Hosted By Tyrone Shum

Buying 25 Properties & Managing Real Estate Portfolios in 7 Years

Updated 21/01/2018

Mortgage lending specialist and director of MLS Finance, Sze Chuah discusses how he acquired the majority of his 25 properties within two years - as well as the horrific holiday memory of discovering one of his properties had been severely damaged by fire!

We’ll hear how Chuah’s journey began with the necessity of creating a better life, why it’s crucial to always have insurance on your property investments and about the moment when a tragic news story turned into a valuable a-ha moment for him.

Tune in now and uncover his story for yourself!

"I was able to build up a portfolio a lot faster than what I would have been able to do just on my own and everything sort of accelerated after that."

-Sze Chuah

Chuah shares a bit about what he’s done and his passion for helping others achieve their goals with property investing.

I am the director at MLS Finance, I'm a property investor, have been for quite a while now. Started my journey when I was in the corporate world, I was actually an IT professional by trade for the last 10-15 years. Started purchasing property, built up a sizeable portfolio and then decided I wanted to start my business in a related field which was finance that specialises for property investors. 

That's great. It's actually very common, I've spoken to a lot of investors who come from IT as well and I have to say, I come from an IT background as well!

It's a good industry to get in because as with IT, property investing is very rational, very about the numbers. I was a project manager back in the day and it's a very similar process, you kind of focus on an outcome that you want to achieve. As with the property you want to build up a portfolio whatever it is, get a passive income stream and then you kind of plan for that and execute a plan. So I guess I was able to transfer those skills to be able to start and go through the property journey that I'm still going through.

Fantastic. It's very very similar to what I did. Yeah, I resonate with you so much because it is very much a project if you put in very simplistic terms. And if you've got good skills is very much easier. You can apply pretty much anywhere in your life whether it is. [17.8]

Every transaction is a mini project in itself. You've got to get the financing and find a property, you've got to negotiate on it, you've got to get the finance across the line and do your best in the building. And then you get everything in order, all the contracts signed, then settle on it and get it tenanted, then there may be some work that needs to be done on it. So yeah, every property within that journey is a mini project.

So what does a day in his life look like?

I come into the office, I might be seeing clients, figuring out what they are looking to achieve with buying the property, or refinancing a loan, getting some equity out, speaking to my team about how the pipeline deals are going. Speaking to clients about giving them an update as to how their loans are tracking, if there are any issues now, hopefully giving them the good news and following up with staff, sometimes lenders, business partners, referral partners.

Then finish up anywhere from 7:00 to 8:30-9:00, go home, have a late dinner, sometimes jump onto the laptop again, finish up some paperwork and crash around midnight. That's a standard day for me.

Despite the long hours, Chuah is passionate about what he does and wouldn’t have it any other way.

The property journey is something that has really helped me along and has made such a difference in my life. So being able to to help my clients with that now, it's a real privilege. It's a busy time in the business as well, so the long hours are kind of required - hoping that it's not always going to be like this and I trust that it's not always going to be like this. But sometimes when it's called for, you’ve just got to do the hard yards.

And just to get things over the line - I think that's important for any property deal, especially when you've got clients who really trust and rely on finance too.

buying real estate

It’s all-time critical, there's always a cooling-off period. The deposits view the finance form approvals before that, there's always a settlement date, the clients would be paying interest and penalties after that date. So you're always running to a time frame and there are always new clients that want to know what they can do with their portfolio. Can they make their next purchase? So we're all we're always running to a schedule. And I’d have it no other way, it sort of keeps me ticking along as well, it sort of pushes me out of bed every day and makes me do the long hours. So it’s all part and parcel.

Growing up in Sydney NSW, he discovered his passion for property investing while working in his first IT job.

I was born in New Zealand, so don't hold that against me, I’m a Kiwi, I go for the All Blacks. So I was born in windy Wellington - or Wendy Wellington as they call it over there - but came over here to Sydney when I was about two or three years old. I grew up in Cherrybrook, spent about 25 years of my life there, then got married and moved out of the parent's place. I lived in a couple of different areas like Campsie and West Ryde and currently live in Ryde now.

You've done a little bit of investing at that point in time because you've moved on and so forth. Where would you go to school?

So I went to school at the local public school in Cherrybrook, then went to high school in the city at Sydney Grammar [in 98] and studied both Finance and Computer Science at the Uni of New South Wales. Just got a grad role at the tax office in IT [in 2003] and then went down that path as I said for about 10 or so years. During that time, that was when I was exposed to property investing and I just thought, ‘I'll dabble in it for a little bit.’ Gradually got into it and got into it a lot bigger and faster than I thought I would, then just realised that really was my passion and life’s calling, so I decided to go down that path. So I built up a reasonable sized portfolio within a short period of time, within a couple of years, then decided that I wanted to do some broking part-time while I was at my job. I did that for a little while, then went out on my own - I owned a Yellow Brick Road franchise for about three or so years, the franchise in Parramatta. More recently we've just gone independent and now we're MLS Finance.

Although Chuah’s parents had an impact on him in terms of creating a stable future for himself, his interest in property came from elsewhere.

My parents’ influence was really quite profound. So on the one hand, growing up in a semi-traditional Asian family, the values of posterity and saving for the future and investing for the future were drilled in at a very early age. So it was always with me to work towards financial stability, financial security, even financial independence. But their idea of that was always, ‘Go through school, get good grades, go to uni, get a degree, work hard in a good job, climb the corporate ladder.’ And that was very much their view. Mum has always been into shares, so even to this day - she's 78 years old - still jumps on the laptop and looks at charts and all sorts of stuff around technical analysis. But I tried to get into shares and it didn't really resonate with me. There’s something about it that you could buy a share, then given one year's event like the CEO resigns, or there's a scandal within the company or something and all of a sudden the money that you put in could be worth half of what it was the day previously. The time taken to continually research the market and news and stuff, it just didn't seem right to me. 

So I got into property because things happened in my own life that forced me to look at wealth creation and investing a lot more seriously than I had in the years preceding. That gave me a bit of a push and when I looked at shares and funds and futures and options, all that kind of stuff didn't really resonate with me. But when I looked at a property that just seemed a lot more straightforward to me. So that's how I got into it.

"People will seek expert advice on many other things - their health through a doctor or a dentist or their car at a mechanic - so why wouldn't you seek expert advice on that particular transaction"
-Sze Chuah

The necessity of taking wealth creation more seriously was embedded in not being content with the life he was living.

It was at a dark point in my life, my wife and I were climbing the corporate ladder, but we were both working pretty long hours and my wife in particular, she was really unhappy in her job. She had some issues with her manager at the time and she just didn't enjoy work; she associated a lot of pain with work, she’d come home really upset every day and wake up in the morning dreading going to work. We just found it wasn't a sustainable way of living - her preference was, ‘I'd really like to have a family and not have to go back to work.’ And deep down, I was thinking, ‘That’s nice, but how could we afford it?’

We went on for months and even like a year, or two years and we were both sticking it out in our jobs and thinking, ‘There must be a better way than this.’ And then at that point in time, I was thinking, ‘You know what, I've got to do something.’ Again, I had always been simply interested in investing, that was really the push that I needed to look into it seriously. So that was the necessity that drove me.

Having begun to look into property investments at that tipping point in his life, Chuah was able to build his portfolio very quickly.

Right now we own and control 25 properties across our portfolio. So that's within my name, my wife's name, our family trust and our super fund as well. When I went in all those years ago, fairly risk-averse being in IT, not wanting to take too much risk, I was thinking, ‘You know, maybe I'll buy one property per year over the next two or three years.’

Sure enough, when I started buying, I had three within six weeks and was thinking, ‘This is going pretty quick.’ But there are a few things that made me believe that I was on the right track and even though with the property you don't see the capital growth for a while, there are a couple of things that sort of prompted me to think, ‘I feel like we're on the right track.’ I think we bought about 10 or 12 in the first year, then probably another six or seven the year after that. So things really accelerated. 

However, before making that vital step to invest in his first property, it took months of difficult planning and researching.

Kind of contrary to what I was saying, it actually took about six to 12 months of finding my feet before charging ahead because I was trying to figure out what kind of strategy that I'd take. At the start, I was thinking, ‘OK, I'm going to do this myself. I'm just going to find a suburb, then find a property and buy it.’ Sounds straightforward right? And then I found I was driving around weekend after weekend, suburb after suburb, not even able to pick a suburb that I wanted to buy. Going to seminars, then going to expos and just trying to educate myself as well, because I found that trying to do it myself wasn't necessarily the most effective way. Eventually, I came across a buyer's agency and they helped me with a whole kind of education piece and they helped me find an area and purchase in that area.

His first foray into property investing came with a tragic element, placing one of his first investments in a negative light to the public eye.

buying real estate

The first one was in Cabramatta, which is in the south-west of Sydney, near Liverpool, Fairfield kind of way and it was for about $180,000, the rent on it was $270 a week. Being somebody who grew up in Cherrybrook and being familiar with the north-west style, you have a property that's worth $400,000 and it rents for $350 a week, having a property that was in a different demographic and the yield was so much higher, I had a lot of doubts about it. Thankfully, the buyer’s agent that I used was there to support me and give me all of their insight and assurances. With a bit of trepidation, I just thought, ‘I'll give it a try.’ Then I had a couple of other transactions after that, but the penny really dropped when this particular buyer's agency asked me to buy in Mount Druitt and I was like, ‘Oh, am sure I want to do that? Because I'm familiar with Sydney, I know it's a rougher part of Sydney, are the prices going to go up?’ So I decided, ‘OK I'll get into it. I'll just bite the bullet and they may be right.’ I exchanged the contracts a couple of weeks up after settlement and then there was a bit of a tragic story that happened at the time.

This tragic accident about a little girl was all over the news and Chuah noticed something familiar about the location...

It ended up that she was murdered by her parents or step-parents, a really tragic story. I was watching the news report one night, I looked in the background of where the reporter was speaking and it was actually in that building - it all happened in that building that I bought in!

So I completely panicked, I just thought, ‘This is crazy! [00:21:57] I just spent a lot of money buying in this place, it's probably going to go down, it's probably never going to get rented out.’ So I drove up to Mount Druitt and sure enough, there was a police commander out the front, there was all the police tape everywhere, there’s a sea of flowers and teddy bears and people talking out front. And I was just thinking, ‘What have I done?!’ But sure enough, after it settled, there was a tenant that moved in a week or two straight after that and at that point, the penny dropped and I was like, ‘You know what, this strategy works.’ If you're buying in a place that has solid fundamentals, that has a strong demand for housing - whether it be owner-occupied or for renting or for both - it has good infrastructure, it’s got transport, schools, etc, it really doesn't matter what your own personal beliefs are about that particular area. It's the old adage of taking the emotion out of investing. So I guess those couple of properties really made the penny drop for me and realise, ‘Wow, this property investment thing can actually work!’

This also happened to be the moment where everything clicked and fell into place for Chuah.

I think I needed that to really trust in the strategy and the plan because let's face it whenever you're buying a property, as obvious as it sounds you're shelling out a lot of money and you're going into it with a leap of faith. So I think it was absolutely necessary that I had that a-ha moment. A lot of it is psychology, you're kind of grappling with your own fears, or your own concerns, or experiences of the past, or hearing horror stories, or else you're being sold by someone who's supposedly had no skill. Having that moment where you go, ’OK, it all makes sense to me,’ because it's one thing hearing about it or reading about it or listening to it from another source, It's completely different when you know that for sure.

In terms of the location of his properties, he believes in diversifying his portfolio to avoid putting all of his eggs in one basket.

Many of my properties are in Sydney and NSW, I'd say probably about two-thirds of them. I’ve got round about eight properties or so in Queensland, so kind of the greater Brisbane area like the Logan area and around the Ipswich area. I've got a couple further up the Queensland coast within NSW, it's mainly kind of western Sydney like Campbelltown, Liverpool, Parramatta kind of area, Mount Druitt area, so sort of the greater west.

There are a few regional properties that I have, one in Moree, one in Albury area, Tamworth, Orange, so they're a bit spread out. I guess that was also by design, I was clear from the start that I don't want to buy all in the same suburb or just by one block of 10 units and then have all of your money sitting in that. It’s fairly clear that that may serve you really well, but what if it doesn't?

Chuah’s worst investing moment came when one of his properties was set on fire not once, but twice!

I had a pretty scary moment last year. I was actually overseas and one of my staff called me and said, ‘I'm really sorry to spoil your trip, but one of your properties has burnt down.’ I was sort of in stunned silence for a little while and I said, ‘Is anyone hurt?’ and the answer was no. Then in probably one of the longest 10 seconds of my life, I kind of fumbled around frantically just to make sure that my insurance policy was still in place. And thankfully it was. And it was a strange story because it appears like it was tenant-related, either the kids or something to do with an electrical fire and it burnt pretty much a lot of the house and a hole in the roof. So we were in the process of getting it all assessed and what was going to be the damage and that in itself probably took about six months. Part of the complication was this property was an older place and it had asbestos in it, so it needed to be treated with a bit more care.

Then the insurance company was sort of in the process of getting it finalised, then I get a call back in February from the property manager saying, ‘Oh, your property last night, there was another fire.’ I was like, ‘You’re kidding!’ So apparently some hoodlums or whoever it was going around and saw that the property was there, kind of half-burnt and they just decided to finish the job. We went through the whole process again and finally, only literally last month it's just been resolved and the whole thing's settled. I'm sitting on a piece of land with a lot of charcoal on it, so if any of your listeners are interested in it, please get in touch.

Wow. So could that be turned into a potential development opportunity?

Look, it's unlikely in this particular area. It's one of the regional properties that I have and the demographics probably don't lend itself to a new development or anything.

Buying 25 Properties: How to Earn $350,000 Cash Flow in Real Estate Market

buying real estate

So what held Chuah back from initially investing in property?

I think the fear of loss was holding me back, as my background is fairly risk-averse. Again, university educated, family very kind of conservative Asian, as my parents had only owned their house that they lived in or they still live in Cherrybrook and also at some point in time, a third of another investment unit in Westmead. So it was very much when I spoke to my parents about it you know Mum was actually saying, ‘Don't go into it, it's not a good idea, you might lose a lot of money, etc.’ I guess from that point on, I was concerned that, ‘What if something went wrong?’ So that was the mindset aspect of it, the fear of it and also when you're starting out, the enormity of the task ahead.

I'd started out not having any networks or contacts like you don't know where to start. As I said, I was driving around suburb after suburb; at one point a work colleague said, ‘Maybe you should get a residence report.’ So I purchased one online, then I went through the top 100 suburbs and I still couldn't pick one because there's just so much information out there. As I said earlier, I was doing the seminar circuit where everybody has a different product offering or a different story, you get overwhelmed by the whole thing. So it was a bit daunting at the start.

How does your mum feel now about your portfolio? I wonder what she said!

I think my parents are pretty close-lipped about it. They ask me every now and then, ‘Are you still buying?’ So I think there's an element of either wonder or curiosity and there's also the element of the worry you know, what if there's a property bubble? What if everything goes down the drain? And I guess they’re rational concerns, there's always a risk associated with any business or investment activity and without really consciously doing it, over the first few years a lot of what I did was risk mitigation.

This is what I talk to a lot of my clients now about, it's all well and good to go and buy 10 properties or 15, or however many it is. But really there are things that could go wrong, so we talk about the insurance side, the billing insurance side, what are the risks within the market, what are the risks with the strategy that you're looking at? Then probably even more critically, how can we mitigate those risks - do we need to look at having a cash surplus or do we need to have a look at our life insurance and income insurances? Do we need to seek expert advice in accounting, or purchasing the property, or legal, or financial, or whatever it is; and all of those are really important risk mitigations.

He sought out additional experts to help develop his own bread and butter strategy and to form his team.

It was mainly the buyer's agents that helped me. I was really fortunate in that I had my sister in law, who did all the conveyancing for me, again part of that trusted team thing where I knew that she was always following up the vendor and she was always following up parties. She was always on the lookout for our interests and I had a really good accountant also at the time. So the value of a team, it's just so important that the team having expertise and specialisation in each of their respective areas. And you take advice from those experts because they've seen hundreds of transactions in the past and they know what to do, not just to set up your portfolio or to make the purchase, but in case something went wrong they could give advice on that.

To take Chuah from zero to 25 properties, he enlisted the help of buyer’s agency which became a crucial step in building his wealth through property.

buying real estate

The buyer’s agency a really critical cog in the wheel because many like myself, many of my colleagues, or friends, family, aren't property experts but a lot of people look at buying the property themselves. In hindsight, I was wanting to do the same so definitely not judging them or anything, but it doesn't make sense when you think it's the biggest commitment that you'll ever make. And one of the biggest financial commitments - and life commitments - that you'll make is buying either an owner-occupied or investment property and people don't seek expert advice on it, whereas they'll seek expert advice on many other things. Their health through a doctor or a dentist, or their car at a mechanic - so why wouldn't you seek expert advice on that particular transaction? Buyer’s agencies are really important and I'm not saying you can't buy a buy property by yourself, because when you're buying an owner-occupied you’re buying in an area with your own requirements in mind, a particular lifestyle, a particular locality, access to transport, all of those things. So it kind of makes sense, but when buying an investment it's so important to get it right because the flip side of getting it right can be that it can set you back significantly if you buy in an area that doesn't do anything for many years. Or even worse if you're buying in a place that's overvalued, or there's an oversupply, or something wrong with the area. So I think having a buyer’s agent that sits down and does the research, does transactions, speaking to local agents and monitoring those particular markets in those particular areas, or even greater NSW, Australia is so important because it's that expert advice.

The other thing with the buyer’s agent I found was it saved me so much time. I'd gone through the motions of trying to find a suburb and a house that I was completely unsuccessful with and the buyers agents, that's their job, day to day research and recommendations and negotiations. So what the buyer’s agents helped me with a lot as I didn't have to go in and negotiate with the agents or vendor around, not just the price of the property, but also the terms and the longer settlement, or early access. That's all part of their service and these buyer’s agents are expensive, but if they're adding value to the transaction - and this is how I described it to my clients who ask my advice for whether they should use a buyer's agent - if it's going to add value, then absolutely. Nothing wrong with it if you're an expert in the area that you're looking to buy in, or you've done a lot of research and you're happy to pound the pavement, go to open homes, speak to agents and do all of the negotiations. Nothing wrong with doing it yourself, it just takes longer. And if you're not an expert in the area or in any property and you don't really know what you're looking for, then you could make a very expensive mistake, which is another form of insurance. You pay the buyer’s agency, but you know that you're going to get a quality outcome.

It’s also important for the buyer’s agent to fit in with the other members of your property team in order for things to run smoothly.

The team is so important because you can't be an expert in every single area and that's what professionals are there for. So having a team that you can trust and not only that you can trust, but also work well together - the buyer's agents working in with the solicitor, working in with the broker, getting input from the accountant as to which name to purchase the property in, or which entity, what's most tax effective and have it all coming together. The purchase of a property is a massive milestone because you can't undo it easily. It's a very liquid asset, the title deed’s set almost in stone. There are ways to change it but it's very expensive.

The best advice he has received is focused on creating a good mindset around your approach to property.

Probably the best advice is it's 80% psychology, 20% strategy. So before getting into the nuts and bolts of which area to buy in, whatever it is, if you've got a good attitude towards investing and a good strategy towards investing that's probably the most important thing, getting that fixed. Then after that, the strategy will follow - the techniques and the team and all the rest of it will follow.

I'm a big fan of personal development, I'm a bit of a seminar junkie. I like Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss and a lot of the experts that have been around for many years that look at that psychology aspect of it. I find that really helpful, really inspiring as well.

At the beginning of Chuah’s journey, it wasn’t part of his strategy to use a buyer’s agent. However as he continued to educate himself on the property, he came across a forum which lead him to it.

I think I hadn't even heard of what a buyer's agent was back when I was going through the whole thing, that's how new I was. Back then they didn't have podcasts, but I was researching on online, going to websites, going to expos and sitting in on seminars. It wasn't until I actually stumbled over this particular group on an internet forum that I thought I might check it out. It didn't make initial sense to me at the start, it was like I was just trying everything, just following up every lead that I could and see where it took me and that in itself was a long and exhausting process. But it was a necessary one because there's a lot of information out there, it’s about filtering out the ones that are suitable for you and your situation.

From there, he absorbed their strategy and utilised it to begin building his portfolio.

When I went to one of their information nights, I sat in on it and listened to them. I think just being there in person, having the ability to ask them questions and interact with them, that was as much of an influencing factor as much as the strategy that they touted. So everything made sense me in the way that they explained it; it seemed like a relatively low risk, straightforward strategy. It's just the buy and hold strategy at the most basic form. But the fact that I could actually talk to the guys and ask them questions… they had their own experiences and they just seemed like genuine guys. I think it came down to a gut feeling. At that point in time, I said, ‘You know what, I'll give this a go.’ So that's when I bought the three properties in six weeks. But even then I still had my doubts, until that a-ha moment where I said, ‘Everything today that they said has turned out. They said this property would rent for $360 a week and it's getting $370 a week.’ Even though with real estate you don't know how the property is going to perform in terms of the capital growth, because obviously that happened over a number of years, it just felt right. I had the team in place, I had something to sort of aim towards and I was like, ‘You know what, I think it's working. So I'm just going to continue with the strategy.’

As Chuah has built his portfolio, his goals have also evolved greatly over time as well.

The initial goal was to buy three properties in like three years, so one property a year. That was quickly shot out of the air and I guess the goals keep on changing; as the initial goal sort of went from three properties, to 10 properties, to 20 properties and now it's 50 properties. But I guess the number doesn't really matter, what matters is that there is a goal in place and that you are moving towards it and the target’s in place for you to shoot at. Just as long as you're aiming in that general direction, you're moving in the right direction. 

I want to achieve a level of financial independence. With the portfolio I have an equity goal, so an equity goal of $10 million and a passive-income goal as well. So it's kind of a couple of sub-goals. But again, they almost seem to be changing on a year to year basis. It's important to have a goal but I'm probably not focusing on the goal as heavily as I probably could or should.

"It's 80% psychology, 20% strategy … if you've got a good attitude towards investing and a good strategy towards investing that's probably the most important thing."
-Sze Chuah

I am in a stage of my life that I'm only 36 still, so I'm not looking to retire and not do anything for many years - I'm currently in a vocation that I really enjoy and get a lot out of. And even if I wanted to change careers, I don't think I would just sit under a palm tree for the rest of my life you know, bliss out or drink cocktails or whatever it is. I’ll always be looking to do something and the way my portfolio is structured at the moment is consistent with that. It's not very highly geared, but there is still a considerable amount of debt associated with it. But I'm not concerned about that at this point in time, because I'm not looking at wanting to draw that passive income any time soon.

So what is he sitting on, in terms of the market value of his portfolio and the cash flow it is generating?

The properties are worth almost $10 million in total, so about $9.5 million. In total aggregate, in excess of total rent from all the properties, over $350,000 a year. There's a lot of debt that is associated with the portfolio that I'm looking at paying down, so there's all the usual expenses. It's not a $300,000 profit, it's $300,000 less council rates and insurance and interest and strata, etc.

Depending on the entities, overall it would be around neutral I would say. It's a little bit negative, given that over the last couple of years I took a bit of a break when I started the business and a lot of my energies and focus were spent getting the business off the ground. I’ve more recently started purchasing a few again, so any time that you're going through the acquisition phase it does kind of put a bit of a dent on the cash flow. A lot of the times you're not using your own cash to put down the deposit you're using your equity, so you're effectively borrowing the whole amount or even the whole amount plus the cost. So now you're borrowing 105% of the value of the property, plus the fact that given the current state of the market a lot of properties aren't massively positively geared as was the case maybe three to five years ago.

Turning the conversation to books, Chuah recommends a book which kick-started his motivation to invest in property.

The book that kind of got me started when I was wanting to learn more about everything - and this is very much on the psychology side as well - was Rich Dad Poor Dad. A very famous classic, but it really reinforced to me where I was in the life quadrant of employee, self-employed, business owner or Investor. It was like, ‘Hey, I really need to do something,’ and it was really easy to read as well. Robert Kiyosaki makes it very interesting with these little stories and if anything, it was an inspiration for me to go, ‘Hey you know what, I need to learn more, I need to find out more. There's a whole world that's unexplored.’ Yeah, that was a great book.

A personal habit which he believes has contributed to his success is being consistently frugal.

I think a strong savings mentality that was instilled by my parents, so sort of being quite a value-conscious; that was something that kind of helped me set aside money. When I was living at home I wasn't married, didn't have kids at that time, it was quite easy to save. And even when I left my full-time job and my wife wasn't working as well, it really served me well to have those habits of just being value-conscious and having a view towards the future and towards saving and investing.

I guess some financial savviness has always been with me, but it's just the habit that helped me with property investing and also a real inclination towards learning and growth and development. I think that's always wanting to expand my horizons and continue to improve my portfolio, my business, or my relationships with my family, or my team, or whoever it is. It's always that mindset, that continual improvement mindset.

So if Chuah met his past self from 10 years ago, what would he say?

Buy everything you can! Hindsight’s a wonderful thing.

It’s kind of my cheeky way of saying just have a shot at it, because if you don't have a shot you're going to die wondering and there's no worse pain than dying with regret or getting old with regret and going, ‘I could have done this,’ or ‘I should have done this.’ A lot of the things in the journey that I've been through, whether through the investment journey or the business or life in general, I've been really glad that I had given it a whirl. I've given it a go and sometimes it doesn't always turn out the way you initially wanted it, but there are things that you can learn from it and all the good things have come from giving it a whirl. So when I said, ‘Just buy everything you can,’ it's kind of like a metaphor for just ‘Put yourself out there.’ I know it's a massive cliche, but I feel that it really rings true because unless you give it a whirl then nothing's really going to happen.

If you wish to connect with Chuah and learn more from him, you can do so through social media or his company’s website.

Find us on and that's my mortgage business right now. You can connect with me on LinkedIn or Facebook.

I'm just happy to be able to help like-minded people. So, people who want to build a portfolio of properties, I have walked that journey before and always happy to help my clients through the same journey. It's something that we specialise in and we do every day, working with the banks is not always an easy thing and when you approach a bank directly, you know that bank’s the right one for you. Are they setting up your loans correctly, setting your whole structure up correctly? That's what me and my team are here for. So feel free to get in touch, there are no silly questions. Always happy to have a chat and share my personal experiences as well.

This episode was produced by Andrew Faleafaga with narrations and interviews conducted by Tyrone Shum.

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Be the most trusted and innovative brand among the community of property developers and investors in Australia.
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