Have you ever heard of a stunning Beauty Queen who works in the Real Estate industry and owns two investment properties already??
Meet the beautiful Gemma White – she was crowned Miss Australia Continents in 2018 but her interest in property investment and building wealth stemmed from a very young age. Growing up, she remembers spending a number of school holidays and weekends at properties her parents would be renovating and that made her eventually realize that investing in property is the best and most consistent way of building wealth.
From the age of around15 years old, she started attending property seminars and reading property related books. The first book she read was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki and she also enjoys reading motivational and inspirational books, listening to podcasts, audiobooks and researching online.
She purchased her first investment property which settled in January 2017 and her second investment property in June 2018. Her goal is to own at least 3-4 investment properties within 5 years before starting her very own Property Development Company.
StarCentral Magazine recently sat down with Gemma to find out more about her journey towards financial freedom and here’s what went down.
1. Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your property portfolio? What encouraged you to start a property portfolio?
I grew up on the Central Coast NSW but moved to Brisbane QLD at the age of 20 and now live on the Northern Gold Coast with my family. I have many great memories growing up and value family time first and foremost.
At just 27 years of age, I have been working in the Real Estate industry for over 8 years and own two investment properties.
As soon as I finished school I completed my Real Estate license and Diploma in Property Services and started working in the industry. Over the years I have also completed a Cert IV and Diploma in Project Management.
My interest in property stemmed from a young age. Growing up, I remember spending many school holidays and weekends at properties my parents would be renovating… well, I mostly remember feeding bread to the ducks and taking my parents’ change to buy lollies at the corner store.
From the age of about 15 years old I started attending property seminars and reading property related books, the first book I read was Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. I enjoy reading motivational and inspirational books, listening to podcasts, audiobooks and researching online.
I think it’s important to have goals, be dedicated, ambitious and willing to work hard to achieve your goals. It is also important to keep learning and growing your knowledge at all stages of life. My life revolves around Property and Real Estate really, I simply love it!
2. Can you describe your journey? When did you start?
I purchased my first investment property which settled in January 2017 and my second investment property in June 2018. The goal is to have 3-4 investment properties within 5 years before starting my own Property Development Company.
I love a challenge, creating opportunities and helping people into their dream home. Working in Real Estate has helped me understand the ever-changing property market and the key elements to consider when researching for my own properties.
3. What is your main source of income?
I work full time in Real Estate as a Residential Property Manager.
4. What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your property portfolio?
Save. Save. Save.
Whilst I have financial goals that I am constantly striving for, I believe life is all about balance!
I am always trying to improve my life in every area and live with an abundant mindset. I try to save as much money as possible, this often means I give up nights out on the town drinking or other costly outings but I certainly don’t feel like I’m missing out.
By living life in balance I am able to achieve my financial goals and grow my portfolio as well as do many things I enjoy that don’t cost so much or anything at all. For example, go to the gym, get outside for a walk, go to the beach, hike a mountain, walk to a waterfall, watch the sunset, read a book, listen to a podcast, go on a coffee date rather than for a full meal and spend time with family and friends.
5. What is your idea for wealth building?
I believe wealth building comes in many forms. We can start at any age simply saving a small percentage of what we earn with every paycheck. When I started my first job at McDonald’s at 15 years old, my parents made me save 20% of whatever I earnt (I started on a mere $7 an hour). This is something that has stuck with me through my adulthood and I still strive to reach this and more every week. Every dollar counts!
We can make small changes to our daily habits that will set us up for success when it comes to wealth building. I would suggest making weekly plans and budgets, cook at home rather than buy take out, ditch the morning coffee purchase, think before making the next rational purchase for that dress you don’t really need, make specific money or financial goals, pay off any debt (car or credit cards) efficiently and build your credit rating, spend time every day learning (this could be as simple as swapping music or the radio for a podcast or audiobook on your drive to and from work) and surround yourself with inspirational and motivated people who encourage you to do your very best.
When it comes to wealth building I believe ‘where focus goes, energy flows’ and ‘we have to give to receive’.
6. What challenges did you face trying to establish a property portfolio?
The biggest challenge I think many of us face when trying to establish a property portfolio is saving the initial deposit. I know it’s important to remain focused regardless of the challenges, hurdles, and adversities we experience.
7. What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
The toughest financial decision I have had to make in the last few months was the decision to continue saving a deposit for a third investment property or to book a months trip to Europe with my girlfriends for mid-2019.
Whilst I am very driven and goal oriented I feel it is important to live a well-balanced life. Travel is something I crave, having already been to over 40 countries.
Although the trip will put me a few months behind on purchasing another property, I know I will achieve this goal with time.
8. What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
I wouldn’t call it a mistake but would highly recommend to start investing as early as possible. In hindsight I would be much further ahead if I didn’t spend the deposit I had already saved on a 6-month backpacking trip around Europe in 2014, however, in saying this, I wouldn’t change anything. The experience, memories, and friendships I made on this trip are indescribable.
9. What new business would you love to start?
I would love to start my own Property Development Company within the next 5 or so years.
10. If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I can’t say that there is anything I would change at this point in time. I feel that we learn and grow with every step of the journey.
11. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice to remember when purchasing an investment property is to ‘think with your head, not with your heart’.
12. What advice would you give someone who wants to start building their property portfolio?
If you have thought about buying a property, there’s no better time than now! Do it. Don’t wait. Take action now!
It is imperative to do your research. I would suggest reading property books, attend property seminars and seek advice from those who are already in the property market. The most important decision you can make is to get educated and learn as much as you can to ensure you set yourself up for success.