The Biggest Obstacle for Women Renovators

The podcast for women who want to create income and a life they love through renovating

Join serial renovator Bernadette Janson as she explores the ins and outs of renovating for profit!

Bernadette has over 30 years of experience in the renovating for profit business. She’s a registered nurse, a renovator, a mum, and a teacher.

88 – What’s Happening In The Market Right Now

On today’s episode,

In this episode, I have my occasional co-host or regular co-host, Jo Vadillo. She is one of our guest speakers coming to our event the She Renovates Live conference in November. We are going to be sharing what is happening in the market right now and giving you some insights and strategies on property investing.

Listen to Episode 88: What’s Happening In The Market Right Now


Episode Highlights

  • [00:00:30] She Renovates Live
  • [00:01:29] Fear is an amazing motivator
  • [00:03:23] Having some accountability in this life
  • [00:07:55] The unique property market
  • [00:09:41] Prices of house and land packages becoming elevated
  • [00:11:14] Buyers are interested but the finance is holding them back
  • [00:11:39] Settlements have been delayed as a result of the banks
  • [00:13:16] Red alert industries
  • [00:14:32] Amidst Covid, a lot of people are still making buying decisions
  • [00:20:57] Be receptive to what people are wanting to hear
  • [00:22:04] Get ideas on how you’re going to add value to your own home
  • [00:22:33] It takes a village to be a renovator
  • [00:24:00] She Renovates Live ticket prices
  • [00:27:10] The Reno Library


I’ve always said with property investing, treat it like you would a business. Obviously, you can’t 100% remove emotion from the equation and probably nor should you but at the same time, look at the numbers. Know when to roll them. Know when to fold them. Know when to walk away and know when to run.


This episode is sponsored by the She Renovates Live, one day conference where we focus on women transforming their lives with renovating. At the event, you’ll have the opportunity to celebrate the passion for creating beautiful homes, to connect with other like-minded creators, to grow your skills, to fan your inspiration, and to be updated on what’s working right now in our industry. This is an exclusive event being held on November 1st in the gorgeous Grounds of Alexandria Atrium in Sydney. The delightful Natasha Moy will be facilitating the conference and we have a lineup of truly engaging speakers such as Zoe Gilpin, the DIY decorator who is traveling all the way from Western Australia to share her wisdom and her hacks with us. And we also have a range of top speakers on all aspects of renovating and property from around the country. You’ll be pampered with delicious Grounds of Alexandria cuisine, goodie bags and prizes and so much more. As I said earlier, this is a very exclusive event and already 60% of tickets are gone. And so if you are planning to join us, please jump in and grab your spot at See you there.

Well, hello renovators. It’s Bernadette back with She Renovates, and today I have my occasional co-host or regular co-host, Jo Vadillo, and we’re going to be talking about what’s happening in the property market right now.

Bernadette: Hello, everyone. Hello, renovators. We are back with another episode of She Renovates. Today, I have my occasional regular co-host, Jo Vadillo. Did I get it right?

Jo Vadillo: Yes.

Bernadette: I thought I’d be really official today and get Jo’s proper bio so I can really tell you who she is. So she is a well-respected property influencer in both the new build and the established home space. She is the director of the buyer’s agency, Advocate Property Services. Jo is also the face behind Property Women, a platform advocating and supporting female investors that provides online education and connections nationally. She’s a mum to 3 boys, is an author, and sits on the board of My Property Circles. Well, welcome, Jo.

Jo Vadillo: I’m so glad to be back on the show. It’s always a pleasure.

Bernadette: So how’s your week been? What have you been up to?

Jo Vadillo: I’ve had a bit of a sketchy couple of weeks, Bernadette. I have not been 100% well and as a good citizen, I’ve taken myself off to be tested and I’ve had children home sick and I’m on the mend now. But I’d tell you what I mean. It’s not a good time having those Covid tests because they really assault your nostrils when they take the test. The throat I can handle, but the nose, oh not so good. There were tears, there was sneezing. It was chaos. Anyway, glad to report I’m negative. But I tell you what, having a bit of a health issue there’s a lot of fear around at the moment but fear is an amazing motivator. It is just making me think for myself. Personally, I’m a bit of a health kick and I’m just going to run with that. And I know fear, especially when you’re talking to people who are in the property space, they realise or recognise that they need to get started, that they need to do something. And this is really the most obscure timing of our histories but this could be an awakening for a lot of people and what they want to do and where they go next.

Bernadette: Oh, look, I agree. I know it must seem like I drink a lot because I talk about dry July all the time. But so since dry July, we’ve both committed to not drinking so much. And there’s been this show on the ABC. And really talking about the link between alcohol and breast cancer and that completely freaks me out. So we’re a bit the same because we want to be around for the long haul.

Jo Vadillo: Yeah, absolutely. And I think for me it’s all about accountability in this life because we can continue on and just do what you do. But it doesn’t matter how wealthy you are or how rich your life is if you haven’t got your health. What I mean like you can sit on a sofa and park your york but if you’re not well enough to get off the sofa, so be it. So for me it’s about having the utopia where you’ve got great relationships, a great business, things are flourishing and I’m feeling really spiritually and healthy within myself as well. So I’m on a bit of an accountability platform, really because now I’ll put it out there.

Now I’m basically inviting anyone who’s listening to this at any point in the future to find me on social media and ask me how I’m going.

Bernadette: Awesome. Well, I am definitely trying to be better but I’m not quite as, well, I shouldn’t say I’m not quite as committed. I’m not quite as organised as you are. I’m not out there getting the accountability. Usually, if I make a change that’s how I do it. I engage everyone in it so that I can’t drop out but I haven’t been that far with it yet but all’s well. In fact, today I’m getting ready to have 20 people for dinner.

Jo Vadillo: Oh, wow. Okay.

Bernadette: So we won’t be, I won’t be sticking to the Dry July tonight but that’s fine because it’s not July.

Jo Vadillo: Now and I will say take it. You don’t do it too often with the 20 people.

Bernadette: Yeah. I have to go online and check. So it’s with a group that we would normally go to a restaurant but it’s just really hard at the moment to find a restaurant because you’ve got to have tables per team which we’re still doing. I’m certainly being very cautious like Covid wise but I thought, “Oh, look, let’s have it at home so that we can, it’s a bit more relaxed” and most of the catering’s coming in so that’s nice so I don’t have to do too much cooking but there you go.

Jo Vadillo: How fun. That’s awesome. It’s like that property, isn’t it? Having that accountability around you to say, I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that. But then 2 years passes and 4 years passes and all of a sudden it’s like January. You’ve got all these great ideas and all of a sudden you’re shopping for Christmas presents like it is really it’s a thing that we all face that accountability.

Bernadette: Yeah. And you know what? Oh, like, this is really bad. When you look at something to buy and you think, “Oh no, I can’t do it now. I’m too busy or whatever.” And you don’t do it, then well, you might not have lived long enough to have this but 10 years down the track you look back and you think, “I should have really bought that.” And I had one of those come up about a week ago or a couple of weeks ago. And like it was an absolute steal but I was just so busy I just did not have the headspace to look at it. And now I’m thinking, “You know what in 10 years’ time, I’m going to look at that and I’m going to think, what an idiot.”  And so, yeah, you do need to commit and I guess for us, we made this year the year we do the development on Oxley park but I’ve realized I’d done nothing about it. Like I got sort of caught up in the Covid thing so last week I engaged, got on to David and said, “Can you start doing some concepts for it” but that might take a little bit of time. And I also did find someone that I’m gonna get to do some due diligence for me so that will be good. Make sure that the plan is viable so there you go.

Okay, so today we’re just really going to talk about what’s happening in the market right now. And the other thing I wanted to do today is really nutting out what you’re going to be speaking about at She Renovates Live. I thought we’d do it online. We’d do it on the podcast so rather than say, “Jo is just going to talk about this” well, we’ll sort it out right now. But before we do that, let’s see, how are you finding the market?

Jo Vadillo: It is unique. I’ll give you an example. Our business, predominantly the buyer’s agent side of our business, we are definitely skewed towards investors. But we do have a segment about our clientele is actually owner-occupiers, in which case a lot of that time they are in Sydney. So I am talking about Sydney prices and I am talking about the market as it stands today. But I’m struggling and my clients are struggling as well to find that there’s just not many houses on the market. I’ve been sourcing off-market and pre-market opportunities for them and whilst they exist, there are certainly opportunities there. It’s not always that perfect match up with what they are actually looking for in their budget but I’ve got a generous budget to look for. But there’s people who aren’t selling their houses. People aren’t moving unless they’re actively downsizing or choosing to move into the state or they’re in a divorce or it is a case of a family estate, etc. But most people are sort of just treading water at the moment and that’s making the prices stand up really strong.

And to give you an example of that in Sydney last night, there was an auction of a property that I knew when I saw it come to the website on real estate, I knew it was underquoting straight up. It sold for $600k more and there are 20 registered bidders. And the sad thing in that scenario is that there were a lot of people that invested money in those pests and building reports, they had high hopes that they were in with a chance. It was just a crazy blow over. And I do feel there was an element of underquoting in that sample. But I’m seeing this time and time again in Sydney as well, so that’s what’s happening in that owner-occupier market.

If I’m to look at where there’s an aspect of our business where we help people source house and land packages. Those prices are certainly becoming elevated. The cost of land is going up and that’s being pushed along by that home buyers grant that the government is producing. So if you want to secure property by the end of the year and build within 3 months and it was your principal place of residence, you get a $25K bonus so that’s certainly pushing that market and driving sales so far. It’s actually quite extraordinary so we’re definitely seeing a lot more first homeowners in the market and people who do want to take up that advantage so they may choose to live in an area that wouldn’t be there long, long term property option but they’ll live there for the next 12 months or 18 months, and then potentially come back in and rent closer to the city. So that’s kind of where I’m seeing the market at the moment.

Bernadette: Wow. And are you finding that buyers are nervous?

Jo Vadillo: Oh, the amount of people at the open homes is just insane. And I’m talking about, at the moment, properties of $2M so well, so it’s not your renovators budget necessarily when they start off. 101 groups went through a couple of weeks ago. And yes, there’s some movement of, there’s some element that property sold for $400K more than it was actually advertised. But I’m getting the hand sanitizer going on, taking shoes off, putting a mask on, don’t touch anything – the signs are everywhere. Don’t open drawers and cupboards, etc., which is to be respectful of a home that someone’s gonna come back into the open home and live in. Yeah, but it’s just the buyers are out there. And I know there’s an element of sticky bates’ in like neighbours and all that kind of stuff but it’s still very strong. But the agents are telling me that some of the buyers have got the interest there, but the finance is holding them back.

Bernadette: Well, I wondered about that. Yeah.

Jo Vadillo: It’s the banks that are walking with whites on them because a lot of the banks have lost a lot of their admin staff with overseas closures as well in Manila and other call centers that are offshore. So they’re actually hiring more locals again, because this is actually really heavily delayed approval processes as well. And I have seen in the last, say, 2 months, 3 months where settlements have been delayed as a result of the banks. So generally, someone gets messed around too much. But it’s actually been not anyone else’s fault but the banks.

Bernadette: Yeah, well, I know we’ve just got our finance through on the Chalmers Street project and seriously had to jump through so many hoops like it was just so I think there’s also that extra diligence on the part of the bank. In terms of their requirements for getting finance and so on. And of course, because we are doing it in the trust structure and they get very sort of wary so it takes some time, even though we did have pre approval. So we’ve only got two weeks to go and we’ve only just got finance now so it’s four weeks it took.

Jo Vadillo: Yeah. And banks are very cautious of people who are recipients of the JobKeeper allowance.

Bernadette: I don’t think the banks are lending to JobKeeper at all.

Jo Vadillo:  It depends. Perhaps if one of you is in PAYG and your spouse is a recipient of JobKeeper that my understanding is they’re not entertaining anybody who’s actually receiving a JobKeeper allowance. There are also these red alert industries so you’ll come to a settlement and then they’ll want to ensure that you’re still employed. I never would have thought I’d see a time when a pilot might be under scrutiny for finance.

Bernadette: Wow. What you’re talking about is when they come to settle, they’ll do a double-check and make sure we’re still employed?

Jo Vadillo: Yeah, well, 6 weeks is a long time now.

Bernadette: What if they’re not?

Jo Vadillo: I haven’t heard any case studies where the banks have decided to not proceed but that is a really big question, isn’t it? I don’t know yet.

Bernadette: They’re already committed by that stage, aren’t they?

Jo Vadillo: Completely. I mean, they’re 10% at least as a deposit into the transaction so I don’t know what that might mean for people. So whilst there’s a lot of distress and concern out there but there’s also a lot of people that are still in a really good position, they’re still making buying decisions.

Bernadette: That’s the thing. There are still the majority of the workforce still employed. Yeah. Oh, well. Well, we’ll wait and see. I’m excited. I’m excited to get my project done and get it sold. I do think that we’re going to see a change early in 2021. I think that mortgage moratorium will come off and that’s when we’ll see things change.

And so for anyone, that’s sort of smart. I would be getting myself lined up because there are opportunities not that you really want to be preying on. Well, we never like preying on someone’s misfortune but by the same token, it is the market. And this is a time when people are able to get incredible results in a much shorter timeframe because things won’t stay in the doldrums forever. And I know they keep talking about W-curves and V-curves and what other sort of curve but it will. And I think it’s something about, I don’t know, I reckon it’s the interest rates do you think that are also helping?

Jo Vadillo: Very much so. And money is easier to come by to a certain extent and so it’s cheap. And I think if you still got a job and you still got momentum, you don’t want to take a year out of your life waiting around to see what deals there might be. Some people, I have heard from some people you think the prices are going to come down any further and it’s like they haven’t really come down yet. I do know the media is reporting otherwise, and that could be in different markets to the ones that I’m active in.

Bernadette: Right. Yeah, I think it doesn’t matter what’s happening in the market. There are always deals like there are always good buys. I agree with that. And I’ve been down that path sitting around and waiting to buy something and then it just doesn’t happen. And what have you done? Wasted another 6 or 12 months of your life without taking action. And I also think the types of deals that you source, they’re deals that you can add value to. If you’re buying a property with its potential fully expended. Well, that’s a different kettle of fish. And you just might be on a different wavelength like I know that we don’t all live and breathe what we can do with property, and so sometimes that is really just about your sanity but so I want to get my deal out of the way so I’m ready for the next one.

Jo Vadillo: I love it.

Bernadette: Ticket sales are going really well for the event She Renovates Live, and so what I wanted to talk to you about is because our focus is on women who are transforming their lives with renovating. I think I really wanted for you to come in because you’re a property strategist and more across a whole lot of.

Jo Vadillo: That’s me.

Bernadette: Don’t worry about it. I listen to someone who does a podcast and his cat meows all the way through it.

Jo Vadillo: That’s so funny. That’s the thing I often say because I’m alone at the moment so I can’t police the behaviour of my canines, but I’m keeping it real and being authentic. It’s just my office.

Bernadette: Exactly. And that’s what we are. We’re about being real so don’t worry about it. Okay, so what I was thinking, what I was wanting you to present because I know you do this really well. Is really talking about the different types of deals for renovators. And in different areas, things like in Victoria, you can’t have a granny flat on your house as a way of producing your income because it’s not allowed by the rules and things like that to really help our renovators, really get an understanding of what’s possible for them with their approach. Because most people who come into renovating, well, they all come from totally different backgrounds. They’ve got different, well, you would know this, different borrowing capacity, different assets, different ambitions, or goals. And there are different strategies for every scenario. And I think that’s probably the main thing that I think that would be the best thing for the event. And also really at that time, what’s really working in the market? What’s a good strategy? What do you reckon?

Jo Vadillo: Yeah, and it sounds amazing. Sounds really good.

Bernadette: Yeah. And I think lots of people know what a buyer’s agent does, but not every buyer’s agent is a property strategist. And I think that’s something that makes a massive difference. You’re not just going to a buyer’s agent and saying, “I want to buy an investment property here.” You’re actually working with that person to build a portfolio that’s going to deliver what you want so we’ll do that sort of en masse. So giving them some insights and some intelligence on it as well.

Jo Vadillo: I can sort of share some numbers in some case studies and then you can sort of see what other people have done and how they’ve realised the capital growth. And maybe to say give some a bit of a rundown on what that might look like if it’s in New South Wales, Queensland if it’s Victoria, I can touch on Adelaide. And I’m more than happy also to be receptive to people who are in your Facebook group. If they sort of highlight what perhaps underneath your shownotes, what they’d like to hear more of so that’s the beauty of it.

Bernadette: That’s a great idea. Actually, straight after this, I’m doing a live so I might actually do a bit of a call out for what they would like to know. That’s an excellent idea.

Jo Vadillo: Good stuff. Yeah. I’d love to be sort of receptive to what people are wanting to hear. And this has been a year of needing to pivot a little bit. The way we do business, the way we shop, everything we do is a little different. You show up to a barbecue and you touch elbows or ankles or don’t touch at all with people like it’s just difficult. But we need to do a different way of doing business and I’ve always said with property investing, treat it like you would a business. Obviously, you can’t 100% remove emotion from the equation and probably nor should you. But at the same time, look at the numbers. Know when to roll them. Know when to fold them. Know when to walk away and know when to run. And making sure that and I’m more than happy to do that. Because I’ve got some awesome stories that I can share with the successes of my clients and I don’t think I’ve said this to you before. I’m so inspired by the people that we work with. They come to us buying their first property and all of a sudden and they’ve done this and they’ve done that. And even I’m like, “Wow!” like I just get so much out of other people’s successes. It really is what my passion is, is seeing that.

 And that’s why I’m super excited about She Renovates live because if people who are hearing this haven’t been to one of these, an event like this before, I don’t think you realise the takeout that you’re going to have from this just being in a room of like-minded thinkers. The inspiration it’s going to drive you and you really will come out with your head about to explode with, “Oh, I got all these ideas.” And it could be just ideas about how you’re going to add value to your own home or unrealised potential in your own home.

Bernadette:  And it’s like I’ve quoted this before, but Zig Ziglar said motivation is like bathing, it needs to be done daily. And obviously I’m not really all that into the rah-rah, but I think you need to engage in some rah-rah. Something’s gonna really lift your spirits at least once a quarter to really feed your passion and your goals. It’s like anything you do tends to sort of get into a bit of a rut and also building that list of contacts, building that network. I also think it takes a village to be a renovator. And you want to start building your village or and to be an investor, for that matter.

Jo Vadillo: It’s so true. Especially true of renovating.

Bernadette: Exactly. So awesome. Well, and also, Michelle from Adelaide has just finished another reno and that was an absolute cracker. So she’s going to do a before and after. We’re having lots of before and afters because that’s what we love.

Jo Vadillo: Absolutely.

Bernadette: And numbers so you can really see and get a feel for what type of reno is your type of reno.

Jo Vadillo: Michelle, she’s got thick skin. Look at the properties that she’s bought online. You’re like, “Wow” nothing scares her.

Bernadette: I mean, I said it this time, even her trades said to her, “Are you sure you’ve done the right thing?” So anyhow, so there’s a lot to look forward to. Okay, well, listen, I think that’s it for today. So if you haven’t got your ticket, the price is going up. It might have actually already gone up by the time this goes to air but I just want to let you know, I’ve actually staged the early bird because I know that Covid is really unsettling. And so you may be holding off so I’ve staged the bird. The price, if it’s gone up, it will go up again but I didn’t take it up the full amount. So just to give anyone that does have some concerns some time and also know that you will definitely be eligible for a refund if Covid prevents you from coming. So you don’t need to worry about that. We’re fully on board with that and so is the venue. So all good.

Jo Vadillo: Yeah, it’s gonna be fantastic. Thoroughly recommend a day with the like-minded environment is just so enriching. I think that was the first time I ever went to one of the Property Women Conferences. I remember coming home and just, oh my God, even when the accountant came out and spoke up. I thought, “Oh, they can’t be too excited about this.” And I just loved it so much. It was just 8 hours. It was just amazing. I know this is exactly what’s gonna happen. And you know what’s gonna happen at the end of this actual day, people are going to hang around and keep talking for another couple of hours, there’s going to be mingling. That’s gonna be new friendships formed. And as you said, the networking that you will make on this occasion is gonna pay back tenfold at least.

Bernadette: Yeah. And also, the other thing which I’m really proud about is the beautiful environment. I just think that really helps to feed the soul.

Jo Vadillo: Absolutely.

Bernadette: Listen, thanks for that. I’m going to declare this episode done.

Jo Vadillo: Thanks, Bernadette.

Bernadette: No worries, Jo. So just if you haven’t got your ticket just follow the link in the show notes and it’ll take you directly to the landing page and you’ll be able to grab one there. And so goodbye, everyone. And we’ll see you next week.

Okay. I hope you enjoyed that so if you are not already a member, I want to let you know that we have a free membership for podcast listeners called The Reno Library. And in it, you will access all the show notes and resources from every episode we have ever published so we’re getting quite close to the century. There’s quite a lot of resources in there so if you’re not already a member, please go over to our website, follow the link from this episode and join up to The Renovation Library. See you next week.

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    Want more?

    If you want to meet up with a group of savvy renovators. I would say come over and join She Renovates Facebook Group. It’s a completely FREE Facebook group and it is growing at the rate of knots. We hit over a thousand members just recently, and now it seems to have picked up momentum. They are all savvy renovating women and men working their little hearts out to live a better life through renovating.

    The only membership you need to grow your renovation business…

    Wonder Women is a combination of live sessions and pre-recorded content to help you get what you need, when you need it. I know that you’re the expert and you’ve got all of your subject knowledge nailed – now it’s time to build the business behind your renovation projects and stop being the worlds best kept secret. 

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