When Belinda Walters and Kylie Timms met six years ago through their children, they couldn’t have imagined they would one day drive a successful business together.
Owned and operated by the girls, Location One is a buyer’s agent specialising in buying property for investors and home owners in Brisbane’s blue chip inner northern suburbs.
Buyer’s agents are becoming increasingly sought after as time-poor families and overseas investors look for help finding the ‘perfect’ property,
We spoke to Belinda Walters to find out more about starting her own business, what sparked her passion for property, and her top tips when buying a property.
So Belinda, how did you and Kylie meet?
We met six years ago through our children going to the same school. We both have business backgrounds, but in different sectors, and over a coffee one day decided to pool our talents and fill a gap in the market. We haven’t looked back and enjoy working together every day.
What was the inspiration behind Location One?
Having both bought and sold numerous times over the years, we were regularly asked by friends to help them purchase a home. For many people they might buy three or four properties in their lifetime, so making such a big, life-changing decision can be difficult and highly stressful. We did exhaustive research and identified there was a need as well as a gap in the market.
Property has always been a passion for both of us; however we have both come from completely different fields of experience. Prior to my real estate career, I headed up Australia Major Events in South Australia, who were responsible for managing and procuring flagship events such as Tour Down Under and the World Police and Fire Games. Then after moving to Brisbane, I became a property developer, putting my skills into purchasing and flipping many properties in the inner northern suburbs.
Kylie, on the other hand, has always enjoyed watching and navigating the property market on a quieter side, buying and renovating several of her own properties with her husband. She always had an ambition to get into the industry once her kids were of school age. Kylie’s background has mainly been in customer service and training and development where she established a highly rewarding and successful career.
For those who don’t know, what does a buyer’s agent actually do?
We work exclusively for the home buyer or property investor in finding the right property for them. Really, we save you time and money and take the stress out of researching, negotiating and securing property.
Buyer’s agents also have access to properties ‘off market’ which opens up a range of new options.
What would you say are some of the reasons home buyers or investors come to you?
Our target audience is relatively broad and ranges from a family or individual looking to buy a home, to an investor looking to develop their portfolio.
They could be time poor and just don’t have the time or energy to look for property. They might have missed out on buying previous properties and just want assistance to ensure they get into the market. They might be daunted by the process and want support and advice in knowing they are making the right decision.
Busy families with working parents find our service invaluable as their weekends are generally taken up with children’s sport and they find it difficult to view properties, let alone find them in the first instance.
What is the difference between a buyer’s agent and a real estate agent?
Buyer’s agents are extremely popular interstate and overseas. They are becoming increasing popular in Brisbane as people recognise the benefits associated with using one. The cost of using a buyer’s agent should normally be offset by having a professional helping you make smart choices and negotiating the right price for the property.
We will provide you with sound, reliable, research-based advice, which will enable you to make a decision based on market intelligence.
Buyer’s agents differ from real estate agents as we do not sell real estate and by law cannot accept any commissions from the seller.
Other than meeting the client’s brief, what do you look for in a property?
The client’s brief is the most important story that we that we go forth with. However, when finding the property to fit the tale, we look into many other aspects to ensure that it is a fairy-tale ending and not a nightmare.
Upon finding a house that ticks the boxes we then delve further into the background of the house, looking for any issues that may crop up for the owner in the future, such as if the house has any caveats or encumbrances, if the house is in a flood zone, and if there are any major developments in the area that may impact on the property.
It is also vital to have a thorough awareness of the value of comparable property in the vicinity so that we go in with a realistic expectation of price. Lots of research, inspecting other homes, and evaluating the prior sales in the area establish a sound foundation of knowledge to base our instruction and suggestion to the buyers.
For anyone looking to buy a home or investment property, what would your top tips be?
My top tips would be:
- Location, Location, Location – A great location is always going to gain in capital growth and be desirable.
- Put yourself in the best possible buying position – minimise the conditions of sale such as getting finance approved in advance.
- Act quickly. If you love the property and it ticks all of the boxes, act quickly as the good ones don’t stay on the market for long.
- What does your family need and what will work best for them? Having an idea of how your family needs a home to work will minimise the time and effort you go through to find your perfect home.
- Look past the façade, see the possibilities. A good coat of paint and some new carpet may turn an old tired home into a new gem.
- By engaging an experienced buyer’s agent, you level the playing field and reduce the attached emotion that gets in the way when purchasing property. Having someone on your side who understands the market, and who is willing to get the best home at the best price for you, is a winning combination.
What is it like running your own business?
The flexibility and self-satisfaction of running your own business is so fulfilling. We love coming together every day and solving the property puzzle for our clients. We are very consultative and enjoy nutting out the nuances of each client and each property – it makes every day different and exciting.
What do you love most about your job?
The most rewarding part of our job are our clients. It is so satisfying knowing that you are making someone else happy. To see the joy on their face when a successful deal goes through is nothing short of fantastic.
What would your advice be for someone wanting to get into the industry themselves?
If you adore real estate and love working closely with people, then this could certainly be an industry of interest. The real estate market is ever changing and always full of variables, as are the people you work with. So, if solving puzzles and thinking out of the box is your thing, then this could definitely be something you would enjoy doing.
For more information about Location One visit www.locationone.com.au