How Costi Cohen helped a foreign investor build a $30 million commercial property portfolio

The Australian commercial property market is attractive to foreign investors, but navigating the market in such a geographically dispersed country can be challenging. The stable political, regulatory, and economic environment means that investors can feel confident in the medium to long-term security of their investments. However, with both domestic purchasers and foreign investors looking to take advantage of these factors, just where, what and how to buy is challenging if you don’t have the right local intel and contacts.

The client
In 2018, Costi Cohen first started working with a client based in Singapore, an Australian who had moved there to work in FinTech. The client knew they would eventually be moving back to Australia, therefore wanted to acquire a portfolio of income producing assets ahead of their eventual return.

The client had a general understanding of the Australian commercial property market, but had neither the time nor the contacts to get started building their portfolio, therefore selected Costi Cohen as their buyers agent.

Laying the foundations
Costi Cohen worked with the client to understand their long-term goals, financial position, and risk tolerance.

Costi Cohen was then able to liaise with local agents to ensure that all suitable opportunities, on and off-market, were presented to the client, and ensure that despite being overseas and out of touch with market dynamics, the client was presented with all opportunities within their specific mandate.

The portfolio
The client purchased their first commercial investment in 2018, a block of units for $4.5 million. Their most recent purchase, a retail shopping investment in NSW, takes the client’s portfolio of commercial property investments to over $30 million.

The value
Working with Costi Cohen means the client can feel confident their buyers agent has flushed the market for all suitable opportunities within their brief, and carefully negotiated the very best price. Costi Cohen also works closely with consultants such as solicitors, contractors and brokers to make the process as seamless and efficient as possible.

As market conditions change, Costi Cohen can assist clients respond accordingly. In this client’s case, successive interest rate rises in Australia meant their borrowing capacity was significantly reduced, by nearly 30 per cent. As the portfolio was managed in-house with Costi Cohen’s property management division, the team were able to assist the client in renegotiating leases across their existing properties. Costi Cohen’s property management division also assisted in getting the client’s portfolio revalued, which saw a 74 per cent increase in value from the time of purchase, and ultimately allowed the client to borrow more from the bank.