Playing with Perspective Interview

Updated: May 9

Recently, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Darren Saul from the 'Playing with Perspective'.

Watch the youtube podcast here, or go to the link at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmDpBdo1QVo


Podcast Transcript

Darren Saul:

Welcome, everyone. Darren Saul, your host of Playing with Perspective, with Rasti. How are you, Rasti?


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

I'm very well. Thank you, Darren. Thank you so much for having me here.


Darren Saul:

My pleasure Rasti. Thanks for coming on the show. And for everybody out there today, we're going to be chatting about how to get your hard-earned money working even harder for you.


So Rasti is an Architect turn Fund Manager. Now serving as a client-centric independent buyer's agent, he built his own successful portfolio in just under seven years, which gave him financial freedom, allowing him to pursue his passion for helping others achieve the same thing. He is now assisting people in generating passive income by investing in properties systematically and robustly. So welcome to the show, Rasti.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Thank you so much.

Darren Saul:

Thank you, man. So Rasti, I'd love to hear your story in a bit more detail. Tell us how you went from architect to funds manager to buyer's agent.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

I always wanted to be an architect because of my passion for properties. It's one of the most tangible: a combination of science and art. There was a change in the family circumstances. My father passed away, and being the only son, I had to take control of the finances that made me move to its industry, where I learned programming independently.


It was easy for me to jump on the IT bandwagon then. And IT was the industry that took me to places from India to Singapore and then to Australia. So I came here in 2006 to Australia loving every bit of it, but my passion for making money, investing money, and I'm getting it to work harder for us.


I realized that investing is one of the ways that we can actually make it worthwhile. All the savings we had and a passion for education and learning it the right way to go for industries change. So I quit my full-time job in it, went to do my MBA, went to even US for my studies, did my CFA, started doing the Industry Analysis and started working as an equities analyst and later on as a portfolio manager. I worked with banks, and in my last role, I was managing a decent amount of money. Still, on the sidelines, I actually merged my passions of property and investing as property investments for myself that served me very well. It was a tough journey for my family and me, figuring out how I should be going and doing it.


There are so many challenges out there, so many unknowns, so I tried to educate myself first. Then I realize that this was worthwhile because I built my portfolio, like buying properties one after the other.


Like when I went to UPW, has an unleash your power within a Tony Robbins flagship program. In September 2019, I realized that I really want to serve people like I've achieved my financial freedom. I am really passionate about helping others to achieve theirs. That actually brought me to start this company, Get RARE Properties, which is basically an independent buyer's agency helping people with portfolio one property at a time.


Darren Saul:

Fantastic. Obviously, your passion is passive income property and helping other people achieve financial freedom.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

That's exactly right. You summarised very well.


Darren Saul:

And tell me a bit about, you know, working as a buyer's agent, obviously, you know, the buyer's agents are becoming so common. Like it's become a brand new industry in the last few years, and there are more and more buyers agents all the time. And I seem to be speaking to them. I've interviewed a few of them. Why is buyers agencies such a massive industry at the moment?


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Look on the contrary of what I'm finding Darren, like we are pretty low on bias agency as an industry in Australia. Suppose you go overseas like the UK or Europe, or America. Every transaction has equal representation of professionals on both sides of the trade, as in a selling agent and a buyer's agent. However, in Australia, it's biased or the selling agent or the toward the seller because 95% of deals. According to one of the statistics, are done with a selling agent representing the seller.


Darren Saul:

Gotcha.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

The main job is to sell the property and also get the maximum price possible from the buyer. On the other hand, I like we have very little representation of the buyer, so it's less than 5% of the trades that actually happens with buyer's agents. So, it's a huge catch-up to be made. Like other statistics, there are about 90,000 selling agents, Australia wide, but we are about 2000 buyer's agents.

Darren Saul:

I heard that in America. I don't know if this is true in America. You can't buy a property without a buyer's agent. Is that right? You have to be represented by a buyer's agent?


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

That is my understanding, as well. And so the way, what I know as a fact is that. The whole industry's challenge, the buyer's agent that faces here in Australia, is that who will pay that money, you know, for someone a family member or young professional, they have to pay the deposit. They have to pay the stamp duty. They have to pay all the conveyancing and the administrative fees. And then on top of it, if they have to be a buyer's agent fees, it just sounds too much. It's too much for our typical Australian here. In America, the way they have done it is like they are actually capturing. The equal portion for the buyer's agent in the transaction itself.


So yes, it is still coming out of a buyer's pocket at the end of the day. But because that is a trend that is a tradition, it is already factored in thinking, whether we should add that cost or not. So it's just the mindset thing, nothing more.


Darren Saul:

Gotcha. And theoretically, buyer's agents will say that they will save you money on certain things or get you better deals. So you have that little bit of margin to pay them as well.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Oh, look, big time, actually. Like if I look at my last few deals that are what we have done, we make more savings than the fees that which are so it's very easy for, for anyone to justify or at least for us to justify that why one should use us because we are not only saving on their time, their stress, but also the money.


So yeah, it just a question of where they would go and find that money in the pocket for the buyer agent's fees, because that has to come from their own money rather than the money, which can be borrowed from the bank. As a wise investor, it certainly makes sense to go and have a professional do the job of home, hunting or investment hunting because it's such a specialised role.


People don't realize though they can do it independently, there's a lot of value that we, as buyers, agents, bring value to them. And sometimes, it's not about just making a saving. It's also making sure that the deal is right for them because there's so many costly mistakes, so many costly mistakes that it's so difficult and costly to undo them.

So just making sure that we are doing the right thing getting the right deal. The other thing is that Darren, what I've seen is like when people are looking for their own property, they spend about three-four or five months to find the property. So they spend a lot of time, energy to find the right property. And by the time they realize that this is what they can afford as a budget-wise, which area they will be looking at. And if they can zoom in on a particular property, they probably, by that time, are already exhausted.


Darren Saul:

Exhausted just listening to it. Absolutely.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

And what happens then, their emotional outburst happened. And they're like typically either of the couple as members were there some days, this is it, like pay whatever and get out of this exercise of buying it and let's start enjoying that.


Darren Saul:

Exactly. And you can get emotionally connected to it, and then you get frustrated because you've been looking for so long and you want it. And that's when the real estate agents can, you know, exploit that as well. And it's a whole cycle.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Look, they're paid for that. You're not sending agents representing the seller, and they're doing the right job by extracting the best value out of it.


Darren Saul:

That's right.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

And that's the point of differentiation we bring in that we take the emotion out of it and look at the deal very rationally.


Darren Saul:

Yeah. And also, you guys know maybe, you know, a lot of people wouldn't know that, you know, that window facing that direction might not be the best way. You know, all the doors facing the other direction or there's noise coming from one side, I might not have considered those things, but you guys have done this so many times that you can advise everybody, you know, maybe you want to double-check if that's going to be okay for you.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Exactly. Right. And on that, statistics came that 56% of the transactions happen when they have spent less than 60 minutes in the property.

Darren Saul:

Wow! Oh, my God.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

You know what a typical Saturday for them is looking like on Thursday or Friday. They work out the schedule for their visits on Saturday. Even when we were looking initially, we used to get confused at what feature was in which property because we are moving around from one inspection to the other, not finding the parking spot. And it's like running in and coming out very quickly and then make a decision.


Darren Saul:

Right. It's a very time-consuming process.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Time and also emotionally challenging, it's not easy. It's not easy for someone who is doing it for the first the second time. That's right.


Darren Saul:

Wow. And so what, what do you mean when you say you're an independent buyers agent? What do you mean independent?


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

We take pride in saying that we're independent and independent in the true sense. It means that when we are working with a client as a buyer, we are just representing their best interest.


Darren Saul:

Right.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

But what it means is that we understand what they want, what their preferences are. Then come up with the research and analysis and find the properties or shortlisting the properties, which suit them best.


Darren Saul:

Gotcha.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

So, because they are quite a few buyers' agents who represent or work with the developers so, what it means is they have a kind of access to the new products, home and land packages or off the plan properties. Though they help the buyer buy the properties, their stock is limited to the store they get from the developer. And sometimes they get remunerated by the developer as well.


Darren Saul:

Right.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

So in that sense, I particularly feel that we're not doing the rights service by mixing two things. If you are working for a developer, call yourself a seller's agent and work to sell the property.

Darren Saul:

That's true.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

But for us, we are independent. We are just looking after the interests of the buyer because we get paid by them. We get reimbursed by them, and we deserve the kind of value that we bring is worth more than what we get paid for.

Darren Saul:

You're 100% on the buyer's side.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Yes, exactly.


Darren Saul:

No ulterior motives. No other general, you know behind the scenes, et cetera, et cetera.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

That's right, exactly right.

Darren Saul:

Okay. Very good. And so tell us a bit more about your approach to, you know, working as a buyer's agent. How is there a strategy to it? Tell us more about how that works and how you work.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

We specialise in investment properties, and we buy properties all over Australia for anyone in Australia. So my other clients are Australia wide. There's a lot of big aspects that we need to consider what the client is looking for. And when we are talking about investment properties, typically, it means that they're building wealth. They want to build wealth, right?


And Darren, my take is that anyone can buy a property. Even the buyer can themselves buy a property, but a property or two properties at a stretch will not make much of a difference in changing their lifestyle. It can improve the lifestyle because it can help them cut down on their tax liability or maybe on some income. But that might be a bonus at the end of the year. They are getting paid from their employer or the business.


Darren Saul:

Gotcha.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

However, our approach is to come up with a strategy of how they can systematically build a portfolio of properties. Typically, around five or six properties can generate enough passive income to choose to change their lifestyle. Not just improve that lifestyle, but change the lifestyle.


This is a big, big undertaking in the sense that it's working out where the individual or the family is, trying to understand where they want to be. Then try to develop the kind of roadmap that they should carry for the next few years to get there. And that takes into account their current circumstances in a sense that; what is the borrowing capacity? What is their saving rate, what is the current savings in terms of cash or equity?


The biggest thing that lots of people undermine in the beginning is that risk appetite.


Darren Saul:

Yeah.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Because just like any investment, properties also has an element of risk.

Darren Saul:

Yep.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

How did we go about embracing them, understanding them, mitigating them in our favour is part of the holistic approach of the strategy that we work together with them.

Darren Saul:

Yeah, fantastic. So you're a buyer's agent/financial planner in a way.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

I would love to call myself that Darren, but I'm not a financial planner because I don't have the licensing for that. I do prompt, though. So, I'm not a financial planner. Whenever we talk about properties, I suggest that they should go and consult the financial planner.


Darren Saul:

Gotcha.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

I want to research advisory in my banking days. So I was advising the financial planners on how they should be structuring the asset allocation.


Darren Saul:

Right.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

So I'm bringing those elements that how an individual should be thinking about building wealth. So my engagement with the client is not only to buy a property but also how we buy it. Along with the consideration of how they should be building wealth in the long run, it comes in handy because that way it gives an obvious indication that okay, for this kind of circumstances, this risk appetite, this kind of holdings, for this kind of aspirations this is the next best step.

Darren Saul:

Gotcha. And then, you know, all right, because I know what my strategy is long-term, I might be less likely to get emotionally charged and influenced to buy a property if it goes beyond what I initially thought. I thought that's not a good idea. Now it's just ticked over, and the risk will be too high. So let's move on to the next property.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

Exactly right. And also, what it does is strategy serves as a GPS.


Darren Saul:

Yep.

Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi:

So, the thing is that we are talking about the future, and we don't know what the future holds. We can potentially do a roadmap when we get this much equity or this much savings. So it's very fluid as well. It's not time-bound but rather circumstances bound. The way I say it's a metaphor of trying to build a building or having a structure.


Darren Saul:

Yep.


Vaibhav “Rasti” Rastogi: