An Actuarial Science major, Sen’s love for numbers is apparent. She had always excelled in mathematics and loves asking the question “What if?”. Putting her skills in financial analysis and risk management to good use, this petite lass is now the owner of 28 properties in Klang Valley and Johor.
Taking the first step
Relating how her interest in property investing all began, Sen said, “I was in college when I first considered investing. Reading Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad “was an eye-opener for me as I realised the importance of financial independence and building wealth through real estate investing”.
It changed my mindset to start focusing on cash flow investment rather than the typical buy, wait and pray strategy. And after some research, I uncovered that property is the safest form of investment and the best leverage as you can passively invest and watch your money grow.
“One of the book’s key takeaway message was that in order to improve one’s business and financial aptitude, one has to increase his/her financial intelligence – and that was exactly what I did,” she added.
To equip herself with the know-hows and the fundamentals of real estate investing, she began to attend numerous property talk and seminars in 2012. Among the notable ones was a Freeman’s course, “Property Investment with No Money Down” by Michael Tan which taught her the essentials of sub-sale investment and how to get tenants to pay for your monthly mortgage repayments.
The second one was the Buy and Sell seminar by Rachel Lim, the founder of CORE Investors; which taught Sen how to carry out research how to master negotiation skills in order to reap profits.
The Guiding Hand of Mentors
“I have seen many investors who plunge headfirst into investing without really understanding what their financial capabilities are and how to manage a healthy cash flow, thus they either fail to secure tenants or encounter problems in servicing their loan,” revealed Sen.
She figured from the beginning that learning from the experts in the industry is the best way for her to succeed in property investing. Sen believes that an expert or a mentor will take you to your goal quickly and with fewer pitfalls. Besides that, they can provide insights that are rare and teach through example.
That is why Sen chose to learn from the experts as their step by step guidance is the sure shot way for her to advance from a novice investor. “Michael and Rachel taught me the ropes on how to manoeuvre through the ups and downs of property investment,” shared Sen.
Sen began to scout around for her first piece of property in 2013. Describing her approach, Sen said,” Using Michael’s and Rachel’s frameworks, I went on to research the Kuala Lumpur property market and studied new launches. Her mathematical knowledge comes in handy when calculating the required monthly cash flow, potential rental yields and reserve cash needed before investing.
“My mantra when investing is to use little cash upfront while leveraging on loan financing. I put down RM10,000 for my first piece of property, a condominium in Setapak and managed to flip it 3 months later at an RM90,000 profit,” said Sen.
In the following months, Sen continued to search for good sub-sale properties that suited her investment portfolio. She balances her property portfolio with 60% sub-sale rented properties that are highly liquid and 40% of new launches that has high capital appreciation opportunities. Her investment strategy was to focus on no money down properties and to pool all of these together for a rental yield at least 7-8% per annum.
“Each time when I purchase a property, without fail, I will carry out my due diligence and take down all the necessary details before hand. Everything from carrying on a background search on sellers’ profiles and land title search to checking my CCRIS, said Sen.
The single biggest challenge for Sen is to execute the exit strategy, as when her property portfolio grows in size, it gets difficult to coordinate all of her investments and juggle between sourcing for tenants and securing buyers.
Also, as all of her investments were based on the minimum cash down fundamental, she has to consider all angles before making the final call and the main one being ensuring that her prior investments will cover for her future properties’ monthly instalments.
Making A difference
Having cut her teeth with some of the industry’s experts and being taught by some of the best, Sen is looking to be a property mentor herself. Currently involved in property management and education, she is a director at Community of Real Estate Investors (CORE). Established by full-time property investors, the company carries out property seminars and financial education sessions. Her goal is to reach out to as many people as possible on the benefits of property investment.
As she-puts-it, “Investing is about creating opportunities — giving your children the opportunity to attend the college of their choice; enjoying the opportunity to see the world with a loved one; or chasing that dream of launching your own business.
Are you looking to venture down the road of property investing but am not quite sure where to start? Do yourself a favour and drop by http://residentialsecrets.coreinvestors.asia