7 tips for entering the investment property market on a modest salary – Zaki Ameer

Zaki Ameer is a young property investor and Dream Design Property founder who at the age of 22 built a portfolio of 10 properties worth $10M on a very low income. In today’s show Zaki shares his 7 tips for entering the investment property market on a modest salary.


Kevin:  One of the big challenges for anyone wanting to get into property, of course, is how do you do it on a low income? My next guest is a man who did exactly that. Real estate expert, author, and Dream Design Property founder Zaki Ameer found himself in a foreign country with very little income and some quite hefty international university fee debts, yet he still went about building a ten-property portfolio totaling over $10 million. How did he do that at such a young age? He joins me.
Hi, Zaki. Thank you very much for your time.
Zaki:  Hi, Kevin. Good to be here.
Kevin:  Based on your experiences, you’re going to have some great tips for people wanting to do exactly what you did. I’ve read a little bit about what you did. One of the tips you say is go soul-searching. What do you mean by that?
Zaki:  It’s important that everyone starting a journey – and that could be a property investor – needs to know exactly why they’re getting into property investing and be clear that they’re going to work through it during the tough times. It’s important to know exactly why. That could be simply to get out of debt.
Kevin:  You mention also about having a mentor, and you mention a quote from Richard Branson, which is the link between average people and really successful people is that they’re those who have a mentor. Who has been the great mentor for you?
Zaki:  I’d been introduced to a few around the age of 25, where they had very large property investing portfolios. When I looked at them, they didn’t have much of a background, so I thought, “If they can do it, so can I.” I learned from them, and that included an accountant and a property-investing developer who had large portfolios.
Kevin:  You developed these people into a team. Do you still have a team?
Zaki:  Yes. Our accountant is definitely on our team, and he advises all our clients on tax planning.
Kevin:  I notice, too — and we’ve done a number of stories on this in recent times — about Gen-Ys and how they’re continuing to live at home, save up, and get into a property that way. Do you believe in that as a good way for young people to get into property?
Zaki:  Yes. There is the aura out there that Gen-Ys might not ever be able to buy their first home because of the rising prices. Staying at home and avoiding rent and other expenses while you live off the family money is definitely one way to get into the property market.
Kevin:  What do you think about partnering up with a friend or relation and going into a partnership in a property? Is that a good idea?
Zaki:  In my personal view, Kevin, I would tend to stay away from it in terms of any partnerships, only because I see property investing as a long-term partnership. If you’re doing something to flip in the sense that you’re going to buy, renovate, and sell, which is a short-term arrangement, I’d have a strict, legal business agreement. However, in the long run, I would tend to avoid it, because there are so many changes and variables that could happen that will involve multiple people having to agree to make a decision on it.
Kevin:  That’s very good advice. Just to round us out, I wonder if you’d tell me about your 50/30/20 rule, please.
Zaki:  What I’m trying to say there is that from your salaried income, 50% needs to go into your essentials – and that could be your living expenses and day-to-day compulsory living expenses – and 30% should be little luxuries. It’s important that you spoil yourself and not go into living below the poverty line, so you want to have little luxuries. However, 20% of your income should be separated and going to a separate bank account that you don’t really have access to. That 20% is what you’re going to use in the future to start your investing journey.
Kevin:  Zaki, I want to thank you for spending some time with us today. You certainly are an inspiration. I wish you success in the future. We look forward to talking with you again soon. Thank you for your time.
Zaki:  Thank you, Kevin.

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