Is property investment the sole preserve of men or is it fair game for the fairer sex as well? We daringly ask Renesial Leong, dubbed ‘Asia’s Queen of Property’ regarding this and other burning questions that brings to light the property game and how it can be played by women as well.
While property investment may seem like a guy thing and is heavily dominated by men, due to its pricier entry point and the perception that it is either for the intellectual or the bold, our chat with Renesial Leong proved otherwise and that even women can make an impact in the game and leverage on it for financial security and remarkable gains.
iProperty (Ai Cheng): What are some of the challenges and stereotypes against increased female participation in property?
Renesial Leong (RL): The first challenge that I foresee for ladies would likely be security issues, whether it is at the viewing stage or the leasing stage, women need to take extra precautions during a site visit. Due to this, engaging in a professional real estate agent or negotiator is a plus as they would have already done the security screening for you.
As for stereotypes, I think that the drive to be financially secure in order to provide a better quality of life for loved ones do seem like the main motivation for a lot of women investors out there to cast aside the stereotype that only the cash rich, high risk taker male would fit the profile of a successful property investor. For myself, when I looked at the portfolios of many rich and famous individuals, they would either have made it or parked their money in property, which then drove me to learn and pick up property investment myself. I’m proud to say that just after seven years, I was financially free through property investment.
iP: In your opinion, why should women invest in property?
RL: I think that the rising need for women to be financially independent in this day and age is among one of the leading reasons that a woman needs to invest in property not just as a hedge against inflation but also to build financial stability. Secondly, as women wear many hats, wife, mother, employer or employee and etc, the incessant juggling always makes time in short supply. Hence, creating a secondary stream of income via passive income becomes essential in having more time to fulfill their many roles and not having to work so hard in saving up active income. Once a lady starts investing and grows confident of her decisions, financial freedom can be achieved through property investment as active income alone may not be sufficient to meet lifestyle needs alone.
First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage
iP: In your opinion, should ladies participate in property investment by themselves or in joint partnerships with their other half?
RL: When it comes to marriage and property investment, it depends on the couple’s preferences as my graduates have done both, either buying under the wife’s name or under a joint name. I was even told that a couple would invest in one property each once every two years and would buy a jointly-owned property once every three years. This arrangement has suited them and likely too, many other couples out there.
iP: In your opinion, what are the advantages and pitfalls of this arrangement?
RL: In terms of end-financing, buying under a joint name would of course enable couples to take their joint income into consideration and apply for a higher loan margin. The other advantage is during loan application, the younger partner’s age would also be taken to determine the loan tenure, so that the repayment could be spread out over a longer period, translating to lower monthly mortgage repayments.
From One Queen to Another
iP: As you are considered by many as the ‘Queen of Property’, who was your role model?
RL: The Queen of England! I was amazed to know that Her Majesty is the wealthiest landlord in UK with a rental income so huge, the earnings, when broken down to hourly revenue, would stun you!
iP: What are considered priceless gems of wisdom that you would give ladies on the brink of property investment like yourself?
RL: I think that the most common opener I hear after my seminars would be, “If only I attended your course 10 years ago Renesial, I would have…” accompanied with a regretful sigh. However, life is just too short for all the could haves, should haves and would haves. It is obvious that the ladies who have said this either do not know the property investment game, have made mistakes before or have taken the scenic route in property investment.
Like any other financial investment, learning about the game before parting with any money is essential in avoiding the pitfalls of investment. This is the same rule that applies to anyone who is considering property investment. When you seek education only after you have made the mistake, the burden of undoing the mistake make take years to erase.
As property investment involves parting with huge sums of hard-earned money, making a mistake often costs a lot, whether it is getting the wrong property or tenant, with its resident headaches, heartaches and white hair. At the end of the day, the best investment is still investing in yourself by learning the skills to needed to effectively maximize your investment. Choose a trustworthy mentor who has gone through the whole process before and the return on investment would be tremendous!
Popularly known as “Asia’s Queen of Property” Renesial is an extremely successful property investor with more than 20 years of proven track record. Best-selling author of “Property Jewels” and “Your Tenants Your Jewel”, “Commercial Property Jewels and The Magic of Property Investment” this Master Trainer is a much sought-after speaker at international and regional events. Renesial’s greatest joy is having the ability to help people achieve financial freedom. The reason is simple – with financial security comes the ability to live life to the fullest and create great value not only for ourselves but also our loved ones and the less fortunate.
Chan Ai Cheng
General Manager, S. K. Brothers Realty (M) Sdn Bhd
Registered Estate Agent with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia
Certified Residential Specialist, NAR USA
Certified International Property Specialist, NAR USA
Registered Financial Consultant, IARFC
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