9 rules for successful property investing

There’s little doubt that our property markets have slowed down from their heady heightsThere’s little doubt that our property markets have slowed down

And there are so many mixed messages out there about what’s ahead.

But what is certain in these times of uncertainty is that some property investors will grow their wealth by taking advantage of the opportunity the market is presenting them.

While many Australians will sit on the sidelines waiting for someone to ring the bell heralding the property market has bottomed, savvy investors will be out looking for and buying investment opportunities created by the current buyers’ market.

So let’s look at 9 time tested rules these successful investors use to make their fortunes.

1. They invest, not speculate

Even though they think they are investing, many property investors are actually speculating.   


They buy a property emotionally, often near where they live, where they holiday or where they want to retire.

Then they hope that the market will appreciate.

This makes them dependent on outside market conditions to produce a profit.

Smart investors do it differently.

They make educated investment decisions based on research, buy a property below it’s intrinsic value, in an area that has above average long term capital growth and then add value through renovations thereby “manufacturing” extra capital growth.

2. It’s about the property

Wise investors never forget the age-old fundamental of buying the best property they can afford in proven locations and don’t allow themselves to get sidetracked by glamorous finance or tax strategies.

3. Property is a high growth low yield investment

While the argument about capital growth or cash flow will rage forever, savvy investors know that the fastest way to build a substantial property portfolio is through capital growth.

4. Land appreciates

While it’s true that land appreciates in value, it’s not really as simple as that.

Not all land is made equal and not all land appreciates at the same rate.Land appreciates

There’s lots of land (ample supply) in the outer suburbs of our cities but much of the demand there comes from a small segment of the market – first home buyers (restricted demand).

This keeps a lid on capital growth and makes these areas poor investment prospects.

Even worse…the land component, the bit that appreciates, usually only makes up around half of the total value of the property.

However in the inner suburbs the proportion of the land value to the total property price is usually considerably higher.

Remember it’s the scarcity of land that causes property values in these locations to keep rising and currently there is strong demand from a wide range of owner occupiers for properties in our inner suburbs.

This trend is likely to continue as more of us choose to live close to our workplaces in locations that offer better access to infrastructure like public transport, shopping and entertainment facilities.

As demand looks set to outstrip supply in the inner and middle ring suburbs for many years to come, these areas are where successful investors will buy for long term capital growth.

5. They buy properties that will be in continuous strong demand

Of course not every property in a given suburb will make a good investment or have similar capital growth.

Savvy investors understand that investment grade properties are the type that will appeal to a wide range of owner-occupiers, since they make up the vast majority of buyers.

That’s why they avoid studios, student accommodation, holiday accommodation and serviced apartments.

After all it’s owner-occupiers, not tenant or investor demand, that push up property values in the long term.

6. Demographics hold the key Demographics hold the key

Long-term demographic trends – where and how people want to live – will determine the type of property that will be in demand in the future.

As our cities mature there will be more one and two people households, meaning that secure medium density apartments and townhouses will become the preferred style of living for more Australians as we swap our back yards for balconies.

7. They have a great team

If you are the smartest person in your team you’re in trouble.

Successful investors surround themselves with a team of top consultants and know how to discern an advisor – who is independent – from a salesperson.

8. They understand where the risk really lies

Most investors believe there is a direct relationship between risk and reward – the higher the reward the more the risk must be.

But that’s not really true. Understand where the risk really lies

While most investors think the risk lies in the property or the markets or factors outside their control, the biggest investment risk actually lies with the investor – their knowledge, their experience and their mindset.

The best defense is a good offence.

Wise investors educate themselves and develop a level of financial fluency to make their investment journey as safe as houses.

Interestingly most successful investors don’t diversify.

They specialize by becoming good at one thing, or an expert in one area or niche, thereby getting great results.

9. They understand the property market moves in cycles

During a boom everyone is an optimist and expects the good times to last forever, just as we lose our confidence during a downturn.

Truth is…our property market behaves cyclically and each boom sets us up for the next downturn, just as each downturn paved the way for the next boom.

Just as it is doing right now.

Hmm…something to think about.

So what should you do?Independent advice

If you’re looking for independent advice, no one can help you quite like the independent property investment strategists at Metropole.

Remember the multi award winning team of property investment strategists at Metropole have no properties to sell, so their advice is unbiased. 

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned property investor, we would love to help you formulate an investment strategy or do a review of your existing portfolio, and help you take your property investment to the next level.

Please click here to organise a time for a chat. Or call us on 1300 20 30 30.

When you attend our offices in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane you will receive a free copy of my latest 2 x DVD program Building Wealth through Property Investment in the new Economy valued at $49.



Hear Michael & a select panel of guest experts discuss property investment, success & money related topics. Subscribe now, whether you're on an Apple or Android handset.



Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers and get into the head of Australia's best property investment advisor and a wide team of leading property researchers and commentators.

Want more of this type of information?

Avatar for Property Update


Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

'9 rules for successful property investing' have 4 comments

  1. Avatar for Property Update

    March 16, 2012 @ 12:40 pm Donna T

    Thanks for the summary.
    It sets things out well. It’s importnant to remember that in these times when so many are concerned, those who see the big picture and don’t get lost in the detail are still doing well


  2. Avatar for Property Update

    March 16, 2012 @ 1:04 pm christine hayes

    g’day michael yardney. i enjoy reading your newsletters but!!!!
    at 63 years, i am in the process of consolidating my properties to generate a regular income, to down size my home, perhaps buy something in europe to see more of my daughters in the future, to sit and wait on a piece of land with rezoning potential and perhaps to build a house and use same as an investment rental.
    i have done the unforgivable! i have ca. $10m invested in torquay properties and no income to speak of at present. after nearly 4 years, i am subdividing 3 x 1 acre blocks now and am waiting for permits to build two warehouses on torquay’s industrial site. when done, i will have my income.
    i am simply trying to secure my future. can you advise what service you have to offer me in this regard? my thanks and cheers, christine hayes


  3. Avatar for Property Update

    March 21, 2012 @ 8:35 am Ricardo Bueno

    Nice tips. Dig that you included them as text below the video too :-)


  4. Avatar for Property Update

    March 22, 2012 @ 9:26 pm fiona

    some good stuff I just came across we’re also in same business domain and would happily like to share your tips with other fellows to read. Cheers!


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.



Michael's Daily Insights

Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers.

NOTE: this daily service is a different subscription to our weekly newsletter so...