This article is translated from our Chinese article here.
Someone asked me this question during one of my courses:-
“Teacher, you have been asking us to take up mortgages from the bank to buy properties, but now there are still a lot of properties that are unsold. Are you sure that property investment still a viable option?”
I looked up and saw the person asking the question. He is a young man in his 30s. He looks angry enough like he wants to eat me alive.
“What makes you say that?” I asked.
He said: “Malaysia’s property market has been in oversupply. Even the government says that there are many properties that cannot be sold. If we apply the economic principle, the price of real estate will not rise anymore in the next decade, or it will definitely fall.”
I smiled and asked, “What is your name? How old are you this year?”
“My name is Marcus. I am 30 years old.”
“Marcus, the Malaysia that you are seeing now is what Singapore was 10 years ago. The Singapore you are seeing now is what Hong Kong was ten years ago. The Hong Kong you are seeing now, is what Japan was 10 years ago. Do you agree with this?”
“That’s good. Now you tell me why is the cost of living in these countries so high?”
“Because of…… inflation”
“That’s right! Can we be excluded from inflation?”
Marcus shook his head. “Then do you hate inflation?”
Marcus begin to cool down little, he nodded with a faint hint of a smile.
“Yes, no one in this room will like inflation, because it drives prices up. But inflation must happen, no country can be spared. This is the people’s review of the government’s KPI, no inflation means the economy is not good. If the economy is not good, people’s lives will be very difficult, because the surrounding countries have surpassed you.
Why did they do so?
Because they want to make their own country famous. Let the beauty of their country be known to more people, let people envy and yearn to come to their country.
These countries have one thing in common, their real estate prices are already very high, but the fertility rate is very low. This is inevitable. Inflation drive prices up, and when people are unable to raise more children, so they naturally have lesser children.
In other words, they build more houses, yet fewer people have the ability to buy them. So, is the property market going into a slump?
No. They turned their attention to tourism.
As long as more and more people go to their country to travel, study or do business, the demand for housing will always be there. Both long-term and short-term industries can be used to pull the property market back up again.
“Oversupply is only a temporary condition. Malaysia’s property market is still very competitive throughout Southeast Asia. Although the future is hard to predict, this kind of forecast tells us that Malaysia’s property market holds great potential.”
You have to have confidence in this situation. If you are always optimistic, good things will be easy to come by you. Of course, it is necessary to continuously improve yourself, or you will be irrelevant soon.
If you want to learn more about property entrepreneurship from Dato’ Sri Adrian Wee, please click on the link below and register yourself for our FREE 3 hours preview class: http://bit.ly/awblgcn
Recently I noticed some employees in my company are more entrepreneurial than others and are thus given more opportunities / responsibilities than others. This leads to my office manager asking me, “How is it that we spot that some of our colleagues are more entrepreneurial than others.”
There are many ways to spot an entrepreneur, but from an employer perspective, I am basically looking for these 4 main traits from my employees:-
Entrepreneurs are by definition innovative. They are creative and will find ways to solve the problem. However, due to office bureaucracy, if they are still new or not comfortable sharing an idea with you, they might be hard to spot.
Through their action, they often times set a goal or target by themselves, report their goal or target to their superior, and then proceed to work hard to achieve it. If you bump into them during lunchtime, chances are they are not spending it playing mobile games, but listening to videos/talks by other successful entrepreneurs or learning about self-improvement.
They are hunger and constantly want better things for themselves. Which leads to the second point.
Thirst for Knowledge
While these employees might take initiative by themselves, a huge pain point for them is if there is no one to guide/mentor them in the office. You see, the entrepreneurial employee will never always work for money. Although given a fat enough pay cheque might make them consider to stay, but their end goal is always to start a business or do something of their own.
Therefore, always pay attention to employees who are willing to put on the extra hours without expecting to be compensated for their hours. They are always willing to work harder than anyone else, and your job is to keep stimulating their mind, keep making sure that you yourself are growing so that you can guide them in return.
Another important trait is being resilient. These are the employees who will not just give up when they are met with an obstacle, instead, they will do their research, find out why what they are doing is not working, and correct course.
In other words, they are treating their job more than just a job. They are not just doing the minimal expected from them but is working as if the company is theirs and that they are the CEO. Being resilient, coupled with another trait – make them almost unstoppable, truly a force to be reckoned with if they are working with you and not your competitor.
Ready for the last trait?
Being resilient is one thing – but if you are being resilient in consistently doing the wrong thing – then it is not something we want. Resilience must be coupled with resourcefulness, and by this, I mean the ability to get the task done.
Employees in my office are encouraged to #levelup, participate in new courses and the company will pay the bill. All they need to do is, “I need to attend this course, for this price, to produce this result.” I don’t see why I should withhold employees who want to consistently improve themselves – especially when it is done for the benefit of the company too!
What are You Going To Do About It?
When meeting this kind of employees – regular, mundane daily tasks will always never work for them. Doing the same thing over and over again will make them feel bored and that they are not learning.
The best way to utilise their strength? Always give them a special project to work on. For example, let them lead a team of people to start a new franchise or a new company. That will ensure that they will continuously be learning new things while keeping them constantly engaged and learning new things.
For most people, the only investment strategy they have is to buy a property (or stock or shares for that matter), and start praying to all the Gods in the world. Of course, nature will take its course, and when things don’t work out the way they want it to, they have absolutely ZERO back up plan! Heck, they don’t even know why they are buying that asset in the first place (other than being told by their family and friends OR other gurus to buy).
The problem with most people is that they are living a life like an “ostrich in the sand” while trying to be an investor. An investor, by nature, is someone knowledgeable and he is trying to play a game of forecasting the future. Notice I use the word forecast, NOT predict. The point is not if you are right or wrong, but if you are wrong, what are your game plan and exit strategy?
All these matters – forecasting the Malaysian Property Market and having a game plan – simply means that the investor must be very learned and knowledgeable, and to be learned and know you cannot be like the proverbial ostrich with your head in the sand. Lift your head up and see what’s around you! What’re the possible incoming dangers, and most importantly, what are the opportunities.
That’s why in my course – Die With Massive Debts – I have never really tell people where to buy (unless of course people are asking where I am buying, and I tell them which place I think is a good investment – up to them to follow me). It is more important that they have the knowledge themselves – and that is why I have taught them about the “13 Principles” which is my trade secret.
The “13 Principles” will tell you if the property is good and if you should buy it, but ultimately you also need to know what is your game plan. Sun Tzu in “Art of War” said, “know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” By the end of this article, you will probably have more questions than answer, and that is good because it forces you to think before you act, rather than just jumping head first into the wall.
Here are a few points to consider for yourself:-
Is this a time to buy or a time to sell? The government recently lowered the overnight policy rate (OPR) to provide economic relief. Furthermore, there is a new initiative called “Stay2Own” by Ecoworld – it all points to a more vibrant, robust property market. In case you don’t already know, this initiate allow you for to rent for up to 5 years before deciding if you want to buy the property, and the best part is that the rent that you have paid for 5 years can be used to offset some of your downpayment.
Against this backdrop, you need to decide if you would prefer to sell your property, or rent it to tenants? Either way, you would need to know who your clients are in the Malaysian property market, and in what way you can add value to your property to cater to them.
The property that has been purchased – how well aware of you of it’s surrounding? What is your intention in investing in this particular property in the first place? To rent it out to students from a nearby college? Seems sustainable. But how much are they willing to pay for? Also, some students live a pretty wild lifestyle (night parties and such) – if there is damage to the property and they “cabut” – do you have cash reserve for repair work?
Furthermore, if you are planning to rent to working adults, what then is the average pay for the people in this area? If the average pay of people in this area is RM 3,000 and you are trying to rent out this unit for RM 2,500 – do you really think that this plan will work? It would be more feasible to rent out room by room at RM 1,000 or RM 800 instead?
This will also affect your decision on how to stage/renovate this property, as we can see below.
So what is your plan in purchasing this property? Do you intend to buy it to flip? Or for rental?
If you buy a property to flip – most probably you are selling it to people with family. As such, spend at least 10% of purchase price to “stage” your property. You do not want to sell your bare unit looking like a rehab center, right?
Therefore, consider spending more on renovation. Note that renovation must be for things that the “eye can see.” Chandelier, carpet, wallpaper to name a few. If you go and change the piping (unless it is leaking), who can see that you have put up an effort for that unit?
There is also a thing that a lot of investors neglect, especially in the Malaysian Property Market. Besides our sense of sight, we have other senses – mainly smell and hearing. Try putting potpourri or some other pleasant smell when bringing people to view your property. If everything else fails, try to put a packet of coffee in a small bowl, it will give out a pleasant aroma.
As for hearing, try switching on some classical music at the background. Just like any business proposal, we want our prospect to feel good when viewing our house (which is basically our proposal).
If you intend to rent out the house to students, a different set of ball game. Look is not as important. Instead, try decorating the property with practical items. Single bed. Cupboard. Table. Study lamp. Washing machines. Don’t spend too much as you might need to increase the rent to cover the initial cost. Basic. Practical. And of course, comfortable. They will appreciate that more than fancy designs by interior designers.
Also, know your risk. If you buy the property for either flipping or renting, what if all your plans failed? What if you cannot sell the property at the price which you expected to, neither can you rent it out? If you are holding a cash-out property, how many more months can you “tahan” the bleeding before foreclosure?
These are the things which you must take into consideration in the Malaysian Property Market. What about short term rental? Air B&B is a good option here. Otherwise, perhaps renting out at a lower price? Yes, you will still bleed, but at least it doesn’t hurt as much. No one likes negative gearing, but if it must be done, it must be done.
How much money do you have? If you buy such and such and such properties – how long is your holding power? How many months can you bleed before forfeiture? How many months have you got to work with to either sell or rent that property?
There are opinions out there which says that cash-out properties in Malaysian Property Market are bad. I disagree. It actually depends on your personality and how you spend money. If you cash out on properties and use the money for leisure, travel and such, then, of course, it won’t work. But does that mean that the plan is bad?
No. It just means that you don’t have the strength to see it through. This plan is not for you – even if it is available to you. That simply means that you need to find other alternatives/investment methods that work for you!
You see this is the beauty of property investment. A friend once mine once told me, “in currencies and stock investment, discipline is the key. You need to have a game plan – if the price drops to here, you quit with a loss. If the price goes up to here – you quit with a profit.”
This is because, in currencies and stock investment, there is nothing you can do when all things turn to hell. You cannot go into the company and whack the board of directors. You cannot put your hands into the graph and physically pull the graph up. You basically can just sit there and cry. That’s why discipline is important – to stick to the game plan and exit as planned.
However, in property investment – there are plenty of things you can do. That is the reason why I love property investment. You renovate it, make more rooms, AirB&B (short term rental) or what not. Holding power is important in any investments – and it is never truer in property investment.
In order to do so, you will need to have knowledge. It won’t cut for you to just buy a property and hope and pray for the results! Remember, a veteran investor always think of risks first, and not reward. What if everything goes wrong? How much must I bleed to fix things?
Follow us at our links below, maybe you will get to pick my brains when I do my postings on how you should be running your business and how to do it when it comes to property investment.
Often times I get questions – “Adrian how do I start a business when I am just a university graduate or when I am still studying?” or “How do I start a business when I am still unemployed?”
The quick answer: YOU DON’T. Now if you have been following my work for some time now, you should know that I am all about practicality, so this is a step-by-step guide on how you can build wealth.
First Stage: Getting a Job
Go get a job first. Work to get some money coming in, pay your bills, put food on the table for your family, and start saving. Don’t be ashamed to get a proper job, and don’t be ashamed to climb higher in your job. Nothing to be ashamed off as long as the work is decent and legal.
I myself have worked in a supermarket before, carrying heavy boxes and stacking cans on the shelves. These are the sorts of low-paying job that you would expect a foreigner to do – I have been there before doing those jobs.
How can you expect yourself to pay money for the books you want to buy, courses you want to attend and hire a consultant to guide you? These materials and advice are not cheap, to say the least.
So get your lazy ass to work and start saving some money. Once you have at least RM 10,000 then we can talk.
Stage Two: Developing a Skill
Now that you have worked for a year or two, you should by now notice two things that have changed in you. Which two things?
One, by now, during the course of your work, you should have discovered what you are good at – whether when it comes to negotiating with your customer, your workmanship, your ability to manage people and what not. Two, by now too you should have had some savings. A minimum of RM 10,000 is a good amount to start with.
Now, let’s say you are good at some skill – it is important for you to attend courses (using the money from your saving if your company doesn’t want to sponsor you) to enhance that skill. Take me for example, I am good at designing, therefore I attend interior design classes to enhance this skill of mine.
Once you have acquired that extra skill, then you can start to have some side hustle. Some freelancing work/projects to do after your 9-6 job. If your skill is similar to what you are currently doing in your 9-6 job, great! It means that you can use the same skill to spontaneously scale on your side business and your 9-6 job at the same time.
Third Stage: The Business
Hopefully, after a year or two of side hustle, while keeping your 9-6 job AND attending seminars, then you will have sufficient contacts to start a business. You should have contacts. After all, you have attended seminars for a year or two and showing your faces to people of the same industry.
Now that you have a business and if you are good at what you are doing, it is time to hire more people. That is how you leverage other people’s time and skill. Naturally, once your business gets better, you can consider expanding and scaling your business.
Fourth Stage: Investment
Once you have some money (I am talking about RM50,000 minimum), this is when investment opportunities will open itself to you. I would recommend property investment as it is the only investment which you can leverage.
I have written a separate article on it here. However, with your skill and money that you have now, you can consider other investment options. As a general rule by Warren Buffet, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Don’t rely solely on one investment. I leave it to you to find other investment opportunities such as stocks or any other assets – I am not in the position to advise you.
I hope that you can see the pathway now. Don’t ask for financial advice when we don’t even know at what stage you are currently in. You should follow different advice if you are at a different stage.
If you are still working, the best advice is to enhance your skill, not invest your money. What little money that you have saved will not yield good investment results. That money is better spent on yourself – enhancing your skill. I’ve always mentioned, your skill cannot be taxed or taken away from you – it is the best investment!
Notice how of all the things I’ve talked above, the least I’ve talked about is actually about doing business. Yet that is the ONLY way people know of building wealth. Many young people (millennials especially) – I don’t know what is wrong with their head – but they tend to think that getting a normal job is degrading and wants to start a business immediately. Hey, smartass, you have no valuable skill to offer to the market yet. Statistically speaking, 50% of Small and Business Enterprises in Malaysia fail within the first 5 years of establishment.
So there you have it, a practical guide to scale your wealth. If you want to learn more about how to scale your business, or about property entrepreneurship, contact me at the links below.
Now since this article is about story-telling, I think that it is only befitting that I begin with a story to tell. In 2009, Rob Walker and Joshua Green bought 100 items on eBay for an average of $1.25 each.
Then, they hired 10 creative writers to write 100 different stories with regards to each item before reselling them on eBay. The results? The net profit from this experiment is $8,000 – that’s 6,400% profit! To his credit, Rob Walker went on to donate the profit to various charities.
Now, what is it that makes a seemingly insignificant object, suddenly becomes so valuable just because a story has been added onto it? I have a few theories of my own on what it is so, and we shall explore that.
We all have heard of the saying, “People don’t like to be sold, but they like to buy!”
Now the next question is, “How will they buy?” Of course, they can only buy when they see the value in something that they are purchasing, and this is when the power of story-telling kicks in.
You see, putting a great story behind a seemingly ordinary product connects the client with what they are purchasing. The client now has a vested emotional investment towards these products.
They no longer see the doll as any ordinary doll, but it can be a doll haunted by a spirit like in the case of “Haunted Seductrist Sadistic Ruthless Porcelain Doll.” Yes, that seemingly ordinary doll went on for sale for $100.
Giving a story to your products gives them a sense of exclusivity too because no two stories are the same. Yes, to you it is just an ordinary product, but to the buyer, the significance is different due to the story it is connected with.
Having a story to tell is also a very good way to grab the attention of your audience. There is something in us that loves a good story, and it gets to us each time.
Take for example our children, they certainly enjoyed a great bed-time story before going to bed. Think about it for a moment – writing was only invented about 3,000 years ago. Humanity has been here for at least 5 million years.
During those times before writing was invented, the only way human can transmit their knowledge is through drawings in the cave – which is just basically a primitive way of telling a story. Therefore, it is deeply embedded in our psyche after all these millions of years that we love a good story.
A story also makes you more humane. It gives another perspective to the audience that you understands what they feel – that you too have been in their position feeling their anger, their frustration, their sadness, disappointment, and that you have found a way out.
All these give the audience a feeling that they are not just another business transaction, but that you are there to genuinely trying to help them – which you are. A different approach in convincing your client – through storytelling – is a good way of connecting with them.
So there you have it – on why a good story goes a long way. Do you have a story to tell us? How about dropping us a message here:-
By the way, we have FREE 3 hours preview class about property entrepreneurship. If you are keen to hear our story instead, sign up here:-http://bit.ly/2DPCosC
In our previous article under the same title, we have looked at the cons of buying property using company name. But does that mean that we shouldn’t do it and that this is totally useless?
Not necessarily so. Buying properties using company name has it’s own benefit when it comes to control and taxes. We’ll dwell into it right now.
When your property portfolio starts to grow, the amount of taxes which you are paying can sometimes be quite scary. Therefore, one of the ways in which they can reduce their tax liability is through buying properties under a company name instead.
However, this doesn’t apply to most of us average investors. It will only apply to you once you have, as mentioned above, a significant amount of properties that are giving you plenty of monies in rent. Other than that, it is just not worth to hire a company secretary and pay for all the cost it comes with setting up your own company.
It is also worth noting that if you have a company under your name, you might be able to save some cost for renovation or refurbishing expenses for the property itself.
As mentioned, buying properties through a company can come in handy when it comes to a matter of control and this is especially true when you are doing group purchase/investment.
It is just basically a nightmare if you are buying a property with 5 other people. You cannot have 5 names in your Sales and Purchase agreement to get one property, right?
Therefore, what you should do is to get a have joint ownership as directors of the company. What will happen is that you will own your share of the company, and it is the property will be purchased under the company name.
Thus, you only own the company instead of the property, and once the property is liquidated, you will get your money equivalent to your share of the property. Such a move will also allow you to avoid any issues should one of the directors pass away, as again you will only get your money corresponding to your share in the property.
Most of you expats who want to live in Malaysia know that you are only allowed to purchase properties that are more than RM 1,000,000 in KL and RM 2,000,000 in Selangor.
However, if you are the director of a Sdn. Bhd. company, you will be able to purchase a property that is below the cap because the property is considered a Malaysian entity that has been registered in Malaysia. However, the majority shareholder of that company has to be Malaysian too.
You’ll be able to gain access to cheaper properties, but this does require your other Malaysian directors to be keen to take on the loan and are also capable to take on the loan based on their own DSR.
So there you have it, the pros and cons of purchasing a property in Malaysia using company name instead. Overall it is only particularly useful if you are big enough, or for matter of control over the property.