By: Jotham Lim
Mingling around the property investors’ community, several names of property educators or “gurus” have been brought up multiple times. Some malicious ones have brought investors down a rabbit hole, spreading misinformation and deceit within the community. However, some have genuinely helped turn people’s lives around for the better, triggering true rags to riches stories.
Several community members have recommended Entrepreneur Insight the “Property Knight” who goes by the name KY Lim. KY is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of KYY Empire, a property investment consultancy that specializes in market-leading solutions that focus on maximizing returns and offer high capital growth.
KY goes beyond just the property market and is actively involved in the entrepreneurship community, conducting multiple workshops and sharing sessions on the subject matter.
We decided to reach out to KY Lim, to learn more about his company, his thoughts and his vision. It was no easy feat trying to schedule an interview with KY, as he was travelling all over the country and around the world in an attempt to help as many people as possible.
But fortunately, we managed to have a conversation with KY. Speaking with KY Lim has certainly taught us many things about what it means to become an entrepreneur. One thing is for certain, the amount of energy radiating from his personality is none like the other entrepreneurs we have interviewed before.
You were popularly known as the “Property Knight”. Why is that?
People called me the “Property Knight” because I always love to provide step-by-step guidance for both first-time homebuyers and new investors on how to purchase a property without forking out a hefty downpayment.
At KYY Empire, we believe that property investment is for everyone, which is why we are dedicated to building one of the most influential property investment platforms in Malaysia, in order to empower and sustain the buyers’ community.
How does the current property market climate affect your business?
Undoubtedly, the current property market condition presents many challenges for property investors and buyers. However, we view all these challenges as an opportunity for both developers and house buyers, to compromise and come to a win-win solution.
For instance, if developers could adjust their pricing and implement cooling measures to cushion the property market, it will certainly capture the attention and interest of potential home buyers and investors who are facing issues with cash flow management.
That is why we are here to extend further assistance in bridging the gap between property developers and home buyers, to help our clients navigate the difficult and murky property landscape we have here today.
There are many property investment consultancy firms in the market. How does KYY Empire stand out amongst the crowd?
We are nothing but unique amongst the circle of property investment consultancy firms. We adopt a one-of-its-kind “green ocean strategy” in today’s saturated property market, by strategically creating shared value among all stakeholders on our property investment platform.
By green ocean strategy, I meant that we are taking advantage of the environmental pressure in the market. Through innovative solutions such as property “bulk purchases”, we are able to help our clients or business partners such that they do not have to pay any or hefty initial deposit, legal fees, renovation costs and other miscellaneous costs when buying properties.
We are unique in such a way because we are a one-stop service hub. We provide services ranging from bank loan applications, property management and to monthly bank loan instalment servicing. Through that, we will sell off the properties at higher prices and share the profits yielded amongst our investors.
By leveraging facilities provided by financial institutions and utilizing the advantages through bulk purchasing, we take pride in helping our clients to invest through our strategies, which include No-Money-Down, Three-Year-Zero-Instalment, Zero-Legal-Fees and Zero-Renovation-Cost.
Please share a successful case study of your company.
We have a proven track record of helping our clients to build a property portfolio from scratch, even for those who are knee deep in debt, to owning three properties on average. Nowadays, getting a bank loan approved is no easy process. The most frequent problem faced by people first tapping into property investment, is that they always get turned down by banks when it comes to loan applications.
These people need to pay more attention to the small details that could negatively impact their credit score. For instance, delaying or skipping their monthly utility bills and mobile phone bills will severely affect their credit score.
That is why we are here to help them restructure their debt and build a better financial portfolio, so that they could get the loan approved with fewer obstacles and resistance.
We have grown rapidly in these four years. We started out with only one project in 2017, and now we are working with various renowned property developers and property agencies on 21 projects, with an investment portfolio value of R M235 million this year alone. We are aiming to reach R M1 billion by the year 2020.
Being an entrepreneur, what are the main contributing factors to your current success?
When KYY Empire first started out, we strived to build a sustainable property ecosystem to better meet the discerning needs of our people today and beyond. But how were we able to achieve that? The answer, of course, lies in our attitudes and talents.
We foster an environment of continuous improvement and learning, not merely limiting ourselves to just absorbing the knowledge from reading books. We travel around the world to learn from the experts in their respective fields, gain global insights, recognize their unique standards and best practices, all of which are key factors to our success.
We are being certified for the IS09001 and IS014001, adhering to industrial quality standards. In other words, our hundreds of millions of investment portfolio are recognised as highly reliable and trustworthy.
Of course, I would like to thank my awesome team as well. We recruit more than just a team with high performance. We also grow and nurture each and every one of them with, developing their entrepreneurial mindset.
This is, in fact, our golden secret. By embodying this mindset, they would better position themselves to meet different challenges and experience growth every day. To date, we have reaped multiple awards and recognition for our unprecedented growth and creative branding strategies.
We have earned the Young Emerging Business Excellence Award by Sin Chew, Grandeur International Business Award 2017/2018 by Elegante International, as well as The 100 Most Influential Young Entrepreneurs Award 2017 by your publication.
Do you, at one point in your career, have to make an important business decision?
First, some context of the situation. When I first started the KYY Empire business, I was a lone ranger. The downside of working alone is that you are not able to accomplish as much as you wish, and it is harder to get involved with projects on a larger scale with renowned developers.
The hardest decision I’ve made is to trust others, delegating several tasks to my team members, evolving from an investor mindset to an entrepreneur. I have slowly cultivated and build a super-efficient team that excels at providing excellent services to our clients.
Being an investor is self-serving, all about helping myself or the people that helped me grow wealth. The entrepreneurship mindset, however, holds a greater vision and promise, aimed at building a better and much more sustainable global society. Such a grand vision speaks directly to my heart.
Speaking of your talent, how do you qualify and select your team members?
I believe in the importance of human capital. At KYY Empire, we value talents with the following traits and qualities:
- Professional competency
- Innovative thinking,
- Commitment to the team’s goals and stakeholders
- Last but not least, A genuine love for contributing to society
Talent is our greatest asset. For those who are lacking, we educate and coach our team members in terms of soft skills and knowledge in their area of expertise. We ensure a fun, healthy and joyful working environment to inject positive attitude, energy and allure amongst the team members. Satisfied and happy employees will eventually breed a successful company.
The term “overleveraging” has been thrown around often in the property community. What are your thoughts on the topic?
Overleveraging is associated with carrying too much debt or the inability to afford the monthly instalment payments. I absolutely do not condone such practices.
It all boils down to what I said earlier about mindset, and how to be creative and think outside the box in how you manage your investments in order to skyrocket the return on investment (ROl). Just to give an example, by providing short term rental options to both leisure and business travellers, it will potentially help increase your rental yield.
If you are not careful and start to overleverage, you might run the risk of becoming bankrupt which will result in a whole new set of problems.
Being an entrepreneurship speaker, do you find it difficult teaching both property investment and entrepreneurship at the same time?
Not at all! I have always had a burning passion towards educating people, both in property investment and entrepreneurship as well. I believe that educating others is the right thing to do, to help as many people as possible to build their wealth, even if they were once impoverished.
Challenges in handling both sides are unavoidable, and it comes together with the job. But the burning passion inside me provides me with such motivation and energy, I have no option but to keep moving forward and never stop.
You have been flying all around the world. Are there plans on taking KYY Empire global?
Since 2018, we have been welcoming investors from neighbouring countries, such as Singapore and China, to invest in the Malaysian property market. Our concrete and solid relationship with established property developers in various ASEAN countries also open the door to global investment opportunities for clients from all ASEAN countries.
Thus far, we have been offering property sources in emerging markets such as Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, and of course, Malaysia as well.
What advice would you give to budding property investors?
The first thing you should ask yourself is “why do I want to become a property investor in the first place?”
Once you have the vision and drive in you, you must then be mentally prepared for the exciting investment journey that awaits you. It will be tough, but always have that vision and goal in mind.
Remember! Never, ever stop learning. The thirst for knowledge will fuel your drive to keep up with the recent updates about property investments. Diversify your channels by attending courses, reading books, getting a mentor, just to name a few. From there, identify the factors within the property that will add to its value, because why would someone want to invest in a property that provides no ROI?
Finally, what advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Being an entrepreneur, you should be very passionate about what you do and must have a strong sense of purpose in the business that you’re building. You want passion to wake you up every morning, not the alarm clock.
Passion creates energy, but energy alone can only bring you so far. You must build a team that shares the same vision and goals as you, so that you could grow in scale, doubling and tripling your output and eventually cause such a significant ripple effect, that leaves a positive difference and impact all over the world.
KY Lim left immediately right after the interview for an event, probably to help as many people in their investments journey as much as he can. How far will KY go in the coming future? How much of a legacy is he going to leave behind?