Sentinel Property Group CEO Warren Ebert bided his time and waited for our regional economy to turn around.
Sentinel Property Group CEO Warren Ebert bided his time and waited for our regional economy to turn around.

Property mogul: Get in now to profit from resource upswing

SENTINEL Property has made buckets of money investing in Mackay throughout the mining downturn.

CEO Warren Ebert said despite the grim economic climate, he was never worried about investing in the region as he knew tables would turn and when they did, he wanted to be ahead of the pack.

And he is.

"People would always tell you how terrible it is in Mackay and that your tenant was going broke,” Mr Ebert said.

"We know it was difficult but if you had good properties and your rents were right (you) still made money.

Sentinel Property Group CEO Warren Ebert has invested millions in the region, hedging the bet that a recession could not last forever.
Sentinel Property Group CEO Warren Ebert has invested millions in the region, hedging the bet that a recession could not last forever. AAP - Richard Waugh

"In Mackay during the downturn we had $89 million worth of property (as of Dec 2018) and we never missed one month rent.”

Mr Ebert said the company had the confidence to keep buying in the region, because it could feel "momentum” building within the mining industry again.

"Eventually it has to give. The longer (a recession) goes on the bigger the rush will be, so we positioned ourselves for that,” he said.

"We bought on the basis that the downturn had to stop and the longer it went on the bigger the boom was going to be ... and that was without Adani we were buying on the basis that Adani would not get up.”

Although his outlook was already positive with the approval of Adani's Carmichael mine last acting as the door to the Galilee, Mr Ebert said he was feeling even more confident.

"When you look at GVK Hancock, Chinastone ... they are monster projects compared to Adani,” he said.

"If you're a major service supplier to the mining service industry what do you do now? You need to look at expansion.

"Don't wait another 12 months and say 'let's see how this goes' because it will be too late.”

Mr Ebert said as economies came out of a downturn, people stayed cautious just in case things went wrong.

"I think it is like when the atom bomb went off - people didn't hear the boom until a bit later,” he said.

"When all your friends at the pub are saying 'it's tough, it is terrible let's just wait another 12 months'. A lot of them are not game to be the first one to say 'bugger it I'm signing a new five-year lease now'.

"If you wait until someone says 'boom' then it is too late, it has already happened. You've got to be ahead.”



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