Our team recently sat down with Phil Bertram from Candour Property Group to get to know more about their business and the current Perth property and rental market.
Phil Bertram, owner of Candour Property Group, gave us the inside scoop on his business, property investment and the Perth property market. Have a scroll below to read Phil's full interview.
Phil, can you tell us a bit about Candour Property Group, and how you help your clients?
Candour Property Group is all about enabling people to understand their decisions. A lot of the time the people that I deal with have a very limited understanding, or often incorrect understanding about the way things happen. They might have heard things from their friends, and it just doesn’t stack up. So Candour Property Group is all about empowering people with the knowledge, to be comfortable and be able to make the decisions that they are wanting to do. The key in all of that is the only way they can feel empowered is if they are not being pressured. So it’s about helping them do it in their own time frame with all of the information that they need and to be able to reinforce that over time.
What is your current view of the Perth property and rental market?
[Laughs]. It hasn’t been fun for the last two or three years, not at all. But at the end of the day there are grass roots starting to come through. We’ve seen executive rentals in the Western Suburbs really kick up, we’ve seen that the actual prices have stayed pretty much steady since December 2016, and the rentals and number of properties on the market have been steadily coming down over the last few months. So pretty safe to say that we are pretty much at the bottom, if not at the bottom – and the bottom of the market is an exciting time to be alive As you get great opportunities if you know where to look, and you’re able to then obviously take advantage of the market as it goes upwards.
But the biggest thing to remember is that 5 years ago, Perth was the same property prices as Sydney. If there’s anything else you need to be able to confirm that it’s a really good time to look around - that’s probably the only information you need. We’ve still got the same fundamentals there, we’ve just had a lot of confidence issues and the mining market is starting to come back up. The job market is improving a massive amount as well, with most of the new jobs in Perth not being from the mining sector. So it’s a very healthy sign, so I think it’s a good couple of years to come and most market commentators seem to agree.
What are your predictions for the Perth rental/property market over the next 5 years or so?
Five years is a long time to look ahead because quite frankly not many people really saw the last two or three years coming. We knew the mining boom came down, a lot of people would have said that the market would have crashed. It didn’t crash, it just sort of levelled out and dropped a little bit. But then you look at specific areas, like one of the areas that I like to do with my clients it actually went up 20% last year. Now you don’t read that in the newspapers because they’re talking about the median price across the board in Perth. But I think you’d be pretty hard-pressed to find anyone that wouldn’t agree that the Perth property market has a huge upside over the next 5 years, as soon as this confidence issue happens and people start thinking that the world’s not about to end.
Perth is a very odd market in that it’s either feast or it’s famine, you’re a 100% or you’re zero – and I think there’s some people with a bit optimism starting to come back out. So whether it’ll take a year or two for that to really start making a difference - I think the next 5 years we’re going to be seeing the rental prices increase, the property prices increase. But even if it doesn’t increase much from what it is now, if you know what you are doing in a market like this you can still do very, very well. It’s just understanding the dynamics and understanding what you need as a person to be able to make it work.
What is your advice or strategy recommendation for those looking to purchase an investment property in today’s market?
The main thing there is to consult people that know things about the market. As disrespectful as it is to the real estate industry, you are not going to get a balanced opinion from the Bob & Betty BBQ real estate agencies out there because at the end of the day they work for the seller. So of course they are going to tell you that it’s a perfect buy.
There is so much lack of knowledge out there in the market and it’s actually really sad that there is, because there is so much opportunity in Australia if you know how to structure it to get an amazing investment property. And even if it doesn’t do phenomenally well in capital growth or yield, you could still make a huge difference to you knocking off your home loan.
So my advice is don’t make a decision without having all the information. Because so many people do that, and they end up being the cautionary tale that my clients all tell me about it, and tell everybody about this horrible thing that they did. Where is, the silly thing is they probably did more research on what car they were going to buy than the property investment that they ended up doing.
Understand what the rules are, understand how you can work within the rules and understand how to benefit from the rules before you do anything with property investment – would be my biggest advice.
What makes Candour Property Group different to other Property Investment Advice companies in the market place?
That’s actually one of the biggest reasons I started it in the first place. Unfortunately, the industry as a whole has a pretty rotten reputation and unfortunately it also deserves it. A lot of the time it’s all about getting someone to a point where they’re emotionally unstable enough in that presentation to have to say yes. It’s all about explaining to these clients that they can’t have anything that they want unless they say yes to the offer that’s in front of them. If people haven’t experienced it in the past, well it’s not a fun experience for them to have. But unfortunately those who have experienced it just assume we are all the same, and I’m not.
My close, if you want to call it that, at the end is to say, “Great guys thanks very much for your time. I’m going to summarise everything we’ve just spoken about, send it to you in an email and then I want you to go out there and I want you to look at what I’ve said and see whether it’s true.” And that doesn’t exist out there in the market place. And I know because I’ve been in it for almost 15 years now. The market is all about just crash and bash, and getting them to make a decision as quick as possible because they know if people test, they’re going to know that their properties are overpriced and not good value for money.
The other part of that is the fact that I take a maximum of 3% of the property price in commission, and that was very deliberate, because at the end of the day that’s what a real estate agent will make and that’s how the whole market functions as a whole. My competition will be anywhere between 6 – 15% and someone pays for that. It’s always the client that pays for that, so as a result we don’t get valuation issues, it really is legitimate wholesale pricing and people have equity in their properties when they proceed.
So no pressure, well-priced properties, equity and people being happy with their decision moving forward – would be my biggest point of difference.
What do your clients think about the service Candour Property Group provides?
Yes I’ve heard quite a number of testimonials and if any one of your clients wants to have access to them, absolutely. I’ve got a few clients who have given permission for me to pass out their details for my clients to talk to them directly.
The biggest feedback I get is just a breath of fresh air. They are so used to having the conversation with some slick salesperson that’s going to bully them into a contract – I won’t ever do that. My business model is the opposite of that. So most of my client testimonials are, “we’ve experienced someone else”, “you’re so different to that” – and quite frankly whether they proceeded with the purchase or whether they didn’t is all the same to me. Because they know what’s good for them, they are going to proceed if they’re ready and not if they won’t. But I’ve got a number of clients that went away for a year and half or two years and came back and then decided they wanted to go ahead with it.
To me, the biggest compliment I can get is that a client felt like they were just given all of the information that they required in a really easy to understand way and then left to make the decision in their own time. If I can get that feedback from a client, then I know I’m on the right track.
If you'd like to speak to Phil and his team at Candour Property Group, get in touch with us at Mortgage Choice Armadale on (08) 9485 0090.
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