Housenet Member Interview: Ben Kingsley

Housenet Staff

Ben Kingsley is CEO & Founder of Empower Wealth, a professional financial & property consultancy firm.
He is also Chairperson of PIPA (Property Investment Professionals of Australia), the peak body for property professionals in Australia. 

What was your first job in the property sector?

I came to property at a very young age when I bought my first property at the age of 23.  From that point forward my interest in the space lead me to become a Mortgage Broker, initially with Mortgage Choice before I set up Empower Wealth.  So I came to property indirectly through lending, as property is my preferred wealth creation vehicle.  Since that time I have undertaken a formal course to become a Qualified Property Investment Advisor and I also obtained my Real Estate Agency License, which allows me to act as a buyers agent.

What’s the thing you most enjoy about your current role(s)?

I have two great joys in my role and they both revolve around helping our clients achieve financial independence.  I help produce the Property Portfolio plans for our clients, which are effectively financial plans, but instead of share and managed funds they are plans which involve the purchase of multiple properties to generate a passive income for retirement.  Secondly, I head up our Property Research Division, so I love the challenge of identifying areas and properties that are ‘investment grade’ to help our buyers agents in the search for properties for our clients

What are the most common property mistakes you see people making?

There are too many common mistakes being made, so I’ll just focus on the ones that have the biggest financial impact on households. 

  • Not understanding the value of property – usually paying too much. 
  • Thinking they actually understand property and how it works from an investment perspective, because they live in one or they have bought one or two before. 
  • Mis-timing their purchase – some wait too long and values keep going up in areas, others buy in areas at the peak of the market and these areas have little prospects for capital growth in the next 5 – 10 years.

What do you think of Housenet? How are you using it?

Housenet is a great example of providing an social online platform that brings ‘all things property together’.  From a business point of view, we use Housenet to get our business exposure in this important online world.  Also in my capacity as Chair of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia, I also add to certain conversation to help protect consumers from potential risk/s, as property investing is an unregulated industry, so we need to do what we can to help unsuspecting consumers

 How do you see the market performing in 2013?

A bit like the Australian economy, some markets will move ahead nicely and will have some good growth in values, but the majority will lag behind with either slightly negative to slightly positive results.  A real ‘mixed bag’.

How has the property market changed since you first started?

The biggest change in the property market has been the internet and how it allows you to view and research property, from the likes of the listing sites, to Google earth and street view and now the power of mobile device apps

What do you see as the key trends for homeowners & investors over the next few years?

Our growing population will see more and more dwellings being built to accommodate us all.  New building trends will see a greater demand for indoor/outdoor living spaces in houses, but it’s also clear more and more people are seeking to be closer to central business districts because of the lifestyle infrastructure and conveniences it affords, so dwelling density has changed and will continue to change.
From an investors stand point – The amount of new information and data will improve the knowledge of most investors, so we hopefully will see improved investment purchasing decisions and one thing is certain for me, Australian’s love affair with property as an investment option will continue.

Best advice you’ve ever received & from whom?

The power of compounding value – Noel Whittaker. When I was 16 and read his first book – Making Money Made Simple.

Thanks Ben, best of luck with Empower Wealth & PIPA.

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