“Time is money”—it’s a saying we’ve all heard, yet so many of us often forget. There is always temptation to wait for the perfect opportunity or to cut corners, especially on ‘optional’ expenses like hiring a coach. After all, with YouTube tutorials and online forums at our fingertips, why pay for advice?
What many people don’t realise is that sidestepping professional coaching can come with its own hefty price tag, often hidden in the form of missed opportunities, drawn-out timelines, and less profitable investments. These aren’t just theoretical costs; I’ve personally felt the sting when I chose to “go it alone” and made a $750,000 mistake that could have easily been avoided with the right advice.
Here’s why a real estate coach isn’t an expense but an invaluable investment.
The Opportunity Cost: More Than Just Time
It’s hard to estimate the Opportunity Cost of making the wrong decision, so it is easy to ignore. But to provide some context: without a coach’s specialised expertise, you might spend countless hours researching dead-ends and bad deals, and still never find a winning property.
If you can find a property on your own, there is still a huge risk that you fail to achieve your investing potential due to having the wrong financial structure in place. Many people don’t realize that their choice of lenders and loan types can make or break their portfolio’s profitability.
Unfortunately, I learned this lesson at my Dad’s expense.
He had all his eggs in one basket, dealing solely with one lender who ended up having far too much control over his portfolio. It was highlighted the pitfalls of not diversifying your financial structures and a lesson I didn’t need to be taught twice. If Dad had a coach, he might have avoided putting himself in such a precarious position which caused him to miss out on more profitable opportunities.
The Cost of Mistakes: My $750,000 Lesson
In my 20’s, I thought I was immune to costly errors. I had breezed through high school and uni with great marks, excelling in maths and economics, and landed my dream job at 24. I’d been studying the property market since I was in primary school and had brought my first property at 18. By the time I was 26 I owned 5 properties.
My Dad had taught me everything he knew and I didn’t need his help anymore. Or, so I thought…
In 2007 as interest rates pushed past 9.00% I started to panic. Thinking that prices would collapse, or that I wouldn’t be able to afford to cover the servicing costs, I sold a property in a rush. I didn’t even get a great price as I was selling into a market that was dealing with the highest interest rates in 15 years.
Less than 6 months later, interest rates were on their way back down and rents were on their way up. I picked up a small bonus from my job just before Christmas, and I got a big tax refund thanks to the negative gearing on my portfolio.
I had literally sold at the worst possible time.
Not only did I sell prematurely, but I could have easily avoided the issue if I had of sought advice. If I had of put a PAYG withholding tax variation in place during the financial year, I would have received my tax refund earlier. This would have helped cover the interest costs.
If I still owned that property today it would be worth $750,000 more than I sold it for.
Had I invested in a real estate coach at that time, their experience and objective viewpoint would have likely steered me away from that disastrous decision. It was a painful, expensive lesson, and one that I wouldn’t wish on anyone else.
The ROI of a Coach: Profits Beyond Measure
A great coach can help you to dodge bad deals and show you the shortest pathway to success. They can draw on their own experience as an investor and a coach to elevate your returns.
I’ve been fortunate to have many great coaches in my life, both in professional and sporting environments. The best coaches motivated and guided me to achieve more than I could have on my own and I now actively seek out coaches who can help me when I am considering any new venture.
Investing in residential property isn’t simply about the bricks and mortar; it’s about buying the right property at the right time and then taking the right actions to maximise the return. The internet is a goldmine of free advice, but it lacks the personalised, expert guidance that a coach provides, and it certainly can’t motivate you or help you to navigate complex decisions.
Take it from someone that once made the mistake of thinking they knew enough to avoid a mistake: the cost of not having a coach or mentor to help you on your property journey could well turn out to be the biggest financial mistake you’ll ever make.
Invest wisely, not just in properties, but in getting the right people around you to help realise your vision.