to the interview here: