Expert In Focus - Daniel Walsh
fter building a $4m portfolio within just seven years, investor Daniel Walsh developed successful strategies that helped him earn more than the average household would over a 40 year working life. Starting his property journey as an apprentice, Daniel sacrificed short-term lifestyle for long-term gain. When early challenges helped him learn not to sweat the small stuff, he was able to keep a big picture focus in mind and keep moving towards his end goal.
""When I got ready to buy my first property, I had to sell my car. I’d bought it for $34k and sold it for $11k and realised that cars devalued, they don’t go up.""
API: You began investing at a very young age. What factors and goals drove you to take action?
DW: My parents used to buy, flip and renovate properties for profit. When I was around 16 years old my dad said to me that if he’d just have held on to four of those properties he wouldn’t be working today. That was like a big penny drop for me. I thought, ‘I need to be investing, but I need to be investing for the long-term.’ Within the same conversation he said to me that as someone who ran his own business, he’d made more money from property than he had through going to work. I knew then that if I wanted to become financially free, I had to go out there and invest, as a job wouldn’t help me achieve that goal.
API: Did you have to make any sacrifices in your early days of investing, to get where you are today?
DW: I did everything I could to save money back then. When I started I was an apprentice on $254 a week and because I was on such low wages, it taught me how to save quite well. When I got ready to buy my first property, I had to sell my car. I’d bought it for $34k and sold it for $11k and realised that cars devalued, they don’t go up. I needed some of that money to go and invest so I bought a $1500 car to go and drive around in. I was also skydiving at the time, so I had to sell all my equipment. I never went out or partied or anything, so I sacrificed my nightlife just to scrape a deposit together over a four year period.
API: Did you come across any hurdles that made you consider if property investment was your best path forward and what realisations helped you overcome these difficulties?
DW: In my second year of investing, my second property that I’d bought was abandoned by the tenant and they actually damaged it as well. I was six weeks without rent, so all up I was about $7500 out of pocket. I was only young and for me that was a lot of money, but after the initial shock, I discovered I could claim it all on my insurance. What I realised later - and even at the time when the property had already gone up - was that it took me five years and that property had doubled in value. I realised from there not to sweat the small stuff and to focus on the long-term goal, which was to become financially free. If I stuck to the plan that I had, then those issues that came up were insignificant compared to everything else.
API: These days, what gets you most excited about property?
DW: Mainly now helping others and helping them to achieve their own success through property within a 15 year period of time. I like sitting in front of someone and seeing after even an hour, the penny dropping that what they’re doing now isn’t going to get them to where they want to be. They have to do something different if they want to be financially free. People spend a lot of money on the wrong things. They buy brand new cars or they’re going out or using credit cards, building up a lot of bad debt rather than putting money into good debt like with buying houses. A lot of people may look successful on the surface, but when you get into their situation they’re struggling to keep up with their lifestyle. For me, it’s about cutting through all of that and advising them on how they should be getting their money into assets that are appreciating rather than depreciating.
As founder of Sydney buyers agency Your Property Your Wealth, Daniel helps investors to achieve financial freedom through high-performance portfolios created over a 15 year period of time. Working with both new and seasoned investors, Your Property Your Wealth removes the stress out of asset selection, handling the entire process from purchasing through to management. Prioritising clients’ individual goals, the personalised experience ensures outcomes matched to investors’ means, with ongoing mentoring and support to provide confidence.
API: What made you decide to establish buyers agency, Your Property Your Wealth in 2016?
DW: I was doing property before then, but I’d had a few stories that came out about me in the media and they resonated with a lot of people. I was contacted through Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms and asked whether I could help to show them how to build a property portfolio in such a short period of time. I realised so many people out there were confused on how to become financially free and how to even put a plan in place to be able to execute that. Because I already had that blueprint and knew where I was heading in 15 years, I felt that everyone else had something similar. When I realised that wasn’t the case, I could see there was the need to develop a formalised business structure around that level of service and support.
API: Property Investment can present a number of challenges, particularly to the new investor. As a buyers agent, what common problems do you see your clients face?
DW: The three most common problems include clients not knowing where to purchase their investment properties. Australia is such a big country and there are so many markets within markets that knowing where to purchase becomes really difficult without expertise. Another is not having the correct team around them to be able to execute a high-performance property portfolio. The third is not knowing how to build a large portfolio, which a lot of people want to achieve but they don’t even know what equity is or how it can be obtained.
API: How do you support your clients in navigating these issues?
DW: We present our clients with extensive research on particular areas so that clears up on where they should be purchasing by demonstrating why they have the upside potential for growth. We also provide our clients with an all-inclusive team to give them the confidence to purchase a property knowing that they’re so well supported. We then show people how they can actually achieve a large portfolio - that they don’t need to be saving 100s of 1000s of dollars ahead of their first purchase. A lot of them are actually able to start with equity from a property that they’ve had for years. We also offer a lot of ongoing support, educating our clients on how to build a high-performance property portfolio because it’s a 15 year journey and not a sprint. A lot of people also don’t know what they can achieve and don’t even know where to next. They will think of one property or the next, but not three or four steps ahead. We like to break it down and show them what they can achieve individually based on where they’re at now.
API: What type of investors does your agency work best for?
DW: We work best for clients that are committed to building property portfolios and want to execute a 15 year plan. There’s a lot of people out there that aren’t truly committed to building wealth - they dabble and they’re in and out, in and out. We like to work with more driven people that are really trying to execute a particular goal in mind and they have the long-term to invest. When it comes to age, we work with a diverse lot of people mainly from 25-35 and 40 year old’s. Getting towards 30, often people have started to settle down and realise they can’t work forever, that they’re not going to create financial freedom by going to work every day. Under the age of 23, we certainly have a lot of interest but at that stage, most aren’t ready to invest yet. Instead, we’re able to talk about goals for the future and how best to prepare by gaining education around property. Up until the age of 50 and mid-50 we still have that 15 year period ahead to work with, perfect ages to see a couple of property cycles and benefit from our tailored plans.
API: How do you help investors to achieve their property investment goals?
DW: Firstly we get a client in and assess each of their individual situations before we create a plan that’s in line with their own personal investment goals, budget and appetite for risk. We then take a look at what they can realistically achieve. The big ‘aha’ moments usually occur when I go through and show them how compounding interest works and why you should be investing long-term rather than selling. That comes back to the perspective of what my dad said to me years ago, that if he’d just kept four properties he would have been able to retire early. That’s why I always try to educate my clients about the same thing, because a lot of people make money within three to five years and then sell out. Five years is good, but once you hit 10-15 years that’s when you can really see the ramping effect of compound interest take place. That’s where you’re really going to create the true financial freedom.
Discover how to create your own path to financial freedom with Your Property Your Wealth founder Daniel Walsh’s blueprint for success. Click here for details.