Investor In Focus: Rebeka & John Morgan
Most new property investors have toyed with the idea of buying a property, renovating it and then selling it for a quick and tidy profit. For many, the reality of pulling it all off can be pretty daunting and not always as profitable as they first thought. Rebeka and John Morgan, however, have managed to make a career out of it and to date have bought and sold more than $20 million worth of properties Australia wide.
Rebeka first got interested in real estate in her early 20’s when she purchased her first investment property. She’s always had a passion for building and construction and is also a registered builder. After a period of working with commercial buildings, she began to focus her attention on identifying and renovating high-end houses specifically for families.
The focus on renovating high-end homes was both a smart business decision and also one where she was able to apply her passion for building and construction. In Rebeka’s mind, the key to this type of strategy is to renovate a property to a point that it will hit home with an emotional connection when a buyer first sees it.
“When you do a project, a lot of it is intangible and it’s about creating an emotional connection with the buyer or purchaser and we need to ask ourselves, in the end, and how do we do that?” said Rebeka.
“So from that kind of aspect, it really is that sense that you get in your gut.”
“So once we’ve run the numbers in our feasibility, and it’s clear we’ve got an uplift in value on the project, you’ve got to be looking at whether you can create that connection with the buyer and then how you would go about doing that.”
On a given project, Rebeka and John aim to make a profit of between $200-$500,000 and for that reason predominantly focuses on homes priced between $1 and $3 million.
Identifying potential candidates is a combination of finding the right areas and then identifying homes with the potential to see a significant uplift in value.
“Both the location and the house itself are clearly very important. You can’t build the most amazing house right next to a train line or on a main road and expect that you’re going to get a premium outcome.”
“In most cases, the purchasers are coming from a very local perspective. They are already live in the area and they are effectively buying the building. So they’re buying the finished product and also buying into the lifestyle that, that affords them.”
Rebeka and John focus on creating incredible family homes and adding real value to the properties that they renovate.
“The buyers these days are more discerning than what they once were. And can quickly find out all the information that’s available. They can see what you bought it for and they’ll quickly gauge what you’ve spent on it.”
“So you’ve got to focus on creating that intangible aspect and be able to deliver on that.”
Despite their success, Rebeka has still battled with different areas of the process. Her biggest issue in this market remains the emotional aspect that comes with buying and selling properties.
“Anyone who tells you they’re not emotionally invested or they don’t find the sale process challenging is lying.”
“You put all the effort in for a year, you’ve done all the research, you know your numbers, but then when it comes down to it, there’s still half a million dollars’ worth of discrepancy at the top level because someone could pay this or someone could pay that. And it’s not defined.
On top of renovating high-end homes, Rebeka also co-owns Builder Collective which helps other women from all over Australia learn her process with her so they too can successfully identify and renovate family homes regardless of their background in property or their knowledge of building and construction.