5 Minutes With…Allister Lewison, OpenCorp
Allister Lewison is an Australian property investor with 20 years experience in residential and commercial real estate, property development and investment. As the Director and Co-founder at OpenCorp, Allister is committed to sharing his passion for property and vast investment experience to deliver outstanding returns for OpenCorp.
Following his debut on the BRW’s Fast 100 list for 2015, Allister Lewison placed 64th on the BRW Young Rich List in 2016.
Q. How Did You First Get Into The Property Industry?
I first entered the industry when I decided to change the way my future looked. I had been working at a job, which for me was a no future job, and I realised my life wasn’t heading in the direction I had pictured. I purchased my first property at the age of twenty after this realisation.
The market was kind and within twelve months I was able to leverage the equity in that property and buy another investment, which was a small development. I have been investing and developing ever since.
Q. What Are The Main Things You Would Attribute Your Success To?
The first thing that contributed to my success was willingness to step out of my comfort zone and have a go!
I see people spending a lot of time procrastinating on things; forever in some people’s cases. I understood from an early stage where I wanted to be and took the steps to achieve it. I made sacrifices and only focused on the bigger picture. This meant driving a cheaper car and taking lunch to work – all the cliché things you typically hear.
Q. What Would You Say Goes Into Making Good Business Decisions?
There are a couple of things, but the key thing I focus on is always surrounding myself with good people.
That way when it is time to make a decision I am armed with the right information and understand the various risks, making the best decision at that point in time.
Q. Have There Been Any Pitfalls Along The Way?
I have been developing and investing in property for twenty years. I have also been running businesses for the last sixteen years and have employed over 1000 people during this time.
Whilst there has been a lot of success over that time I would be lying if I said there hadn’t been some pitfalls along the way.
But I am a strong believer in learning from mistakes and not making them again…certainly starting a recruitment business 12 months before the GFC isn’t something I’d do again!
Q. What Advice Would You Have For Budding Entrepreneurs?
I would tell them to be cautious of who they choose to share their goals and dreams with. Most of society follows the old mantra of getting one job and working hard. If you tell most people that you are starting a business or buying an investment property their natural tendency is to try and impart their negative thoughts on you.
For example, a relative who has worked the last thirty years in a government job isn’t likely to tell you it’s a great idea – he will tell you all the bad news stories he has heard and reasons you should consider a stable job.
The more knocks and negative comments you receive the less likely you are to actually step forward and do something.
Citro West End, Brisbane – an OpenCorp project
Q. What Are Your Plans For The Future?
In terms of the Open Corp business we have had great success helping everyday Australians create wealth through different types of property. These include direct property investments or via our investments funds in one of our projects.
Recently one of our focuses has been working on what we call Generational Investment Services (GIS). Our vision for GIS is to take people on an investment journey throughout their entire lives with the opportunities we offer.
GIS would span from an individual’s first educational experience when they are young, through to their first investment property and right through to retirement when they require an income from their investments.
At the moment we are working really hard at building the range of offerings we have for clients.