What to look for in a property investment advisor

If you’re considering making one of the largest financial commitments in your lifetime, investing into real estate and buying an investment property, it pays to have an expert on hand to assist in the form of a property investment advisor.

Especially if you are considering the services of a buyer’s agent. This should not be done by financial advisers, for the simple reason that very few of them are well versed in property investment or in the real estate industry. Even fewer spend their own money in property investment and truly understand the market.

The reason is very simple, it’s because that is not a financial advisor’s focus, it is in many ways even competing with the idea of recurring payments for services, that the financial advice industry is build upon. Hence they are not the best in the game of the property investment game, they simply usually do not have the detailed knowledge of property prices.

An experienced property investment advisor or buyer’s agent will guide you through the property investment process, devising strategies that are tailored to your specific circumstances and aims. But what sort of real estate credentials should they have? Why would you only employ the service of a qualified property investment advisor?

Very simply put, it’s all about having the right financial goal, ultimately it’s about wealth creation.

So, let’s take a couple of minutes examining exactly what is important in property investment and what to look for in a property investment advisor or buyer’s agent who provides property investment advice?

Someone who listens

Providing real estate advice is as much about listening as it is about offering insight. Any property investment advisor worth their salt will first want to learn about you, and what you’re hoping to achieve.

They will be looking to understand your current position, in addition to the financial goals you have for the future.

Listening allows them to create a strategy for property investment that works for you, and seek out the right property or properties to meet your needs.

After all, property investing is not a case where one-size fits all. This is especially true in real estate.

Proven results

As you seek out the right buyer’s agent to work with, you should be looking at their track record of proven results. Ask them about specific examples of the success they have facilitated in their own property investment, look for reviews and testimonials about their service.

A truly professional property investment advisor should offer these to you in the form of case studies , allowing you to gain an insight into how do their real estate work and what they have achieved.

Impartial insight

Your property investment advisor should be working for you – not a bank, not a mortgage broker and not a developer. Only when they are truly impartial will they offer advice that’s tailored to you. Hence they should be paid completely separate to the deal and definitely by yourselves! This would have to be the biggest difference to the property marketer

That makes it very important to determine whether the property investment advisor you are considering receives any financial incentives from within the property industry.

Personally, we believe this is a key question every potential investor should ask of their advisor – do you receive any commissions or do you have any financial stake in the people/properties you recommend? Or worse, do they receive back door commissions out of the sale or even out of any rental guarantee? All of these issues ultimately determine the property value.

It goes without saying that a trusted advisor should be appropriately qualified. Minimum they should be a licensed real estate agent, better if they are the principle, that is responsible not only for the transaction, but has the responsibility for the entire business. Only very few property investment advisor are even holding the appropriate qualification as a financial planner.

An individual strategy

Does your property adviser have just one real estate property investment strategy that they use with all their customers, or is each piece of advice tailored to the individuals they work with? When it comes to investing in property, the answer should be the latter.

Every investor is different, each has individual aims. Some want to just have one investment property, others want to build up an entire property portfolio to build wealth, others may want to use their resources in a self managed super fund as the driver, others again are just after the rental return.

That’s why it’s critical to find an advisor who seeks to understand you as an individual and will then work with you to create a suitable property investment plan, especially if their services extent to be your buyer’s agent they need to understand the entire property market.

They need to understand your loan structure too, they need to be interested in what is your lifestyle, what is your disposable income, what is your risk profile, what does your wealth look like currently, and so on. In short, they need to be interested in you and your personal circumstance.

The Correct Strategy:

Strategy is not only about really understanding the market, it is not only about rental income or capital growth. It goes far beyond that! Some people want to take their investment portfolio as far as achieving financial freedom.

A property investment advisor you can work with

Last but not least, a property investment advisor should be someone you feel you can work with. This is a relationship built on trust where you are seeking out their expertise. Nothing is more true, especially in real estate.

You should feel valued by your advisor and understood. Their advice about property investment should be clear and succinct yet offer an insight into the why behind the strategies they suggest.

These strategies should be explained in terms you understand, and your advisor should be willing and available to answer the questions you have about property investment.

Find the right person and this will likely be a relationship that endures, allowing you to increase your knowledge and grow your wealth through property over time.

You can learn more about our approach to property advising here , or alternatively, feel free to get in touch and have an obligation-free chat about how Property Friends can help you.  

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Uwe Jacobs Property Strategist

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