Jason and Amy were a typical young couple at the beginning of their real estate journey. They worked 50-60 hour weeks at corporate jobs and spent some time saving up a chunk of cash for their first purchase.
Once they got started, though, they proved that they were anything but typical. By starting small, learning from experts and building a star team of partners, they were able to start earning great profits in their first year as investors, and their returns have been growing ever since.
Using the knowledge, attitudes and the network they tapped into at Dymphna Boholt’s Ultimate program, the Byrons have gone from a small renovation in 2007 to a major multi-level unit development currently in process, with profits for 2015 already topping $1 million.
Anyone who has met Jason and Amy can tell you about the energy and enthusiasm they bring to their work, and this is the engine that has powered their success.
Enthusiasm is what has helped them find the deals that no one else could see by working overtime on their due diligence and getting to know the areas where they invest. It has helped them bring extra talent and money into their deals by infecting other investors with their enthusiasm and sustaining profitable partnerships.
As Jason says, ‘I was making a living but I had no life!’
Having a great attitude has helped them quickly progress from smaller deals to larger ones by constantly finding opportunities to learn and improve themselves. Every project has taught them another lesson that they could use to get more value out of the next one.
Before they started studying with Dymphna, Jason and Amy had made a conventional property deal with conventional results. It was a $160K house, which they bought and held for long-term gains and a little bit of positive cashflow. But as it was, it wasn’t going to do them much good in the short term.
To really make a deal profitable, they would need to put in a little more effort. They went looking for a property that had potential for plenty of manufactured growth, and they drew circles on a map outwards from Sydney until they found a location they could afford.
Five hours from the city in Narrandera, they finally came across the right property. It was an old house on a large lot, which is exactly what they needed for the plan they had in mind. The first step was renovation, and they made the long drive to the site every weekend to save money by doing the work themselves.
Neither Jason nor Amy had any prior renovation experience, so the process was not a fast or easy one, and there were plenty of lessons to learn. When it came time to paint the roof, Jason went at the job with plenty of energy but not exactly the right tool. At the hardware store, instead of a sprayer or even a large brush, he bought a one-inch paintbrush and painted the entire roof with it!
After renovating the existing house, they subdivided the lot to make room for another dwelling. Instead of building, they found another old house in a “house graveyard” nearby and had it moved onto the second lot. At this point in the process, Jason injured his knee playing paintball, so Amy took over the roof painting.
Once finished, this project left the couple with more positive cashflow, a solid equity position to fund their next purchase and a good introduction to renovation to make their next project a little easier.
We realised that our employment should not just be about cashflow, it needed new skills and education that could actually take us beyond the simple issue of cashflow.
Now the Byrons were ready to head back to Sydney to find themselves a new place to live. They understood the importance of making their primary residence another profitable investment, and they planned accordingly.
Instead of renovating an existing home, they located a small lot in the inner west of Sydney that had been on the market for a while. Jason wondered why it hadn’t sold, and by searching online records for the property address, he found two rejected development applications.
They guessed that the rejected DAs may have deterred other potential buyers. The reason for the rejections was obvious—they were for two-storey buildings on a street that was all single-storey houses! But Jason and Amy still made sure they did all of their due diligence, and before buying, they went to the town planners with their plan for a modest single-storey dwelling. The plan was approved, and they went ahead with the deal.
Here’s where they got clever: it was a single-storey house, but it also had an attic. After the initial construction, they hired a private certifier to approve a new staircase and a bedroom in the attic. Taking the house from two bedrooms to three drastically increased its market value at quite a low cost.
Because they were still new to real estate, they needed to do extra research to make sure they were paying the right price for the construction. They approached 10 different builders for the same design and received quotes ranging from $170K to $400K. By choosing a builder from out of town rather than central Sydney, they were able to save over $100,000 in construction costs.
All told, the land and construction cost them $610K, the project took approximately 18 months, and the property revalued at $950K at the end of the process.
Years later, with its proximity to the Sydney CBD, this neighbourhood is becoming denser, and Jason and Amy are waiting for the right time to apply for further valuable improvements to their home, adding a full second storey with another bedroom and bathroom.
For the year and half that their home was under construction, all of their funds were tied up, but they didn’t want to let that stop them investing. They performed a grid analysis to find ideal lots for development in Brisbane and Sydney, spotted the property they wanted and reached out to some acquaintances in the Ultimate program to find a cash partner for their first JV.
Their JV partner signed on to bring in the cash, and Jason and Amy went to work. They did enough research to be confident that there was plenty of value in the land alone. After subdividing the lot, they could either sell it straightaway or build on the second half, and they would profit either way.
Ultimately, they did decide to build a second dwelling on the empty side of the lot. Since they were still living in Sydney, they project managed over the phone and only flew up to Brisbane a few times to check on things. They took a key precaution, though, of making the builder send them photos of each completed stage of the project before paying him.
They made a quick $180,000 on the deal and immediately launched another one in the same area with the same partner. They looked at a house on a double lot that was up for auction, and again they realised that the land alone, after subdividing, would be worth more than what they paid.
This time, they removed the existing house and cashed out of the deal, leaving the building to their JV partner.
The two JV deals went very quickly, and after they were done, the Byrons’ home still wasn’t finished. So they connected with another Ultimate student and sourced a run-down property that Jason dubbed their “goldmine” in inner west Sydney. It promised a huge increase in value after renovation.
Having refined their strategy, Jason and Amy chose not to work on this renovation themselves but instead delegated the work to a team of experts to shorten the duration of the project. It ultimately took only six weeks and earned them a profit of $80K.
It’s all about breaking things down and seeing every aspect of each task. Seeing the big picture but understanding all the nuances that go into making that big picture.
Once their home was completed and they had some more cash to work with, they were ready to do some bigger deals on their own. A realestate.com alert tipped them off to a house on a dual lot in inner west Sydney, and Jason quickly drove to visit the property on a Tuesday.
It had a sign advertising an auction on Saturday. Jason asked his agent to show him the house right away to see if he could get in ahead of the auction. When the agent stalled a bit, Jason just went ahead and knocked on the door. The students who were renting the place were happy give him a walk through.
His agent still wanted him to wait for the auction, but Jason argued until the agent agreed to get the process moving, and Jason drove around town to execute all of the necessary paperwork and get a written offer accepted midweek.
On Saturday morning, all of the other renovators and builders in town showed up for the auction and found that the house had already been bought.
It was an expensive project that they pulled off with strategic timing. They renovated the existing house, revalued it to pull out some equity and used that to help finance the construction of a new dwelling on the second lot.
When Jason and Amy started investing and drove out to Narrandera every weekend, Amy’s parents were concerned about the way they were spending so much time and incurring so much debt. A couple of years later, after hundreds of thousands of dollars of profit had come in, they were less sceptical, and they asked for help with their own place.
Amy’s folks lived in an old house in Sydney. She asked them to go overseas for a few months, and while they were gone, Amy and Jason spent seven weeks on a cosmetic renovation which added $100K to the value of the home. In return, both Amy’s and Jason’s parents treated them to a celebratory dinner.
Even when their incomes were low, the Byrons set aside some money for charity, and as their fortunes grew, so did their ability to give back.
They picked up a nice home in Sydney from a politician who was going through a divorce and wanted to get out of his expensive place. Following their tried-and-true strategy, they knocked the house down, subdivided the lot, and built two luxury four-level terraces.
This time, they made a point to sell one of the houses to BoysTown, who offered it in a lottery and ultimately earned over $4 million. Meanwhile, the Byrons ended up with a $300,000 profit on the two houses combined. And the project took less than a year.
Now it was 2013, and several years of investing had given Jason and Amy the skills to get started with large-scale development. A friend of Jason’s father was sitting on some useful land and had been watching their successful investments. He asked them for help with a unit development, and they met with Bob Andersen to begin learning a new side of the business.
Since Jason and Amy signed on with their new land partner, the zoning on the land has continued to change, increasing from a 10 level maximum up to 15, and then to 20. The owner is not in a rush to move, so they are all waiting for the right time to take action. It may turn out that they can create a worthwhile profit just by getting an approved DA and selling the land in that state rather than doing any development themselves.
At the same time, they decided to move from Sydney to Brisbane. Within six weeks, they had moved, researched the market, negotiated and bought four properties in Brisbane on newly zoned light-medium residential blocks.
This was development on a scale greater than anything they’d done before. With a few different partners supplying extra cash, they planned and started building a total of 21 new townhouses on their four purchases, pre-selling the houses to cover construction costs. One of the projects has now finished, while the others are underway. Jason and Amy’s share of the profit on the deals they originated in 2013 will be over one million dollars.
Jason and Amy never could have jumped into these big development projects without starting with their small renovations and working up. They are more than happy to contribute their expertise and connections to help fellow investors enjoy the same success.
Their parents have now put cash into joint ventures to secure their retirements, while Amy’s brother has attended Dymphna’s Ultimate course, and Jason and Amy gave him a hand with his first deal.
Meanwhile, they continue to allocate a percentage of their profits to charity. They’re supporting a village in Fiji with projects such as rainwater tanks and painting their church. They’re planning to fund the construction of a new orphanage in the Philippines, and when they travel on holiday, they pay for local children’s medical expenses.
With a baby on the way, the future will see the Byrons supporting a child of their own while continuing to develop property and share their success with everyone.
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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.
Everyone can learn from their drive and ambition, their passion for quality outcomes, and their enthusiasm for the future of property development.
Jason and Amy began their property development journey just eight years ago with a mere 30 thousand dollars in the bank.
In this short time they have grown to the point when they can proudly say their company has created over 28 million dollars in projects.