Is Working With Opes The Right Fit For Me? The Answer May Be “No”

LM b W

Laine Moger

Journalist and Property Educator for 6 Years

Working with a property partner from Opes isn’t going to be right for everyone. And the truth is, our main property coaching service may not be the right fit for you.

That’s OK.

For instance, our core property coaching programme almost exclusively deals in off-the-plan developments. This tends to suit time-poor professionals who’re happy to take a passive investment approach. No paint brushes here.

That’s not to say investors who are passionate about DIY renovations and shopping for houses are doing it wrong. Absolutely not.

But the job of this article is to tell you honestly how our coaching programme works and who it is and isn’t right for. That means you can make an informed decision on whether you’d like to work with us or not.

Property Partner

What Is A Property Partner?

First things first – you probably want to know what a Property Partner is and how you work with them.

A Property Partner is the person you work with at Opes to plan out your property investment portfolio. They’ll then find properties to invest in based on that plan.

They are almost always a Financial Advisor – that means they’re legally qualified to give you financial advice. And, more often than not, they’re an experienced property investor themselves.

At the time of writing we have 8 Property Partners based across Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Am I A Wrong Fit?

Who Is A Property Partner The Wrong Fit For?

Here are some of the situations where working with a property partner probably isn’t the right fit for you (we’ll explain each of them more in-depth below):

  • Want only to focus on a renovations-based strategy
  • Don’t want to grow your property portfolio, e.g. if you’ve already got a property and you want subdivision advice
  • Want to look at every property on the market
  • Want to invest for less than 6 years
  • Want to get straight into looking at properties and don’t want to discuss an overall wealth plan and your financial situation

Now, don’t get us wrong. If any of the above describes you, you’re not a “bad” or “wrong” investor. You’re not doing property investment wrong.

It just means this core property coaching programme won’t meet your needs.

Let’s dig into the reasons why.

Let’s say you really want to search the entire market to find the best deal possible. You’re excited at the prospect of walking through each open home to get a real sense of your potential investment.

The programme isn’t the right fit for you because a property partner will select 3-4 pre-negotiated properties to show you that fit within your plan. So if this is you, perhaps a real estate agent would be a better fit.

For another example, let’s say you have your heart set on a renovations-based strategy. There’s no point sitting down with a property partner who will probably recommend a New Build, which doesn’t need renovations.

If this is you, you might like to consider Opes Accelerate. This is another service we have available for investors wanting to renovate properties. You can listen to our honest review of other renovations coaching programmes here.

One last example. Many property investors will listen to the Property Academy Podcast – or read our content – and want advice on a property they already own.

This specific property coaching programme isn’t the right fit for these investors. Instead, the Portfolio Review service would be the right fit.

That’s because this property coaching programme is about growing a portfolio rather than reviewing existing plans.

Am I The Right Fit?

Who Is A Property Partner The Right Fit For?

If, on the other hand, you want to simplify the property investment process and build a portfolio of hands-off investments ... Opes Partners may be the right fit for you.

Typically, the people who get the most out of this programme:

  • Have a long-term time horizon (10 plus) years in mind
  • Don’t have time for, or don’t have their heart set, on a renovations-focussed strategy
  • Are interested in discussing their whole financial plan and want a holistic investment approach

Preston Johnston, an Opes Property Partner, says Opes works best with someone who knows property is a great investment, but also someone who is time-poor because they have a career or children to look after.

These sorts of people may not want to spend time looking for properties or learning the process of investing in property themselves.

So, it’s a good fit for people who are limited on time or new to property and want a guide to hold their hand.

Preston Johnson
The Process

What’s It Like Working With A Property Partner?

So, if working with a Property Partner sounds like it’s the right fit for you – or you’re just curious about what happens in the Opes process – let’s talk about what working with Opes is like.

Preston says there are two initial meetings – the Portfolio Planning Session, followed by the Property Selection Meeting.


What Happens in A Portfolio Planning Session?

There are two parts to the Portfolio Planning Session. In the first half, you discuss financial situation, goals, KiwiSaver, income, assets - everything. That means an investor can get a sense of whether they’re in the position to invest.

At this point investors go through checklists to confirm the passive buy and hold strategy – the strategy we use at Opes Partners – is the right one for them.

The second part of the Portfolio Planning Session is where investors co-create a property portfolio plan using Opes’ in-house software, MyWealth Plan.

Put simply, MyWealth Plan figures out:

  • The financial position investors want to be in the future
  • Where they’re projected to be based on what they’re doing right now
  • And then, if there is a gap, how to close it through investment property

Hypothetically, let’s say you want to live on $70,000 a year in your retirement.

But, MyWealth Plan says you’re on track to only have $35,000 per year, based on current financial projections. So there’s a $35,000 gap per year.

You’d then use the tool to create a portfolio plan, which might look like –

  • Year one: Buy a high-yielding property in Auckland
  • Year two: A growth property in Rolleston, Christchurch

And so on, until the investments are projected to fund your desired $70,000 a year in retirement.

But Preston says before investors dive into MyWealth Plan, they first need to know whether the passive buy-and-hold strategy is right for them.

“It’s not about trying to convert everyone to new-build investing, which isn’t right for everyone, it’s about finding what’s right for them,” he says.

After you’ve finished MyWealth Plan, the Property Partner can look for properties. They’ll select potential investments that you can realistically afford and that fit your new financial plan.

What Happens in A Property Selection Meeting?

The second meeting – the Property Selection Meeting – is where investors are presented with potential investments, which they then run the numbers on.

The Property Partner will have spent the time in between meetings to hand-select properties for the investor. They’ll usually recommend 3-4 properties, which are chosen based on the plan discussed in the first meeting.

After looking through the information packs, you then analyse them using a Return on Investment spreadsheet.

Preston says the second meeting is pretty data-heavy and delves deeply into the nitty-gritty world of turnkey developments.

From there, it’s about getting a property under contract and embarking on due diligence.

Right For Me?

So Is Opes Partners Right For Me?

It depends.

If you want a renovations-focussed strategy – or are investing for the short term – this specific service probably isn’t the right fit.

That’s where you might want to check out Opes Accelerate or other property coaching companies.

But, if instead you’re after a passive buy-and-hold strategy, along with someone to hold your hand through the process – then Opes may be the right fit for you.

LM b W

Laine Moger

Laine Moger has been a journalist and reporter for the last 6 years. She previously worked for Stuff, The North Shore Times and Radio NZ. She has a Bachelor of Communications (Honours) from Massey University and a Diploma of Journalism from the London School of Journalism.