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On today’s Small Talk, Big Ideas podcast, we have the great Terry Ryder, a property analyst who has been doing amazing work in the industry since the early ’80s. The story of how he started in property is fascinating with an interesting point of vulnerability in the middle of this podcast. I urge you to stay on listen to the end, enjoy ‘Small Talk, Big Ideas. with hotspotting.com.au’s Terry Ryder!

About Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder has been a specialist researcher/writer on residential property for over 35 years and has published four books. In 2006 he created hotspotting.com.au, to help investors find the best places to buy.

In addition to the comprehensively researched reports provided through Hotspotting, Terry provides individual Strategy Sessions and Mentoring to clients and is available for in-house and virtual training for businesses, key note speaking and provision of commissioned reports for property businesses, Local Government organisations and larger organisations.

He is regularly interviewed by television, radio and print media on real estate issues, and is widely sought as a public speaker.

Voice Over (00:03):

Thanks for joining us for this ‘Small Talk, Big Ideas’ podcast. A podcast to enrich your soul where we have conversations with inspiring people about all things property, business, and life. And now the host of ‘Small Talk, Big Ideas’ Ian Ugarte.

Ian Ugarte (00:24):

On today’s podcast, ‘Small Talk, Big Ideas.’ We have the great Terry Ryder a property analyst that’s done amazing work and has been in the industry since the early ’80s. Interesting how he started and an interesting point of vulnerability in the middle of this podcast. I urge you to stay on listen to the end, enjoy Terry Ryder ‘Small Talk, Big Ideas.’ Terry Ryder hotspotting.com.au.

Terry Ryder (00:47):

Yes.

Ian Ugarte (00:51):

You are a very well-respected do I call you a property analyst?

Terry Ryder (00:57):

Property analyst is probably a nice way to put it.

Ian Ugarte (01:01):

How long have you been doing that for?

Terry Ryder (01:03):

Well, I’ve been puddling around with writing about and researching real estate since the early ’80s. And that’s when I was rather surprisingly unexpectedly appointed property editor when I was working at the Courier Mail as a journalist in 1982. That created the specialty that I have today indirectly.

Ian Ugarte (01:29):

How did you get offered the property at like… Obviously, you had to know something about property.

Terry Ryder (01:32):

Well, you’d think so wouldn’t you but actually no. And it does say something about the way newspapers are run certainly, they haven’t gotten any better I’m pretty sure. But I remember when I was called into the editor’s office and he said, “We decided to make you property editor.” And I said, “But I don’t know anything about real estate.” He said, “Well, it doesn’t matter. You’ll find out it’s about houses and stuff and stuff.”

Ian Ugarte (01:56):

And stuff.

Terry Ryder (01:57):

Yeah. That’s what he said. So me being me, if I’ve got to do this, I’m going to do it as well as I can. So I decided to find out as much about it as I can. And actually the real estate section of Courier Mail in those days was like a page once a week. And I turned it into eight, nine, 10 pages a week. And just when I thought it was going really well, and I was starting to learn something, he wanted to move me into some other part of the newspaper and I resisted strongly like, “No. I’m really just starting to find out about this stuff and I’m starting to like it. So please leave me there.” So I did that for four years then went to the Financial Review as a property specialist and out of that evolved getting out into the community and doing my own thing.

Ian Ugarte (02:43):

So let’s jump around quite a bit. COVID hit in March really you were just talking then about April and how everyone was very scared.

Terry Ryder (02:52):

Yeah, I call April the panic month. We had regular customers who were subscribers to some of products wanting to cancel because they thought they had to batten down the hatches that it was going to get really bad. We managed to talk quite a few of them out of it, but we started having conversations about, “Well, where’s the opportunity in all this.” So I had to start doing more digital things that we wanted to do for a long time, but didn’t really have the time. And we started marketing in different ways. We started doing a lot more webinars and at that time, people were really hungry for information about what was happening and what was going to happen. So we were getting much bigger audiences than we normally would for webinars. And so it actually turned into our best of a year 2020 was our best year for income. And 2021 is looking pretty good as well.

Ian Ugarte (03:46):

Yeah. Funny, you should say that because we had exactly the same outcome. And I believe that you and I were probably one of the very few that were saying, “Ease up here. This is actually going to be a really good year.” It’s like a tiny mid cycle dip that’s only going to last a month or two. Mainly because of my ear to the ground and being on the forefront of speaking to agents and watching what’s going on, you’re a great analyst. What’s the basis of you saying 2020 was going to be okay and ’21’s going to be better.

Terry Ryder (04:14):

Well, I think the key thing here with you and me what we were saying, maybe guys like Simon Pressley from Propertyology who I respect a lot is that we are real estate specialists that’s what we do. And the people who are getting all the airplane media are not their economists and they turn their attention to real estate and they tend to think of Australia as a single market, but they only think about it talk about it once in a blue moon. And they’re never out there at the coalface like you are with what you do. They’re sitting in their ivory tower offices, looking at computer screens and graphs on a screen and they say, “Oh, look a strain on property prices are doing X.” As far as I’m concerned there’s no such thing a strain on property prices. But it’s really we’re living and breathing real estate research and analysis every day.

                  And I’ve been doing it for a long time almost 40 years. So developed a pretty good understanding of how markets work. And I think that’s one of the reasons why we and others like us including you got it right. One of the things that I’ve learned over the time I’ve been doing real estate is real estate is incredibly resilient. I’ve seen some major booms in Australia, only a couple because they’re quite rare, genuine nationwide property booms in that time but I haven’t seen any busts. I’ve seen corrections, I’ve seen prices come off their peak and maybe drop a little but there’s never been a bust.

                  And I’ve seen real estate perform incredibly well through the GFC, for example, and through the recession of the early ’90s, real estate hung tough then as well. And I think one of the things is that and what we saw in the evidence last year when people are in uncertain times and when they’re afraid they retreat to safety. And real estate is perceived in this country to be safe and solid and I think that’s one of the factors, one of the factors that kept real estate strong last year.

Ian Ugarte (06:15):

I was just hearing you speak down the bottom there, and you talked about the 16 different points of why you believe market’s strong because they’re talking about the fact that the market is going to boom, but we’re already booming aren’t we?

Terry Ryder (06:28):

We are we’re right in the middle of it. In the second half of last year I thought most parts of Australia were starting to boom already. And I’ve got 16 dot points I’ve been thinking about why is it happening, and I’ve been making my list of reasons because economists keep talking about record low interest rates as the single factor, which makes me, well, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry because it’s so frustrating because media just accepts this as a fact, it’s record low interest. Obviously, it’s interest rates. Now we’ve had low interest rates for years in this country, it hasn’t suddenly happened. Australians haven’t suddenly realized that we’ve got low interest rates. There’s all these other factors and yeah 16 dot points.

                  And as is always the case, it’s complicated, it’s complex, there’s all these different elements happening. And part of it’s the human psyche and people on lock down thinking about their life choices and people being afraid and retreating to safety, bricks and mortar ex-pats coming back from overseas, vacancies being so low and that’s having an impact on rents and then prices. There’s quite a long list, vendors haven’t come to the party much yet so there’s rising demand but listings haven’t kept up so that’s putting pressure on prices.

Ian Ugarte (07:48):

A really simple thing that I picked up was we do a lot of conversions into co-living properties around the country. And every certifier that we were putting stuff into was getting stuff back to us really quickly. I’m going to mate, “It usually takes you seven days, 10 days to get stuff to me, you’re doing it in two days. What’s the story?” And he goes, “I can’t understand.” All of them are saying the same thing, “I don’t understand.” Two months later, people sitting at home, sitting there looking at their walls, going, “You know that reno we’re going to do, let’s get the approval done now because I’ve been here too long thinking about it.” And that’s when it all kicked in two months after April.

Terry Ryder (08:24):

It’s interesting because the figures just came out quite recently about the level of renovations. So it’s not just people buying real estate, not just people moving but also there’s a lot of people doing renovations and that I think is a product of lockdown and people with time on their hands or stuck at home or thinking about…. People learned how to save in the pandemic year. And I think that taught young Australians who were wondering, “How the hell do we get our deposit together?” Well, they found out when they’re in lockdown and couldn’t go out and spend money on entertainment.

Ian Ugarte (08:59):

God forbid we talk about smash avos.

Terry Ryder (09:02):

I was trying to get through this without referring to that. But that’s the syndrome and I’ve found that myself I suddenly started realizing that I’ve got money left over that I don’t normally have left over at the end of each month. What’s going on? Well, firstly I love to travel and I can’t. I know It can’t even go into state with my work. So stuck at home which is okay, not spending as much on the things I normally spend on and I think that’s been factor. People have got money they’ve learned how to save, they’re renovating or their putting savings into an investment.

Ian Ugarte (09:40):

Cycles. There’s a lot of people out there talking about cycles, Phil Anderson, 18 year cycle and that that should be hitting in 2026, the next downturn is going to happen there. And it’s going to be a bit of a doozy that’s what he’s saying. Every year there’s a guy that comes out from America we won’t mention his name, but he’s always talking about a dent in the market. How do you post cycles and people that talk doom and gloom like that?

Terry Ryder (10:06):

Yeah. I don’t think in terms of cycles at all, I do notice that in Australia we tend to have our genuine nation-wide property boom once every 15 to 20 years, they’re not very frequent. And when I was first getting into real estate, people were talking about seven years cycles. It doesn’t pan out like that it’s dictated by events that happen and sometimes the events aren’t expected. Nobody predicted, well, one or two people did predict that the world was going to have a pandemic, but nobody saw 2020 coming in detail. Nobody really predicted the GFC although some people subsequently claimed that they did.

                  As far as I’m concerned, real estate markets arise out of local economies. And that’s why we usually have lots of different scenarios playing out in different parts of Australia, we usually have some that are booming, some that are rising moderately, some that are stagnating and some that are falling, some that are crushing mostly mining towns. It’s very rare that everywhere’s doing the same thing at the same time. That’s because it’s local economies and what’s happening in that local economy. So we’re interested in what’s happening with economies are they growing? Are they creating jobs? And in particular is there an infrastructure spend happening? You know what I mean? We both know the Sunshine Coast really well. It’s been transformed by infrastructure spending big time.

Ian Ugarte (11:31):

We got some big companies now basing themselves on the Sunshine Coast. You always were on the Sunshine Coast, although most of them are working from home now. Talk about that, that’s a big hit to the property market in a positive way. People being able to move out of Metro and go to other areas and work from home.

Terry Ryder (11:50):

Yeah. It’s a huge factor and it’s been underway for some time the population data shows Sydney’s been using losing population to internal migration for 10 years, Melbourne for the last three or four years. So it’s been underway for a while. It’s about technology and people saying, “Okay, we can work remotely therefore we can access a different lifestyle.” And more and more people are making that choice. And the pandemic has sped it up, turned it into a bit of a stampede and now media is saying it was caused by the pandemic but it wasn’t really it’s been underway for a while and technology is having that impact.

Ian Ugarte (12:31):

I was looking at an article recently on net migration and sitting in at number two was WA that received another 691 people in the last year. Sitting at number one is Queensland with 7,237 net migration from other states. Do you think those people that were thinking moving in the next 10 years have also made those decisions to decide to come earlier?

Terry Ryder (12:54):

Yeah. Yeah. I think so. I think the pandemic, the lockdowns had people at home and with time on their hands, not able to do what they would normally do. So time to think and reassess. And I think people did reassess their choices. I made that choice a quarter of a century ago and you probably made it sometime ago.

Ian Ugarte (12:54):

10 years ago.

Terry Ryder (13:18):

But people in that situation are probably asking the question what are we doing and why are we doing it? Because I think a lot of people feel they have to be in the big cities for their careers. And more and more people realize, “Well, actually we don’t really need to, there are some other options.” And more and more people have decided to make those choices because if you move to, I don’t know, you move to a Sunshine Coast or say a Bendigo in Victoria or somewhere like Orange in New South Wales. You’re not really sacrificing much, there’s not much you’re missing. And if you want to access what the big city has to offer, it’s only in the case of all those places I mentioned one to two hours away and you can go there and access it. But I live an hour from the CBD of Brisbane. But the only time I go to Brisbane is to go to the airport to fly somewhere.

Ian Ugarte (14:08):

And even still how often do you really need to go to Brisbane, fly out of Brisbane unless you’re going to a… I can fly out to Adelaide from the Sunshine Coast if I wanted to-

Terry Ryder (14:16):

Yeah. That’s right.

Ian Ugarte (14:17):

… and New Zealand.

Terry Ryder (14:19):

I imagine when I moved to a hill change town not far from Brisbane that I’ll be popping down in Brisbane a lot but it doesn’t happen that way because everything that I like, everything I need is available in some form locally. And so you move to these sorts of places, you’re not sacrificing much but you’re gaining a lot. I live in a town where there’s no traffic lights, we can get a park in the main street and you’re walking to the butcher and they greet you by name. And maybe I shouldn’t mention but I will, I never lock my doors you don’t need to.

Ian Ugarte (14:53):

I don’t either. I’ve got fly screen in my door at the front of my place you were just down there, it’s just a full fly screen front. So in the middle of the summer if you want to come into our place as long as you can open a fly screen you’re all right.

Terry Ryder (15:03):

Yeah. People say to me, they’re amazed I don’t lock my doors and I say, “Hell, I don’t even close my door.”

Ian Ugarte (15:09):

I don’t have a key for the house up here, the two bedder that we’ve got up here, I don’t know where the key is.

Terry Ryder (15:14):

But all these things have value. I think Australians generally don’t rete safety as much. Most people in most countries who don’t have our level of safety it’s a huge commodity I reckon. But living in a country town, it has things that really have value and it’s a great place to bring up kids. And there’s still good schools available and all of that. You’re not sacrificing anything.

Ian Ugarte (15:41):

I recently did a session on Ticket TV about hotspots and how hotspots are a myth and you’ve got hotspotting.com.au. My point around that was that people in the FOMO buy in the hotspots. And even though your business is called hotspotting.com, I call them a warm spot. I want to buy in a warm spot or a lukewarm spot because I know there’s going to be something happening in the next year or two years. Do you want to comment about that? Because it really drives me insane watching people suggesting dentists and taxi drivers, suggesting that they go should go and buy in that area because it’s just had an incredible last 12 months, it’s a bit too late isn’t it?

Terry Ryder (16:21):

Absolutely. It all depends how you define hotspots. And maybe in hindsight it’s not a great name for the business but it’s been-

Ian Ugarte (16:29):

It’s a great name for the business. I don’t think warmspot.com.au would be great, warmspotting.com.au.

Terry Ryder (16:36):

You make a good point. We always take a long-term view. So our definition of a hotspot is an area that’s going to outperform long-term. And our whole goal with what we do is to identify areas that are going to become hotspots before they do. So we’re looking for warm spots as well. For example, we’re in the process of removing certain very hot locations from our reports now because we figure, there’s no point in telling people about these places anymore. They’re really hot right now. And so we’re looking for the warm spots.

                  We’re interested in places like Toowoomba, which is probably now hot, but when we first started talking about it in earnest, maybe six months ago, it was just starting to warm up and we can see what was coming. I’ve become interested in a place like Bundaberg, for example, which no one talks about much, but I actually visit there a lot because my in-laws live up there. And I’m very impressed when I drive around it, it feels prosperous and the country it’s the most incredible market garden country for growing stuff, the richest reddest soil I’ve ever seen anywhere. And the state government is spending one and a half billion dollars on a hospital up there and the ports expanding. There’s a whole lot of stuff happening and typical houses costing in the 200 thousands.

Ian Ugarte (17:59):

And it’s still got the backlash of the flood that went through there 10 years ago where people are still thinking about that. It’s an interesting thing because the next question I was going to ask you was about intuitive feel. I do my research, I look at my numbers and I do all of that. There is a component of what I do in business and in property and where I’m going to purchase that has to feel right. And you say Bundy feels right. How much of that has come into you over the last 30 odd years to get to the point where you are now?

Terry Ryder (18:28):

That’s a great point. That’s a really good point. And I think it’s one of the most important points we can make is that at the end of the day it comes down to a judgment call. And it’s based on your experience, your gut feel, having looked at all the evidence. I constantly encounter people with what I do, who are trying to develop algorithms to forecast the places that they’re going to show the best growth. And I say, “That’s interesting, good luck with that.” No one’s ever succeeded because real estate doesn’t work like that. You look at all the evidence and then you make a judgment call, and I do that with everything that we do when it comes down to how it feels.

                  And the thing about Bundaberg that I liked was my partner’s dad took me for a drive because I hadn’t been there for a while. And what impressed me was that there were no empty shops and it’s very rare you-

Ian Ugarte (19:21):

Good sign.

Terry Ryder (19:22):

And all the parks and gardens were beautifully cared for. Everything was manicured. It just reaped prosperity. And those things actually matter because you got to most regional centers I was in Mackay maybe 18 months ago and it’s got a big future I think, but there are lots of empty shops. They’ve been through some tough times, Bundaberg none.

Ian Ugarte (19:45):

Bundy doesn’t have an off shoot reliance on mining either where Mackay does being a port town and all.

Terry Ryder (19:52):

And it just so happened while I was there I was tuning into ABC TV and they were doing one of those country hour type programs. And there was Bundaberg and they were talking about, there was someone who grew strawberries and they were absolutely thriving. And then there was somebody else who was growing herbs. I thought this makes sense because the country around Bundaberg is so rich for growing things and big proportion of Australia’s I don’t know macadamias come from there and lots of other things. So there’s tourism, there’s sugarcane, there’s agriculture… The fact that there’s two major brewing companies based there, I think people get them mixed up and think their the same one, but the one that makes Bundy the famous Bundy Rum is one of them. But then there’s the Bundaberg Brewing Company that makes all sorts of other things like ginger beer.

Ian Ugarte (20:37):

Yeah. And that’s no alcohol.

Terry Ryder (20:39):

Yeah. And they’re big employers, they’re big series businesses and they’ve got an export port there. They’ve got the Mon Repos, it’s a little thing which I visited recently. It’s very impressive. Interesting. And then Bergara which is a lovely seaside enclave that million dollar properties reside. So there’s a lot to that place that most people wouldn’t have Bundaberg on their radar screen.

Ian Ugarte (21:10):

So you got a feel of the place, it feels right, looks right. And for you it might feel all right, for me when I drive through I go, “I’m not so quite sure because that’s my level of intuition.” But to have a class five hospital going in there, that’s a big step for an area. When they started announcing those that’s a good outcome.

Terry Ryder (21:26):

Yeah. So probably a good process is, I used to have a motor home and I called it my mobile office. And I had all my insignia all over it, the branding and I used to go out on research safaris and visit places. I just don’t have time to do it now, but it was a great thing to do. And I would discover places like Bundaberg and one trip I went all the way down to South Australia was in Adelaide went down to Whyalla came back through Broken Hill. And went to places that I normally wouldn’t see and you can do a lot of research and tap into media online and all that sort of thing but until you visit a place-

Ian Ugarte (22:05):

You don’t get to feel it.

Terry Ryder (22:07):

You don’t really get to understand what it’s about and I wish I had more time to do that because it was really informative. And it alerted me to places that I needed to put on the radar screen and get some more data on.

Ian Ugarte (22:22):

Is it just you, you’ve obviously got a few talent, couple of talent in the office that I know about. Are you the man or do you have someone else helping you with pulling data and putting stuff together? I’ve got Rebecca that pulls data for me.

Terry Ryder (22:33):

Yeah. I’ve got a team of half a dozen people in various forms and the team’s growing and I hope it’ll grow a bit more, so I don’t have to work so many hours but it’s a little bit too reliant on my expertise. But we’ve got a core team of five or six people doing data and digital things and marketing.

Ian Ugarte (22:58):

Let’s talk about Terry Ryder the person born in Brisbane?

Terry Ryder (23:03):

No.

Ian Ugarte (23:04):

Where?

Terry Ryder (23:05):

Born in a very small town in the South Island of New Zealand.

Ian Ugarte (23:10):

So you’re a Kiwi. You know Australia’s already claimed you, we’ve claimed Russell Crowe you’re number two.

Terry Ryder (23:15):

And Sam Neill and anyone else who’s successful until they stuff up completely then they become Kiwis again.

Ian Ugarte (23:24):

They become Kiwi’s again.

Terry Ryder (23:26):

Yeah. There was something on Facebook. They shut me down.

Ian Ugarte (23:33):

Actually, I was going to bring that up because it was only just this morning they’ve… To me it sounds like Facebook’s throwing all the toys out of the cot because the Australian government is putting pressure on them and you’ve been shut down as well.

Terry Ryder (23:45):

Yeah. And I’m saying, why am I caught up in this? I’m a real estate researcher an analyst. But no they shut down my Facebook page, which ultimately I don’t give a damn about because it’s not really terribly central to what we do but just bad behavior. And I think they’re going to shoot themselves in the foot big time.

Ian Ugarte (24:06):

Have they told you that they’re going to reinstate. Have you got any?

Terry Ryder (24:10):

They don’t condescend to speak to underlings like us, they don’t tell us they were doing it or why they did it. We’re making inquiries to find out but the people on my team who deal with these people regularly say, “That’s Facebook, they’re incredibly arrogant-

Ian Ugarte (24:30):

They are. And they’re bullies.

Terry Ryder (24:32):

… they think they run the world.” But anyway, going back to the original point there was a question on where you’re from what’s it best known for? And I had to put down a renowned sheep stealer because my region was named after this guy who actually was a sheep stealer, and his famous dog has got a statue just up the road at the lake that’s just up the road from my hometown.

Ian Ugarte (24:59):

What’s the name of town?

Terry Ryder (25:00):

Fairlie.

Ian Ugarte (25:02):

Fairlie.

Terry Ryder (25:04):

Yeah. I used to call it fairly awful, but actually I used to always refer to my hometown as Bug Tussle and Bug Tussle was the town that The Beverly Hillbillies came from before they struck oil and went to move to California.

Ian Ugarte (25:18):

Yep. So how old were you when you left there?

Terry Ryder (25:24):

19.

Ian Ugarte (25:26):

So you grew up there and your parents stayed and you left.

Terry Ryder (25:28):

Yeah. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. And every time I moved, I moved further away. It’s a beautiful… New Zealand’s gorgeous. The South Island I love it and I go back a lot and the towns and the valley’s surrounded by mountains but I didn’t want to be there. And so I went and studied journalism up in Wellington and worked for newspapers in New Zealand. And then I came to Australia for a year to play rugby and just have a working holiday and then go back to New Zealand, but I never went back.

Ian Ugarte (26:03):

So union league?

Terry Ryder (26:05):

Union.

Ian Ugarte (26:05):

Union. And so you never went back. So you came to Brisbane straight up?

Terry Ryder (26:10):

Ipswich actually. I worked on the Queensland Times at Ipswich because I was a journalist and then went from there to the Courier Mail in Brisbane.

Ian Ugarte (26:19):

Yeah. So lived in Brisbane for a while.

Terry Ryder (26:22):

Yeah. And looking back on those days the most important lesson to impart to young people watching and listening today is you own good real estate you never sell it. Because I sometimes drive past the real estate like in a good suburb of Balmoral not far from the center of Brisbane, I bought a home for 50 grand sitting on a hill with views up the river.

Ian Ugarte (26:49):

So sorry 850 or eight and a half?

Terry Ryder (26:52):

Sorry no for 50.

Ian Ugarte (26:53):

50 grand.

Terry Ryder (26:54):

$50,000 for this humble house-

Ian Ugarte (26:54):

Sitting on a hill.

Terry Ryder (26:57):

… but on a great block of land with views up the river

Ian Ugarte (26:59):

And probably a dual lot.

Terry Ryder (27:01):

Ah?

Ian Ugarte (27:01):

Dual lot, single title?

Terry Ryder (27:04):

It was like a quarter acre block.

Ian Ugarte (27:06):

Yeah. Dual lot.

Terry Ryder (27:08):

And I noticed when I drove past there because my daughter’s actually flat just down the road from there going to uni in Brisbane, someone had knocked it down and built a mansion. In fact every property in that street has been knocked down and replaced by serious million-dollar type houses. And I thought there’s the lesson reinforced yet again, you should never sell good real estate. I was doing a podcast where the essential question’s what advice would you give to the 25 year old you? And that would be the advice I would give, start early, never sell.

Ian Ugarte (27:44):

Hold onto to a good asset. Because there is a doubling of property at some point at some time in sometimes 10 years, sometimes seven, sometimes three. We’ve sort of seen the 85 to 88 which was absolutely crae-crae. So now you’re in Brisbane and so you bought that, met partner, kids.

Terry Ryder (28:05):

Met partner, moved to Maleny and almost had kids but not quite.

Ian Ugarte (28:16):

Yep. And that move to Maleny, tough decision or not?

Terry Ryder (28:22):

Initially. Yeah. The question I asked then which is I think more and more people are asking right now, we’re going back to the early ’90s whereas this was… Doing what I do, which was working from a home office and at that stage I was doing research and stuff for people primarily in commercial property. And the question was do I need to be in the big city to do that? I thought I was taking a bit of a risk that I might lose clients if I moved, but I decided what the hell we’ll do it anyway because we used to go up to Maleny like a lot of Brisbane people do for weekends and loved it. So I made the choice and found that there was no negative consequence for my little business at all from making that move out of the city so haven’t regretted it.

Ian Ugarte (29:13):

I don’t mean to pry, but I noted a level of softness that came in when you just said about almost had children.

Terry Ryder (29:20):

Yeah. My wife at the time was pregnant with twins they died the same day they were born. So that was a very important turning point in life, changed a lot. And when I look back probably with a certain sense of gratitude, it was an incredibly tragic event and took me a long time to get over it. But it did precipitate some changes that are probably good ones to be a little bit less work… Because I’ve been a workaholic my whole life probably.

Ian Ugarte (29:57):

So it gave you a turning point to say that there’s more to this than just going hard.

Terry Ryder (30:02):

Yeah. And then later when I met a woman who had a couple of toddlers, I was very motivated to be a good step-father because I thought I’d never get a chance to be a parent again. And I’m no longer together with their mother, but my relationship with the girls who are now in their 20s going to uni is really strong. But I think my strong motivation to be as good a step-parent as I could possibly be came out of the fact that what happened with those babies that didn’t survive.

Ian Ugarte (30:39):

Proud of bringing those two girls up?

Terry Ryder (30:41):

Very much so. And it wasn’t easy because their natural or I call him they’re unnatural father was a bad man. And we spent seven years in family court fighting to keep those girls safe from him, and that’s the thing I’m most proud of in my life today.

Ian Ugarte (30:57):

I’m kind of going through a separation. We still work in the business together and it’s incredibly amicable and I can’t imagine how awful it would be going through a separation that would be so vindictive like that seven years of your life.

Terry Ryder (31:13):

My partner and I, the mother of the girls fighting against… For her.

Ian Ugarte (31:17):

Yeah. For her, it’s just incredible. And that drags you into it too. You’re raising these two children.

Terry Ryder (31:24):

And in really, really difficult circumstances. And we could talk for hours about that. I was actually watching last night on Current Affairs TV talking about changes that are proposed to the family court. And I spent seven years in the family court and it’s utterly diabolical, the system is appalling and we found a way to afford barristers and solicitors and get ultimately good results. But most people can’t afford that and they get chewed up and spat out by the family court. It’s a terrible, terrible place. I hope I never set foot in that building ever again.

Ian Ugarte (32:03):

Yeah. You said you’re going to slow down. Can you see yourself really doing that?

Terry Ryder (32:14):

Well, I have actually because and I started my current business hotspotting 15 years ago and it was just me. I don’t know how the hell I did it because I had more reports, bigger reports and no support. That’s probably one reason why that relationship didn’t last. But now I have some serious resources and we’ve rationalized the reports for something that makes sense. So I am working a lot less and getting a lot more done.

Ian Ugarte (32:48):

Want to finish with two points which is sort of one point, I am a devout hater of the four bedroom, two bathroom, Greenfield house and land package. And then added to that people that have sold house and land packages in Ipswich and Logan and being told it’s Brisbane and same with Caboolture. What’s your view on the house and land package?

Terry Ryder (33:10):

Yeah. Look, I don’t have a strong anti view. I have perhaps a personal bias towards established housing. And I do like the idea of investing in things that have a certain uniqueness about them that aren’t just spat out of a production line. But nevertheless, there is a place for investing in new. I just think people need to be very careful about the numbers, what they’re getting, what the paying for and where it’s located in particular because one of the problems with new is it tends to be in the new development areas, which are on the fringes of cities where there’s no infrastructure.

                  Because the question, I think people get seduced sometimes by sort of like a duplex set up and the rental yields might be seven or 8% and that’s very seductive. But my question is what’s going to drive the growth and I’ve had sort of… There’s merit in Logan City, but I think in the suburbs they’re close to the transport spine. The new ones are way out west where there’s no infrastructure, there’s no train connections, the shopping centers and the schools aren’t there yet. And that’s what I think people need to be mindful of. So you can make an argument for new product for various reasons but it needs to be well located.

Ian Ugarte (34:41):

In the right spot. Because that’s the thing you go and buy a house and if it doubles in price, it’s not the box that sits on top of the land that goes up, it’s the land underneath. And when there’s an excess of land then that’s an over supply for a short period of time anyway. And we saw the Sunshine Coast suffer that in parts of the early 2000s really people bought at peak and it dropped away then.

Terry Ryder (35:04):

Yeah. Timing’s important. Timing is always important. But one of the big problems that investors in Australia have is they are essentially herd animals. And the smart investors it’s the old rule you buy when others are selling, sell when others are buying. The Warren Buffet Principle, but most people pile in when they read… People are piling in now because they’re reading there’s a boom line, the smart people would have actually bought in those locations they’re buying in a year ago or two years ago. But they’ve been sitting on the fence waiting to see what happens. If you’re reading that the booms on it started at least six months ago, probably 12 months ago. And so it’s the independent thing, it’s the people who detach from the herd run in the opposite direction or lead the herd that succeed. But most people don’t and so they get pretty average results out of property investment.

Ian Ugarte (36:01):

What would you say and we’ll finish up here. What would you say to those millennials that are looking at the property market right now and saying they can’t afford to buy in, “I’ve got to wait for my parents to die.”

Terry Ryder (36:12):

I would say and I’ve been saying this and I truly believe there’s never been a better time to be a first home buyer. There’s never been such a high level of government assistance at state and federal level for first-time buyers. And there’s never been a time when interest rates have been so low, it’s a great opportunity. I think the lockdown periods showed young people, gave them some clues how to save a deposit.

                  And I also use as an anecdote one of my kids who 2019 was going to uni in Melbourne flatting with friends a long way from home, full-time at uni, part-time job. She saved almost 15 grand that year because she decided she wanted to have the next year 2020 it didn’t happen because of the pandemic going to a uni overseas she wanted to have some money behind her. So she somehow managed to save in that environment 15 grand. Now two young, 20 somethings-

Ian Ugarte (37:12):

Can do it.

Terry Ryder (37:12):

… both working, can’t save a deposit, given that you only need 5% in the current situation to get say an apartment in Brunswick in Melbourne something like that, you might be paying four or 500 grand. They can’t get that together there’s something wrong with them, with all the assistance with the low interest rates. So great opportunity get off your asses and do it.

Ian Ugarte (37:36):

For anyone listening. How do they find out more about you?

Terry Ryder (37:41):

Well, hotspotting.com.au. They’re always welcome to drop me a line, an email, ryder@hotspotting.com.au. And we’ve got a website, we used to have a Facebook page but we don’t anymore.

Ian Ugarte (37:56):

And you can find me at warmspotting.com.au. Terry Ryder thanks for that last little chat. It’s been awesome and very informative for a lot of people.

Terry Ryder (38:05):

Yeah. Great. No, always happy to chat about real estate and myself, of course.

Ian Ugarte (38:09):

Thank you. There you go Terry Ryder you know where to go and find him hotspotting.com.au. You can always follow us at smallisthenewbig.com.au or ianugarte.com.au. Or any of our social media outlets on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Let’s see you on the other side in the next podcast.

Voice Over (38:30):

Thanks for tuning in to the ‘Small Talk, Big Ideas’ podcast. We hope we’ve succeeded in our goal to inspire and challenge you. And we look forward to catching you on the next episode of ‘Small talk, Big ideas’ with Ian Ugarte.

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