© 2019 by NZ Property Mentors Limited, a division of GRA

Success Stories

Nothing inspires action more than hearing about other people - just like you - who have taken action and achieved great things. Take a look at some of NZ Property Mentors' success stories:


Know values and how to negotiate


With similar properties in the area selling in the mid to high $600,000s, our clients’ purchase price of $607,000 represented a great discount below market value. They visited the property in Weymouth, Auckland with Tua on one of the NZPM road trips (along with the other students in the group). During the open home, Tua asked the real estate agent to ‘give us a number that would secure the property’. The agent responded with, ‘Low 6’s to $610,000’. Tua knew the end value of the property, so said, ‘We’ll give you low 600,000s cash now’. 


Tua then coached his clients, telling them that the benchmark had been set and explaining how to negotiate. They presented an offer to the vendors who had already moved overseas to live, which meant they were negotiable because they just wanted to sell the property and tidy up their affairs. A few days later the contract was signed for $607k. The vendors were also happy to allow early access three weeks before settlement to complete renovations.  


The renovations cost $20k, were finished by settlement, and just a week later our clients had sold the property for $705,000. A pre-tax profit of $52k ($35k after tax) was a great result for just a few weeks’ work.



Getting your numbers right means you can absorb unexpected cost blow-outs

Totara Heights

We often talk about the importance of learning from people who are active in the game – teachers who are walking their talk and actually doing what they are teaching you. This is a deal that the NZPM coaches, Tua and Matthew, undertook themselves. 


There were a number of factors that put other investors off this property. It was very run-down, with “speedy access from top floor to bottom” (big holes in the floors upstairs). Additionally, it was in a blue-chip area, Totara Heights in Auckland, which discouraged investors, who are mainly looking at typical low socio-economic areas. However, if you know the numbers will work, you can find deals like this which can generate good profits/increase in equity. 



Most people would have found this property too daunting to take it on. But with the right knowledge and the right team, it was a solid deal. Unfortunately, we had the wrong project manager to start off with, which meant our renovations were way over budget (by about $100,000!). However, because the numbers were right, we were able to absorb the budget blow-out and still make a profit of nearly $35k (after costs but before tax). In other words, we lost margin, not capital. 



So although this is not a ‘blow your socks off’ example, it demonstrates a few important lessons. Firstly, if you know what you are doing, properties in terrible condition can still be great buys. Secondly, don’t make assumptions about area – sometimes properties in suburbs that are not typical investor areas can still be good deals. Thirdly, choose your team members wisely, keep a close eye on them, and replace them if they are not performing! And finally, with the right numbers, even an expensive mistake (like the project management in this deal) can be absorbed and a profit still made.   


Identifying the angle


In July 2017 our clients purchased a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, modern brick and tile property in
Weymouth, which was for sale by auction. When the auction paused for negotiations, they called their
coach, Tua Saseve, for advice and ended up buying the property for $625k (which was $25k under CV).
Spending $27k on renovations, our clients converted the house from three to four bedrooms, and sold it
for $750k in November 2017. After tax and expenses, they made a net profit of $40k.
A lot of investors don’t go for this type of construction in this type of suburb because they assume it’s a
homeowner area and they don’t see the potential for improvement. But if you know what to look for and
can identify the angle, there are good gains to be made.


Knowledge allows you to act fast on good deals


A three-bedroom house in Papatoetoe was advertised for sale and generated a lot of interest, with no less than six groups inspecting at the first open home. Tua wanted to see if the second lounge could be turned into a fourth bedroom without ruining the flow of the house, as this would add significant value. So, he walked in the back door, through the house, straight out the front door and negotiated the deal with the owner outside the garage there and then (on behalf of a mentoring student). Other buyers were still checking the hot water cylinder and faffing around doing their due diligence, but Tua’s knowledge of prices in the area and how to add value to the home allowed him to act fast.

The property was purchased for $625k, renovations cost $50k, and it was sold seven weeks later for $735k. By adding a bedroom and sprucing the place up, Tua’s client made a tidy $60k gross profit ($20k net profit) in under two months.