Have you ever got caught up in the drama of an auction? Well today’s celebrity guest is an expert at creating auction drama… However, he also shares an insider tip (agents hate this technique) for taking control of the auction yourself. Joining us on today’s podcast is the winner of The Australian Apprentice TV show and award-winning auctioneer, Andrew Morello.
Andrew’s got an amazing property story of bold action starting from a very early age and this podcast is both an inspirational and practical account of his property investment journey.
3:30 From humble beginnings
5:34 What shaped Andrew’s work ethic
10:25 How he started his first business at 14
14:40 Andrew’s first property and the story behind it
22:53 How Andrew pursued what he really wanted to be
26:32 What’s really happening in an auction?
31:24 Tips for buyers at auctions
34:20 How Andrew selects his target properties
37:53 The Apprentice experience: the competition, the competitors, and the winning moment
42:11 Life after the competition
44:12 The lessons he learned from The Apprentice show
46:04 Andrew describes his three characteristics of success
47:08 Why Andrew is so passionate about the Yellow Brick Road
49:43 Advice for investors in the midst of the current market shake-up
53:48 Top three tips for investors starting out today
56:00 What’s going on for Andrew this year?
56:28 What Andrew is looking for in people who are interested in the Yellow Brick Road franchise
57:42 Andrew’s other ventures
“I think a great auctioneer makes the big difference in the process you are paying .” – Andrew Morello
“I believe when you elevate other people, it gives you a better experience...” – Andrew Morello
“It’s better to collaborate and bring on great people and work closely with them .” – Andrew Morello
RESOURCES AND LINKS
You're being employed to do the job. Go out there and do it. - Andrew Morello Click To Tweet
I was more impressed by the house than all prices... - Andrew Morello Click To Tweet
I pride myself on surrounding myself with people that are better than me. - Andrew Morello Click To Tweet
Ep 17 Apprentice to Master – How to Take Bold Action In The Face Of Change with Andrew Morello
John Blackman: Did you know with just two investment properties and one single renovation that you could put over a million dollars in the bank? It’s true and why stop there? Welcome to Your Property Success Podcast, the show that explores the practical steps to making your property investment dreams a reality.
And now here’s your host, she was once confronted by an angry woman who screams “Stay away from my husband and stay away from me!” Jane Slack-Smith.
John Hubbard: Who are you?
Jane Slack-Smith: That is true.
John: Oh no.
Jane: That is true. So when you find yourself as the only female working with 300 men underground, let’s just say we all look the same when we’re covered in coal – so, you know – but having said that, I had nothing to do with anyone’s husband and I think the fact that being a girl working in an underground mine and it was just unusual that there was a female in the workforce that this young lady had some worries and yes I found myself in the toilet roll area of the supermarket being pushed in and going “Stay away from my husband and stay away from me!” I was like, “I don’t know who you or your husband are, but I’m good.” He’s safe. He’s safe. You know what they say in Alaska?
John: What’s that?
Jane: “The odds are good but boy are the goods odd.” – Kind of sums up being a female in the mining industry.
John: Yeah, okay.
Jane: Mind you, that was way back then, 25 years ago. I’m sure it’s all different today.
John: Sure, sure. That it looks less odd today. Is that what you’re saying?
Jane: Anyhow, a big welcome to Your Property Success Podcast and Episode 17. We appreciate you taking the time to join us today and what a great guest we have today John.
John: Yes. People might know today’s guest as the winner of the reality TV show called The Australian Apprentice, which himself is no main feat Jane but he’s got a few other strings to his ___.
Jane: Well, doesn’t he just. He is an entrepreneur, a real estate agent, an auctioneer, an experienced property investor and all at the ripe old age of 31.
John: Yeah, I know. What have we been doing at that time, eh?
Jane: I know. I’m worn out just thinking about it. Look, his name is Andrew Morello and there are so many questions I’d like to ask him like, how did he start his first business at 14? How did he start his property portfolio at 19? He’s got a portfolio today, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. He’s an award-winning auctioneer, so I want to know what it takes to be a good auctioneer. But also for us buyers, what does it take to stop a good auctioneer in their tracks? And of course we have got to go behind the scenes of that TV show The Apprentice and find out did he have a strategic plan to win and what is it actually like on a reality TV show? And I also know that winning this show has had a massive impact on his life, so I’d like to hear about that where he is today, his advice for new investors those that just starting out and especially in the middle of the current changes in the Australian property market.
So don’t go anywhere. Stick around because we have another huge show for you coming up with today’s wonderful guest, Andrew Morello.
Jane: Andrew, a very warm welcome to Your Property Success Podcast.
Andrew Morello: Well Jane first of all, thanks for having me – all very exciting. It was great that our paths have crossed.
Jane: So can you tell us a little bit about where you grew up and what was some of your early influences?
Andrew: So I grew up in a place called Moonee Ponds. Our family came back to Australia in 1956 on the boats from Italy and we settled in North Melbourne/Moonee Ponds pretty early and it has been an amazing place, a good balance between humility and opportunity and it’s still that place, which is a great thing as well and it’s very exciting to always be back in Melbourne to be today with you too.
Jane: And tell me, what kind of life did your parents have in Italy before they came here? What were the opportunities –
Andrew: Well, my parents came out as children to Australia post-war under the probably not so positive policy that Sir Rob Menzies has had white Australian Policy, but under that policy, Italian and Greeks were brought out to Australia and they did build a lot of what you see now in Melbourne and Sydney and other places in Australia and built a great base for the next generation of either Australians or European-Australians, but very very humble beginnings. My grandfather came with nothing and my father and mother were children when they first got here. My mom had a probably quite difficult life, both her parents passed away and my father probably didn’t have the best of role models even though my grandfather tried his best and my grandmother tried her best, but they really had to be the captains of their own fate and the masters of their own destiny and anyone who has met my dad, John Morello on the corner of Pascoe Vale Roads and Buckley Street Moonee Ponds over the last 47 years, woll know that he is a great man. He’s given a lot back to the community, given a lot back to Australia and certainly called Australia home and not Italy. And I always said to him, “When are you going to go buy a place in Sicily so I can come and visit?” “Why would I do that when I live in the greatest country in the world?” So we’re very patriotic about being Australian.
Jane: It’s amazing isn’t it? Looking at that kind of family, a generational journey, how you can actually you can make that choice to break from the, I guess, the past and you haven’t had those role models that you can actually create your own destiny, which is obviously what you did. Dad did the servo and he gave you your first job.
Andrew: He did, he did. It’s not a job or slave labour, one of the two Jane. I’m pretty sure the Morello Family that’s where you have to cut your teeth in business, so as I said it’s still there today in the corner of Pascoe Vale Roads and Buckley Street Moonee Ponds ___ it was at for anyone old enough to remember, ___ and then it’s a BP now. But yeah it was sort of 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 months old and five dollars a day. And it was from 7:00-8:00 in the morning ‘till 10-11 o’clock at night and that was six-seven days a week which was quite an interesting childhood I can assure you.
Jane: What were your mates doing at that same time? Were they busy?
Andrew: Well, the funny thing was is that they would all come to visit on the way down to Queens Park Pools on Pascoe Vale Road and on a hot summer’s day at 34 degrees while I was cleaning petrol ponds and my dad will chat them all an icy pole and then tell me to get back to work, so I was lik,e yeah that’s really –
Jane: Did he make you pay for the icy pole?
Andrew: He didn’t, no. He used to share it with the boys.
Jane: You know, that kind of work ethic – and we see that from a lot of people who have come from overseas and made Australia their own and we still see that today, has that been the drive that you have had? Because, I mean, you’re 31 and quite frankly I’m exhausted when I talk to you. Every time you’re doing something I’m thinking, “I thought I was busy.”
Andrew: Yeah. I think dad was great role model. He’s always been doing something now and he’s nearly 69 and he acts like he’s going to live to 150 and probably he will just despite me actually. I’m like, “You know you should go and sell some things and travel and have a good time. You always use to say I’m doing it for our kids and then when ___ now I’m doing it for the grandkids.” I’m trying to get them to retire. If anyone can convince him ___. It’s a bit of a challenge because what happens is, is they came from nothing. So they dedicate their whole life to providing a better future for their family. And then they get stuck in their ways and they didn’t have big educations and neither mom or dad finished high school, so for them the simplicity of just working hard providing for your family gave them a lot of nourishment when the reality is in the modern world you probably need nourishment more than just from physical things but also mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. And so what happens is you got to need to watch what they do and learn and be grateful that they’re great role models for work ethic and being good people. But then at the same time if you’re going to live in a modern world in a modern relationship with a modern woman and a lot of children, I don’t know how conducive that lifestyle would be to maintain any sort of a relationship with.
Jane: It’s so important to have that balance isn’t it?
Andrew: it is now definitely.
Jane: Absolutely. Well reflecting back now, how do you think your drive to achieve differs from your parents?
Andrew: Yes. So I believe they come from a culture where if you just work hard everything will be okay. I actually don’t think that works anymore. I do a lot of social work and volunteer work out in Western Sydney and out in Western Melbourne so when you see these people that are starting out and if you just work hard now, you don’t seek some – Basic good advice: If you don’t do your research, if you don’t get involved in your future, then you work hard your whole life and you’ll be stuck. The generation of my parents was the last of the Mohicans where if you just worked hard, it all worked out in the end because –
Jane: Time was forgiving.
Andrew: Correct. It was. Now obviously because the amount of money you make versus how expensive your mortgage is or how expensive your lifestyle is and just the pressures of the current modern lifestyle, you really need to be smarter and work smarter around the commitments bits that you’re making, so that’s the big challenge. If you need to educate yourself now, then you need to surround yourself with good people.
Jane: Good knowledgeable people who allow you to have that jumpstart so don’t have to make the same mistakes. So once you finish that at the service station what was next for you?
Andrew: So obviously growing up, it was funny because when I was in primary school at St Monica’s at Moonee Ponds people would say, “We’re going to Disneyland” like in America as a family and I’ll be like how are you doing that? Who is going to run your dad’s business? So like a six seven year old, I couldn’t understand the concept that people worked for other people and they got four weeks paid leave. So when my mates were going, “We are going to Disneyland” I’m like, that’s impossible. Who’s going to run you dad’s business of all things? So my brain was wired a particular way very young for entrepreneurialism and self-employment, so when I was working for my dad 5 dollars a day – there was no inflation either by the way. I didn’t go up incrementfully with CPI annually or anything –
Jane: Just longer hours as you get older.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Correct, correct. But so what happened was I got a job briefly at a place called Hanna’s Sporting, Buckle Street, Moonee Ponds. There was a nightclub on the corner called One Bar and I had an idea to take the blue light discos out of the town hall that nobody used to go to because they were in a town the police used to run –
Jane: And the lights are always on, really bright.
Andrew: And I found a grey area in the law, the legislation at that time in Victorian State Law that said that if you remove all the alcohol from a licensed menu, you can actually put minors in there, but all the alcohol needs to be removed.
Jane: Wait a second. How old were you at this stage?
Andrew: I was 14.
Jane: And you did some research on the liquor laws of nightclubs.
Andrew: I’m very good at finding grey area.
Jane: Is this before Google? Where do you find these information?
Andrew: It was before Google. I worked with a couple of guys that had tried to do something in the south eastern suburbs and so we knew that there was something there but we just needed the right person to look for it. And then we went to the council to watch what the mistake people had made in the past because they didn’t get the police or the counsellors involved. ___ the schools, the police, the councils, the state government, everyone involved and we got a government grant from a beautiful lady named Carol Espinoza who is the mother of some good friends of mine, the Volpi Boys. And she believed in this idea and we turned 14-15 years old, we turned one barn into a youth dance party place. And yeah that was the beginning of self- employment for me. It was called Angel Promotions.
Jane: And what happened?
Andrew: ___ class prestige and I got to show there was not much glass at all or prestige in the back. The idea was there.
Jane: So you’re going from the service station and going and running class style prestige events. Talk about look into the future. When did you sell that?
Andrew: I was 19 when we transitioned the entire range of events and my cousin still – I ran it with my cousin Anthony and he’s still quite big. He runs most of Melbourne’s events now so he continued in that industry. And then at 17 when I finished school, I moved into real estate. So 18 I was at Compton Green in Williamstown.
Jane: So when you started that business, did I hear that you also got a government grant to start the business as well?
Andrew: Yeah. Yes I did my first capital raise when I was 14.
Jane: Unbelievable. So this is something now that people are just looking at and I know that you’ve got a business opportunity now for capital raising, but you started this at 14.
Andrew: It was actually my father I think tried to reverse engineered me. He said, “What do you want to do?” And I said, “I want to own night clubs.” And this is good parenting. My parents never told me I can’t do something. So they went, “Okay, how are you going to do it?” But I think my dad thought by getting me to go through the process that I’ll talk myself out of it and I did this little mini budget needed 10,000 and he’s like, “Okay, where you going to get the money from?” I thought maybe he would give me the money considering he told me to do a budget and then he said, “No. I’m not going to give it to you.” So where am I going to get it from?” My mum runs the events for the council. You should go speak to her. And I remember putting on my St. Bernard school uniform, I’ve never worn it properly in my life. And I buttoned up, tie done, school shoes on so I used to wear runnings with my school uniform that I always used to get told off, crisp white shirt, blazer. Looking at me though I want to pitch to her for like an hour. I just looked straight and she goes, “You had me after five minutes. You do not have to keep talking.” She goes, “You’re doing me favour because if you run this even you make me look good.” So yeah, Carol, she gave me my first go and I’m still really close with her sons I emceed one of her sons weddings. Her other son stayed at my house. She had four boys and I’m close with all of them and one of them went into this industry. He runs all the venues at Grand Casino.
Jane: Unbelievable. So you’ve created a legacy for that family as well.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, they’re like my other brothers. I’ve got my brother John and then we’ve got another guy who’s our like – we call him our Muslim brother. He grew up with us. He’s 17 and my mum always cooked separate food for him. So for 17 years, he’s coming for dinner every week. And then we’ve got the Volpi Brothers which are our other brothers.
Jane: Oh my gosh, big extended family and very characteristic of European background. So tell me, what did you do with that money?
Andrew: That effectively where I originally got my first deposit for my first ___ So I bought my first property 18-19 which was just a little one bedroom.
Jane: What did your mates say when you said, I’ve got some money, I’m going to buy property?
Andrew: Well, first of all when you start making money at that age there’s a lot of tall poppy syndrome. What the mistake I made as a young boy was showing my friends how much money I make because you want to show off ___ don’t tell your friends that much money you make. And it was funny because look we grew up in Moonee Ponds which was quite a colourful place back then and the other people that were making money were guys doing not so noble things. At the end of the day, they’re like, “Oh, you should be that sort of a lifestyle.” And I’m like, “Oh, no guys. That’s the mistake everybody makes.” When you say you’re going to buy property – we all come from Europe and a lot of us come from European families so it was quite normal. So I just thought owning 10 properties was normal. My dad did that, so I thought we grew up Saturday morning going to you know clean out one of the rental properties, so we thought that was what you just did, and going to auctions every week and I watched my brother and his real estate career. So for me it was normalised. So it’s funny when I get a chance to sit with people in their ‘30s or ‘40s that are buying their first property and they’re quite anxious about it, which I understand I empathize and I understand. But I was very lucky that it was just normalised for me and I went and just buy the first one and keep going.
Jane: It is quite a I guess a common characteristic that you find of people who come to Australia with nothing that property really becomes their one goal, to get the family home. Your dad took that a step further with buying investment properties as well. And what do you think motivated him to do that?
Andrew: Well, that’s a great question Jane actually because I put a lot of thought into this. So when I was a child,, my father would always drive home a very odd way and he drove – he still owns it by the way – a 77 Statesman Caprice with a vinyl roof. He still owns it, doesn’t get out much, but it sits in the garage. It’s always registered and it’s always road worthy. He only drives it twice a year. But when we were young he drove it all the time and on the way home my father would drive, let’s say, we’re at a family function and back in the day there was a thing called La Mirage which was a very ethnic European style reception centre out Campbellfield on the Hume Highway. And we drive home and my dad would drive all the way up to Kensington through the backwards of Kensington up through Flemington, down ___, up to Essendon, cut back across Buckley Street, into the service station past the junction where his other service station was, and then into the back streets of Moonee Ponds, then back to home. And when you’re like 7, 8, 9, 10 usually got home at midnight, but what was happening was two things: One he was checking out his properties. Like any old school European we’re making sure everything was all safe and good and we did used to get broken into lots of service stations. It was quite common that they would get ran raided in the middle of the night with stolen goods. It’s still quite common now. So I knew my dad had that in his background. But what I realised he was doing was he was validating his hard work and if you look at the sort of the subconscious mentality behind a property investor or behind that European mentality, what he was doing was obviously he didn’t have the sort of parents that said “I love you and I’m proud of you.” He didn’t have a high school degree or masters or a bachelor or a doctorate up in the wall like most people do these days. They can look at what they’ve accomplished at the top of the wall in the form of a certificate to validate their hard work. So what my father did was we’d be in the rear-view mirror after three children my brother my sister and I would be asleep. He’d be looking in the rear view mirror driving in his ’77 Statesman Caprice past these properties that he bought and it was his validation. And no one there was there to tell him but to say, “You know what, you worked really really hard and you’ve accomplished a lot and you’re creating a better future for your children.” And that’s, in my opinion, what he was doing and I have spoken to him later on about that and it was his validation. So it’s like the properties for him were an opportunity for someone to say, “You know what, I’m proud of you and you’ve done really really well.” And they are obviously his legacy.
Jane: Because that’s really why we all get into property isn’t it? It’s that legacy and that that security and that kind of “I’m okay and the family is okay and we’re good.”
Andrew: Yes. And if something happened to me tomorrow, they’d be okay.
Jane: Oh, okay. Well…
Andrew: There you go. He’s a lot more sentimental that he puts on, my father. You’re not going to get too many “I love you’s” or “I’m proud of you’s” but he will show you in different ways. He might say it to you actually ___
Jane: So let’s go back now to that very first property. You had the money. You decide to bank it because it was just part of what you knew that was creating wealth.
Jane: You bought a one-bedroom unit.
Jane: Tell me about that and how did you find it.
Andrew: Yeah. I’ve just got into real estate and I’d been around Moonee Ponds for a long time –
Jane: At 19
Andrew: At 19 yeah. So we grew up in the Moonee Ponds I’d ride my bike around as a kid and go watch my brother call auctions in the area. So him, another guy, Lou Rendina – if anyone’s ever seen him call an auction, he’s a very good auctioneer –
Jane: And Lou has been there forever. I know living in Kensington in 1997 Lou was everywhere.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, my brother started his career with him.
Jane: This is John?
Andrew: John, yeah. And then John at 21 left Lou to start his own business. Originally he was going to buy into Lou’s business and then that didn’t work out. It’s in our blood to be self-employed. So I grew up I was lucky that I had done sort of the research beforehand and was able to make some pretty easy decisions that property was the way to go.
Jane: So what was the characteristic about that property that was right?
Andrew: I’m a big fan of sort of 1950s style old school, solid brick apartment blocks with eight apartments, ___, double story. It was eight apartments and they’re just – it’s easy. There are still good buys now. They (?) value up always with the banks because they’re existing stock. They’re very low maintenance, low Strata fees, and I’m a big advocate for them. Getting into property, as long as the Strata’s is in order and you can have a look at – it’s probably worth investing in a building report just to check if there’s any concrete cancer, look through the past strata notes and so forth or solicitor or ___ but they’re just great little buys. ___ you can still buy something in Moonee Ponds that are one bedroom that’s solid brick in a proper block with either 8 or 12.
Jane: They’re not pretty are they?
Andrew: They’re not pretty.
Jane: Meat and potatoes. They do good.
Andrew: But they never lose value. They’re the only ones that — we’ve started to see it now that the valuations – I’m stacking up with the apartment stock in Melbourne –
Jane; That the off-the-plan –
Andrew: Off-the-plan, correct. And as much as that continues to happen you know through the cyclical periods that exist in 1950s post war stock just seems to work. I’m a big fan of the art deco stuff. The one I bought in Bondi on the beach front, I think I bought that 725 six years ago and it just got valued at mid 1. You can’t go wrong. Now the people go, “Oh, because it’s the beach front.” But it’s also because it’s solid brick, it’s not going anywhere. It’s nearly 100 years old and it will be there for another hundred years.
Jane: Will the next suburb past it? No, no. I’m not going to go there. So that first unit $300,000 dollars?
Jane: Back in?
Andrew: I’ve been 19, so you work at the math, I’m 31 now, so it was 12 years ago.
Jane: Okay. And how much would it be worth now? You still have it I gather?
Andrew: I do, I do. I’m not seller. It would probably be 465 now but it yields really well. They always rent perfect –
Jane: No pain, just rented out. Everyone’s really good.
Jane: So I guess the next question that I want to know is when did you then decide to go into next property and start building that portfolio? Were you kind of building your career at that time as well and investing in that or did you do it simultaneously?
Andrew: I got into real estate at a 18 with Compton Green in Williamstown. So it took me about 3-1/2 to 4 years to get the second property up. Partly my lifestyle kicked in, I’m not going to lie. So if someone said to me what are some of the things you’ve learned?
Jane: What does 21 year old boy to do?
Andrew: Go buy expensive cars and go out and go on some expensive trips – short expensive trips especially because when you start making money you decide to –
Jane: I deserve something.
Andrew: And the problem is with property, like all other ___, it’s like being self-employed. So even when I worked for Adrian Butera in Compton Green, you’re self-employed. If you’re not around, it’s out of sight out of mind, so they’ll list with other people and you go on these 1-1/2 week trips and you would just give it a solid nudge because you knew that you could have gone on a six-week or two-month backpacking around Europe like your mates were doing because they were all at uni.
Jane: Yeah, exactly.
Andrew: So they could do that.
Jane: And you were working. But you had the money and they didn’t, right?
Jane: So when you started, what did you see when you looked around the property industry and what did you decide to do differently?
Andrew: So I was very lucky that my first mentor and boss was Adrian Butera in Williamstown. I’ll tell you actually a little secret. I don’t know if I’ve said this in an interview before by I actually never wanted to be real estate agent.
Jane: Ah, you got to tell us more about that.
Andrew: I wanted to be an auctioneer.
Andrew: Yes. In Sydney in Queensland you can be an auctioneer. There’s an auctioneer, it’s a separate business and separate entity. Generally they go on bring in external auctioneers to auction the properties. And my brother explained to me as a kid, he’s like, “If you want to be an auctioneer, then you better to learn how to list because most guys that list their own properties auction their own properties as a form of prospecting. My brother goes, “You better learn how to list.” And I was 16 and I remember he sent to my first professional ___ seminar which was with a guy named Nick Lynch who brought ___ to Australia. He used to own MPRE down at Mornington Peninsula. I was 16 years old and I went to Moonee Valley Racecourse in my school uniform and negotiated with my parents that I would go to it ‘till midday and I’d go to school for the last part of the day but I never got to school.
Jane: What did what did they think of a 16 year old school uniform in a seminar?
Andrew: He loved it. Nick loved it. I sat front row and as a speaker because now I’m also a corporate speaker, you always find someone you can have a bit of fun with in the crowd to break the ice. And Nick, he loved the fact there was a schoolboy in the front row and he gave me a bit of extra attention and stayed in touch and everything afterwards.
Jane: And what did you take from it?
Andrew: Well, I wanted to be an auctioneer and I was already exposed to people like Lou Rendina who was the top performer at the time and Brett Teale who has been around a long time and my brother. I was exposed to all these sort of top performers and in our solid town anyway. So I already had a good base and I used to go door knocking and letterbox dropping for my brother. So Nick Lynch probably cemented that I was going in the right path and then I just want to be an auctioneer. So at 18 I became an auctioneer. I’ve competed in the Novice Auctioneers Competition, Real Estate Institute of Victoria. I came #1 for the northwest region. I came #2 for Victoria. I lost to a girl, Sophie Houston who’s now at Jellis Craig, so we’re all on the same team now.
Jane: Go Sophie!
Andrew: Yeah, go Sophie! But she doesn’t call auctions anymore.
Jane: But you do.
Andrew: I do.
Jane: I see you on Facebook live calling options. Well, tell me the drama around auctions. For people who are from the other side as venders they definitely want to have that fierce competition. How do you create that as an auctioneer?
Andrew: I think a great Auctioneer makes the big difference in the price that you pay. It’s true. So if anyone who is buying right now –
Jane: We might get some tips for buyers as well.
Andrew: Don’t buy an auction from me or from my brother or probably from Lou Rendina also. But it’s what it is, It’s a balance between empathy and respect for the buyers whilst doing your job and working for the vendor who is paying you and you get a lot of frustration from buyers especially in a hot market which we’ve been a part of recently in Melbourne and in Sydney. You get a lot of upset buyers that have spent money on building inspections especially when it’s the family home they’re looking to buy. They’ve gone $200,000 over what they wanted to do, but what I explain to them is I explain that as the auctioneer and the agent, we’re employed by the vendor and one day when you want to sell, we’ll do the exact same thing for you. I try and say that with as much love and empathy as possible. Obviously, I’ve been to an auction and I bought the house on the left to my mum and dad bought that off Nelson Alexander at auction. And I can tell you, they knew we own the properties on the side so they stretched that out as long as they could. They knew I was the buyer. Even though I used up ___ and then I decided to kick in ___ I cracked it and started bidding. And so look I’ve been I’ve been on the side of the frustration as well and it just the reality of the beast. The great thing about them is it’s the most honest and transparent way to buy real estate because at least what you’re paying what you pay you get into a Dutch auction afterwards. I think in Australia and the real estate Institute of Victoria and governing bodies have done a really good job legitimising auctions. There are big fines for anyone who does anything untoward these days, so I think it’s a good thing and continue to relegate and regulate the industry because it creates a really good transparent way for people to do things before the actual auction.
Jane: Before the actual auction, the auctioneers given a kind of indication of what the reserve is and I imagine the sales team has been around and contacted everyone making sure they’re going to turn up. Do you walk up to the front of that building knowing that there’s people in the crowd going to buy or is there always does something that just happens?
Andrew: Look, I’ve called a thousand auctions and you still those butterflies just before that because you’re wondering – look I enjoy the process now. My auction mentor, Adrian Butera, he was a well accomplished auctioneer as well and an award winning auctioneer, he taught me that you do auctions for four parties. And what he means, we don’t do it for the person selling. No, that’s number one, so the vendor. Number two is the purchaser, so obviously the ___. Number three if yourself and the agency you’re representing and number four os perspective sellers. So I learned pretty early that whether there’s going to be a buyer or not, it was my, I suppose obligation to do the right thing by vendor and 110% whether this buys or not and in Victoria we don’t register buyers. So in New South Wales, you’ll know there’s any registered buyers. In New South Wales a lot of the auctioneers, if there’s no registered buyers, don’t call the auction. And I actually think it’s a bit of ___ especially if they’re being paid for it ___ but if they’re being paid for it and there’s no registered bidders, they just ___ unregistered bidders and I’m like, because people can register and buy anyway anywhere up until you pass the property and I think well you’ve been employed to do a job, go out there and do its because you don’t know you might convince somebody during your spiel or during your education on the property or during the auction process you might bring that person to say, “You know what, why don’t I have a go?” But in Victoria, there are no registered bidders. Even in a good economy in a good market like we’ve had, you get out there’s a big crowd and it’s always a slow start as well, like you would have seen some them on Facebook live. You’ve got to put in a vendor bid skill but the thing sells for a hundred grand over reserve. And you’re like, I wonder why don’t they put their hand up?
Jane: You know it’s funny you say you never know when someone’s going to turn up. We had one of our students that came to our workshops. He was 19 year old apprentice driving through Yarraville and he wondered what all the people were crowding around about so he pulled over and he thought well this looks kind of good and he put his hand up. At the end of the day, bought the property, rang mum and said, “Mum I think I need to come down with your credit card.” It turned out to be an absolute wonderful investment for him.
Andrew: You can’t go wrong in Yarraville. It’s a beautiful area.
Jane: But you never know. And I guess that drama of the auction, you know, for people who are going to auction as a purchaser, what are some tips that you can give them because I know there’s a lot of wait to the last moment or wait the vendor bids and do the big knock out bid? What are you looking for?
Andrew: Well, look I get paid to be on behalf of people. And auctioneers hate when I get engaged to do that because I there’s a thing called cooking the auction, which I hate when somebody does that. I actually have to be calling an auction only a month ago in the airport west on behalf of one of the Jellis Craig agents and I called the auction and this Chinese investor knew exactly what he was doing. We quoted 500 to 550 and he just opening bid 560 and the owner wanted like 565-570 on the day. What we told him it was mid 5 so he wanted the top the mid 5 which was 565-70 and obviously when the owner sees bid, he thinks it’s not everything. So obviously we passed that in. We negotiated, wounded up getting in 565 I think it was, but this Chinese investor knew it. There was all these young first time buyers that probably would have gone to high fives Yeah even probably a six.
Jane: So he scared them.
Andrew: He did. He cooked the auction.
Jane: The auction is actually putting in that upfront bid that you know is going to get it especially gives first time buyers it scares the hell out of them, so that some sub one million mark in Melbourne and Sydney too. It definitely works. But the standard stuff we’re told what to do is go on with a budget you know so obviously the family home you can get caught up in the emotion of the auction especially with a good option. Number two is do your own due diligence, so you get educated. Number three is don’t rock up to your auction just for your auction, so make sure you start going to lots of different auctions just to get a bit of a feel for the temperature of how it all works.
Jane: And watching how that auction performs as well like, following that aucitoneer.
Andrew: Yeah, that would be great. That would be great if you get the opportunity to do that. That’s often a big key. The other thing is have a bit of a relationship with the agent. A lot of people think, “Oh, I got to hold my cards close to my chest.” I explained to people and that’s like when people say, “I’ll wait to bid right at the end.” Why would you bid right at the end if you know where you got to go. Getting in and be bold, be proud, be strong because that’s what it sets the temperature and it sets the pace of the auction and go introduce yourself to the auctioneer like have a bit of a – so just relax a little bit with it but have a budget in mind because I’ve seen some people go pretty crazy. And obviously, I partook in that when I bought the one on the left of my mum and dad because I had to buy it, the ones on the side. Obviously I paid whatever I had to. But it could’ve been really dangerous.
Jane: There’s a bigger plan in place.
Andrew: Yeah, there was.
Jane: Well let’s take you back to your property portfolio. You bought that first unit. Three and a half years later got the deposit and bit of income up to buy your next one. How did you then select the properties because you’ve 9 properties now including your home in Bondi, so how did you go about creating it? I guess how you would buy the next one after that iif you would have a bit of experience by then?
Andrew: Yeah. Look I’m very lucky that I come across opportunities, so I often don’t buy at auctions ___. As an auctioneer, I know not to buy at auction.
Jane: There’s a tip for you.
Andrew: I only bought one at auction because we had the ones on the side of it and they knew that I was going to be the buyer, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t buy in to the drama that I normally create. Look, I’m not going to lie. There was no secret formula, Jane, to tell the honest truth. I know your listeners probably want to hear that. It’s just that I educated myself when I was in the industry. But as buyers you should just start educating yourself and then I registered on a realestate. com.
Jane: And domain, all of those, yup.
Andrew: Domain, all of them, but I registered for the areas I was interested in and obviously back then it was Moonee Valley region so obviously we’ve done quite well there since 1956. I continue the family tradition of buying around there.
Jane: So when you say register what you did is you actually said, “I’m after a…“
Andrew: Property alerts.
Jane: One bedroom unit of or a three bedroom house in this area and –
Andrew: I kept it fairly generic just to the postcode and a budget.
Jane: And you continue to buy units or do you also go into land?
Andrew: Yup, units and then houses. I’m very lucky that what’s happened is often the properties I bought are the ones next door on the ones I already own. I don’t know if anyone knows but a good European diversification portfolio is the buyer, they ask next door or the one behind. It was all very diverse.
Jane: You’re a product of your roots is what you’re telling me.
Andrew: I am effectively. My father had the same sort of formula that has worked out. But look, what I tell people is work it out. Start ___ your relationships with your accountant, with your financial planner, with your mortgage broker, with your lender, your bank or whatever it is. Continue to be ready for those opportunities to come up. Register for those alerts and then register for things that you may during your investigations that you might be interested in. So like a prime example, I saw some people do very well out of the mining boom over in ___. It wasn’t something I did but I saw some people do extremely because they immerse themselves into what was what was going on there and they were smart about it and realised it is cyclical. Am I an advocate for chasing after infrastructure booms? No, I’m not. Do I think there are opportunities? Yes I do. You need to know what you’re doing. So my recommendation to people is always to be smart about it and make sure you do your research. But yeah I had friends that did extremely well out of the out of the mining boom –
Jane: And they got out before the market –
Andrew: They got out before the –
Jane: And so tell me be the properties that you have bought. Are they all in Moonee Valley other than one in Bondi or did you diversify a little bit?
Andrew: Seven in Moonee Valley, one in Bondi, and now just one in Queensland.
Jane: Oh great, diversification. It kind of helps with ___ tax bill too.
Andrew: I know. Don’t even get me started on that. The Bondi was the one I rented. When I won The Apprentice, they put me in this apartment and I’m Italian so I don’t like to –
Jane: So you settled in is what you’re saying.
Andrew: I did and I don’t like to pay rent. So I kept trying to buy it off the Dutch-Jewish owner and I would give him an Australian-Italian price and then we met at an Australian price and then we closed.
Jane: Good job. Okay,
Yes. OK. So let’s go forward The Apprentice. This is 2009. How did you find out about it?
Andrew: Yes, okay. Here we go. Another real estate guy Spiro from the south eastern suburbs, he does property on that side of town.
Jane: Another good Australian name.
Andrew: Another good Aussie name, yeah. Spiro he sent me the sort of nomination saying I should try out this thing. They had thousands of people trying out and I sort of wrote back at that stage Martin ___ for this rubbish. And then –
Jane: And he still probably has that email, right?
Andrew: I reckon he would somewhere. That was from old Thompson real estate one, but I reckon he would because he always – at his wedding he reminded everyone that, “Im the reason why he won The Apprentice.”
Jane: Good, good. It had nothing to do with all hard work and all weeks –
Andrew: No, nothing.
Jane: Call out to Spiro. Thank you Spiro for that.
Andrew: Thanks Spiro. If you’re looking at listing on the southern suburbs, feel free to look up Spiro ___. So he set me up. We were doing some deals at the time together, put the application in. They had thousands of people trying out, so I remember the day even where I have the auditions. It’s like a six stage process. I nearly didn’t have a go because I’m like –
Jane: The time out of work, what’s the chance—
Andrew: Time out of work, it wasn’t the chance because everybody who would won a reality TV show in Australia up to that point was blond hair and blue eyes. I didn’t know how lucky I was going to be with looking as dark featured as I was. I thought they’re going to want some hot, tall, blond-haired blue-eyed guy straight out of Bondi. That’s why I moved to Bondi—
Jane: Yeah, obviously.
Andrew: I was trying to fit in to that profile. But yeah, got on the show, made like The Top 100 Victoria, top 100 in Australia, then got on the show to the top 12, had to go to Sydney for 10 weeks in South ___ John Singleton’s old mansion on the Waterfront there which was great. I was more impressed by the house than the whole process of television and then yeah, won the show which was unexpected.
Jane: And what were your impressions of your rivals first up?
Andrew: Look, I’ve had a lot of mentorship around sort of my spirituality and my mindset so like I believe when you elevate other people, it gives you a better experience. One or two people feel obligated to sort of work and help you be better as well. So I just you know I gave them any chance I had to elevate them as my competitors. I didn’t see them as my competitors. I saw them as other fellow human beings that I can work with. Look, I didn’t actually expect to win Jane. There were some quite impressive people on the show – people with MBAs and PhDs and people that had a lustrous business careers, but had gone through a bit of a pivot and a changed, so people that had done well in the corporate sector. So I didn’t expect to win, so I just thought of going into it for the opportunity and I actually secretly wanted to just leverage my real estate career. I thought I’d be on TV, that’s why I called myself the auctioneer. I didn’t call myself a realist because of that I’ll pivot maybe into full time auctioneering off the back of being on the show and you saw I pulled out an auction a few times on the show too.
Jane: You got demonstrate your wares.
Andrew: I thought I’d just come like 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd so when I won it actually spun everything out. I didn’t expect to win.
Jane: So you’re sitting there in the boardroom, Mr Bouris was looking at you and your competitor who was?
Andrew: Heather who come 2nd.
Jane: And what was going through your mind?
Andrew: Well, I’ll tell you what happened. Not many people know this either. It’s the only thing that’s fake in a reality TV show. They film two endings.
Jane: The only thing that’s fake.
Andrew: Everything is done live, so they do film it live. They don’t script that. But the one thing they did script was at end. So Mark came in and sat with, Mr Bouris at the time. We’re in separate rooms. And he’s like so we have to film two endings. I’m wondering how they do these because I’m like I’ve got to go back to Melbourne for 10 weeks while I’m on television and doing real estate and not tell anyone that I won or lost.
Jane: And they’re making you like chat to people, it’s not like you’re not going to let the cat out the bag.
Andrew: [Crosstalk] If someone looks at me and goes “Did you win?” I’ll have this big smile on my face and go “I don’t know.” And then they’ll be like, “I’m pretty sure when I look on your face you won.” So I genuinely didn’t know until the day before it was on television.
Jane: And so when you were told that you won, what went through your mind?
Andrew: Gee, I got 40 listings right now on real estate. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my 40 listings.
Jane: Because you got a job didn’t you? $200,000 job with Mark Bouris.
Andrew: But I spent 10 weeks on television listing real estate, so I was having the time of my life.
Jane: Oh, I can imagine. Living in a beautiful beach side mansion.
Andrew: No, no. I was back at Moonee Ponds.
Andrew: Yes. I was back in Moonee Ponds. So you film for 10 weeks, then you go back to normal life for 10 weeks. It’s actually a syndrome. People lose their mind from it because you’re nobody, then you’re famous, then you’re nobody again. And you spent 10 weeks with people running after you like you’d have a thing called a runner. So if you want a drink, you’d be like, put your hand up and someone comes in and gets you a drink. You want food –
Jane: And you go home and mum says get your own.
Andrew: Nah, my mum was pretty good.
Jane: And so you did you have to pick up your wife straight away and move?
Andrew: I did Mark expected that straight away. He gave me a few weeks to wrap everything up. My brother wasn’t happy because it put him in the middle of everything.
Jane: So he ends up auctioneering all those other properties, all those listings that you have.
Andrew: It was. I was actually flying back still on weekends helping out for a good couple a couple of months just to wrap it up.
Jane: And Mr Bouris as we knew him from The Apprentice, we can call him Mark I’ll imagine now.
Andrew: I’m sure he prefers to be called Mark I imagine.
Jane: Was he as tough as he seemed on the show? He just seemed to be completely straight down the line. There’s no gray.
Andrew: He’s definitely firm but fair and he’s a great role model. He’s quite an inspirational man. The great thing via his leadership is he endorses entrepreneurialism with our Yellow Brick Road branches but also with individuals that work for the company. We’ve actually had nine head office staff at Yellow Brick Road go and open their own Yellow Brick Road.
Jane: Wow. That is a testament isn’t it?
Andrew: Yeah. It shows you that he’s a big believer in entrepreneurialism and supports it and lets them phase into it as well, which is very rare to see of someone of his calibre.
Jane: Absolutely. And so tell me, what did the show itself teach you?
Andrew: I would say probably the number one thing, there’s a camera always on, so accountability. When there’s a camera on you for 10 weeks straight from 5:00 in the morning to 11 o’clock at night you learn pretty quickly too. If you say you’re going to do something you have to do it because there’s a camera that filmed and you’re not sure if they’re going to use it or not. So accountability was probably the number one thing. And number two is collaboration. You really can’t succeed and I’m a big believer and now even more now so I’d come from being a top performer in real estate, so there wasn’t probably a level of, not arrogance, but ___ a bit of overconfidence that I could do everything and when you get thrown into things that aren’t sales you learn pretty quickly that you need other people. When I eventually become an executive at Yellow Brick Road, Mark also through his mentorship taught me it’s better to collaborate and bring on great people and work closely with them, which I’ve just done now with the new gentleman who did my job at Aussie Home Loans, bring in ___ franchise he’s on. I just got him to come to a Yellow Brick Road
Jane: Oh that’s a coup.
Andrew: Yes it is and I just got the general manager over and I just got the state manager over in New South Wales. So yes if anyone from ___ listening to this I’m sorry.
Jane: That’s why they made you business developer and manager of a Yellow Brick Road right?
Andrew: But the good thing is the three guys I brought over are better than me. And I pride myself on surrounding myself with people that are better than me and I’m confident in my own abilities and that’s the challenge you see people in business. They want to try and make sure they always justify themselves. And what they do by doing that, they actually self-sabotage their growth, number one, but number two they self-sabotage the business too.
Jane: Well actually, you were sharing with me earlier your ideas. By the time you’re 30 you had three characteristics of success. Do you want to share that with us?
Andrew: Yes. So everybody had a dollar value of what they wanted to be worth when they’re 30. And I instead didn’t want to have to answer my phone because my phone rings a hundred times a day. And so I don’t have to answer my phone anymore, which is good. There’s always someone else in the business for them to speak to. Number two was that I didn’t have to touch a computer. So I’ll look at an email if need be on my phone, but there’s a team that take care of that. And number three was that I wouldn’t need a key to any of my offices. So I have an office in William Street for the Yellow Brick Road in Melbourne. I have an office in Chifley Square in Sydney. I have an office in ___ Road for Jellis Craig and I don’t actually hold the key to any of it.
Jane: What I love about that is you say there’s always someone better to do this job, you create something and then you put the person who’s better at doing it and into place. I’m thinking, just going back to you know Mark and what he created with Wizard and then when he moved onto Yellow Brick Road. Yellow Brick Road is really mums and dads everyday Australians getting financial security. What’s the philosophy behind Yellow Brick Road and why are you so passionate about it?
Andrew: Well, it’s very in line with my personal vision-mission values. Obviously I grew up in humble beginnings in Moonee Ponds and I saw my parents probably worked hard not smart. And I think the challenge with everyday Australians is there’s no one really advocating for them. So the mantra for Yellow Brick Road and the vision and mission is that we want for everyday Australians to be able to do the two great Australian dreams, which to own their own home and retire comfortably. And off the back of that, we are reverse engineering all of our products. We reverse engineer all of our strategies. But the mums and dads of Australia aren’t being taken care of. If you’re worth 10 million plus they’ll give your private banker. If you’re starting out nobody really, unless a private practice like yourself, that won’t give people the time of day, none of the larger organizations. So we’ve tried to find that middle ground and provide services through a network of 168 Yellow Brick Roads around the country that are operated and that’s where you get somebody that’s prepared to go above and beyond. So if you look at Yellow Brick Roads often they are with people at auctions on weekends or helping them go through them for inspections and things of that nature. So that was the culture we’re trying to create and I think we’ve done it.
Jane: I think so too. It’s been a phenomenal growth period hasn’t it? And what’s the plan? It’s 160 now, what’s the goal in the wall.
Andrew: So 168 now years ago now. The long term goal would be what we call the road to 300 which we’ve put in our prospectus a number of times. So probably over the next 12 to 24 months to really fill out some of the regional areas. So regional Yellow Brick Roads do extremely well, the number one MFAA Broker and the number one FBAA broker are both Yellow Brick Roads and also to grow out our financial planning on ___. We’ve had some great corporate financial planners come over and be entrepreneurial set up or be calling these financial planning hubs to service out a lot of the brokers within Yellow Brick Road and then service up the clients. So the is always for it to be the services to be provided by owner operators because they will always work that little bit harder and they will always build a better relationship with the clients.
Jane: Absolutely. So you let’s just go to the investment space now, the property investment space. There has been a significant amount of changes especially in the last 18 months.
Andrew: Yeah, even in the last 8 weeks.
Jane: It’s almost daily now isn’t it, that we open up a paper or we get an e-mail it says things have changed. This shake-up, what are some advice that you have to investors you are now looking forward or just for our listeners who might be thinking about starting an investment portfolio?
Andrew: Don’t be afraid of the changes. The changes, they’ve done this before. I’m old enough to remember two crashes. I was there during the ’91-’92 crash the Paul Keating recession we needed to have. I was quite young but my father was very good with us. He would involve us in family discussions and take us to auctions and see what’s gone inside. So my father go through that. I saw the ’01 dot com crash, which my brother had money in ___ and I saw what happened. And then I was old enough to remember, I worked through the ’08-‘09 GFC. So what APRA is doing and what their governing bodies are doing is trying to simmer down ___ economy that’s happening ___. And it needs to be done. When you’re a property invested with a bunch of properties already, it really hurts. It hurts. It hurts a lot. And you’re serviceability calculators are pretty much out the window. Now they’ve gone extreme. They’ve always done this. They do. They go extreme and then what they do is they wind back slowly as the market starts to simmer around a little bit so don’t be too afraid. I’m sure that’s probably what’s going to happen. I can’t guarantee that, but it’s what’s happened over the years. Some the foreign investment they’ve just made it difficult again, but whenever the economy slows down they use those two tabs. Property investors and foreign investment to sort of drum up the economy again. So they do that and the reason why they did it and I saw this is there was a lot of mums and dads out in western Sydney that were buying their fifth property and a half a percent or a percent interest rate rise for those everyday Australians that had three kids at a Catholic school, so it might be private school fees but it might be five grand a year plus in some unexpected expenses. One of the properties plus this plus that plus had very very quickly is what they called it the canary in the coal mine situation where you won’t see it happen and then it’ll happen all over night. They can’t increase interest rates because if they do it will affect the rest of the rest of the economy who will come to a screeching halt. So they’re using APRA and changes in the lending to just to simmer out that market, but I think off the back of it there are some opportunities with first time buyers you will be exciting. So if anyone’s listening that hasn’t bought their first time, there will be some opportunities for you as of July 1 I believe it is. There’s always an opportunity for somebody and don’t be greedy. I think at the end of the day people or the property developers and property owners that I know they keep having a whinge with the change and I say “Well we’ve had a good run last six years.” I think we need to understand that times do change and you need to understand that if you’re in property investment, that you’re in business. You’re a business owner being in property investment. A lot of property investors don’t see themselves as business owners, so they might work in a corporate job getting paid 150 a year and they own half a dozen properties and they still see themselves as a property investor, but I still work ___. Well, I don’t think so. I think you’re a property investor self-employed and your ___.
Jane: That’s a cash flow really. So 2017 beyond some subduing of the market is subduing of the market investors kind of leave, but then it’s cyclic. It’s going to come back again.
Andrew: So you should probably look to the three things on top of to-do right now is probably look to pay down some debt over the next few years, look to restructure and keep an eye on the opportunities. When it gets difficult you know cash is king. So if you’re in an opportunity right now to refinance and put some money into the side to take advantage of those opportunities over the next 6-12, 18-24 month period, ___ thing is as well don’t be afraid of collaboration too.
Jane: There are some really good opportunities.
Andrew: So what I’ve started doing now is looking at opportunities to collaborate with people that have serviceability and I’ve got money and the knowledge so that’s the big –
Jane: So what was that e-mail address again?
Andrew: I’ll be bombarded.
Jane: Some tips for investors starting out today? What are some of your top three tips?
Andrew: if you’re starting out. Number one, do whatever you need to do to sort of get to a position to get into your first property. The first one is always the hardest from a mental point of view and from a financial point of view and from a lending point of view too. That’s what they want to see that you’ve done it once before, then they let you do it a second, or third, or fourth time. The next part is don’t be afraid of collaboration. Obviously it’s become harder and harder. So if you’re sort of starting out, even if you’re not young and starting out, sometimes mum and dad not a bad option or going in with a sibling or someone of that nature. And then number three would be more is lost with indecision than non-decision, which I am mindful of constantly drilling into people because ___ Bondi I actually before I flew out and she’s like she saved 50 grand and she’s had 50 grand sitting in a bank account for the last two years because she was afraid that she was going to have some change in her life and so forth. But I said you should put that 50 rental property, in the last two year that would be 50 grand would be 150 now. So you know she comes from an Irish-English Anglo background where they’re very risk adverse. Her parents only ever owned one property and they don’t like debt and I was like you should just ___.
Jane: You can minimize risk. There are tactics and techniques.
Andrew: She lives with her mum now anyway. So I said to her you know like you you probably should have done it.
Jane: I mean your first property you bought you still lived at home. My first property I bought properties for 10 years. We were the first of the rent Vestas thing which is now that trendy characteristics, so your first property doesn’t necessarily have to be your first time either.
Andrew: No, not at all. Just get in there.
Jane: Get into the market. Good advice. So Andrew, busy busy man. I’m exhausted. Just hearing about you, oh my gosh, I guess we might have to have you back. The amazing thing, when we had a chat last year, you shared with me so many of these other projects you’re doing and you’re such a big person about giving back and you told me about the work that you have been doing in Cambodia, even running mini apprentices over there. Can you tell us a bit about the different projects you are working now and what’s going on for you this year?
Andrew: So yellow brick road is a big focus still, so the roads are sort of 300 but just looking to bring good people onto develop and develop out the business. I invested into Yellow Brick Road head office before we ___, so heavily I’m invested financially, mentally and I think emotionally too, but it’s Mark’s business and Mark is certainly the face of it, but I’m sure there’s a lot of people that see the brand and see associate my personal brand to that too so it’s something I’m very proud of.
Jane: So people who were interested in potentially being one those unoccupied Yellow Brick Road franchise, what kind of characteristics would they have to have and background?
Andrew: Look we’re pretty open. Obviously the more experience in either mortgage broking or financial planning the better. But we look I had somebody started an office 12 months ago and they’ll probably do half a million dollars in revenue this year. I’d say it’s been a good economy. They started out the industry 16-17 months ago, they’re going to have a massive year this year so they’ll win rookie of the year ___ who it is because ___ conference the rookie of the year. But you know so look we have industry people too and they can just go and be able to accommodate a website to make an inquiry and they’ll get an opportunity to sit with me at some stage. But we’re always looking for motivated people. But one of the best guys that’s come on board in Melbourne is a guy ___ Rossano who was a EXC calm calm salesman. His family were Nissan for 50 years and his dad decided to retire finally and he started a Yellow Brick Road and he’s killing it. He went from cars into mortgage broking and he’s done an amazing pivot there.
Jane: And your other ventures?
Andrew: Yes. You’ll still see me on a Saturday calling auction for the Jellis Craig and other companies too. So I do it as a subcontractor and the philanthropic stuff would be I’m on the board for a group called a social enterprise called Project Gen Z where we do go to Cambodia and work with Geraldine Cox from Sunrise Village. And I let the orphans shave off my Bondi beard for $70,000 Australian dollars and I cut off my top knot for $10,000 as well so –
Jane: Facial hair has so much value, who knew? It does and when we did that we had like 20,000 people logged on and watch, which was –
Jane: And you’re taking orphans from this orphanage and you’re teaching them business skills and they’re starting businesses.
Andrew: They are. They’re starting businesses and we’re also funding them through education if they want to do further education in Cambodia too
Jane: And the “Dare to dream” that’s a started Australia that’s the same kind of –
Andrew: Same concept where we’re trying to work with private schools. So then we can fund working with public schools, so what we do is we’re working towards a program where every time a private school engages our program, we actually use part of the funds to provide the service through a public school.
Jane: Teenagers going through –
Andrew: Teenagers going through entrepreneurialism. And then we’re taking it to the Indigenous community now. I sit on the board for another charity called Seed Foundation for indigenous education up North and I’m doing Kokoda on September 19 for that.
Jane: We’re going to have to track that. You have obviously been in a lot of preparation for that.
Andrew: Yes. I’ve been training very hard for that and I love doing some with Special Forces guys and with a blind guy, Ben Pentacle, he’s blind so he’ll be interesting.
Jane: Are you doing that for charity?
Andrew: We’re doing that for Indigenous education to save the nation.
Jane: So people can sponsor you. If you go to Seed foundation, you should google seed foundation will come up with their website and you can support us there. And then last but not least a new project we’ve got going on now is called Ignite Me which is a platform for raising capital for start-ups, so if anyone’s got a project going on, I want you to check out Ignite Me, go to the website. And also we’re putting social enterprises on these social enterprises and some charitable enterprises too.
Jane: Andrew, I’m completely worn out. You are once again just an amazing inspiring person. I’d like to say young man but it really dates me if I say that a bit.
Andrew: I don’t feel as young as I used to.
Jane: Well, I just have to thank you so very much for coming into the studio being part of the Your Property Success Podcast. You are an inspiration. The tips that you’ve shared and I think the inspiration that you have given to us and to our listeners is amazing and thank you very much. Thank you Joe.
Andrew: Thank you Jane. Thanks for having me.
John: Wow. What a great interview. So many lessons not just about property either.
Jane: I am so worn out and I look at him and look how old are you. What is he going to be doing in the next 10 years?
John: Yeah I know. He’s a young guy but he’s done a lot hasn’t he?
Jane: Absolutely. And you know what I love about his whole journey is he gave due respect to his dad and his dad gave him his first job. Yeah. Mind you slave labour.
John: Yeah. Well maybe a hard education.
Jane: It’s like Rich Dad Poor Dad. They kind of learn on the job and didn’t get paid much.
John: Yeah I reckon it’s a great hiring tip isn’t it? Like if you’re ever hiring someone and they’ve worked for their parents they’re almost a shoo in. Well, it works for Mark Bouris Anyway.
Jane: Yeah absolutely and just that whole story, we go back to the way that Australia was kind of founded on a lot of these immigration around the ‘50s and ‘60s and even ‘70s. Those guys came in and even today that work ethic is amazing isn’t it?
John: It’s true. It’s amazing when you think about his parents. I think they came from post-war Europe in ‘56 he said. His parents came out as kids. And from that he’s built the businesses with the garages and build a property portfolio. It was a great that little story he told about the way they would drive home from the reception centre and Campbell field. Great, wasn’t it?
Jane: I don’t know. I don’t know if you guys could tell, but that really made me teary. I got quite emotional about that because. I mean, as I’ve shared with John over the last five years or so I just have this absolute belief in the work that we do in communicating and helping people learn about property and creating wealth and showing their kids their hard work ethic and teaching them some tactics and maybe even getting them into better education or schools or whatever so that they can change the world. You know his dad did that and that kind of validation of driving around all the properties, he didn’t have his father there to say, “Mate, you did good job.” He was like, “Yeah, I’ve done good. I’ve done good.” And I just really connected with that. I just thought it was a beautiful life lesson.
John: Yeah, great little analogy.
Jane: And having a dad who is you know 70 or so, you could still go and say hi to him the servo down at Pascoe Vale road.
John: Corner of Pascoe Vale Road and Buckley Street I think it is.
Jane: I remember I caught up with Andrew last year and he turned up in this kind of bomb and I’m like, “What’s this?” He said, “Whenever I come to Melbourne Dad loans me a car from the servo.” So he’s got into those trading cars too, but good guy.
John: Yeah obviously a huge influence. But it was interesting too that Andrew talked about you know advice for people starting out today that hard work maybe just isn’t enough today with all the pressures of modern lifestyle and affordability pressures, what you earn versus what your house costs and all that kind of thing. And he said you really need to be around smarter people to get ahead.
Jane: Absolutely. And I think there’s that old saying around the fact that you become the product of the five people you hang around with And he’s definitely hanging around with pretty interesting people. And I hope it rubs off on us John.
John: That’s just right, like extension.
Jane: At some stage it should. But you know this is a guy who he learned during the summer holidays the value of work. Maybe made a little bit of money, but at 14 decided there was a business opportunity in the blue light discos kind of were a bit daggy and you know it’s just extraordinary.
John: Did you have blue lights in Dubbo?
Jane: We sure did have blue light discos in Dubbo and I even remember going and staying with my cousin in Port Macquarie and I went to my first blue light disco there, but yeah, old halls very boring, so I can I can see the vision that he had and the fact that it’s still going today and he sold that business at 17. It’s just incredible.
John: Yup, so he could move onto the real estate business.
Jane: Absolutely. And he had his brother there as a role model. Who is obviously still a great auctioneer today if you’re out in Western Melbourne. You’ll see him –
John: You’ll regularly see him around the tracks.
Jane: And I’ve seen a couple of their auctions on Facebook live too. So that also had some good tips for people purchasing an auction and he should know as an auctioneer. So he said have a budget in mind and do your due diligence and know what the price should be. You know what the prices are in the area and what it should be selling for and have a relationship with the agent. And you had a suggestion there go and scout out the guys that are doing the auctioneers at other auctions.
Jane: Absolutely. Because I think when you go to an auction and it’s your first time every auctioneer has their own bit of jeopardy and drama and how they run an auction and actually if you go and watch the auctioneer you can actually see what their method is. So they might always walk in consult the owner. Now if it’s your first auction and you think “Oh gosh I’ve got this I don’t know if it’s on the market or not.” And they go in and see the owner you could be sitting there double guessing yourself. You could be going “Oh, maybe I should just put in a big bid.” Well in actual fact if it’s just part of their formula, know the formula.
John: Yeah that’s right. It will be way less scary. There was a great tip wasn’t it for us as buyers to cooking the auction. Yeah. So to cook it. So we actually we have that in the ultimate guide as well. But it’s a great technique because it just takes the heat out knocks all those people out. You really need to know what your price is you can’t just you know just rock up and throw in a hill price. You need to have done your due diligence.
Jane: Exactly, exactly. And it’s interesting that he uses that when he’s buying for himself. He hates it when it is used against him. So that’s definitely an insider tip to watch for. It’s just the standard type of research. He says he registers for domain.com.au, realestate.com.au. If you’re interested in the units or the houses or whatever you’re buying you’re in that area, get the alerts. Be current in the market. Set yourself up with a good team.
John: Yeah. He is big on that isn’t it surrounding himself with a good team, so a good accountant, financial planner a mortgage broker etc.
Jane: Yeah. I mean once you get your team in place you can swing them into action. When you find a property but once you find a property and then all of a sudden you have to go and find the finance and the accountant or the scrambling at the last minute. So it’s all too hard and it becomes a bit of pressure.
John: And The Apprentice that was good.
Jane: Wasn’t it? The insider story on The Apprentice you know you kind of watch it and you don’t really know what goes on. And the fact that nothing is scripted, they’re filming you all the time. If you get a call something you have to back it up because you’re being filmed all day every day. So it’s all about being authentic and being yourself.
John: Pretty serious scrutiny that isn’t it?
Jane: Yeah. I don’t know if I’d like to be filmed all day. I’ve had a lot of filming done.
John: I’ve done it.
Jane: And I’ve got to say, I like the fact you’ve got the editing ability to take out all those bloopers and mistakes.
John: That’s right. It was interesting how they feel the two endings wasn’t it?
Jane: I know how sneaky is that but how hard is that too because you’ve got two responses. And you’ve got weeks and weeks of waiting going, “Which one was right?” You’ve lived through both of them. Obviously he gave you credit to his competitors as well and obviously a fan of Mr Bouris and the fact he had a pick up his life and move pretty much straight away.
John: Yeah, big change. He also had some good tips around all the shakeup that’s opening for investors at the moment. He said don’t be afraid of the changes and keep an eye out for opportunity because there will be opportunity and don’t be afraid of collaboration was the other thing he said too.
Jane: And there’s so many things and I think people are getting confused and I know people are calling my office every day talking about “What does this all mean for me?” But as Andrew said there is opportunity there and rather than closing down and becoming a snail for the next two to three years, I think the really clever people are going to make some money. So to look just lastly John you know I really enjoyed this podcast because Andrew is so engaging. He’s got so many stories. It’s really hard to know which one to talk to him about, but he also you know had so much value socially as well. He does all that social work in Western Sydney and Western Melbourne. He works with people in Cambodia and educate students, runs little mini apprentices over there. And now he’s got this platform for raising capital for start-ups called Ignite Me. So all of the details are in the show notes but he’s active he’s out there and you know every time I catch up he just completely is doing something new and exciting. It’s just so amazing.
John: I know. What have we been doing with our time?
Jane: I know, I know. I feel like I need to catch up. Once again I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to this as much as we did and hop on to iTunes let us know. Make sure you write and review us and catch all the details in the show notes because we’ll have links to all of the things that are mentioned here. Absolutely. So John is it that time again.
John: I believe it is.
John Blackman: Yes it’s that time again where you get the chance to test your suburb knowledge while the entire nation holds its breath. Ladies and gentlemen it’s time to play Suburbs Against the Clock. The rules are simple, to play all you have to do is answer a question about 10 suburbs in the city of your choice within 20 seconds. The lucky winner of the Suburbs Against the Clock will win one year’s free access to Your Property Success Club. Your Property Success Club as an in-depth monthly masterclass which gives you the practical tools needed to grow your portfolio yourself without having to spend a fortune on expensive seminars or even leaving your own home. So who do we have standing by to play Suburbs Against the Clock?
Jane: Karen are you ready to play Suburbs Against the Clock?
Karen: I’m pumped. I can act now.
Jane: Tell me what city are you playing for?
Jane: Okay. Good, good.
John: Have I got a question for you, perfect for Sydney. All right, so can you name 10 Sydney suburbs with roundabouts?
Karen: Kingswood, Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, Blacktown, Rouse Hill
Karen: Terey Hills, ___
John: Ten seconds.
Karen: Wahroonga, Pymble, Macquarie.
Jane: Got it. Yay! See? How easy was that? I bet you people are kicking themselves now Karen. Well done, well done. Congratulations. You have an annual subscription to Your Property Success Club which we’ll get you details and give you access to. But good on you for fronting up and having a go.
John: Good on you Karen.
Karen: Thank you.
John: There’s just no other quiz like it.
Jane: I think yes. That’s probably an apt description. Well John that is it for today. A huge thank you to today’s exceptional guest Andrew Morello and if you would like instant access to the transcript plus get access to some free training we have for our community and all of the show notes and links to everything mentioned in the show. Go to yourpropertysuccess.com.au/ep17. And that is, your property success dot com dot A-U, backslash, the letter E for echo, P for papa, and the number 17. So that’s it for today. Stay safe and here’s to your property success.
John Blackman: Ladies and gentlemen, it’s important for you to understand that you need to take care in applying what you’ve heard on this podcast to your own personal circumstances. Every one’s situation is different. And while we go to great lengths to ensure that everything we share is accurate, the information in today’s podcast was based on personal experiences and opinions and is not intended to be specific to your circumstances. We are not real estate agents, financial planners, lawyers or accountants and are not liable for any loss, damage, or misunderstanding caused by reliance on any information provided or inferred. We highly recommend you seek out the services of a professional or mentor to help chart your own path to property success.