Here is the transcript of that interview:
Kevin: I received an e-mail during the week. It says,
“There seems to be a lot of titles thrown around when it comes to the real estate game: property agents, buyers’ agents, property analysts and property strategists, to name just a few. My question is what are the primary differences between these titles and do they fall under regulations and require licenses and insurances to assist in the protection of the consumer?”
It’s a great question.
I think there are a lot of experts around and you’ve got to be very careful whose advice you take. It reminds me of a blog I read recently written by John Lindeman from UnderstandProperty.com.au who joins me.
John: Hello, Kevin. How are you?
Kevin: Good. It can be very, very confusing, and I think you’ve got to be careful who you take advice from, don’t you?
John: Indeed you do, because the property market is largely unregulated when it comes to people giving information or advice.
I think the very first step you should take when you’re offered information about the market from anyone who says they’re an expert or analyst is to check their bonafide.
You can do that easily by just Googling their name and checking their credentials on the Internet.
Kevin: A lot of what they pick up and talk about generally could be put in terms of just being simply gossip or something they picked up and taking their own slant to it, John.
John: Yeah. And a lot of times you’ll hear things like people saying “selling like crazy” or “the market is hot” or claims that people bought in an area and doubled their money.
I hear this all the time.
The problem is that it may well be true, but it bears absolutely no relationship to the future performance of the area for investors.
Kevin: Is it really buyer beware?
John: In this case, it is. I think in order to be aware, you’ve really got to know who you’re talking to or who you’re getting information from. Be sure of their credentials.
Kevin: Tell me how you would go about checking? What advice would you give to someone who’s looking for the best type of information about where to invest?
John: I’d look for experts who have had books published on the housing market. Have a look to see what the reviews say about them.
If they’ve written articles about the market, what they are.
You can Google this quite easily.
What media statements they have made about the market in the past and how accurate they’ve been . . . or not if the case may be.
Also, because it’s such an unregulated industry, you’ve got people there who are wolves in sheep’s clothing and they might pretend to be on your side . . . but in reality they’re getting kickbacks or commissions or finder fees, some sort of financial incentive to push you down a certain property path direction.
Kevin: It’s interesting to note, John, hearing you talk there about these so-called experts who make claims and statements.
If you go back and check just how accurate, you might be horrified.
There was one in particular whose name I won’t mention who had been trumpeting mining towns for quite some time, and has recently come out and said that those who invested in mining towns can probably understandably be quite concerned about their investment.
Yet, it didn’t stop him some time ago from recommending to people, “Look at these great returns.”
John: That’s right. The thing about the Internet and Googling is that you can quite easily check how accurate people have been if you go back and see what they’ve said a few years ago about the market, just to make sure that they do actually know what they’re talking about.
Kevin: So how do you go about doing your research, John?
John: My research is based on, of course, we have our own database.
We analyze the sales listings and rental information for every suburb in Australia.
We do this on a regular basis, and it enables us to provide fairly accurate predictive information.
But we also say to people do your own on-the-ground research and go and have a look yourself.
We spend a lot of time traveling in Australia researching housing markets and look to see what the dynamics are and why people are moving in our out. The more information you can get about a market, the better the decision you’ll make about it.
Kevin: Very good advice. If you want to contact John or read more about what John has to say, the website is UnderstandProperty.com.au.
My guest has been John Lindeman. John, thank you for your time.
John: It’s been a pleasure. Thanks, Kevin!