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Get to know Colin Lee

| Colin Lee
Please note: The reposted article below is owned and published by The Real Estate Conversation, where Property Advisor Colin Lee has provided expert opinion on the property market. Click here to view the official published article.

How did you get your start in the property business?

I was intrigued by property from a young age and always wanted to own my own home. My parents encouraged this interest. They believe, as I do, that property is a the safest and smartest way to invest.

My first property was a two-bedroom dwelling that has since doubled in value. I was fortunate that my parents had given me a leg up in loaning me half my first deposit, which I repaid in a year.

My interest in the industry only grew from there. The people around me used my knowledge and experience as a resource to grow their own portfolios.

A job opportunity in property management was my first professional role. I gained experience in every facet of the industry; from resale, to land properties and development.

Without a doubt this full range of experience means I can speak with conviction and confidence to investors and first time buyers. Having that personal testimony helps people know they can do it too.

Have you always worked in this industry, or did you do something else previously?

I had my own business delivering workshops to high school, university, and graduate students. I have worked with close to 50,000 young people; being surrounded by this group gave me invaluable insight into what is really important in their world.

My passion for helping young people, first home buyers and new investors grew from being asked questions about how to get into the market, and the lack of knowledge and resources out there.

What projects have you worked on most recently?

We’re currently working on a project with Build Land Homes which is a subsidiary of BPM Corp. BPM Corp has consistently built high-quality apartments and recently has shifted the focus onto house and land packages as they are currently strong performers in the market.

We also have an active project in Spring Hill, Brisbane, which we have a private agreement on with the developer. Spring Hill is a very exclusive suburb next to Fortitude Valley. While Fortitude Valley has around five or six projects happening currently, Spring Hill only has two. There is high demand because of scarcity in the market. We focus on the boutique developments that will experience high capital growth and deliver good rental yields.

What do you love about your job?

I love seeing and being part of the journey of an investor, especially a first home buyer. I have helped many young people get into the market, and knowing how much you have been able to guide them and help them build their equity is extremely rewarding.

What’s your advice to a young person looking at getting into the same work?

Spend time reading and researching and find your passion. Property is the type of industry where you will meet a lot of people on a daily basis, and you can genuinely see how property can help people achieve financial freedom.

You have to love the industry – it’s imperative to start from the beginning and familiarise yourself with all aspects of the sector and movements of the market. This is critical to success. Personal experience with property investment, including a strong portfolio, is an important proof point.

What would you like to see change in the industry? Is there anything which you’d like to see done differently?

The recent foreign investor surcharge on residential stamp duty and surcharges on some land tax in all states, have affected foreign investors in Australia. This is a key market we cannot ignore and we must not discriminate against foreign buyers for the local buyers. Foreign investment policies must we well thought out, and considered with the long term in mind.

I also think there is a need for government to look at better incentive programs for first home buyers and new investors. Many young people starting out today do not have the equity and a significant income to obtain a decent loan. This is stopping them from ever entering the market.

Where do you live now, and what’s your dream home?

I live in Hamilton which is about five minutes away from my workplace, but as I’m working in Brisbane I’ve had the opportunity to go down to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

Noosa especially is incredibly beautiful and a dream location for a property. Somewhere here where I could retire and work from home would be ideal.

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