‘I built a 14-property portfolio and quit my corporate job’

Michael Xia had one goal in mind when he bought his first investment property: to quit the rat race. But what do property investors do once they strike gold and no longer need to work nine to five?

“When you start investing in property, you’ve got a goal, something that you want to achieve. For me, that was to quit work. I hated my corporate role.

I was in online advertising market research. The first couple of years I loved it, but you get a bit jaded towards the end; you think, ‘What other things are out there?’.

I think I always had those aspirations of finding something that would lead me to something. You have all these crazy ideas, like, ‘What if I invented the next Facebook?’.

For me, it was actually in property investing. I came across property investing about three years ago and at that time I had two properties.

Just speaking to the right people who were using the right strategies, I managed to quit corporate. From the very first day that I started property investing, that was my main goal.

The reason I wanted to quit corporate life, funnily enough, was that I really liked touch football. I just wanted to spend more time training and playing touch football.

Now, with 14 properties in my portfolio, I work as a mortgage broker, which gives me a lot more flexibility with my time. I have been doing that for about a year now.

My business is called Mortgage Channel and I am based on the Gold Coast, but the majority of my clients are from Sydney. So I guess my niche market is Sydney investors buying in Brisbane.

Some of my Sydney property investor clients who want to buy in Brisbane don’t have time to come up there and have a look, so they use a buyer’s agent to look at properties for them.

On the flip side, if they have an interest in finding those deals themselves and also have the time to come up there, fly out there and have a look, then they buy themselves.

Every Saturday I have three, four, five clients flying up from Sydney and we just go around looking for properties together.

Some of them have invested before, and there are some other people that want to invest, but they have seen the Sydney property prices and they are like, ‘Woah! This isn’t going to work’.

They still want to invest, so they look at different areas, and it’s all a broad mix but the one thing that’s pretty common is that it’s their first time buying interstate.

And buying interstate for the first time is actually quite daunting.

So I think it’s important for someone to be on the ground there, someone who can can guide them a little bit, because the negotiation and the buying process is very different in Queensland to how it is in NSW.

I think all mortgage brokers need to differentiate themselves in a certain way, and this kind of combines what has worked for me and what I find successful.

I believe in it, and want to just help my clients, because if I can make them better investors, and the properties that they are buying are better investments, then their long-term financial situation is going to be heaps better.

So for each of my clients, I spend a lot of time taking them through that process, and at the end of it they are much savvier investors.”

‘I built a 14-property portfolio and quit my corporate job’
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