Andrew Johnson, brings over 27 years’ experience in Real Estate and Accounting and was instrumental in the creation and evolution of the Johnson Property Group Australia Pty Ltd. He gained significant expertise in the Real Estate sector whilst lecturing property professionals in Perth, Western Australia and has previous experience in banking and accounting following the completion of his Bachelor of Commerce. Andrew has extensive experience in all areas of the property sector including acquisitions, subdivisions, property development and construction, property syndication, sales, leasing and overall management roles.
Q&A with AJ
What motivated you to begin investing in property?
To create wealth in a safe low risk environment and to provide for our retirement, as superannuation is artificially controlled by the government. To be in control of my/our own destiny.
What was your first investment property?
An investment unit in the western suburbs that we still own today. It has more than doubled in price and pays for itself. It provided the leverage to acquire more properties as time has gone on. We chose a low risk property with views that can never be built out. When buying property always look for a point of difference and something that is unique, in that way you mitigate risk and maximise return.
What’s the worst investment you ever bought and why?
The worse investment I ever bought was shares in Australia. An accountant friend gave me the tip and said it could not go wrong, unfortunately it did and I lost $20,000. Lesson learnt - always stick to what you can control and know and be aware of speculative advice.
How do you identify the next area in which you want to invest?
We do extensive research into Government planning policies and rezonings throughout WA. With property you need to be able to add value outside of the norm (e.g developing). If you choose normal properties in average suburbs your growth will always be just that, average. One thing I have learnt when investing in property you always have your property investments in Perth and your lifestyle investments out of Perth. Regional areas can go up and down and can be fickle, regional areas do not have the sustained population to be able to ride out the bumps of each cycle, Perth does.
How has your Property Investment strategy evolved over time?
My strategy over time has been to always watch the trends and enter the market after someone else has. Never be the first person to enter, lets someone else enter first and make the mistakes and learn from their mistakes. Watch, be patient, be educated and importantly know when to strike and when to hold back.
What’s the biggest mistake you see novice investors make?
Novice investors make rushed decisions, do not do their homework and importantly do not take advice from professionals. Far too often people think they know it all and proceed down the wrong path. My view is to give them advice and help. If they choose not to listen that’s fine, the more of them that make mistakes and do not enter the property market again the better, that gives more opportunities for those who do listen.
What is your greatest professional achievement?
My greatest professional achievement has been seeing the development of my staff. My staff members have been with me for up to 18 years and to see their development and achievements has given me the greatest satisfaction.
How do you think people view you in the workplace?
I have actually asked my staff to answer this question honestly...to quote directly from them "Honest, Ethical, Reasonable, Fair, Personable, Knowledgeable and Reliable"
What 3 values do you rate highly in others?
Honestly, Integrity and Ethics.
What is your most prized asset (other than your family)?
We are lucky enough to own a boat. The water is my/our passion and anything involving our boat is what we love doing. We love spending time at Rottnest and also down south, it is fantastic to be able to get away and enjoy the sea and country air and regroup together.