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


Episode 31 | New ways for people to get onto the property ladder | Anthony Millet, BrickX

How to tackle affordability, liquidity, risk and lack of borrowing capacity.

Anthony Millet, director of BrickX, which offers a new model of getting onto the property ladder “one brick at a time”. This is NOT a sales pitch, rather an exploration of what it means when a “lumpy asset” is broken down into “bricks” that can be sold one at a time. Here’s what we cover:

  • What is fractional property investment?

  • Why property can’t be measured like your share portfolio.

  • The philosophy underpinning blue chip investment property.

  • How much gearing is required to make a blue chip property positive geared.

  • Why you should not use your credit card to buy investments.

  • The affordability problem and what’s really caused it.

Fundamentally any investor MUST remember that quality beats quantity, so listen and let us know what you think about this as an option.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 30 | Why property makes people crazy | Kylie Davis, Real Content Marketing

Finding the human stories behind property data.

Kylie Davis is a content extraordinaire who has worked in and around the property market for many years. Originally a journalist, she recently started her own content marketing business after spending four years at Australia’s #1 property data source, CoreLogic. Here’s a few of the things we discussed:

  • What buyers and sellers really think about sales agents.

  • How technology is changing the real estate experience.

  • What’s the difference between median value and median price?

  • Which data can help determine your bidding strategy.

Such a great episode to further your thinking on what may change in property, and what will stay the same.

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Chris Bates
Episode 29 | Negotiation masterclass | Fiona McKenzie, Resolving Matters

How to stop your emotions trumping logic.

Fiona McKenzie is a negotiating extraordinaire and runs her own consultancy firm. She has degrees, an MBA and university medals on her mantle piece, but what was so interesting is that this is all about the “Elephant”. There are so many great techniques that we can all use in life in this episode but more relevant when negotiating to buy a property.  

We discussed so many great points and here are just a few of the big ones:

  • What a BATNA is and why you need one.

  • The “winner’s curse” phenomena.

  • How to use ”match and dull” technique.

  • How to use language to your advantage.

  • When to use the “going to the balcony” technique.

This is such an important episode on negotiating smartly!

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Chris Bates
Episode 28 | Do school catchment areas make people pay more for their home? | Lynette Malcolm, Chadwick Real Estate

The stress created by “keeping up with the Joneses”.

Introducing, a very funny and insightful Lynette Malcolm. Lynette is one of the top agents in the Upper North Shore of Sydney and knows her market better than anyone. Chris was sadly absent for this episode, but he wouldn’t have had a chance to get a word in because Veronica and Lynette bounced off each other hilariously.

In particular they covered:

  • How home priorities change when kids finish school.

  • Is “happy wife, happy life” driving the vast majority of our property market?

  • What can happen when you rush and buy the wrong home.

  • Why you need to be careful when finding comparable sales data.

  • How to position your offer to improve your chances of acceptance.

  • In what circumstances will an offer never be accepted?

This is such an enlightening episode into the dynamics of buying a home.

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Chris Bates
Episode 27 | Should renovators worry more about over or under-capitalising? | Tom Wills, TWArchitects

What should buyers look at before buying a "renovator's delight"?

Introducing, Tom Wills. Tom is an Architect of over 20 years and runs his own firm TWArchitects, specialising in residential design and small developments.

There’s lots to cover in this one and this list is only the start:

  • Beware the community NIMBY group.

  • Why you should not fall for myth of precedence.

  • How planning rules constantly change and you need to have a plan of attack in advance.

  • Styles of houses go in and out of fashion, but what enduring qualities survive?

  • What to look for in an architect & issues with building contracts to be aware of.

You do not want to miss it if you’re even dreaming of renovating.

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Chris Bates
Episode 26 | Can high yield ever be bad yield? | John Lindeman, Property Power Partners

When property investment shouldn’t be a long game.

Introducing the one and only, John Lindeman. John is one of Australia's most respected Property Educators with over 40 years of personal investing experience and research driven education. When experts need advice, they go to John .

Chris unfortunately was MIA on this one, and he was gutted because it was one of the most enlightening episodes on where it can all go wrong for investors The biggest mistake when investing for yield 

  • How people tend not to understand what happens to yield when prices go down

  • Would you buy in Hobart now

  • If all cities behave differently and the impact the Brisbane Flood had.

  • How long the impact of natural disasters can take for people to get over them.

  • What was more valuable back in 1901, country home or a city house

This one is not to be missed by keen property investors.

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Chris Bates
Episode 25 | What hidden dangers can lurk in brand new apartments? | Amanda Farmer, Your Strata Property

Amanda Farmer is the go-to-expert in "strata world" with over 15 years experience as a strata lawyer. Amanda is also a fellow podcaster with over 100 episodes under her belt and she lifts the lift on many of the problems and opportunities she sees with strata. Here are some of many 'aha’ moments:

  • Why you should get involved with your strata committee and the best way to do it

  • Why you should buy “Eyes wide open” and know exactly what you are buying and the condition it is in.

  • The ongoing plague of poorly built building defects and why you wouldn’t want to buy new buildings.

  • The harsh reality when you buy off the plan is you are sign contract today but are totally committed for many years ahead

  • The crazy situation when buildings over 4 stories do not need insurance

  • Why building defects usually start after 8 years, when times up on insurance

This is one of the most Elephant filled episodes and you should not buy a new property unless you've truly listened to this brilliant advice.

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Chris Bates
Episode 24 | Is high yield investing really that risky? | Pete Wargent, Brisbane Buyers Agent & Market Analyst

Pete Wargent, arguably Australia best property blogger and a buyers agent in Brisbane, Sydney and London, opens up on the Brisbane property market amongst many other things. Pete has a brilliant mind and he explains why understanding demographic shifts is so important to investors. If you are looking to buy in Brisbane, don’t even consider it until you’ve listened.

  • How you can learn to be a better invest by finding the story through picking through data

  • How we have a very short term memory when investing

  • How Brisbane is rebalancing, the property and areas to target if you are an investor  

  • The problems with investing in higher yield areas

  • How some style of property go for big money right now

    This is our first detailed talk about investing in Brisbane and we’ve got more coming in future episodes.

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Chris Bates
Episode 23 | How to negotiate for property like a professional | Cate Bakos, Melbourne Buyers Advocate

The inner workings of the Melbourne property market revealed.

Buyers advocate Cate Bakos reveals all the quirks of her local market and the advantages she gains from knowing the real estate agents better than any individual buyer can. She also gives loads of practical tips on how buyers can keep money in their pockets. We cover: 

  • What’s happening in the Melbourne property market? Will it follow Sydney?

  • Chinese buyers, oversupply and whether some apartments are good investments.

  • Auction underquoting and whether it still exists.

  • What is a boardroom auction and why buyers agents love them.

  • What is vendor advocacy and when/why/how is it necessary?

  • Where and what to buy in Geelong & Ballarat.

Plus fundamental tips on what to look for when buying for capital growth.

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Veronica Morgan
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