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Walter Neilands – How a TV presenting role kick-started his property career!

Meet Walter, 27-year-old tv personality turned part-time property investor. You may recognize Walters signature big grin and smile from Sticky Tv.

Since getting his start in the television world eight years ago, Walter has successfully branched out into the property realm, and recently he’s been killing it. He relies heavily on witty, attention-grabbing Facebook videos to fill his properties while building a sustainable community online. However, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. We caught up with Walter to see just how he did it and why he uses Facebook as his primary marketing tool.

Walter took the money he had earned from his time working in the entertainment industry and invested into a single standalone house in the Otahuhu area of Auckland, New Zealand. He bought the property with the intention to renovate it and then lease it out to tenants.

Walter was quoted between $80 to $100k for renovations by a local real estate agent. Despite being urged by friends and family not to undergo renovations in fear of going over the job quote price, Walter said yes, and construction got underway.

Luckily, the renovations didn’t go over the quoted price, but that’s not on accident. Walter did his own calculations and 90% of the work himself bringing the overall cost to just $20,000.

As soon as that obstacle was overcome Walter faced his next; he had 300 dollars left in his bank account, a $2000 mortgage repayment due at the end of the month and five empty rooms.

His next obstacle was figuring out how he could entice people to live in Otahuhu. He was starting to get desperate, time was running out and had run out of places to look.

Drawing upon his entertainment industry skills Walter sprouted the idea thanks to his friends of using a Facebook group called “Flat Mates wanted Auckland” as a way of drawing in new tenants for his newly renovated property.

After battling nerves, in a last-minute attempt to fill his property he posted a video to the group, highlighting the benefits, from a friendly clean environment all the way through to the nearby attractions. By merely being his cheerful, happy self and displaying his caring attitude, he was able to fill all five empty rooms within a matter of days.

Marketing on facebook

Having lived in houses with unorganized landlords, unfriendly tenants, and dirty environments, Walter knew exactly what he wanted to bring to the rental industry when it came to advertising his property. He prides himself on his properties (yes since this first home he has invested in more!) being clean, safe, positive environments which his tenants can call home. It’s easy to see that he places his tenant’s needs at the forefront of his business.

The personality that Walter can easily display in front of a camera while giving a property tour is electrifying and has seen all his property filled with tenants. He comes across as caring, personable and most importantly relatable.

It makes us proud to say that Walter is leading the change when it comes to property advertising. By using new and unseen outlets to drive and deliver results for his business, Walter has seen his success skyrocket. Facebook group “Flatmates wanted Auckland” already had an audience, Walter just figured out the perfect way to market to them in a way they hadn’t been before.

“Overall, I recommend people create a positive environment in their houses if they want good retention. Sure, it’s important to get good tenants attracted, but what’s the point if they don’t like the environment when they get there. Look after people, and they’ll look after you. Naturally, I have a bit of a turnover, but that’s because I have 11 rooms over a few houses, so now and then a flatmate moves on.” – Walter Neilands

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