A BIG DEAL
John Manciameli, CEO at Slipstream, on what happened when he started asking his clients the right questions to help them create the lifestyle they never thought possible.
My clients were young teachers in their late 20s who were renting an apartment overlooking the Port Hacking River in South Sydney for only $180 a week.
Their initial goal was to get onto the property ladder in Sydney as first home owners, but after looking for months they were disillusioned because they couldn’t afford to buy in the location they loved, and the only place they could afford was on the edges of Sydney, far away from family and friends and with a big commute to work.
After carefully assessing their financial situation, I introduced to the concept on ‘reinvesting’; this meant they could continue living where they loved, while investing in another area they could afford.
My clients were relieved to learn they had options they hadn’t considered before. I referred my clients to an investment property research house, which presented to them compelling data to invest in Harris Park (near Parramatta). This Property would only cost them $20 per week to hold.
Two years later, Harris Park was ranked as one on the fastest-appreciating suburbs in Sydney. Over that time, I kept reassessing their personal situation. As their desire to start a family become more pressing, they mentioned their aspirations of buying an owner-occupied residence sooner than anticipated in their five-year plan.
Through a series of consultations with the investment property research house and myself, my clients were impressed by how much capital growth had been achieved, and they decided to place their Harris Park property into the market. They made $250,000 in profit from the sale.
This financial gain helped them to realise their dream of buying their first home. They put a big deposit on a brand-new four-bedroom owner-occupied home for circa $700,000 in Shellharbour, South of Wollongong, an area that hadn’t seen capital growth yet. It also allowed them to buy another investment unit in Brisbane.
My clients could have gone down the path that most of their friends had travelled: mortgaging themselves to the hilt and struggling to make ends meet, especially when they would be forced to live in one income once they had children.
Despite the fact that my clients had met with three other brokers, I was the first finance professional to ask them about their property and lifestyle aspirations, rather than just focusing on how much they could borrow, repayments, etc. For me the moral of this story is that as brokers we need to dig deeper to understand the reason why our clients have come to see us – whether it’s to pay off their home quicker, build wealth, or even retire earlier – and then suggest pathways they can consider.
Slipstream has such a good due-diligence process that when I refer clients to one of the trusted investment property research houses and buyers’ agents that have been vetted, I know that many of the risks associated with investing have been mitigated.
I believe in ensuring that my clients benefit from holistic advice, so just as I refer my clients to an accountant, financial planner or solicitor, it feels quite comfortable to refer them to trusted research houses and buyers’ agents as well.
My clients are now only 31 years old, and not in their wildest dreams did they think they would be in the position they are in today. The feel-good factor from playing a part in helping them achieve their dreams is incredible. Also, from a business perspective instead of just the one-off fee generated from a simple mortgage transaction I was also able to generate income from the loans on all the properties, as well as the referral fee from the investment properties. Even better, I gained clients for life who continue to send me referrals. Everyone wins.