Perhaps best known for her work in educating others on how to achieve substantial and long-term financial security through a wide variety of property investing strategies, Dymphna Boholt is the founder of I Love Real Estate and is also principally involved in various capacities with both Active Answers Accounting Pty Ltd and WildlyWealthyWomen.com. It is through I Love Real Estate that Ms. Boholt has been able to share with others the specific philosophy she herself has used to create the multi-million dollar international property portfolio that has granted her a degree of personal freedom most can only dream of.
Originally from a small town in Central Queensland, Ms. Boholt demonstrated a tremendous precocity for investing at an early age, effectively foreshadowing her future success as a property investor. Beginning at the age of just four years old, Ms. Boholt was able to take her first investment — a cow — and transform it into a valuable asset portfolio that eventually grew to the point in which it funded her education at Australian National University in Canberra, where she earned degrees in accounting and economics.
Before founding I Love Real Estate and co-founding WildlyWealthyWomen.com, Ms. Boholt worked with Coopers & Lybrand and also served as a financial controller in a number of industries, including mining and finance. She later founded her own highly successful practice — Active Financial Partners — but the draw of achieving true financial freedom through a property portfolio proved too great. Ms. Boholt has been featured in countless publications and is a frequent lecturer on a wide range of subjects relating to her vast professional experience and expertise.
How did you get started in property investing? What inspired you to start?
My journey with real estate was born out of the frustration of not being able to attend school functions for my children. I wanted a leveraged income that could buy back my time. Being an accountant I reviewed all my clients that were doing well and found that the best combination was property and business. I had several clients that were generating positive income from real estate and that’s what inspired me to start investing.
How do you make money in real estate?
For me, at the beginning, my focus was completely on positive cash flow. I’d buy run down property that was very much unloved and I would do a cosmetic renovation. All the deals at the beginning were cash flow positive. This is what enabled me to replace my accounting income and buy back my time with my children. After I replaced my income I started to focus on what I call today “Chunk deals”. That is focusing on creating growth and equity without having to wait for the property cycle to do so. Combine that together with positive cash flow and that’s my formula for fast-track success.
Today I teach that exact same strategy to the members of the I Love Real Estate community.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
18 Months is the answer to that. However, my first 6 months was all planning and becoming finance ready. I did not buy a property for the first 6 months, it was all planning and preparation. Then in the next 12 months I accumulated several properties that totaled $3.5M and of course positive cash flow.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
When you’re starting out and you have your future in front of you there’s always going to be an element of doubt. However, I had enough determination, experience and proof to keep pushing me forward. Around me there were several older clients who had achieved what I wanted to but I wanted to do it in a tenth of the time that they did. I built on small successes and I knew that it was one property at a time for me. The first property was the hardest, the second, third and fourth all became easier as momentum built.
When I finally made the decision to do this, there was no doubt that I was going to replace my income, it was just a matter of how long it would take me. Originally I planned that it would take 3 to 5 years, of course it took just 18 months.
What is one property strategy you could refer to people who don’t have a lot of money to get started?
That’s an easy one and most people don’t do this. The strategy is, approaching a vendor and asking for vendor finance. What that means is that the owner of the property has to have equity in the house that he’s selling and he agrees to use some of that equity to help you buy the property. I did this with my second and third deal. You’d be surprised how many owners would be happy to get a contract of sale and help you get into the deal. Of course it won’t work in a booming market, but it will work if a market is flat or sideways moving, meaning not a lot is happening.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Being one of six children, and the last one in the group, I think I’ve always had the attitude and the competitive nature that if I was to be successful it was really up to me. As a young child I always wanted to show a level of independence and have an ‘I’ll do it” attitude. I took that attitude into my professional life as an accountant and as a property investor.
What has been your most satisfying moment in your investment career?
It was the day that I realized that I never had to depend on my accounting and professional income ever again. That I was in a position to create passive income from real estate that would simply grow over time regardless of if I went to work on it or not. The freedom that that gave me was a breakthrough for me and my family. Today, because of real estate I live an idyllic lifestyle in a tranquil hobby farm of 50 acres and only 15 minutes away from a major airport on the Sunshine Coast.
What does the future hold for your ‘I love real estate’ business? What are you most excited about?
I’ve seen so many transformations both financially and emotionally. All due to being able to achieve success using real estate as the vehicle. The stories are endless. Every year we give away a house to the investor who’s inspired us the most with their transformation. Hundreds of people apply to be included in this competition and we pick 25 finalists. Going through the stories and sharing their successes with the broader community is the highlight of my business year. It’s just amazing what people get up to and the success they can generate if they are given a formula to follow and supported.
What business books have inspired you?
The Richest Man In Babylon has always been a favorite of mine. Celestine prophecies started me on the journey of spiritual principles and that continued with the law of attraction via Esther Hicks many many books.
Dr. Dolf de Roos has been a source of inspiration for me for many years, and each one of his books has been central to my approach to investing as well as Robert Kiyosaki’s ideas and thoughts around positive cash flow.
What is it that you ultimately hope to achieve through I Love Real Estate?
The ultimate goal is simple, we have so much social proof in the community that shows you, if you’re up to it, with the right education, strategies, tactics, and support you don’t have to wait it out for 20 years to become successful in real estate, you can do it in the next 3-5 years. Even faster as I and many others have proven.
I love real estate is really a ‘group think’ opportunity for people to succeed in real estate at lightening speed.