Batman and Robin

April 12, 2019

Hello again, reader. Thank you so much for keeping me company on my journey so far. If you haven’t read my last two articles, you could always check them out for more edification.

Now that we’ve covered the basic values and knowledge that were integral to my success, I wish to share another facet from my past that made an impact on my career.

There’s a saying that goes ‘if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go with friends.’ and I find that there is some truth to that saying because a lot of my successes in the real estate industry came about as a result of my collaboration with an awesome individual who goes by the name of Nicholas Tan Chin Hua or just Chin Hua for short.

Chin Hua and I met during college when we were both at the dawn of our 20’s. When I first noticed him, I found him funny, outgoing, and charismatic which might explain why he’d always be surrounded by a bunch of people. His traits coupled with his complexion along with his affable aura was what made him a superstar in my eyes and I often wondered how I could be more like him.

We officially met at a club called Atmosphere during a friend’s birthday party where I was given a weird whiskey cocktail that contained chewy toppings; which I later found out was Chin Hua’s puked out Char Kueh Teow from a café called chi cheong gai. Looking back now, I guess I should have been angry for being given puke cocktail but his laughter was so infectious that I couldn’t help but smile; It was the start of a beautiful friendship.

Now, I’ve heard before that ‘once you’ve tasted another person’s saliva, you would most likely be together for a lifetime’ and judging by how long my partnership with Chin Hua has lasted – slightly over 10 years now – I guess that saying is pretty accurate, and though he and I were polar opposites, we found that our individual strengths actually complimented one another. Thereafter, we became a dynamic duo with the sole mission of achieving financial independence through various means.

Our first attempt at completing that mission was through online gambling but it was only a short lived venture as we ultimately lost more than we won, despite my rigorous planning – which involved my housemate, Michael Tang, who was studying to be an actuary at the time which helped him analyse our chances of winning – and Chin Hua’s brilliant execution. We learned the hard way that gamblers will always lose at the end of the day.

Luckily, we weren’t too caught up with our little scheme as Chin Hua and I were both learning all we could about property investments at the time.
My interest in the real estate trade was influenced by my father who was a business man himself, being the 1st franchisee for McDonald’s in Malaysia but I mostly learned about the trade from my Two Rich Mums who taught me how to take down properties with minimal capital, leverage on facilities and win the cash flow game. Truly, I feel blessed for having them as mentors as I may not have had the jump start that I did without them.

So, by the time I was 21, I started investing in property with a focus on interior design as I knew how important it was in attracting prospective tenants. Meanwhile, Chin Hua also jumped into the real estate trade by focusing on auction properties. His natural charisma allowed him to take down great deals in addition to closing countless sales. We both actually did quite well for ourselves in the real estate industry despite coming from different backgrounds but it still wasn’t enough.

Which brings us to the 31st of May 2015 when Chin Hua passed over some units to me to handle the interior design. I remember the date well because it was my first time diving into a project as the lead designer and when I handed over the units by June of that very year, we found that units were later taken up quickly with a rental yield of 8.75% and that the ROI for the interior design of those units were all less than 6 months.

Then, it was like something just clicked between Chin Hua and I; and we came up with an idea to form a one-stop-centre for property investors who were looking to build their portfolios with a healthy cash flow. That idea swiftly turned into a business model which played to our respective strengths.

Consequently, on October of that very year, IDeas Makeover was born!
It’s been nearly 4 years now since we started, and as far as I can tell, we are still going strong since each passing year seems to bring with it the type of growth and prosperity that both Chin Hua and I could only dream of accomplishing as a duo.

On that note, I’d like to leave you with a thought:
The key to succeeding in anything you do in life is to work with great people, but since greatness is purely subjective, you should take their attitude and personality into account as that is where trust can be built; and it’s in that trust where you’ll find peace and comfort in knowing that no matter how tough the situation was for you all, it was definitely worth it.

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