Gold Coast Businesses Confident In Lead Up To Commonwealth Games: Griffith Poll

THE Gold Coast has become a city of business confidence thanks to the positive influence of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Ninety four per cent of respondents to the latest quarterly Griffith University — Gold Coast Bulletin Business Confidence Poll are confident that the local economy will gain significant benefit from the Games in the year ahead.

The optimism driven by the Games has been backed by sustained positive sentiments about the performance of the city’s key property, tourism and retail sectors and the local economy.

Positive confidence levels in these sectors has been maintained at high levels for the past 12 months.


Griffith University Pro Vice Chancellor Business, Professor David Grant.

Griffith University Pro-Vice Chancellor Business, Professor David Grant said the Coast’s business community is set to take advantage of the biggest event in the history of the city.

“Core positive confidence has been maintained on the Coast for the past year and there is now some evidence the Commonwealth Games is producing an added degree of positivity,” Prof Grant said.

“This situation is unique in Australia at this time and it is up to businesses to now grasp the many opportunities the Games present.”

He said the current poll, which ended in February, follows indications, in the previous quarter,

that 60 per cent of local businesses were planning for growth in 2017 as a result of the Games.

“While there was some variance in the degrees of confidence held regarding

the influence of the Games, the fact that only six per cent of respondents were

not confident and 40 per cent were very confident, augurs well for this year

and for ongoing positive sentiments beyond the April 2018 Games,” he said

“Businesses are recognising the significant opportunities the Games present

and that they can gain from embracing the spirit of the event by providing

support and also implementing internal strategies that create specific benefits

for them.

“Unlike in some other cities where negativity has been associated with the

hosting of the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games there is strong

support on the Coast.

“While there are obvious benefits for the tourism and hospitality sectors, the

city’s knowledge sector assets and the diversity of its local economy will be

showcased so that opportunities for business not obviously and directly linked

to the Games will also present.

“The Griffith University Business School is undertaking research that will

assist in identifying such opportunities, with results to be made available to the business community.

“This is a terrific opportunity for the Coast’s business community to leverage

and show off its entrepreneurial spirit and “can do” approach to the world.”


The Psychology Of Auctions And Tips On How To Bid

BIDDING at auction is like a sport. There are competitors, spectators, an umpire, game plans, and in the end, there are winners and losers.

It isn’t as easy as turning up with a price limit in mind and calling out some numbers. There is actually a lot more strategy, endurance and psychological tricks involved, reveals Damien Cooley of Cooley Auctions.

Auctions are touted as the most transparent way to sell a house — and they are. The open market determines the price, rather than a closed door deal between a seller and buyer.

But auctions also thrive on momentum, which is why you can turn up confidently only to be left in a spin within a matter of minutes because the property you thought was in your price range just sold for money you can only dream of.

“When an auction has momentum it can sell really well and a buyer can, in many cases, find themselves in a scenario where the bidding started at $800,000 and all of a sudden we are at $965,000,” Mr Cooley told

“What that means is the buyer needs to act quickly and make fast decisions — and it is those spare of the moment decisions where the auctioneer’s role is to get that buyer to continue bidding.”


Sounds intimidating, but Mr Cooley says there are a few sneaky tactics that a buyer can employ to slow the momentum and steady the decision making — much like the captain of a sports team can slow the game if it is getting sloppy.

An effective way to do this is to bid in odd increments and call our your actual bid, not the total price.

“If the auctioneer is asking you for $10,000, there is no reason why you can’t give them $13,000. But don’t call out the number you want it to land on, call out the increment you’d like to bid in,” Mr Cooley said.

“If the auction is at $920,000 and you bid another $13,000 that is easy to add up but what about if you made another bid of $18,000? And don’t say $951,000 because that is easy for the auctioneer. If you just call out your bid of $18,000 the auctioneer has to think about it add that up in their head.”

And it’s not just about slowing the pace of the auctioneer; this tactic also throws other buyers off, slowing momentum even further.

“Most buyers will land on a round number, so most bidders will go to auction saying we are going to pay $900,000. That’s their limit and they won’t go over it, it is a psychological thing .”


Damien Cooley of Cooley Auctions said bidding at an auction is like a sport: it takes strategy and skill.

When bidding at an auction you also have to adjust your strategy accordingly; every auction is different. For instance, the amount of competition you have really matters.

For a lot of competition at a large auction, Mr Cooley said you have got to be confident and aggressive.

“If you can see there is a lot of competition then you are going to have to bid aggressively. I would argue that the best way to bid in that scenario is to come in with a really aggressive bid first,” he said.

“This is firstly to show your confidence but also and if an agent has quoted $1 million and you know you’re willing to pay up to $1.35 million, I guarantee you that some of your competition are thinking it will go for between $1.25 million and $1.35 million. So there is no point starting the auction at $1 million and giving everyone hope.

“In that scenario I would come in with a strong bid at $1.2 million and that will send an immediate shockwave through every single person at the auction and it will stun them that someone has started the bidding so high.”


On the other hand, if you can only see there is one other registered bidder, then Mr Cooley said to play your cards a little bit closer to your chest in that same scenario.

“I might start the bidding at $950,000 and let the auctioneer tell me if they are happy to accept it or not. If they say no then you can guarantee that the owner is not selling at that price. And that’s okay, that’s not offensive.

“So if they the auctioneer said no, sit back and see if anyone else bids. If they don’t the auctioneer may use a vendor bid. If they do make a vendor bid, you then need to consider if you want to bid above that or get into a negotiation.

“You have to remember that if you don’t make a bid, the post-auction is open to any bidder but if you’re the highest bidder, you have the first opportunity to negotiate with the seller. So I’d always recommend that a buyer bids above that vendor bid — assuming they are happy to pay that price for it.”


Competing at auction isn’t just about how you present yourself. Just as important is keeping an eye on your opponent.

“It is important to watch what your competition is doing because their body language will tell you a lot about how much further they are prepared to go,” Mr Cooley said.

“Stand in a prominent position where you can see what your competition is doing — their facial expressions, body language, and whether they are talking. ”

And the same goes for your actual auctioneer, he said.

“This is important because every auctioneer calls an auction differently. You should research them and watch how they trial close, watch their speed and watch the little things they do and say … I’m always actively looking to convince bidders to bid particular numbers because I’m thinking three or four bids ahead of what the number is I’m asking for.”

Originally published as Mind games to win at auction

Former Clients Question Collapsed Builder’s Links To Property Investment Advisory Firm

Frank Chung,

THE sole director of a builder that collapsed last month leaving families across Victoria with half-finished homes was also the director of a property investment firm which suggested clients build with the now-defunct company.

Guymer Lynnch Pty Ltd, founded by builder Shane Guymer, went into liquidation last month with nearly $1.8 million in debts to more than 80 creditors, amid claims of shoddy work, long build times and unpaid contractors.

An estimated 50 families in suburbs across Melbourne including Croydon, Bundoora, Thornbury, Bulleen, Box Hill, Cranbourne and Point Cook have been affected.

Liquidator Greg Andrews of GS Andrews Advisory informed creditors in a letter this week that the company had “insufficient assets” to meet its debts and “accordingly, there is no likelihood” of unsecured creditors being paid.

Mr Guymer is also the sole director of ECG Wealth Pty Ltd, which describes itself as specialising in “sourcing investment property opportunities for first-time investors right through to seasoned investors”.

“With over 10 years in business we have helped over 3000 people purchase property and a majority have gone on to purchase many more with us,” a company business profile reads.

“We provide a detailed Property Investment Analysis (PIA) of every investment opportunity on offer which shows a full breakdown of costs, rent, tax benefits, holding costs, loan fees, etc. to show you the investment cashflow which allows you to make an informed decision on whether the investment is right for you before going ahead.”

In the blurb, the company says it cuts out costs by sourcing “all properties direct from the builder/developer, cutting out the real estate agent’s fees and large marketing costs”, can “source the right builder for the task at hand” and has “strong relationships with builders and developers”.

“What does this mean for our clients?” it reads. “[Ultimately] a better deal for you.”

Clients of ECG Wealth claim they were not informed of the relationship between the two companies. “I’m just highly disappointed that we weren’t told Shane, the builder, was also the [sole director] of ECG,” said Melbourne mum-to-be Melissa, who asked for her last name to be withheld.

The 32-year-old said she and her husband were referred to ECG Wealth in 2015 and signed their contracts in August. The couple purchased a house-and-land package in Cranbourne East for $396,000, with the house itself costing $223,000.

“They basically said, ‘We’ve got a great builder, their name is Guymer Lynnch, they’ve completed quite a few of our contracts’, but we weren’t aware that there was anyone else we could choose from,” she said.

“They told us we’d have something by the end of the year, so we’d be able to have something rented out by April or May 2016.

“We kept pushing for it to hurry up and get started — nothing. They were saying they’re having issues with the council, having issues with this, with that, so there was always an excuse.

“No work actually got started until April or May, in July the slab went down, and they stopped working at the lockup stage in August last year. There’s quite a few defects with the building, no flood inspection has been done, we got a framing inspection report that failed, there are more structural items that need to be fixed and no work can be done until they are.”


Builder Shane Guymer. Picture: LinkedIn

Melissa said they had received quotes to finish the house for around $93,000, but were still waiting for an insurance claim to find another builder.

“We’ve been paying a mortgage, plus our own home mortgage, since 2015,” she said. “I’m over crying. I cried and cried and cried, but that wasn’t getting me anywhere. I’m just over it. I just want to hurry up and have it finished and get rid of the lot of them.”

Linemarker Sean O’Toole, 55, signed a $400,000 contract with Guymer Lynnch in 2015 after coming through ECG Wealth. He said he was never told there was a relationship between the two companies.

“They never mentioned it,” he said. “I didn’t really look into the builder, [the ECG employee] told me everything was guaranteed and they had a range of builders and they would pick the best one.”

Mr O’Toole estimated it would cost upwards of $60,000 to finish his home in Officer. “It’s at the fixing stage, it needs everything done inside and outside,” he said. “I’ve got no fittings, no light switches, no tiles, all I’ve got is the bench and sink.”

Ben Marshan, head of policy at the Financial Planning Association, said such a situation could be a conflict of interest. “A professional financial planner would have to fully disclose their conflict of interest to the client and make sure the client was comfortable before providing them with advice,” he said.

Under new legislation passed by the federal parliament last month, which doesn’t come into effect until 1 January 2019, more stringent education and training requirements will be placed on financial advisers.

But a former employee of ECG Wealth has clarified that the company did nothing wrong, saying Guymer Lynnch was “not the only builder we used” and that every project was quoted out to multiple builders.

He said the firm then picked the best price for the client, rather than offering up a selection to choose from. “If you’re looking to do something and given 13 different options, you’ll get bamboozled,” he said.

“It’s very difficult for them to make a decision, they end up analysing it until it’s dead. We do all of the work, all of the negotiation, and come up with the best deal for clients, [whether] that’s Guymer Lynnch, Impact Homes, Creation Homes or half a dozen [other builders].

“That’s what they paid us for. It was our job to get the client the best possible deal, if that meant Guymer Lynnch got the deal, they got the deal. I’m not going to sit here and say I’ve lost sleep over that. I personally acted in every single client’s best interest in every transaction that came through that company.”

The former employee couldn’t say how often clients were referred to Guymer Lynnch, but said Mr Guymer had “no influence whatsoever in any decisions made by myself or anyone employed at ECG”.

“He had no influence on day-to-day sales, nothing to do with the running of the business,” he said. “[We] have nothing to do with him, always been completely separate from him. For there to be any accusation that anything under-the-table or untoward has been done to these people has really p***** me off.

“Unfortunately there are about half a dozen ECG Wealth clients that went with Guymer Lynnch at the time when Guymer Lynnch went under.

“I’m talking to some clients. I’ve actually helped them find another builder so they can move forward. Some clients have even finished with other builders — one with Watersun Homes, and look what happened to them.”

Guymer Lynnch is the latest in a string of construction-related insolvenciesin the past month, along with Watersun Homes, Lazaway Pools & Spas and Sulja Holdings.

Attempts to contact Mr Guymer by phone and email have been unsuccessful. Websites for Guymer Lynnch and ECG Wealth are no longer accessible.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Victorian Building Authority said: “Shane Guymer is the subject of an ongoing investigation, which involves a number of complaints lodged with the VBA. As it is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide any further comment.”

Originally published as Housing crisis: ‘I cried and cried and cried’