Developing your team – Nhan Nguyen

Developing your team – Nhan Nguyen

In today’s show property investor and developer, Nhan Nguyen, from Advanced Property Strategies, shares some wisdom about developing your team.


Kevin:  A great topic I’m going to talk to Nhan Nguyen about now. Nhan, of course, is from Advanced Property Strategies, and he’s no stranger to any of us.
Good morning, Nhan, and thank you for your time.
Nhan:  Excellent, Kevin. Thanks for having me, mate.
Kevin:  I want to talk to you about picking your property team. We quite often talk about this, Nhan. Sometimes when people get into property, they tend to think they can do it all on their own or they don’t develop a team around them. Tell me who you would suggest we should develop into our team.
Nhan:  That’s a really good point that most people do it by themselves. They haven’t really been trained to work in a team. The first couple of people you need are definitely a solicitor and an accountant. Those people are important to know because you might have to structure it in a company and/or a trust or in your personal name and put certain clauses in contracts. So definitely start with them.
Kevin:  As you’re talking about that, too, I can hear people saying, “Yes, well, I’ve got an accountant and I’ve got a solicitor.” But my question would be are they on your team? In other words, tell me how you involve these people in a team atmosphere.
Nhan:  Look. The thing about accountants is there’s accountants and there’s accountants. There’s a person down at the shopping center doing your tax returns or the person who’s going to help you grow and put the right structures in place for your family and distributions down the track and potential tax problems. With your solicitor, they’re going to be talking about how to structure yourself with asset protection and minimizing your tax together with the accountant.
With property, if you’re going to do development, if you’re going to subdivide, if you’re going to strata title, there’s a handful of things – like whether it’s GST, margin scheme, which I’m not going to cover – there are problems that you’re going to have to encounter and extra expenses – like land tax – that you need to really discuss with them. Tell them what you’re doing. Tell them that you’re about to expand and do property deals, so that they know to allow for that.
Kevin:  By bringing them onto your team, too, you’re actually bringing someone else in who can be your ears and eyes on the ground and be listening out for things that you might be interested in. It’s just having more people on the ground.
Nhan:  Absolutely, and it may come to you having to sack your accountant and/or your solicitor. I know I’ve gone through a lot of accountants and solicitors over the years because I’ve grown, my opinions have changed, and I’ve been a bit more aggressive in my property activities.
If they’re going to be talking about certain things like negative gearing or buying in your personal name all the time because they don’t want to spend money on companies and trust, you really need to challenge those beliefs.
Kevin:  Yes. There are a couple of other obvious ones to have on your team, too – your real estate agent and a finance broker. They’re pretty well no-brainers, but particularly, a real estate agent is someone who can keep you in touch with those early deals or even help you sell one if you need to turn it over, Nhan?
Nhan:  Absolutely. There are different types of real estate agents. There are some agents who are just happy to sell property at any price. Sometimes you can find those by talking to them and putting in low offers. At other times, there are other agents who you don’t want to buy through them; you just want to sell through them because they’re there to get top dollar all the time. You need to find out which agent is actually working for you as the buyer or the seller, whichever instance that you’re in.
Kevin:  Yes. We’ve mentioned some pretty obvious ones there – solicitor, accountant, real estate agent, and finance broker – but there is one big one that I want to talk to you about and how you use them, and that is a town planner.
Nhan:  Yes. A town planner is very important, especially if you’re looking at doing more than one dwelling. What I mean by that is if you’re just going to do a buy-and-hold, that’s fine, but if you’re going to do townhouses, if you’re going to do units, developments, or land subdivision, then you need to talk to someone who knows the rules, because once you add additional dwellings, there’s lots of approvals, there are surveys that need to be done, there are engineering plans, and you can’t just do whatever you want to do. You need someone who knows the process and how to get the approvals for you.
Kevin:  Nhan, speaking about town planners, are there different types of town planners – small development, medium development, large development?
Nhan:  Absolutely. I find that they fall into a couple of arenas. Firstly, there’s a handful of town planners just focused on one council, whichever council they’re in. Whether it’s Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, or Moreton Shire, they have specialties, and they know the people in council. They know what they like. They know what they don’t like. So the first thing you want to look at is find a town planner who specializes in your particular council.
The second thing is there are town planners who are really good at what we call cookie-cutter approvals, which are risk-smart. For example, it means that it ticks all the boxes. It can go through quickly. There are some town planners that are really good at that, and anything that’s outside of that, they don’t really like or they take a long time to process. Those are the more difficult projects, and you will need a different town planner for that.
Kevin:  It’s always good talking to you, my friend. Nhan Nguyen from
Nhan, thank you so much for your time.
Nhan:  Thanks, Kevin. Thanks for having me.

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