If you’re considering using the team at Metropole Property Strategists you’re probably keen to see some independent reviews about our level of service.

And that’s fair enough.

So in this article I’m going to share some of the common complaints we hear from property investors, a number of recent reviews by clients of Metropole plus links to Google where you can find hundreds of reviews so you can learn what others think of Metropole.

Otherwise, let us also tell you about the most common complaints we hear at Metropole.

I’ve often said that most property investors “fail.”

Fifty percent of those who buy an investment property sell up in the first 5 years and A.T.O Statistics show some interesting numbers for those who stay in the game:

The latest Australian Taxation Office statistics tell us that there are 2,207,893 property investors in Australia, this means around 20% of Australian households hold an investment property and 80% don’t.

Here’s how many properties investors hold

  • 1 investment property – 71% (1.57million) – increased by 2.3% over the last year
  • 2 investment property – 19% (418,000) – increased by 2.7% over the last year
  • 3 investment property – 6% (129,784) – increased by 3 % over the last year
  • 4 investment property – 2% (47,469) – increased by 2.2% over the last year
  • 5 investment property – 1% (19,861) – increased by 1.8% over the last year
  • 6 or more investment property – less than 1% (20,756) – increased by 2% in the last year

In other words, most Australians who get into property investment never achieve the financial freedom they aspire to, and worse still…

Fact is…Many property investors lose a heap of money and lost opportunities along the way…

6 recent Metropole Property Strategists reviews

My experience with Metropole has been excellent. I’ve been a client for 6 years now, and Dennis just helped me buy my second property. Having an ally “on the inside”, with great networks and established trust among the estate agents, is absolutely invaluable. He provided me with all the information I needed to make a decision, but did not push. 100% recommended.

Our experience with Metropole Property Strategists Melbourne was flawless. From the moment we met Dennis, we felt calm and and that our needs would be the absolute priority. The process was easy and we successfully purchased our first home and are thrilled with the result. Any future purchases will be made with Dennis, we would not consider otherwise.

See more reviews of Melbourne Metropole Property Strategists

On the eve of our settlement, we are reflecting on our journey as a first home buyer in Sydney during a pandemic, and we know we simply couldn’t have done this without the Metropole team. We are so grateful to Robert Chandra, Tracey Ajaka and Dona James-Wells for not only their professionalism, knowledge and expertise but also the way they encouraged and supported us when things got tough (more than once for sure). Buying a property in such a hot market was nothing like we had ever experienced. For the first-timers like us, it was quite a rollercoaster with many different aspects to consider and get right. We had lots of questions both in the strategy and buying phases, but Robert, Tracey and Dona were always patient to answer them and guided us with positivity. We fared when listed properties were very scarce during the lockdown; at such times, having capable buyers agents on your side who know the ins and outs of the target suburb on a street level and have trusted relationships with the key selling agents (and also knowing which ones to avoid) makes a world of difference – it sure did for us, and we are so glad we didn’t go all in by ourselves.

“From reluctance to instant delight!” After many months of searching for properties and missing out on things we liked, but still didn’t love, we decided to take the step of engaging a Buyer’s Agent. We were originally reluctant, but after meeting Dona James-Wells and Tracey Ajaka for the first time, we never looked back!! Dona and Tracey immediately helped sharpen our focus, whilst tapping into a bunch of off-market options that we had not previously been able to access. Having experts on our side to guide our thinking gave us huge reassurance when it came to the time to make a decision. Dona and Tracey helped us short-list viable options, striking through those that didn’t meet our requirements and providing expertise to consider the best investment options, based on criteria that we would not have previously realised were important factors. When it came down to getting the deal done, Dona and Tracey really nailed it. Before engaging the team we had been close to purchasing and continued to miss out at the final hurdle… it’s not as simple as make and offer an sign a contract in Sydney! Dona and Tracey made sure we had all of our items in order, so that we could move quickly and with confidence to secure the deal. Dona and Tracey have been the key to our success in securing a property that we love. I am sure we would not have had the same success without them!

See more reviews of Sydney Metropole Property Strategists

Our experience working with the team at Metropole to purchase our first investment property has been exceptional! Our first meeting was with Brett Warren, who took the time to listen to our needs and formulate a strategy based on our goals and budget. Brett and the team were professional at all times, provided effective communication and set clear expectations from the beginning. Our Buyers Agent, Leanne Spring, worked tirelessly to secure us a wonderful investment property. Living in a different state to where we purchased, we relied heavily on Leanne’s knowledge, expertise and guidance and she definitely exceeded our expectations. We were pleasantly surprised by the diligence taken by Leanne to thoroughly consider potential properties and the detailed analysis she provided of the properties she recommended. This gave us full confidence in her ability to secure a great investment on our behalf. We will definitely be engaging Metropole again in the future and would have no hesitation in recommending their services to anyone.

We engaged Metropole to start our property investment journey and we are very pleased with the experience. Everybody at Metropole has been available at all time. It made the process really clear and trustworthy. Zac Moss was our buyer’s agent to look for our first investment property. Zac spend the time with us to understand our goals and make sure we had a common understanding of what to look for. He kept us up to date throughout the entire process and was always available for our questions. Zac found a great opportunity after a couple of weeks of research and helped us secure our first investment. My wife and I couldn’t be more happy with the service Metropole has provided and we look forward to the next step. We highly recommend their services.

See more reviews of Brisbane Metropole Property Strategists

11 complaints we hear the most at Metropole

Why isn’t my property growing in value?

Why am I missing out on the capital growth other investors are enjoying?

Is there anything Metropole Property Strategists can do to help me?

These are some of the common complaints we hear when prospective new clients approach us to see if we can assist them.

There are many other common complaints we hear from property investors who’ve not experienced the success they hoped for and turn to Metropole to help them fix their problems, but before I share those it’s worth reminding you that…

When many new or prospective clients come to Metropole for advice they bring a litany of complaints with them about their previous experiences.

And since we can all learn from such experiences, I thought it would be worth sharing some, so here are 11 of the common complaints we hear from property investors…

1. I’ve made a poor property selection

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One of the big complaints we hear at Metropole Property Strategists is about having missed the recent property boom because they owned the wrong properties and didn’t get sufficient capital growth at a time when, in general, property markets are booming around Australia. Some of these investors have bought off the plan and overpaid for their property. Others bought in regional Australia where property values didn’t increase as much as in the “big smoke.” Sure…some regional cities performed strongly during the last few months, in light of some changed lifestyle preferences due to Covid. I know some “experts” recommend investing in regional Australia, but I generally don’t invest in property. Jobs growth is slower there, unemployment is higher, wages growth is generally lower and there is no shortage of land. And this obviously translates to lower population growth, less demand for property and few growth drivers which lead to capital growth. At Metropole, we strongly advise against investing in regional areas, and certainly not in boom/bust locations like holiday spots and mining regions.

2. I’m not handling my money correctly – Poor cash flow management

Another common complaint is they had difficulty holding on to their properties because they hadn’t organised their finances correctly and didn’t have a cash flow buffer in place to cover the negative gearing shortfall. In today’s low interest rate environment, holding onto an investment property is cheaper than it ever has been, but sound cash flow management is still important. My preferred financing solution to allow you to own high growth properties and service the cash flow shortfall by having a cash flow buffer set aside in an Offset Account. Then use this facility to fund your property portfolio cash flow shortfall, such as the interest on the property investment loan, or for property expenses and importantly keep it as a “rainy day financial buffer” to buy you time if the markets turn sour. However, it’s important that you set up your structures correctly to ensure you can claim the tax deduction, so it’s critical to seek professional advice.

3. I bought my property in the wrong ownership structure

Others have complained because they’ve come to realise that they own their investment properties in the wrong entities because they didn’t seek structuring advice prior to the purchase. It’s important to begin with the end in mind – what will your property portfolio look like in 10 or 15 years time? Will you be working then, or won’t you? Do you want to pass your legacy on to your children? In what entities would you like to own your properties then? It’s important to think these things through before you buy your properties and then purchase them in the correct entities.

4. I’m running out of time

A complaint that is all-too-often heard is people who have left their investment run late (often because of fear) and who are now approaching retirement age and suddenly realise they haven’t built enough of a nest egg. The worrying reality is that more than half of Aussie baby boomers currently believe they’ll run out of money and need the aged pension, while many others will have to significantly scale back their lifestyle. Clearly, superannuation isn’t going to be enough for most Australians, and it seems like the government isn’t going to be able to fund the type of lifestyle that most Australians want in retirement. That’s why I think more baby boomers should use the equity in their homes to invest in residential real estate, rather than just trying to pay off their home loans. Of course, they need to buy the right type of property, which is one that has a level of scarcity, in the right location, at the right time in the property cycle and for the right price. And to achieve this it would be a good idea to access impartial advice.

5. I’ve missed the boat

Others come to us complaining they weren’t sure where to turn and have sat on the side lines through this latest property boom. Most of these people didn’t invest because of information overload – analysis paralysis – trying to time the property cycle or waiting for conditions to be “just right.” The problem is that the property cycle isn’t easy to read. The various phases of property cycles aren’t clearly defined nor is the length of each cycle and the various stages varies from cycle to cycle. Cycles don’t occur simply because a certain number of years have passed, they occur because of a combination of macro and micro economic factors and the interplay of several social and political issues. But even if you feel you’ve “missed out” on buying over the last year or so, the beauty of Australia is that we have a number of capital cities that are worth investing in and each are at different stages of the property clock. Of course, you must do your research of course and understand the relevant markets, or perhaps engage an independent property strategist to guide you.

6. I’ve got “Off-the-Plan” woe

Another common complaint we see at Metropole Property Strategists is from investors we see is from investors who’ve bought a property off the plan from a property marketer that hasn’t achieved any capital growth or rental growth in the past five years. Do I believe that buying off the plan makes good investment sense? The answer is usually no. While a few investors have made money buying off the plan, the landscape is littered with many more who have regretted their purchase. Frequently they’ve found the value of their property on completion is considerably less than they paid and some will have to wait for over a decade before they see any capital growth. In general, they would have been much better off buying an established apartment rather than a new one.

7. Unfortunately I believed the hype

Many unfortunate investors bought the wrong property because they looked to the next hotspot. While they may have enjoyed some short-term capital growth, since then property values have dropped as have rentals and they now have negative equity – especially those who bought in mining towns. Many of Australia’s worst-performing property markets over the past few years have mirrored the ups and downs of the mining sector and many investors have been burned by following the advice of the “hot spotters” who recommended them. Most qualified experts generally don’t recommend investing in one-industry locations, such as mining towns, because they lack multiple growth drivers and they’re dominated by investors rather than owner-occupiers who bring stability to the market.

8. I’ve got depreciation confusion

Then there are those investors who didn’t maximise their tax position because they hadn’t obtained a depreciation report. For investors, depreciation deductions can make a real difference to reducing your taxable income and also make a property cash flow positive sooner.

9. I’ve got property management problems

Another regular complaint I’ve seen is from those who’ve tried to save money by using a cheap property manager or by self managing their properties and running into trouble. A good business owner recognises that they can’t do it all themselves. They hire a good team of professionals to help them effectively manage their interests and generate the best possible profits. The same should apply for property investors. Employing an experienced property manager who intimately knows the area your property is in will be of great benefit in the long term.

10. I got caught out by spruikers

The internet is littered with stories of investors who succumbed to property spruikers’ tactics including high pressure sales tactics characterised by rushed decision-making and contract signing and the payment of fees (including discounts offered to seminar attendees who sign up on the day.) Other tactics can be claims of strong capital growth rates that may not be independent or credible, or pandering to those who haven’t got sufficient funds with claims of “no money down”. Similarly, those who bought from property or project marketers who were working for the developer often lost out because the advice they received was far from independent.

11. I haven’t built a great team around me

Successful investors build a great team around them. They realise they don’t have to be an expert in every field if they develop a good network. In fact, they know that if they’re the smartest person in their team they’re in trouble. This network includes a good finance broker, a smart solicitor, a property savvy accountant and a knowledgeable property strategist such a Metropole Property Strategists.

There you have it – 11 common complaints that we’ve heard at Metropole Property Strategists from property investors. I guess that’s why I often say property investment is simple – but it’s not easy.

So what’s the alternative?

Clearly, many property investors fail to achieve the financial freedom they desire so the answer is not to do what the majority of property investors do, and instead invest strategically like that small group of successful investors do. True wealth through property is built in stages, as I see it these are:

  • A wealth success mindset – this is the most important layer because it is the foundation for your wealth. If you don’t get your head “right”, then anything else you do will suffer. Your wealth success mindset with consists of your beliefs, your habitual thoughts and your habitual actions in regards to money and wealth.
  • Skills and knowledge – most of us are not taught how to invest, but finding the right mentors will speed up your journey.
  • The correct property investment strategy – many investors fail because they follow a flawed strategy. In my mind residential real estate is a high-growth, low yield investment and to try and invest in real estate for cash flow leads to failure.
  • Risk management – strategic property investors protects their assets by owning them in the right ownership structures, having sufficient financial buffers in place to buy themselves time through the ups and downs of the property cycle, insurance is to protect themselves and their assets and surrounding themselves with a professional team of advisers.
  • Cash flow – while I believe it’s essential to invest for capital growth, I recognise the importance of cash flow management through rental returns and financial buffers. While capital growth gets you out of the rat race, it’s really cash flow it keeps you in the game till you’re ready to get out.
  • Asset growth – this is really the aim of the game – to build a sufficiently large asset base that will one day give you sufficient cash flow to replace your personal exertion income so that you can go to work because you choose to not because you have to.

What’s next for you?

If you’re looking for independent advice, no one can help you quite like the independent property investment strategists at Metropole. The multi-award-winning team of property investment strategists at Metropole have no properties to sell, so their advice is unbiased. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned property investor, we would love to help you formulate an investment strategy or do a review of your existing portfolio, and help you take your property investment to the next level. Click here to organise a time for a chat. Or call us on 1300 20 30 30.

When you attend our offices in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane you will receive a free copy of my latest 2 x DVD program Building Wealth through Property Investment in the new Economy valued at $49.

Michael Yardney
About Michael Yardney
Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media.