31 Jan Leaving the city – Bryce Holdaway
Bryce Holdaway, the host of Location Location Location Australia, has a brand-new show that helps people move out of the city. At a time when we are acknowledging the importance of regional areas the show is quite timely. If you’re a lover of lifestyle shows you’ll love Bryce’s new offering. He tells us more about it today.
Kevin: A guest who has been on the show in the past, Bryce Holdway, you’d remember from Location Location Location, Australia. Great television show, and we’ve spoken to Bryce about that on a number of occasions, but he’s got a brand new venture. Good day Bryce, how are you doing?
Bryce: Hello Kevin, how are you?
Kevin: Yeah, great to be connected again and it’s already on ABC TV, it’s Escape from the City.
Kevin: Yeah. Of course, you’re … well, a lot of people don’t know, well, maybe they do, is that you’re also a buyer’s agent, so you’re dealing with this all the time as well, aren’t you?
Bryce: I am, sort of at the end of 2018, I kicked over my 20th year of being involved on the buy side of the equation as a buyer’s agent. Yeah, I do sort of get to enjoy the trials and tribulations of people buying real estate across the country. So it was nice to do a project with the ABC, as you mentioned, called Escape from the City, showing pretty much every corner of Australia, different real estate in different locations, showcasing different stories.
Kevin: Well, the show, which was hugely popular … I’ve already mentioned Location Location Location, Australia that you did with Veronica, Veronica Morgan. How is this one different?
Bryce: Well, I’ve been really fortunate, Kevin. I’ve been involved with two iconic British shows, Location Location, which we turned into the Australian version. Now there’s one called Escape to the Country, which a lot of your listeners might be familiar with. That’s been going for over 20 seasons. We’ve just adapted the Australian version of it. But unlike the UK, where people do escape to the country, not many of us do it here in Australia, so we’ve just slightly changed the title to Escape from the City. So someone might have gone from Sydney to Port Douglas, or they might have gone from Perth to Margaret River. So we’ve got these really awesome stories of people thinking, “Well, I want to leave the big smoke behind, and I want to go and find a quieter life somewhere across this wonderful land.”
Kevin: So there’s been about 60 episodes, or the series will be 60 episodes. Can you tell me a little bit about the types of people who you do help? Do they have any regrets when they make these moves? And do they do them successfully?
Bryce: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s all not sort of straightforward as you know, Kevin. The idea of moving from the city to the country is full of challenges given that … the reason that Australia is highly urbanised on the coastal fringes and the big cities is because that’s where the jobs are. So if you actually go to one of these regional locations or one of these quieter spots, getting a job is often a challenge.
Bryce: But in terms of who we dealt with, me personally, I dealt with a range. I had a retired couple that were moving from Geelong who wanted to chase a bit of warmer weather for their health and ended up to Toowoomba. So I saw some amazing real estate there, because I had a really healthy budget for that location. And then ..
Kevin: Did they go inner city in Toowoomba or they go out of the country?
Bryce: No, they stayed pretty close. They wanted to be near the bars and near the coffee shops. But you know, you could still get some pretty cool … When you see that episode, you know, some amazing properties high on some hills with some epic views.
Kevin: Yes, yep.
Bryce: Then I helped a couple on the other end of the spectrum. They were first time buyers. They lived in Bondi. They were priced out of that market, and they wanted to buy their own first home. So they ended up buying on the central coast and were happy to commute into Sydney each day to work. So I get to see a whole cross-section of people. But ultimately, someone’s just put their hand up and said, “I’m sick of the big smoke,” for either … most of them were for lifestyle reasons. Some were for affordability. “Take me out of here and help me buy something in one of these locations.”
Kevin: ‘Cause as a buyer’s agent with your company Empower Wealth, you would deal with, I would have guessed, correct me if I’m wrong, a lot of investors. But it’s nice to see home buyers wanting to move out of the city and relocate. Is that a fair assessment?
Bryce: Yeah, spot on. I always say as an investor, someone gives you a brief to say, “Hey, look. I need some clothes. Just keep me warm,” and you can can keep that brief pretty generic. But buying for an owner occupier is totally like my wife saying, “Buy me a red dress.”
Bryce: All right, what sort of shade of red? Do you want above the knees, below the knees? Do you want it fitted, not fitted? Like there’s so many permutations around that simple statement of, “Buy me a red dress” that’s the same when someone wants to buy it to live in. There’s not only the pragmatic practicalities, but there’s also the emotion that comes into it. So that’s also something a bit more challenging, a bit more fun.
Kevin: So following that red dress scenario, when they come to you with their wish list, is it long and is it unreasonable?
Bryce: Yeah, well sometimes, absolutely. But I would say that it comes down to, you’re going to compromise. You’ve been in real estate for a long time, Kevin. I don’t know how many times you’ve seen a 10 out of 10 property. I haven’t seen many.
Bryce: But I’ve seen lots of eights and lots of nines. But if I get an eight and a nine, it means I’ve got to compromise somewhere. So if you’re clear on where you’re going to compromise, it’s either price, location, size of the land, quality of the dwelling, one of those four areas, I coach them into saying, “All right, upfront, these are where you’re going to compromise. Where would you most likely compromise out of those four quadrants,” before we start the journey. So that then when they get to the point where they realise there is no 10 out of 10 that matches their criteria, we already know in advance where we might have a bit of flex.
Kevin: ‘Cause that’s very challenging for a lot of people, I would imagine, because they probably never even think that that may be a scenario they might have to consider.
Bryce: Yeah, you’re right. As you know, Kevin, there’s so much more to just sort of trawling through the online portals and deciding on a property, because there’s so much you need to do prior. There’s so much you need to do post. And there’s so many decisions that happen within the search itself, over and above just saying, “Well, I want a four bedroom house in this suburb.” There’s lots going on and lots of emotion.
Bryce: As you also know, the practicalities of usually … and I make this as a generalised statement. But usually, the guys are sort of very focused on the budget, and the gals are very focused on what they want from a practical and a, I guess in some cases, emotional consideration. That’s a broad generalisation, but my observation is, I always see the guys making decisions around, “Is this suitable based on can we afford it.” Whereas I often see the girls go, “Hey look, this is what I really want. These are the things that are important to me.” And it’s often finding the fine line between those two.
Kevin: Given that that is a broad generalisation, but it’s probably fairly accurate, could you then tell me whether or not the male wins over the female?
Bryce: No, we mere males always think that we win, but generally you don’t. No look, I think again in my observation on this show and trying not to generalise too much, the idea is that finding that fine line between what is practical and what is affordable … Because it’s a legitimate thing to not put yourself under mortgage stress. I generally find that good common sense prevails. But if we’ve thought about those things in advance … ’cause price is usually the most fixed. Unless someone wins the lotto or has a really healthy inheritance, that’s usually the most fixed. So it’s usually sort of location, size of the land, quality of the dwelling, they’re the conversations that I’m having. And generally once we sort of bring some of those discussions into the mix, they usually find their eight or their nine out of 10 quite comfortably.
Kevin: Wonderful stuff. Well, the show is on the ABC. It’s called Escape from the City. When is it actually on?
Bryce: It aired earlier this month on the 3rd of January, and then it’s going to be every Thursday on the ABC on a Thursday night at 7:30, pretty much for the foreseeable part of the year.
Kevin: Wonderful stuff. Bryce Holloway, thank you so much for your time. Bryce, of course, is from Empower Wealth, and that new show, Escape from the City, Thursday nights on the ABC. Thanks for your time, Bryce.
Bryce: Good on you, Kevin. Thanks for having me on.