New program teaches young people the ABC of property investing

A real estate workshop that aims to remove the fear and uncertainty associated with stepping onto the property ladder has launched in Burpengary, Queensland.

RE/MAX Living Principal Kathy Sweeney and team members Chanae Roma, Melanie Wilks and William Sweeney have started Asset Building Club (ABC), a workshop where young people, aged 18 to 30, can gain valuable insight into what they need to do to purchase their first investment property.

Ms Sweeney said the idea for ABC first formed about three years ago when she realised she wanted to empower her young team to enter the property market.

“But I didn’t want to simply help them buy a home, I wanted them to learn how to run a ‘program’ of investing in property,” she said.

Ms Sweeney staged an event that 15 young people attended back then, including her team, and since then Mr Sweeney, 21, has gone on to buy two investment properties, Ms Wilks, 21, has saved a deposit and is looking for a property, while Ms Roma, 23,  is actively setting money aside for her first investment.

Ambassadors for the club

Those three team members are now active ambassadors for the Asset Building Club and help attract guests and facilitate the six-monthly workshops, with 17 attendees at the most recent one.

“With the Asset Building Club, we are there for the entire journey,” Ms Sweeney notes.

“From the moment they consider buying property, through the pre-sale phase, when they are researching, inspecting and making an offer, through to all of the implications of this process and the allied services and other professionals involved, there is no finite end to our support and assistance.”

Ms Sweeney said the team had zeroed in on their target market and identified a ‘typical’ young, would-be property investor, who they have affectionately called ‘Jamie’, so that they keep their investors front of mind at all times.

As easy as 1…2…3

Jamie is an 18 to 30 year old male or female currently at one of three stages in their property buying journey.

  1. The ABC stage is where Jamie has decided to get on the property ladder, has to budget and save their deposit and make changes to their life to accommodate this.
  2. The ABC-plus stage is reached when Jamie has saved their deposit and needs to know the next steps in the process.
  3. ABC-millions is the third stage, where Jamie has bought investment properties and has a target of owning $1 million in property.

Ms Sweeney said the stages showed that the program was open to all young people, irrespective of where they were in their property journey.

She said the fact the ambassadors were at each of the three ABC stages meant other young people attending the workshop could relate to them and the content better.

“I wanted to recreate the experiences of these three ambassadors and what they were learning on their property journey and pass this onto other young people in the community,” Ms Sweeney said.

“What I’ve found is that there are not a lot of young people sitting there going, ‘I want to buy an investment property’.

“We leave that thought until quite late. People are often 25 or 30 before they start thinking about purchasing a property.

“So we’re trying to shift that thought pattern to the younger generation, because they are working, have disposable income and to get them into the property market a whole lot earlier is a wonderful opportunity.”

A step in the right direction

Ms Sweeney said often young people didn’t know where to start when it comes to buying a home or an investment property and trying to source accurate information and advice online could be difficult.

The workshop also brings in property manager Amanda Webb and Matt Andrews and Anish Prasad from Pivot Financial so they can provide their expert advice to attendees. 

“My purpose was to break down the barriers, take fear out of the equation, and show that brokers and real estate professionals are not scary and unapproachable,” Ms Sweeney said.

For this reason, the workshop is run as a Q and A session, with the ambassadors leading the discussion but also taking questions from the attendees.

“When we pondered how to best deliver the message to youth we came up with a Q and A format in a relaxed, non-threatening environment and we wanted to keep the delivery short and punchy,” Ms Sweeney said.

Goals for the future

Ambassador Melanie Wilks, who is also on the Queensland Reds and Queensland Sevens rugby teams as well as being the Wallaroos squad, said the Asset Building Club had helped her save for a deposit, had put her in touch with Pivot Finance to get her finances in order and linked her with Mr Sweeney to help her find an investment property.

While she’s yet to purchase, she’s actively looking and has clear goals for the future. 

“If I can buy an investment property soon and then buy another one by the time I’m 25 or 26, then when I retire, hopefully I’ve got some investment income there as well,” Ms Wilks said.

Ms Sweeney said the next workshop would likely be held in March 2022 and anyone interested in attending could call or text 0427 374 117.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.