The Elephant in the Room Property Podcast | Australian real estate
The Elephant In The Room Property Podcast with Veronica Morgan & Chris Bates


Episode 22 | How to be a media researcher, not just a reader | Kirsten Craze, Property Journalist

What impact does the media have on the property market?

In this episode, property writer Kirsten Craze is brilliantly open in sharing the flaws in media world and explains how to find articles we can rely on. Here's what you'll learn:

  • How different headlines can be in just one week and why they can’t be relied upon.

  • How to tell the difference between journalism, PR and an opinion piece.

  • Over-reserve auction results - are they real?

  • For the real story read the comments on news articles about “get rich quick” schemes.

  • How to leverage on supply and demand when making offers.

    The message is loud and clear in this episode: the media is a minefield and you need to know how to read between the lines! 

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Chris Bates
Episode 21 | What sort of property makes the best short term rental? | Quirin Schwaighofer, Made Comfy

​​​​​​​Will legislation make or break Airbnb in Australia?

Quirin Schwaighofer, COO of Made Comfy is extremely positive about the future of the short term rental market although he's also very clear about the elements required for success. Here's what you'll learn in this episode:

  • The type of property that lends itself to short term rental and the types of owners that are most suitable hosts.

  • The difference an X-factor can make to profit and what makes Australia’s best studio apartment so special.

  • The impact of new legislation on short term rentals in NSW and how the 180 night limit will change things.

  • Lifestyle versus investment decisions and why they need to be separated.

  • The real impact of Airbnb on the long term rental market in different cities.

    The message is loud and clear in this episode: short term rental is an investment strategy that carries a lot of risk and careful planning is required to get it right. This podcast is a great place to start!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 20 | How to tell the difference between advice and a sales pitch | Georgi Bates, Cunninghams

Plus agent tips for negotiation and auction bidding.

Find out why it's a good idea to keep your local agent onside... Georgi Bates explains:

  • How and why she gives advice on competitors’ listings.

  • The questions she recommends buyers ask to test whether a property would get competition in good times and bad.

  • The behind the scenes local knowledge that buyers need in order to make good decisions.

  • How she handles vendors who will be disappointed about their sale price.

  • Steps buyers should take when making an offer.

This episode reveals a whole lot of "back-room" intelligence that can give property buyers an advantage.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 19 | Who is Australia’s most famous property dumbo? | Veronica & Chris chat

A case study that shows the cost of not learning from our mistakes.

Have you ever thought that if only you had more money, then you’d be able to buy the right property? Well in this episode we discover that wealth alone does not protect people from making expensive property mistakes. We trace the decisions, purchases, missteps, court cases and sales that resulted in losses totalling over $2 million in the span of a few short years. The thing is, this couple made some mistakes that nearly every property buyer makes at least once! If they’d only been given some good advice (or heeded it) along the way, they could have avoided a lot of pain. So, who are they??

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Chris Bates
Episode 18 | What happens if you buy strata property without adequate research? | Reena Van Aalst, Strata Central

How to best prepare for the experience of owning an apartment or townhouse.

Strata manager Reena van Aalst gives an in depth perspective on strata living, highlights the pitfalls for the unwary and advises how to ensure you don’t live to regret buying into a strata complex. She gives us the benefit of her experience and uncovers:

  • The crucial information missing from most strata reports.

  • Early warning signs for buyers that a building could be a no-go zone.

  • Issues that cause pain for buyers of new apartments.

  • Why your lawyer may not warn you of all the pitfalls.

  • What to do if you want to buy into a pet friendly building.

  • How entitlements and levies are calculated.

  • How much work a strata manager does and how to get rid of a dud one.

All this as well as explanations of multifaceted strata, cost-sharing, community title, building management committees, tumelo and other things you’ve probably never heard of.

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Chris Bates
Episode 17 | What falls in value the most in a buyers market? | Mark Foy, Belle Property Surry Hills

Ever wondered why some properties get lots of buyers fighting for them and others struggle to sell? In this episode with Mark Foy from Belle Property we go beyond the agent sales spiel and discover what makes an A grade property, and a B grade one and even a C grade… We also find out:

  • How a “Dutch auction” works in real estate.

  • When is gazumping OK?

  • The best time to sell in the inner city and where the bargains are.

  • The pitfalls that out of area buyers don’t even know exist.

  • How buyers can get the most out of agents.

Timing the market has never been more important!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 16 | The truth about what really makes property prices go up or down | Luke Metcalfe, Microburbs

Is it possible to do long term property forecasting?

Have you ever wondered what you should be looking for in a property? Does infrastructure matter? What about the impact of driverless cars, noise cancelling and the changing nature of the workplace? The answers are in the data and Luke Metcalfe opens a fascinating window into what really matters. We discover:

  • How machine learning can help us understand the property market and where it falls short.

  • The 8 criteria that matter when determining future price growth.

  • 3D imaging, voice activation, drones & image recognition; what will they mean for the property industry?

  • The behavioural biases that good data can help us overcome.

The future meets the past in this interview. And don’t miss the biggest single factor that affects price growth.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 15 | Expert guide to the new depreciation rules for property investors | Tyron Hyde, Washington Brown

Plus some very clever strategies for investors prepared to do a bit of research.

Have you ever wondered whether your accountant is completely up to date on what tax deductions you can claim as a property investor? Have you ever been advised to buy property in order to reduce your tax? In this episode, quantity surveyor Tyron Hyde reveals the myths, traps and truths about property depreciation. We traverse an incredible range of topics including:

  • The two biggest and easiest to avoid mistakes he sees property investors make.

  • The most vulnerable buyers likely to get trapped as a result of new depreciation rules.

  • 7 strategies to maximise tax benefits under the new rules.

  • He challenges the “fact” that land always goes up in value and reveals his magic formula combining the bottom of market and high build costs.

  • How to make money out of new property and what the risks are.

  • Why building costs have been going up and why costs blow out.

This episode contains a wealth of pragmatic, informed and clever tips for both property owners and buyers. And a rear-window view of the good and bad decisions property investors make.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 14 | How carefully crafted price conversations get properties sold | Marnie Seinor, McGrath Coogee

What is the difference between manipulation and influencing buyers?

Have you ever wondered about the conversations agents are having with the owner about price? What about other buyers? Marnie Seinor, sales agent at McGrath Coogee, reveals her discussions throughout an auction campaign, week by week. She didn’t stop there, also giving insights into:

  • Best times to sell and buy in the beaches market.

  • Strategic questions for buyers to ask agents in an auction campaign.

  • What buyer “feedback” means & what offers agents will disclose to other buyers.

  • Why underquoting still exists despite underquoting legislation.

  • Tips for buyers for working out which agents to trust.

  • The best time to make a pre-auction offer and clues that you are the only buyer and should wait for auction.

This episode uncovers yet more “insider operations” that every buyer should be aware of.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 13 |What's an "honest liar" in real estate and when will they be no more? | Ewan Morton, Mortons

Plus: The two key things you should look for when buying an apartment.

Ewan Morton pulls no punches on why agents do the wrong thing and we have a bit of spirited debate about the pros and cons of buying new apartments. This energetic conversation traverses two very contentious issues and there are loads of revelations:

  • Agents no longer hold all the information but it’s not a bad thing.

  • How agents have been punished for telling the truth by vendors.

  • His dialogue for telling vendors “as it is” when they should take an offer.

  • The secret to getting more money out of buyers.

  • How he gets buyers to trust him and why buyers should disclose info to agents.

  • Changing attitudes to apartment living and the debate about oversupply.

  • What’s with the quality of new builds?

  • The important things to research before buying a brand new apartment.

Another cracker episode, Ewan does not hold back!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 12 | The big disruption about to shake up real estate agents | John Cunningham, Cunninghams & REIA

John Cunningham is a respected name in the estate and he is currently spearheading the Pathway to Professionalism program across the country. He brings surprising insights into what’s wrong with the real estate industry and why agents have no choice but to embrace change. We talk about:

  • How will agents provide advice even though only the vendor pays them?

  • The skills gap in agents across Australia.

  • The small percentage of agents he thinks are able to become professional

  • Is Purple Bricks really a disruptor?

  • What this unregulated market costs buyers.

  • Why buyers make mistakes, what they’re doing wrong.

The future looks bright for some but not all agents. This is one very interesting interview, especially for buyers and sellers who’ll want to be able deal only with professional agents.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 11 | Can buyers ever win from being honest with real estate agents? | Michael Harris, Raine & Horne Newtown

What really makes prices go up? (Hint: it’s not the agents…)

Sales agent and principal Michael Harris reveals the challenges real estate agents face when having price conversations with both vendors and buyers. It seems not everyone is ready to face the truth. Other revelations in this episode include:

  • What makes a good property and what “rubbish” property looks like.

  • Presentation tricks used by vendors.

  • The biggest frustration agents have with buyers.

  • The impact of credit tightening and why inner city home owners are staying put.

  • Different types of pre-auction negotiation processes and when it’s best for a buyer to go to auction.

  • How to be taken seriously when you make an offer.

If you want to understand how the slowing market affects property in the inner city, you’ll need to listen to this conversation.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 10 | How to ensure you're protected by your building & pest inspection or strata report | Michael Ferrier, Eyeon

Michael Ferrier joined us for a no-holds-barred talk about property inspections. What goes into them, what’s wrong with them and why you need them. He reveals some really important issues for property buyers:

  • The biggest warning sign to look for in a strata report.

  • The biggest major issue in new apartments & who is obliged to fix defects.

  • Why he lobbied against compulsory building & pest inspections in contracts.

  • The magic number of inspections a building inspector can do a day before the report suffers

  • The circumstances under which buyers are covered by pre-purchase reports and when they aren’t

Don’t rely on a pre-inspection report until you listen to this episode!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 9 | How to sniff out a lemon in your property portfolio | Veronica & Chris chat

We all need to make smarter decisions around property now that we can’t get access to as much money following APRA intervention & the Royal Commission. In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Why the banks won’t lend you as much money as they used to.

  • The new impact of poor investments on your lifestyle.

  • The disposition effect and how it leads to selling the wrong property.

  • What locations and properties lose the most money when the market drops.

  • The secret to buying property that will survive a market downturn.

  • What the future holds for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane & Perth.

  • The finer points you need to know when selecting an A grade investment property.

  • How to identify a “flyer”, “floater” or “flop” and when to hold or when to sell.

An entire episode dedicated to the juicy topics of debt, risk, the quality of assets, rewards of patience and planning for the future.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 8 | How do skilled auctioneers get your last dollar? | David Scholes, AuctionWORKS

Auctioneer David Scholes candidly shares examples of buyers pushing themselves beyond their limits, the auctioneer’s role in getting them to do this and the extreme times when he actually stops mid-auction because a bidder is over extended!

Hear more about:

  • His frustrations with sales agents,

  • How smart agents will handle a situation when only one bidder is registered,

  • Why the reserve price isn’t important,

  • How he lures reluctant bidders,

  • What experienced bidders do to control an auction,

  • The real reason auction clearance rates drop in a transitional market,

  • The psychology of online property auctions and whether they will replace on-site/in-rooms auctions.

Experience counts: David’s observations on the past 5 Sydney property cycles will enlighten you.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 7 | Are pre-auction offers really in a buyer's best interests? | Mary Anne Cronin, Phillips Pantzer Donnelly

The inside scoop on why more properties sell before auction in a slowing market.

Mary Anne Cronin, sales agent at PPDRE in Sydney’s Eastern Beaches, talks about buyer behaviour in her patch as well as sharing insights into the whole pre-auction offer process. Here’s what else we talked about:

  • The precise point in a marketing campaign where buyers lose interest

  • How she works both buyers and vendors in a slowing market

  • Meaningful questions buyers should be asking real estate agents

  • The decisions buyers need to make when trying to upgrade into a house

And we get the answer to that multi-million dollar question: why are prices so high in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs?

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Chris Bates
Episode 6 | Learn how to sort through property data and choose what's important | Kent Lardner, JLL Australia

Don't believe the hype! What property statistics can you rely on?

Kent Lardner is a “geek with a personality” and he tells us why knowing a little bit can be dangerous, largely because of the inconsistencies & nuances of data, of which most of us know nothing. In our chat we cover:

  • The trouble with median sales data

  • How agent bias can affect vendor price expectations

  • What goes into an AVM (automated valuation model), when they are used and why automated estimates vary so much from actual sales prices in Australia

  • Technological advances that might soon mean machines replace property valuers & real estate agents

  • Short term and long term indicators that predict capital growth

  • Tips for making an objective assessment of property value so you can work out what to pay

If you want to make better property decisions, this episode is a must-listen-to!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 5 | The true cost of a lack of trust in the property industry | Shannan Whitney, BresicWhitney

Confessions of a sales agent; what the future holds and what needs to change.

This is quite a philosophical conversation with Shannan Whitney of BresicWhitney about the relevance of real estate agents in our changing world. We talked about many “elephants” and Shannan did not hold back on discussing:

  • How self promotion in the age of social media misses the mark

  • Where industry awards fall short and reward the wrong type of behaviour

  • How the accepted measures of success fail both vendors and buyers

  • How published price guides make agents accountable, which is why many won’t commit to them

  • What happens behind the scenes when a low offer is made

  • Decoding “agent-speak” with some handy translations

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Chris Bates
Episode 4 | How your emotions are targeted before you get to the open house | Kate Lumby, Lumby Hampson

The secret to influencing buyers when selling lifestyle properties.

Kate Lumby, sales agent, auctioneer and principal of Lumby Hampson in Sydney’s Hills District, reveals the performance art of property sales.

  • The props used by agents to “sell the dream”

  • Different buyer behaviour and the buyers who are their own worst enemy

  • Tips for becoming the favourite buyer of both the agent and the vendor and why some people get to buy a property for less money

  • How good agents lead a buyer to the negotiation table

This episode reveals all the little details that affect the way property buyers behave.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 3 | What do real estate agents really say behind the scenes? | Matt Hayson, Cobden & Hayson

Matt Hayson, real estate salesperson and director of Cobden & Hayson gives insights including:

  • Different types of buyers and which ones get the best deals

  • The conversations top agents have with their vendors behind the scenes

  • Specific buyer influencing strategies used in a buyer’s market

  • Why some unscrupulous agents are good for buyers to deal with

  • The truth about pre-auction offers

  • How some vendors cost themselves a good sale price

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Veronica Morgan