How a seasoned and successful property investor with a $17m portfolio saw how much she had to learn.

Yarra Valley Strawberry farmer Dawn joined Dymphna Boholt’s Ultimate program in 2014, already a 20 year veteran of property investing and with a $17m portfolio to her name.

She thought she had seen it all.

However, when her husband had a heart attack it was the wake up call she needed to get her portfolio into shape. Impressive as it was, it wasn’t giving them the lifestyle that they wanted.

Dawn then used Dymphna’s methodology to stream-line her property portfolio, keep the top performers, and pay down debt. She also looked for ways to make each individual property pull a little extra weight.

Dawn has now reduced her debt position down from $10m to $4.3m, and by reworking her existing properties has managed to pull an extra $90,000 in rent.

She has also restructured her portfolio with asset protection in mind, put more emphasis on cashflow for lifestyle… and even bought a Ferrari!

All the classic mistakes

Dawn remembers that before she met Dymphna, she was making all of the classic property mistakes. She was cross-securitised and had different trust accounts, but with multiple properties in each. She had no idea about how to structure her portfolio with asset protection in mind, and so when she finally found Dymphna she thought,“at last, someone is speaking my language.”

Not a financial planner

Dawn is a passionate self-educator, and had attended a number of events and seminars. She had even put herself through a financial planning course so she could better her financial position.

However she found the educator’s lack of interest in property frustrating. They only wanted to talk about shares, and property barely entered the picture, even though Dawn had been building wealth through property, including straight through the GFC without a hitch, for years. Dawn kept trying to share her experience with property, but in her words, “they didn’t like me much.”

Dawn’s portfolio is too large to go into fully here, but she has made some important changes since joining Dymphna’s Ultimate program.​

“The amount I paid for Dymphna’s course… I made that back in my first deal.”

The Rural Retreat

In 2015, Dawn purchased a neighbouring farm in the Yarra Valley for $1.24m. The initial plan was to use the land for strawberry farming and to renovate and rent the house out permanently at $500 per week ($26,000 pa). However following Dymphna’s advice Dawn turned it into a holiday rental called “The Strawberry Farm Retreat”. A State Finalist in the Stayz.com awards and a potential feature on a Channel 7 TV show, it currently brings in over $90,000 pa.

A place by the Beach

Dawn purchased a property in Port Melbourne for $625,000 back in 1999, initially touse as her own holiday house. However she has now converted it from a regular rental into a CBD Beach Retreat and has created positive cash flow of $40,000 pa. It is currently worth $2.5m.

Box Hill

Originally purchased in 2014 for $1.95m, Dawn was willing to pay a price well above the reserve because she knew there were zoning changes coming. It was negatively geared to the tune of $50,000 pa but she was able to improve its cashflow position by turning it into a rooming house. She recently sold it for $3.9m.

Advice to Investors

Dawn reminds investors that cashflow is the life-blood of your investing business. Without it, it is difficult to grow and expand your portfolio. As she says, “Cashflow is King.”

Dawn also stresses the importance of relentless self-education and is living proof that no matter how successful you are, there is always something to learn.

“Dymphna really opened my eyes to the mistakes I was making.”

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These stories and the results in them were captured at a specific point in time. The real estate market and the investing strategies used to succeed are constantly changing. The achievements and results of these investors may have changed since these stories were recorded. Each of these investors engaged in in-depth training, coaching and mentoring to be able to achieve these results. Their results are not typical and should not be taken as a guarantee of the results you may achieve. Your personal results will be in-line with the training, education and hard work that you personally conduct.

“Rich people have lots of money and wealthy people have time to spend it. I’m wealthy now.”

Actions Taken

  • Turned existing houses into better income producing properties with positive cash flow as holiday rentals and rooming houses
  • Sold properties to reduce our debt from $10m to $4.3m and remove the cross securitising
  • Still kept the loans active in case we need to borrow on new properties
  • Bought our dream car with some of the profits from the consolidating
  • Still studying