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


Episode 43 | Elections, Royal Commissions, negative gearing & what drives our economy | Stephen Koukoulas

What are property prices likely to do in 2019?

In this episode, we pick the brains of Stephen Koukoulas, better known as “The Kouk”. He’s one of Australia's leading economic visionaries, past chief economist of Citibank and probably most famous for being Chief Economic Advisor to Julia Gillard. He's renowned for being able to turn complex economic analysis into terms mere mortals can understand.

We cover a vast array of topics including:

  1. Election Promises by Liberal/Labor - what will happen to negative gearing?

  2. The Banking Royal Commission - the effect it’s having on property prices

  3. Infrastructure - Is enough in place to cope with population growth?

  4. Why waiting for the ‘bottom of the market’ when looking to buy your home can cost you big.

“The Kouk” really lifts the lid on all things economic, housing and the levers that drive the property market.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 42 | How to invest in Melbourne and avoid overdevelopment | Jarrod McCabe, Wakelin Property Advisory

The importance of understanding a multifaceted buyer pool.

Jarrod McCabe is director of Wakelin Property Advisory. Wakelin specializes in the investor market in Melbourne, and Jarrod runs a team of property advisors.

Wakelin has been around for decades, and Jarrod's been there for eight and a half years, but he started his career as a valuer almost twenty years ago. Now, he knows the Melbourne’s property market inside out.

This episode covers:

  1. The importance of streetscape for capital growth

  2. Which apartments are in scarce supply and high demand

  3. Good property managers and tenants rights

Jarrod gives us a tour of Melbourne’s property market and highlights what makes a stellar investment.  

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 41 | Where can first home buyers get the best advice? | Meighan Hetherington, Property Pursuit

Why your first property purchase is your most important financial decision.

Meighan Hetherington is one of Brisbane’s most respected buyers agents with 15 years experience and over 650 purchased properties under her belt. This entire episode is dedicated to first home buyers. Getting your first purchase right can set you up for life but getting it wrong can be devastating. We delve into the best sources of advice for first home buyers. Here are some of the big issues we tackle:

  1. Is the government actually helping first home buyers or stitching their financial future up?

  2. What compromises can first home buyers make and what they should never consider?

  3. The dangers in not realising what we don’t know and how first home buyers have the most to lose.

This advice is better than anything your parents will tell you!

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Chris Bates
Episode 40 | How is the great Australian dream changing with population growth? | Simon Kuestenmacher, The Demographics Group

A demographer’s insights into the future of property.

Simon Kuestenmacher is one of Australia’s rising stars in the world of demography. Demographers study people and because property is all about where people live and what we live in, this is something we need to pay attention to. Simon is probably most well known to be the brains beside the renowned Bernard Salt at The Demographics Group.

Here’s some of what we learnt in this discussion:

  1. How an ageing population, death and high migration will shift Australian needs for housing.

  2. The population argument - for and against - and why it has lead to an awful outcome in terms of housing stock.

  3. The difference both old and new technology will make to the way we live and will we ever get high speed trains in this country?

Part researcher, part futurist, what an amazing glimpse into what could be ahead!

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Chris Bates
Episode 39 | Where can you get excellent financial & property advice? | Stuart Wemyss, ProSolution & Investopoly

How many investment properties do we really need to retire well?

Stuart Wemyss is one of Australia’s top financial experts and has been running his own financial planning & mortgage broking business for over 15 years. Stuart truly gets the important cross-over between good property advice and good financial advice. He’s written many books and his new one Investopoly is a must read because it covers the importance of quality assets and sound evidence based financial strategy.

  1. Whether you should DIY or use an adviser to help you with your biggest investment decision in a totally unregulated market.

  2. How important is your first property and some cheeky investment strategies for First Home Buyers

  3. What qualifies a property to be investment grade and the three things you must do to stay ahead of the herd

This is a long one, but we didn’t cut it because there was nothing in there that wasn’t valuable! Enjoy.

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Chris Bates
Episode 38 | Why do people want to escape from the city? | Bryce Holdaway, The Property Couch

Is buying property on television different to real life?

Bryce Holdaway, Veronica’s TV co-host, is also co-host of the incredibly popular podcast The Property Couch and the soon to be released brand new TV series called Escape From the City. In this episode we discuss the ups and downs of making a sea or tree change. Plus why it’s important to think ahead when you buy property, whether or not you’re moving away from the city. The top three takeaways are:

  1. How to mitigate the risks of a sea change or tree change, the importance of “People Like Us” and reminiscing about the lessons learnt while filming.

  2. Mindfulness and property decisions and how to do a lifestyle audit before making a big move.

  3. The downsides of relocating and what to do in the first year to make it a success.

Bryce also makes a big embarrassing confession about Location Location Location Australia!!

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Chris Bates
Episode 37 | How to understand the most cyclical property market in the world | Frank Gelber, BIS Oxford Economics

Will property prices continue to fall, correct or stagnate?

Frank Gelber describes himself as “a property forecaster with a long memory”. In this interview we are all treated to a masterclass in property cycles from an expert with an impressive pedigree. Frank is a director of BIS Oxford economics and he takes us on a whirlwind tour of the entire Australian property market and explains how interconnected it all is. Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Options for different players in the property market - developers, short term investors, renovators, long term investors, owner occupiers.

  • Which commercial market is about to have an “almighty boom”.

  • The structural changes in the economy and the knock on effect in our housing.

  • Why removing negative gearing will result in increased rents.

  • The domino effect of a low Aussie dollar, increases in tourism, jobs and population growth.

  • Build to rent, is it a good idea and can it work in Australia?

    Another incredible episode - you’ll never look at property the same again!

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Chris Bates
Episode 36 | How can an auctioneer influence bidders even in a buyers' market? | Tim Heavyside, Fletchers

“What I'm trying to do is influence a situation because that's what selling is.”

Tim Heavyside, sales agent, auctioneer and director of Melbourne based Fletchers, is the very auctioneer we critiqued with behavioural scientist Simon Russell in our first episode! Tim is the consummate professional, and it should come as no surprise that he is acutely aware of the ways in which his actions influence the behaviour of property buyers.

Buyers need to be very, very aware that many auctioneers, particular someone like Tim, invest an enormous amount of their own personal development, education, training and practice to get to a point where they are an absolute expert at what they’re doing.

This is a very revealing episode, in which we covered:

  • How he “gets in buyers’ heads” so they engage and bid at auction.

  • How he stops confident bidders scaring off timid bidders.

  • What’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears got to do with property?

  • Nasty vendors and nice vendors - who gets the best price?

  • What happens when you get fined for under-quoting.

  • How often luck is involved at auction for both sellers and buyers.

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Chris Bates
Episode 35 | How to work out where to buy and what to renovate | Jane Slack Smith, Your Property Success

The Reno Queen's secrets of success.

Jane Slack Smith is probably best known for creating the Your Property Success online education program. Jane has worked with thousands of students through the Ultimate Guide to Renovation course and Location Masterclass and also runs a successful mortgage broking business. In this interview we cover a range of investment fundamentals, including:

  1. The danger of “hot-spotters” who forget to tell you when to exit.

  2. The difference between a property flip and a flop.

  3. Renovation strategies: Repair, Rejuvenation, Refresh, Restructure and Revamp.

  4. The real cost of a dream lifestyle in retirement.

  5. Why borrowing capacity is going to get worse.

Yet another jam-packed episode full of insider property tips!

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Chris Bates
Episode 34 | The hidden things to look for when working out the price to pay | Shelley Horton, Albion Avenue

Plus a sneak peek into the Blue Mountains property market.

Shelley Horton has been a property valuer for over 20 years and worked in many different parts of the industry including the much misunderstood area of Lenders Mortgage Insurance. For the past five years, Shelley has been running her own buyers agency in Sydney and her expertise extends to helping tree changers in the Blue Mountains.

As usual, we covered plenty of ground in this episode, including:

  • What a good valuer does when researching recent sales.

  • How banks and buyers value property for different reasons.

  • How being cashed up can make you susceptible to overpaying.

  • Who does lenders mortgage insurance protect?

  • Why young couples are tree changing to Blue Mountains

  • Why national parks can be a good thing for property prices.

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Chris Bates
Episode 33 | Why gentrification is the key to successful investing and how to nail it | Peter Koulizos, The Property Professor

Plus the pitfalls of property development for first timers.

Peter Koulizos is one of Australia’s best known property commentators for good reason. As a university lecturer, Peter’s passion and skill is in educating people and he brings research to the minds of investors that makes a hell of a lot of common sense. Peter is also a respected author and this episode is one that you’ll be nodding your head to as he is so practical! Some of the big points we covered include:

  • Which locations he thinks will get the best return in next 5-10 years.

  • If population is a good determinant of capital growth.

  • Should you time the market, or focus on time in the market?

  • How you can pick the next growth suburbs.

  • The what, how and why of Gentrification

  • Is property unaffordable really?

We will have to get Peter back on because Chris got told off for continuing to ask questions!!

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Chris Bates
Episode 32 | Is negative gearing really going to be a vote winner? | Ben Kingsley, Empower Wealth & The Property Couch

Property investors unite to stop us all being thrown under the bus!

Ben Kingsley is probably best known for being one half of Australia’s number one property podcast “The Property Couch”. Ben is without doubt one of Australia’s big names when it comes to property investment and his business Empower Wealth has helped thousands of Australians. It was such a pleasure to get Ben fired up and we sure did get to talk about the things nobody talks about!

  • Why low wages growth will be a worry for property investors.

  • What is PICA and why investors should join.

  • How families should come together with family wealth.

  • Why negative gearing will be used to buy an election and how removing it will affect the market.

  • How house and land packages are sold, and discounted.

  • What do state governments really want and why GST may be going up.

What a brilliant episode!

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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