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property investment perth

In her own words – a customer story with a difference


Yanping Ren

Palliative Care Nurse

“Every day I listen and learn from the experiences from my elderly and terminally ill patients. And what I’ve realised is that whilst I’m still capable of working, I need to prepare for the last stages of my life – both physically and financially. I need to have choice and dignity at that time.


property investment perthCASE IN PROFILE

  • Perth-based palliative care nurse
  • Looking to supplement her income to safeguard her retirement
  • purchased 5 properties with Ironfish



We regularly share our customer success stories and usually, we’d ask our customers to share a few insights, property investment tips and key experiences with us.

But in the case of our Perth investor Yanping, she very kindly approached us and was keen to share her story, in her own words. And we think it’s beautiful – and she’s a very inspiring investor. So here’s Yanping’s investment experience as she tells it.


Life beyond the village

“A few weeks ago, I saw an article on social media about a young staff member in Ironfish who managed to purchase 2 investment properties in a 12-month period. The story was very inspiring and it made me think – maybe I should share my own investment experience to help inspire other potential investors. My Strategist, Helen Qin, who is also the Managing Director of Ironfish Perth encouraged me to do so.

“I’m originally from a small village in rural China. I was the only child in my family to be able to attend university and through education, I was one of very few people who managed to leave our village to greater prospects in bigger cities.

“Life in a big city was a massive change in itself for someone from a remote village. But when I was at university, I met a group of foreign exchange students which opened my eyes to the larger world outside of China and made me eager to visit someday.

“I graduated and began my work as a nurse, while also working hard to improve my English in my spare time. And after a few years, I got the opportunity for a working holiday visa and came to Perth. I immediately fell in love the city and the Australian way of life and would have loved to stay on beyond my one-year visa but I couldn’t see how that would be possible.”

Moving to Australia

“At that point, an unexpected thing occurred. A Singaporean couple, who have always looked out for me, heard that I was leaving and asked me whether I wished to stay on in Australia and further my studies. I said, ‘of course, but it’s impossible – I wouldn’t be able to afford the fees.’ Much to my surprise, my kind friends offered, then and there, to lend me my tuition fees. This assistance enabled me to obtain my Masters and find work soon after graduation – and eventually become an Australian resident. I’ve now lived in Australia for over a decade and the Singaporean couple remain my very close friends to this day.

“The major I studied wasn’t very popular – Palliative Care. But I chose this profession because I’ve always had empathy for the elderly and the sick since I was little – and in Australia, I’ve been able to continue my work in aged care to help Australians enjoy a peaceful and dignified journey through their final phase of life.”

So – why property investment?

“To be honest, I’d been thinking about property investment for many, many years.

After 10 years of working, I’d managed to buy my own home and save around $150,000. I knew I shouldn’t be keeping my money in the bank and it should be invested. So I looked around for opportunities, spoke to many people and did a lot of research. But I didn’t have the confidence to make a start.

“In 2014, I met Helen, who was visiting one of my colleagues at our workplace. We had a chat, but I was too busy to follow up. So another 2 years passed at which point I met Vicky from the Ironfish Perth office at a ‘toastmasters club’ event. I talked to her about my intentions to invest and she suggested I made time to talk to Helen – so finally an appointment was set and we met up in Helen’s office.

property investmetn perth

Yanping pictured with Vicky and Helen from Ironfish Perth

“We met on two occasions and in each meeting, we spoke for a very long time. I asked so many questions – it took 2 days to cover all my investment questions which I’d accumulated over the years. I was amazed at Helen’s patience during the entire process – and with her extensive experience and knowledge base along with her calmness and confidence with long-term investing, it meant I couldn’t sit there and do nothing anymore.

Building my portfolio

“At that point I was clear about my investment plan and was determined not to delay any further and to start taking some decisive action towards my long-term goals.

“In April 2016, I bought my first investment, a house and land package in Brisbane based on Helen’s recommendation to suit my criteria. However, there was a hiccup prior to signing: the land settlement was due in June, and I had planned to pay my loan interest in advance, so I could claim my losses through my tax return quickly. After a few days, Helen informed me that the land settlement was going to be postponed until July/August, which changed my original plan. 

She checked with me if I still wanted to continue with the purchase and stressed that it was ok if I didn’t proceed. I was pleased to find Ironfish was so honest and transparent prior to signing the contract, they could have withheld this fact until I signed and paid my deposit, but they didn’t.

“The week after signing I requested to meet with Helen again.  The strategy she created for me, based on Ironfish’s Portfolio Approach, was to build a diverse portfolio with different locations and property types. I reserved 2 apartments during the meeting, one in the Adelaide CBD and another in a prestigious Perth suburb, both of which are top quality and by leading developers.  After the meeting, I looked back, and I couldn’t contemplate that during the previous 10 years I had only managed to “think” and “plan” but within 2 weeks I had finally managed to purchase 3 properties in 3 different cities and covering 2 different property types – all with good cash flow and strong long-term capital growth potential.

Important investor tools

“Prior to each purchase, Helen helped me to envisage different cash flow scenarios using Ironfish’s Property Portfolio Analysis software. I found her calculations to be comprehensive and quite conservative. She also contacted one of their recommended loan brokers to confirm the numbers and my borrowing capacity.

I found that Ironfish used stricter controls and measures than I would have personally used had I invested on my own.

Increasing my income

“At the time, I had steady employment in a privately-owned nursing home. The location and working conditions were good, and after 6-7 years working there I’d been promoted to Head Nurse. However, with my decision to build a substantial property portfolio in a short period of time, I knew I needed to resign from this position and to seek new employment opportunities with greater pay.

“I contacted a recruiter and decided to pick up a series of contract work in regional areas of WA – very remote areas which are always short staffed and offer better remuneration.

“Over the last few years I’ve worked in various locations from the far south to the far north of Western Australia. It hasn’t always been easy, but I think I’ve coped well with the challenges. And on my days off, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to so many out-of-the-way destinations – and made a lot of friends on my travels.

“After about 6 months of contract work, I’d managed to save a decent lump sum, so I gave Helen a call and advised her that I was planning to purchase a 4th property.

“Helen found a great investment opportunity for me in Melbourne, a city I’ve always loved. The apartment was part of a close-to-release project, so near completion but still brand new so that I could still get the tax benefits, and leaving enough time for me to settle my next property. Ironfish Melbourne’s property managers did a good job and got my apartment rented out about a month after settlement. 

In total, I’ve now purchased 5 properties, in 4 different cities, covering 2 different property types and including off-the-plan and near completion purchases.”

My future home in Perth

“At the end of last year, I settled my Adelaide apartment, though lending conditions are very tough at the moment, I was able to get my finance. I really appreciate how hard Ironfish worked to help me through this process and my property managers found me a tenant before the property had even settled. Now that I’ve settled, I’ve getting a strong rental return with a positive cash flow.

“Towards the end of 2018, I’ll settle my 5th property– an apartment by Mirvac in one of Perth’s top suburbs, Claremont. This is a difficult suburb to get into given its expensive price point, and I’m hoping that in future I’ll be able to move into this property myself as a reward for all the years of hard work I’ve put in. Given the tough lending conditions – I’m prepared for the challenge and considering different options to ensure I can settle successfully.

“Though I now have 5 properties, my cash flow is sufficient and healthy – and reflects the earlier calculations Helen prepared for me prior to each property purchase. So I don’t feel much pressure in terms of loan repayments. Helen’s help and strategy in property selection and investment sequencing was really important – I wouldn’t have known how to be able to build this portfolio on my own.

My main driver

“People may think that I’m overly obsessed with buying property but property is not my end-goal. I believe that investing is something everyone should do for the long term benefits. Because of the industry I work in, I encounter elderly and terminally ill people every day of my working week. Because of my work, I am able to experience and listen to stories that the ordinary person wouldn’t be able to hear. Experiencing this first-hand has given me the motivation that whilst I’m still capable of working, I need to prepare for the last stages of my life – both physically and financially. I need to have choice and dignity at that time.

“I’m currently, single and can only rely on myself. I also have a family to support back in China – and this is the driving force of my well-planned life.

“My ultimate goal is to do more work with elderly and terminally ill patients after I am able to be financially free.  I hope that in the future I will be able to establish a large professional aged care organisation in China.  I hope to be able to share my professional experience for the benefit of more people to be able to give back to people back in China, and my family and communities who have given me the opportunity to go abroad and achieve so much.

“There’ s no doubt that life is an exciting journey – full of tests, surprises and rewards. And it feels great to know that I am so much closer to realising my dreams.”

Are you inspired by Yanping’s drive and determination? Or simply want to see how you can cash flow an investment property in Perth, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne or Brisbane? Book a free appointment today with one of our experienced Strategists who can guide you through our custom PPA software and other quality investment support tools.

If you’d like to know more about property investment in Australia – you can also download our latest quarterly report which contains the property market research, data and analysis relating to all the 5 major capital cities.