Hey guys! First off, I’d like say THANK YOU SO MUCH for the overwhelming response to the recent Rich Money Habits survey. I am learning a lot from your feedbacks. Rest assured, I am going through each and every one of your responses. This way, I get to understand what kind of financial information you are looking for so I know how best to help you. So keep them coming! 🙂
In fact, I have already gone through some of your feedbacks and a lot of them are requests to have more features on real-life inspirational people or leaders who set good examples in building wealth.
To give you an idea, here are some of the responses to the survey question “What improvements would you like to see in the Rich Money Habits Series?”
“I would like to read about real life experiences of those who have successfully implemented the habits to wealth”
– from Rod of Gensan, Philippines
“More examples of true to life stories. Testimonies.”
– from Leo of Manama, Bahrain
The really great news is we have a very timely feature for your today to address this overwhelming request from our readers. Lucky for you, I managed to get hold of the young real-estate investor millionaire, Eden April Alemania-Dayrit for an interview here at Rich Money Habits.
I met Eden last year when my wife and I tried to invest in a private-lending deal for a real-estate property. We partnered with Eden on that deal. We have since gotten back our investment with the agreed upon interest income and we are very very happy with the outcome. Through that deal, I have known how trustworthy Eden is, and that’s why I am very happy to have Eden featured here at Rich Money Habits.
Without further ado, here’s my interview with Eden April Alemania-Dayrit.
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. What were you busy with before you discovered real-estate investing?
I am a chemical engineer by profession who worked for semiconductor companies handling sustaining operations in manufacturing lines. Thinking that I will be an employee in the long run, I took up a master’s degree in Electronics Engineering. But on the last semester of the course, I decided not to finish it because that was when I began investing in real estate.
2) What made you decide to get into real-estate investing and how did you get started?
I got into the stock market and got burned in the mid-2007 market crash and hadn’t recovered. My boyfriend then (now my husband) and I partnered in a dimsum food stall in the place of his employment that later on included a waffle cart. It lasted for 6 months and we realized that food business is not our forte.
While still employed, I read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad and Think Rich Pinoy. These books inspired me to look beyond employment and pursue the path of entrepreneurship. We bought our first piece of real estate — a condominium unit in Taguig where we now live in. To save on acquisition cost, I applied as an agent. Little did we know that it was our spring board in our real estate career.
If I didn’t know how to cut my losses on other businesses early on, I wouldn’t have been in real estate investing.
3) Can you share with us the story of your first real-estate investment property?
It was a Quezon City townhouse. We bought it from a bank at 50% off market value through an auction and paid a downpayment of 20%. It was then sold at 70% market value on a flexible term scheme (rent-to-own) after 7 weeks of acquisition.
4) Can you give us an idea about the process you go through before you decide to invest in a real-estate property?
The real estate investing process is actually very simple. Find, fund, fix, sell then profit. But the real issue that most people have a hard time on is the thought process and deciding when to actually jump. I did the unthinkable — I quit my stable job. And that made it easy for me to decide to pursue the first property because I basically put everything at stake. It was a "now or never" decision that pushed me to do well. (Though I don’t advise people to do the same because that decision also had repercussions like I couldn’t take on a loan because I didn’t have a job that the bank requires to have that forced me to take on investors at the very beginning.)
5) What’s the most important habit you’ve learned so far that really helped you in your real-estate investing?
I learned to listen to mentors. I am a stubbornly independent person and I find it hard to do things if I don’t do them my way. But when I agreed to be under my mentors’ wing, I had no choice but to follow because I believed in what they taught me. I listened intently until I learned the ropes in real estate investing. Until I learned it well, I then improvised. I still am stubborn, but I use that trait to stubbornly pursue the deals that I am getting into.
6) If you can start your real-estate investing all over again, how would you do it differently, and why?
I’ve made a few mistakes along the way. Sometimes I wished that I could’ve asked for a higher price for a property or wished I didn’t buy a certain property. I sometimes thought that I should’ve set my criteria higher in selecting tenants. But these things were easily remedied and didn’t hurt a lot because I’ve set contingencies too. So if I could’ve done it all over again, I will still do what I’ve done because the small mistakes made me a better real estate investor now.
7) Why do you think you’ve succeeded in real-estate investing at such a young age while many others struggle to even get started?
I’d say that age doesn’t have to do with it. It just so happened that I started earlier.
The main factor that hinders a lot of people from succeeding is one’s mindset. I always say that every basic thing that you need to know about real estate investing are all in the books. And you will learn along the way some techniques that will be useful. But all these will go to waste if one’s mindset is not on the right track.
This may sound funny but believe me, work on your mindset, get educated on the business and everything will fall into place.
8) What advice can you give to our dear readers who want to get into real-estate investing?
I get a few questions like, “We are looking at the same lists in banks and newspapers, how do you spot good deals?” I’d always say, start by familiarizing yourself with the prices of properties for sale or sold in your own area or the area you want to focus on. Walk around the neighborhood and ask around, network with brokers and look at online sites where these properties are posted. Naturally, the opportunity will present itself in the form
of undervalued properties for sale or of neighbors seeking your help in selling their property.
I describe myself as a perennial student because I continually enroll in classes for self improvement. Invest on yourself by attending courses or seminars specific or supplementary to real estate investing.
Seek mentors. Accelerate your learning curve by asking questions or partnering with someone who have done what you want to do.
Lastly, be persistent. Do not stop at the first sight of failure. At 24, I overcame barriers and accomplished a feat that I haven’t even dreamed of myself–all because of my persistence, and I’m sure you can too.
More about Eden: Eden specializes in real-estate investing through rent to own properties and dreams of helping create 1 million millionaires by 2020. You can checkout her website at http://renttoownproperties.blogspot.com/ to find out her growing list investment properties. If you’re searching for a house you want to invest in, Eden highly recommends checking out http://www.bahayatbp.com.
P.S. Dear readers, I hope you enjoyed Eden’s story as much as I did and learned something that you can apply into your own situation. Have you tried investing in real-estate? How was it? What other tips can you share based on your experience?