Why property investors need to be proactive

Information verified correct on October 21st, 2016

While research and planning are important, a bias towards taking action is crucial if you want to achieve success with your property investment.

Ask any property investment guru for advice and you can be sure they’ll tell you about the importance of doing plenty of research before you make your first purchase. If you don’t do your due diligence beforehand, you could end up buying the wrong property in the wrong area — and have to live with significant financial consequences.

While the importance of research shouldn’t be underestimated, there inevitably comes a time when the only way to begin the journey towards your investment goals is to take action. One key to property investment success is to be proactive, and sometimes you need to get in as early as possible to reap the benefits.

Only 1.3 million Australians, or around 6% of the population, actually own an investment property — so what’s stopping more people from taking action and building their own property portfolios?

Find out how you can start reaching your investment goals sooner.

Set goals — but stay flexible

Before you purchase your first investment property, setting out your financial goals is essential. Identifying your investment strategy and objectives as well as your timeline can help you form a clear picture of how and where to invest your money.

However, don’t be surprised if your goals and expectations quickly change. Once you get started as an investor, you will develop an enhanced understanding of how the property market works. New opportunities will arise and new ideas will develop, and you may come across investment strategies you may never have considered before.

So while it’s a good idea to set goals, don’t be afraid to adjust those goals as your knowledge and experience of investing expands.

Get amongst it

Although your research will be valuable, the lessons you learn in the real world are the ones you'll remember. From learning how to choose the right property to how to deal with difficult tenants, there are some lessons that can only be learnt through experience. This will help you refine your investment strategy and adjust your goals for the future.

By all means, ask for advice from investment experts and research the strategies involved, but always remember this key point: it’s impossible to know all there is to know about property investing without first dipping your toes in the water. Even experienced investors who bought their first property decades ago are still learning, still adapting and still revising their investment strategies.

Don’t let opportunity pass you by

Caution and patience are two very important qualities in a property investor. With the right amount of each, you’ll be well placed to make the right decisions regarding your investments.

At the same time, being overly cautious or waiting too long to make a move can cause you to miss out on opportunities that you might later regret. For instance, if you take too long to puruchase a property you may run into significant property hunting costs and you could potentially miss out on capital growth.

You need to rid yourself of the Great Australian Dream mindset as waiting for the "perfect property" may mean that you forgo a good opportunity.

Remember the importance of being proactive and taking charge of your own financial future. If you overcome your investment fears, you will be ready to act when the right opportunity comes along.

Why property investors need to be proactive

Do the right type of research

When some people prepare to start investing in property, they can spend hours and hours researching the different strategies available. From quickly "flipping" a property to buying and holding for several years, there are myriad approaches to investing, and there’s no shortage of information about each of them.

But instead of getting bogged down in the pros and cons of different strategies, you may be able to better utilise your time by analysing a property you’re thinking of purchasing. Considering a property’s features, price, rental income and capital growth potential and comparing them with similar properties in the area may be a much more productive approach.

Taking action doesn’t mean being reckless

When we talk about the benefits of getting started as a property investor rather than delaying taking action, we don’t mean you should simply dive in headfirst and put hundreds of thousands of dollars at risk.

Instead, we’re talking about getting out there and getting first-hand experience in the world of property investing. This could mean partnering with an experienced investor or experts such as a mortgage broker or solicitor to help you get started.

If you actively seek out opportunities, you’ll be able to work out where your strengths lie and narrow down the best investment strategy for you.

Accept risk

Taking the plunge from researching real estate investing to actually purchasing a property is a big step.

It can be overwhelming, but if you think that investing in property is the best way for you to achieve and exceed your financial goals, it’s a step you will need to take.

As with any other form of investment, property investing does come with a certain level of risk. Once you accept the risk involved and work out what level of risk is tolerable for you, you’re ready to get started as a property investor.

While it can be tempting to keep delaying a purchase and to wait for a better opportunity to come along, sometimes the best course of action is to take action. You could be well on your way to real estate success before you know it.

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Image: Shutterstock

Belinda Punshon

Belinda is a journalist here at Specialising in the home loans and property sections, she is passionate about helping Australians improve their financial wellbeing.

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