Ten with Ty - Jane Slack-Smith (part 2)

About The Guest(s):
Jane Slack-Smith is a renowned property expert, mentor, and the "renovation queen." With over 20 years of experience in the industry, she has helped thousands of people achieve financial success through property investment.

Jane is the founder of Investors Choice Mortgages and Your Property Success Club, where she provides education and guidance to aspiring investors.

In this episode of "Ten With Ty," Tyron Hyde interviews Jane Slack-Smith, a property expert and mentor. They discuss the concept of legacy and the impact Jane wants to leave on her community and the people she serves.

Jane shares stories of her upbringing and the values her mother instilled in her, which have shaped her desire to make a difference in people's lives. She also talks about her vision of democratising wealth in property and her decision to transition from being a mortgage broker to focus on serving more people through her property courses.

They then delve into the topic of success and what it means to Jane. She emphasises the importance of waking up every day with a sense of adventure and having the freedom to do what she wants, with whom she wants, and when she wants. Jane also highlights the power of having a clear vision and belief in oneself to manifest desired outcomes.

The conversation concludes with Tyron asking Jane for advice on achieving financial success in property investment. Jane reframes the question and suggests focusing on how investments contribute to living one's best life, rather than solely on avoiding losses. She encourages aspiring investors to be open to opportunities, do the necessary research, and take action aligned with their goals and vision.

Watch on YouTube

Key Takeaways:




  1. Q8: What legacy do you want to leave?
  2. Q9: What's is success to you?
  3. Q10: How not to lose money?
  4. Surprise Bonus Question on renovating.


Click to expand the full transcript

Tyron Hyde | This is part two of my podcast, Ten With Ty, featuring the renovation queen, property expert and mentor, Jane Slack Smith. Now, if you want to hear our answers to my first seven questions, download part one. And don't forget to subscribe.

Tyron Hyde | Number eight. What legacy do you want to leave yourself or your community or your children? What legacy would you like to leave?

Jane Slack-Smith | I think when I think about legacies and impact and I think about the emails and the messages I get from people who say, my life has changed. And I was talking to my husband about this recently because, as I shared with you, I'm about to go into stop being a mortgage broker after 18 years. And I've taken all of my property courses off the market because I'm looking at how I can use those to service more people and democratise wealth in property in a whole new way.

Jane Slack-Smith | And I said, but gosh, there's so many things I could be doing. There's so many people I could be helping. And he said, What if you have already helped the one person that you really needed to help already? What if you've already done that? And I think about the people that I've served and I've been in service rather than in servitude. And I look at that and I look at, my mother taught my sister and I, and my father, and we had nothing growing up, but she was the president of the Royal Blind Society and the Save the Children Fund. And we had kids come and stay with us when the parents needed to respite. And we would go and read to sick kids in hospital. Now, Dubbo wasn't like this great place where there was people doing all these volunteer things, but my mother taught us that we are fortunate and we have an opportunity to make a difference. And when I went and started working in Singleton, my grandfather was in an old person's home. And so I went and volunteered.

Jane Slack-Smith | After I did my shifts at the mines, I went and volunteered at a retirement village. And I turned up and they said, no one does this. Why are you doing this? And I was like, Well, I actually like learning the stories of people. Everyone has a story. I'm interested in the story, I'm interested in the people. And if there's no one getting visitors, I have a really moving story if you want to hear it on you. Have you got time?

Tyron Hyde | Yep.

Jane Slack-Smith | Okay. So my parents saw the absolute value of my sister and I having a higher education and going to boarding school for the last couple of years of our education. So we went to boarding school in Sydney, and one of the girls that was in my sister's year, her father was high up in one of the oil companies and she was from America. And at the end of year 12, the father said, I've got all these frequent flyer points. My sister could go overseas, and it was like the first person in our family who had ever been overseas. We were so excited. And so she went over and spent a bit of Christmas with this girl Alison. Fast forward. Five years later, I've gone and volunteered at the old people's home. And I'm talking to this beautiful lady, Elsie, and she's telling me how amazing her family is and how proud she is of her son and how incredible it is to have a gift of being able to leave, like a country town and go to university and have these incredible adventures and really set the family up and how proud she was.

Jane Slack-Smith | Anyhow, so I'm walking down the street, and here's Alison. I'm like what are you doing in Singleton? She said, Oh, my grandmother has passed. And I was like, Oh, gosh, I'm so sorry to hear that. She said, Yeah, she's in the retirement home. I said, I used to visit someone there. She said, Oh, her name's Elsie. I'm like, I used to see her. And she's like, Oh, my goodness. My dad is in such a bad way because he's so guilty. He left the country town. He went to university. He went to America. He set up his whole life there, he's a wreck. I'm like, Let me tell him what she was telling me. And so I had this opportunity to give him this gift, right, of how proud she was and how she lived.

Jane Slack-Smith | She felt that she had lived fully because he was living fully, changed everything. And so I look at these little moments as gifts, and I think every time I look at legacy, I look at my son, and I try to teach him things as, he's like, Mum, you know, nothing. I'm like, Yes, one day you might think I do. I hope that you come back and watch this podcast. But I look at that, and it's just those intergenerational changes.

Jane Slack-Smith | I always imagine. The reason I started Investors Choice Mortgages, Your Property Success, I was like, if more than 50% of the relationships end in divorce, and there's kids in these dual relationships of moving here and there, and they don't have the parents sitting at the table. They don't have people modeling what good, healthy relationships of money are like. If I can actually keep more parents together, because the number one reason for divorce is financial, and they're having these conversations and saying, Come and help us paint the investment property. No, I don't want to do that. Come on. If we do this, the rent goes up $50 a week, and you can have an extra lolly. Whatever it is, they're learning this, and it creates intergenerational change. That's why I spent the last 20 years doing that.

Tyron Hyde | That's fantastic. I'm sure many people appreciate it, too, Jane.

Jane Slack-Smith | Thank you.

Tyron Hyde | Okay. I heard that stat, too, the other day about the divorce rate as 50%. No doubt a lot of it's financial. And then there was actually an article that talked about Rupert Murdoch, and now he's onto his 6th, and it goes up 10% every time, right? Obviously not with him, it's not financial, but by the 6th marriage, he's up to like 90% chance of failure.

Tyron Hyde |Ten with Ty is brought to you by Washington Brown, the property depreciation experts.

Tyron Hyde | Number nine, what does success look like to you?

Jane Slack-Smith | As I was walking out the door, I asked my husband this question today, just to confirm that we're on the right page, on the same page, let's put it that way. So success to me is waking up every morning with the world as an adventure, with the time to do what I want, with whom I want, when I want. So for me, success is complete freedom of choice. Now, financially, I spent the last 20 years manipulating people into financial success, thinking once they have financial success, then they can have the freedom. And what I've learned in the last five years and working with my clients in Your Success Club is that you don't need to have money to go for what you want.

Jane Slack-Smith | And if you do actually understand how and what you want, and you have that vision and you have the emotion of what you want to create, jeez, it's incredible how often it just turns up. And I make ten choices with my business coach around what I want to create in the next six months, and I've just had the privilege of doing it in the last weekend. And then every single morning, I go through each one of those ten. Takes me about ten minutes, and I think about what that looks like. And I make the choice that I'm creating that and I look back over that process that I've done over the last four years, over the last two, three years, and I've created every single thing that I wanted to create. I have that vision and so I have the belief that I can do it.

Jane Slack-Smith | And if I get out of the way of myself and my fears and my beliefs and the conditions, I can make things happen. And I think we work within this matrix, we work within the boundaries. And our boundaries are the conditions and the material needs and the beliefs that we have. Well, rather than working within the boundaries, I work with the boundaries. So I'm like, well, what if that doesn't exist? What if, I have this choice? Funny story, I have this choice, which is I'm open to the gifts and enchantments that the universe gives me. I'm going to be aware of things, coincidences, opportunities and just little things that make me happy.

Jane Slack-Smith | And since COVID I've been walking the streets for my 2 hours a day that I was allowed out, or 1 hour a day at some stage, and I just had my phone with me, I'd take little photos, I'm like, yeah, I'm seeing the extraordinary and the just, this is interesting. And over the last two years, people have come back to me and said, You know, your photos, #aweandwonder, your photos really kind of got me through some dark spots. I don't do anything on Facebook other than look at your photos. And I thought, oh. Every now and then I upload them to Unsplash. And I went and had a look and it said in the last, what did it say? It said your photos had 30,000 views. And I was like, that's incredible. And I'm like, that is just amazing. And then I realized it was for the last 30 days. And I looked all time and it was 900,000.

Jane Slack-Smith | I was like, what? And I was looking at it this morning, it's 1.5 million, right? And I was like, and 10,000 downloads. And I was doing this presentation thing the other day and they said, What image do you want? I said a grass image of Melbourne. And one of my photos came up, right? So just like, I look at that stuff and I'm like, gifts. I walked to work this morning and there was this ring just on the ground. I'm like, okay, I'll wear that.

Tyron Hyde | Well, let me tell you, I loved going for walks with you in Melbourne every morning during Lockdown. I love what you do on Facebook.

Tyron Hyde | Number ten. Now, this is what the really, I guess what the crux of this podcast is about, because as you know, my father lost all his money. I didn't start with asilver spoon, and I've done quite well, and I've only got one child. What is it, the saying, the first makes it, the second consolidates, the third lose it. So we're at the consolidation phase in my family's life.

Tyron Hyde | And so Warren Buffett, you probably know, he said rule number one was never lose money. And rule number two, never forget rule number one. But what he didn't say was, how do you achieve rule number one? So how would you tell Taylor or how would you tell the aspiring investors out there, not just for my daughter, I'm hoping this is for your son as well. This is something hopefully you can pass on. So what do you tell them to achieve rule number one?

Jane Slack-Smith | Okay, so I thought about this and I think, once again, I'm going to throw this question around a little bit, because what I've learned about educating tens of thousands of people about property and wealth over 20 years, and then I look at the last three, four years where I've really kind of worked out why people are successful and why they're not. So when I look at that question and I was like, how would I say to Taylor, would you not lose money? I would say reframe the question on what is it that you really want in life and what is it that you need to be able to do that. What are the skills, what is the invisible investment of time and research and knowledge that you put in that actually manifests into you living your best life?

Jane Slack-Smith | So I'd say to you, Taylor, don't think about making investments from how am I not going to lose money? But think about how do they actually contribute to you getting to you living your best life and what you want it to be. And it's okay not knowing what that is now, but it's having the vibe of, I just want to be able to have the choice to do what I want. Maybe I do want to work five days a week as a nurse or as a doctor, or as an engineer or as an accountant. Maybe I want to hustle a little and be a digital nomad. And it's about having choice.

Jane Slack-Smith | So don't come from investments from how am I not going to lose money, come from investments of how is this going to contribute? I'm going to be open to the opportunities, know there'll be challenges, know I have to do work. No, it's not like just think it and we'll turn up like The Secret. We're talking, there's work to be done, there's will, there's action, but what can I do and be aware of that allows me to get to that end goal?

Tyron Hyde | If you've got this far in the podcast, you now know why Jane is one of my first guests. That's a fascinating, excellent answer. I'm just looking forward to all the variety of answers. Now, there's one thing I didn't tell you, Jane. There's a bonus question and every time. So as I said before, these questions are going to be on the website. It's not a secret. I'm hoping people that come on this podcast have a think about it, because they can be answered in many different ways, right?

Tyron Hyde | But there is a bonus question. I'm going to ask a bonus question and it's going to be based around a bit of your skill set.

Jane Slack-Smith | Bring it on.

Tyron Hyde | And I thought about your question. I thought, well, you are the Reno Queen, you've done a lot of renovations. And at first I thought, why don't I ask her what's the best amount of spend on a property to get the best return as a renovation? I thought, well, that's a silly question because what have you got? A $2 million property? You got a $200,000 property, right? You're not going to spend a million dollars on a $200,000 property, even though I've seen some overcapitalisation in my life.

Tyron Hyde | But then I said, well, let's refine it. What ratio, if you buy a property for 500 grand, what do you think the ratio of the renovation should be relative to the purchase price to get the best return? I know it can be varied, but if there's an investor out there thinking they want to do a renovation, what would you say as a percentage?

Jane Slack-Smith | 101 master class on renovation, strategic renovation. There's a lot of properties that can be renovated, but there's very few that deserve it. Now, in that $500,000 price point, what you need to start with is an understanding of the comparable price points of what the properties are that you want to renovate up to. So, for instance, at $500,000, if I said to you there's a refresh renovation, which is essentially going in and cleaning things up a little bit, doing maybe new benchtops on the kitchen, there's a repair which is like elbow grease. Just go in and rub it down and make it clean and clean the laundries up. That's like 1% of the value. The repair might be 5%. Cosmetic renovation is usually 10%. So on a $500,000 property, it'd be $50,000.

Tyron Hyde | Yeah.

Jane Slack-Smith | Now, I would never, and then there's the restructure where you're spending a significant 30% to 40%. New butler's pantry, the box on the back, all those kind of things that I taught for years. But when I look at, if I was going to say, the best way to look at it is like, I won't do a renovation if I can't make $2 for every one dollars I spend. So for a $500,000 property, if I'm spending 50 grand, I need it to go up to $600,000. So $2, my profit is 50,000. My cost is 50,000. 500,000 gets me to 600,000.

Jane Slack-Smith | If I can't find a $600,000 property in that suburb, in that area that's not a four-bedroom when mine's a three-bedroom, not under 600 m² when I'm on 300 m². If I can't find a like for like at 600 grand, and know that I can't do the renovation for 50,000 to get to that level. So I'm not talking like there's a pool. I'm talking cosmetic renovation. Then I walk. So at 500,000, it's very difficult to actually do those type of strategic renovations and find that gap.

Jane Slack-Smith | I think that these days it's closer to 800,000 to a million dollars, where you can actually find that price point. Where you're at a million dollars, you spend 100 grand and it gets to over 1.2 million, you need there to be in that suburb, that much of a gap. And at those lower price points, it's hard. Now, that's why we talk about the Trident strategy. Buy below the market. If you can get that $500,000 property for 450 because you're good at negotiating or you found the opportunity, it looks too bad. You've got an out of area salesperson who doesn't understand it. Everyone's in lockdown during COVID whatever it is, if you're buying at that 450, you're making money then. So you really don't have to necessarily get up to the 600 with your renovation. So there's opportunities in those suburbs. I'm not saying if you can't afford a $500,000 property, never do a renovation. But what I am saying is it has to be strategic renovation, and it has to be for the right property.

Tyron Hyde | If you own an investment property, then Washington Brown can help you pay less tax with an ATO compliant depreciation schedule. Visit washingtonbrown.com.au to pay less tax today.

Tyron Hyde | Do you just want to, just finally just run through what the Trident strategy is for people that haven't heard of that before?

Jane Slack-Smith | Sure. Essentially, I think it's in the book, right? There's a picture, but essentially you've got the book. We've each got a book, but it's kind of simple. Like, if you look at it okay.

Tyron Hyde | Yeah, I can see it.

Jane Slack-Smith | And this is my scaredy cat tactic. I'm like, I can do all the research. I can take the 16 and a half thousand suburbs in Australia. I can look at the last 20 years of data. I can see which suburbs outperform the others. I can come up with the characteristics and look at the suburbs I want to be in. So I can do all that for growth. But then I was like, as a mining engineer, explosives expert, I needed to have plan A, B, and C. So I'm like A, B, and C, a Trident. And that was one of, the name came from my business, my mortgage coach at the time. I need this thing. It's like a trident. I'm like, yes, that's what it is, it's a trident strategy.

Jane Slack-Smith | And so the first way to make money is to know the area, do the research, understand the market, understand it's a three-bedroom house, which streets the renters are in. Free information from the census, understand your market. So you need to understand that market completely. And you make money when you buy. Now, this is the only part of the Trident strategy that I possibly would give up on. Like, at the moment, the market's moving, right? I'd be buying in at 450 today, and it could be 470 tomorrow. So if I can't get it less than 450, okay, fair enough.

Jane Slack-Smith | But strategically, there's always a way. And then I would add value in the long medium term, and I would do that. I did the $425,000 property, a $50,000 renovation, and it revalued at 700,000 months later. I pulled the cash out, and that started the rest of my property portfolio. So it gave me leverage, but it allowed me to increase the rent as well. I had better renters, tenants that stayed for longer. And then in the long term, it's the growth. The growth is going to be the thing that allows you to retire. Cash flow helps you hold the properties. But I speak to people who've bought a property for $500,000. Ten years later, and at the time they're like, It was cheap. It was supposed to be 550. But I was in Taree and it's the house next to dad's, and the guy said, You can have it for 500. And it was bargain. It's still worth 500, right, ten years later. Whereas my $500,000 property is worth 2 million.

Jane Slack-Smith | Well, not 2 million in 20 years. It was 2 million. So you've got being in that right area. It's that growth that's going to get you out of the rat race, into the choices, into the freedom, into the vision of the life that you want to live.

Tyron Hyde | Now, I don't know about you, but I've had so much fun and learnt so much. But I can't thank you enough for being on this podcast. I really, really appreciated it. Thanks, Jane.

Jane Slack-Smith | Absolutely. And, Taylor, listen to your dad more. He knows stuff too.

Tyron Hyde | Now if you want to get in touch with Jane. The best way is via her website.  janeslacksmith.com.au 

If  you own an investment property, then Washington Brown can help you pay less tax with an ATO-compliant depreciation schedule. Visit washingtonbrown.com. au to pay less tax today.

21 mins

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