Julian Khursigara is director of the buyers agency Search Party Property, which focuses on cities on the east coast of Australia. He dabbled in accounting and tourism before discovering his calling in property, and has never looked back. Along with being a passionate buyers agent, he’s a kind hearted soul who spends his spare time volunteering at Lifeline, donating plasma, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.
In this episode we’ll hear about his journey to property investing
while working for some huge companies in several different industries, how his first investment purchase at 30 years old was a high rise apartment building which came with a lot of ups and downs, and how his 20 years of experience in the industry means his property portfolio will only get bigger!
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[00:30:37] For that first property, eight years, no capital growth, nothing, it just sat there. Then bang, we got some growth and then nothing again, then we got some [more] growth. So I've [actually] still got that property and I've seen it once. I've seen that property once in almost 20 years, it's pretty funny.
This is Property Investory where we talk to successful property investors to find out more about their stories, mindset and strategies.
I’m Tyrone Shum and in this episode, we’re speaking with the director of the buyers agency Search Party Property, Julian Khursigara. Discover how he got into property from a successful career in sales and tourism working in five star hotels. We will also hear about his first investment property that he held onto, where there was no capital growth for eight years.
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With over 20 years’ experience in the property investing industry, Khursigara is involved in many aspects of the business, as a buyers agent and business partner.
[00:00:44] I'm a partner in a buyer's agency, a buyers advocacy business called Search Party Property. We're based in Sydney, but we do buy property mainly in the east coast of Australia. We've been focused on Brisbane for the last few years and we're definitely doing very well at the moment. Obviously, Sydney is where myself and my business partner, Luke Maroney live. We've also done quite a lot in Victoria. Probably not so much at the moment, but we definitely see that bouncing back.
[00:01:11] He's such a great guy and I've heard so many great stories behind what he's achieved for his clients as well. So it [must be] great to be part of that business.
[00:01:27] He's a good guy and funnily enough, we've known each other for a very long time. Going back to another life when I finished school and uni, [where] I studied tourism marketing. I worked in a big travel company at the time and Luke came in there. I think I must have been in my early 20s and had just become a manager or supervisor for the team.
[00:01:46] Luke came in as this bright eyed bushy tailed 18 year old, he must have just finished his HSC. So we actually met way back then. I guess you have those gaps of time in life where he went overseas to work and I travelled overseas and then [we] just kept bouncing into each other over time. I actually got him a job at another company I worked for 10 years later.
[00:02:07] Then we bumped into each other again, he was starting a new company called First Time Property Investment where he mentored investors. That was his first sort of foray into business. So I think he reached out then, we had a couple of chats and had lunch over sushi one day and realised that we had a lot more in common than just our paths. Obviously we just loved talking about property and our journeys.
[00:02:32] Then we used to meet up every second week and give blood or plasma, in fact, at the Red Cross. That was our time to spend an hour or two every fortnight on a Tuesday morning. So that's kind of how we developed our friendship again and here we are now as business partners.
[00:02:49] So when you first met Luke in the beginning at that first company you were working at, was he sort of under your wing?
[00:03:03] He was in the general entry level of the company. I don't think he reported to me, I was looking after a different unit in the business, but definitely part of the greater unit. There were probably 100 people in that business area that I was in and Luke was definitely part of that. But it was a very social business, we were all young, in our early 20s.
[00:03:21] So obviously [our] Friday nights [were] pretty hectic together and Luke was just breaking out of school and getting out into the big bad world and seeing how things happened in the big city. We really enjoyed that time of socialising and drinking and all that kind of stuff. So it was definitely a fun time and a lot of those friendships are still strong. I'm really grateful for those friendships that have stood [the test of time].
Managing Work and Family Life
Used to the duties required in a managerial or leadership role, Khursigara does not only use this mentality in a professional capacity, but also when it is needed at home while raising his daughters.
[00:04:01] A typical day starts pretty early, I normally get up at around 5:30 most mornings and do a bit of exercise. I either go to the gym or use the home gym where I do some treadmill work. I've got two teenage girls and it's hard to get them out of bed and get ready for school, so I need to get them ready and get them out of the house by about 7:30. So they get a bit spoilt, I get their breakfast made and make their lunch, then get them to the bus stop.
[00:04:25] My wife and I alternate those duties, depending on who's going to the office or not. I normally get into work and start my business day and think about work around 7:30–8:00. I could be setting myself up for success for the day, thinking about the things to do, I could be getting on calls straight away to do fun things like we're doing today together, or it could be doing discovery calls or strategy calls with clients. So I really get into that quite early and that's the day pretty much.
[00:04:58] I spend some time looking after our team, we've got some team members in Sydney, actually overseas as well in the Philippines and a couple in Brisbane as well. So there's a bit of team interaction and what we call a ‘work in progress meeting’ just to touch base and see what everyone's up to. I talk to Luke most days where we kind of demarcate what we're doing. It's a pretty hectic day, [it] doesn’t normally end until quite late at night. It is a cliche, but as they say when you love what you're doing, time doesn't really matter.
[00:05:33] Sometimes I get to the end of the day and go, 'Wow, I feel like I've done a lot but I can't believe how quick it's gone'. It's just like, snap and then the day’s gone. I wish I had more time because there are just so many things to do.
[00:05:46] Yeah, particularly because I feel these headphones are on my head permanently. It's part of my look and feel nowadays, it's like a baseball cap. But like you said, you drop the kids at school at 7:30 or drop them at the bus stop and like you said, next thing you look at your watch and it's four o'clock then you've got to go pick them up from the bus stop or the train station again, like, ‘Geez, where did that 8 hours go?’
Moving From India to Australia
Although Khursigara grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, he was born overseas. With hopes of making a better life for their children, Khursigara’s parents made the decision to move.
[00:06:50] I guess like a lot of other migrants in the early ‘70s, I think they had two options, to go to Canada or come to Australia, which is the great land, the promised land as they called it. My mum's sister was already here, so Dad came to Australia and had a look around.
[00:07:14] He got a job straight away working in the oil sector, in an administration role purchasing or what we call procurement today. So he brought his three young kids to Australia and both my Mum and Dad left their families and everything behind. It's the typical migrant story, but they worked really hard, had two jobs, educated themselves further because their degrees weren't recognised in Australia.
[00:07:40] Obviously in today's world anyone coming out of India is highly recognised but back then it wasn't so. It was a very white Australia in the early 70s. I remember being the only coloured kid in school, almost right through to high school really, from memory. I know it's a buzz but it was obviously a very racist upbringing, but at that time, you don't react. You've just got to take it on the chin and it makes you stronger.
[00:08:06] It probably drove me harder in certain things, particularly in sport, which I enjoyed and loved and was quite good at. When those sort of things came up during a game, it motivated me to [channel my anger and aggression] and focus harder on what I was doing. That was [around the time we lived in] St Mary's and then before I went to high school we moved to a little place no one really knows called Kings Langley, which is in the Hills area.
[00:08:36] [That’s] behind where I live actually, [so] not too far.
[00:08:38] Yeah, that's right. Not too far away. So we went to a public school there, but we didn't know anything better. Our parents did as much as they could. They always bought a house then paid it off, bought a house then paid off. They didn't leverage and do all the things that you and I are going to talk about in terms of property and strategies, but I guess that was the nature of things back then, they had high interest rates.
[00:09:06] They were also looking after their families back home, paying their bills and looking after their lifestyles as well, sending money all over the place. I definitely remember charitable donations happening regularly with Mum and Dad as a kid. [They were] always signing and sending off cheques and [I would wonder] why they were giving money away when all I wanted was a new cricket bat or a new pair of football shoes. But I guess it's not until we become adults that we appreciate what that all means now.
Although his parents weren’t particularly wealthy, they were always grateful for what they did have and found it especially important to give to others who had less than themselves. They would instill this compassion in their children from a young age.
[00:09:41] I think I remember a quote from one of my parents from when I was a kid and asking that question of, 'Can I have some money to get a new cricket bat?' or something silly like that. I think they said to me, 'You've always got to give and help people who are less fortunate than yourself'. Even though we weren’t well off, driving fancy cars, in a big house and going on fancy holidays, we just felt fortunate.
[00:10:02] We had a roof over our heads, we always had food and we had good clothes. Enough clothes I should say, for school and things. I didn't have anything like what my kids have today. I can't even remember when I got my first pair of Nike shoes or anything like that, it was always the Dunlop Volleys and Slazenger sneakers and things like that. But it was enough because we were very, very close [and valued that bond much more].
[00:10:26] We were a very social family, so every weekend we were always going out to big parties. Being part of an Indian community [meant that] you were always out there and enjoying the food, the fun and the festivities. So yeah, it was always quite a social upbringing. So it was definitely something I look back on very fondly.
When his family made the big move from India to Australia, it was a difficult transition to say the least. This was not only because his parents were coming to a new country with no jobs and no money, but they also had to bring along their three children under the age of five.
[00:11:21] I think I had just turned three or [was] around three years old. My youngest sister was, I think 18 months old, there's a couple of years difference between us. I also have an older sister as well, who was five, I think she had just had her fifth birthday before we left. Obviously everything they had had to be left overseas, they couldn't bring their money with them back in those days.
[00:11:56] Mum and Dad lived a very affluent life back in India, things were going really well for them. But, you know, they made these sacrifices for the good of their children. Where they were living at the time, or where they ended up because of work in Karachi, I think started to change due to partition and then religious changes in the country as well. So I guess they figured Australia was a better place to [raise] children.
Coming up after the break, we hear about how in the beginning, Khursigara struggled to find out exactly what it was that he wanted to do, all he knew was that he needed to get a job.
[00:15:41] So I went into the city every day in a suit and tried to knock on doors and look for a job. I happened to bump into someone that I had met at a wedding a month or so earlier. She said, 'What are you up to?' I said, 'Not much, just looking for work’
We learn about how Khursigara managed to get accepted into an exclusive management training program at a company he worked for.
[00:18:20] This was quite interesting because I think the four or five people in that program were all the sons of someone important, like their Dad was the head of Qantas or the head of Ansett and had a little bit of influence maybe.
How he managed to gain some growth in his first property purchase, which remained stagnant for the first eight years...
[00:32:28] So over the time that it started to get some capital growth, we took a little bit of money out of it over time too to leverage that and buy other properties. But then as that started to taper out and get that capital growth, it turned positive and now it does very well.
And that’s up next. I’m Tyrone Shum and you’re listening to Property Investory.
Setting an Example
With parents who always strived to offer a better life for their family, Khursigara learnt about the importance of achieving whatever it is that you want in life. Now, after a devastating turn of events, this was made all the more clear.
[00:12:46] Dad worked in more administrative management roles. He worked for Burmah Shell, a big oil company, and then came to work for Castrol and he basically worked two jobs all his life back in those days. So when he was working at Castrol here in Australia, he was a purchasing manager and was sort of heading up the purchasing and buying area. That involved buying big oil tins and things like that for the company.
[00:13:16] Mum did a degree in teaching, but then came to Australia and got into more administrative roles also and worked in public service. So she worked her way up in the local district courts and actually started to study law, but then unfortunately got quite ill in her late 40s with Motor Neuron [Disease] and unfortunately passed away three or four years later. So she didn't get to achieve all her dreams and goals.
Although Khursigara admits that he didn’t get the best results after finishing high school, he was determined and was adamant about getting a job, following in his parents’ hardworking footsteps.
[00:14:05] A lot of kids probably enjoyed or had dreams of playing sports at a higher level, which [most of the time] is never really going to happen, but you like to have those dreams. The [common] thing that comes into the mix are the teenage influences. I didn't really know what I wanted to do and I actually studied accounting for two years because you're Indian, you should become an accountant.
[00:14:34] It's either an engineer or an accountant.
[00:14:36] I probably didn't have the intelligence to become a doctor. So I did accounting for two years and funnily enough, I realised I had a personality so I couldn't really be an accountant. So I left that after two years, but what I did enjoy was the business side of that degree. This made sense because I did economics at school and did very well at that. It's about the only subject I did really well at.
[00:15:04] Once I started studying I realised that I [enjoyed subjects like] marketing, business, commerce [and] economics. I liked talking about companies and how they work and the machinations of building businesses. So then I left and didn't really know what to do. It was actually during that recessionary time in the early ‘90s, the recession we had to have under Paul Keating [when] interest rates were high.
[00:15:31] Yeah, it was like 20% or something crazy.
[00:15:33] That's why my parents couldn't leverage their property, they had to buy the house and pay it off somehow. I remember just going to the city for interviews and thinking, 'Maybe I'll try to keep doing accounting'. Obviously being from an ethnic background, my Dad would say, 'You can't just stay at home, you've got to work Son'. I always had part time jobs but was just looking for full time work.
[00:15:41] So I went into the city every day in a suit and tried to knock on doors and look for a job. I happened to bump into someone that I had met at a wedding a month or so earlier. She said, 'What are you up to?' I said, 'Not much, just looking for work because I'm going to pause my accounting degree at the moment'. So then [through that chance meeting] I joined that travel company that I mentioned earlier, as a courier like the mail boy, running around the city dropping tickets off.
[00:16:26] Back in those days the ticket was actually a paper ticket, not a thing on the internet. It's not an app, so I ran around delivering. This company that I worked for was the largest ticket wholesaler in the country, it was a big company called Concorde. I'm quite a nosy, inquisitive sort of person, which probably made sense later in my career in certain roles that I went into.
[00:16:49] But I just started reading everything that I was dropping off to all the executives in the business. I'd read the journals and the papers, nothing confidential, just the local industry rags. Then [I started to get] interested in it, so I thought, 'Oh, actually, why don't I go and study tourism and that tourism marketing angle', because I enjoyed the company. So that's what I did. I went part time, three nights a week at Ultimo, UTS and did a tourism marketing degree.
Management Training Program as the Highlight of His Career
At one point during the five and a half years that Khursigara spent working at Concorde, he was given an exciting opportunity when being accepted into a prestigious training management program.
[00:18:20] This was quite interesting because I think the four or five people in that program were all the sons of someone important, like their dad was the head of Qantas or the head of Ansett and had a little bit of influence maybe.
[00:18:39] I'm not saying they didn't deserve the roles, their parents just had a little bit of influence. So for me to get that opportunity and be asked to be put in this program was exciting. So that way I was moved around the business to get to know a few of the areas. One of the areas that I went into was I think the second tranche of the program in sales. I always thought salespeople had to be flamboyant and really out there because that's what I saw from a lot of salespeople.
[00:19:05] But I realised that it kind of worked for me, I'm probably not the flamboyant type and I actually get nervous when I go in to meet new companies or going to new businesses. I think I'm inquisitive, as I mentioned I ask a lot of questions and am a pretty good listener, so I think that helps being in sales. If people like and trust you, they like to work with you, which probably resonated then from that age, all the way through my career.
[00:19:31] Wow that's fascinating. I'm very similar to you I have to admit because I'm quite inquisitive, I ask a lot of questions and I try my best to listen as much as possible. As you said, there are two sides of it. There can be people who are outgoing and great for sales, those are really extroverted types of personalities. Then there are the ones who will sit there and just listen, but they actually have a process that they follow.
[00:19:55] I was reading a book recently by a guy called Matthew Pollard [called] The Introvert’s Edge. The people that he did a study on seemed to actually perform exceptionally well in sales. They spent a lot of time just listening and because they're introverts, they don't like to be talking. But, the people who are actually doing the talking tend to go, 'Okay because you're actually listening and understand what we want, we actually want to work with you'.
[00:20:19] So there's all these different ways of looking at how sales can actually work and be beneficial for different types of personalities.
[00:20:32] I think sales theories have changed and developed and the machinations of sales have moved around. So if you're selling pens or encyclopaedias and door to door, then you have to have a very different type of personality to do that, being very highly geared and motivated. So I guess the buzzword that came through particularly over the SAS (software sales as a service), in the last 20 years is they derived a term of consultative selling.
[00:20:58] So that's where you're consulting and you're talking and you're asking questions, such as, 'What are the problems I need to solve for you?' So, like you said, you're well trained and versed to ask those types of questions. Big, huge companies put you through huge amounts of training on how to speak in a certain way and the formula of selling their product. It's generally in the software industry where you get that consultative selling process.
Learning to be a Leader
After completing the management training program Khusigara began to apply those skills gained within the company. However, his career soon started to fast forward and he began weighing up his options.
[00:21:37] I was maybe 24 or so at that stage and felt like I had maybe outgrown this company. I don't think I did a formal interview until I was well into my 30s. But Malaysia Airlines called me, which is an airline that I used to work with a bit in my nat role. The sales manager rang up and said, 'Do you want to have a coffee?'
[00:22:10] That turned out to be a bit of a job opportunity, he wanted an assistant sales manager, so i went in for a couple of interviews there and got that job. The interviews were kind of a formality. I think he picked me, but I still had to go through the HR side of things. That was a really big turning curve, it was a big airline, very formal, shiny offices and flying around Asia all the time. It was fun, I was young and single and obviously had a lot of fun doing that.
[00:22:38] But having that management training and becoming a better leader was some real growth for me there. I came in and everyone in that company, all the other sales reps, were well into their 30s, some into their 50s. This young guy comes in and says, 'I'm now your supervisor', so I reported him to the sales manager. That didn't go down well, but that taught me some skills about being resilient and having to be strong and say, 'Well, this is the way it is'. I had to gain their trust.
[00:23:14] I guess I learnt to gain trust by leading by example, working hard and doing the right things, talking to people individually and getting to know their story and what makes them tick. Everyone's an individual, not everyone works the same way. So I guess, again, that inquisitive mindset and liking people, enjoying people's company helped me understand people and understand what they needed to work well with me and vice versa.
[00:23:42] So it's not that wooden stick type of management style that I was probably coming out the back of in those days. It was more about understanding people and working together as a team. Now that we've got buzzwords like collaborative and all these types of words, like pivoting, which we heard last year. It was just getting to know people and we didn't use buzzwords, it's just really treating people as individuals and getting to understand how they want to work best.
[00:24:11] Everyone's a bit different, one lady was the mother who wanted to work really hard between 9 and 3 and then go pick up her son, she was a single mum. That's okay! She got her work done, she had a great sales record and made sure the reports were up to scratch and up to date. There were other people who worked differently and liked to have the longer hours in the office, to come in a bit later and work a bit later.
[00:24:33] Even that's okay because ultimately, we are judged upon what we deliver.
First Investment Property Dramas
It would be a little while longer before Khursigara would buy his first investment property. After a few changes in his career and with a slight pay rise, he was finally in the right position to take that step.
[00:26:09] Once I went through the travel sector, did Malaysian Airlines, then I went into the hotel business and worked for Shangri La Hotels which is a major five star hotel company out of Hong Kong. Again, a lot of travelling to Asia and then finally, my last hotel job was at Four Seasons Hotel, which is in the city. The hotel business has really developed that professional side of me because I felt a little bit loose in industries where you could get away with it back then.
[00:26:36] There wasn't as much scrutiny around databases and reporting and in technology wasn't quite there yet. Whereas five star hotels, it was really very heavily governed on KPIs and achieving sales calls and targets. But also just being professional, you'd go into work every single day looking a million dollars in your black suit and in your white shirt. We had a lot of competition to outdo each other in the sales team on how we over deliver to our clients.
[00:27:02] So when a client comes in to look at a hotel room, it sounds pretty boring, but they are going to then buy to do a conference. Deloitte, one of my clients, would bring in 6,000 of their travelling employees and executives, so you'd want to put on a bit of a show. It was always fun to outdo each other and make sure the rooms were set up, making sure you had their logo on the laptop and as they walked in all the lights were on with the Opera House staring right at them.
[00:27:31] Making sure you don't get a room that looks out towards the wrong side of George Street. They're really small things but it all adds up, making sure you bump into the general manager. It's by accident but you've planned it. You've told him, 'I'm coming in at this time, can you please walk through the lobby and meet my client'. Again, general managers in hotels have a lot of power and a lot of mystique and it was good to introduce them to my clients.
[00:27:58] Then you go into the restaurant and you make sure the head chef comes out who delivers a beautiful meal with their logo on the pastry dessert out of honey and wax. Everything you did was to win over your client and make sure you give them the best experience. So that was something that really took me a while to warm up to because it wasn't natural for me.
[00:28:22] It's definitely another building block in my makeup as a professional, that really helped me. Then I went into marketing, loyalty marketing specifically with an Australian company, where we ran the bank's loyalty programs, so mostly strategy consultative sales there. But that's when I bought my first property, so I moved from hotels into that loyalty company and got a nice kicker pay rise from that.
[00:28:51] The hotel business is great and glamorous but didn't pay as well. So I moved into the corporate enterprise world and had a pay rise and I thought it was time to invest in property. So I was introduced to a nice, glossy salesman who told me about this beautiful multiplex development in Erskineville, Newtown, which I still have, I was 30 at that stage.
He describes what the property looked like and what was being sold to him.
[00:28:51] It was a one bedroom apartment. So again, classical story, you buy that it's got overhead, it's got a lift, tennis courts and swimming pools. So something I would never sell to a client today, but that's my classical story. I think most people have that classical story where you get sold something. At that stage I was with my girlfriend at the time, who's now my wife.
[00:29427] We ended up buying that together in the end because we put both of our names together to leverage the loan. My wife, my girlfriend at that time had a property as well in Rozelle, so we were able to leverage that as well to assist. Didn't move for eight years and quite often I hear people say to me, 'Oh but Sydney's this or Melbourne's that or Brisbane's this'.
[00:30:10] I would say, 'If you look over a 30 year graph, which we always share with our clients, everything doesn't always move like a beautiful line, right? We'd love to say property moves 5% every year. It does on average potentially, in most good cities, but it's not a beautiful linear graph is it? So it's normally a little bit rough, you get the spikes that we've had in Sydney, with 2017 being the most recent one. Then we tend to plateau out for a while, it doesn't necessarily drop, but tends to plateau.
[00:30:37] For that first property, eight years, no capital growth, nothing, it just sat there. Then bang, we got some growth and then nothing again, then we got some growth. So I've still got that property actually and I've seen it once. I've seen that property once in almost 20 years, it's pretty funny. You don't need to, you've got property managers who look after it for you, they're professionals and we're also busy professionals with children.
[00:31:02] We don't have time to inspect, look after the properties and change dishwashers and things like that. We leave it to the professionals to do. So that was my first foray into property investing, a high rise apartment.
High Interest Rates
Although this first property purchase now has positive cash flow, it definitely wasn’t a walk in the park to begin with. But, it certainly has taught Khusigara a lot and has helped him in many ways with his future property endeavours.
[00:31:35] Back in those days it was the classical negative gearing theories that were being flaunted. It kind of made sense if you're earning good money, which my wife and I were at that time. So negative gearing, the taxman will help you. Then today, the strategy is reversed. I think strategies move based on the market factors and back then the market factor was an interest rate that was much higher than it is today.
[00:32:03] Prices were beginning to move, that sort of high rise apartment really started becoming in vogue and you could see those areas start to grow around that area. I mean, that development is actually a very solid development and multiplex being a great Australian builder. You know, it has stood the test of time. But, especially recently in the last couple of years, so many interesting stories around high rise apartments and building defects as the classical term that we've had recently.
[00:32:28] So over the time that it started to get some capital growth, we took a little bit of money out of it over time, too, to leverage that and buy other properties. But then as that started to taper out and get that capital growth, it turned positive and now it does very well. It has never been untenanted, not for one day. We've been close to the RPA Hospital, we tend to get good professional people.
[00:32:52] It's a one bedroom but it's a good size, it has a balcony and everything like that. It's also got all the amenities, it's right near Newtown station, right at the crossroads at St. Peters and Princess Highway and King Street. So it's a real buzz area for young professionals and I think the majority of times we've had doctors, nurses and school teachers or people like that coming through and renting that property for long periods of time. So in that way it's been a success, but it did take some time to get moving.
[00:33:22] Well that's the thing. Like I remember going back more than a decade ago, Redfern. I could never believe that Redfern was going to be a popular area and in a high demand area. If you and I remember, it was very rundown and it was almost like, not the slums, but a government housing type of area, which it was for a period of time.
[00:33:46] It was. It was a bit scary. I mean, you wouldn't want to enter or go through there. You were advised not to and to stay away. We saw that happen to Glebe as well in a way. Glebe has still got some areas there where the government has put housing commissions, which is great. Where we lived in Rozelle had housing commissions as well, which is wonderful.
[00:34:09] But when you're talking 20 years ago, the elements were a little bit rough and it was a bit difficult. But gentrification kicks in and gentrifies these areas and the properties start to move upwards. We've seen that throughout the inner West areas. You talk about Redfern which did that, but then when you go out on that train line up towards Petersham and it starts moving out and out to Lewisham and now it's gone as far as Marrickville, that's so cool and trendy.
[00:34:36] Now there are more young families throughout Marrickville, whereas, going back to when we were going through, it was more of an ethnic area.
Khursigara shares some of the lessons he’s learnt over the years, and reveals the turning point in his life and career he came across while working in India.
[00:00:23] Fortunately we haven't lost our shirt over anything. But you learn through these. Again, as much as I mentioned about trust, which is something my wife and I are big on, you get to trust people or you get to know them. Unfortunately in our industry there are spruikers. They're out there and they put on a really good tap dance and a lot of people get sucked in.
[00:00:45] I just heard a story yesterday about another guy who bought two properties off someone and what they tend to do is sell their own developments. They also moonlight as a property strategist and obviously the strategy is to sell their own developments, which doesn't always work out for the buyer. I guess the worst story that comes to mind would be when my wife and I were fortunate enough through that marketing company that we worked for, to be selected to go and set up a business in India.
Living the Expat Life
[00:01:13] So sort of going back in time, we went back to India and lived in Bombay, Mumbai for three and a half years, which was a turning point in our life in regards to careers, but also our personal lives. In terms of teaching us a lot about ourselves and again coming back to that word about charity and being grateful for what we have. So that was a great time for us.
With great success, Khursigara shares with us the next stage in their property journey and what happens next...
[00:01:34] We came back and obviously did quite well, the company supported us very well. Our house, our home that I lived in here was rented out for all that time. We were well paid, had accommodation, we had drivers, we had all the things that you get when you're an expat overseas in Asia.
[00:01:56] We came back and had done quite well out of that time away from Australia. So then we thought, 'Okay, well let's get back into the property game'. We liked the property game. But we got burnt like millions of others in 2008, by the beautiful acronym of GFC. Our thinking was, 'Let's put lots of money into the share market and let's leverage that with some margin funding'.
[00:02:26] We put in all this money and said, 'It's okay, we're going to head to India now and make some more money'. We didn't want to get caught up in all of those things that aren't really that important in life. But we did, admittedly, get caught up in that world of reaching a certain level in our careers, where we really started doing well and lost all that money. I remember getting to India and within a couple of weeks, we had a letter from the bank saying, 'We're calling back that margin loan'.
[00:02:52] We said to them, 'But we just paid for it', in response they said, 'Yeah, unfortunately, it crashed'. But that wasn't exclusive to us. It wasn't that that was a bad investment because that wiped out the whole of the financial world, basically. So we didn't really invest over that period, we just consolidated what we did in India, savings, everything else, we sent money back home every month.
The Banks Found Us Attractive
[00:03:14] And then said, 'Okay, let's get back into property'. We got caught up with a company and he gave us the classical dream about retiring and becoming rich and all these types of things. We were busy professionals so we didn't really have time to go around looking at houses and trying to select them. We were consultants, so we're very used to paying a consultant for their expertise.
[00:03:40] Companies paid the businesses we worked in a lot of money for our expertise in loyalty and marketing and things like that. So it made sense to use a buyer's agent to find properties for us. It was still something that wasn't used by everyone, but it made total sense for us. So we went deep, we went fast, we bought four or five properties in one year.
In this short space of time purchasing five properties with a buyers agent, Khursigara discovered a big lesson that he is reminded of every day.
[00:04:03] We were very attractive to the banks, we were high income earners, had very big equity in our home because we were able to build a lot of equity and there was a bit of growth over that period while we were away. After the GFC prices went up a little bit in property. So we had all the boxes ticked for the banks and went fast and went hard and bought properties. A lot of them were house and land packages.
[00:04:26] A couple were regional, but most of them were in Brisbane. Time heals all wounds, they're okay. But back then I didn't realise that whole area was highly commission geared and how that all works. Now I understand because I'm in it so we keep right away from it, but it was a learning experience. So the lesson there would be that we wouldn't trust someone so implicitly without doing some research ourselves.
[00:04:56] Maybe take a deep breath. So a lot of times for our clients we say, 'Hey, let's just take our time, one at a time'. We have three pillars, which is low risk, positive cash flow and potential for growth. To us low risk is important. So when someone came to us the other day and said, 'Let's go, let's buy two', we said, 'No, no we're going to buy one at a time'. We get that first one right.
[00:05:16] They say, 'But I've got the equity, I've got the money'. I said, 'That's okay, there's no rush'. Especially during the COVID period last year, one client said to me that their job was a little bit shaky. I said, 'Okay, we're not buying', to which they said, 'What do you mean, I've got the approval'. I said, 'Nope, we're gonna wait'.
[00:05:30] I think people get shocked that we do that. But that's just the way Luke and I like to work. We really do want to do the best for our clients and do the best for them individually. Yes, we could easily have taken that money, bought some property and made some cash, but we know long term it's going to be in our benefit. We're seeing that now the business is doing really well.
He reveals the moment it all clicked into place for him and what made him realise property was his future.
[00:08:14] Quite often I'll say, 'It's not only a game of property', we find that we have a lot of couples come to us wanting a unicorn. If they existed, we'd all have one, right? So we have to try to take their dream seriously, but also dampen a little bit of their enthusiasm and make sure they know that unicorns don't exist. We let them know that we will definitely find them a very good property deal and we'll show them that through our data lead research.
[00:08:40] But that's something we have to focus on rather than the unicorn. So leveraging the bank is a game of finance, not really a game of property. So the banks at the moment are giving us good leverage to borrow. Yes they're still a bit tight, back in the day when I said that I bought five properties, there's no way I could do that today. To be honest, I don't recall even signing too many loan documents but we got five loans somehow.
[00:09:07] So I won't spread that gospel too high, but I think we all know what happened because the Royal Commission outed all of that. Unfortunately that happens in all industries and it'll probably still happen in banks because no one really got in trouble for it. When the banks are offering us money, particularly at this rate and we're thinking the market’s getting a bit hot now, it's not a bad time to invest your money because you leave it in the bank at 1%.
For the Love of Leverage
[00:09:31] The bank charges on top of that for holding your money, the next thing you know, you don't have a lot to show for it. So I think leverage is important. And it doesn't matter if it's shares or property or whatever you decide to move into, but leveraging is important. So I think the 'aha' moment would be leveraging. When the banks are offering money, you need to be in the right position to take money.
[00:09:51] Right now I'm not because I'm in a new business. So you need to have a few years of returns as you know. Although in saying that, we've got very, very strong equity positioning and I've also got a wife in a very good corporate job. So we probably wouldn't have an issue if that was the case. The other thing is that whole positive cash flow and looking at areas for growth.
[00:10:12] If you're finding the right areas for growth, you need to be doing your research on the metrics that bring growth. There's not one or two factors, it's an overlay of all these extra bits of data from ABS, to jobs, to infrastructure, to investment, to migration. Even to domestic migration, like what's happening in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast went through the roof.
[00:10:36] Not because of international migration, but because of the migration that's coming out of Victoria predominantly. So you've just got to overlay that data and use that. It's not 100% correct. Well, a lot of people unfortunately do guarantee you growth, but no one can guarantee growth because anyone who said that didn't predict COVID last year.
[00:10:59] I think that's the best, most recent event that we can point to and say, 'Hey, be careful what you believe because no one predicted what happened last year'. So I think that overlay of data is key. For me, it would be leveraging the bank, understanding the research and like you said, you can do it now as it's online and a lot of it's free. We pay a lot of money for subscriptions to get very detailed data.
[00:11:25] But not everyone needs to do that, you can really do it yourself and at least get a very good idea and be educated on those kind of things. Particularly unbiased data, where it's not someone trying to push you towards a particular area, or a particular product. If something's just a pure data source, not overlayed by people saying, 'Come and invest in Queensland' or 'Come and invest in New South Wales', I think that data can be taken as very good influences towards a property purchase.
[00:11:55] The third aha moment would be to manufacture growth. So that could be through granny flats or through minor renovations. I'm not into big renovations or developments and things like that at this stage. I've bought land and built properties, but I haven't developed townhouses and apartments and things like that.
[00:12:14] Maybe I'll do it in the future. I know Luke's very heavily involved in a couple of groups, so hopefully we'll play Tic Tac and learn from each other on that somehow and we'll probably do something in the future together I'm sure. But for me it was more about understanding those metrics and using that to help us grow for ourselves. More importantly, it's about putting together an individual strategy for each of our clients.
[00:12:38] I love what you've said about those three key points, which are very important. I might just add to that, there are so many great people out there like yourself, people need to tap into that resource. When you combine all that, I think you'll be very well armed in looking at getting investments, especially if you're doing it for a long term build.
We Have Connections
[00:13:01] I think it's not rocket science. We try to keep it simple. And we do a lot of mentoring. I've got a couple of young clients coming through at the moment to [buy] their first property and we love that. Luke and I love that these teenage boys, 19, 20 year olds finish up their apprenticeships and want to get into property. And we're like, 'Let us help you get your first one! But we're gonna educate you through the process, we're going to document it for you, we're going to mentor you through'. Luke's got qualifications in training and mentorship. And we've designed a course around it.
[00:13:31] As you remember from the beginning of this conversation, the first business he set up was called First Time Property Investing. But what that business didn't have at the end was everyone— once he went through the course with them, I said, 'Okay, I need to buy a property now. Can you help me?' And so that's when he finally went, 'Ah! The aha moment is I need to also buy them a property as well, not just help them educate them!' Because he thought once educated, they go and buy it themselves, but people still are busy. They don't have time.
[00:13:57] A client yesterday, very busy with the technology sector, earns very good money, he's going to probably spend close to $1 million on a property, but, ‘Can you help me renovate that? Do the pest and building [reports], can you get a decking put in there, can you rip the carpets up?’ And so we're not carpenters or experts in that but we have connections, we have teams of people who will manage that for them and get that done for them. They don't have time to go up to Brisbane every weekend and pay to rip carpets up so it just doesn't make sense. So we know we can be that one stop shop for a lot of busy people.
Coming up after the break, we hear his thoughts on buying property in the COVID era...
[00:18:12] I had a good example of someone last year who— what were the headlines last year, 30% property crash, don't buy property, it's going to be a nightmare— so everyone panicked and said ‘I'm not going to buy property.’ So fair enough. And no one knew how bad COVID was going to get and I accepted that.
We learn about how your mindset changes as you age...
[00:25:40] We buy based on what we think and feel through research is a good long term strategy. So if someone comes to sell and retire in five years, it's a very different mindset strategy to someone who's the current client I've got who is in their 30s.
We hear about what his early love of reading taught him about property and about himself.
[00:29:30] I've got a bookshelf here full of property books. And just reading, reading, reading with a long term view. I always knew, or felt deep deep down that it was gonna be my future. I just didn't know when.
And that’s up next. I’m Tyrone Shum and you’re listening to Property Investory.
Buyers Agents Are Well Worth It
Khursigara lets us in on why using a buyers agent may cost you upfront, but can save you money and stress in the long run.
[00:14:53] I guess that buyer's agent sector is still... people still grappling with that. 'Why would I pay someone to buy me a property? I'll do it myself'. And yet if they make a mistake, to spend $10,000 [or] $15,000 on a buyer's agent, for example, which I think is pretty much the range, then it's a pretty small fee for the amount of work that someone's going to do and help you get on that right path. So the other people would pay a selling agent, which is what a real estate agent is.
[00:15:20] So in the US and Europe, a real estate agent is called a selling agent, because they're selling the property for you. They're not working for you, the buyer. Their job is to get the highest price for the vendor, not to get you the best price. So a lot of people go to the agent and try to get information but technically, the agent should be working for who's paying him which is his earning 2% or whatever it might be from the seller. And so a buyer's agent in the US, for example, is very common. Every time at an auction, or any negotiation, the selling agent and the buyer's agent come together, and they buy on behalf of the very mature market.
[00:15:59] So in Australia, hopefully there'll be some regulation brought into the sector as well, to make it a bit stronger. Education wise, obviously, you have to have your real estate licences and things but it'd be good to have that stronger regulation in the sector, which a lot of the associations are trying to push for. Which will only benefit the sector as well, and also grow its popularity and appeal. It's just understanding 'Why would I spend money on someone to buy a property?' We can see it happening now. And it's good to be part of that movement. There’s a lot of good people out there, podcasts like yourself educating people and allowing us the opportunity to talk about our stories and what we do also helps.
Mindset is key when it comes to strategy, and when it comes to using a buyers agent as well.
Invest Your Time Wisely
[00:17:47] It's a mindset thing, right, and also time. A lot of people say I've got no time, but yet they'll spend half their day researching property. But what I also find is mindset's very important for us and how we talk to our clients and educate them if they won't make the move. They will spend so many months and years analysing and paralysing themselves the data that they won't actually make the move.
[00:18:12] I had a good example of someone last year who— what were the headlines last year, 30% property crash, don't buy property, it's going to be a nightmare— so everyone panicked and said I'm not going to buy property. So fair enough. And no one knew how bad COVID was going to get and I accepted that. But a lot of people just said, 'You guys are crazy, property's going to crash. Sell all your properties, don't hold on to them'. And what's happened— it's gone the other way. Now they believe in the headlines saying property is going to go up by 20%. So the next day everybody could believe the newspapers.
[00:18:44] This particular client came back and said 'I'm ready to get that deal', it was actually on the Sunshine Coast. A really solid duplex deal. We work with a lot of boutique developers. So you build it for $820,000 and a nice big block of land and then you split it and you take 100,000 easy. You could almost guarantee $100,000 off the top once you split it, and then you're still getting very positive cash flow as well. So it's a very good strategy.
[00:19:10] Now they came back and said they're ready to go. I said, 'Okay, so now it's closer to $950,000 [or] $960,000'. 'What do you mean, it was only eight months ago...?' I said, 'Yep. It's gone up $100,000. Just the land has gone up, not the house, the house will cost the same to build'. So these things happen. And they weren't wrong in their decision making process, but it's just that where do you get your information from? And sometimes, is the Daily Telegraph headline correct? Or is it better to talk to people in the industry? I'm not saying we're experts, but there's a lot of people you can talk to, to understand. Research is very important.
[00:19:42] Absolutely. It's like how Warren Buffett says, when the market's turning— and I'm paraphrasing here— that's when there's a lot of fear in the market. That's when you want to go in. When there's a lot of greed and things are going on, that's when you want to run as far away as possible.
[00:19:57] And now the market's quite hot, right? Yesterday Luke— we're just doing due diligence on a deal today, which is an off market deal, put it out to a client and he said grab it— And so we're going through it now, right? Going through due diligence on it, but you don't get those deals in a hot market. So a lot of people say, 'I'll do it myself'. But a real estate agent isn't going to call you, because he knows you're not ready to do that. Whereas he can call other buyer's agents who have clients' finances ready to buy and sell that property within a couple of days. They're going to take that call.
[00:20:30] [When the market's] soft, then maybe the agent's got plenty of time on their hands, and have time to spend all day calling people up and give you off market information. But during these times, no punter off the street is going to be able to build the relationship that we've built over many, many, many years of working in the sector over a decade. You're not going to build that lead just by calling up a couple of agents in Kingston in Brisbane and saying, 'Hey, I'm looking to buy a property. Can you tell when you get off market deals?' It's very rare they're going to call you.
Hi, I’m the Landlord
He lets us in on how many properties are currently in his portfolio, and the current value they hold.
[00:22:01] We currently have 10 properties, including our family home. I was hoping you wouldn't ask me that question! Let me do a quick calculation. I guess that's probably in the vicinity in terms of its value of that would be around that $6 million mark of the value of those properties. In saying that, all but a couple of the investment properties— not my family home, obviously, there's a mortgage on that— but are all interest only. And that's for obvious investment reasons why we do it that way. So we're able to have some tax benefits from that as well, particularly now with the various properties. Some are higher geared and higher positive cash flow than others. And over a time when I was in the corporate world, and I was paying 49% tax, I was able to get my tax rate down to 30%, which was done through some smart use of property investment.
His strategy was initially based around wanting to find an alternative to the typical nine to five.
[00:23:25] You read a lot of books and the classical Robert Kiyosaki books and all these things when you're young. I grew up in a family where, as we discussed right at the outset, the parents came with nothing, had to work hard, high interest rates, bought a property, paid it off, bought a property, paid it off. I mean, will we ever even pay a property off? I don't know. Like, I'm not sure. I'm happy we've got our mortgages under control at home, but maybe we won't.
[00:23:58] So I think it was more about just doing things a little bit different to the way it was, using our money wisely. Stock— I don't know what it was, shares didn't just make sense to me. And maybe it goes back to why I didn't study accounting! Maybe my brain is not that well aligned to understanding the whole share market and algorithms and things like that. So it's obviously the tangibility of property, right? We can see it, I can touch it, I can feel it. Even though out of those nine properties I mentioned, that one in Sydney I see, but the others I've never seen.
[00:24:28] I was driving through Brisbane with Luke a few months back and I drove through Petrie. I've got a couple of properties there. And I said, 'I've got a couple of properties in this suburb, just go have a look'. And he said okay. We started to turn the car and he said, 'What are you gonna do there?' I'm like, '...Actually nothing, I don't know'. Like, I'm not gonna knock on the door and say, 'Hey, I'm the landlord. How are you?' We just turned around and kept going, right? So it's kind of funny, you don't buy them because you want to do the garden and mow the lawns for it.
[00:24:58] There's some good out of property investing, I've seen people who can't afford to buy, get to rent, and get roofs over their heads. That's obviously an important factor, why the government still stimulate the sector. From a personal perspective, obviously there is that leverage and that time in the market. So if you invest, and yes, we do go through some ups and downs. And they [was] that eight year period that everyone forgets about, conveniently, where Sydney didn't move, and Melbourne didn't move, and Brisbane didn't move. They haven't all done it, luckily, at the same time. And that's why we want to diversify and have properties in different states and different cities in different areas, and not just buy next door because that's where I grew up, and I want to buy next door to Mum and Dad.
[00:25:40] We buy based on what we think and feel through research is a good long term strategy. So if someone comes to sell and retire in five years, it's a very different mindset strategy to someone who's the current client I've got who is in their 30s. A professional working for a firm, they can afford to go hard now and then watch it grow over that 20 year period, because they're not retiring any time soon. So I guess that's what the outset was, to build a bit of a portfolio. And I think the word I use— probably, when you're young people try to spruik you and talk about 'Don't you want to retire at 45? Don’t you want to retire at 50?’ And maybe when you're 25 or 30, you probably think 'Yeah, that'd be great'.
Keep Your Options Open
[00:26:25] But I don't! I want to work forever! Like, I love working, I love talking to people and helping people build a portfolio. So I'd love to keep working. So I don't have that mindset in my mind, or even my wife. She works in a corporate firm, and she wants to work until she's 70 if she can, she said. It was more about the word, I think it's one word for us, it's options. That option could be if you wanted to, once the kids are done and dusted with school— and maybe uni, I guess we won't get rid of them that quick, they live with us for a while longer, especially when they get their breakfast made for them every morning— we get the options to travel, it could be an option to help our children if we can and decide to do that, it could be the option to... from a charital perspective as well, what options can we have there that help our community or other communities that we're involved in.
[00:27:16] I'm the same, I can't see myself retiring at all. I mean, I like the idea of having that, I want to be able to maybe take off 12 months or something like that, and take my kids travelling around the world, let them experience different cultures, do so many wonderful things. But having that option to not worry about the finances and how we support ourselves to do those kinds of things— that's what I love.
[00:27:45] I think we've got to look after our health and our mind and keep that healthy as well, and then we can take advantage of those options. I love hiking and walking. I've done a few trips to Nepal over the years as a younger guy, but I'd love to do something with my wife and walk through the wine fields of France, Italy, and Spain and do all these types of things. That'd be pretty fun. So yeah, right now, it's working hard within balance, obviously still ensuring we look after our health and our minds and our bodies and our families. And then when the time's right, we're still lucky enough to have holidays, and spend some good quality time with the children and our friends, which is incredible.
While he didn’t necessarily have any mentors, Khursigara took a different, more DIY style approach to his personal development.
[00:28:32] I didn't have any official mentors and I know that there are quite a few out there now which are coming through, which is quite good. In fact Luke's done quite a bit of mentoring to young people as well as I mentioned. I guess mine was more education, just immersing myself in the sector and the classical seminars, reading books. My wife has always— particularly back in the day when podcasts started coming out— I always had my earphones in my ears like yourself and walk around the house if I'm lawn mowing or gardening or cleaning the pool or doing whatever, exercising, I was always listening to property podcasts. And back then there was only a few, now there's... there must be 50 or 60 good ones to listen to.
[00:29:27] So that was probably my education. And then books, I've got a bookshelf here full of property books. And just reading, reading, reading with a long term view. I always knew, or felt deep deep down that it was gonna be my future. I just didn't know when. Because we get a little bit, let's face it, that golden handcuffs of the corporate world. Lots of things for a little while. And then through certain circumstances— for me it was a redundancy package through a company that I worked for, an American company, and we sold the business in the US— so we then had to make some changes to the business in Australia and had to unfortunately let go of some people. And then once you do that and restructure the business, they kind of look at you a second and say, thanks for that. We might have run out of room for you at the top.
Property is My Thing
[00:30:14] And these things happen. And it's happened a couple of times to me now. And I see it happening to friends now as well, we're getting into your late 40s, and some friends into their 50s. And it happens, and it's much harder to get those senior roles when you're at that age group. So in your 30s, you're bulletproof, you can never almost lose a job. I guess I started thinking about what is the next step, am I going to be in the corporate world the rest of my life? And I guess I've always been entrepreneurial, I've worked for entrepreneurial companies. I've never worked for the big, huge corporations, it’s always been entrepreneurial sort of companies.
[00:30:50] And even when they were big, I worked for companies in America, in Switzerland, where I set up the business for them in Australia. So I like building things. So it always made sense that I was going to do something and I've tried a few different things. And we're trying to build a digital app business as well. So I always knew that property was going to be my thing. And it kind of made sense from the data side of marketing that I always understood research and data. And then selling techniques and how to talk to people, but I think a lot of it is just about the ethics and the integrity of the business.
[00:31:27] So if you met yourself 10 years ago, what would you have said to him?
[00:31:44] Probably 'Don't get ahead of yourself'. So 10 years ago, I was living in India. As I mentioned, we were doing really well, and the bright lights maybe got into my eyes a bit. My wife would probably say the same thing. So I think I would say to myself back then, 'Just don't get ahead of yourself'. Remember the grounding of your life and the lessons you've learnt through your family and the people you hang out with, as we say, we are the sum of the five people we are closest to. And just remember those things. And I mentioned that India had a big change for my mindset in life. And because we did luckily pick up that lesson there to say we're very lucky to see what we have in this country.
[00:32:24] I'm in a country where there are people living on the street downstairs of the big apartment block that I live in, and they're the happiest people I see every single day. And a lot of people earning lots of money and living in these big jobs that we had, were quite stressed and miserable. And so I guess that was a real turning point. So I think that's what I would say, just take a deep breath, be grounded and be grateful.
Mental Health Matters
[00:32:48] Where do you see yourself and your family and what you're currently doing in the next five years?
[00:33:04] My girls will be... five years time... nine... they'll be finished high school by then, both of them. So that'd be great. Because they're in private school. So that'll help our bank balance a little bit! I'd see them potentially being at university or doing something like that, probably living with us, hopefully living with us, even though sometimes we'd love them to be elsewhere!
[00:33:28] And I think probably doing similar things in terms of loving our jobs, both my wife and I love what we do. I'd hope in five years' time our business would be in another phase of where it is at the moment, where we could probably give back a little bit more, employ some people to build their careers. The main thing is to stay fit and healthy. That's something we really work hard on as a family. But it's not just your body, it's your mind as well.
[00:33:56] Luke and I both volunteer at Lifeline at the calls for crisis suicide call centre. So we obviously are trained on how to talk to people through that process. So I think it's important for us to look at that as well. I probably see myself doing maybe some more hours there as well as what we're currently doing in our business and our family.
[00:34:19] So Julian, you've achieved a lot of great success out of your whole journey. And I'm really appreciative that you shared such a great journey. How much of that has been due to your intelligence, hard work and skill? And how much of it do you think is because of luck?
[00:34:54] I'm a big believer in you make your own luck, and I think you have to put in the hard yards. So intelligence, yeah, I don't think I'm overly intelligent in the classical sense. But I think I'm pretty learned. I think I read a lot. I say to people I have a lot of common sense! And sometimes that's not all that common. And I've noticed that in the corporate world, particularly where sometimes common sense wasn't all that common in some of the higher positions and senior executive and management roles.
[00:35:29] I think a lot of it is hard work and perseverance. Getting up when you get knocked down and not crying over spilt milk, so to speak. Unfortunately we sometimes have to dust ourselves off and maybe hide in the corner for a day or two, but you realise that you've just got to keep going and keep strong. And if you keep putting in and keep doing the right things, and holding on to your integrity and doing the right things... I've been around a lot and I've seen a lot of unethical behaviours in business. And I kind of just tried to focus on the morals that I got brought up with and what I like to live in life. And I think eventually, you start to get repaid.
[00:36:11] Sometimes yeah, there are some people out there I know very much, they're doing some really bad things in the property sector, particularly. And they're still growing bigger and bigger and bigger, and you can worry about them and get jealous and [wonder] 'Why are they driving fancy cars and living on the water in $5 million homes?' Or you can just focus on what you can do and control the controller, which is what I do and what I do for my clients' community and in our business, and ensuring that our value systems in our business align with our personal values as well.
[00:36:43] Right. I guess how much do you think it was because of luck, though?
[00:36:47] I have to say there is a lot of luck, because sometimes how do you get into that certain, how does that come to you? How does that person come into your life out of nowhere? How do you bump into someone on a plane— which has happened to me— and next thing you're having a chat and that happened? Is that luck? Yeah, I guess that's luck. Is it coincidence? Was it always meant to happen? Was it always the path you're meant to go down?
[00:37:16] I love a book called The Alchemist, a Spanish author, I don't know if you've read that one. It's a lot about that, right? Whether you get what you're destined for and whether you can create your own destiny, whether it just happens. And so I'm a big believer. I guess as I've got older as well, sometimes it comes by experience. I'd use the word luck a lot more and think 'Oh, that person is lucky. They're lucky they got that job'. But I guess I believe if you put in the hard work, luck will come your way as well.
Thank you to Julian Khursigara, our guest on this episode of Property Investory.