Paul Flynn has invested in Queensland real estate for decades, buying and selling over 1000 properties through a high-performing portfolio that’s seen him through three major property cycles. These days described by colleagues as the ‘grandfather of Queensland real estate’, Paul’s first investment was inspired by a close friend.
“He tried to buy a house with the idea of renting out the rooms to pay the mortgage, but he wasn’t able to get finance. I ran with the idea and executed it, purchasing a property in Beaudesert for $45,000,” Paul says. “I unknowingly became one of the earliest to start the phenomena of positive gearing, with a mortgage of $112 and $150 each week in rent for the property.”
A year later Paul started working in real estate aged 19, moving on from a factory job when he decided he wanted his wage to be proportional to his effort. He was with LJ Hooker Southport for three months when his manager said that if he wanted to learn real estate, he should go and work for Peter Kurts Properties.
“I worked under Peter for eight years, the Mirvac of those days,” Paul says. “He’s been my mentor for 20 years and the inspiration for my success today. He brought the best out of me.”
As Paul built his portfolio, the initial challenges he met came from lack of experience and knowledge. Cash was always tight, but he managed to raise it on his own in order to fund his purchases. He says that his time with Peter Kurts was invaluable in developing a strong network.
“The experienced group around me were the ones who advised me to sell down my properties and reduce debt which helped me enormously,” Paul says. “At the time I had absolutely no idea and I was sceptical about the market dropping since it was going so strong.”
Paul says his formula has been simple and performed in every kind of market for the past three decades – including strong cycles of boom and bust that have provided a real estate “apprenticeship” of unrivalled experience. “All my wealth was created in and around Brisbane markets and I’ve never had the luxury of the recent Sydney boom,” he says.
Paul’s investment strategy has changed over time as he’s sought out higher quality properties for his portfolio. He now prefers to buy in better locations with good yields, the wisdom of his experience ensuring a finely honed strategy.
“I started out buying small and affordable properties which were safe and low risk,” he says. “I was then involved in bigger deals including commercial property and land subdivision, which made me re-assess my initial direction.”
Paul went out on his own in real estate over 20 years ago. Today, the father of seven children describes himself as being financially independent and emotionally stable – and, most importantly – independent. With solid returns providing the means to take frequent career breaks, Paul’s been able to stand back from the “rat race” and re-assess his direction. It’s a luxury he’s taken up every 10-12 years to ensure he hasn’t got carried away with what he was doing.
“Property has given me the freedom to go around the world,” he says. “It means I’m flexible to go where and when I want. In the past 30 years I’ve travelled around Australia and overseas, learning and embracing various cultures from Japanese, Filipino, and Buddhism.”