Dreaming Of Getting Rich Through Property? I’ve Got Some News For Ya…

Miss Money Piggy @GoodPlace

Note from Khai Yin: this is a guest post from Chai Heng, a seasoned investor with some 10 solid years of buying and selling properties under his belt. To get in touch with Chai Heng, just email me, or leave a message below.

And so you wake up in the morning, drag yourself to the bathroom, look at the mirror, and not liking what you see.

“This has got to stop!” and so you think to yourself. “Life is what I make of it, my decisions!” you continue. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”

And this goes on as you sit yourself down for breakfast. You pick up your iPhone, clicking on the big blue Facebook icon. And as you scroll down your timeline, this caught your eye:-

Scammer Guru!

“This guy went from broke to a multimillionaire in three months with no money down. Guaranteed loan approval, earn RM200K instantly!” (sic)

Then the clichéd “Eureka!” moment hits you like a lightning bolt. So this dream (of making it big in property) is not impossible at all, since some “guy” has done it…

…and guess what, there’s even the ‘before’ and ‘after’ picture of him, from rags to riches… what a dream! Nothing screams “you’ve arrived” louder than a red Lamborghini Murcielago with doors which open upwards like scissors!

Does this sound familiar to you? OK, if it does, then let me tell you this: that rags-to-riches guy on your Facebook timeline, his experiences, his achievements, may very well be real. But guess what, that’s exactly where the problem lies, too, and I’ll tell you why.

A Rising Tide Raises All Ships

You see, the property market boom in the past five years or so was very similar to the last general election in two ways.

First, both happened around the same period, and second, you could throw a stone into a crowd and the person that you hit could well be an MP who won contesting on an opposition ticket, just like how you could throw a dart on a Klang Valley map and bought almost any property in that area and made good money.

Unlike today, during that time, one would make money in property with nothing but gut feel.

Indeed, you can randomly select any property that you feel good about, be at the sales office early during the launch, sign some paperwork and then just wait for three to four years before selling for a profit. Rinse and repeat.

The problem is that people have been successful at investing in properties during the boom years and they attribute their success solely to their own abilities. Also, it’s the thought that “if that idiot can do it then so can I” that many people got burnt when the market turned, and boy did they get burnt badly.

What people don’t realize is that success in property is NOT typical, and that apart from the usual hard work, clever application of knowledge, grit and more often than not: LUCK! It shouldn’t therefore surprise you that those who are unwilling to put in the work or equip themselves with the right knowledge (read GoodPlace!) will often get frowned upon by lady luck…

… and in the end they get stuck with houses or apartments that no one wants to buy, get hit with dropping bank valuations and abysmal rental. The picture of that red hot Lambo parked in your porch is getting fainter by the day…

When You Can’t Do, Teach: The Rise Of Property Gurus

Now I hope I have convinced you that property, just like any other investment, is a game of both ability and luck. Indeed, sometimes you make money not because you’re smart, but because of external factors. As the saying goes, a rising tide raises all ships.

The problem with luck is that it can’t be predictably replicable, and it shouldn’t surprise you that those who couldn’t sustain their success in property will turn, you guess it, Guru. 🙂 After all, if you can’t do, teach!

Now Khai Yin’s distaste for Gurus is well known to every avid GoodPlace Digest subscriber, and for good reason, too. For me, every sales pitch which these Gurus make can be rebutted quite easily, and yet we want to believe them because of one reason – they give us hope.

We all have an innate urge to follow those who have strong opinions and who could communicate with conviction.

For example, we’d rather believe someone who confidently says that “Semenyih will definitely be the next property hotspot” than someone who pauses, thinks and says some like “I think, if the stock market holds up, and that US doesn’t raise interest rates, that 1MDB is non-issue, then I think, in general, property in the heart of KLmay do slightly better than the fringes.” Sadly, we are wired that way.

We naturally crave for the quick and easy solution; one which does not require us to think long and hard. We want uber-good returns with little risk (none if possible). After all, those Gurus surely must have done all the research, haven’t they? And if others can strike it rich and drive a red Lambo, then surely I can, too, right?

Wake up.

About Chai Heng

I've been buying and selling properties for close to 10 years. Hope to help others avoid the mistakes that I made over those years. Allergic to Gurus with their "general understanding, generally useless" brand of advice.


  1. Tung Yow Kong says:

    i totally agree with u, in all the seminars that i have attend regd no money down can only apply when u have 10 years or more investing experience b4 u can find that gem.

  2. Well said! My hubby has been telling me few years back when the market is booming; ” When the market is hot you see many gurus.” And teaching make more money than flipping property !
    When the market is moving up last few years you can simply throw a stone at any property in the market you can make money without even the guru telling you.

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