Article By Christopher Melotti
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

An insightful interview with property investment guru, John Lindeman


John devised a data-driven methodology
to predict suburb property prices

John Linderman is a highly respected and experienced Australian property investment veteran whose effective approach to real estate has proven successful over many years.

The TUDI platform was inspired by John and uses techniques which are aligned with John’s methods, combined with the power of big data and AI, to produce even more powerful suburb growth predictions.

We interviewed John Linderman to get his opinions on real estate investment strategies, the property market, property portfolios and growing wealth, as well as his tips on when to buy and sell.

Here’s what we discovered about John’s ideas around property investing.

Who is John Lindeman?

John Lindeman is an esteemed market analyst with well over a decade of experience in researching the nature and dynamics of various types of assets, including real estate. 

The learnings, skills and techniques he acquired from his career at the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS), a data firm and his professional studies all equipped him with the ability to understand the property market and how to get the best results from investing in real estate. 

As a renowned leader in Australian Property Investment circles, John has written landmark books for property investors, including Mastering the Australian Housing Market (2011) and Unlocking the Property Market (2015). As such, we continue to be inspired by his method and expertise.

Let’s share his insights from our recent interview with him.

When John first entered the real estate market, he was no different from any other property investor. 

According to John, he had no initial knowledge, which caused him to make some wrong assumptions in the past that left him with some very mixed results.

He began his property investment journey by buying a cheap terrace house in Melbourne, and while the value doubled after four years, his second investment performed quite the opposite by actually going backwards in value after another four years.

However, this didn’t stop John from delving further in the market. He used this experience as motivation to figure out how the market really works in order to get the best results. 

“I thought, I don’t really understand what is going on here,” said John. “What makes prices go up or down? How can you work out how the market actually performs? So, I decided to read every single book I could find on property investing. I went to webinars, expos, trade shows, boot camps, and I learned a lot from all of these different experts. But none of them could tell me how the market actually worked.”

This is when data became his weapon.

It was through data that John was able to identify suburbs which had growth potential. He then established rental demand forecasts which gave an indication of the approximate cash flow projections in any suburb for investors. 

John realised that data was the key to making better property investment decisions.

When we asked him how he developed such data-driven theories, John said that his work at the Australian Bureau of Statistics equipped him with knowledge on trend analysis and regression analysis. These practices made him appreciate how the property market was similar to other commodities. 

“I realised that the property market was no different from any other commodity and it worked exactly the same way. It obeyed the laws of supply and demand.”

But John emphasised that data backed up with research is essential. 

According to him, acquiring key statistics, like population trends, and then combining this with your own ground research will, together, assist in better understanding the dynamics of the market.

But how do you know when to buy or sell properties?

We wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity of asking John this golden question, so we put it to him.

“So,” John replied, “the idea is to find a market which is balanced or neutral with supply and demand. That is, the number of properties for sale and the number being sold are about the same, and there hasn’t been any recent growth, but there’s the potential for growth to occur. That’s the right time to buy a property.”

Furthermore, John explained that his principle for buying is also applicable to selling. If the number of sales rises with the number of listings, then that’s the cue to get out of the local market.

Breaking commonly held property investment beliefs

John explained how important it is to be conscious of commonly held beliefs when it comes to property investing. 

According to John, making assumptions based on beliefs, such as the buy and hold strategy, the continuing property market cycle and reliance on past performances may cause people to make high-risk decisions without considering real data – these misconceptions don’t always hold up to reality.

“Don’t rely on those sorts of fables because they won’t get you anywhere.”

To conclude our interview, John told us the reason why he likes to share all of his knowledge with people who are interested in property investing. 

“I’ve seen so many people lose money, who couldn’t afford to lose money. People that needed property investment to work for them. And I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned and what I know to help others avoid making common mistakes”, John stated. 

John, just like TUDI, made it his mission to inform people to help them make better investment decisions. He doesn’t want to see someone losing money out of property investing due to misinformation.

What’s the one piece of advice you would offer to property investors?

John reiterated how vital it is for real estate investors to be careful.

“Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned investor with many properties under your belt, beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. The property market is unregulated. There’s no one out there telling you who is qualified to say what they have to say and who isn’t. You have to do this yourself.”

“The internet comes to our rescue because it’s very easy to Google anyone to see what their track record is and what others say about them. So, if you are invited to an event or a webinar or anything to do with property, go and Google these people and see exactly what their track record is and if they’ve been investigated by ASIC or ACCC. It’ll all be there for you to see and then you can avoid them.”

Throughout the interview, we noticed an underlying theme from John: to be in the best position to earn a strong return on your property investment strategy, you must do your research and get enough information. 

As we’ve learned from John, data can make a difference in real estate when it comes to making savvy decisions. 

How does data help people make better investment decisions?

It comes down to having the right information! Data is the single determining factor between what is myth and what is reality.

Instead of trusting property hearsay and making baseless assumptions, it’s important to focus on real statistics and indicators based on recent data to help select the right property in the ideal hotspot suburbs. 

If you’re looking to make more informed decisions about property investing, consider TUDI.

Our property market prediction platform provides a wealth of premium data from multiple sources – data that has previously only been available to professional investors. 

TUDI’s investment technology does the hard work for you. The accessible and user-friendly platform empowers you to invest with confidence by giving you the insights you need to be successful in the property market. 

John Lindeman is a leading property market researcher, author and commentator. For more information visit Lindeman Reports.