Pitfalls for aspiring female property investors include not doing enough research from credible sources, being swayed by media headlines and getting distracted by ‘property porn’.
Nicola McDougall and Kate Hill, the co-authors of The Female Investor, have experienced their fair share of property investing mistakes over their journeys.
But this hasn’t stopped Kate from becoming a qualified property investment adviser and buyer’s agent, or Nicola from becoming a successful property investor, business owner and Chairperson of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia.
The duo joined KnowHow founder Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast to discuss the factors which can lead to the wrong, emotionally-driven investment decisions.
Seeking guidance from the wrong people
In a digital age where influencers thrive, any investor, including female property investors, need to be more aware than ever of where they source their information from.
“Anyone can pretend that they know what they’re talking about when a lot of them don’t. That is unfortunately the domain of people that are famous on Instagram and people who supposedly are ‘property influencers’. They might have flashy bits and pieces, but they don’t have the education, the experience, or they might not even be investing in property, or the strategy they are spruiking to people might not be their own personal (experience),” Nicola said.
“I always advocate for working with qualified property investment advisors, such as Kate, because these people are the ones who not only have the requisite licences in the locations that they operate in, but they’ve actually gone out there and completed additional training, on top of what is required under the law, to ensure that they are educated and can provide tailored and bespoke advice to their clients. So if you’re paying for professional advice, make sure that person helping you is actually qualified to give you that advice.”
Making decisions based on media headlines
Click-bait headlines and misleading news articles should also be avoided.
“Don’t always believe what you read in the media. Read quality and well-researched articles, and don’t just read a regurgitated press release. Don’t see that as quality advice and well-researched information. It’s not, it’s someone’s agenda,” Kate said.
“There’s so much misinformation out there and people just believe it because it’s in a well-known national publication, but it’s not. And I urge people to be discerning about what they’re reading and be mindful of what the agenda is behind that article. And I know that’s really hard to do, but you have to be like that. Otherwise you’re never going to do anything because you’re going to keep reading all these horror stories, and you just won’t get started.”
Getting distracted by ‘property porn’
Nicole and Kate said that while the glamorous photos on property listings may seem tempting, but aspiring female property investors must research beyond the visuals online.
“It’s about looking past how pretty it looks online, because at the end of the day, it’s about location, it’s about the future potential, things of this nature. And yes, of course you want to buy a sound property, but that’s not as important as its location. So when we talk about property porn, it’s about not being caught up in the emotion of how pretty things look,” Nicola said.
“There’s a property I saw that’s been going for months, and while it’s in a good location, from a birds eye view I saw you can see the property should really be knocked down. But when you see that listing online, wow it looks like a million bucks. But it’s not. It really isn’t. However, it’ll probably sell well because of the location and development potential and things like that.
“So you really need to look past the bells and whistles because that listing is designed to get you hooked in and to get you along to the open home. And then you go to some of these open homes after looking at the listing online and it’s terrible. So not everything is what it seems.”
Being influenced by personal tastes
Kate urged property investors to avoid bias and select properties based on your investment strategy and data.
“When you’re scrolling through the mentioned ‘property porn’, don’t be swayed by personal tastes. It really comes back down to what you’re buying, because remember you’re not buying for you. So you might scroll through a property listing and see the pink kitchen and recoil in horror because you hate pink, and you think I can’t possibly buy that property. But what you’re missing there is that the local people in that location love the pink kitchen for whatever reason,” she explained.
“So the pink kitchen is really just a metaphor to not be put off by something in that property that you personally don’t like, or wouldn’t want. You need to have done enough research to recognise that the pink kitchen is exactly what those local people are looking for. So you need to be unemotional and know who you’re buying for and why.”