Lessons from the frontline of property risk with Giamol Pasin – Head of Property Risk

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  • One of Australia’s most experienced property valuers, Giamol Pasin, has joined AltX as Head of Property Risk;
  • Giamol believes experience is the key to accurate property risk assessment – including an in-depth understanding of property market cycles and people;
  • AltX’s in-house credit, risk and construction teams work together to understand what will make a deal work – and can quickly make more accurate decisions on behalf of private debt investors.

When Giamol Pasin first began partnering with AltX, he quickly realised his valuation business shared the same purpose as the investment platform: to help clients avoid losing money on property investments. A decade (and many assessments) later, he has joined the AltX team as Head of Property Risk.

We asked Giamol to share his perspective on property valuations today, and the secret to getting risk right.

 
Q. You’ve spent over 30 years working in property risk and valuation – what drew you to work in this area, and what still excites you about it?

I grew up on a farm out near Griffith, and always had a very practical sense of the land. Today, whether I’m looking at a development site or a prestige home, I can see its potential in a realistic way. And that goes a long way to explaining its worth.

After all this time, I enjoy looking at property, and working out what makes it work. I think that’s the value I add.

 
Q. How have you seen things change – what is fundamentally different about the way we do valuations today?

When I first began, reports were handwritten. We developed and printed photos for the back of a report and had to drive to the land title office to request details.

The process is still the same these days, but it is four to five times quicker. We can drill down on asset details in seconds, for example. But the amount of analysis we do is far more granular, and clients expect that. So the effort and work that goes into a valuation report has probably increased by a factor of four or five too.

I think valuation has always been a bit of science and a bit of magic. We have so many more tools at our disposal for analysis, yet no one foresaw markets moving the way they have in the past few years. I think that all comes down to how people interpret the information they have. And we definitely see differences in opinion.

 
Q. So what’s the secret ingredient to getting a valuation right?

In a word, experience. I have worked through several property cycles, starting out in 1992 when the market was down and interest rates had peaked at around 17%. I think you need to go through a few cycles to understand what could and might happen. And you also need to know the areas, know the people behind a development project, know what yields and outgoings will be. I think most trainee valuers are great at putting a feasibility together, but valuation is not as simple as running a spreadsheet.

 
Q. After working with Westpac and then running your own valuation practice, what attracted you to join AltX?

I was running CivicMJD Valuations when I first met AltX co-founders Nick Raphaely and Steve Beinart. They had just started AltX, and I could see they had a different approach. Nick told me he didn’t want to lose anyone’s money. And that’s what I want too – my business had successfully done over 14,000 valuations, across commercial and residential, and never had a problem.

I’ve been really impressed with how Nick and Steve grew their business by maintaining that relentless focus on preserving their investors’ capital. So when I sold my business last year, I thought I could add value in a role that would help them continue to scale.

For example, I can help embed an efficient review process from my banking and valuation experience. We need to maintain the speed, to be able to look at deals quickly and know whether they work or not. Basically, to give third-party valuations the sniff test – because there can be so much time lost looking at things that will never stack up.

 
Q. Is there anything about property risk and valuations that surprises people?

Most people don’t understand what a valuer actually does. There’s so much that happens before or after a valuer inspects a property – they may work with quantity surveyors to understand the feasibility for a development, review zoning title guidelines, contracts for sale and the legals around leasing.

And the general public probably perceives valuers as conservative, but that’s because most people believe their property is worth more than it is!

 
Q. How would you describe the current property risk landscape? What are you expecting to see in the year ahead?

A lot of factors are starting to come into play. Inflation will increase, commodity prices will rise and the RBA will be forced to move interest rates up. In the short term, this may create some issues – the ability to repay mortgages will likely change.

I think we’re seeing a generational shift with a very active downsizer market, and this will sustain prices in the ‘lifestyle’ suburbs. But I certainly wouldn’t expect residential property to lift 30% again this year.

 
Q. Finally, what should private debt investors know about AltX’s due diligence around property risks?

I think AltX does an outstanding job with this, because they have built the in-house experience from within. The construction team, for example, understands that industry better than most people I’ve met. So they really know how to mitigate that construction risk. And the credit team is deeply involved in the process too – they add a lot of value and are always available to discuss concerns.

My goal is to bring everyone together around the table for every deal – risk, credit and construction teams. Because AltX’s proactive, collaborative approach is quite different to the siloed teams you see in the major banks. And I think it generates a solid outcome – especially for more complex deals – and quicker, more accurate decision for investors.

To be honest, working together has always been a big part of how I do things. Family has always been so important to me, and I believe people work better when they feel like they’re part of something.

 

“My goal is to bring everyone together around the table for every deal – risk, credit and construction teams.”

  Giamol Pasin, AltX Head of Property Risk

Learn More
www.altx.com.au/investments
Level 21, 101 Grafton Street
Bondi Junction, NSW, 2022
Phone: 1300 991 380
Email: marketing@altx.com.au 
 

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  • The current growth and attitudes towards Australian Private Debt and the growth trajectory for Wholesale Investors;
  • The biggest investment challenges that investors face in the near term;
  • Concerns around equity volatility and low interest rates;
  • The asset classes that are most appealing in the next 24 months. 

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