All the successful investors I know have a common factor: commitment to research.
The best of them research continuously and copiously. They tune out media comment and tune into information. They end up making good choices about product and location.
But I suspect one factor many overlook is the most important research topic of all: the local council.
I would never buy in an area unless the local authority impressed me. The personality of the council leadership can be the difference between a region growing or stagnating.
I don’t mean pro-development. The Gold Coast has had a series of pro-developer regimes over the years, and it hasn’t done the real estate market a whole lot of good.
I mean pro-community, pro-jobs and pro-prosperity. It’s not the same as being pro-development, nor does it mean being anti-heritage or anti-environment.
A council that’s forward-thinking and proactive in fostering a healthy business environment and a strong community ethic can do wonders for the local property market.
Cairns in north Queensland provides a current example. Twenty or so years ago Cairns was all the rage, driven by Japanese tourism and investment. When that waned, so did Cairns.
Townsville, once regarded as the poor relation of Cairns, overtook its northern rival and left it behind because it proactively and successfully generated a well-rounded economy with more than tourism in its arsenal.
Now Cairns is fighting back. The time is fast approaching when Cairns will be worthy of investor attention again.