Kym Nitschke is well aware of the stereotype of the conventional accountant, but for him, the success he has found both as the owner of Nitschke Nancarrow Chartered Accountants, and as a property investor, have resulted from doing things differently to everyone else.

He told Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast that as a young accountant with a well-paying job working for a major international finance company, he knew he wanted more.

“I woke up one day and went to work and thought ‘oh my God, I actually know more than my manager… it’s holding me back being here and I’ve got this entrepreneurial flare that is being absolutely smothered’,” Kym says.

“So I went out and set up my own practice and more or less started with family and friends and operated from my home office and that just grew, and grew and grew.”

Kym spent several years working for a handful of clients and doing other jobs to make ends meet. Then the key to growing his practice came in the form of an older accountant who acted as a part-time employer and mentor to Kym. Kym’s mentor taught him that the most important thing is being able to communicate with clients.

“I finally met someone in my life that was my role model. Everything he did I tried to replicate. The way he spoke. The message he put on his phone. He was so good in the way he was so client focused.

“This is one example. Instead of talking about section 25 of the income tax assessment act, which is the way I’d been trained at PricewaterhouseCoopers, he would just talk about tax loopholes and things like that which people could understand. (He was) a bit more of a storyteller than dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s and sending out a 10 page letter that no one reads.

“Every response he gave to every client was well thought out, very detailed, very client focused and very clever… Every time he’d do a set of financial statements and tax returns for his clients he’d look at me and go ‘is there a better way? Let’s not send it out yet. Can we save this guy any more tax?’”

Kym believes it’s this ability to speak in the clients’ language, as well as a drive to always want to strive for the best result for the client, that has been key to the growth and success of his firm. “Adelaide didn’t need another accountant… It needed another more clever accountant than all the guys down the road, and that’s what I’ve always tried to be.”

While today Kym has an extensive property portfolio, it wasn’t always that way. In fact, his first foray into property was a disaster. An investment into a set of units went so badly he was forced to leave accounting temporarily and work two weeks on, one week off in the mines for 12 months to pay off his debts.

But it was the same mentor who helped Kym ignite his accounting career that convinced him to have another go, but do it smarter the second time round.

“I think for me the major change was that I was just far too naïve to start with and I see this often now. There’s just so much research that you’ve got to do into any property purchase. I find now that if ever I’m talking to a real estate agent when I’ve done the research and have narrowed it down to a property that they might be selling I know more about the suburb. I know more about the property than they ever will.”

With five properties currently in his portfolio, Kym has found a property investment formula that works for him.

“I want to pinpoint suburbs in Adelaide that I think will take off… You’ve got to buy the right property. For my (next) property I bought in Glenside. I’d identified that Glenside was half the price of the suburb alongside of it, which was Toorak Gardens, and there was a stigma with Glenside being next to the Glenside Hospital, which was a mental asylum… I thought that at some point that suburb would equalise with Toorak Gardens.”

Kym bought the Glenside property for $232,000 and sold it six years later for $660,000.

“It was a really good deal, but I’d got the fundamentals right. I’d identified a suburb that was going to go up. I bought something that I could renovate and add value to… Rather than what I was going to be making in rent each week, I was looking at what’s this place going be worth in 10 years’ time? What’s that suburb going to look like?

“My fundamentals have changed… I was always interested in getting rental returns. But they weren’t priority one. It was the capital that I was chasing now. And that worked.”

Listen to the full interview on the Get Invested podcast.

Like Kym, to build a successful property investment portfolio you need the right strategy. We can help. Contact us for a free initial discussion about your situation.