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From Zero To Property Hero

Enterprising property investor and D’Herbs Healthy Sdn Bhd Founder and Managing Director Dato’ Aliff Syukri Kamarzaman built his beauty and health products empire from scratch. His journey started in an informal way. He attended no motivational talks or seminars at any higher learning institutions but instead indulged in part-time work trading scarves, brooches and even rendered pak andam or wedding make-up artist services.

Aliff owes the secret of his successful career path to self-motivation. During his early years, some of his friends and neighbours often poked fun and laughed at his dreams of wanting to own luxurious properties and expensive cars. However, he says he was even more determined to succeed when he took the brickbats and turned them into stepping stones towards achieving his dreams.

Although it took him nearly 10 years and a loss of RM3 million in the process, he only started tasting the fruits of his success upon his sixth business attempt. Aliff became a well-known celebrity entrepreneur as the producer of the first collagen lipstick in Malaysia. His name alongside the product was an instant market success, accelerated by the popular tagline Terlajak Laris.

Today, Aliff manages his beauty product business, spa, fashion boutique, online business and property development company while also giving talks at local universities.

Besides appearing on television reality shows, he also regularly attends events and seminars. Although managing his many businesses demand most of his time, he makes it a priority to spend quality time with his wife and three children.

PLANNING AHEAD

Being a business figure and owning numerous properties, he recalls his first challenge when he was 19 years old. He tried to purchase a property priced at RM300,000. However, the loan was rejected so he took the huge disappointment as a challenge to move forward. Currently, he says the house is valued close to RM1million in the market.

“My first property was the One Damansara project in Damansara Damai, Selangor which was developed by MK Land Holdings Bhd. My pay was only RM1,600 per month then and I knew the banks would turn down my loan if my bank statement wasn’t healthy,” he says.

Armed with steely determination, Aliff became a night market vendor selling salted eggs and dried fish. He also sold scarves and brooches  using flyers as his marketing tool.

At the end of each week, he would accumulate the profits earned and deposit about RM400 – RM500 into his savings account. By doing so, each month he managed to save RM1,500 – RM3,000. By the seventh month, his bank statements began to show positive transactions.

With this, the bank approved a 100% housing loan at the price of RM220,000 for his first property.

The property has since appreciated to RM650,000. Following that, his business begins to expand, enabling him to purchase another two properties. He also sold off one of his properties whereby the buyer paid him RM40,000 in cash which he used to purchase yet another property.

He later continued to purchase more properties. These days, he shares that most of his properties comprise shop lots, apartments and terrace houses.  Aliff says he prefers to buy newly-built houses while 20% of his portfolio comprise sub-sales properties.

CONSIDERING VITAL FACTORS

Aliff says he has never attended any developers’ events nor courses on property buys. Instead, he prioritises  strategic locations whenever he decides to purchase any property. Besides the location, amenities such as schools, banks and shops must be located nearby as these will complement the property.

“I also prefer to invest in townships with diverse multi-racial demographics and mid- to high-end residents’ profile. These factors will be able to create healthy demand for the property,” adds Aliff.

These considerations even motivated Aliff to purchase a whole level of Residensi Suasana developed by MK Land. In addition to that, he also bought a dozen units of the Rafflesia in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur  condominium project developed by Bintai Kindenko Corporation Bhd.

“My tip for upcoming property investors is to purchase at least one house to begin with. If you own luxury items like handbags and cars but don’t even own a house, then it beats the whole purpose of being rich. Don’t wait forever to buy a dream house – start with a moderate one first,” advises Aliff.

He says it is wiser to buy a more affordable property and then aim for a bigger one later.  By then, the prices of properties would have appreciated to give more choices for future purchases. He adds that the aim is not to be quick to sell the property but to hold on to it for the long term.  

According to him, it would be wiser to keep at least one property to pass on to the next generation.

“I have a five-year business expansion plan. My aspiration is to become as prominent as Syed Bukhary (Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Shah bin Syed Nor Al-Bukhary) or Mustapha Kamal (Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar),” shares Aliff.

This year, he is in the midst of constructing his own property development spanning a four-acre plot that will comprise 88 townhouses with a Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM40 million.

Aliff has formidable plans in the pipeline for future property investments and project developments.

Despite the uncertain climate of the current property market, Aliff has no plans of slowing down.

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