Sunday, April 13, 2014

An interview with property soul plus new book launch: No B.S. Guide to Property Investment

Investing in properties is one of the many ways to create passive income and you can even get rich through this investment. When we think about property investment, there may be many questions on our minds. When is the best time to invest? How much money do we need? Is it risky? What's the strategy to successful property investment?

I'm privilege to have an interview with the owner of property soul and feature it in my blog today. She's a property enthusiast who bought her first condominium unit for rent in 2002. In the next 4½ years, she built up a portfolio of five private properties. By 2008, its total value had more than doubled. In 2010 and 2011, she sold four of the properties, realizing a net profit of 80 to 120 percent.

This year, she published her first book titled " No B.S. Guide to Property Investment – Dirty Truths and Profitable Secrets to Building Wealth Through Properties." In this interview, she will share with us more on property investment and what we can expect from her new book.

Q: Tell us more about property soul and what is it about? is a personal blog set up in 2010 with two objectives in mind:

1. To share my personal experiences as a property investor in Singapore; and
2. To exchange ideas with fellow investors on accumulating wealth through properties. has by far published over 120 blog posts which are often being reposted at Yahoo News,, Singapore Investment Bloggers,, Singapore Daily,, Singapore Business Review, Temasek Review and other wealth blogs.  
I am grateful that my blog has a regular group of followers now. We also organize Meet the Blogger sessions for networking. The next one will be held on April 27.              

Q: How and when did you get interested in property investment and what got you started?   

I come from a very humble background and I have dreamed of owning my own place from a very young age. I started researching about private properties after I relocated myself to Singapore in my 20s.  And I finally bought my first private property for rent before the age of 30.

Q: How would you advise a young person, with zero experience, who wants to invest in properties? What are the risks involved? 

1. Don’t buy what everybody else is buying.
2. Don’t buy what the ‘so-called experts’ recommend.
3. Don’t trust any get-rich-quick program.
4. Don’t believe in buying with little or no money down.
5. Don’t think that it is so simple to buy with crowdfunding.

Because you can end up holding an overpriced property, a troubled property, a white elephant, or a negative equity (when property value falls below outstanding loan). It can take years, decades or forever to breakeven.

The only formula to accumulate wealth through property investment is to ‘save before invest’, and ‘research before purchase’.

Q: What are the factors you look out for when you invest in a property? Is there any strategy to be successful in property investing?  

1. An attractive net monthly ROI (Return on Investment);
2. A high quality and well-maintained project;
3. A good location (in the eyes of my prospective tenants); and
4. A good resident or tenant profile.

For strategy, I like to call it the winning formula STAB (Specialization + Teamwork + Analyses + Back-up plan).
1. Specialization: Focus on your strengths and build your priorities.
2. Teamwork: Build a strong team with your investment partner, property agent, mortgage bank, conveyancing lawyer and accountant.
3. Analyses: Conduct your own research and analyses.
4. Back-up plan: Have a contingency plan and more than one exit strategy.

Q: Would you share with us what properties you have in your investment portfolio currently? Do you invest in overseas or Singapore properties more? 

Currently, I have sold all my properties in Singapore except the one I am staying in now.
To make real money in any investment, you have to move in early when things are cheap. Make your money, exit early and pass the risk to the excited latecomers who can’t wait to get in.

I have studied the property market in a few overseas countries. I will only buy foreign properties:
1. When the timing is right;
2. When the return is much higher than what I can get in Singapore;
3. When I know more than the locals in that foreign property market.

Q: I heard you have a new book titled: "No B.S. Guide to Property Investment – Dirty Truths and Profitable Secrets to Building Wealth through Properties". Could you tell us more about this book and what readers can expect from the book? 

I am sharing with the readers an unbiased view of all the truths I know in the property industry; the lessons I learned after making my first bucket of gold investing in properties; and the stories I heard from property buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, agents, lawyers and bankers in my 12 years’ of property investment – all in 371 pages, 10 chapters, 101 articles and 50 real-life stories.

Q: Lastly, what's your view on the current situation of the property market? Is it a good time to invest? If not, when would be a better time to invest?

We have reached a turning point since 2013, though the media only starts to report it since 2014. It is not advisable to buy when the market is on its way down. As you can see in the history of property prices, patience will always be rewarded. Property has a cycle. Catch it only when it is low.

More about the new book

I've received a complimentary copy of the new book just recently from the author herself and have read the first few pages of it. The book is filled with real life experiences and honest sharing of strategies in property investment and provides readers a complete guide to it. This book is set to be available for sale at major bookstores in Singapore towards the end of this week.

Alternatively, you can order the book online and have it delivered to your door steps here:

Here's the link to watch the book trailer:

You can also access a free preview of the book here.

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