Ian Ugarte was born in Sydney to Spanish immigrants, who lovingly instilled in him the ethics and importance of family, community and hard work. Coming from a family of qualified plumbers, the unspoken expectation was that he would follow in their footsteps.
As a young man, Ian believed being a qualified plumber and builder meant he had all the skills needed to make becoming a wealthy property developer a reality. After buying his first investment property at age 19, Ian soon accumulated a portfolio of seven properties. The problem was, with six out of seven negatively geared, he found himself with less cash each week instead of more.
In a ‘firesale’ that cost him $300,000, Ian sold all but one of his properties. With the money left over, he started afresh with a positively geared property. Within 13 months, a newly accumulated portfolio was bringing in enough cash for Ian to leave his job while still supporting his wife and four young daughters. Despite his success, he was struggling to find meaning in his life and he realised that his next goal had to be helping others, and ensuring his property strategies made sense before they made dollars.
After extensive research, Ian and his wife discovered many successful approaches to housing that were in the international arena. They took the best of these and tailored a product to suit the Australian demographic. Ian is now recognised as Australia’s leading micro apartment, rooming and boarding house specialist.
Over the past seven years, Ian’s speaking engagements have resulted in more than 100,000 people being educated in this area, from top Executives to attendees at homelessness conferences.
With a focus on making a positive impact on the community, Ian’s intent is on bringing back genuine community connection through the provision of elegant housing diversification. A regular on Sky News Real Estate, Ian is frequently interviewed by ABC Radio Tasmania, featured in Virgin’s in-flight magazine, and appeared on many prominent podcasts to discuss alternative solutions to the affordable housing crisis.