"If I had to do this by myself, I wouldn't have the time" - Ironfish

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“If I had to do this by myself, I wouldn’t have the time”


Sarah Wu


“My strategist is very, very patient. When I have questions, he takes the time to help me understand everything. Any problems I have, he finds a solution for me. He fixes everything. I’m a single mum, I work full time. If I had to do all this by myself, it would take a lot of time.”


ironfish reviewCase in profile:

  • Single-mum raising a 6-year-old
  • Full-time chemist and small business owner
  • Wanted to invest, but lacked time and confidence
  • Purchased 2 houses with Ironfish
  • Planning to diversify with next purchase

The most precious asset

For Sarah Wu – a single mum raising a 6-year old and working full time in the laboratory as a chemist – time is the most precious asset. Sarah was planning to buy an investment property and spent quite a few Saturday mornings at inspections, but stopped as she simply couldn’t find the time to continue. After attending a property expo and connecting with Ironfish Brisbane strategist Richard Chai, things changed pretty quickly.

“Richard would call me to invite me to events, for example when Ironfish CEO Joseph Chou was in town. But I live in the south of Brisbane and the events are all in the city – I couldn’t make it. Eventually Richard offered to come to me and talk me through everything; he actually met me at my son’s school one afternoon, which was very convenient – I work full time, I have a young child to look after and a small business as well, I really don’t have any time!”

How can a single mum build a portfolio?

When Richard explained Ironfish services and portfolio building strategies – Sarah was initially unsure she could build a portfolio on her own – it seemed pretty intimidating. But once she learned a little more about the possibilities, Sarah gained a lot more confidence.

“I was keen to purchase a house, so Richard explained the process of buying a new house and land package, for example the time frame is not too long, build time is fairly short after the land settles. He presented all the data about Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, then showed me a selection of properties to choose from that would fit my criteria. I didn’t know a brand-new house and land package could cost less than $400,000 – so that was a good starting point. My first purchase was in Ipswich, South East Queensland, which shows good signs for growth in the short-medium term, and it’s only taken a couple of weeks to find a tenant – though I have rental guarantee in place anyway. My next purchase was another house and land package, this time in Redlands. It’s close to the beach, without a lot of houses in the area – this one is about having a healthy cash flow.

From trust builds confidence

Sarah wasn’t sure she’d be able to invest in a second property relatively soon after the first. But the trust she’d built with her strategist Richard, and the success of her fellow investors, helped greatly.

“I approached 2 other companies as well, but they were quite different – very short term in their approach, or focussing purely on one city, e.g. Sydney. Ironfish people are so passionate about investing. One by one, Ironfish was able to give me lots of examples of their customers, people like me, who had managed to build a portfolio of 2-3 properties. Joseph (Ironfish CEO) owns many, many properties, and yet he still continues to invest today. This gave me the confidence that if someone else can do it with Ironfish, then I can do it too. I also appreciate the cultural connection; Richard and Joseph are both originally from China, like me. It’s nice to have that in common, it’s reassuring and just more relatable.”

Help at every step

Above all else, Sarah has been most impressed by the ease and convenience that has made investing possible.

“From buying to renting it out, Ironfish arrange everything. If any problems arise, I don’t need to spend time resolving them myself. Richard helps me with everything and is very patient with my questions – this is really different to the usual real estate market.

“If I need a loan, he’ll suggest a broker. Today, I have a tenant moving in, so I need to have electricity connected and landlord insurance in place – Richard has helped me organise that. He came with me to collect the keys at settlement, he checked the defects with me, he found a property manager. When I needed some financial advice, he could help me find a financial planner. Literally every step of the way, I had help. This also gave me a lot of confidence to invest with Ironfish again – and Richard was able to help me develop a strategy to build my portfolio further. I’m now saving my next 20% for the next deposit, maybe an apartment in another city, but I’m still some years away.”

Sarah’s property investment tips:

  1. Consider new or off the plan property. Previously I was looking at second hand houses, but inspections, choosing locations and so on takes a lot of time. The depreciation for new properties, especially in the first 6 years helps you save on tax. New houses don’t take so long to settle and build, and mine didn’t take too long to rent out either. For me it’s also great that new houses just don’t have much maintenance and are more hassle free.
  2. Find someone you trust to help you invest; it will save you a lot of time, from choosing the property all the way to renting it out!

Do you feel like you are a long way off from being able to buy your first home or first investment property? One of our Strategists can help you reach your goal, just like Richard helped Sarah. Book a complimentary appointment today and find out how we can help you build a portfolio.


*A very big thanks to Sarah for sharing her inspiring story. Sarah would prefer not to include a personal photo, so in respect of her privacy, photos in this article are from our stock image library.