Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Guts To Invest

I was very elated and sang like a lark since I embarked into my new job pastures as blogged earlier. I managed to sell 5 houses and 1 factory, alone single handedly by my own sweat. It was no easy feat at all, knowing that all the fussy buyers were merely cash rich investors only, so making them to sign their cheque books required some Grandma's sweet talking crappy skills and curry spices to convince them to the fullest details. My Alphard boss was happier of course, as my original job isn't selling his properties at all. Now he will probably rope me in to prepare for their next coming tender for the biggest ever residential development project in the North. Yay!

When I get to smell my small cash rewards next year, I plan to fly off for a long vacation somewhere exotic and eye opening. Guess where?? I am dreaming of riding the hunched camels in the Gobi Desert along the China's historical Silk Road, besides visiting the ancient terracotas of Xian and watch the merry folk dances by Urumugi natives. Yay!

I think I inherited some property trading and arm-twisting from my old mum since I was a small little brat. In those old days, she built a whole row of tall shophouses in the sleepy town of Songkhla's main street and rented them out. That's when her tenants' nightmares began and she dealt one by one with a clenched fist and chopper in hand. Mum's tenants were all big male tyrant bullies and I remembered one asked us to take as many shoes we fancied from his shop in exchange for back dated unpaid rentals. Sadly, we took none as they were so damn old fashioned and many suited the Thai farmers or Phua Chu Kang!

Then, my late grandpa added to her woes and rented away her huge piece of empty prime land to some agriculture farmers near the famous Prince of Songkhla University. It was always fun to tag along as I had never seen a real stinking animal farm and I remembered singing "Old McDonald Had A Farm, Ee-ya-Ee-ya-O".... There were so many chicken coops and pig sties all over the vast green vegetable plots. I heard the din of hens clucking and pigs' grunt oink-oink while I stepped on all their manure dumps everywhere!

Mum was screaming at her tenants for not paying their rents and my grandpa was so soft to settle for 2,000 EGGS each month instead of cash. Back home near the famous touristy Mermaid's statue, my Thai cousins went bonkers and in tears for having to eat omelettes for every meal with lots of home baked cakes and all-egg desserts. They were farting egg pongs so much daily at home with their cholesterol and testosterone levels escalating each day. They all have phobia till today to consume eggs!

When I went to study in the States, I was surprised that I had the big guts to take up a lovely yuppie's trendy condo to rent for myself after a horrific stay experience at the typical nightmarish American boarding school. You can imagine those cafeteria dining fights, common open stalls male shower and corridor pranks by notorious African students on Asian targets. I had enough of that share, just like shown in the Hollywood movies with our own rebellious Oriental gang. Naturally, I pampered myself with this swanky condo and found a rich Korean and Japanese whimp housemates to pay the exhorbitant rent to suit my fancy! Later on, a homeless Korean gal who was kicked out by her landlord begged to join us 3 guys but we had no extra room for her. So, I wickedly rented her the sofa to sleep every night for US$80 per month!! That was a bomb price over 10 years ago. So, that was my first taste of real estate business.

Now back to my KL's scene today, I have been chatting with several landlord friends lately on their nagging headaches with their respective tenants. Late rentals and property damages seem to be top in the list of problems but I quickly pointed out the need to endure these expected shits while watching the prices of their properties appreciate.

Hey guys, please remember that this sort of investment requires your tremendous tolerance and utmost patience so that you could smile when you sell off your unit at a higher handsome price later. You will soon beam & laugh your way to the bank and forget all the stress your fugly tenants had given. Heeeeeeeee!

I don't mind sharing just 1 case of my current tenants who have been renting my units. 10 years ago, I lived in this petite high rise condo below which sits on a convenient and central KL's location, besides offering me the panoramic view of KL's skyline and Genting Highlands silhouetted against the dotting luxury bungalow homes on the sprawling hill. From my windows, it was like a good feng shui for me to admire their posh properties to keep my brain cells positive and probably inhale their wealthy 'chi' from afar. Kekeke!

  • The view of KL and Genting Highlands from my window.

I hired a property agent to select a suitable tenant from the waiting list. Yes, there were a number of potential tenants waiting to grab this convenient condo. I met this potential who is a married Iranian student with a cute face resembling actor Tobey Maguire. His conservative wife was heavily veiled in black from head to toe. They were polite and friendly, so we signed the contract with agreement that I had to change all the brand new soft lights to normal bright ugly flourescent tubes for his long study hours! Fine, I was sympathetic and forked out money to remove all my brand new lamps!

The second weekend after they shifted in, he called me to complain that there were so many dogs outside his window!
OMG! What dogs??? There were so far below outside where there's a popular weekly dog training session which has drawn lots of owners from all over Klang Valley! I told him off that he had all the lovely view to admire and not to look down below at the canines. What a stupid Iranian tenant I have got! He took great offense at the sight of dogs outside.
He finally wore my patience out after I have seen his number on my phone so many times over the years. I got my property agent to silence him forever and it worked cos I have threatened to kick him out.

1. He wanted me to replace all the blown lights and tubes which I did.
2. He wanted the 3rd air con in the living room cos his parents were visiting & Malaysia is fucking hot! I told him to pack his bloody bags and GO HOME!!
3. His bathroom leaked to the unit below and I had to repair them costly! Gosh! I guessed he and his wife must be having wildest kinky sex ala stomping camel style in the bathroom till my tiles cracked!
4. He complained the unit above leaked into his room and my sub-con told me it was the air con's pipe. My tenant is a confirmed moron doing his Phd. studies!!
5. He wanted to hang his photos and got me to drill nail hooks on my walls! I made him climb my walls instead!
6. He always paid his rent superbly late and blamed his internet was down to transfer. Fucked him I did, with the help of my agent.

This is my best advice that you need to hire and love your agent who can do tremendous jobs for you! My Iranian tenant has been tamed like an obedient camel and renewed another year! I am sharing and not complaining all this as the price of that unit has soared up 200% since its launch 10 years ago. Not all tenants are bad and I have another set of good heaven-sent tenants who never raised my eyebrows. We need to have the guts to invest in properties! Smile no matter what because the tenants are paying while your property is appreciating.

If you have no guts but doubts on property matters, feel free to ask me over coffee!



25 comments:

  1. wow..i would love to do that but I hv none :(

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  2. You are a winner. If only i have more money to do this kind of investment.

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  3. wow, Arumugam so rich but how come never invest in your own motherland?? haiz, poor Letchumi still suffering from eating sweet potato and you're happily earning lots of money here..

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  4. Thambee also wanted to get a house, but because of all those investor like Arumugam, the houses are getting more and more expensive.. inflated so much that Thambee can never cope at all!! @_@

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  5. so now wonder Arumugam getting richer and richer, never bother to go back to motherland and chasing around the bushes and coconut trees together with Letchumi already~~

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  6. so how many properties have Arumugam holding on hand?? want to "give" one to Thambee or not?? hahahahaha~~ Thambee make you cheese chapatti want or not?? :D

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  7. I have the guts, but haven't any money. Can help me out with the second part?

    See, I do read your blog, uuuunnnclleeee Twilight. Don't 'mang zhang', ok?

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  8. I am lazy, can you just give me one unit? I promise I will be good.

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  9. haha... if got $$ i also wish to invest like u.. lol

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  10. Wow---you are quite a salesman --and investor. I'm impressed... You should write a book helping people learn how to do what you do... BUT--I think you have to have a certain personality to begin with in order to be a great sales person... I'm not sure that people can 'learn' that trait---but if they have it (like you do), they could learn what works and what doesn't....

    I know when you have rental property, you DO have to be careful because many tenants are not going to take care of that property... You have to have ALL of the rules (each and every one) written down --and they need to sign the 'contract'.... If they are late in payments, put them out (like you did)....

    Great post.... I enjoyed it --and I'm PROUD of you.
    Betsy

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  11. You have inherited your grandma's iron fists..your Iranina tenant got Permanent Head Damage {PHD}? You must have contributed quite a lot to the property tax. For bolehland the RPGT tax comes and go like a magic show "now you see it now you don't"..

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  12. Looks like your upbringing provided you with some background to help you make your mark.

    I'm a noob when it comes to properties. Enjoyed reading your stories, because I haven't had the luxury to have excess properties to buy/sell/rent.

    Way to go, Twilight!

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  13. i love puppy :)

    invest not necessary have to buy hse ma~ can buy shoplots too

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  14. hi! it's my first visit to your blog and i'm loving it. insightful, spirited and really honest. thanks!

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  15. u were staying just opposite me then

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  16. Haha ... I heard of all these stories when u rent out to expats. Even some locals are demanding too! Well, being a property agent can earn good money if you make it. I heard of some millionaires agents around but as you said, it's not an easy job. Majority drops out and go back to their usual jobs. Have a good week!!!

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  17. Wenn ~ You can easily invest in KL properties without any downpayment esp 2nd hand units. KL properties are affordable and appreciate steadily.

    Medie007 ~ I am not rich but laden with loans and loans! Only my heart is rich, you know that.

    William ~ Me Shrewd? I am, more than that.

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  18. LEon ~ You are based in Singapore and the property prices are crazily high esp around Orchard Road area. So join the many Singaporeans who invested in KL, cos they are dirt cheap to you all :)

    SK Thamby ~ I am still a slum dog and never forget my roots lah. Our motherland homes are made of waste wood and cow dungs!!! Teach me how to invest in that. Buy more cows?? LOL
    You sure you wanna buy a unit? I got 1 soon-to-be completed bachelor's condo suite to offer you! Mahu??

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  19. Legolas ~ You are so cute, I'm not mang zhang leh. You want me to help the 2nd part is which part? Lower part or middle part, I am confused lo. Oh you want agent kah?

    C'est la vie ~ You will be good and get a unit? OMG! That's outrageous request. I will give you a toy lego house, boleh?

    Mr. Lonely ~ You are still so damn young and I am already a late starter grandma! Make sure you book a unit when you get your first bonus!

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  20. Betsy From Tennessee ~ I consider myself as a thick skinned man and had done TV appearances for many years before. So I am bold & thick skinned that I can go knocking door to door begging. Thanks for your sweet compliments from so faraway and you certainly make me happier and motivated. I will heed your advice to be on my toes at all times when dealing with tenants.

    Bananaz@ ~ I love your phrase of a Permanent Head Damage! LOL... I will tell the Iranian that. Taxes? I dare not blog about this evading part!!! LOL

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  21. Shingo T ~ You are another Singaporean here and you guys sit on the world's prime island where your property prices sky rocket so fast! There's not cheapo units in your republic like here where I am only dabbling in mickey mouse units. I love Singapore, Majulah Singapura!!!

    L2 ~ Invest in KL's shoplots is a terrible choice. Just look at the glut and empty units today. I shudder!

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  22. John Chen ~ I am flattered to see you come to read my babblings from my head. I think you are a great blogger with full of flair and oomph! Many thanks and come again John!

    Johnny Ong ~ I told you so many times that I lived opposite and invited you to have teh tarek. You ignored me, how sad! Now we both are not there anymore. LOL...

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  23. ChrisAu ~ Yeah I always dream to be a successful real estate agent like my buddy who now heads Raine Horne! His face splashes on the newspaper so often!

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