In 2009 David Lincoln had a chance meeting with Tim Bartlett at an open house which began a decade long real estate journey between the pair. Result? Three purchases, five sales, comfortable retirement.  

The first thing you notice when you speak to David Lincoln is that he keeps riffing on the phrase “Tim was spot on.” Whether it was advice on buying, selling, valuation or rental return, “Basically, what he told me was correct,” he said.

“We ran into Tim by accident because we went to see one of the units he had for sale and he impressed us straight off with his knowledge. His manner was genuine and he came across as an honest person,” David said.

David, who was a General Manager and CEO in a number of community and health organisations, was working a 10-year retirement plan and he knew that he needed expertise on his side and not just a good bloke.

“We were looking for properties with a good rate of rental return and solid capital growth. Tim knew that it was not going to be a long-term investment and he knew that I was after that certain scenario.”

After that initial unit purchase, David put it under management with Tim and he was surprised at the outcome.

“Tim told me what he could get for it, and my first reaction was ‘as if’, but we thought if he could get anything near that we’d be happy. He actually got what he said he was going to get straight away.”

Spot on.

Over the course of the next few years, David purchased another two units with Tim. And then came the time to sell to realise his retirement goal of a fully paid off home and holiday house.

“When the four units sold, Tim was straight up front with us in terms of what he thought they were worth and how he was going to go about selling them. He ended up getting either what he told us he would get or better,” says David.

Having been on both sides of the buying and selling fence, David has a unique insight into Tim’s negotiating and communication style which is built on a genuine desire to get the best result for all parties.

“He makes you feel like he is working for you – whether you are buying or selling. I think that is a part of Tim’s honesty,” says David.

Of course, in a 10-year partnership both parties don’t always see eye to eye. When it came time to sell the 6.5 acre Thirroul property on Bulli Pass that had been the Lincoln’s family home for 40 years (it has been in the family for over 80 years), Tim’s valuation raised eyebrows with David.

“Tim told me up front what it was worth, and I disagreed with him. I wanted more. Tim was OK with that and said we would do the best price we can. He never argued with what I said.”

Since the property was unique, there were no local comparisons but the two decided to work together to get the best outcome. The result?

“The upshot of it was that Tim was spot on,” says David.