Get a life and live well – Paul Glossop

Paul Glossop is a professional property investor and avid surfer.  He has found a way, through property, to spend more time with his family and get in more surfing.  He has documented it in a book he has called – A Surfers Guide to Property Investing.  His portfolio is focused on capital growth, development opportunities, and cashflow.  Hear his story.
Kevin:  Paul Glossop is a professional property investor. He’s a qualified property investment advisor and a buyer’s agent. Paul initially started architecture before transferring his focus to education. He started his working life as a teacher working at one of the roughest and toughest schools in the UK. A series of fortunate events brought him back to Sydney, where he has been for 10 years investing in property.
Kevin:  Paul has amassed a portfolio which has been focused on capital growth, development opportunities, and cashflow. The success of his portfolio has given him the financial freedom to take a calculated risk and walk away from a successful corporate career and start something that he was truly passionate about, and that is helping his family and others change their lives through investing in property.
Kevin:  In 2015, he founded Pure Property Investment, an independent property investing company that has been a back-to-back finalist in the Optus Business Awards. Paul is also a board member of our good friends at PIPA, Property Investment Professionals of Australia. Paul has written a book called A Surfer’s Guide to Property Investing. Paul joins us as a guest. Paul, the title probably tells us that you spend a bit of time on the old board.
Paul:  Yeah, yeah. Well, hopefully it’s the right kind of board and not necessarily the board meetings, so to speak.
Kevin:  Well, you’ve got to have a mixture of those, haven’t you, for a bit of balance?
Paul:  You do. You’re absolutely right. It’s been… for me, I’m definitely a surfing tragedy, I call myself more than anything else. My friends and the audience that have hung around me in the ocean, will know that I’m still not the greatest surfer. But that’s what I do enjoy about surfing. It’s not something that you, Iv’e personally mastered, but yeah, mate, I’ve spent much time in the ocean as I possibly can, both by myself or with my kids.
Kevin:  Yeah, it’s interesting. It’s a bit like golf, because you virtually compete with yourself, but you can do it with a whole bunch of friends. So, it becomes a social thing, but you’re not in competition with your mates necessarily.
Paul:  You know, it that someone’s actually compared it to something like that. As a proper golf hack. I completely accept that. It’s almost the same where you can have absolutely the best days out there and think it’s the best sport going and you could have times where you get nothing but frustrated and want to toss the clubs in the nearest pond there, but It’s absolutely something you can do by yourself with anyone, and you’re forever learning, that’s for sure.
Kevin:  Mate in the introduction I said that you were a teacher in one of the roughest toughest schools in the UK. Where was that?
Paul:  Yeah. I was kind of thrust very early into my teaching career into a head of department, in the Phpe department, in a place called Woolwich Arsenal, for anyone who has spent a bit of time in London. It’s on the Greenwich side, probaby about 10, 15 minutes, a bit further down from Greenwich. You know, I say the roughest and toughest, I did experience and was exposed to some pretty wild things in a year career as head of department there. I think I probably grew up in a relatively average area in Sydney and saw some pretty wild things as a student. But at that time there was some stuff happening in Woolwich which was leading up to some really unfortunate events. It was well after 9/11, but before really what was boiling in a bit of a melting pot in the London area, pre Brexit, pre all the racial I guess issues that were happening. Then it was a really, really intereting place to work, live and teach. I actually worked and lived in the same area. I actually lived in an old munitions factory. The old Arsenal Gallery, which is an amazing place to live.
Paul:  It was a great time and a very interesting time as well.
Kevin:  I imagine that gave you some good grounding for teaching. It’s a wonder it didn’t turn you off teaching altogether, but then you went into a different style of teaching about property. But were there any good lessons you learned out of that experience?
Paul:  Yeah, definately. I think to me the lessons first and foremost were that perception is most certainly not reality when it comes down to what you expect it all to be and really there was so much that I was green and naïve to, going into a career as a teacher that I thought would be a walk in the park. And probably more of managing staff than managing children, as well as adolesants, and dealing with a whole host of people of this huge school, that was almost 1800 students at the time. So, it was something that to me, understanding that there is so much more to doing a very good robust job in any vocation that I was very naïve to at the time. So, knowing you’re onions, for lack of a better term, it’s something that I was probably a little bit naïve to, knowing what meant or what constituted being a good teacher. It wasn’t just teaching kids, but there’s all the other aspects around pedagogy that you need to focus on.
Kevin:  Yeah absolutely. In the book you draw a lot of comparisons naturally to surfing and property investment, because the book is called the The Surfer’s Guide to Property Investing, so we should expect that. Obviously there are some lessons cross over there between surfing and property investing. So what’s been your biggest lesson out of that?
Paul:  Someone who’s been surfing since I was very early teens and someone who’s probably surfed right up and down the East Coast of Australia and over to the West Coast, and basically every part I could find across the continent of Australia and New Zealand or across Micronesia a bunch of other places, across North America, one thing that is always very obvious is that there is never anything that’s quite the same. And being in a position where you always have to understand that, wherever you go, that you have never been before from the surfing perspective. There are always lessons to be learnt and I do liken that to property as an investor, not only my business and my team are based in Sydney, but we unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which way you look at it, haven’t bought in Sydney for probably the best part of four years during the lead-up to the boom, and now the back end of the boom, which teaches us lessons in other markets. Because we were buying in Hobart before other people were buying, and we’re not buying there anymore and haven’t bought there for some time.
Paul:  But there are so many lessons about other markets that look at the whole success leaves clues, addage, which is something that we are very much accustomed to in most markets. Now it’s trying to find out what those key fundamentals are. Just because a place is cheap, doesn’t make it a good market, and just because the place is near a coastal environment doesn’t make it a highly desirable lifestyle location. So there are so many thing we have to consider that I do find akin to surfing that there’s no two breaks the same. There’s no two markets that’s the same. The dynamics just change and you need to be on top of them.
Kevin:  Yeah, well explained. Hey, in the book you talk about evolutionary investing. Can you tell me what you mean by that?
Paul:  Yeah, look it’s something that I kind of toyed with a little bit. It was always something that went back to the evolution of being kind. And I think most of your listeners would be familiar with the Darwinian drawing of the cro-magna man right through to the actual physical upright human. And for me it sort of comes down to trying to liken that to say, as an investor, when you really are starting off, there’s so much that you just don’t know. And there’s so much that will change over your career as a property investor and you’d want it to change. You don’t want to be stagnated to say this is what I know, this is all I’ll ever do. And that might be looking at just a straight buy and hold investment, is that, a lot of the time when you’re just starting out, there’s stuff that you don’t know is kind of good because it means that you can stay focussed on what you need to do is actually get that first investment secured.
Paul:  But over time the ability to be a really seasoned and what I deem to be a professional investor, means you really need to become sophisticated and understanding the different attributes of buy and hold investment, cash flow investments, and pure capital growth investing, right through to small and slightly larger scale development and then looking further down the pathway of things such as commercial industrial, and the whole gambit of it all kind of evolves as you invest. And I think the beauty of it is you can always learn and there are always opportunities and you don’t necessarily need to start at the deep end. You can definitely, and most of the time its most advantageous to really become accustomed to the basics, but evolving as an investor, does open the eyes and opportunities up to things that you just wouldn’t be privy to if you kept those blinkers on the whole time.
Kevin:  Yeah, that discussion about evolution leads me to my next question, because in the book you recommend that people should look at diversification by looking at commercial and industrial property as well as residential. Are there different skill sets required for those different types of investing in commercial, industrial and residential?
Paul:  Unequivically, and I’d almost liken them to really a different investment qualities or strategies full stop. Regardless of whether they’re both investing in something that’s physical and actually real. For me the variations are huge in that the commercial stage as a general whole. Some being first and foremost becomes a completely different learning curve and anyone who’s bought in residential and haven’t even tinkered with the discussion in funding a commercial investment will start to realise very quickly that it’s not something that is very similar. On the flip side of that, though, when you need bigger deposits, higher lvr’s, are easier to access with residential stage, there are better tax avantages when you delvage a little bit deeper into the commercial stage, but obviously with the tax advantages, there’s other negatives such as longer vacancies, potentially subdued capital growth, and for me it’s sort of a need to fit a certain area of your portfolio as opposed to probably someone saying I’m a commercial property investor.
Paul:  I personally think there’s space for all of those variations, including commercial and industrial developments, buy and hold, cash flows and for me, commercials is usually something that I find fits the later end of an investment portfolio to power it off, usually from a bit of a diversification and ideally if it’s bought correctly a cash flow play that allows you to hold the rest of that portfolio for the long term.
Kevin:  It’s a great read, the book is called A Surfer’s Guide to Property. I’ve been talking to the editor of that book, or the author, sorry, not the editor, the author of that book.
Paul:  I gave the editing a bit of a crack.
Kevin:  No, the author of that book, Paul Glossop, and Paul is from Hey Paul, thanks for your time.
Paul:  Thanks, appreciate it.

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