Nhan Nguyen Transcript

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PART 1

Nhan Nguyen:
One of my phrases that I teach is get in get out get paid right so get in get out get paid so that you’re not exposed to the long term changes of the market.

Tyrone Shum:
This is Property Investory where we talk to successful property investors to find out more about their stories, mindset and strategies.

I’m Tyrone Shum and in this episode we’re speaking with property developer Nhan Nguyen. Growing up in the suburbs of Brisbane to Vietnamese refugee parents, Nguyen started his property journey quite young, owning 3 properties by the age of 21. You’ll hear all about his back story and the biggest lesson he’s learnt from the property development game.

Born to Vietnamese parents, Nguyen identifies himself as being a property entrepreneur, who specialises in deals that minimise the investment of his own money.

Nhan Nguyen:
I’m Vietnamese, the parents came over from Vietnam in 1975 and look I’m a I’d call myself a property entrepreneur so I do a handful of things related to property development property education you know from time to time I’ll do land subdivisions as well as renovations but my preference is definitely land some revisions I’m working on four projects at this point in time childcare center site a large land subdivision or 30 odd lots to small land subdivisions.

So the majority of my deals are done using that I’m using my own money to settle the childcare center site in Melbourne I think purchase price around 840. I put less than 20 thousand dollars in myself to settle the site and if I need to we can capital raise the rest. So yeah a lot of these are the sites that I do a using or little of my own money and that’s my specialty being able to do deals with a little of my own cash and be able to teach that others as well.

Tyrone Shum:
While there is no typical day for Nguyen, he often spends his time juggling his various businesses, investment projects, meetings and events.

Nhan Nguyen:
I manage a couple of businesses one is a property development business and like I mentioned before being a property developer jungle a handful of projects. At the moment I’m doing a large vision as well as a childcare center and then international isolation provision so I’m managing the process of acquisitions the process of development and sales of those various projects as well as run a proper education seminar business so I juggle those two and we’ve got to change working on various projects and basically bring those projects out of the ground into fruition and make them profitable. So it’s a very very busy day. Sometimes I’m in meetings with town planners engineers. Other times I’m talking to potential other speakers to speak of my events.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen is able to handle all of these tasks by leading groups of trustworthy teams that assist in all his ventures.

Nhan Nguyen:
There is it’s a lot to juggle and I know for people especially if you’re working a job it’s hard to fathom what the capacity that a person has but it’s taken me a while to be able to manage and lead people. So for example in my education business I’ll have let’s say a half a dozen team about half a dozen some people are local some people are overseas to be able to organise copyright organise websites organise speakers organise my schedule and at the same time I’ve got a property team full time acquisitions guy part time virtual assistant and engineers in town planners and surveyors and things like that which are outsourced so I think the main thing to be able to keep things on track are moving forward. Most of the time they’re not on track it’s their lives to council more than anything else with development is being able to manage teams and be able to communicate to Indiana and ask what you want and they have to train them as well as often times. That’s the key distinction is you know what you want but how do you communicate it in a way that other people can give it to you and be happy about it as well. Sometimes you can throw a tantrum and ask for what you want but not necessarily get it.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen learned leadership skills and the importance of a team early on.

Nhan Nguyen:
When I was younger in my late teens and early 20s I had found myself a mentor and I’d do a mentoring and training for others but when I started out I had my own. You could say rich dad and he coached me and were early things he told me to do was go do some multi-level marketing and at that point in time I was Yamini even after basically follow his instructions and through that training of multi-level they taught you know sales skills and communication skills and personality types and how to lead people and how to do sales and things like that. I believe that a lot of that fundamental training came from the early years of my life and as I pushed forward with goals and dreams and things that I realised he was right. A lot of the leadership skills and personal into personal skills with people are so critical I can get what you want because you’re going to basically find out what they want because if you can give people what they want you can get what you want. It’s a balancing act of all time energy participation and being able to diligently pursue your dreams.

Tyrone Shum:
Growing up to refugee parents in Brisbane, Nguyen was originally set to go down a very different career path.

Nhan Nguyen:
I grew up in an area called Ipswitch which is on the west side of Brisbane. We grew up in housing commission. My parents were refugees. They met in Australia actually and they came over in 1975 after the fall of Saigon there. And yes I grew up in a suburb called Carroll Park which anyone in Brisbane will know is a very industrial and rundown area. Yeah you definitely wouldn’t want to raise your kids there in the 80s it was okay it wasn’t too bad but yeah definitely low or bottom socioeconomic part of town and that’s all my parents could afford being Housing Commission refugees. So yeah that’s how I grew up and they encouraged me to study hard because obviously if I could get good grades it meant I could get a good job and get some financial security. So that was really much where I grew up and the unfortunate part of all that was that even though I did get good grades and I wanted to become a doctor as per their advice. Thirty years until I realised that wasn’t really what I wanted to do and that was where the fork in the road at a roundabout the age of 19. At the same time I began to a few seminars got the same property business seminars a multilevel seminars share seminars offshore managed funds seminars anything I could go to. It was very much that I didn’t wanted to become a doctor it was a path that really conflicted with the theory of Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad Poor Dad cash flow quadrant make money with money which don’t work for money and then yeah I’d really had to choose a path that was in reinvent myself though.

Tyrone Shum:
Despite finishing a science degree, he didn’t end up going on to study medicine.

Nhan Nguyen:
I actually did go to university and I studied Bachelor of Science and I found that the more so a husband more houses I looked at my grades started to drop and drop and drop and I remember even my third year of my science degree which I eventually received because I think the University of Queensland felt sorry for me because I felt I failed one of this biochemistry. I was out looking at houses the day before that it should have been starting but my interest just wasn’t there and it was really really tough. I remember talking my parents halfway through Greece and this is not what I want to do and crying for me to cry. It took a lot. I was so upset about the past and I just persisted to finish it off because I’m not one of those people who quit halfway through the year. So yeah one of the subject I failed biochemistry and that they gave me my degree. But at the main while I was going through the seminar phase I applied to become a doctor through what’s called the dance act which is a test we had to become a doctor and I failed that not once but twice. So yeah they talk about it wasn’t meant to be. I don’t think it was not meant to be as such as more so that I was basically sabotaging myself from performing and killing off the opportunity and closing that door subconsciously anyway. So even if I wanted to I couldn’t become a doctor. That door was shut down and then I started to request and apply for the jobs at some of the seminar businesses that I went to so I applied for one job and I ended up becoming one of the employees.

Tyrone Shum:
So much to his parents dismay, he pursued what he was really interested in.

Nhan Nguyen:
Initially I was a customer for a year or so and then I end up becoming an employee of theirs and started to learn about property on the inside because they were teaching it and then I starting to learn it then that pretty much my progression from going to university leaving university and working for a property education company and leaving there and going to a property marketing company and learning the ins and outs of put and call options small developments construction bill contracts and within that two to three year timeframe I’d learnt enough and had enough courage and resources to be able to get my job properly full time. So now I know it’s a bit of accelerated story here.

Tyrone Shum:
Like many know, straying from your parents wishes can be difficult, but it all turned out for the better in the end.

Nhan Nguyen:
Yeah very much a tough time for me and definitely a tough time for them as well. I think they didn’t really like the fact that it was so painful for me to be able to struggle so that was at high school I’d excelled in those doing sports and music and had had a lot on and was able to conquer also to speak to it to a large degree. Other than a maybe a bit of overwhelm at high school but I think they were more so relieved than anything else. I think I recall a few years later when I was talking to them about that time in my life where I say look you know I’m not I’m not a doctor. I’m still proud of me and I said Look as long as you’re not a drug dealer how would I care what you had.

But at Derby it was a significant thing I felt down right.

I really had let them down and now I’m not sure how old your parents are with yourself with their Asian beliefs and upbringing. But I believe that parents at the end of the day if they’re open to the kids you know performing and being happy as long as they’re making money and as long as they’re happy I think yeah well I mean making money that they’re prospering they don’t necessarily have to be the next Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. I think yeah that’s what my parents have resolved with myself and I can see that with my younger siblings as well because I was under very much a high pressure environment at home growing up but I found that as I grew up my siblings the pressure was taken a lot of them and maybe they saw that it was counterproductive. The high pressure environment whether it’s on me or my siblings but at the end of the day as long as everyone was happy and healthy and productive and not doing stupid stuff and sabotaging their lives and getting on the drugs and stuff and dealing with gangs. So yeah. I believe yeah that’s how my my parents were able to deal with it and these days they’re very happy as long as everybody’s moving forward and not doing stupid things that is great.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen had a fast-paced start to his property investment journey.

Nhan Nguyen:
I remember when I was working for the original let’s say property education company number one I worked for them I think for one year and I did all of buying 200 houses. I didn’t get anywhere close out and I bought three and working for them full time it allowed me to save up deposit it’s allowed me to borrow money so that for the first two properties that I bought in the Ipswich area I used the principles that they were talking about buying under market value adding value by renovations refinancing or selling or whatever and so that was my experience using working with that company the first year that I was in the property market. I was very very active and I bought one property two properties and then a third property within that time after the second property. Essentially I’d run out of cash and serviceability and so the third one I had to figure out how to do no money down.

Tyrone Shum:
Despite not being able to purchase his third property on his own, Nguyen found a way.

Nhan Nguyen:
So at the age of 21 on my third property deal I think it was in November 2001. I was 21 at the time I bought my third property and it was a joint venture. No money down and I got it. Simon had fully funded it. It was quantised I think mechanic at the time and he had a great income and he was at the fund at a property that we bought I think for 85000 67000 on top of 85000 so my point is that the first three projects are in that process and learn how to do a deal using other people’s money. And that was one of my constraints early on is how do you do deals after the bank lend you money and then you run out of money which is a common problem that people have especially when they want to grow and expand so.

Tyrone Shum:
Around this same time, he decided to move on from his first job working with the property education company.

Nhan Nguyen:
So from that within that after that first year I bought these properties I changed jobs in the second company that I worked for had a different angle they weren’t properly educated.

As such they were they were property real estate agents and property market has started to really put them in a box that they thought they had a finance company they built it had builders on board as well as acquisitions teams and things like that so they moved somewhere between 50 and 80 properties a year and within the two years that I worked with them I learnt a lot of things about the bigger world of property how to buy property how to sell property through instruments such as put and call options how to go to a developer and buy a do a take out which is let’s say they might have 20 apartments and they would do a bulk buy and get a 20 30 grand off five 10 properties buying in bulk under option and then on sell them with a 20 to 30 grain margin in their store. I learnt about the instruments that you could buy property and sell property using your own money because that’s what they did that they secure properties under option was apartments whether it’s like at land and then they package them up so they were able to make money off other developers and they’d buy them wholesale and sell them at retail. So yeah during that two years I really learned a lot and even I was getting paid much. I was learning a lot and more than enough to be able to do it on my own in that two year period working with them.

Tyrone Shum:
Coming up after the break, we learn about Nguyen’s first big projects…

Nhan Nguyen:
I’d been I was approached by my mentors or my mentor at the time who told me to go to a multi level back in my late teens. I was basically ready.

Tyrone Shum:
Quitting his job at 23…

Nhan Nguyen:
I use that as a platform to quit my job and do deals because I had a financial backer.  

Tyrone Shum:
As well as lessons learnt from a bad investment.

Nhan Nguyen:
One of my phrases that I teach is get in get out get paid right so get in get out get paid so that you’re not exposed to the long term changes of the market.

Tyrone Shum:
All that and much more, coming up next. I’m Tyrone Shum and you’re listening to Property Investory.

After spending time learning what he needed to know in his first full time job, he was ready to take on bigger projects.

Nhan Nguyen:
I’d been I was approached by my mentors or my mentor at the time who told me to go to a multi level back in my late teens. I was basically ready. I think I was 23 24 at the time to basically fund projects and he basically proposed to me cycle. You’re ready now to go do some projects. I want to buy some property and basically he was funding my projects 100 percent and allowed me to go buy a couple million dollars worth of property with a 50 percent stake using unmined cash so.

So my point was that you’re in that three year process first year working for the property education company number two and three working for a property development and sales and marketing company are built up the skills to be able to do deals. We’re not using our own cash and be able to get a funder as well be able to fund my projects so which is very similar to what you’re talking about in your situation where you’ve got potential investors and then have people finding a job all you need to do now is find deals.

And I was able to do that.

Tyrone Shum:
Pretty soon, Nguyen was able to quit his job and focus on property full time.

Nhan Nguyen:
I was working full time and then part time out there finding deals for my business partner Lee and Lee and I we don’t do much in property anymore but we still have contact in ourselves manage some of his cash. Yeah since you know that there was a basic ice age in my life where he was ready to and came to go do deals and I use that as a platform to quit my job and do deals because I had a financial backer.

Tyrone Shum:
He was able to do this all in the time before many people would even have finished their degree.

Nhan Nguyen:
23 and a half court 24/7 December 10th 2000 and ready.

I was 23 yet turning 24.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen explains the timeline of how he managed to quit his job at 23.

Nhan Nguyen:
If you think about it when I was 18 I went to uni so 19/20 I started going to seminars when I think I was 19. So then I started working when I was 21 22 23 so yeah so if I’d only work at a job for three years I worked for one company when I was in my 21, 21 and then the second company when I was 22 23 and left half way through the yes at the end of that second year with so to speak. So when I was 18 19 20. I went to uni three year degree 21 I was in the workforce for three years and left around about the twenty third and fourth year of my life so it does sound pretty quick. And looking back I sometimes blink can go Jeez that was pretty crazy. It was it was a reality because I’d work full time. Around me was property. That’s all they talk about. You wake up in the morning you talked about property you talk about finance and build contracts and settlements etc. but on weekends I’d go and look on Saturday. I’d spend you know five six eight hours every Saturday looking at houses and lunchtimes and mornings and after work so it became a bit of an obsession. And then at night you know you got to go and look at going to seminars you know.

Tyrone Shum:
With some encouragement, this obsession turned into something a lot bigger.

Nhan Nguyen:
So I wasn’t married had no kids no mortgages. I just had had some real dreams and at the time I look back and people said young you’re on the right track guy. I had no idea what they were talking about. Well you’re great. Thanks for your advice but I’m just having a good time and go on hard and yeah pretty gung ho at the time and yeah I just really didn’t know what I was able to or not meant to be able to achieve because I know a lot of people they feel that they have constraints on them whether they’ve got kids or mortgages or limits. But at that point in time I didn’t know what I could or couldn’t or shouldn’t have been able to produce at that age. And that’s coupled with a lot of challenges because when I went I grew very very quickly and hit the GFC in 2007 2008 had a lot of projects that I was managing and some of them made money. Some of them didn’t like how some lost money. And so my next round of learning really taught me a lot of lessons and that’s what I do now is I teach the lessons that I’ve learnt that people can manage and be able to navigate. Bad times tough times are high interest rates in a way that’s manageable. So and that’s it I suppose that’s a part of the beginning of my journey.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen shares one of the hardest lessons he’s had to learn from his journey, with one of his worst investment decisions.

Nhan Nguyen:
I think one of the biggest highlights. I’d say it was one of the best learnings and the worst ever experiential emotional times for me was yeah when we had 20 odd blocks of land under contract and so like I mentioned before in that property development company that I work for. They were putting I put all options on property. So how that works is essentially you sign a piece of paper which says that you have the right to buy these properties and let’s at a wholesale discount and but you also have the obligation to buy them so you have the right to buy them and tell them you buy them wholesale and retail and. But if you don’t sell them you have to buy them so it’s got put call option and I did that in 2007 April 2007 we secured 20 blocks of land at a wholesale discount. The worth call it five point four and we’d secured them for four point seven so there was about a 700 Grant paper profit in there and the market shifted during that time that they were developing it was off the plan and we secured it for four point seven. The market lifted and then they were actually able to sell them and sell them for a million bucks clayey profit. So I sold them for five point seven. So myself my business partner found buyers at four point seven sold for five point seven is a great time in our lives where we started to spend money that hadn’t hit pank so they made a million bucks on paper between us and started upgrading things like cars and offices and staff and wives.

Now I’m joking. I mean I didn’t upgrade my life like my in-laws are what we call it. There is nothing that the Mafia Sicilian and there isn’t anybody we started spending money on debt in credit cards or the money in our accounts.

Tyrone Shum:
But things took a turn for the worst.

Nhan Nguyen:
And that was very very painful when the GFC came back a year or so later 2008 2009 and a lot of the contracts like buyers that were pretty committed started pulled out of these contracts and they were doing it legally because we had a 18 month sunset clause which meant that if they hadn’t been provided the block of land or they couldn’t buy the block of land within that 18 month period they would have essentially been able to pull out of a contract that’s what they did a lot of them pulled out but luckily luckily we were able to sell a lot of the blocks at cost to cover our four point seven million dollar commitment that we had. So there definitely a lot of learnings and very very stressful time because if we weren’t able to sell those blocks direct to repay that commitment essentially we would have had to either buy them or sell them. But you can’t buy them you have to sell parts you have to buy them ourselves and we just didn’t have the cash or a very tough time get any debt. Always I’d get any get any funding from the banks or any capital from investors at that point in time. So yeah very very stressful time and especially we expect it to make a million bucks and we end up making still 200 K which was a good profit but there was a lot less than what we anticipated to make. And so I even had booked a trip to the States and to Europe and we were overseas and a lot of our contracts were falling over while overseas and managing those settlements from overseas as they were crashing was very very hard especially the time zones currency was know it wasn’t 80 80 cents on the dollar 65 cents American. And so it was really painful that everything that went wrong went wrong. But at the end of day we still made a profit on that project and lived to learn the lesson and now the projects that I do are structured a lot differently and we aim to get in. One of my phrases that I teach is get in get out get paid right so get in get out get paid so that you’re not exposed to the long term changes of the market. Interest rate rises GFC type plays where people can potentially drop the contracts. So yeah a lot of the training that we do these days are centred around how we survived the GFC and were able to not be greedy and cell blocks on very very quickly and move on.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen knows how important it is to be aware that the market could change at any time.

Nhan Nguyen:
I think that big part of why I’m going to educate people because I know that my growth from when I was 21 when I was 27 was a really huge curve and I was able to get investors once I knew how to get investors and I can find deals. Then the world your voice that you just keep combining investors with capital invested capital with deals and then you keep buying and buying and buying because it is profitable so to speak. Then you can get in and get out and get paid and it just becomes its own monster and accumulates. The challenge is that you know if you think that you’re bulletproof and you don’t have a defence mechanism where you don’t have a backup plan then you’re basically arrogant and naive enough to think that you’re bulletproof and that’s when the trouble happens you start spending recklessly you start making you just buy everything you can and not being considerate about what if it doesn’t work out. How do you get out of this if the market changes. What if interest rates go up and what if the market drops five to 10 percent or so. You know if you’re looking at places like Sydney or Melbourne particular as an example if you’ve just got Tahoe and you’re expecting to make the 30 to 40 percent profits that you have in the last few years yeah then you’re basically exposed and then you’re in trouble.

Tyrone Shum:
He believes a real investor understands how the market rises and falls, and doesn’t just expect it to always rise.

Nhan Nguyen:
That’s why we suggest a handful things is when you make your money when you so by under market value you get in and also you’re getting get out get paid. So it is the velocity of money when you when you get out.

You reduce your debt you reduce your risk and exposure in the marketplace and people especially in Sydney and Melbourne there was a huge arrogance around buy and hold them making 50 80 hundred grand a year just by sitting on it. But they weren’t around when I was around in 2007. For example in Bond I where people couldn’t give away blocks of apartments. You know people just weren’t wanting to buy them at all. And now know roughly 12 years later the market has come again back again to correct itself and it’ll go up again for short times.

It’s like the sun goes up and the sun sets. The tide comes in the power goes out. So people just have too short a view on life in the marketplace because essentially a lot of them that play during the times the market goes up gamblers they’re not investors that they’re not long term players. They speculating and jump on board because everybody’s playing the game.

Tyrone Shum:
Aside from just property education, Nguyen believes personal skills and personal development is really important for doing well in this business.

Nhan Nguyen:
I’ve done a lot of personal development training and one of the courses you suggest people do what’s called lemma for that now they do courses in Brisbane Sydney Melbourne. I don’t get any kickbacks or these recommending them. But it’s a really great personal development course that I think has allowed me to a lot of my blind spots and a lot of guys from Tony Robbins also go to lemma forum to be able to deal with the things hold them back.

I think some people they go to learn about property they go and wanting to learn about the strategy which I believe is important. However I believe the more important things is learning about themselves and personal development and the balance between the two which is technical skills and personal skills really allows you to become a much better investor because you’re aware of yourself not just about sitting behind a computer with a spreadsheet seasonally because you’re going to be able to negotiate with people.

Properties are people skills you know people business.

I do a lot of negotiating with property owners directly and so you need to get to one people skills and to personal development and be able to deal with things when you’re not winning or not getting your way or things are going too slow and things are breaking down. So to answer your question is that my aha moments came to me when I was resolving a lot of my personal issues and it made a huge difference in my wealth creation in my businesses because I was much happier I was less arrogant. I was able to be able to communicate better with people because my personal skills were a lot better and it actually added to my bottom line as opposed to people think you know you read more books getting more seminars get more education to be able to increase your wealth. It’s not necessarily the case.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen believes with one weekend you could learn a whole range of skills that you can apply to business and your personal life.

Nhan Nguyen:
It’s a three day event Friday Saturday Sunday it’s only about 800 dollars. Very very cheap and cheap as chips then.

Even though it doesn’t necessarily focus on wealth creation like I said you go in there and you have to resolve a lot of stuff you don’t even know that’s holding you back. And some people deal with personal stuff some people deal with business stuff that people deal with parents siblings past relationships you know it’s a whole plethora of things in my life and a lot of my clients have done it. I think yeah. ROSS Williams says you’ve met for hasn’t it as well a lot of my trainers I suggest do it because it just allows them gives them the skills.
It’s like someone giving you a screwdriver as an apprentice or a hammer. This one here is a skill to be able to improve yourself personally that other people don’t necessarily are able to help you with yourself inflection and self improvement internally.

PART 2

Nhan Nguyen:
I think is a critical tool of of this game is being satisfied with what you’ve achieved and balancing that with being dissatisfied but not angry at yourself to always go to another level.

Tyrone Shum:
This is Property Investory where we talk to successful property investors to find out more about their stories, mindset and strategies.

I’m Tyrone Shum and in this episode we’re continuing our conversation with successful property developer and property educator Nhan Nguyen, who specialises in minimising the investment of his own money and maximising the returns.  

In our previous conversation with Nhan Nguyen we learnt that he was able to quit his job to focus on investment and development full time at 23 years old. He explains how starting with a number of deals allowed him to make this jump.

Nhan Nguyen:
I think the couple of deals that I did presetting leave my job were ones into twos or two into two so small the balance. You could say it was with the help of my mentor and business partner at the time who basically funded the handful of projects so there was one was a two into two which is what we call a splitter block in Brisbane here and another one was a one into two subdivision near the airport and we had a couple of other projects one was a five townhouse project in Macai. So yeah we didn’t bother swagga of psychic properties. I think during 2003 and 2004 period and that allowed me to basically get enough income as well as stock to be able to buy and sell to be able to do more deals.

Tyrone Shum:
So you actually had quite a number of deals running maybe about four to five in that period of time and I remember reading up not long ago that there was one deal that you took on which had a quite a large subdivision development which I think goes up to 20 blocks or something like that but you took on was it was it quite close to after that period of time or is that much later.

Nhan Nguyen:
Yeah there’s a little bit later. So that one was a subdivision of 20 lots in 2007 to 2009 it was the one in the GHC where I had a lot of stress and we’re able to buy it at a discount but we yeah we sold it for good profit nearly a million bucks a so-called million bucks. Yeah during that time our duty came and a lot of the prices fell and a lot of the contracts got terminated. So when it upset like in 200 cases that was about that for three or four years after that spate of deals there in between that I’d done a handful of deals where I found other investors got bank funding myself load of loans at the time and bought a handful box of land and built houses and sold them. So I went through a period of townhouses after those five to 10 townhouses we did. I think another 10 to 15 or 20 or so townhouses in Macaire which were blocks of three blocks of five duplexes and although the process of strata titling and then after that year that’s where I bought those lots of lane and built those houses and secured them mill they call them specky homes where you buy them build them and then sell them commercially as a speculative buy. And that’s that was when. After that I rolled into those 20 blocks of land.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen warns that it’s important to start on smaller projects before making the transition into bigger developments.

Nhan Nguyen:
I definitely think and that’s one of the challenges I find these days whether I’m doing courses educating people or talking to investors is a lot of them want to go after they’ve done one into two. They want to jump into one into 10 wanted to 20 because I think that they’re supermen and bullet bulletproof but it’s one of the biggest naiveness that people agreed and just pumps and they think they can do anything when they say anything is possible absolutely. You can go to the moon fly to the moon however you need to build up the skills in the capital so reminding a few years probably back to 2002 there isn’t one. I didn’t meet another mentor who was doing lots of 20 and lots of 20 apartments and townhouses that was his specialty and essentially I built a plane or a model to go from individual properties to multiple properties and I broke it down to various parts and that’s why I went from let’s say ones in twos into multiple townhouses and lots of units or townhouses distorted Turrell that was one thing I wanted to learn is how did Estrada tiling because if I wanted to 20 dwellings which was modelling off I’m into at the time I needed to learn how to write a title so I took that opportunity did a whole bunch of strata titling an Macay I think I was 23 townhouses we started titled salt and then after that I thought Okay well my mentor is doing construction I need to learn how to do construction and that’s what I did I end up building bombs lots of lane and building houses so during that time probably 2005 to 2007 we built the whole stack of houses in a suburb called Bulimba which is a topin suburb about four five came from Brisbane there and an a local likely we’ve built them a bunch of houses as well so I learnt how to deal with one with multiple investors multiple loans multiple bank accounts multiple houses construction project management and it’s an organic growth to go from one deal at a time to do two deals and five deals and 10 deals and it becomes a process where you just really expand it. Expand too much sometimes you can get too overwhelming financially as well. But with those five houses that we built at Wakely we had about 20 to 25 thousand dollars a month holding costs interest rates low doc 8 9 percent and it was pretty scary especially when we weren’t getting the prices we all want him to get. The market was starting to come back a bit and we couldn’t rent them either because they were high end 800000 dollar homes and we had to keep them pristine for our occupies the buy mark.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen believes a good developer is educated, and knows not to get in over their heads.

Nhan Nguyen:
Before we went into the big 20 Lodder there was a lot of education that I had to learn on the court. These things are very hard to learn and of course you have to experience the pain. It’s like having kids you can watch a YouTube video or read a book about you know how to raise kids but until you’ve got kids and dealing with the day to day challenges of crying and all that and feeding and financial challenges not be out of work then yeah it’s experience learning and that’s what makes me a good developer because I know what my limits are and when to slow down and when to accelerate.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen calls this middleground between risk and rewards the “sweet spot”.

Nhan Nguyen:
One of the things that I’ve learnt from my mentors is this is finding that sweet spot.

So a quick story about his experience and then coming back to my experience like it was doing blocks of 20 at one stage and then he expanded it was doing 50 townhouses on another deal that was a lower socioeconomic area I called Logan that a lot of people may know about and a product was really cheap at 300 320 Hazza only 20000 but he lost money on that project and he basically clarified for himself and for me that you know you need to find your sweet spot and for me something around the pointy dwellings is very very comfortable.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen shares with us the types of development projects he has going on at the moment.

Nhan Nguyen:
The projects that I’m doing at the moment the purchase prices are up to two million dollars. So one side is about 30 dwellings. I paid but about a million bucks and my business partner who who’s bought that site next door is about 500 K sical at one point five. We’ve got about 30 blocks of land between us that we’re getting approval at this point in time. So that’s yeah that’s in council. Hopefully they’ll come out the next three months or so. Another project they’re working on is a childcare center purchase price that 840 civic 2000 square meters which unfortunately we couldn’t get a subdivision or a townhouse approval on. But there’s a scope for a childcare centre and then I’m doing two small subdivisions which are essentially buy and hold because I subdivide the blocks two into four and then I’ll build a little mini boarding houses to get super cash five so out of the four there. So in summary I suppose I’ve got a reasonable sized Lane subdivision a child care centre which we will get an approval and sell and then two into four subdivision where we’ll subdivide hold and build buildings on to rent. So it’s a combination of buying sell and development in the combination of buy and hold.

Tyrone Shum:
The length of these projects depend on the size of the development.

Nhan Nguyen:
Some of the other two into fours which are ones into twos essentially. One is a 600 square metre hut that into two and the other ones are 840 odd square meters one into two. They’re generally a six to 12 month play and that’s what you will find when you’re starting out is the one thing the two is up to about one in five or so that they can be quite inefficient relative to the bigger ones. The 30 Lotter on that floor is just a bit over a year now and we’ve probably got another 6 12 maybe 18 months depending on how we stage the project. So the bigger projects can take 18 24 36 months depending on the marketplace. Finally it’s right off sale. They do have more bang for buck but they do have more challenges more holding costs and more consultants fees. Yes so it’s a balance and that’s why you’re at this point in time where the market place is up I’m happy to be where I am. I don’t need to prove myself and try to compete with the likes of Gurner and the bigger boys were doing bigger projects. It’s about maintaining momentum confidence and being able to complete projects that you don’t want to have 10 develop development sites which are all vacant no rental income and you can’t get it out of the ground because finance is difficult or the planning approvals are very much the light. So momentum because I know in 12 24 months the market will pick up again and either way I’m still aggressive with my buying.

I just need to be very very conservative with in prices and strategies all the way through.

Tyrone Shum:
So realistically for any beginner or starting investor even to an intermediate level these things take quite a bit of time as you said you know up to 36 months or three years or so. So it’s it’s a patient’s game as well but also to working out what you can actually hold for that time because anything can happen in threes etc. in a long time and I guess to be able to do that. Does that mean then you should be funding everything as much as you can initially from upfront through either option deals or make sure that you’ve got cash flow from somewhere to benefit fund your your life because you still have to eat right.

Nhan Nguyen:
Right. So and I don’t eat 2 minute noodles anymore.

So it’s a very good question and it’s very thought through. So I think that’s one of the things that when I had those five houses that I was building in the holding costs of five grand a month each roughly let’s call it 20 grand a month. I learned that you definitely need that holding power. And bigger isn’t always better because if I multiplied my deals it would also multiply my negative cash flow and also multiply my stresses right so.

So my point is that when I suggest with people starting doing developments whether it’s just a granny flat at the back or building a duplex is thinking big and starting small because there’s so many layers of learnings about it like he said holding costs being able to build up the cash flow to be able to sustain that with some other rental properties whether it’s from equity but it’s from getting money from investors to be able to fund self fund projects and not only that it’s the mental state of it is that being my 30 lot subdivision at the moment and the holding costs are roughly 10000 dollars a month and the House has been vacant for about a year now essentially vacant because I intended to develop it. It’s taken a little bit longer to sort of put a tenant in but that tenants only paying 295 a week so it’s barely touching the sides of the holding costs but it’s covering the rates insurance and things like that but bowl of that 10000 a month. It’s one having the wherewithal financially to handle it but emotionally not be disturbed or stressed over having that because you’ve got enough that in the deal you’ve got enough other deals that have been profitable to sustain those deals based on past profit and equity or cash flow. So yes they can be starting small is absolutely critical but then you can build up and if you need to actually access more funds from investors short term you might say look I need another hundred thousand dollars just for six months to keep this project afloat then it’s not difficult to do because you’ve got that track record you’ve got the balance sheet. So it’s the same thing with the childcare centre it’s a big site bit of holding costs in court three to four rain a month and a tenant ain’t cheap rent because the House is run down you know that’ll exciting period of nine to 12 months. So I’m not having that wherewithal emotionally and financially to be able to hold it and know that you’re going to exit from it if you’ve got how much it negatively cash property you can negative gearing perhaps at the end of the day if interest rates go up you’re going to get hurt.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen balances his development projects with a property portfolio which provides stable income.

Nhan Nguyen:
I think it’s absolutely critical that you do both. I have a philosophy which is build some sells and keep some right some sells and keep some and build some of it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to build houses or townhouses you can eventually purchase a development land subdivision is building you’re building road building driveways and building pipes. So my philosophy of build some sell some keeps up is absolutely critical in that I’ve looked at a lot of other developers who’ve gone one way or the other and I’ve found that if you just sell everything you’re going to miss out on a lot of things and miss out on capital growth potential over the long term you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities to build equity and have the tenants pay off your property. So I’ve got let our tenant is paying 300 bucks a week in a one bedroom townhouse complex that I had a bought for and he’s been paying that rental site for years. So 15 grand a year three bucks a week. Times for you that 60 grand. That is absolutely critical to pay down my mortgages so yes and long and short answer is yes absolutely. As I go along every year or two I look at what else am I holding and what else adding to my portfolio.

So the last 12 months I’ve mainly been focusing on developing it and selling it because I’ve seen the market Leigh softens I want to exit. Having said that over the last couple of months like I mentioned about those two sites which are two and four in those four blocks of land we can build super cash flow multiple income properties on that and from each of those let let’s call it 5 rental incomes on each of those blocks will have a full blocks and 5 rental incomes each that’s 20 rental incomes in a period of 12 24 months so the portfolio. So. So my point is yes absolutely I think it’s critical that people do both but yes definitely I think segmenting them is an ideal way to go.

Tyrone Shum:
While there are different approaches, Nguyen believes that it’s important to find the balance that works for you.

Nhan Nguyen:
Sometimes people might build five sell Kito and that’s definitely a possibility. It does cause some what we call intermixing or pollution or yeah it’s not a clean way because the community that’s developing will be involved in GST and bass and etc. Sometimes it’s better to have one project which you’re going to buy and hold might do a wanting to three townhouse keep the townhouses and then wanting to nine Land subdivision and sell all the blocks of land. So that’s the ideal model but at the same time you know you’ve got to figure out what’s right for you and when you’re starting out sometimes keeping one out of four is a blessing. You reduce the amount of taxes you pay GST you don’t pay agent’s commission as well. So it’s definitely an upside. It’s just whether you can afford to use that debt. So to be able to maintain that property is what I mean by that is with the Royal Commission and Affero and all that debt in banking funding is definitely an asset yourself. So if you if you if you got it locked up in buy and hold it may constrain you from doing future development. So it’s a balance in our balance between what you’re selling what you’re holding and I find a ratio of maybe one to three or wonderful one to five. I’m still somewhat closer to one in 10 but that’s okay. The one in 10 that they hold they might put out. Like I said a multiple income property on it and that’ll be five sources of income for just one property.

So everyone is horses for courses but wherever they can they’re holding something definitely allows you for the long term paying off of debt and having a debt that’s paid off a property that’s paid off with positive cash flow.

Tyrone Shum:
Fantastic and that’s that’s really good that you raise this up because most people who are developers don’t usually talk about this side of things because it’s usually just development development development but I think the smart developers out there do buy sell proportion and and keep a small percentage of it or whatever that they decide terms of portion wise as well.

Nhan Nguyen:
So yes I guess I just added added that interrupt is that yeah with a good model you might want to look at is Meriton right. You live in Sydney and you met Meriton and Harry Triguboff he’s developed 60000 apartments I think 2000 a year and so he holds you know two to three thousand apartments any one time he’s found it a highly cash flow model which is serviced apartments and he might hold you know part of a building or a whole building at any one time. So.

Tyrone Shum:
Yeah the catch comes in.

Nhan Nguyen:
Exactly exactly. And so I basically looked at a lot of different models of what other people have done. Westfield is an extreme model to hold onto pretty much everything I would say everything but a lot I think they’ve sold out some of their shopping centres. But that’s one extreme all the other model he might want to look at is Mirvac and have a model where they sell all their residential and they hold commercial sites. So what that says to me is that they find that residential has a great development profitability where they essentially develop it and sell it and then the higher yields are in the commercial properties so that that’s another model which is congruent. If you look at Harry Triguboff is selling all the apartments in that one that is keeping the service apparently essentially come to commercial property for him which is a high yielding rental income. So yeah that’s that’s where I’ve gotten my conclusions from is looking at other models and the philosophy of building some selling some clearing some very smart actually now that you mention.

Tyrone Shum:
Coming up after the break we will find out why Nguyen decided to embark on this property journey…

Nhan Nguyen:
So ever since I was 19 and like teenage years wanting to impact people and make a difference to other people.

Tyrone Shum:
The personal habits that he couldn’t do business without…

Nhan Nguyen:
One thing is meditation if people can find a way to meditate it’s really really important

Tyrone Shum:
Mindset strategies he uses in his deals

Nhan Nguyen:
I think that’s the difference that I bring to the table is my values aren’t just about making money.

Tyrone Shum:
And that’s next. I’m Tyrone Shum and you’re listening to Property Investory.

Starting his journey at just 19 years of age, Nguyen shares the various reasons why he decided to embark on his property journey.

Nhan Nguyen:
There’s a handful of reasons for that. You know when I started out I was 19 I remember I was 19 and I worked for the property education company. I actually wanted to present to people and the first topic I present was on goals and it I remember even the topics I was talking about was you know if you have a jar and you put ants on the top of the jar they’ll go round and round and round in circles. And the reason I mention that is that I’ve always been wanting to share what I’ve learned. I used to read a lot as a teenager personal development books anyhow when friendsetc. and I’ve always been fascinated with with education and self developed and how to bring the best out of people. So I especially myself. And then I saw Robert Kiyosaki in 1999 I think in the convention center and it just resonated with me that I really want to educate and share the message about financial prosperity even though I was 19 I didn’t have any properties I didn’t have any wealth so to speak. I just wanted to share a message an impact people in a positive way. So ever since I was 19 and like teenage years wanting to impact people and make a difference to other people. And when I was 19 20 21 that was where I suppose I had a lot of growth and had a lot of support for my mentor and I had my own rich dad using the words which that poor dad and leave. My my first mentor who I still keep in touch with today. Yeah I just felt so grateful to be able to be gifted with his teachings and tough love so to speak and I felt. I just I was like Christian background as well. It’s necessary to give gifts other people as well. So I think that yeah I’ve got a handful of mentors and they ongoing give to me willingly and freely and I think that’s what part of my mission is to relay and share some of those messages and its impact to so many people. I’ve got clients making 500 K profit year in year out on the development of quit their job. Some of them have their wives to be able to quit their jobs because they want to quit and just the impact of that through my mentors teaching me and instilling with me great information generously and now I do the same for others as well and I think it’s just a mission that I’ve found has helped through the years and the more I do it the more I enjoy it and it’s very worthwhile and satisfying.

Tyrone Shum:
Like many, Nguyen used various resources and books to educate himself along the way.

Nhan Nguyen:
I think there’s a handful of books out there that are really really helpful. I might read a few off it I’m sure you may have covered these in the past on the richest man in Babylon is a good good classic that the rich dad series. I’d say that probably the earlier ones like Rich Dad Poor Dad cash flow quadrants are the more fundamental ones if you can get them in audio books. They’re really good as well. I might also recommend a lot of my clients who build up a property portfolio on a property business that they look at things like a myth and looking at ways to build their business in a structure as well. So in a format that’s not just a home business mum and dad type business but a professional business because EMA thoughts about McDonald’s and how to run systematised a business I think that’s one of the biggest things that I bring to the table and educating people is it’s not just about making money it’s about okay how do you turn your property investing in developing into a business and that’s leverage that you can go on holidays that you have systems and you’re not always putting out fires and built to support itself and support you. Not just not just for the sake of making money and putting out fires because you know you’ve got to check the phone every three minutes when you’re on holidays.

Tyrone Shum:
Having come so far, Nguyen shares the best advice he’s ever received.

Nhan Nguyen:
Like I mentioned before you think big and start small. I’d say it a really good phrase to start with another one that I’ve heard throughout the years is you make your money when you buy not when you sell. I know that in many instances let’s say the market has changed or is changing. If you buy well then you essentially build in the equity or the protection or the buffer for the market change so you know whether it’s from rogue Saki or Warren Buffett. There’s a lot of good philosophies that keep your ego in play and make you a lot more careful because it’s property easy to get in hard to get out and saying I have probably easy get in how to get you. You sign a contract and you get a full time job you can borrow but equity bar from the parents get into a deal. But on the other side moving it on with at a profit you know 10 50 100 grand more isn’t always easy as it seems when the market goes up. It’s very easy to hide people’s mistakes because they don’t know what they’re doing. Look look at Sydney for example you know in 2007 I was down a bond. And they were giving away blocks of units that people were not interested in 2007. But over the last five or so years the market has gone absolutely crazy and everybody jumped over each other to buy property side and saying it’s a dog box or not. But the tide is turned. And now with its Melbourne or Sydney. And so you know make sure you buy right or the market does so true so true.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen shares some of the significant personal habits that he believes contributes to his success.

Nhan Nguyen:
One thing is meditation if people can find a way to meditate it’s really really important I think hobbies are important as well. Some people just get so you know stuck in the world they’ve got to make money got to make money want to get out of my job I get it. You know they’re in the job that I may not like their job they want to get out of hate their boss and they go from a nine to five job and after hours ago at 10 different seminars to educate themselves but all they think about is making money and I get it I get that. That’s why I’ve been in the past as well. But I think your meditation is a good thing. Also participating in hobbies that give you a rounded lifestyle not just making money but also the third thing that I participate in is a thing called Landmark Forum. It’s a course a course it’s quite reasonably priced less than a thousand bucks and I do a lot of that work. It allows me to basically deal with stress or pressure a lot more easily and quickly and also resolve a lot of angst and anxiety that stress that one might have.

Tyrone Shum:
Here is what he would like to tell his younger self if he got the chance:

Nhan Nguyen:
I’d say that persistence is the key if I if I were to look back on the Times is persistence is the key. You’ll always find a solution as long as you’re willing to work hard and cut down on the alcohol.

Is definitely another thing I’d tell myself. Yeah I took a joke about in seminars that you how did you officiates to drink probably half a bottle of wine a night red wine and for some people you know it’s not a big deal but as you know with Asian genes to glass it can be fatal. And yes I know definitely that those are the things that persistence just keep going keep keep putting in the effort and cut down the alcohol as you it’s just time to deal with stress just to deal with stress and I promise you there’s not many people willing to admit there are those kind of problems.

Tyrone Shum:
Nguyen has taken to the philosophy of solving his problems, such as stress, instead of hiding them.

Nhan Nguyen:
There’s there’s always a solution to the problem and there’s always people willing to help. Sometimes we just don’t get that and prefer to hide and run away from the problems and then that’s where the problems fester. Long term you have financial problems personal problems health problems and that’s where people start dealing with marriage breakdowns and heart attacks and stuff like that so I know that’s a bit of a you know a different conversation that we may have started but you know that’s what you get with me you’ll find it’s more of a bigger picture view of unsuccess development is definitely a part of my life but it’s not the only thing that’s important to me in having a great marriage great lesson with my kids and great health. I’ve had no money and in terms of the past in my health I’ll get sick quite a lot back then probably 14 years ago and because of the stress or the pressure I put myself under and then I now had to spend a lot of time on my health to maintain that and I feel well that’s a very important part of my life. So some people are overly committed to that and that’s the only part of the fitness freaks but they got no money. They’ve got no future. That’s okay.

Tyrone Shum:
In fact, Nguyen has a very particular approach to conditioning his mindset.

Nhan Nguyen:
I think that’s the difference that I bring to the table is my values aren’t just about making money. It’s a more well-rounded approach of happiness health and wealth. We call it so and effectively you know with happiness and health it really doesn’t matter if you’re making 100 or 10 million dollars a year if you’re happy with your relationships you automatically make more money and if you don’t it doesn’t matter you’re happy anyway. What you’ve got. You can have a you know five metre boat or 50 need a boat. If you’re happy it doesn’t really matter what you have if you’re unhappy then it really doesn’t matter what size boat you have or what lifestyle you have it doesn’t happen in cars driving. So being satisfied I think is a critical tool of of this game is being satisfied with what you’ve achieved and balancing that with being dissatisfied but not angry at yourself to always go to another level.

Tyrone Shum:
Upon consideration, Nguyen believes he rarely relies on luck in his development deals, and focuses more on effort.

Nhan Nguyen:
I’d hate that the book The Richest Man in Babylon talks about.

I think the goddess of love or something. So there’s a saying and I sayings is the harder I work the luckier I get. And I’d say look it’s you to effort effort effort and I’d say it’s ninety nine point five percent effort and persistence and then the luck sometimes comes just because you out there pounding the pavement you know the three deals that I bought recently. Right. You could say but I’ve invested capital invested time in these relationships and invested time in the systems and the qualifying press deals. So I think yeah success is when preparation meets luck and the preparation has been many years in the making. People think that luck is a big part of it. I don’t think so. I think that if you keep putting putting it out there. From a physics point of view every action has an equal opposite reaction if you put it out there enough something will come back and it’s just whether you’re willing to take the opportunities or not. Some people they put it out there but then they sabotage themselves when the opportunity is there. They hesitate and then they sabotage like I said and then they miss out a lot. Jeannin they complain that they get it. The opportunity but it’s a process of persistence and recognizing opportunities and willing to take those opportunity and grasp as well.

Tyrone Shum:
If you’re looking to reach out and speak with Nhan Nguyen, here’s the best way to do it:

Nhan Nguyen:
We have a free report so they can go to our website at www.advancedpropertystrategies.com.au Invest property strategies dot com not just dot com and can get a free report on opportunities and learning lessons that I’ve had in the past and definitely get subscribed to our newsletter and from time to time we’ll have events in Lebanon and things like that but I think that’s the best thing is you just subscribed to our newsletter and get that free report check it all out and learn as much as you can and take advantage of the freebies on offer.

Tyrone Shum:
Thank you so much to Nhan Nguyen, our guest on this episode of Property Investory.If you want to hear more about his journey, then visit our website at www.propertyinvestory.com.

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