About the Authors

Melissa Opie
aka “The Property Lady”

Melissa Opie bought her first property at a very young age. Since then, she has continued to learn, grow and invest, inspired by a love of property and a joy of helping others achieve their financial goals.

Melissa grew up understanding that not all families had the same financial pressures as hers. ‘I quickly realised that not everyone had to worry about money like we did. I wanted the flexibility to make my own choices. I knew I would have to roll up my sleeves and make it happen for myself.’

Melissa’s work ethic was passed down from her parents, who sent her to a private school with the proceeds from selling a car they won in a raffle. This taught Melissa about the importance of using whatever you have to invest in your future.

Melissa started her professional working life as a legal secretary. But her career came to abrupt halt when, at the age of 19, she was diagnosed with cancer and told she had only months to live. Refusing to accept her prognosis, she continued to work, organising her work around her chemotherapy. This represented a turning point in Melissa’s life, forcing a reassessment of her career goals and personal priorities.

It was then that Melissa decided to pursue her first love: real estate, landing a job as a receptionist for developer Central Equity. She was soon taken off the switchboard to work in sales, selling her first off-the-plan penthouse at the age of 23.

After getting her agents representative license, Melissa worked for different real estate companies, continually learning and driven by the words of her father: ‘There is no such thing as can’t – you’re either too lazy or you don’t want it bad enough’.

Melissa progressively rebuilt her property portfolio, this time with the knowledge she’d gained about the importance of asset protection. In 2005 Melissa started her own business, Keyhole Property Investments (KPI) www.kpi.net.au, a buyers advocacy, vendors advocacy and property management business which services Mebourne wide.  KPI is recognised in the industry and in the community as a leader in its field.

Today, Melissa is still in love with property (and her husband!) but also enjoys helping others to reach their financial goals through property investment. She is passionate about prompting people to act to ensure they can make sound choices about their future, and pass on their newfound financial knowledge to their children.

‘Even if there is still a pension when we retire, who wants to live on two-minute noodles? I want to help educate people so they can make more informed decisions.’

Melissa is a qualified trainer, holding a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training, and runs courses for the Real Estate Institute of Victoria to teach agents how to become buyers advocates. She is also qualified mortgage broker, holding a Certificate IV in Financial Services (Finance/Mortgage Broking).

Melissa is regularly interviewed as a property expert by ABC Radio, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Herald Sun newspapers, Australian Property Investor Magazine. She has also been interviewed by the City of Moonee Valley as an example of an inspirational business woman.

If you want to stay in the property loop you can follow her for market updates on Twitter Follow "The Property Lady" on Twitter.

Join the group Keyhole Property Investments (KPI™) on Facebook KPI™ Facebook  by clicking the "like" button at the top of the page to stay abreast of the inside news and events. 

Get Melissa's lastest book

Whether you are a first home buyer or novice investor, Find the Right Property, Buy at the Right Price will help you maximise the investment potential of your next home and secure your financial future. Tackle the biggest financial decision you’ll ever make – with confidence! Click here for more details.

Melissa's awards

  • Finalist REB Buyer's Agent of the Year 2016
  • Finalist REIA Innovation Award 2016
  • Winner Investor Choice Awards Buyers Agent of Victoria 2015
  • Winner REIV Innovation Award 2015
  • Finalist REBA Best Buyer's Agent of Australia 2015
  • Finalist REIV Buyer's Agent of the Year 2015
  • Finalist REIV Buyer's Agent of the Year 2014
  • Finalist REIV Small Residential Agency of the Year 2014
  • Finalist REIV Innovation Award 2013
  • Finalist REIV Buyer's Agent of the Year 2013
  • Finalist REIV Small Residential Real Estate Agency of the Year 2013
  • Winner REIV Innovation Award 2012
  • Finalist REIV Buyer's Agent of the Year 2012
  • Finalist REIV Small Residential Real Estate Agency of the Year 2012
  • Winner REIV Buyer’s Agent of the Year 2011
  • Finalist REIV Buyer’s Residential Agency of the Year (Small) 2011
  • Finalist REIV Innovation Award 2011
  • Winner Leader Business Awards – Melbourne's Local Favourites Real Estate Agency 2010
  • Finalist REIV Buyer’s Agent of the Year 2010
  • Finalist REIV Buyer’s Residential Agency of the Year (Small) 2010
  • Winner Leader Business Awards – Melbourne's Overall Most Favourite Real Estate Agency 2009
  • Winner Leader Business Achiever Awards in the category of Real Estate 2008
  • Finalist REIV Buyer’s Agent of the Year 2009
  • Winner REIV Buyer’s Agent of the Year 2008
  • Winner REIV Buyer's Agent of the Year 2007 (joint winner)
  • Winner City of Moonee Valley Micro Business Award 2007
  • Finalist REIV Special Achievement Award 2007
  • Finalist Moonee Valley Business Awards Female Entrepreneur 2007
  • Finalist Moonee Valley Business Awards Female Entrepreneur 2006

 

Stephen Zamykal

Stephen Zamykal is a director of four award-winning Mortgage Choice franchises in Melbourne. He is a former professional AFL football player and a qualified accountant, who has been passionate about numbers since adding the columns from the share pages of the newspaper as a four-year-old.

Stephen was drafted into the AFL at 17 and played centre half-forward for Essendon and North Melbourne football clubs. While playing footy he trained and then worked as an accountant. After realising his career as a professional footballer would be short lived, Stephen left the game and travelled extensively for three years, working as a financial accountant in the UK and Canada.

Stephen returned to Australia in 2000, laden with an $8000 credit card debt. He had no job and no assets. Recognising his love of numbers and helping people, Stephen increased his debt even more to buy a Mortgage Choice franchise, armed with the confidence that he could turn his debt into a successful business and promising career.

It was around this time that Stephen also began to invest in property, believing strongly in the role of property in securing financial freedom. He borrowed another $6000 on his credit card to put towards the deposit for his first home.

Since then, Stephen has continued to invest in real estate, creating his own method of borrowing money without any impact on his day-to-day spending. Stephen now passes this unique lending strategy to his clients, enabling others to buy up multiple investment properties in a short space of time. One of Stephen’s clients has bought more than 20 properties in only two years.

‘People can’t believe it when they realise how easy it is to set themselves up for a financially free future through property investment. It’s all about education. Seeing the relief on people’s faces when they can – for the first time – visualise a carefree retirement, gives me the greatest buzz.’

Stephen’s aim in writing Property Rich is to introduce his revolutionary investment model – the kitty loan system – to as many people as possible.

‘Using the kitty loan system, it’s very realistic that anyone can buy up to 10 properties in 10 years.’ The key, Stephen says, is to use capital growth to pay for the properties, always ensuring the right structures are in place.

Stephen’s awards

  • 2009 Mortgage Choice Australian Franchise of the Year, the company’s most prestigious award (there are more than 400 Australian franchises)
  • Mortgage Choice ‘High Flyer’ for the past nine years, making his business one of the top 15 in the country for the number and value of loans taken out
  • Number one ‘High Flyer’ for Victoria from 2001 to 2006 and 2009 (number 2 and 3 in 2007 and 2008)

REIV Chairperson North Western Division 2006-2012

Winner Investor Choice Awards Buyers Agent of Victoria 2015

Winner REIV Innovation Award 2015

Finalist REBA Best Buyer's Agent of Australia 2015

Finalist REIV Buyer's Agent of the Year 2015

Finalist REIV Buyer's Agent of the Year 2014

Finalist REIV Small Residential Agency of the Year 2014

Finalist REIV Innovation Award 2013

Finalist REIV Buyer's Agent of the Year 2013

Finalist REIV Small Residential Real Estate Agency of the Year 2013

Winner REIV Innovation Award 2012

Finalist REIV Buyer's Agent of the Year 2012

Finalist REIV Small Residential Real Estate Agency of the Year 2012

Winner REIV Buyer’s Agent of the Year 2011

Finalist REIV Small Residential Real Estate Agency of the Year 2011

Finalist REIV Innovation Award 2011

Winner Leader Business Awards Melbourne's Local Favourites Real Estate Agency 2010

Finalist REIV Buyer’s Agent of the Year 2010

Finalist REIV Small Residential Real Estate Agency of the Year 2010

Winner Leader Business Awards Melbourne's Overall Most Favourite Real Estate Agency 2009

Finalist REIV Buyer’s Agent of the Year 2009

Winner Leader Business Achiever Awards in the category of Real Estate 2008

Winner REIV Buyer’s Agent of the Year 2008
Winner REIV Buyer's Agent of the Year 2007
Winner City of Moonee Valley Micro Business Award 2007
Finalist REIV Special Achievement Award 2007
Finalist Moonee Valley Business Awards Female Entrepreneur 2007
Finalist Moonee Valley Business Awards Female Entrepreneur 2006