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


Epidode 64 | Inside intel on what’s happening in Sydney’s blue chip suburbs | Peter Gordon, Cobden & Hayson

We pick the brains of Peter Gordon, one of Balmain’s most active sales agents, ranked in the top 100 agents nationally for the last four years. Peter has been with Cobden & Hayson since it launched in 2005, and has experienced both hot and cold market conditions over the years.

Here’s a snapshot of what we discussed:

  • Why “A” grade properties continue to sell well in Blue Chip suburbs, despite market conditions.

  • Why letting a sales agent bid for you at auction is likely to cost you a lot more.

  • What things buyers are getting picky on now vs in a ‘hot’ market.

  • What happens to a property when an agent ‘buys’ a listing.

  • How elite agents operate & earn the trust of vendors.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 63 | Jonathan Russel & John Roydhouse | What will it take to make our apartment buildings safe?

In this episode, we're going to address one of the biggest elephants in the room so far in this podcast. In Australia, engineers don't have to be registered!

We talk to two experts, John Roydhouse, CEO of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia NSW and Jonathan Russell, Engineers Australia.

Here’s some of what we covered:

  • Is the build quality and safety of newly constructed housing up to scratch?

  • Why the financial well being of apartment owners can be at risk.

  • What’s the downside of an infrastructure and building boom coupled with hurried design, approval, construction and compliance processes?

  • Data that points to 7 out of 10 new residential buildings having defects!

  • How Opal Tower, Lacrosse Tower or the London Grenfell Tower tragedy might have been prevented.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 62 | How to reduce running costs of your property & increase its value | Cecille Weldon, Liveability

The 17 Liveability features that will benefit owners, investors & tenants

We picked the brains of Cecille Weldon. Cecille is responsible for the creation and development of the Banksia Award-winning Liveability Real Estate Framework.

Now owned and backed by the CSIRO, this new way of marketing property introduces 17 new property features into the real estate transaction. These are liveability features which cover passive building design, energy and water efficiency and renewables.

The liveability mandate is to create your best home: healthy, efficient, comfortable and connected to your local community.

Here’s a snapshot of what we discussed:

  • 17 liveability features of a property & why they matter for homeowners & tenants

  • How to reduce your property’s running costs & increase comfort

  • Why fixing liveability of your property will give you more disposable income

  • Why it’s not just about comfort of living, it can increase the value of your property.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 61 | Fool or Forecaster Special | Who should we believe?

In this episode we are doing something a little bit different.

To celebrate April Fools Day, we have produced a special report on the big failed property bets, what forecasters got wrong in 2018 and who is brave enough to predict what’s to come in 2019 & 2020.

You’ll hear why it is impossible to predict the future and whether Veronica is really a Perma-Bull as some have accused her of being.

It seems that we are our own worst enemy, as our obsession with property means we are always thirsty to hear the latest forecast, even when we know full well that it is nonsense!

We hope you enjoy this episode and we promise it’s the first of many - we’ll be watching and listening for the 2019 forecasts and we’ll be bringing you the dirt on them next year!

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Chris Bates
Episode 60 | Are property investors paying more tax than they need to? | Mike Mortlock, MCG Quantity Surveyors

Depreciation schedule lowdown & how to maximise your investment return.

In this episode, we pick the brains of Mike Mortlock. Mike is the managing director of MCG Quantity Surveyors which was recently recognized as Australia's fastest growing quantity surveying firm by the Australian Financial Review Fast 100. MCG was the first quantity surveying firm to publish real data on the average deductions for property investors.

We had a very revealing chat with Mike about:

  • Tiny details investors need to understand that trigger paying more tax.

  • Why, if you purchase a property off the plan, it's worthwhile getting a building compliance inspection to identify defects.

  • How data on units sold off the plan, in a number of capital cities, is proving they are not great candidates for capital growth.

  • Why we need to be very skeptical of media spruikers and take time on due diligence, especially given 38% of investors buy new property!

  • Why housing affordability is going to be a national concern because rental yields have been increasing.

  • How good advice from an accountant who understands property , an investment savvy broker, a strategic financial planner and a good conveyancer will save you in the long term.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 59 | Your money mindset & how it affects your property decisions | Suzy Jacobs, Finesque

In this episode, we pick the brains of Suzy Jacobs, a fabulously outspoken and honest pioneer in women lead business networks. Suzy founded SheBusiness and has lead thousands to business success. She sold SheBusiness and launched Finesque in 2016 to demystify financial language and create opportunities for individuals to grow their financial independence and security. We discover:

  • How your beliefs about money have long term effects on your financial future.

  • Is it ok to hand responsibility of financial decisions over to a third party?

  • How unconscious beliefs drive our decision making when it comes to property.

  • Why we need to slow down & be accountable property investors.

  • Transitional thinking & why it makes a big difference.

This episode will really make you rethink where your financial future is headed.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 58 | The problem with property data & knowing who to believe | Nerida Conisbee, REA Group

Suburb hotspotting, quarterly property outlook reports & what data to be wary of.

Nerida Conisbee is Chief Economist for the REA Group, which incorporates websites &, amongst others. Nerida has more than 20 years of property research experience & appears every fortnight on ABC News Breakfast, every Tuesday on Your Money, & she writes a fortnightly column for The Australian. She updates major government bodies on market conditions & here’s what she shared with us:

  • What is data & how can it affect property prices.

  • What suburbs perform best & the types of suburbs that people are most highly engaged in.

  • Top ten suburb lists & hots spotting - the dangers of data.

  • Auction clearance rates, median price & how the data can be manipulated.

  • Not all data is what it seems, there is some data to be wary of.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 57 | Listener Q & A | Veronica Morgan & Chris Bates

Inner city V outer suburbs | Builders going AWOL | Pushy financial planners | Alternative forms of property investment.

In this episode, we are going to answer some interesting listener questions. We cover a fair bit of ground, however, here are the highlights:

  • Should you be investing in the outskirts, or investing in the inner rings of the capital cities?

  • What happens if the builder runs away with your money, during a renovation.

  • What to do if your financial planner becomes a little bit too pushy & recommends property to get paid a commission.

  • Real Estate Investment Trusts & whether they're a good idea for you to invest in.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 56 | A property manager’s inside tips! | Lisa Indge, Let's Rent

How to get the most rent & how Instagram can blow a tenants cover!

This is the first property manager we've had on The Elephant. Here’s what we found out:

  • Seasonality & over supply, the months to avoid.

  • What constitutes a good tenant & how to choose the best property manager.

  • Reference checking tenants & then checking them again.

  • How to change your managing agent the easy way.

  • Landlord insurance - not all policies are created equal.

If you own an investment property or thinking of buying one, you need to listen to this episode.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 55 | Is commercial real estate only for the sophisticated investor? | Malcolm Gunning, Gunning Real Estate

Malcolm Gunning has been in real estate forever and his agency Gunning Real Estate focuses  on commercial, industrial, retail, residential and development real estate, and they provide services in sales, leasing, property management, consultancy, and valuation.

  • What is sophisticated investor & do they always get it right?

  • The 3 main methods used to value a commercial property.

  • How to target the right buyer pool when selling an investment property.

  • Why foot traffic, infrastructure and the neighbouring retailer is so important.

It’s our first episode on commercial real estate and it’s full of great insights!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 54 | Why auctions don't fly in Brisbane but unrenovated 'Queenslanders' do! | Haesley Cush, Ray White New Farm

Haesley Cush, auctioneer, sales agent and principal, opens up about the Brisbane property market and explains how apartments can lose money while unrenovated Queenslanders in the same suburbs sell for ridiculous prices. What are the best buys in Brisbane at the moment?  Here’s what else you’ll learn:

  • The Brisbane property market & why locals don’t like auctions.

  • What's a good property investment & what’s not in Brissy.

  • Why it’s easier than you think to over capitalise on an unrenovated “Queenslander”.

  • Oversupply of apartments - what’s going on?

There is so much insider knowledge here!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 53 | Why is the REINSW & the State Government at war? | Tim McKibbin, CEO REINSW

Negative gearing, stamp duty & what's failing property investors

In this episode, we pick the brains of Tim McKibbin, CEO of the REI New South Wales. Originally qualifying as a lawyer and an accountant, Tim joined the REI 15 years ago, and has been the CEO now for 13 years. He's an extremely vocal advocate for the real estate industry, and over the past few years he's had a couple of stoushes with the New South Wales state government on a number of issues. Recently, he's been very vocal and he's called for self regulation. His latest battle has been over stamp duty reform and it’s really fired him up!

We dive into some hot topics, such as:

  • What the Government has planned to assist with housing affordability.

  • Stamp Duty: Why hasn’t it changed in 32 years?

  • Negative Gearing: Is it purely politics?

  • Why we need review the regulators of the real estate industry that don’t know what’s going on AKA Fair Trading.

  • Trust account audits - the good, bad and the ugly.

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 52 | How can property buyers get it wrong with contracts? | Jennie Tonner, Cremorne Conveyancing

Plus all the dirt on the hidden pitfalls in off-the-plan contracts.

We are very excited to share our conversation with Jennie Tonner, our very first conveyancer on “The Elephant”. She is one of Australia’s most experienced conveyancers who has spent decades working in the “big end of town” and now runs her own small business, Cremorne Conveyancing.

You’ll learn an incredible amount about what can so easily go wrong for buyers who don’t invest in good legal advice. Jennie shares her experience and wisdom, including:

  • What can’t be changed in a contract during the cooling off period.

  • How the contract review process changes for buyers when the market cools down and heats up.

  • A few horror stories with buying off the plan.

  • How some developments sell before they even have council consent!

  • What a release of deposit clause is and what you should do if you see one.

  • When you are protected if you buy a property without council approval for building works.

This is a brilliant episode which highlights the importance of getting good advice before you sign on the dotted line.

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Chris Bates
Episode 51 | What’s in property development for Chinese investors? | Cameron MacQueen, PAI Group

The traps to avoid when getting involved with property developments.

Cameron Macqueen knows why the Chinese want to invest in Australian property. After 5 years growing a big business in China he came back to Australia to run a Chinese property development company - PAI Group. PAI have been building 100’s of small developments, mainly in Melbourne’s middle ring suburbs. These developments are funded by Chinese citizens mainly to get two things, a great return and a permanent residency status in Australia.

Here are some highlights:

  • The different ways Chinese think about property.

  • How Chinese gut apartments and want everything brand new.

  • How you can get Permanent Residency if you have a bit of cash.

  • The market risk in doing developments.

  • How Chinese build community developments that are amazing places to live.

  • How we are going to grow our cities, as we grow our population.

We finish with some rather hilarious tree cutting dumbos so be sure to tune in till the end!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 50 | The biggest lessons from the first 25 episodes | Veronica & Chris summer series 3

Plus a deep dive into exactly why buying off-the-plan is so risky

In this episode, Veronica and Chris finish the summer series with a discussion about some of the biggest  “aha” moments in the first 25 episodes.

As always, this conversation covers a lot of ground as we pull snippets from different interviews and discuss the key lessons and takeaways in more detail.

  • The most common behavioural biases we have that let us down.

  • What’s really happening during an auction sales process.

  • Agent tactics to get you to make an offer.

  • How data analytics are going to change property investing in the future.

  • Flaws in new buildings and the risks of buying off the plan.

This is the 50th episode and there’s so much to learn that only the first 25 episodes could be covered in this chat! Listen up and come back, the second 25 episodes will be tackled soon - there’s so much more gold in them!

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Chris Bates
Episode 49 | What will Labor’s negative gearing policy do to the property market? | Veronica & Chris summer special 2

Will it really create housing affordability and will there be unintended consequences?

In this episode we stir up the conversation on Labor’s negative gearing policy and just how crazy we believe it will be if they successfully get it legislated. To help you better understand what could happen, we bring in parts of the conversations we’ve had with some of the smartest minds in property - Pete Wargent, The Kouk, Tyron Hyde and Ben Kingsley.

For us, it is wildly outrageous that they believe this will help first home buyers get what they really want long term; a home in a highly desirable location. In fact we believe it will make it even harder for them.

Labor are forgetting that a lot is riding on keeping our property investment industry stable and flowing, but in order to win votes they will bring financial pain to property owners all over the country. For properties not traditionally bought by investors, such as houses in the inner rings of capital cities, this will not have a huge impact. But for properties that are bought almost entirely by investors such as units, new apartments and holidays homes, this could be catastrophic.

There are so many flaws in this policy design and this episode explores what the consequences could be if it gets the go ahead.

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Chris Bates
Episode 48 | What's going to happen to the property market in 2019 and how to borrow money? | Veronica & Chris summer special 1

In this episode we have a look at 2019 and what could change in “the property market”.

This is the first of our 2019 summer specials and we reflect back on what some of our podcast guests have had to say about the big issues affecting property prices.

  • Peter Koulizos talks Australia.

  • Pete Wargent talks Brisbane.

  • The Kouk talks all things interest rates and what the RBA could do.

  • Mark Foy explains why some properties are performing better than others.

  • John Lindemann explains how scarcity really works and where to buy for long term growth.

  • We talk about the flight to quality, property fundamentals and how many different markets perform.

Please listen to the end because Chris gives a great summary of how home loan lending has changed and what to do about it in 2019.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 47 | What does the ultimate property spruiker look like and are they all bad? | Bryce Holdaway

Exactly how much money are some “advisors” paid when they recommend property?

Bryce Holdaway, is probably Australia’s most famous property co-host - podcast fans will know him from The Property Couch and TV fans will know him from Location, Location, Location Australia, Relocation Relocation Australia and now Escape from the City on the ABC. What you may not know is why he is the best person to explain to us exactly what a property spruiker is and what makes them so dangerous.

And no chat about spruikers would be complete without also discussing:

  1. How much money is available in referral fees for mortgage brokers, financial planners and accountants who know very little about property and are not interested in good outcomes for their clients.

  2. Apartments aren’t all bad, but many are risky, so learn the first question to ask yourself before buying a new apartment.

  3. The specific issues you need to be aware of when buying property within your SMSF.

But the most compelling reason to listen to this episode is to hear Chris’s “chicken in the oven” analogy.

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 46 | What causes wishful thinking and why does it cost us so much? | Lorna Patten

Real estate can be a really expensive self development workshop.

Lorna Patten, counsellor and trainer, is renowned for telling the truth that needs to be told. So who better to explain to us exactly what lies underneath some of the decisions property buyers make - in particular those that cost people a lot of money. This is the episode we’ve been wanting to make for some time and we uncovered some absolute gems:

  1. What we fear the most when it comes to life and how that can lead to buying property for all the wrong reasons.

  2. The difference between normal anxiety about a big decision and a niggle that’s really a warning sign.

  3. Practical steps for gaining clarity around what you want and to succeed when buying with your partner.

If you suspect that you might be driven by your inner 3 year old saying “I want it, I want it, I want it”, you’d better listen to this episode!

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Veronica Morgan
Episode 45 | Good advice doesn’t cost, it pays | Noel Whittaker

Negative gearing, superannuation & property investment tips

In this episode, we had an eye-opening discussion with Noel Whittaker, who is somewhat of a household name.

Noel writes weekly columns in major newspapers in every State in Australia. He also broadcasts regularly on ABC Radio and appears on channel nine. He's written 22 best selling books that have sold over two million copies around the world. His book Making Money Simple set sales records across the country, and was recently named in the top 100 of the most influential books of the last century.

Here is some of what we discussed:

  1. Labor’s policy on negative gearing - is it a fallacy?

  2. Will changes to negative gearing help housing affordability?

  3. Depreciation - is it even worth it?

  4. Superannuation funds - why are we so disengaged?

  5. SMSF and the importance of getting good financial advice.

    Join us for some fantastic property & investment insights.

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Chris Bates