The Secret Trick That Miss X Used To Make $3,967,872.67 In Property Last Year

Lisa Seow @GoodPlaceHQ

Alright, I’ll fess up. That title was completely made up. While “Miss X” was a real person who came to visit the HackerHub last Friday, I didn’t know how much money she made in property last year using the aforementioned “secret trick“. She was, however, a new addition to The Mentor’s mastermind group, and members of this group were as legitimate as they would come since The Mentor wouldn’t easily let anyone enter his inner circle without combing his/her background in fine detail, Gestapo-style.

“I’m a conservative businessperson,” Miss X clarified as she sipped her skinny latte that we tapau’ed at the nearby Starbucks in SetiaWalk. “If you’re looking for stories on how I flipped an entire KLCC condo for megabucks then I’m not your girl.”

Fair enough, I replied.

“When I read about your blog post debunking the myth that Mont Kiara was having an oversupply problem, I laughed out loud. The things you wrote about were so true! But at the same time, I wished that you didn’t write that because then I was still loading up my inventory with Mont Kiara stock. I didn’t need the extra competition to hike up the prices!”

“As you and I both know, misinformation is the name of the game as far as property goes. As The Mentor would say, behind every popular belief there’s someone behind the curtains pulling the strings and making gobs of money off the gullible people who subscribe to that belief.”

She nodded. “Of course, I know that only too well. In fact, I’ve failed to make any money in my first ten years in this game. Only when I closely examined my own beliefs and started questioning the validity of those beliefs did I really make progress. And from then onwards, I had completely disconnected myself from the proverbial herd and really started thinking for myself. And that’s only when I started making money. In fact, I made nearly $4,000,000 in Mont Kiara using just this one technique last year.”

I started shifting around in my chair because I felt a little uncomfortable with the frothiness of her statements. She was beginning to sound like an Investment Adviser / Property Guru getting ready to sucker me into her $297.77 this-weekend-only “Achieve Your Financial Independence” scaminar. I needed concrete details to ease my agitation which was increasing by the minute.

“Pretty vague stuff so far. Tell me what that trick is, and give me a concrete example on how you used it to make your millions. Spill it!”

Going Against The Grain

She chuckled at my impatience. “OK, Khai Yin, first, let me clarify this. The trick that I use is hardly a secret. But it does against what common sense would dictate. In fact, I once told this to a group of people at a seminar in Penang last year and I chased off the stage. The organizer even pulled me aside and told me not to insult the intelligence of his audience!”

My level of curiosity went up one whole notch with that remark.

“So what did you tell them?”

She paused for effect. “I told them when I buy sub-sale properties, I buy the worst house of the block.”


I wanted to make sure that I had heard her correctly. “The worst, you said?”

“Yes. The absolute worst. Of the entire block.”

No wonder she got boo-ed off stage, I thought.

“Why wouldn’t I pick the best looking house off the block? This is quite counter-intuitive like what you’ve said.”

She smiled. “Yes, I know. It may not be immediately apparent, but hear me out first before you jump into conclusions.”

“I guess if you really made $4 million off the Mont Kiara sub sale market last year then there must be a method in your apparent madness.” I tried my best to hide my skepticism of her from her.

She smiled, and took another sip of her latte. “You see, Khai Yin, there’s something curious about Malaysians I have found.” (Khai Yin’s note: like our good friend Melanie, she hailed from the US of A.)

“Which is?”

“Like in many East Asian countries, here, the face factor is very important. I’ve dealt with both the buyers and the sellers and their agents for more than two years now, and here’s I’ve found that in general. Malaysians would rather live in the worst house of a prestigious neighbourhood than to be the king of a slummy area. They like to brag that they live in Mont Kiara or KLCC even if it’s the cheapest property in those areas. Truth.”

I was beginning to see where she was going. “So what you’re saying is that the worst property on the block in a prestigious neighbourhood is always a better investment than the best property in the slums.”

She nodded. “There you go. But do you know why?”

I sat back on my chair and pondered. “Let me see. If I’ve bought the worst house in a good neighbourhood, there’s room to push its value up to its theoretical ceiling while the best house in the slums is already at its price ceiling by definition.”

“Correct,” she said. “Now as we know, the theoretical price ceiling is set by the neighbouring properties since when appraisers do their job, they look for comparables which are the neighbouring houses. When you’re lagging behind the other houses in the area, you have got the opportunity to fix it and boost its value.

Why Dutamas Will Always “Lag Behind” Central Mont Kiara

It all made perfect sense now, and my admiration for her started to grow. When she told me that she made millions and wanted to talk to me, naturally, I thought she was just one of those failed wannabe “investors” who turned Guru to eke out a living. But I was wrong. She was indeed the real deal.

But still, I had wanted to know exactly what she did in Mont Kiara.

I wouldn’t call Dutamas a slum, but let’s face it, it will always lag behind Mont Kiara proper,” she explained. “The reason is that demand for central Mont Kiara condominiums will always outpace Dutamas.”

“I would want to tell my friends that I live in Mont Kiara instead of Jalan Dutamas Raya, Segambut.”

She smiled and nodded. “Don’t underestimate the power of the ego and emotions in this business.”

“Now why would anyone wonder that the developers are fast rebranding the Dutamas area into North Kiara? Very smart move indeed.”

She laughed. “Unless the rebranding is successful and people actually stop referring to the place as Dutamas Raya, I’ll go for a beat-up, 15-year-old Mont Kiara condo on Jalan Kiara anytime.

Smart cookie.

“So while people are lining up at the new launches at Dutamas and other fringe areas of Mont Kiara, I have been stocking up on old Mont Kiara condominiums, improving them, and then exited for good profit.”

“Alright. But how do you look for these hidden gems? What’s your buying criteria?”

“That’s really the million ringgit question. I will look for those with enough headroom for me to turn a profit after I make substantial improvements on them. And here’s how I estimate a property’s fair value and its potential upside…

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK: Miss X spills more about her contrarian techniquesincluding how she would place the fair value on the “worst house on the block”. Watch this space.

About Khai Yin

When I am not writing for GoodPlace.my and helping my readers find properties though the DealMatcher service, I spend time doting on my three kids: Wenyi, Qinyi and Eian. My personal stuff, some published essays and contact details can be found at khaiyin.com

Comments

  1. Good sharing, heard this technique before.

  2. Isn’t that same as saying “Buy undervalued property in the most prestigious location you can afford (even if the property in that prestigious location happens to be an old condo)”? Does this also mean investors like Miss X has exited Jln Kiara subsale condos entirely? Almost anyone who entered the market in 2010 and exited in 2013 would have made money in the KV, unless the property happened to be a real dud. Regards.

    • She didn’t say, but I’ve got a feeling that she has exited for good since she’s freely outing the technique. She also told me where she’s focusing now, but alas, I am not at the liberty of disclosing where those areas are.

  3. Thanks Khai Yin, enjoyed reading your write up..interesting and useful

  4. Amazing story by Miss X. It does make sense , interesting and amazing to have thought about it in the first place

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