Property Investment Q&A With Dane Disney

Dane Disney is a passionate individual with a drive to help people from all walks of life and brighten the world we all live in and share together.

Dane has built and is a Director for First Home Buyers Group and Better House Brokers, which holistically help property buyers and investors take the next step on both their property journey and a variety of other aspects to living a more fulfilled life taking an incredibly genuine and very outgoing interest in putting his client’s interests first.

Dane has also founded two not-for-profit movements, Jingles for Joy and Family Unite. His personality alongside his passion for nature, helping others, tree planting, sustainability and community movements continue to help others live happier lives.


Please tell us about yourself and your property investment background

My name is Dane Disney and I’m a Director of both Better House Brokers and First Home Buyers Group.  I first got into property when I was 20 which was 12 years ago and started with doing marketing and consultancy for real estate agents back in new Zealand, I then moved over to Australia where I started up a few more companies and one of them was doing marketing consultancy and customer acquisition and crm creation for a financial planning group who a friend of mine was a director of that did financial planning and property strategy. I then created First Home Buyers Group for one of our divisions for helping people on the property journey I was working 80-120 hour weeks and loving life.  I had some health challenges which brought me back to only being able to work 40 hour weeks and I started to feel the strain.  I put everything on pause and went away to Hawaii to reflect and recover and spend time with my mentor who, at the time that had a real-estate agency over in Hawaii. During that time I reflected on how much I loved helping first home buyers with their journey because there was very little genuine help available to them and the large amount of work and pitfalls they could go through during their journey.

When a new change in regulation came about meaning that financial planners could no longer give advice freely on property, we took over more of the property side. We have been expanding that all around a customer first perspective to deliver the maximum amount of value we could regardless of how much extra work that might take us (often not a huge amount if you know what you’re doing).

When Covid-19 build grants saw a windfall of demand for build solutions I stepped back up to crazy working hours. And by the time the grants finished I needed a break and headed to the Whit Sunday islands with plans of a vacation. It was only a couple of days in when one of my new friends asked if I could help him buy a place. I replied that our group just helps people with new build solutions and I would be happy to give him a bunch of tips and advice for free.  However, if both myself and the team were to provide the full service we would have to charge and he said he was happy to pay. I wrote him a proposal and when I looked at it I said to myself: “Wow there is a lot we can do to help.” I showed it to him and he paid a deposit that day.  I was telling this story to another friend I’d recently met, and he said “Wow, that’s awesome. Sign me up too,” and paid a deposit the next day. We have grown both Better House Brokers and First Home Buyers Group from that mentality of thinking of our clients as friends and helping them get to their goals.


What is the most common problem faced by inexperienced property investors and how can this be overcome?

The most common problem we find at Better House Brokers is home buyers making emotional decisions and also being unprepared to make a decision and find the best available option. We have found that this can be minimised by, first of all, getting a really clear idea of your burrowing capability and capacity with an experienced mortgage broker so you actually know what you can afford instead of spending all this time searching for something you might never be able to buy. The next step I’d recommend is to get a really clear idea about what you’re actually looking for to be able to progress on your property journey. And depending on if that is a home occupier or investment, if you are looking more for capital growth or for cash flow, your risk appetite and largely what different property types could mean in terms of tax advantages.

The next step I’d recommend is to start actively searching for that thing now that we have a very clear idea of what it is we are looking for. We know what the property type is, how many bedrooms, what location, the price range and that way we can cut out the clutter and easily spot what we are looking for. It really helps if what you are looking for is in demand,  so that you can either spend the time yourself or have a team that will be searching on and off the market for that thing. Once we have found the property, we would suggest checking it thoroughly and actually see it in person or have someone you can rely on to do that for you. Cutting a long story short, there is then a lot of extra due diligence, negotiations and a variety of awesome professionals required to make the best maximum savings and we at Better House Brokers like to leave no stone unturned as we are passionate about putting our client first. To recap:  The biggest problems I see inexperienced property investors making is emotional decisions and being unprepared both with a great team and knowledge to help them make highly informed and calculated decisions which is critical to their success.


What are the most important things to consider before investing in property?

In my experience with my group Better House Brokers, the most important thing to consider before investing in property is getting really clear on what the buyers end goal will be and creating a clear plan of their wealth journey.  This will also include short and medium goals to get them to their end goal, which also integrates into all of their life.

There are so many things to consider with deciding what the next perfect property for them might be, but on top of that, the actual property itself is not the only thing to consider when investing in property. Your life should not be just about property – so thinking holistically about all the other things including health, wealth, wellness and happiness and how all these aspects may impact or have an impact on your property investing journey.


What is the best way to budget when investing in property?

In my opinion, the best way to budget when investing in property is to work this plan out with a great team of financial experts that have your best interests at heart. Having a knowledgeable mortgage broker, property strategist, accountant and financial strategist and financial planner specialising in what you’re looking to do and creating your budgeting and financial plan with them will be one of the biggest keys to your success.


How has the pandemic changed the property investment industry?

In my opinion the pandemic has affected property in a variety of ways. You can see a graph here of property prices from the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Initially we saw a decline as people in financial pressure looked to sell their property, which caused more supply than demand. But when government support kicked in,  this caused a large cash flow influx and an increase of both buyers entering the market and relocating as work from home jobs became a new norm and we saw a large shift in property prices all throughout Australia.

In places like Queensland we see (and continue to see) an after effect of increased demand caused from the pandemic.  This is the result of people moving State and either buying or renting to move to a more desirable location.  In particularly places like Melbourne, people are moving to a State and area that, should lockdown reoccur, they feel they won’t be locked down in isolation for months at a time.

There has certainly been a lot of emotion-driven decisions that have been caused by the pandemic in a variety of ways.  And savvy property investors have done very well through it (I’ve had first home buyers who have seen a $20k deposit make $150k increase in equity over 6 months).


What is the most important lesson you have learnt about property investment? This may also be advice you can offer to budding property investors.

The most important bit of advice I have learnt about property investment is that knowledge is wealth. And people that do not have as much of it, don’t realize how much it’s actually costing them. We don’t believe in selling we believe in educating. And we take a very holistic and customer-first approach unlike a lot of other groups out there, because we genuinely want the best success for our customers who we think of more as friends.

Here is a rough overview in terms of the average key metrics in different areas, which people focusing on property investment might want to consider when determining where they might like to invest in.

According to CoreLogic’s Hedonic Home Value Index here is a little table showing key metrics in popular capital cities.

But I find that many property investors are a lot less aware of the different types of investment property.  Some of the top ones we find knowledgeable investors are interested in when they learn about them are; Dual key, Roomy Accommodation and NDIS rentals. Dual key means that your property has two keys and two separate living spaces which means you can rent out to two different tenants and also look to later subdivide and create additional equity.  Roomy Accommodation is where you have a house that has been setup so you can rent each room out individually.  The rooms all have on suite bathrooms and more private spaces which, again, maximizes rental returns. NDIS housing is housing build specifically for renting out to the Disabled Australian Citizens supported by government incentivized schemes supported normally on 10 year plus leases.

In my opinion there are so many different options and opportunities to use property as a vehicle to improve your life, which may include; better living conditions, more cash flow, greater tax deductions, more capital wealth, greater freedom and flexibility, higher security and a variety of other things that could lead to you living a happier life. And, as with anything, knowledge is wealth. So start acquiring more and find people that have more knowledge than you that genuinely care about you to help you on your journey.



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